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Postby congasean » Fri May 23, 2008 5:08 am

I tried buying on of these at Musicians Friend last summer and I was so let down by the quality that sent it back. I know there are high quality ones out there as well as plans to make your own. I recently met up with some and talked with them about a LP Mario Cortes, I thinking of getting, and they recommend that I pick up a Meinl. I happened to be a Guitar Center getting some gel pads for my compact congas and saw one of these (Meinl).... What a let down... Burl wood front?? Can you say laminant (laminate) & then particale board. Maybe if you're going to tap in with your fingers, but what about brushes. I'm just starting to play out and I think this may be a good instrument to accessorize with but what do you think about skinnin' it with formica. The surface would last 100X longer (and you could probably hit with a hammer). I'm just asking in case I buck up and buy one. When doing research before I noticed there was someone on ebay that would cut all the pieces to spec. and mail them to you to put together yourself, for like $60. I'm thinking about having someone mill the pieces for me. I'm asking about this for my own interest as well as maybe informing others about how to possible make their's a more durable instrument.
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Re: Cajon

Postby yambu321 » Fri May 23, 2008 7:20 am

Hello Sean,

Experimentation is a great thing. However, one must also know what type of cajon, one is looking for.

I would like to recommend to you, for starters, two cajon manufacturers that do make excellent Cajons.

SLAPDRUM, and also, FAT CONGAS. I hope this helps. :wink:

Keep It Real, Keep It Honest, and Alway's Be True To Yourself. Laugh and Smile When Ever You Can, and Help others do the Same; It's a Good Thing!
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Re: Cajon

Postby korman » Fri May 23, 2008 10:14 am

Just get some plywood and make one, it's a box after all ...
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Re: Cajon

Postby guarachon63 » Fri May 23, 2008 1:37 pm

I don't see anything inherently wrong with particle board and laminate for the top - it's a box, not a violin. As for durability, if the top breaks, it's because it got hit too hard, and if you hit too hard, you were playing too loud anyway. :)

The important thing is the sound and what the player can do with it. I think a formica top sounds like a great idea, the stiffer the top the better. Haven't seen the "kits" on ebay, that sounds like a good idea too. Do you have a link?
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Re: Cajon

Postby TONE74 » Fri May 23, 2008 4:25 pm

I have the Fat Congas segundo cajon and it sounds really good. Only problem I have is that it slides down so I added a handle and cut a cheap clave down the middle and screwed it to the sides so I can hold it with the knees. I think they would be easy to build which was my original plan but I saw one used for cheap and bought it instead. the top material would be the one that makes the biggest difference I think.
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Re: Cajon

Postby Diceman » Fri May 23, 2008 6:24 pm

Agree with you Tone74, the front material is the most important part for the sound, and the stiffness of construction, but most important is, as always, technique. You shouldnt break it by playing with your hands, but if you are worried then buy/make one with a glass fibre front.

have fun

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Re: Cajon

Postby Mike » Fri May 30, 2008 8:30 am

Diceman wrote:the front material is the most important part for the sound, and the stiffness of construction, but most important is, as always, technique.

It is truly amazing what differences in sound you can get with different front materials.
Just yesterday I attended a workshop led by Mathias Philipzen, a renowned German percussionist,
and he had the full range of cajones there, most of them by Schlagwerk, a German manufacturer.
From Beech to Makassar, from Birch to Zebrano, all sound totally unique.

Having that said, I must confess that my selfmade Cajon La Peru with a maple playing surface does
the trick for me, cause it does not sound too bad at all.
I am still a beginner, but I really dig this box, man! :)
Occasionally I hit my lunchbox too... Yeah, colleges are frowning, but who cares / I give them a concert for free :lol:
Peace & drum
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