Dutch start-up company Ultimusician has launched the brand new UMcapo which takes a novel approach to the problems sometimes encountered when using traditional capos, effectively replacing the traditional spring-operated clamps, adjustment screws and straps found elsewhere. Among the claims made for the new device are that it overcomes detuning problems, is easier and quicker to fit, doesn’t get in the player’s way and accommodates many different styles of neck radius.
‘Flaws that are less obvious, but no less serious or troublesome: traditional capos don’t take into account that guitar necks have varying radiuses, the curve of the fretboard varies by brand and model, and also the sound of the guitar changes when using a capo – and usually not for the better,’ Ultimusician says. ‘Also, the use of glue in the construction of capos can be a serious threat to the vulnerable varnish of especially vintage guitars’.
The UMcapo is clamped manually, single-handedly, to the neck of the guitar, so the capo takes over the pressure the player apples with his or her fingers, meaning the player decides how much tension the capo applies to the strings. ‘This is very different from a mechanism with a spring that attaches
the capo with a static pressure, the maker says. ‘The arm of the clamp mechanism is placed more back in relation to where the fingers are placed, leaving you with – literally – more room to play’.
The Radius check is a unique feature, too, the UMcapo coming with a measurement tool that enables the player to determine the radius of the guitar himself. Handily, the user manual offers an overview of the most common differences in radius and offers recommended settings.
UMcapos come in two versions – one for nylon strung and one for steel strung guitars. Watch out for an Acoustic Review video as soon as we can get our hands on sample!