Gear Review: G7 Performance 3 (ART) Guitar Capo

Quests. Some are factual, some mythical. I have one of my own: the quest for the perfect capo. Some say it doesn’t exist. I have a collection of a variety of capos. Some work well on some of my guitars, but not on others. With any capo there can be the problem of skewing the guitar’s strings upon application of the capo. Then there’s problem of the guitar staying in tune after application. And, of course, there is the issue of a buzzing of strings when the capo is applied. Thus, we guitarists have the never ending quest for the perfect capo.

There have been developments is capo design. One involves application of specific pads which correspond to the guitar’s fretboard radius. This likely solves the problem, but is impractical (I would never take the time to change the pads). Recently I read of the marketing of a new G7 capo in Acoustic Guitar magazine. The new capo is called the G7th Performance 3 Guitar Capo (clamping mechanism). It involves G7’s technology called “Adaptive Radius Technology” (ART). Per G7:

Revolutionary new active string pad infinitely adapts to match any guitar perfectly. The ART mechanism delivers unrivaled tuning stability by applying even pressure across the strings. Suitable for ALL ACOUSTIC and ELECTRIC 6 string guitars.

Clockwise: G7 Performance, G7 Performance 3 ART, G7 Nashville

Okay, I’ll bite. I recently purchased the capo ($49.99 USD) at Tacoma’s Ted Brown Music. Upon its addition to my collection, I thought I would make a “scientific” comparison of this capo against two other G7 capos I own: the G7 Nashville (spring operated mechanism), and the G7 Performance (clamping mechanism). All three capos were sequentially applied at frets 2, 5, and 7 on five guitars of known and unknown fretboard radii: 1) Breedlove Pro Series D25/SRH dreadnought (unknown radius), 2) Faith FG1RE PJE Legacy Mars slope shoulder dreadnought (16 inch radius), 3) Yamaha A5R ARE dreadnought (15.75 inch radius), 4) Taylor Grand Pacific 317e (unknown radius), and 5) Ibanez Talman Prestige electric (12 inch radius). Here are the results listed by guitar.

 

 

Breedlove Pro Series D25/SRH:
G7 Nashville: 4th string buzz at 5th fret
G7 Performance: No string buzz at any fret
G7 Performance 3 ART: No string buzz at any fret

Faith FG1RE PJE Legacy Mars (16 inch radius):
G7 Nashville: 4th string buzz at 7th fret
G7 Performance: No string buzz at any fret
G7 Performance 3 ART: No string buzz at any fret

Yamaha A5R ARE (15.75in radius):
G7 Nashville: 5th string buzz at frets 5 and 7
G7 Performance: No string buzz at any frets
G7 Performance 3 ART: No string buzz at any frets

Taylor Grand Pacific 317e (unknown radius):
G7 Nashville: 4th string buzz at frets 2, 5, and 7
G7 Performance: 4th and 5th string buzz at frets 2, 5, and 7
G7 Performance 3 ART: 5th string buzz at 7th fret

Ibanez Talman Prestige electric (12 inch radius):
G7 Nashville: 4th and 5th string buzz at frets 2, 5, and 7
G7 Performance: 4th string buzz at fret 5
G7 Performance 3 ART: No string buzz at any fret

The winner: G7 Performance 3 ART

My pronouncement is that the G7 Performance 3 ART is the superior capo when compared to the other two G7 capos when the objective measurement of string buzz is applied. Regarding the G7 Nashville, again it has a spring operated mechanism, which skews the 1st and 2nd strings to the right (downward direction when the guitar is held). Although its spring mechanism allows for ease of application and movement, it is probably the source of its weaknesses. This skewing problem is not observed with both G7 Performance capos. Subjectively, when all five guitars were played with all three capos sequentially at all three fret positions, the G7 Performance 3 ART capo delivered a clearer, cleaner tone. Is the G7 Performance 3 ART the perfect capo? It comes very close.

 

Keep on playing!
Fr. Irenaeus

 



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