The new Shubb Capo Royale series shows off the brand’s classic design for steel-, nylon-, 12-string guitars, and other fretted instruments, in two new beautiful sheens. Essentially the same model as the C1, the Capo Royale ($21.95 street) is available in Gold and Rose Gold. Both finishes accentuate Shubb’s vintage/Art Deco aesthetic, as seen especially in the company’s logo, and make for a stylish touch on any guitar.
Shubb stands out among the most popular capos for its elegantly simple lever design. As one of its main selling points, this unique construction is said to most effectively reduce tuning issues when clamping and removing the capo. Part of it has to do with the custom rubber used on both arms of the capo, which is designed to mimic the fingertips and feels soft and spongy.
The other part is the capo’s adjustability—you can tighten or loosen the amount of locking pressure by turning the screw on the outer arm. This might be a drawback if you’re playing live and switching between guitars with different sized necks, but it does pay off in having that extra control over how the capo fits on your guitar.
In 1998, Shubb introduced the flagship Deluxe capo, with its unique roller design, which is now standard across the lineup, including on the Capo Royale. Many years ago, I was gifted a Shubb that featured the original Delrin screw-cap design, and the roller is definitely an improvement; locking the capo is smoother and takes less force.
I tested the Capo Royale on my acoustic guitars, and barely—if at all—had to retune when using and removing it. What I love about the Shubb design is how compact and simple it is, plus how efficiently it functions. A device that’s as small as can be while still getting the job done is ideal. The capo looks like something you’d stumble upon at a hip jewelry boutique, with such a barebones, unpretentious design that you’re wowed by how well it works.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.