A mini review of the three different capos that I’ve owned.
Kyser Quick Change Capo (~$15)
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The Kyser is probably the most widely used capo that I’ve seen – you even see real working professional musicians using these all the time. Seems like everybody has one of these, and it was my first (and second, and maybe even third) capo. They are pretty inexpensive at around $14 or $15.
The Kyser has a few things going for it that I like, and a few that I don’t.
- Quick and easy to put on and take off
- Sturdy design and construction
- It works 🙂 In other words, it holds down all the strings like a capo should
- You cannot adjust the tension, so it may (or may not) put your guitar out of tune when you use it
- It’s kind of ugly (in my opinion) – at the very least it’s big and has old fashioned looking design elements that I’m not a fan of
- In my experience, they are inconsistent as far as tension goes. I’ve had one that was really stiff and one that was loose
Overall the Kyser is a solid capo and I’d recommend it. But, you can do better.
Planet Waves capo (Tri-Action) (~$20)
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Planet Waves has re-designed this since I purchased the couple that I have. Now it looks like there is a pick holder built in, and the arm down the back is curved and is attached to the adjustable tension arm. I would assume this is a good move – I’ve heard that these can fall apart on the tension arm, so I’d guess this would solve that problem. I have two of these and I’ve used them a lot over the years, and they have been rock solid for me.
- Adjustable tension – this is great because you can change the tension so that your strings ring out clear without being pulled too tight. This helps keep things in tune as you use a capo. If you use guitars with different necks, this is especially helpful.
- Sleek design
- Easy to move
- On my Martin D-35, the material that sits against the guitar pulls off the finish. I use these capos on my electric guitars, but not on my Martin anymore. This is a pretty big con, in my opinion. It only does this if I leave the capo on for long periods of time (which is not recommended anyway). It could just be my particular guitar – the finish seems extra delicate on it.
Overall I really like the Planet Waves capo, but beware how it interacts with the finish.
G7th 405 Capo (~$40)
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This one is by far my favorite capo. It’s about twice as much as the Planet Waves capo, but if you use a capo a lot, do yourself a favor and get this one. It is much more minimal than the others, and it works extremely efficiently.
To place the capo, simply squeeze it. The tension applied is totally up to you. Once you get the hang of how hard to squeeze the capo down for the appropriate tension, you’ll apply the perfect amount on any guitar you put it on. It’s a pretty awesome design. To remove the capo, just pull the lever and remove.
There’s just something about this capo – the engineering, the materials, etc. It’s very satisfying to use.
- Very sleek, minimal design
- Solid construction – this one feels much better made than anything else I’ve used
- Easy to take on and off once you get the hang of it
- Perfect tension every time, on every neck. No adjustment necessary
- None. Get one now – seriously.