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Meinl Cajon Guide

Meinl Percussion have been leaders of the recent resurgence of the cajon, a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, popular in Peruvian and Cuban music and increasingly in more contemporary styles of music. Meinl Cajons are available in a large variety of traditional designs, as well as in more modern variations, with solid options available for every price range. They are a perfect choice for drum set players looking for a compact alternative for acoustic gigs, traditional flameco and Afro Cuban musicians, or simply anyone looking for an affordable way to experiment with new sounds.

Staff Picks

Not sure exactly where to start? Steve Weiss Music’s team of expert percussionists have picked their three favorite Meinl cajons for the most common uses and price ranges:

  Meinl Snarecraft Cajon
Budget Choice
Meinl Woodcraft Professional Cajon
Best Overall
Meinl Artisan Edition Tango Line Cajon
Artisanal Quality

This Meinl Snarecraft Cajon features highly expressive snare sounds that are generated from dual internal sets of snare wires that are fixed against the frontplate. This allows for articulate rhythmic punctuation with a warm tonal quality to give players a focused sound and wide dynamic range. Available in two sizes, the affordable Snarecraft Cajons respond with a punchy low end thud and crisp slap tones.

The Meinl Woodcraft Professional Cajon is built from Baltic birch wood and outfitted with specially wound metal strings that span the inside of the playing surface. The combination of wood and snare strings allow the player to produce deep back beats and articulate finger rolls. An elegant mahogany frontplate adds striking aesthetics as well.

This Meinl Artisan Tango Cajon features two groupings of three pre-tuned metal micro-coiled cajon strings that span across the inside of the playing surface for a crisp snare effect. A Limba front plate and 7-Ply, 9mm thick Baltic Birch body develops the sound into a full, punchy tone that projects with clarity and warmth.

  • Baltic Birch Frontplate
  • Baltic Birch Resonating Body
  • Makah-Burl Frontplate
  • Baltic Birch Resonating Body
  • Limba Frontplate
  • Baltic Birch Resonating Body
  • Dual internal fixed snare wires
  • Rounded corners for added comfort
  • Rubber feet and rear sound port
  • Two available sizes
  • Custom micro-coiled steel cajon strings
  • Rounded corners for added comfort
  • Rubber feet and rear sound port
  • Two sets of 3 pre-tuned strings
  • Rounded corners and thumb notches for optimal playing comfort and sound
  • Specially formulated soft rubber feet
  • Ergonomically rounded frontplate with convex contact
  • Elegant heat-branding on resonating body
Expert Opinion

“The SC80B Meinl Snarecraft cajon has a crisp, dry sound with a nice amount of snare buzz and a full, punchy bass tone. The Baltic Birch front plate is highly responsive across a wide range of dynamic levels, and the rounded corners allow for comfortable and expressive playing at a low volume. I would recommend this to any player in search of a professional level cajon at an entry level price.”
– Emily Roane

“You have to consider this instrument an outstanding value at this price point. Resonant bass response is easily produced, and the use of a series of 'guitar' style wound strings produce a crisp and detailed snare effect. The Makah Burl front plate gives it a striking appearance, and the rounded corners really do make a difference in playing comfort. Finally, the sturdy Baltic Birch construction ensures many years of reliable playability.”
– Jim O’Connor

“The AETLLI Meinl Artisan Tango Cajon has a tight and articulate front plate with coiled metal strings rather than snares, giving it a subtle buzz to complement the right amount of bass tone - perfect for a controlled and professional sound. 10/10 would record or play live.”
– Jeff Willet

Price $99.99-$109.99 $159.99 $199.99
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More Meinl Cajons

Want more options? View our complete collection of Meinl Cajons to find a sound that is sure to fit your style.

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