I bought a cajón kit that I had to assemble myself:

I'm not very advanced in the subject, but the sound isn't as good as what I heard from other cajóns (I believe we followed the instructions well while mounting it). It might also just be the quality of the product.

Do you have any tricks to improve the sound of the cajón?

  • Does it sound different to other ones you've played, or only other ones you've heard other people play? The first could be a 'hardware' issue, the 2nd could simply be technique. – Tetsujin Sep 28 '18 at 10:04
  • different from what i've played. unlike on these others, it's like i need to tap very strongly in order to get a sound from the snare. so i tried a few different thing like unscrewing a bit the playing surface, putting the snare closer , then farther, but that didn't improve – Gers A. Sep 28 '18 at 11:47

I build Cahons from scratch as a hobby..

You don't say what is wrong with the sound from your Cahon, but here are some tips;

  1. On the model you have, there are two screws - top left, and top right of the cahon. Remove those (there are enough left). That will loosen the corners of the tapa, and you'll get a sharper snap when you hit the cahon in that position.

  2. Make sure that the snare is positioned correctly so that it lightly touches the tapa. The snare is one of the important aspects to making a good Cahon sound good.

  3. A slightly more advanced tip is to add jingles to the front of the tapa (see image - but I usually put mine a little lower). They don't have to be different sizes, so using parts from a cheap tamborine will work. This will give a more snare-like tone, but tightening the wingnuts (from any hardware store) will give you some control.

Pearl Jingle Cahone

  • i'll try tips #1 and 2 and let you know if there are improvements – Gers A. Oct 1 '18 at 5:21

I purchased this exact same cajon kit. The instructions are really easy considering there are only a few pieces. Unless you put the front face on the bottom and left a whole side off, I am sure that you assembled it correctly. One thing that I did during construction was to counter-sink the screws holding the front face on. This was more for comfort as I did not like my hand slapping the screw heads.

As with many instruments, it takes some time to "get to know" your instrument.

That being said, if you look at the prices of what this same cajon costs already assembled from Meinl, you will see that it is not a top-of-the-line cajon. More expensive cajons may have adjustable snares, better woods or a different shape that may affect the acoustics.

For me, it has taken a bit of time, but I really like the sound I can get from my cajon. It just took me a while to figure out how hard (or soft) and where around the front face to hit to get the sounds I look for.

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