From the July 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar | BY GREG CAHILL
The Elliott capo’s aura of old-world craftsmanship is evident as soon as it’s pulled from its burgundy velour pouch. The capo itself is elegant in its simplicity: The Elliott’s simple screw mechanism moves a leather-lined neck cradle in the center of its U-shaped metal frame and allows the guitarist to set precisely the amount of tension the device places on the strings. The actual string contact is accomplished by a bar (covered with clear plastic padding) that flips over the top of the U—it is held in place by a push button secured with an internal spring.
Screw operation is among the oldest approaches to capo design. The primary advantage of this capo type is its precision, which allows the tension to be set exactly the right amount, generally resulting in excellent tuning stability. The downside is that screw-operated designs take longer to install and to remove than some other designs, and the process typically requires using both hands. “The Elliott’s most impressive aspect is its tuning stability,” AG’s former gear editor Teja Gerken once opined. “Its smooth screw operation and the fact that the adjustment point is at the exact center of the neck make it the most tuning-stable capo I’ve ever used.”
The screw operation is so effective that other major capo brands that had banked on ease of operation are adopting it. So Elliott is staying one step ahead of the competition by refining its own classic design.
Enter the improved Elliott Elite guitar capo and the Elliott Integrity capo.
The Elliott Elite is not only stylish, but exceedingly nonintrusive.
The Elite began with small banjo-capo frames with which banjo great Tom McKinney was experimenting. McKinney sent some rough frame examples to Elliott capo company founder Phill Elliott, who refined the design. He’s been producing this model since the mid-1990s. The result of that careful refining process is evident in the Elite capo available today. Crafted for both guitar and banjo, the Elite capo has a thinner, sleeker profile than other Elliott capos, ideal for players who want more comfort for the fretting hand. The sleek Elite frame has been narrowed by 1/8 inch from the standard ¼-inch frame width. In addition, the Elite guitar capo features the exclusive patented Elliott push-button quick-release top-bar locking system combined with the McKinney-style saddle. Designed to keep the capo aligned over the fret board, the saddle is padded with leather to protect your instrument’s finish. The Elite is available in three standard sizes: 1 11/16, 1 ¾, and 1 7/8 inches. The Elliott Elite is not only stylish, but exceedingly nonintrusive. The price is $160.
The new Integrity capo is built to the same exacting standards as Elliott’s other capos. Hand-crafted from satin-finished stainless steel, the Integrity model also features the patented Elliott push-button locking system, allowing for easy on/off operation. The Integrity capo utilizes a long, wide saddle design that cradles the neck of your instrument to keep the capo securely centered over the fretboard. The saddle loops on the Integrity capo have a unique look that is less elegant and more square than the original rounded design. The capo is wider than the Elite and sports a satin stainless-steel finish. The leather padding of saddle seat protects your instrument’s finish. The Integrity can accommodate both
1 11/16– and 1¾-inch nut widths. Price: $99.95.
Teja Gerken contributed to this article.
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.