Every Rockbox cajon is made from the highest quality hand-selected timber and individually tuned to suit each customers requirements.
Combined with it's pat pending snare system and superb craftsmanship, Rockbox produces it's own uniquely beautiful sound. Click here for the new Rockbox cajon tutorial video
Have your bands name or custom design printed directly upon the Rockbox, see Rockbox image below. (click to enlarge)
I started making box drums, commonly known as cajons ("caja" is Spanish for box) 8 years ago in the suburb of Manly NSW Australia.
Having a mixed background as a ships joiner, inventor and musician, I thought the cajon would be the perfect project. It was the most practical drum/musical instrument I had ever come across, being box shaped it could be used as a piece of furniture, seat or a table. The use of a wooden skin rather than a leather one appealed to me as it wouldn't go out of tune as easy, so it was also practically maintenance free.
Convenient to transport, store and so versatile, I could go on.
"Knowing what you want" (chapter1 of my journey)
The first cajon I’d ever experienced was at a party at Avalon, in the northern beaches of Sydney, just up the road from Manly where I live. It was at a friends house, there was a five piece band playing with a drummer, who was quite big bloke, sitting on a box, producing this really funky beat, I was stunned at the sound that was coming out of the box he was sitting on.... mesmerized.
The sound of this box utterly amazed me, it had a great bass tone, a snare sound and quite a few other woody organic tones in the mix.
As soon as the band stopped for a break, I raced over to the drummer with a dozen questions floating through my brain.
The drummer (Mark Stewart) whose daytime job was actually performing drumming workshops around the world happily explained to me the principles of the cajon and that was that, I was hooked, this was the start of my cajon-making journey.
"Unhappy with what you've got"
So, I bought the timber and tools necessary to make a cajon and within the week had my first cajon drum..... but I couldn't play it.... so I really didn't know how it sounded.
I phoned up Mark Stewart and practically begged him to come around and have a play of my newly made Cajon. Mark was a busy man, touring Australia constantly performing the "Drum Beat" show, but eventually we got together.
By this time I'd made quite a few more drums, so Mark had several to test out.
Some were ok, others weren't so ok..... this cajon making was harder than it seemed.
I made dozens of cajons using different timbers, dimensions and snare variations, one out of every 10 cajons showed promise.
Until one day I discovered something!!, it was all to do with the snare, the type of snare and it's position. It suddenly made sense to me, it was similar to a guitar, it needed to be in tune, it needed to be setup just right to get the right sound, and the adjustments between ok and great were virtually nothing.
So I designed a snare system that had the freedom to be positioned anywhere within the cajon, that would allow just the right amount of snare wire touching the diaphragm and could be tensioned perfectly.
Initially I used Kauri pine for the frame of the drum and Birch as the skin, then I discovered external grade Cedar ply, which gave the cajon a warmer tone.
The newly designed cajon sounded like a drum kit.... in a box, with a distinct and well-defined crisp snare, a warm deep bass and various other tones, the name "Rockbox" evolved.
Using the alternate dampening method:
By dampening the snare with one hand and hitting the bass a distinct clear bass tone is achieved.
By dampening the bass tone whilst hitting the snare a higher pitched crisper snare is achieved,