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I started to play the keyboard about a year ago and up until a few months ago I had been using my computer swivel chair as a makeshift stool when playing. This was far from ideal mostly because it was heinously uncomfortable to sit on for any length of time. It was also quite awkward to position around my keyboard with the chair's armrests being particularly troublesome and utterly defunct for keyboard playing. It took me a while, but I finally decided enough was enough and started to look into buying a purpose-built keyboard stool.
The first thing that hit me when looking around on-line for stools was how expensive they are! I was (naïvely) expecting to get some change from £20 so was stunned to see some stools/benches going for £60 - I could get a good second hand keyboard for that price! After resetting my lower jaw, I looked around and eventually found a nice compromise between features and price. The result was the Boston Height Adjustable Keyboard Stool for the price of £29.99.
The most important features I wanted from a stool were comfort and adjustability. With regard to the former, the 56cm by 26cm seating area of the stool contains 5cm of comfortable foam padding inside a black faux leather cover. This is very comfortable indeed and something I can easily sit on for a couple of hours without suffering from...ahem...cheek numbness. The seat is soft enough for comfort but also firm enough to promote good posture which is essential whilst playing.
After several months of use now, the padding of the seat has stayed plump and firm and hasn't sagged under use. I tend to sit slightly towards the front of the bench so this part tends to take the brunt of my weight but thankfully a noticeable derriere groove has yet failed to develop. The faux leather covering is also of excellent quality and hasn't shown any signs of wear. I have every confidence that this will remain the case for many months to come and expect the stool will last me for a long time as a result.
As for the adjustability, I wasn't sure how high I would need my stool so had to guess that the 3 height settings would be enough and hoped one of them would be appropriate. The three height settings are 45, 50 and 56cm. Some stools I looked at had five different height settings but these came with a hefty price tag so I decided that three would be enough rather than spend any more money. Thankfully, this didn't turn out to be a mistake as I find the lowest setting (45cm) is ideal for my needs. I have my keyboard placed on an adjustable stand so could always alter this slightly if needed but have found that I didn't need to do this since the stool's lowest height was perfect for me. I would recommend that you check before purchase whether or not you would need a lower seating height than 45cm. This height seems to be the lowest many stools go to but there are some exceptions and it is worth double checking (rather than guessing and hoping like I did).
The stool required some assembly on arrival however I found this minimal in both effort and frustration. All that is needed is to use the included Allen key to fit the metal runners on the underside of the stool and fix the X-frame legs to the seat using said runners. Adjusting the height of the stool is slightly fiddly but from what I gathered from the other stools available this is unavoidable as even the most expensive ones have similar issues. The seat is held in its X-frame stance by a screw which fits through the intersection of the legs. To adjust the height setting, you need to remove this screw, which is easily done by hand using the twisting nob. There are three holes on each leg and you have to align the corresponding holes for each of the three height settings. When aligned you simply place the screw through the intersection and tighten it up.
The fiddly part arises from the need to place a metal washer between the legs when the screw is in place. It is easy to lose this when undoing the legs if you're not careful and it can be tricky to align both the holes along with the washer when you have to put the screw back in. Nonetheless, the whole process of resetting the height will take less than a minute in my experience which makes this an easy stool to adjust, say for different keyboard users. It can also fold flat by removing the bolt completely and folding it down like an ironing board. The issue here is that you will need to keep the bolt and washer somewhere safe whilst folded down and the legs do not lock into place when flat. I haven't found this too much of a problem though but do tend keep my stool set up for easiness.
The X-frame legs are made from black tubular metal which feels very strong and rigid. I have had no issues with feeling unsafe whilst sat on the stool since the whole thing is remarkably solid even on my carpeted floor. There are four rubber feet, one on each foot, to add extra stability to the stool which would also prevent it from sliding around on a wooden floor. This stool looks very nice next to my keyboard and stand and actually makes it look like I'm a professional player (which couldn't be further from the truth). The black legs and seat match my stand and keyboard perfectly and it tucks easily under my stand when not in use.
Overall, I am very pleased with this stool as it allows me to sit correctly at my keyboard where I can play in comfort for hours on end. I can't imagine ever going back to using my swivel chair and would advise anyone with a piano or keyboard to purchase one of these if you are looking for a high quality stool at an affordable price. It is a lot cheaper than many others stools on the market and provides me with everything I need whilst practicing. This stool is currently available for £29.99 on amazon and is sold by Dangleberry music. In my opinion, this is well worth the price and my only regret is not buying one sooner.
Thanks for reading :)