The Cajon drum has grown in popularity in recent years, and it doesn’t hurt that it is an excellent instrument to play. There are several on the market, it is not difficult to find one that works decently, but you are probably searching for the best Cajon drum you can find especially if you are serious about playing it.
If you have no idea what a Cajon is or what it does, then you will probably want an introduction to this instrument. A Cajon is a drum box, one that is made out of plywood or hardwood; you also sit on the drum box.
The type of wood the instrument is made with usually determines what the Cajon will sound like so these are the common types of hardwood you can construct it from;
- Birch: The birch wood is a bit on the expensive side but it makes a good, well-rounded, and it has boosted highs and somewhat reduced mids. It is also loud and cutting, and it produces an excellent low-end punch.
- Mahogany: This type of Cajon drum is famous for warm, rich and deep low-end that produce a loud bass sound, it has a muted high-range, and a smooth mid-range and the music is vibrant and resonant.
- Beech: Beechwood is high-density wood that is a bit similar to birch, but its highs and mid-range are pronounced, it also has an excellent low-end punch, and it produces sensitive and focused sound.
- Oak: If you are looking for volume then oak is an excellent choice, it will work even in live rock gigs, and it produces soft highs, a good mid-range, warm lows and a loud, quick decay.
Cajon is not restricted to these types of woods, some of them are made from a fusion of different kinds of woods, so you have to do your research before you purchase. Cajon brands range in quality, price and even looks so you need to employ certain tricks to get a good one. Look out for;
- The right brand: Don’t do the cliche thing and go for the big name brands when you want to buy a Cajon because several excellent drums are just as good but without the name. They are handmade, this gives each drum a unique output, but there are some that will always deliver regarding sound, quality, and consistency.
- Sound quality: The quality of the drum you buy is essential, it will determine how good the itsounds and how long it will last. Thicker box and joints mean a more vibrant sound but the quality of the drum itself should be excellent, but a quality drum is not the easiest thing to find.
- Use: Before you buy the Cajon, you have to consider the purpose you need it for, some drums feature buzzing snares and some with snappy ones. There are drums made in the Cuban style that sound similar to conga or bongo drums. If you know what you want your Cajon to sound like, choosing one won’t be tough.
Some of the best Cajons on the market include:
Roland is a well-known brand, they are famous for making good electronics, and the EC-10 is no different. This has a built-in, onboard amplification that makes it an excellent choice for drummers who like to play in cafes or such settings. The drum is compact and portable, and it features extra electronic and acoustic sounds to give the user more options.
Schlagwerk is a German brand, and the two-in-one Cajon is an innovative invention. It is two-in-one because you can remove the snare wires if you are looking for a more traditional Peruvian sound and you can change your sound mid-set without having to swap the entire box. This is made from Birchwood which makes it a bit more expensive than the average drum, but the brand also manufactures Cajons with oak and beechwood. You can remove the detachable snare wires in seconds, there are about forty snare wires in the box, and they produce great snap. The faceplate is also quite interesting and unique, its vintage style and something you would like to show off.
If you are on a budget and you still want a good quality drum, this is the right choice for you. Although it is made from Birch, the Cajon will cost you less than a hundred Dollars. You also have the option of tuning the snare sound to adjust the slap. It is an excellent choice for drummers in gigs and sound engineers with its rear-port where you can attach a mic for live performances. The Cajon comes with a free gig bag so you can move it around easily and it also includes a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Drummers that like to play their Cajon on table tops will appreciate this model with its playing surface on top and the two forward-facing sound ports. This Cajon is incredibly loud, and it is also quite big so transporting it is a bit of a chore. You don’t sit on this model. Instead, you place it between your legs when you want to play. This Meinl has a different make, it is constructed from walnut and produces a booming, bass sound. It also includes a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.