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Fireguy8402's review"Buy a Kyser and It Should Last."
The Kyser banjo/mandolin capo is basically just a shrunk down version of their popular guitar capo. I’ve used their guitar capos for several years so when I decided to pick up one for my mandolin it was a no brainer. I’ve used strap on elastic capos in the past and they either fit too loosely and don’t hold the strings down leading to fret buzz, or they fit just right to start with and eventually stretch until they no longer work correctly. I’ve used a Planet Waves capo in the past as well, and they have a clever design with a thumb wheel that allows you to adjust the tension on the strings, but this take a little longer to reposition in between songs. The Kyser works like a spring loaded clamp and is easy to position and holds the strings firmly without holding them too hard to the fret board, causing the instrument to go sharp. The capo doesn’t mess with your tone (no muffled or dead strings) or intonation it just does exactly what it’s supposed to do, raise the register of your mandolin. I’ve owned several of Kyser’s guitar versions before and over the years only one has failed me. The metal spring finally snapped on my oldest one awhile back, but with ten or so years under it’s belt, that’s pretty good reliability. I had two other brands of capos before I went to these and the rubber pad that seats on the strings came loose and had to be re-glued, never a problem with my Kysers. This is my first mandolin capo, but since it’s just a scaled down version of the guitar capo I would imagine my experience would be applicable to all capos. This capo is a good value and it’s worth it to spend $20 dollars once and have something that is going to work great time and time again without any fuss. Small and easy to clip to a mic stand when not in use, this capo also comes in a variety of colors to match your instrument, become nearly invisible on stage, or in my case, brightly colored so that my eyes can find it easily when I misplace or drop it.
The Kyser Banjo/Mandolin Capo is a mini version of Kyser's popular guitar capo, obviously designed specifically for mandolin and banjo. I've only used this capo for mandolin, although I don't own one. I usually just use my guitar capo for my mandolin and banjo at home, but this of course is a better choice for these applications due to the size and strain it puts on your instrument. One of the producers that I work with has this in his home studio for mandolin and that's where I've used it. Mandolin isn't my primary instrument, but if it was I would certainly have one of these capos. For now I think I can get by with my one guitar capo but if you're playing banjo or mandolin every day you're probably going to want to have it. Like the other Kyser capos, this capo is built extremely well with their flexible design. Unless the metal part breaks (which is possible), this should last for a long time. I haven't really used any other capos specifically made for mandolin, so I can't compare this product to others like it. The price however is reasonable and is just a bit less than the full Kyser guitar capo. I'd probably say that if you already have a guitar capo and are just playing mandolin or banjo on the side, you can get away with just using the one like I am, but it can't hurt to have this smaller version if you're playing often and find yourself needing it. I'd recommend doing a little bit of research to see what other small mandolin and banjo capos you can find, but it's going to be hard to beat the craftsmanship of Kyser here as I don't think you'll find another this sturdy and reliable for the price.
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