Buying first cajon

Gabriele91

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Hi guys,

I am looking to buy my first cajon.

To be honest I do not mind about the price since I would prefer to buy something which is very high quality since the beginning.

I have been reading a bit about it and I am undecided between an electronic cajon or just a simple acustic cajon.

With what I have read I understood that to very good choices would be either Roland EC-10 El Cajon or MEINL percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon.

What do you guys think? Are there better models and/or types out there?

Looking forward to your advises.
 

dtk

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what makes a Cajon electric? A pick up? You could add one to any right?
That said Meinl doesn't make many actual acoustic instruments so I'd go Meinl.

You might want to look at DIY and smaller companies...though I'm not sure how much artistry goes into ...a box.

Would love to hear why you're getting one. I have a lot of interest in percussion and see pro drummers play them and yet...I don't want one (I would like to try and make one...).
 

midnightsupperclub

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I think your main thing is to decide if you NEED the more electronic type sounds from the Roland cajon, or will you be mainly using the bread and butter kick/snare sounds from an acoustic cajon. Boils down to what type of music you'll be playing.

I use the cajon mainly for pop/rock acoustic styles and an acoustic cajon covers 90% of all the tones I need. The rest are covered by add on accessories like the Schlagwerk Heck Stick and others to give me the occasional rim click or tambourine sounds. I did pick up a Roland EC-10M add on mic processor which is a good option if you feel you really wanna add some electronic sounds to your cajon later on. My local Guitar Centre was blowing them out for a crazy good price so I grabbed one.

I think the most important thing is you gotta love the feel and basic tones of your cajon. In that sense, going with an acoustic cajon will give you lots more choices to find something you really like, then add on other stuff to supplement the sounds later.

I'm sure there are many great cajons out there, but I'm partial to Schlagwerk. I have the 2inOne series which is built solidly, tight thumping bass and just the right pitch for the snare sound. Love it to bits. If you wanna go for the absolute best, their Fineline series is definitely a couple of notches up in build and sound quality, but I can't bring myself to spend that much to extract that extra bit of goodness out of the cajon.

Lemme know if you need any other info. :)
 

midnightsupperclub

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You might want to look at DIY and smaller companies...though I'm not sure how much artistry goes into ...a box.
Haha well we obsess over so many technical aspects of drums here. 20 vs 24" kicks, 5" vs 6.5" vs 8" snare depths, how many strands and what material for snare wires. I think there are some similar aspects to cajons. Design and dimensions so affect how deep the bass is, how snappy and bright the snare sounds are. Guitar strings vs snare wires in the cajon give different snare responses, and some have adjustable snare wires as well for a variety of sounds.

The type of wood for the faceplate influences the basic tones of the cajon as well. Birch, oak, macassar ebony all give different tones. I think I'm just an incurable wood and tone geek..
 

Murat

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My personal favorite is the Alex Acuna signature from Gon Bops. If you get a chance to check it out, you can thank me later :cool:
 

jmpd_utoronto

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My personal favorite is the Alex Acuna signature from Gon Bops. If you get a chance to check it out, you can thank me later :cool:
These are great, and look cool to boot.
I'm not generally a fan of most of the Meinl offerings - to me they sound very "cheap" and don't have full sounds in both lower and higher registers. The ones with snares also tend to sound sort of rattly, like the snares were an after thought. One exception would be the Artisan series of cajons. If i remember correctly, these are made for Meinl by a well-respected builder in Spain. I've played a couple of different versions and they are the real deal - beautiful sounds and beautifully constructed.
Tried the Roland electric one once and sort of went "meh" - to me it was more of a novelty than something that was super useful or practical, but as with all of these things, your mileage may vary.

jamie
 

MustangMick

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Depends on your budget - I gig regularly on a Meinl Headliner cajon, so don't be too snobbish about price. I've played Cajons at multiples of that price and didn't like the sound.

For more expensive ones Gon Bops Alex Acuna is a good choice.
Swan Percussion in Texas made some great Cajons but I'm not sure if they are still in business?

Schlagwerk or De Gregorio (DG) if you are based in Europe.

Cheers
Mick
 

Castnblast

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I have no experience with electronic cajons, but regarding acoustic cajons, if you are checking out the Alex A Gon Bops - put it besiide a Meinl Artisan model like the Cantina or Buleria and A/B them.

Unfortunatley, I have had to play them both in numerous settings.
IMO the Alex A model pales in comparison.

Also the corners on the Meinl are shaped / rounded off. It is waaay more comfortable to play than the Alex A model.
End of day - they both sound like a box. Which shouldnt be surprising.

...but, one box does sounds better than the other.

Good luck
 

Gabriele91

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Thank you everyone for all your suggestions. It's really hard to make a choice without trying all the models. However, i have been advised that a top cajon's brand that makes amazing cajons is Pepote. Would any of you recommend it?

Thank you
 

Old Dog

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I truly used to love/enjoy playing hand percussion instruments. I've been researching, I'd LOVE to build one. BUT, my arthritic hands are reminding me why my bongos and djembe are slightly covered with dust. I'm bummed. I know there are mallets that can be used, but it's really not the same. I was good. . . .I don't know, maybe I'll try some sort of mallet. :scratch: :rolleyes:

The Meinl designs with pickups installed are less than 2 bills. I like the table top bongo setup. Not as large and heavy, loud. But if you have one with a pickup.
I think the Meinl pickup goes for $100.
 

jmpd_utoronto

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Thank you everyone for all your suggestions. It's really hard to make a choice without trying all the models. However, i have been advised that a top cajon's brand that makes amazing cajons is Pepote. Would any of you recommend it?

Thank you
Those are great, so if you have the money, go for it. (I believe Pepote makes the Meinl Artisan cajones that I mentioned earlier.) As someone else mentioned earlier, the Schlagwerk cajons (I have an older "Dual" model) and DG are also generally great instruments.
 

Gabriele91

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Hi guys! After reading all of your precious advises I have come up into a two of what I think could be a great choice. The first one is Alex Acuna special edition from Gon Bops and the second one is A Tempo Percussion El Artesano. Which one would you guys pick between the two and why?

Thank you so much in advance.
 

Gabriele91

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My personal favorite is the Alex Acuna signature from Gon Bops. If you get a chance to check it out, you can thank me later :cool:
Would you say that the Alex Acuna special edition is better than A tempo Special Edition Snare cajon?
 

Murat

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Would you say that the Alex Acuna special edition is better than A tempo Special Edition Snare cajon?
I cannot say that unfortunately because I have zero experience with the A Tempo stuff personally. They look and sound great too, from what little I saw online.
 

Gabriele91

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I cannot say that unfortunately because I have zero experience with the A Tempo stuff personally. They look and sound great too, from what little I saw online.
On the Acuna cajon I am just a bit worried about the snare. I read that it is sometimes hard to find since it's on the corners. Also I have read that the Sol A tempo is a more versatile cajon, producing a large variety of sounds. So I don't know to be honest. I am very undecided
 


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