NEW: G7th UltraLight Guitar Capo
By Strings Direct – 29 August, 2023
In an era where bigger is better, and technological advances are happening every single day, it is nice to see a big manufacturer take a step back and offer customers a product that is not only perfectly usable, but also very affordable. The new UltraLight Capo by G7th not only achieves this, but positively revels in it.
It seems that, recently, there has been a sudden scramble to improve on, well, everything. While this is in no way a bad thing, and has led to many exciting advances in days of late, particularly in the music industry, it also begs the question: Are these advances necessary, or is it a case of progress for the sake of progress?
In the case of G7th, the answer is a resounding no. You get the distinct impression that here is a brand that has one thing in mind above all others: providing musicians with a capo that works, and works well. Along with that, all of their products are extremely well built and stylishly presented in relation to their respective price-range. The Performance capo, for example, which in recent years has become something of an icon, is so clean and streamlined in appearance that it wouldn’t surprise me to hear it is the result of some top secret military research program, or was reverse-engineered from alien technology at Area 51 by some of NASA’s top rocket scientists.
But, above all else, this is a product that works. Now, this may not seem very impressive, given that you would expect this to be the case, but in the world of capo’s this is not always so. Many types and models struggle with two main problems, which are tension and tension distribution. In the simplest terms, this is the amount of pressure applied to the strings by the capo, and the area that it is being applied to. For superior performance, both of these factors need to be taken into account and balanced when choosing a capo.
For example, many spring-trigger style capos are either too weak, not fully fretting notes and choking them out, or too strong, applying too much pressure to the strings and actually bending the notes out of pitch. Many also have a flaw in the design that means a lot more pressure is applied at the pivot point of the capo than is applied at the end of the fretting bar, which is obviously an issue, at least if being in tune matters to you at all.
Likewise, many of the flip-lever style capo’s (think the classic Shubb) can also suffer from some of these issues, although most of these models have an adjustable tension that at least lets you set the amount of pressure. Nonetheless, it can sometimes be hard to maintain that exact pressure once it is set. As soon as the mechanism is released, the screw that sets the tension is released as well. Sometimes, even the vibration of playing is enough to knock the preferred tension loose. It may be only slight, but in the world of harmony, even minor variations in pitch are highly noticeable, especially in relation to one another.
Now manufacturers have come up with many ways of remedying these issues, but these are increasingly more complex and expensive to manufacture, and this cost is obviously passed on to the consumer. Unfortunately, many consumers fall into the trap of believing this extra cost is pointless, and they can achieve the same standard from a £10 capo as they can from a £30 capo of the same design. Now, in some cases this may be true, but for the most part you get what you pay for. That is, until now!
The G7th Ultralight is, for me, a very exciting new product. The reason is not because it is extremely affordable, or because it works really well, but because it does both!
Don’t get me wrong. On first impressions I was not sold, thinking this capo looked cheap and not really worth a mention. That changed slightly when I saw the price, which is an impressively reasonable £9.99. I have spent more than that on cheap capo’s that were basically unusable, and to see anything of that price with the G7th badge was enough to intrigue the gear nerd inside of me enough to test one out. After all, they basically changed the game with the Performance, so I was curious to see what they could offer at a much lower price point. Even then, I was not really expecting to be particularly impressed.
Well, I was wrong. The plastic that initially seemed cheap is actually very strong, and upon closer scrutiny appears to be of much higher quality than I first thought. It is of course very light, as indicated in the title, but to be fair I don’t see this as much of a selling point, as I’ve never really had a problem with a capo being ‘too heavy’. The real magic is in the price, as well as the performance.
Performance is where this cheeky bit of plastic really starts to stand out. I was expecting this capo to under-perform, or at best be described as ‘usable’ but to be completely fair, I was blown away! It is simple and easy to use, yes, but more importantly.. It stays in tune, very well, with minimum effort or tinkering!
Along with this rather important detail, the pressure is also completely adjustable, so therefore suitable for any guitar, regardless of string height or fret size. It is designed in such a way that the pressure is distributed evenly across all the strings simply by the way it bends which, in my eyes, are this capo’s crowning feature. It is simple yet incredibly effective, and rather impressive in its execution.
In terms of negatives, I can’t really find any, not for this price point anyway. I suppose that the fact that it can’t be quickly removed and stored on the headstock or behind the nut could cause umbrage to some players who like super quick, easy access to their capo. I would also be curious to see how well this capo lasts with constant use over time, and whether the plastic loses any of its strength, although the design seems to take this into account.
In closing, I would recommend the G7th UltraLight capo to, well, just about anyone. If you are new to the capo, this is a great way of getting an entry-level product that actually performs, and performs well. Even if you own the most expensive capo in existence, I would still suggest buying this and sticking it in your case, if only to be used as a spare, as it takes up literally no space and costs less than the average set of spare guitar strings. In a world obsessed with the notion that quality does not come cheap, I urge you to grab an UltraLight capo, to see just for yourself how simply effective they really are!