Dunlop Pivot Capo Review

A refined string clamp that does away with those buzzing 6th-string blues.

Fast action for a screw-type capo. Holds low strings exceptionally well. Slim and light.

Not quite as fast as a trigger capo. Still need two hands for some changes.

$29

Dunlop Pivot Capo
jimdunlop.com

5
4.5
5

Capos are indispensable to a folk-rock nerd like me. More than a means of accommodating quick key changes, capos are invaluable creative and writing tools—enabling me to explore the possibilities of alternate chord voices, overdub harmonizing rhythm parts fast in the studio, or turn a dull first-position chord progression into something more lively.


Capos don’t do these things equally well. I love good trigger capos for the speed with which you can use them on stage. But they don’t always maintain a uniform grip across the strings.

Dunlop’s new Pivot Capo is a refined screw tension capo. It doesn’t eliminate every challenge associated with the type: Only the most daringly dexterous will attempt a one-hand change. But string grip and intonation are perceptibly improved—particularly on heavy 6th strings, the bane of most every capo I know. The smooth, accurate screw action makes it easy to make precise adjustments to compensate for tall or jumbo frets, which can create intonation problems for capos without variable tension. It also handles 7.25" to 12" fretboard radii equally well. Even more impressively, it yielded completely respectable (if not totally accurate) results on a Fender Electric XII at the 7th fret without attempting a retune. At 29 bucks a pop, you’ll want to take care not to lose yours. But I may have found my new go-to string squeezer.

Test Gear: Rickenbacker 330, Gibson J-45, Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Fender Electric XII, Fender Jazzmaster

Multiple modulation modes and malleable voices cement a venerable pedal’s classic status.

Huge range of mellow to immersive modulation sounds. Easy to use. Stereo output. Useful input gain control.

Can sound thin compared to many analog chorus and flange classics.

$149

TC Electronic SCF Gold
tcelectronic.com

4.5
4
4.5
5

When you consider stompboxes that have achieved ubiquity and longevity, images of Tube Screamers, Big Muffs, or Boss’ DD series delays probably flash before your eyes. It’s less likely that TC Electronic’s Stereo Chorus Flanger comes to mind. But when you consider that its fundamental architecture has remained essentially unchanged since 1976 and that it has consistently satisfied persnickety tone hounds like Eric Johnson, it’s hard to not be dazzled by its staying power—or wonder what makes it such an indispensable staple for so many players.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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