A couple of years ago Novopro introduced the PS1, an innovative height-adjustable podium aimed squarely at the mobile DJ market. Then, at BPM | PRO last year, the brand debuted a new version – the PS1XL – which is not only more robust, but also extends higher than its predecessor while also coming bundled with accessories that were previously optional extras… all for the same price as the original!
For a number of years truss podiums have been extremely popular with mobile DJs for providing an aesthetically-pleasing alternative to traditional tripod stands. Covered in scrim and illuminated from inside by an LED par, they serve as an eye-catching rig component as well as providing a raised platform for moving heads, speakers and other pieces of equipment. However, the aluminium box truss usually used to create these podiums is both bulky and heavy, making it awkward to store and transport. It is also expensive and inflexible, as to achieve a different podium height it is necessary to invest in another piece of truss.
This was the inspiration behind Novopro’s original PS1 product. Instead of utilising solid square truss it offered a flat pack design which featured two separate pieces that easily join together with base and top plates to create a complete podium. What’s more, it also featured a telescopic design which allowed the one kit to provide various different height options.
The new PS1XL model builds on the concept of the original, offering a number of improvements that make it an ideal solution if you’re a mobile DJ looking to add podiums to your rig. Novopro has honed the product in every way; creating a solution that is stronger and more stable than the original, while also extending its height and adding lots of useful accessories as standard.
When I first unboxed the review model I was surprised by just how robust the two side sections felt and when I had put together the podium I was again surprised at the sturdiness of the assembled product. It feels just as solid as if it were made from a single piece of truss, while its glossy white coating seems to be pretty thick and therefore shouldn’t scruff or chip as long as it is handled carefully.
To help keep the various parts of the podium safe from knocks and scratches it is supplied with two black storage / transportation bags – one for the side pieces plus accessories and the other for the top and base plates. These both feature carry handles and will not only keep the podium safe in transit but also make it easier to carry. This is definitely a welcome addition for the new XL version, as bags were an optional extra to the original model. I did find that it was a bit of tight squeeze getting the base plate into its bag, but this is a minor criticism of what is undoubtedly a very carefully-designed and well-thought-out product.
Assembling the podium is a simple and intuitive task which only requires one person. On my first attempt I managed it without issue in less than five minutes and with a little practice I’m sure it could be perfected down to a minute or two. The process simply involves screwing bolts into the top and base plates through the side sections as well as supporting cross pieces. At the unit’s lower height settings these cross pieces aren’t really needed, but they do make a difference – adding even more stability – at the higher settings.
The PS1XL is supplied with two sets of bolts, which further adds to the product’s flexibility. There is a standard set which can be locked into place using a spanner or wrench and are intended for situations where the podium will be permanently erected (for example if you’re lucky enough to have a large vehicle that can accommodate the podiums in their assembled state). However also supplied as standard are a set of bolts fitted with plastic thumb-tightening tops which can be easily attached and removed without the need for any tools, these are designed for use when the podium will be assembled and then dismantled at every gig.
To adjust the podium’s height each leg is pre-drilled with five different holes into which slide spring-loaded ‘turn and lock’ catches. This system not only makes it easy to change the height as required, but also means that the legs are very securely locked into place ensuring the structure remains rigid at every height setting. These range from 990mm, which is around DJ console height, up to 1750mm, which puts the top plate up at around head height.
The total weight of the system is 17kg, which is fairly similar to a solid truss option. However, its telescopic and flat-pack design makes the PS1XL much easier to carry than a piece of rigid truss.
Both black and white scrim covers are included with the PS1XL as standard. These are the perfect diameter to fit the product and simply slip on over the top to transform the hollow podium into a solid pillar. Obviously, these are ‘one size fits all’ so the excess bunches up at the top or bottom if you are using anything other than the highest height setting. Although, to be fair, I don’t think this will be particularly noticeable to anyone but the most stringent neat freaks (such as myself)!
The top plate is pre-drilled with a central hole that can be used to secure a lighting fixture using a threaded bolt (supplied). The product also comes with a 35mm spigot that can be easily bolted to the top to allow the use of the podium as a speaker stand. Finally, a pair of sticky-backed non-slip foam pads are also included, which can be used to stop equipment slipping off the unit if it can’t be bolted down.
Novopro really have thought of everything when designing the PS1XL. It is even supplied with a set of white Velcro cable ties that can be used to secure your mains and DMX cables along the back leg of the stand so they are neatly out of the way. The base/top plates also feature cut-out handles that not only make them easier to lift, but can also be used to drop cables down through the top plate.
It is clear that a lot of thought has gone in to the design of this product. Not only is it very sturdy, but it's easy to assemble and looks the part. The fact that it offers the flexibility of variable height, coupled with the inclusion of every conceivable accessory, also means that it represents excellent value for money. If you’re looking for a podium to add to your mobile DJ setup, I think it is fair to say that the PS1XL is the best option on the market today.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 88, Pages 72-74.