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Old 04-12-2010, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question New Capo

I don't have a capo.
I need it to be cheap, I don't mind if it's an elastic one or anything.
It's an acoustic. The fretboard is flat. It's a Jasmine Takamine.
I was about to buy one just now on Amazon, but decided against it until I had some valid opinions.

Does anyone have recommendations for good, cheap capos for an acoustic guitar?
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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they're generally all cheap. kyser is the most common brand i've seen. good quality but a little pricey ($20-$40), but they're all metal and solid pieces of hardware. and they come in a variety of colours too.

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Old 04-13-2010, 12:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwSugar View Post
I don't have a capo.
I need it to be cheap, I don't mind if it's an elastic one or anything.
It's an acoustic. The fretboard is flat. It's a Jasmine Takamine.
I was about to buy one just now on Amazon, but decided against it until I had some valid opinions.

Does anyone have recommendations for good, cheap capos for an acoustic guitar?
This...actually makes a difference. You sure you don't have a radial fretboard? Common ones are around 9" - 13". Flat fretboards can be excessively hard to play barre chords on.

Every capo I've seen, and I mean EVERY one has some sort of curvature to the barring arm, I would imagine a flat fretboard would hinder the capo's ability to barre the D/G strings and might lead to buzzing. It's also good to choose a capo that's spring-loaded rather than preloaded (like a set-screw) so that the capo naturally counteracts the spring tension and you don't need to worry about going out of tune as a result.

But yes, I own the Kyser one that mr dave posted, works like a dream but it's relatively expensive (around $20).
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mr dave View Post
they're generally all cheap. kyser is the most common brand i've seen. good quality but a little pricey ($20-$40), but they're all metal and solid pieces of hardware. and they come in a variety of colours too.
Right, I'm thinking elastic cause it's cheaper and useful for my needs.
It's just casual, you know? Casual recording, casual everything.
There's nothing special I need it for. ^_^ Thanks for the recommendations.

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This...actually makes a difference. You sure you don't have a radial fretboard? Common ones are around 9" - 13". Flat fretboards can be excessively hard to play barre chords on.

Every capo I've seen, and I mean EVERY one has some sort of curvature to the barring arm, I would imagine a flat fretboard would hinder the capo's ability to barre the D/G strings and might lead to buzzing. It's also good to choose a capo that's spring-loaded rather than preloaded (like a set-screw) so that the capo naturally counteracts the spring tension and you don't need to worry about going out of tune as a result.

But yes, I own the Kyser one that mr dave posted, works like a dream but it's relatively expensive (around $20).
What do you mean by the barring arm? It's obviously curved on the back of the arm but the frets are pretty much flat, if I look at it.
Yeah, it's a flat fretboard according to what I see here. xD
I didn't really think to get a screw capo, cause I feel like it'd be more difficult to deal with.
It's either spring or elastic, I think.
Thanks for the info and everything. [=
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AwwSugar View Post
Right, I'm thinking elastic cause it's cheaper and useful for my needs.
It's just casual, you know? Casual recording, casual everything.
There's nothing special I need it for. ^_^ Thanks for the recommendations.
it's all good

i've owned both kinds. the screw kind sucks. the leather backing fell off so i had to use a tissue or go bare metal on wood. no idea where that thing is now probably in a bunch of pieces. the kyser on the other hand is in the acoustic case. it'll last a lifetime and well worth the $20. mine's black
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AwwSugar View Post
What do you mean by the barring arm? It's obviously curved on the back of the arm but the frets are pretty much flat, if I look at it.
Yeah, it's a flat fretboard according to what I see here. xD
I didn't really think to get a screw capo, cause I feel like it'd be more difficult to deal with.
It's either spring or elastic, I think.
Thanks for the info and everything. [=
Ah. "Pretty much flat" is basically a loose definition of what I said. Imagine tracing an imaginary line over your fretboard's cross section and continue until that circle reaches the other side of the fretboard. That's the fretboard radius, and depending upon make and model can range anywhere between 9" and 13".

I believe (don't quote me on this) that the Takamine knock-offs almost all follow a similar body shape to my Ibanez AEG20E so your fretboard should be somewhat thinner than a Seagull or Yamaha. That being said any number of capos should work for you and I imagine you won't have any issues with them.

A bit more about what I said about capos that use set screws -- they tend to be more temperamental because they're affected tremendously by thermal expansion. What I mean by that is that your fretboard and capo expand at different rates due to temperature gradients, which can actually result in accidentally INCREASING the load on your fretboard and risking the possibility of damaging it. Whereas a spring-loaded capo induces a (relatively speaking) constant force on the fretboard making it nearly impossible for it to send your guitar out of tune.

Sorry if I wrote a lot there but this is one part of music technology that I actually understand and understand well.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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it's all good

i've owned both kinds. the screw kind sucks. the leather backing fell off so i had to use a tissue or go bare metal on wood. no idea where that thing is now probably in a bunch of pieces. the kyser on the other hand is in the acoustic case. it'll last a lifetime and well worth the $20. mine's black
Maybe I'll invest in one just because it'll last me longer, I don't know. Maybe I'll ask for one, or try to wait until my job starts up again.

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Originally Posted by lucifer_sam View Post
Ah. "Pretty much flat" is basically a loose definition of what I said. Imagine tracing an imaginary line over your fretboard's cross section and continue until that circle reaches the other side of the fretboard. That's the fretboard radius, and depending upon make and model can range anywhere between 9" and 13".

I believe (don't quote me on this) that the Takamine knock-offs almost all follow a similar body shape to my Ibanez AEG20E so your fretboard should be somewhat thinner than a Seagull or Yamaha. That being said any number of capos should work for you and I imagine you won't have any issues with them.

A bit more about what I said about capos that use set screws -- they tend to be more temperamental because they're affected tremendously by thermal expansion. What I mean by that is that your fretboard and capo expand at different rates due to temperature gradients, which can actually result in accidentally INCREASING the load on your fretboard and risking the possibility of damaging it. Whereas a spring-loaded capo induces a (relatively speaking) constant force on the fretboard making it nearly impossible for it to send your guitar out of tune.

Sorry if I wrote a lot there but this is one part of music technology that I actually understand and understand well.
Don't apologize, I'm glad to have a lot to read about the subject.
It's important that I find a capo specific to my needs, even if the needs are only casual. I understand what you mean about the different capos, and it won't be a problem since I wouldn't consider a capo with a screw anyway. That explanation draws me even further away from the decision, though, so it did help.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sugar -

The radius is exaggerated on that pic. Look from the bottom of the guitar up towards the headstock. You will be able to see a slight curve.

Better yet, look at the bridge saddle. You'll be able to see that certain strings are higher than others.

The only guitars with perfectly flat fingerboards are custom jobs and classical guitars
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sugar -

The radius is exaggerated on that pic. Look from the bottom of the guitar up towards the headstock. You will be able to see a slight curve.

Better yet, look at the bridge saddle. You'll be able to see that certain strings are higher than others.

The only guitars with perfectly flat fingerboards are custom jobs and classical guitars
It's really the slightest curve, though, it's hardly obvious.
Does this really change things as much?
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yep.

Radial fretboards allow for easier barre chords among other ergonomic uses. Think action & force required to depress a string when your index finger doesn't actually fold flat.

Classical guitars can get away with using flat fretboards because they use nylon strings, which are under tremendously lower tensile loads. Still harder to use barre chords though.
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