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Nov 14, 2017 - 10:30:37 AM
132 posts
Joined Oct 6, 2011

I have created a fifth string capo that does not attach to the Banjo and is removable when not in use. I estimate it will retail for $45.00 and before invest in mfg. I am curious if that is something others would be interested in, I have discovered with my revolutionary SADDLE thumb picks and unique "ouchless " finger picks that players over 45 are not interested in any thing new because they have been struggling with what they have for years and are not interested in changing. With patent protection at 20,000+ I don't want to waste my time on a product others are not interested in. I created it because I did not want to drill holes in my 2 prewar Banjos.
Thank you for any feedback.

Nov 14, 2017 - 10:54:27 AM

807 posts
Joined Jan 23, 2013

I wouldn't say folks over 45 are not interested in trying out something new - I sure am!

So it's a floating capo, like the Reagan or something like the banjo highway?

$45 can be reasonable, although its too rich for me on my budget.

Looking forward to others opinions!
Best of luck!

Mark

Nov 14, 2017 - 11:47:43 AM

17 posts
Joined Sep 19, 2005

I would be interested in one. Can you post a picture?

Nov 14, 2017 - 11:50:01 AM

pickin_fool

Canada

825 posts
Joined Jun 30, 2017

"I have discovered with my revolutionary SADDLE thumb picks and unique "ouchless " finger picks that players over 45 are not interested in any thing new because they have been struggling with what they have for years and are not interested in changing. "that's awfully presumptuous...theres no way I would pay over 20 bucks for a capo tho..not because your capo is different...but I can get a capo that does the same thing for less than half price...as far as picks..after 40 odd years of playing..my fingers are well adapted to using my .025" dunlops..if I lose a Dunlop pick I am only out a couple of bucks and I can replace them almost anywhere I go..if I lose a 45 dollar pick..i will be extremely perturbed.. I don't want to dump on your idea but before you shell out 20 large for patent protection...make a half dozen of these capos and finger picks and give them to fellow pickers to try..theres no point in reinventing the wheel if no one is gonna buy them

Nov 14, 2017 - 12:18:47 PM
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Mooooo

USA

953 posts
Joined Aug 20, 2016

I can tell by your tone that you have an infectious positive attitude. And the way you assume that people over 45 won't buy it anyway will be great for business. I am sure the reasons your revolutionary picks didn't sell like hot cakes is someone else's fault too. Good luck and keep up the cheery attitude, seems to be working great.

Nov 14, 2017 - 12:34:53 PM
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12998 posts
Joined Dec 2, 2005

I'm certainly not averse to the idea of new approaches to an old problem. I would only add that it would have to be a clear improvement on what's already available. I have yet to see a removable, "non-attached" fifth string capo that offers any advantage over railroad spikes or a Shubb-style sliding rail capo. And there are a bunch of them out there.

Nov 14, 2017 - 1:02:23 PM

8536 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Richard McVicker

I have discovered ... that players over 45 are not interested in any thing new because they have been struggling with what they have for years and are not interested in changing.


Seems to me it's the over-45 players who have more disposable income to try out different accessories or components - and more banjos to try them on.

I'm 66.  I'll admit I haven't bought much tinkering stuff this year -- just one new tailpiece and three bridges. They weren't free. I'm not averse to spending money on stuff that looks like it might actually do what it's supposed to.  

I was interested in one of those tension-mounted fifth-string capos, but I remember it costing $50 or more, which seemed to be way too much for what it was. The Side-winder, for $13, did the same thing in plastic. Never got around to buying one and now they're gone. I don't like my spike locations on one banjo.  If a non-attached capo looked reasonable, I might give it a try.

My issue with non-attached accessories is that I need to remember to bring them.  If they're too expensive, Im not going to keep one in every case.

Nov 14, 2017 - 1:11:04 PM
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13282 posts
Joined Mar 6, 2006

i think youll find that the reason there was not a flood of older players buying your new picks was they have found picks that basically work well for them, and that are cheap ans easy to find. As far as a new fifth string capo, i wish you success with it but you may also discover that the established capos have found homes and that they work. One beauty of something likes spikes is they are cheap and the other is they stay attached to the banjo. The 5th string devices like yours is something to keep up with and if lost, is not cheap to replace.
For function, cost and convenience, spikes and sliding capos are very hard to beat. you should really think hard about this before spending that kind of money on a patent. Hopefully you wont take this as a negativity rant. It is just how things go in this business.

Nov 14, 2017 - 1:24:43 PM
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251 posts
Joined Jul 25, 2012

As Ken said above, the Sidewinder 5th string capo works fine, and was pretty reasonable. (I understand that they're no longer being sold. That's a shame, because the product operated as advertised and was reasonable in price. Their customer service was also top notch.) When you can make a 5th string capo for free from a pen cap, or get the design for one on line (Rudy had a great design)--both of which featured in threads on this site--a $45 price-point is kind of unreasonable. You can't blame the public for having more sense than money.

