I was sent a Paige Clik ETI CapoTM and was asked to try and review it. I’ve had it for a couple of months. I needed to give it some use time before writing a review. Most things work well right out of the box, which does not necessarily lend itself to a durable review. Sometimes, reviews are about as durable as a soon-failed item, perhaps meaning both are worthless.
What does one say about a capo? It clamps the strings. It works well or not. It does what it’s supposed to do or not. They pretty much all do that, or not. I’ve used capos that have levers that clamp over center, other screw-type capos, capos with elastic bands, capos with scrolled spring levers, capos with friction clutch engagement, capos that look like exotic birds from deep darkest Amazonia, heavy rubber bands, and a fat pencil stub, blah, blah, blah, sometimes victimizing myself with nearly every new design, gimmick, or enhancement that engineers or engineer wannabes can come up with. None of them made me play like Tony Rice, which I found more than a bit disappointing. Some have been entirely functional, and others a woeful waste of my money. I even made my own solid brass capo once, finishing it to a shiny polish. I still have it, and it works well. Trust me, brazing brass is rather tricky since your weld filler material and the material you’re welding all melt at the same temperature. I decided the capo business was best left to others. It was a decision I’ve never regretted.
I’ll have to say that I was intrigued when asked to try out a new capo from Paige. I’ve had a Paige for a long time. In photo 2 is a Paige original capo that’s been on my Martin D-28 for close to thirty years, so I can already testify that Paige capos are durable, functional, practical, and a good value for the money. The thing that first drew me to them is that I always know where my capo is, either in use or safely stowed behind the nut, so I’ve never misplaced it. Other capos have been lost on festival grounds amid mud and leaves, or are tucked away unseen and lost to memory in old guitar cases somewhere, or borrowed and never returned by someone who had lost or forgot his capo and urgently needed one.
What’s special about the Paige Clik ETI Capo, I wondered? It didn’t take me long to find out, though to get the full benefits, I had to watch the video shown at this link: https://paigecapo.com/pick-your-paige/. The things I quickly learned on my own are that the Clik ETI capo does not tend to pull the guitar out of tune as some others do, and the aggressive threads on the screw, similar in pitch to the acme threads found on wood clamps, vises, etc., which allow one to quickly cover a lot of space rather than the 10-32 screws found on other screw-type capos. I did not notice the quick-clamp/quick-release feature until I watched the above video. This turns out to be quite handy: position the capo in the desired location, push the screw and give the capo a preliminary clamp, then tighten a single turn on the screw to give it a full clamp. Squeeze the quick release, and the capo immediately disengages, allowing you to return it to its at-rest position behind the nut.
The individual string cushions also allow you to clamp the strings without too much pressure, which is a good thing since excessive clamp pressure can pull a guitar (and particularly a banjo) out of tune. The replaceable individual string cushions are easily removable, allowing one to experiment with alternative tunings that require dropped notes.
Photo 3 shows the Paige Clik ETI capo installed on my 000 Rosewood Tennessee guitar. It’s found a home there.
Unless being better able to stay in tune is the benefit of the ETI (enhanced tone innovation) part of the capo, I don’t yet understand how the tone is enhanced. Being in tune is critical, and no one enjoys having to retune every time a capo is put in place. Retuning with the capo clamped in place can lead to frustrating on-stage experiences for the artist and, worse, for the audience. Eeeeeekkk!
These capos are right pricey, but a dollar is not worth what it used to be. The web page shows the Clik ETI capo at $90.00. The PRO version is $200.00. I’m not sure what the extra $110.00 of the PRO version buys, but in fairness, I haven’t seen one.
Full disclosure: This capo was furnished to me by the publisher. I was asked to review it but was not required to do so. If I didn’t like it, you would, in all likelihood, not be reading this. I didn’t need a new capo. Had I not been furnished this one, and had I needed one, I would have likely bought a Paige original capo, which is also an excellent design and has served me for a long time. Having said that, if I had paid my $90.00 two months ago, the price I paid would have been largely forgotten, and the capo still used and enjoyed.
Such is the nature of a quality product.