A few months back we reviewed the superb innovative DrumBox Travel Set and the Cajon DrumBox cajons made by Spanish luthiers DG DeGregorio Percussion.
Today it's the turn of the brand new top-of-the-shop DeGregorio Kanyero cajon to be perched upon and put through its sound and rhythmic paces.
This Peruvian box of tricks is entirely hand-made by the same craftsmen who create the highly-regarded and renowned DeGregorio guitars. The shell is made from sheets of mahogany and features a removable/tuneable carbon fibre frontplate or tapa.
The mahogany has a deep, rich red hue while the carbon fibre has a typically hi-tech appearance with its dimpled black finish. This may seem quirky, but the combination is visually enticing.
As expected with a cajon of this quality, the finish is faultless - where each section meets with another and around the sound hole to the rear, the jointing and workmanship is outstanding.
To the inside, strung directly up against the tapa (with the aid of Velcro), we see the familiar steel wires attached by Allen bolts.
These snare effect wires are adjustable via the Allen bolts located top and bottom of the instrument - this makes a refreshing change from the usual placement of concealing adjusters to the underside.
With just the lightest touch midway down the frontplate, the tone is deep and immediately striking. The cajon shell resonates, giving an extra bottom-end lift - acting a bit like a sub woofer, perhaps.
Striking with fully-extended fingers and top of the palms produces a healthy slapping, snare-like sound.
When playing with the tips of the fingers (using a similar technique to that which drove my parents mad at the dinner table), the sound here is both snappy (with the aid of the snare effect wires), and full - inspiring you to produce some surprisingly intricate rhythms.
Having a smooth, resilient surface, pitch bends are easily produced as either foot slides smoothly up and down the carbon fibre surface, while giving complete freedom to play with our hands.
With this Kanyero cajon it's so easy to get touchy feely - the whole shell feels so smooth - ultimately, this means playing it won't shred your digits as on some of the cheaper, less well-made models.