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Thread: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

  1. #1

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    Default Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Just finished (well, almost done with it) this acoustic/electric cajon.

    I wired it up inside with two homemade piezo pickups but I haven't drilled the holes for the instrument cable jack/volume knob yet. I want to try it out on the band's sound system before I do. If I don't like the way it sounds, I'll just remove the pickups and it will become a standard cajon.

    The tapa is made from birch, and everything else from poplar. I discovered I don't like working with poplar at all. It doesn't take stain very well, and it's really difficult to find straight/true lumber. Oh well, not perfect, but definitely gig worthy.

    The stain is red-mahogany, and the clear finish is tung oil. I was going for a rustic look on this one.

    I also wood-burned the Texas flag on the front. It's hard to see from the pics but there are three shades of stain on the flag - trying to replicate the red, white, blue.

    Fun project for sure. And cheap too.

    Tex

    [IMG][/IMG]

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    I've never played one, but I'll tell you this, it looks Great

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Looks good.

    A lady at an open mic plays a cajon and it works well for her.

    I haven't had much luck with piezo microphones but a dynamic microphone cartridge might work well.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    I was going for a rustic look on this one.
    Cajons should look rustic ~ It's a rustic instrument ... a folk instrument ..originally made from old crates or whatever scrap wood a musician might find.
    Sometimes I think all those factory-made models on the market look a little too elegant .. like pieces of furniture. Yours looks awesome.. I like the Lone Star decoration.

    My concern with piezo pickups might be that you'd just be sending thumps or ticks to your amp, and it would really fall upon the amplifier itself to shape the signal into a pleasing sound. Give it a try and let us know how it sounds.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Nice Job!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Thanks everyone. I hear what y'all are saying about the piezo, which is exactly why I haven't drilled holes yet. My only thought is plugging it in, boosting the lows and turning down the highs/mids just to see if I can get a thump out of it. They work great for the cigar box guitars I build, but I'm pretty sure y'all are right about it not getting the results I want on the cajon.

    Thanks again for the comments. I'm thinking the next one I build will be out of cedar fence boards.

    Tex

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Can you make me one? ....but with a maple leaf flanked by two dolphins.

    Looks great

    all the best...

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Can you make me one? ....but with a maple leaf flanked by two dolphins.

    Looks great

    all the best...
    Kay-gee, I appreciate the confidence, but I need to decline. But I will tell you...they aren't hard to make. A few basic tools and a trip to your local lumber yard would be all you need. I apologize for not being able to build one for you.

    Tex

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Great job Tex! It turned out really nice. What's the correct pronunciation for this instrument? The ex-wife is Mexican and cajon as pronounced in Spanish: [kaˈxon] ka-HON, with the "j" having the "h" sound. How do folks in the great state of Texas pronounce it?

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Looks great! I've always wanted to make one.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.

    -Mike

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Great job Tex! It turned out really nice. What's the correct pronunciation for this instrument? The ex-wife is Mexican and cajon as pronounced in Spanish: [kaˈxon] ka-HON, with the "j" having the "h" sound. How do folks in the great state of Texas pronounce it?
    Thank you Late!

    Well I don't know if it's correct, but we pronounce it ka-HONE (long O).

    Tex

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    We tried it out on 3 different songs last night at practice. The piezo does not pick up the low end thump I was looking for, at all. But...they pick up the higher pitch/snare section very, very well. So, we ended up using two different channels on our board. The 1/4 instrument jack for the top/snare section, and then my kick drum mic for the low end.

    Sounded unbelievably good. We had probably 12 people at practice last night and all of them commented on the sound. Of course most of that has to do with the board/sound system, but hey I'l take it.

    Thanks again to everyone who commented. I really appreciate it!

    Tex

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    We tried it out on 3 different songs last night at practice. The piezo does not pick up the low end thump I was looking for, at all. But...they pick up the higher pitch/snare section very, very well. So, we ended up using two different channels on our board. The 1/4 instrument jack for the top/snare section, and then my kick drum mic for the low end.

    Sounded unbelievably good. We had probably 12 people at practice last night and all of them commented on the sound. Of course most of that has to do with the board/sound system, but hey I'l take it.

    Thanks again to everyone who commented. I really appreciate it!

    Tex
    Great post Tex! Thanks for the tip on the mic'ing tips on the cajon.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    This is very cool! I know Meinl makes some cajons with a built-in mic system of some sort but I've never gotten to play one of those.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Homemade Acoustic/Electric Cajon

    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    We tried it out on 3 different songs last night at practice. The piezo does not pick up the low end thump I was looking for, at all. But...they pick up the higher pitch/snare section very, very well. So, we ended up using two different channels on our board. The 1/4 instrument jack for the top/snare section, and then my kick drum mic for the low end.

    Sounded unbelievably good. We had probably 12 people at practice last night and all of them commented on the sound. Of course most of that has to do with the board/sound system, but hey I'l take it.

    Thanks again to everyone who commented. I really appreciate it!

    Tex
    That's what I was thinking. I have a couple of those 'stomp boxes'.. piezo transducer embedded into a small block of wood, supposed to approximate a bass drum when you stomp on it. Through my Fender bass amp w/ 15" speaker they sound ok. But through a smaller guitar amp it just sounds like tapping your finger on the plug at the end of the cable. Like the amplifier becomes the actual instrument, not the box.

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