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A couple years ago I reviewed the previous generation G7th Performance 2 capo. This year (2019) the company unveiled its next-generation Performance 3 Capo featuring an innovative new feature not found in any other capo out there today: Adaptive Radius Technology (ART).
About Adaptive Radius Technology
Out of necessity, the pressure pad on most capos has a fixed radius (curvature). This means that a given capo might work fine on some guitars, but not others. If the capo’s radius doesn’t match (or is very close to) the radius of your guitar’s fretboard, you’ll get some buzzy strings and/or sharp notes.
G7th has attempted to address this problem with their “Adaptive Radius Technology” (ART). If we could deconstruct the Performance 3’s pressure pad, we’d find a mechanism that allows the pad to dynamically adapt to a fretboard’s radius:
Unboxing and First Impressions
Here’s a quick look at the front and back of the package. Like its predecessor, the G7th Performance 3 capo also comes with a free lifetime warranty.
Let’s get this capo out of the package and see what we’ve got.
In the hand, the weight and size feel identical the previous generation, though it is just slightly bulkier above the pressure pad–to accommodate the ART mechanism underneath. If you’re not familiar with the previous generation, the Performance 3 capo is a lot lighter than it looks. I would say that it is on-par or perhaps even lighter than some of the other capos out there.
Like its predecessor, the G7th Performance 3 capo comes with a free lifetime warranty. It’s fairly lightweight (lighter than it looks) but doesn’t feel cheap at all. It feels well-made and solid. Don’t let the jagged appearance of the rubber pad that contacts the back fo the neck scare you. It’s a medium-firm rubber, meaning it’s soft enough that you can squish it a bit with your fingers. It’s shape and firmness ensure a secure grip on the neck while in use, but it’s not going to damage or dent the wood in any way.
Other Colors Available
In addition to the satin silver version I’m showing in this G7th Performance 3 capo review, the capo is also available in black and 18kt gold plate.
The G7th Performance 3 Capo In-Use
I tested the G7th Performance 3 with my Breedlove acoustic guitar, which has a 16″ fretboard radius and is strung with ultra light gauge 10 – 50 strings. With such light strings, it’s important to note that I often have issues with capos pulling my notes sharp. That wasn’t the case with the G7th Performance 3. Even when I clamped the capo with a lot of force, my chords and notes were not pulled sharp–a credit to the effectiveness of the Adaptive Radius Technology built into the capo’s fretpad.
The capo can be clamped on from above or below the neck, but most people will find that clamping it from above is preferable. Clamping it from above makes on-the-fly capo moves easier and less risky (less risk of dropping the capo) while you’re playing or in-between songs.
Clamping From the Top
Clamping From Underneath
As I mentioned before, if you’re more comfortable clamping the capo from underneath, you can do that too. The capo works just as well in either position. However, you do have a slightly higher risk of dropping the capo if you’re trying to quickly relocate it between songs.
Releasing the Capo
There are a number of ways to release the G7th Performance 3 capo, it really just comes down to personal preference. Simply give the little black release lever a squeeze and the capo instantly releases from the strings.
Depending on what’s comfortable for you and your playing situation, you can pinch the lever from above or from below. From above, you can pinch the lever with your fingertips (first photo below), or wrap more of your hand around the capo and hit the lever with the first knuckle of your thumb (second photo below).
You can also hit the release lever from underneath (third photo below) if that feels easier to you.
Storing the Capo on the Nut
Since you’re able to precisely control the clamp pressure, you can easily store the capo on your guitar’s nut when not in use. You wouldn’t do this if you’re planning to put the guitar in its case, but it comes in really handy during play. Also, feel free to experiment with clamping the capo to your headstock, if you prefer. That works too!
Video Demo of the G7th Performance 3 Capo
Here’s a short video demo of the Performance 3 capo by Moses Lin Music. I like this video because he does a good job of showing how quickly and easily you can move the capo during play. He uses the underhanded release method I mentioned up above.
The adaptive radius of the fret pad seems to be doing its job, and works really well. The Performance 3 capo fretted all 6 strings cleanly without my needing to apply excessive clamping force. Once in place, it did not squeeze notes sharp nor allow any strings to rattle.
Ease of Use
Unlike its predecessor, the Performance 3 capo did not require any excessive clamping pressure to do its job. The capo can be clamped from above or below the neck, and works equally well either way. Unclamping is easy using the release lever, and the capo can be relocated quickly during play.
I really couldn’t find any faults here. The Performance 3 feels solid and well-constructed, but is not bulky or heavy. It had a nice fit-and-finish overall. All moving parts feel reliable and seem like they’ll last for many, many years without issue. If not, the capo has a full lifetime warranty should anything ever fail.
The G7th Performance 3 capo isn’t the cheapest capo on the market. Though it’s also not the most expensive, it’s certainly on the higher-end of the spectrum. However, I feel that the value is there, and that this capo is worth every penny if you can spring for it.
Recap: What I Liked
- The adaptive pressure pad ensures the capo will work on just about any fretboard radius.
- The capo is lightweight and sleek. There aren’t any handles or triggers hanging off your neck.
- Lifetime warranty.
- It’s easy to move or relocate with just one hand.
Recap: What I Didn’t Like
- On the higher end of the price spectrum.
- Not quite wide enough to fit my 7-string guitars.
Final Verdict: Should You Buy the Performance 3?
If you already own the previous-generation G7th Performance 2 and it’s working well for you on all your guitars, there’s really no reason to buy the new G7th Performance 3 capo. You won’t get much, if any, additional benefit.
On the other hand, if you own a lot of guitars and find yourself having to keep track of many different capos, because no single one works on all of your guitars, the G7th Performance 3 capo will make your life much easier. Its adaptive radius pressure pad will allow you to finally own just one capo that works equally well on all your guitars, regardless of fretboard radius.
If that latter description sounds like you, I absolutely recommend the G7th Performance 3 capo.