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Capos!


Soda Jerk
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So I bought a capo a couple of weeks back. It's a Dunlop 'Acoustic' one, cost 20, which I thought was a little steep for a capo, but apparently not. Told the chap in RnB it was to be used on an electric, but he said this one would be fine.

It's a spring loaded one, so I can't alter the tension at all. I'm finding it clamps the strings a little too tightly, meaning the notes are a little sharper than they should be. It also clamps down the G and high E tighter than the rest of the strings, meaning chords are sounding horrificly out of tune.

Is this kind of thing the case with all capo's, or am I better off with the one I screw down, rather than the un-adjustable spring one that I have? The notes seem to be perfect (according to my TU-2) if I strum the strings openly whilst ever so slightly loosing the grip with my hand, but obviously, I can't really do that all the time, unless I grew a third arm...

Capo wisdom please.

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I'm having a fair few problems capo wise at the moment too, although its also linked into an inherent tuning problem on my guitar as well. I'm playing a '62 re-issue telecaster c/w Bigsby and find I'm having to retune my guitar every time I use a capo. The guitar has some major tuning issues as well at the mo, whereby an open E is almost sounding an F at the 12th fret, which obviously doesnt help when a capo is thrown into the mix...

I have a variety of skill-compensators (my old mans nickname for the wonderful capo) including a Shubb, G7th Performance (pretty crap for the money!) and a couple of trigger style capos (my preferred capos) as well, but none seem to be curing my problem on the telecaster (not that I'm expecting them to sort the tuning issue at the 12th, but even putting the capo on at the first involves a retune). Never had a problem using a capo on an acoustic guitar, although I generally use a trigger one for the higher tension.

So, thats probably not helped a lot, but I'd steer clear of the G7th 'performance' capos, they may look pretty but I find them awkward to use and pretty ineffective. My old man just bought one the the G7th 'Nashville' ones that look almost sculptural in their styling, but they're not really sized for a pair of jeans pocket!

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I have a Shubb, with one of the screws so you can adjust it depending on the neck.

Never had a problem with it over many years and Shubb seems to be the choice of a lot of pro players. Used it on lots of different sized necks, from basball bat on my 54 Les Paul reissue to skinny and wide on my Burns electric 12 string.

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It's pretty un-pro i guess, but sometimes putting it at an angle helps, Ross often does that when playing and it works pretty well if you get it right though. Definitely recommend getting a good capo.

I find i get the same with my dunlop one.

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Yeah the G7th performance has been creeping up in price far too much. Between 30 and 35 rrp now. Stinger.

It used to be 25. A bit more than the competitors, but I find it good. Quickness and ease of the spring loaded Dunlop Trigger/Kyser capos, yet the adjustability of such as the Shubb.

Unless changing multiple times and needing to quite quickly, I'd just stick to Shubb. ~15.

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Mines a "Terry Gould Uni-Capo" (Metal framework with plastic insert, that fastens with adjustable webbing wrap & hook and foldover clamp)

Had it MANY years, never seen one since, but its absolutely great, no probs whatsoever !

anyone heard of these?

Yeah, I had a Terry's All Gold once.

It was sweet.

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Guest idol_wild

I dunno if it makes a massive difference, but have you tried placing the capo at various distances away from the actual fret? Also, like Huw suggested, sometimes it helps if you have the capo at an actual angle too - I've found this to be a remedy in the past.

Furthermore, could it perhaps be due to your actual guitar set-up? The strings are perhaps too tight or loose?

I don't know. My knowledge about such things is pretty minimal.

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I have tried placing it all over the fret and at different angles, but my tuner says the notes are much sharper when capo'd than when I fret them myself with my fingers. It really is just squeezing too tight, and sharpens the note, alot like it does if you fret a note too hard manually. I think the guitar set up is fine, as it's perfectly tuned when open, and chords all over the fretboard sound fine. The capo does the same thing on my other guitars too. I just think the spring loaded ones are a little too tightly wound.

The Schubb ones are a tenner on amazon. I'll probably go for that.

EDIT: I also tried flipping the capo upside down, and it has the same effect but in reverse. The low E string and D string are both much sharper than the rest.

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I bought a G7 after having problems with a cheaper spring-loaded capo. The old one screwed with the intonation and everything went sharp further up the fretboard. Some online research told me the capo was too tight so i bought the adjustable G7. I clamp it on fairly lightly and it works a charm, the intonation is dead on. The only issue is that i have to tune again if i move the capo between frets/play with open tuning, its no biggy though as its never far off.

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Guest Gladstone

Dave IRL

The guitar has some major tuning issues as well at the mo, whereby an open E is almost sounding an F at the 12th fret, which obviously doesnt help when a capo is thrown into the mix...

This may sound simplistic - but have you tried adjusting the intonation to sort the 12th fret sound?

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This may sound simplistic - but have you tried adjusting the intonation to sort the 12th fret sound?

Aye, my old man is a luthier in his spare time these days and basically spends all his onshore time sorting guitars for folk (just fixed up Elphi's Casino for him) and he's tried most of the obvious things. We're pretty stumped on it to be honest! First stab at it found that someone had been mucking about wiht it previously and refitted the bridge upside down :down: which we thoght would cure the problem, but nada! the problem gets worse the longer strings are on it too, so I'm having to change them like once every 2 or three uses, which is a pain in the arse with the bigsby on it!

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Guest Gladstone
Aye, my old man is a luthier in his spare time these days and basically spends all his onshore time sorting guitars for folk (just fixed up Elphi's Casino for him) and he's tried most of the obvious things. We're pretty stumped on it to be honest! First stab at it found that someone had been mucking about wiht it previously and refitted the bridge upside down :down: which we thoght would cure the problem, but nada! the problem gets worse the longer strings are on it too, so I'm having to change them like once every 2 or three uses, which is a pain in the arse with the bigsby on it!

Thought you would have - get the impression you know far more about guitars and shit than I do, but thought I'd suggest it just in case... Our guitarist had that problem with his old guitar, and didn't realise you could change the intonation. Once he tuned it up, his guitar sounded immensely better.

I've already expressed pretty much everything I know about guitars in this thread, so no more suggestions from me I'm afraid...

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