Warren in Lancaster, PA
You probably have been often setting the cap iron closer than necessary. You were only interested in a one-size fits-all setting, and have dismissed any suggestion that skill and judgement were involved. You are stuck driving in first gear just to avoid stalling.
Setting the cap iron is an art. The best surface comes from having the cap set as far away as you can get away with, not jammed up close enough so that it works for every situation. As I wrote ten years ago on this forum: It takes a fair amount of practice to get a good feel for it [the cap iron].