I wanted a Cajon for a while, coming from a drumming background, percussion always felt like home to me, but the world of Cajons was vast. Did I want a laptop bongo Cajon, a full-size Cajon, with internal strings or not, and I finally settled on first getting a laptop bongo Cajon. My excitement of getting a new instrument was palpable, but that excitement was soon crushed when it was delivered smashed into pieces inside the box. This was not an issue with Meinl, but a shipping issue, but during that time of sending it back and waiting for a refund, I did some thinking…
I decided I wanted a full-size Cajon with internal strings, after all, I can mute the strings if I didn’t like them and if I did like them, it was a bonus. I found the HCAJ1NT on Amazon for around $100 at the time (it’s a little more now) and splurged the extra bit of cash to get it. I unboxed it and immediately fell in love, that is after examining every nook and cranny to assess if there was any damage, but it came flawless. I sat atop it and began playing it and immediately I noticed how powerful the sound was and how deep the bass reverberated throughout our house.
Using the right techniques, you can feel the bass rumble throughout your guts, and the snappy edges can feel like a hard snare or a high bongo drum. The sides and top edge add some nice filler and mid-tones and overall the Cajon actually sounds better than in the demonstration video from Meinl on the Amazon website. Trust me when I say, that in no time whatsoever you’ll be producing some quality percussion from this drum, as it’s as easy as tapping a desktop to the beat of a song, just much much better!
The wood is smooth like butter and the finish is superb, with four rubber feet on the bottom so you can be stable while leaning back from atop it. The adjustment wrench hidden inside of the sound hole was a nice touch and adjusting the strings takes seconds to do. Adjusting the front plate with a screwdriver was equally as easy and fast and never once did I feel unstable sitting on it and I’m 6’1, 275lbs. People often ask if the item is like it is in the pictures to sell it and no in this case the item was far more beautiful than the pictures of it on Amazon.
The fit and finish, the grain of the wood, and the playability of the Cajon are all flawless and since getting it, I have found that I can produce no less than 12 percussive sounds with the Cajon. This is one absolutely beautiful instrument and a testament to quality craftsmanship, you can tell constructing this was a labor of love!
I have a family of four children (two boys and two girls) and when the Cajon comes out, they each want their turn on it and love it almost as much as I do. The Meinl Cajon model: HCAJ1NT officially gets;