Drums Review – Gon Bops Alex Acuna Special Edition Cajon

So I went to Long & McQuade and tried out the 4 cajons they had in store..

1 TOCA – $170
2 MEINL – $210 & $270(I think)
1 GON BOPS – $230

I tested all 4 cajons they had on the floor and the GON BOPS ALEX ACUÑA SPECIAL EDITION CAJON blew the other three out of the water. Very clear bass and snare notes. While the other three cajons sounded like paper bags of various sizes.

Snare: They all have a similar “plet plet plet” sound (paper bags!). On the Toca and lower line Meinl model the snare sounds is very present even if you hit squarely on the bass chamber.
The Gon Bops model have wires on the corners only and allows you to control the snare sound by playing different parts of the drum, but it’s snare sound is also less complex than the others three.

Bass:The Gon Bops has AMAZING bass tone and is really responsive. Noticeable louder, bassier, and rumbles. Here’s a short sample I recorded with my Canon IXUS 220:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmoi3mmAVII

The other 3? Imagine kicking a cardboard box and that’s the sound and resonance you get from them.
The Gon Bops is almost like a 14×14 floor tom while the rest are 13×6, to put it in drumset-talk.

Build quality looked similar throughout all 4 models, with the Gon Bops model having a super fancy, nicely lacquered pattern surface.

Just an awesome little thing to play. Highly recommend it for anyone looking for a cajon. It’s leaps and bounds better than other models of the same price range.

Here’s a another little review about the Gon Bops cajon that tells it quite accurately.

http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/d…-219304/review

Oh and it’s the only cajon out of the 4 that comes with a free bag. Lightly padded, 3 straps, and a zipper pocket to boot, nothing fancy. While a Toca padded bag is a $90 extra.

* update * I’ve had it for two years now and both the cajon and the bag are holding up fine. Good stuff.

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11 Responses to Drums Review – Gon Bops Alex Acuna Special Edition Cajon

  1. Paul says:

    I have a pearl cajon and I played this one today and it blew me away completely. I made a down payment on it immediately and will be picking it up in a week. I played my pearl cajon when I got home and immediately though “paper bag”, came across your blog and laughed because you said the same thing. Looking forward to using it in my bands!

    • Mati says:

      Yah I know eh?
      I just did a show with the cajon on Saturday, it sounded amazing mic-ed, a blast to play. My sore butt however is protesting for some much needed cushioning after the 4th hour. Time to hit up IKEA.

  2. Gon Bops says:

    Hey Mati,

    Thanks a lot for the write up! We appreciate the kind words and are glad you liked playing the Alex Acuna cajon.

    • Drumatics says:

      Thanks Gon Bops!

      I brought it to a jam with a team of visiting students from a HK drug rehab school and the principal wouldn’t get off the thing! He kept saying he’s going to get one too once he goes back. Good times!

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi,

    I am looking to buy a good cajon which will blend with lots of different styles of live music and which generates lots of different sound options. (Blues, rock, country, contemporary Christian etc) at pub gigs and church. I generally like cajons which are responsive but have a good bass sound too. This sounds as if it might be a good choice. I have heard reviews saying its quite quiet though…..is that the case? (From experience sound technicians dont usually believe it needs to be applified…..any yet once the audience are in, I struggle to hear myself playing and so do the people at the back). I wondered if you could also tell me how much heavier it is than most other cajons on the market? (I am a 5ft 1inch female with not the greatest muscles!!).
    The only UK stockist is selling them at a lot more than you guys are talking about….eg: 299 GBP is it worth that additional expense…..(Im hoping so, because I would really like a beautiful cajon, and I like the idea of buying one which was made in the county where the cajon originates).
    Many thanks for your honest feedback.

    • Drumatics says:

      Hey Sarah,

      It sounds just as loud as the other ones I tested in my original post. Weight is similar because it is only bigger in size, but the inside is still empty.

      You’d want to mic it for anything over 50 people or if you play in a room with bad acoustics. The girls at my church play it sometimes with no problem.

      Over here in Canada the Gon Bop was the best deal I could find so yah..
      oh here’s a clip from youtube , also search for Alex Acuna demoing his cajon, hope it will give you a better idea. I love mine.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmoi3mmAVII

  4. Carlitos nyc says:

    Gracias Gon Bops!!!

  5. Tyler says:

    Hi,

    I am currently torn between this cajon and the Pearl Boom Box. Both seem to are marketed as having good clean bass tones, however I feel like this one may offer a wider range of sounds due to the clear seperation of snares from the bass. What do you think? I have been to my local stores, yet none of them have either of these cajons on the floor for testing (or in stock for in store purchase). So I have had to settle for countless youtube demos and reviews. I saw your review on youtube and loved it! Just wanted to get your thoughts.

    • Drumatics says:

      Hey Tyler thanks for the comment.

      I haven’t played the Pearl Boom Box so I can’t comment. But my Gon Bops is still holding up fine. Even the thinly padded bag that came with it.
      I have since added a foam pad on the top of the drum to make things more comfortable.

      Maybe I should get into reviewing more items? Who wants to donate gears for me to review? Operators are standing by! Call now!

  6. Steve Head says:

    We would love to let you take a Kopf Cajon for a test drive. Let me know;)

  7. J-P Lafleur says:

    I have this Cajón, and I love it. I am a novice player, but I have been playing music for over 35 years. I did find it a little hard to sit on for a long time, but I have a chair pad that I got at Ikea, the BERTIL chair pad. It’s quite affordable and not too large. It does not seem to affect the sound at all.

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