The Starbird mic stand was one of the largest microphone boom stands. It was a labor of love fully built in our own machine shop at the Manley Labs factory. Sadly, it became too expensive to manufacture.

We purchased the seminal design by George Starbird plus the associated tooling and made some important refinements: a heavier, wider-spread base which dismantles conveniently for transportation, plus a variable-weight counterbalance which can be filled as needed with sand or lead-shot enabling the Starbird® to be used with very heavy older ribbon microphones or cameras.

Vertical rise and fall is managed by air-damped compression valves making the boom gentle for precious microphones. Silent mobility is provided by the heavy duty solid rubber wheeled Darnell casters.

The problem with these Starbird booms is that they last forever! Thousands have been manufactured since World War II and most of them are still in use in every major music and film scoring stage.




  • Extends:
  • horizontal 4 ft to 8 ft
  • vertical 5' 1 1/2" to 8' 8" ft
  • and fully vertical up to 15 ft.
  • The counterweight weighs 6.5 lbs empty. 
  • It will hold a half gallon volume of sand or lead shot if needed. 
  • Total shipping weight: 45+9 lbs. (2 boxes)

Specifications subject to change because they just might.



  1. Insert the three (3) chrome leg and wheel assemblies into the side of the black cast base, with the flat end of the chrome leg facing DOWN towards the set screws.
  2. Using a 3/16" Allen key, tighten the three (3) set screws under the base to lock the legs.
  3. Flip this base assembly over so that the set screws are on the bottom and the wheels are rolling on the floor.
  4. Insert the end of the largest tube into the center hole of the base.
  5. Using a 3/16" Allen key, tighten the two recessed set screws found on the side of the base to lock the vertical tube.
  6. Slide the horizontal tube through the quadrant and tighten.
  7. Extend the smallest inner horizontal tube so that the 1/4" hole at the end of the larger tube is clear for the counterweight set screw.
  8. UNSCREW the counterweight set screw so that you can line up the hole in the counterweight with the hole in the horizontal tube.
  9. Slide the counterweight onto the exposed horizontal tube screw end first
  10. Using a 3/16" Allen key screw the counterweight set screw all the way in to secure the counterweight.

The MANLEY-STARBIRD counterweight can be filled with sand or lead-shot should you desire a heavier counterweight. Use a screwing motion to remove or replace the fill-plug. This plug is easily available at the hardware stores should you need another.



Step #1: Look at this picture to see which part numbers you need.
(Click to make it bigger.)

Step #2: Head on over to our Support Request Form and tell us what you need.

STARBIRD® is a registered trademark of Manley Laboratories, Inc.