Originally Posted by porter
Most of them have different mechanisms but they break down into those three categories pretty easily. Here's an explanation of the other two plus the two exceptions:
- A geared tilter is a typical low-end tilter which has lots of teeth on the two halves of the tilter that lock into each other. Because the teeth have to lock into each other (like a gear), there is a limit to how finely one can angle the tilter.
- An infinite tilter, like Tama or Yamaha's high-end ones (and Pearl's "uni-lock"), have no teeth and use a different method to lock their angle- as such, they have a much wider range of angles along the one axis of rotation.
The ball tilter is correct. Mapex's older stands, including that triple one, have a ball tilter for the cymbal arms and I guess something else for the tom arms (i'm not familiar with them). The two that don't fit in to the three categories are Mapex Falcon and Pearl Gyro-Lock, which both have a huge range of rotation on two axes.
Hopefully this helped. Feel free to ask for any clarification.
Good explanation, but we could safely get it down to only two categories, so either geared, or non geared.
Geared= toothed, notched, step, any tilter that moves incrementally.
Non geared= Infinite, toothless, ball-socket etc. As explained above moves either 360 degrees un incrementally, or fwd and back without notching.
Snare or cymbal stand applications the non geared (tho usually more pricey) gets the nod IMO. Non geared not only offers unlimited positioning, they're easier and more fun to work with/operate.
Its not uncommon for geared tilters to catch on the edge of the gear/tooth, you have to positively feel the male gear/tooth going into the female gear to get a solid hold, tho sometimes you can get a false setting- male to male gear- and it'll hold, but that's usually not secure and can end with something falling over.