De Gregorio Siroco Cajon review

The cajon's portability is well known and De Gregorio now offers an über-compact professional travel version

  • £390
The De Gregorio Siroco Cajon's tapa is a combination of 2mm 'KoskiPly' Birch plywood plus an 'Alpi' veneer

MusicRadar Verdict

Far from any notion of 'novelty-value', the Siroco is a highly professional instrument in every sense of the word.


  • +

    Ingenious, incredibly portable – but sounds just as impressive as any high-end cajon we've played.


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The Siroco is the result of a collaboration on equal terms between Paulo De Gregorio's Barcelona-based company and J Leiva Percussion, which was the creator of the Siroco's ingenious fold out/deconstructing design.

Its laptop-esque sized bag is small enough to be easily housed in an overhead aeroplane luggage compartment.

"Full bass tones contrast well with the Siroco's rich mids and its high range is articulate and extremely satisfying to explore."

When assembled, the Siroco measures 29cm x 30cm x 48cm and is made from several different sonically sympathetic woods.

The body is made of 9mm birch plywood with the frame formed from solid pine. The rear panel is 6mm birch plywood with reinforced edges.

The tapa (or frontplate) is a combination of 2mm 'KoskiPly' birch plywood plus an 'Alpi' veneer and the additional frontplate consists of 3mm birch plywood. The included 12cm x 30cm x 50cm bag offers fairly basic protection while transporting the Siroco, and from unzipping the bag and putting all the components together to taking a seat took us less than a minute.

The frontplate and sides are already hinged and when the sides are lifted up they form a u-shape. The top and base sections slot easily into place and then the rear section with the sound hole is firmly and easily fastened finger-tight with several front-to-rear screws - you get a really reassuring, solid feel when you've put everything together.

The Siroco's removable internal 'snare' mechanism is a twin set of steel guitar strings with six adjustable 'Velloc' overtone control strips for varying the degree of snare-snap to your strokes. An additional frontplate is supplied for another sound option.

Hands on

Full bass tones contrast well with the Siroco's rich mids and its high range is articulate and extremely satisfying to explore. When you adjust the snare wires you can go from a loose and sloshy response right up to a super-snappy sound - the combination of tones is really impressive and covers all ends of the instrument's musical spectrum.

The soundplate is beautifully responsive to strokes of every dynamic level and within this wide range all the different tones really sing out. More than enough bass volume contrasts well with the crisp finger strokes and the Siroco's mid-range blends seamlessly between the two.

This is a wonderfully expressive instrument that takes even your subtlest ideas and conveys them with conviction and when miked sounds breathtaking. The six overtone control strips help tailor the fundamental sound, and between this and the adjustable wires you have a lot of sound options.