Duende Elite Cajon review

  • £229
The Elite's finish is tasteful and conservative.

MusicRadar Verdict

A great value instrument that usefully fills a gap in the market.


  • +

    Build; finish; power.


  • -

    Not the most tonally versatile.

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We've previously looked at some wonderful cajons from Spanish company Duende. Now we've got our hands on yet another set of Spain's finest percussive instruments: the Elite and the Pro.

The Elite's dimensions are fairly standard at 48cm x 30cm x 31cm. It's robustly made of birch wood (surround and frontplate) with a silicon non-slip seat top.

It sports a rich and classy (some might say slightly conservative) finish with no front-mounted adjustment screws. The snare system on the Elite has three strings that are independently adjustable inside by three guitar-style machine heads and as such are quicker to tweak by hand than key.

Hands On

The Elite is definitely a big boy in terms of sheer power and volume. Its bass response is staggering and that thin birch frontplate (tapa) gives you a powerful and exciting surface to explore. The snare response, however, is minimal and on my test model couldn't be adjusted too widely.