Nov 14, 2017 - 2:39:03 PM

morph2o

United Kingdom

95 posts
Joined Aug 9, 2017

i like the idea of your thumb picks look comfortable, though i little pricey,
i can buy a full set of finger picks or a pocket full of plectrums for that price

i can't really comment on the capo, i only have 4 strings ;)

Nov 14, 2017 - 3:30:50 PM

1573 posts
Joined Jan 4, 2009

Not over 45 but I would try both

Nov 14, 2017 - 5:35:57 PM

132 posts
Joined Oct 6, 2011

The reason I mentioned the age is that I have sold the products mentioned and last week again I had guys come to my booth and said they did want to try the products and not interested. Thank you all for your comments this is what I want to know before I move forward with the capo.

Nov 14, 2017 - 9:16:59 PM
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14249 posts
Joined Feb 7, 2003

Product developement has been my job for three and a half decades.

One piece of advice for your consideration. The HUGE complaint of the Reagan fifth capo was... drop it and you have a PROBLEM. Use it on stage... drop it and its gone, and the whole band glares at you, thats a not user friendly situation

Scott

Nov 15, 2017 - 3:36:13 AM

pickin_fool

Canada

825 posts
Joined Jun 30, 2017

what exactly to you mean by a "non attached" capo?

Nov 15, 2017 - 4:33:01 AM
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138 posts
Joined Feb 10, 2016

I'm almost 65 now I don't have time to read this !
God Bless
Bobby

Nov 15, 2017 - 6:01:35 AM

132 posts
Joined Oct 6, 2011

RedStar..., after looking at the Reagan capo I do not think with my 50 years of patent experience my capo would be patentable. The only feature that is different
is that my capo is tunable, that is you tune the capo and not fine tune at the turn key after attach the Reagan capo, which mean that after you remove the capo you at back to the original tuning. Also my capo will not put a one point pressure on the string thereby minimizing th damaging the string.


desert rose...I have not had this problem because my capo is steel and I just place a small magnet near the neck and drum hold down and store it there .

Thank you all for the comments. Oh by the way I'm 77

Edited by - Richard McVicker on 11/15/2017 06:05:54

Nov 15, 2017 - 1:02:12 PM

8536 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by pickin_fool

what exactly to you mean by a "non attached" capo?


I'm going to assume he means the capo is not permanently attached to or installed on the banjo. Unlike spikes or a sliding fifth string capo, it is only on the banjo when it's in use.  All other times, it's somewhere else.

Nov 15, 2017 - 1:29:36 PM

GrahamHawker

United Kingdom

629 posts
Joined Feb 4, 2013

quote:
Originally posted by Richard McVicker

players over 45 are not interested in any thing new because they have been struggling with what they have for years


I started playing the banjo when I was 49.

Nov 15, 2017 - 1:30:06 PM

Dingoman25 Players Union Member

Australia

1580 posts
Joined May 15, 2011

Richard,

your capo being tunable reminds me a little of the banjo highway capo.

Some reviews here: http://www.banjohighway.com

I paid $90 and I'm very happy with it, but I only ever play at home so unlikely to get lost. (PS It was made in a factory only 3 hours drive from my home).

Fifty years of thinking/patent experience etc is probably why you're only 77 years young - keep at it!

Nov 15, 2017 - 3:53:32 PM

8536 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

Banjo Highway is the expensive one I referred to.  Guess the premium for shipping to Australia raises the cost from US$59 to $90. Ouch.

I did buy a Reagan capo in early 2015.  I had just assembled my latest parts banjo and didn't think I was going to have time to install spikes before going to the Joe Val festival.  I was hoping it would be good enough to eliminate spikes.  I found the Reagan to be really inconvenient and barely functional. It flopped around on the string. The felt or fabric pad on the bottom started coming off.  I guess it was better than nothing.

I have since lost it. Somewhere in the house, but I don't know where.

In 44 years, I've had only one spike pull out.

Nov 15, 2017 - 4:04:19 PM

132 posts
Joined Oct 6, 2011

The Reagan capo appears to lock in on the fret which means you may have to fine tune at the turn key. My capo is not axially position on the fret so you can move the capo axially to tune it and not at the turn key. I think that would appear obvious to any one skilled in the art thereby making my capo un-patentable over Reagan.

Nov 15, 2017 - 4:43:32 PM
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7178 posts
Joined Feb 22, 2007

Why worry about a patent for such a small market item? Not worth it, just build it and sell it.

Nov 15, 2017 - 5:29:12 PM

8536 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Richard McVicker

The Reagan capo appears to lock in on the fret which means you may have to fine tune at the turn key.


It locks on the string and simply sits on the fretboard, immediately behind and butted up to the fret.

Nov 15, 2017 - 5:36:08 PM

pickin_fool

Canada

825 posts
Joined Jun 30, 2017

"Why worry about a patent for such a small market item? Not worth it, just build it and sell it."a patent search etc and obtaining a patent would ensure that no one steals his idea..it also prevents HIM from stealing someone elses idea...in the event of

Nov 16, 2017 - 12:07 PM
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339 posts
Joined Oct 21, 2012

If I may introduce a bit of pedantry: A patent does not ensure that nobody steals an idea. It just lets you pay more money to the legal system to try to stop someone.

Edited by - WayneConrad on 11/16/2017 12:19:38

Nov 16, 2017 - 3:37:49 PM

132 posts
Joined Oct 6, 2011

Should some one steel the patented idea they are then subject to treble damages

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