Ben Morgan-Brown tries three Capos from the UK’s G7th
A relative newcomer to the capo market (G7th was founded in 2006) this small UK company rapidly became a market leader courtesy of extremely clever design and a high standard of manufacture. Since its first product, the Performance model, it has gone on to broaden its range considerably and has been responsible for some genuinely important innovations in capo design. Now there is quite a range to choose from and we sampled three: the basic Ultralight model, the mid-market Performance 2 and G7th’s latest introduction, the advanced and distinctly upmarket Heritage.
Capos are one of those things that acoustic guitarists almost certainly need but there are so many to choose from, which do you buy? Well, if you’ve never owned one and aren’t sure how much use it would get, G7th’s Ultralight would be a good starting point, Ben says. Retailing for under £10 it’s cheap enough for you to buy several and keep them in your gig bag and coat pockets, just to be sure you never turn up to play only to find you have left your one capo at home! Perhaps surprisingly given its extremely lightweight plastic construction and low price, it does the job well as Ben’s video demonstrates. You might think it’s a bit flimsy feeling but it works and would be either an ideal first purchase or useful as a spare.
G7th Performance 2
Selling for a recommended £33.95, the Performance 2 is a mid-market serious capo well suited to hard gigging. It’s chunky but has that air of being extremely well made that seems to be true of all the G7th products we’ve seen and, importantly, it’s simplicity itself to fit and adjust – essential when you’re gigging, as the last thing you want is to be fumbling with a capo that just won’t stop buzzing. You don’t get any of that with the Performance 2, which is quick to set and reliable in use. Tuning stability and intonation were near perfect, even with tricky open tunings This is the one to go for, we would suggest, for everyday gigging and recording.
It you’re a perfectionist (and why shouldn’t you be?) G7th’s most recent introduction, the Heritage model, is undoubtedly worth exploring. At £129 it is not cheap but, as Ben points out in our video, electric guitarists think nothing of spending this sort of money on a single pedal and for an acoustic guitarist, isn’t a capo every bit as important? What it offers compared with the other models is an adaptive radius, which means it accommodates itself to your guitar’s neck and fretting. Made from polished stainless steel, Ben described it as ‘a beautiful piece of engineering’. At first it’s a little trickier to set than the Performance 2 but after a few goes you get used to it and once you have you can soon see the advantage adaptive radius gives it. Ben found it particularly good when playing pieces that called for a lot of string bending, where the Heritage excelled in allowing the strings to return precisely to their post-bend positions. For the very serious guitarist, especially someone with a collection of guitars with varied necks and a demanding technique, this is the one to go for.
These three capos are very different and very differently priced. Each does exactly what it sets out to do and providing you know what you want, any of the three would make a great purchase. Beginners won’t find anything better at this price than the Ultralight, while the hard-gigging serious player will love the Performance 2 and soon come to rely on it. The perfectionist with several guitars with differently sized and styled necks to cope with, on the other hand, will really appreciate the beautifully made Heritage.