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  • What does "Tukituki" mean?
    Tukituki – Pronounced “Two-kee-Two-kee”, is the name of a river in New Zealand near my family’s home area in Hawke's Bay. It is a Maori word which, I am told incidentally means to continuously pummel something, referring to the constant rumble of stones on the river bed.
  • What is your returns policy?
    I can only offer this to customers within New Zealand, and only for my Cajón drums. If you are not happy with the item, please contact me as soon as possible and in most cases if you return the item in re-sellable condition within 10 working days of receiving the item, I am happy to refund your money.
  • Why should I buy a "Tukituki Instruments" brand Cajón?
    I have been building Cajón drums since 2009, and have sold upwards of 700 drums as of mid 2023 and have excellent customer satisfaction. So, first up, I intend to build the best Cajón around in order to maintain a good reputation for my business. Buying from me means you get direct support from the manufacturer and I am solely responsible for the quality of that product as I am the sole worker in this outfit. I play my own instruments in bands that I am in and they undergo testing on the road, on stage and in the studio. I use high quality materials. This means my drums are often slightly stronger and heavier than others you may have played. For years i’ve worked alongside timber veneerers to make my own plywood for the Tapa (front playing surface), most other makers will use a cheap sheets of plywood which don’t have the right strength/flexibility/thickness combo to give the best dynamic bass and snare response. Instrument making is a fine art, and a good instrument is a thing of beauty and intricate design. Here are some Testimonials: ​ "With this instrument, I have the capability of producing an exceptional array of colors and can project above a Symphony Orchestra." Lenny Sakofsky. Percussionist, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. ​ "Just wanted to say thanks for the awesome drum!! It arrived on Friday morning and I can’t stop playing it! The sound is amazing!Can’t wait to play it again! Thanks again and appreciate the quality instrument you’ve created." Ryan, Tauranga. ​ "I love the cajon mate, you’ve done a really nice job of finishing it and the sound is great. I feel like it’s playing into itself and changing already…for the better." Ben, Christchurch. Please be in touch if you have any specific queries about Cajón drums. - Phill
  • What does ‘Cajón’ mean?
    Cajón – Pronounced “kah-Hon” means box or drawer in Spanish. Since the instrument comes from Peru originally, that is the word we use for it. A ‘J’ in spanish is pronounced like an ‘H’ in english. It has a ´ above the ‘ó’ because that is where the emphasis goes. Cajones – Pronounced “kah-Hon-es” Is the plural of Cajón. Cojones – means testicles in spanish and sounds unfortunately a lot like Cajones. Cajun – is the name given to the French-American culture in the southern state of Louisiana USA, it has nothing to do with the Cajón.
  • Why don’t you put pedals on them like some other brands?
    I like building Cajón drums to a high quality so that they are dynamic and sensitive to the touch. That way there are no gizmos or fiddly parts that could go wrong, or become out-of-fashion. I love seeing what people can do with their hands on the Cajón. You can purchase a pedal system from big musical instrument import stores specifically for the Cajón which can attach to the outside of my drums. For me, hands-on is where it’s at and there are so many subtleties and original techniques possible that way.
  • How is a ‘Drum Wire Snare” different from a “Guitar String Snare” in a Cajón?
    Drum snare wires are those coiled wire strands you see under a drum-kit snare. They are used in many modern Cajón drums. They are relatively sensitive to play and good sounding if the Cajón is well made, but they could also be described as more one-dimensional and simple sounding when compared to a high-quality String-Snare Cajón. Guitar strings have been used as the snare sound inside a Cajón since Spanish Flamenco musicians incorporated the Cajón into their music around the 1970’s. The String-Snare sound is crisp and dynamic, the snare sounds different with different hand techniques. The strings can be tensioned tighter and looser to provide a ‘wet’ buzz, or ‘dry’ snap sound. This is the method I use when building any of my full-sized Cajón drums. The Groovebox uses drum snare wire strands.
  • How much money does it cost you, and how much time does it take to make a Cajón?
    It takes about 16 hours per drum over several days. It is hard to calculate because there is a lot of running around sourcing the appropriate materials and stocking up the workshop. It costs about $140+NZ for materials for each full-sized Cajón.
  • Does a solid wood Cajón sound better than a plywood Cajón?
    The main musical components of all of my Cajón drums are the same. So, in general that means that the sounds are the same between the solid and plywood drums. However, what changes is that the bass response can be better on a solid wood Cajón, and it can be a bit louder. This is mainly because of the added rigidity and weight of the thicker solid wood body.
  • Can I play the Cajón on it's side, for example while standing or sitting?
    All of my drums, whether the Groove Box or the full size Cajón drums are double-sided and can be played lying on their side. The player can be sitting next to it while it's lying on a piece of carpet (to protect the face-down surface of the drum), or somehow placing it on a stand or a sturdy table at standing height. An 'X' type foldable keyboard stand works ok for this. You can choose to play either the Bass & Snare side, or the Bongo tones side to have as the upright playing surface. The playing technique is the same as when you would sit on the Cajón, i.e. hit near to the middle for the bass sound with a flat hand, and hit near the edges with the fingers so get the snare sound. See this video near the 1 minute mark to see what i mean:
  • What do I do about replacing old or broken strings?
    All strings are standard gauges. You can purchase single strings from any musical instrument shop. Please contact me about specific string gauges and types for your instrument. You can send the instrument to me if you'd like me to restring it for you. The strings should last for years if the instrument is kept in a good environment, however, it is possible to break strings by over-tightening while tuning.
  • How do I tune my instrument?
    Tuning is very important to master in order to get the most out of your instrument, especially the Drone Harp which benefits greatly from being very closely in tune. I am working on content to help customers with tuning their stringed instruments. I'm also thinking about running an online course on tuning and playing Drone Harps. Please be in touch if you are interested.
  • What is 432hz and 440hz tuning?
    The short answer is that when we tune instruments these days we use a system based on the note A = 440 hertz which is not something commonly talked about. Some people prefer tuning their instruments based on A = 432 hertz which means the entire instrument sounds ever so slightly flatter. Any of my harps can be tuned to either A=440hz or A=432hz or anything in between or near to that pitch. Somewhat longer answer: This is a large topic and there is a lot of (varying quality) information on the internet. I don't really have a big opinion for or against 432hz tuning as I put more importance on relative pitch in music (notes being in tune relative to each other, or intervals being in tune). It has become something of interest to people interested in sound healing frequencies who follow theories that suggest the system of tuning based on A=440hz is not harmonious to us and so various other tuning base frequencies are suggested, including the slightly flatter A=432hz When we tune instruments we often use as a reference the tone A (the A just above middle C on the piano) and we tune other notes according to that A. In the western classical world that A resonates at 440 hertz as decided by institutions back in the early 20th Century basically to make sure all orchestras and instruments were playing at the same pitch. Organs and Pianos could be made to resonate well at that standard pitch, concert halls could have acoustics designed for that pitch, and components for manufacture of instruments and string thicknesses were able to be standardised etc. However, whenever we decide to standardise something across the board, that usually annoys a bunch of people and leaves out many other considerations. Many instruments, especially folk instruments are made to resonate at pitches based on whatever materials were available at the time, whatever that culture found important in terms of pitch, and whatever other instruments they wanted to fit with. So, it's important not to assume that one tuning system is best for all. Luckily, most instruments can easily be adjusted to slightly different tunings such as A=432. However, keep in mind that it isn't very common in ensembles, and it isn't such a big deal as there are so many other factors when it comes to the complexity of sound, science, and preference in music and it's important not to get hung up on this number or that number.
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