Features: As part of an ongoing design collaboration with guitar designer and innovator Ned Steinberger, Planet Waves introduces the new NS Dual-Action Capo Tuner. While this serves the role of any traditional capo, two key features set it apart from the rest.
The Dual Action part of the product name refers to the clamping mechanism, where pulling on the handle does not directly open the clamp, but instead turns a spring which does the hard work. This significantly reduces how hard the handle must be squeezed, and makes this an attractive choice particularly for those with smaller hands, children and the elderly. Further, if any string buzzing or dead strings are heard when playing, the capo includes a tension knob which adjusts how much force is applied by the spring.
The Tuner part of the product name refers to the built-in tuner. The capo can be clamped above the nut, on the headstock, to perform standard capo tuning. Simply hit the power button, and then pluck the desired string, and check if the lit arrows point up or down. Adjust tuning accordingly until the green LED comes on, and then move onto the next string. While the tuner requires a non-standard calculator-style battery, Planet Waves thoughtfully includes the first battery in the package. // 10
Sound: This capo does exactly what it should, which is to raise the pitch of your instrument by however many frets you shorten the scale on the guitar. No string buzzing or other added artifacts were noticed while strumming chords, power chord chugging or playing single note runs on both a standard six-string electric guitar as well as an acoustic guitar. No adjustments were required to the tension knob right out of the box. // 10
Overall Impression: Occasionally, when I am on my way to band practice, I may find myself in a rush and decide to keep my gear simple by leaving my pedals at home. In those instances I just take my pocket tuner and my capo along with my guitar. This must be a common thing, particularly for acoustic / solo players, as the Planet Waves NS Dual Action Capo Tuner does a great job of integrating those two essential tools into one lightweight, handy and easy-to-use accessory. While the non-standard battery and the slight awkwardness of the capo arm design are a negative, the convenience and the build quality more than make up for it. // 9
- Shekhar Dhupelia (c) 2010