Originally I was kinda bummed I could get these in black because after feeling the soft touch in store I was excited to not have to tear my hand up trying to loosen another overtightened stand. I figured I'd give it a shot though since we have some grey in our sanctuary (I lead at a church and bought several) and they look great. I even think that the grey disappears better than black does. As for the grip, I still love it every time I have to adjust a stand, the only thing I will say is that you may need some lock-tight for the base. A few of them didn't like to stay screwed in, but once you get the lock-tight on em the soft touch is a beautiful thing.