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  #1  
Old 03-18-2008, 02:57 PM
Big_Philly
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Default Cajons - what to look for

Hey everyone,

I am expecting to buy a cajon in the near future and wonder if there are any recommendations, or things to look for such as telltale signs of quality cajons. My budget would be 150-200 US.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Cajons - what to look for

Since you are Big Philly and I am just big, I have always wondered how much weight will one of these things withstand sitting on it. I'm 240.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:47 PM
Big_Philly
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Default Re: Cajons - what to look for

I'm 105 kg, probably about 240 as well... I got the chance to play a Cajon last friday, not sure what type but it seemed to be sturdy enough. If not, you can probably reinforce it easily; not all parts are supposed to vibrate so you can reinforce the back and sides with metal bars for example.
Good point though, I'll be sure to keep maximum weight in mind when buying one.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:34 AM
Big_Philly
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Default Re: Cajons - what to look for

Bump.
Does anyone have further information? Things to keep in mind etc.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Cajons - what to look for

Probably a little more than you want to pay but I've heard these live and they sound incredible!!

http://www.salwender.com/Cajon.htm
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Cajons - what to look for

Sound wise some basic things to listen for:
  • Good bass tone
  • Good open tone
  • Good response to slap
  • Good buzz or rattle sound (if applicable)
Depending on which kind you get will also have some factors. Obviously you'll want to make sure the Cajon is made well and is sturdy. A traditional Cajon does not have any "snare" effects on it. The Flamenco Cajon has nylon guitar strings that against the playing surface. There's also versions with rivet type screws that allow you to adjust the playing surface to create a "tick" sound when you play. Basically the top sections of the playing surface are left unattached if you will. All this to say, you'll need to figure out which version you want too.

As far as the Cajon being sturdy enough to support you, if you get a well made Cajon, you'll probably be just fine.

I have a large Cajon that was custom made for me by a gentleman named Paul Namkung. This instrument could definitely support you. It's very sturdy and tall than the average Cajon. It's a traditional style Cajon, but has two adjacent playing surfaces (see photo). If you want Paul Namkung's information, contact me via email or the Drummer Cafe. The Cajon I had built was almost twice as much as what you are wanting to spend, so this may not be what you want ... but it is very sturdy!

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Old 03-19-2008, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Cajons - what to look for

I meant to add I have played on some of those guitar center special Meinl cajons that were $99-$149 and they feel cheap, like you could put your hand through it and the sound wasn't good at all.

I think it's like anything in this craft you will get what you pay for. I'd rather save a few more weeks or months and get a very good quality drum then settle for one that's not as nice or doesn't sound as good. I good sounding drum will inspire you to play more.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2008, 06:32 PM
Big_Philly
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Default Re: Cajons - what to look for

Thanks Konaboy and Bart Elliott, that is good advice.
@Kona: I've actually tried a cajon of the manufacturer you linked to, the medium 2in1 cajon I believe, I liked the way the snares were constructed; you could have an almost snare-less bass sound and a very distinctive snare sound. A friend of mine has one and it's within my budget (it's made in germany so no through-the-roof shipping costs). I think I can also raise my budget a bit to, say, ~150€ (about 230 US). Even more but that would have to be for a very, very good product

@Bart Elliott: Thanks for pointing out the different types of cajon. The builder you referred to seems a bit too expensive indeed though...
I have also heard of home-built cajons with bass snares attached to them, but the nylon string version appeals to me.

I have come across this cajon (not sure if the link works), that seems to be a good deal but has anyone ever heard of Fame?
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