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  #1  
Old 03-01-2012, 05:32 AM
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daredrummer daredrummer is offline
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Default New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

I play a cajon in an acoustic band that I play with, and till now have just used the meinl headliner that the singer has. I decided it was time to get one of my own. So I did my research, and came across about 10 different companies that make cajons.

I decided wanted one with either adjustable snares, or two playing surfaces (one with snares and one without). After reading reviews and listening to videos (can't tell much from them) and an unproductive trip to guitar center, which had only 3 cajons, all pearl, I narrowed it down to the snare series from meinl or the kopf percussion cajon.

Meinl cajons are pretty standard, they sound great and get the job done. However I took a bit of a risk, and went with the Kopf cajon. And boy, was it a good decision.

Kopf Percussion began in just 2008, they are a local run company in Georgia. They only have 2 lines of cajons, the birch series and the S series, both available in 3 different types: DeUno, Slaptop, or Snare. These just determine how much of a snare sound you will get, DeUno being the least and Snare the most. All of their cajons have 2 playing surfaces, one with snares and one without.

The birch series (the lesser expensive of the 2) feature 1" thick solid wood birch shells, and the playing surfaces are also birch.
The s series (the one I chose) feature 1" thick solid wood poplar shells, as well as birch playing surfaces. They also have a fully padded seat and curved edges for maximum comfort.
Don't let the poplar wood get you down. It may be commonly used for entry drum kits, but it is no means a "bad" wood, especially when it is solid and not plywood.
Because of the solid wood, all of the cajons are a bit heavy, but you'll get a much better sound quality with solid wood as opposed to plywood.

My choice was the S series snare cajon. Of all the cajons I have played (probably about 8 from companies like meinl, tycoon, lp, schlagwerk), it is by far the best sounding one.

The bass tone is fantastic, you'd think it was mic'd right out of the box. It's deep, resonant, and smooth. I could easily play this cajon un-mic'd at a gig. You also get almost no snare buzz at all when hitting the bass tone, contrary to every single other cajon I've played. The slap tones sound great too, they're not as assertive as the bass tones, but they still have a great snare sound on the snare side. The seperation between the snare and bass tones is the best I've heard as well. On the side without snares, the cajon is free to resonate more, and it could easily be played as a substitute for congas. It's a joy to play and I can't wait to try it mic'd.

Here is the Kopf Percussion Website . If you are looking for a new cajon I highly recommend kopf. They are a bit above average in price, with the s series at $260 (meinl snare cajons run for about $200). But it's worth every penny. You'll also be supporting a local American business; these cajons are made in Georgia and shipped directly from there.

You will probably not find one of these in a drum shop, so here is a fairly good youtube video demonstrating one. It doesn't do the cajon full justice, but it is actually fairly accurate in sound. It does sound better in person though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEUO4lgqJtI

The playing sides are left in a natural birch finish, and the other 2 sides have a beautiful dark satin finish. The padded seat is much more padded than the thin rubber is that you get with most cajons, and it is very comfortable.

Here are some pictures.
As you can see in the last photo there are a lot of snares, but the snare sound is actually fairly subtle.

Once again I highly recommend these cajons, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:50 AM
mo2vation mo2vation is offline
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Default Re: New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

How many plies is the playing surface?

Looks pretty thick.

The corners aren't split? So no snap?

How is the side stick (folded hand, 90-degrees, side of box)? Does it pop? 1" is really, really thick for the sidewalls... I'm concerned the side walls will muffle the side stick effect.

-Ken
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:06 AM
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daredrummer daredrummer is offline
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Default Re: New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

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Originally Posted by mo2vation View Post
How many plies is the playing surface?

Looks pretty thick.

The corners aren't split? So no snap?

How is the side stick (folded hand, 90-degrees, side of box)? Does it pop? 1" is really, really thick for the sidewalls... I'm concerned the side walls will muffle the side stick effect.

-Ken
The playing surface is 1/8th of an inch.

Not sure what you mean by split corners, or snap for that matter. If you're asking about the adjustability of the front plate, it can still be adjusted on the 2 outside screws.

You are right, the side stick sound is muffled due to the thick wood. The sound is still there though, it's does pop with a nice tone, just not a lot of resonance. I found that you can get all the sounds you need from just the front head, slapping with about half your hand will give a nice broad open high tone and slapping with the tips of your fingers will give you a sharp bright tone, especially on the snare side.

I think you would have little need for playing on the sides with this cajon, the front sounds so great you will be having too much fun playing that.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:18 AM
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daredrummer daredrummer is offline
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Default Re: New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

Just got done with recording it tonight, and it sounded fantastic as predicted. After getting compliments of the sound from 2 bandmates and both sound engineers, the raw recordings came out great. I can't wait to hear the finished ones, and will share when I get them in about a week.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:03 AM
Choasmaster Choasmaster is offline
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Default Re: New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

well thanks, i just found something else i want now.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:22 PM
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daredrummer daredrummer is offline
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Default Re: New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

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well thanks, i just found something else i want now.
Haha, you won't regret it! This is a great addition to any percussionists arsenal.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:30 PM
waynerouse waynerouse is offline
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Default Re: New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

I have the same cajon from Kopf Percussion. I have played many cajons and this was what I believe to be one of the best. Great quality!
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:59 PM
Kato10 Kato10 is offline
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Default Re: New Cajon - Kopf Percussion

Just got my Kopf Double Shot Snare Cajon two days ago and love it. The Double Shot uses 8 snares, so lots of great snare tone but great separation between bass and snare. Still getting used to the big pad seat. It is comfy but seems to cut off circulation to my legs. I think I just need to adjust my seating position as I'm used to that big Schlagwerk bass cajon.

Edit...opps, didn't check the date first. Not used to 2 year old posts being on the first page ( :

Last edited by Kato10; 07-17-2014 at 06:08 PM.
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