Three distinct playing surfaces for ultimate tonal variety.
For thirty-plus years, Tycoon has been manufacturing top-quality hand percussion instruments at its own factory in Thailand. The company’s expansive catalog includes authentic representations of Latin American congas, bongos, timbales, and cajons; African djembes and talking drums; Middle Eastern darbukas; Asian ashikos; Brazilian pandeiros and surdos; and a variety of handheld rattles, triangles, tambourines, and shakers.
One of the more innovative items from Tycoon is the Triple-Play cajon, which features three different-sounding playing surfaces. The left side has a dark-ebony faceplate and comes with snare wires underneath to create a traditional cajon sound with a lot of snap and rattle. The right side has a red oak faceplate and no wires, so it offers a traditional Peruvian tone. Both sides produced great bass tones and crisp edge slaps. There was decent isolation between the two, thanks to a system of internal baffles, so playing on the red oak side didn’t activate the snares on the ebony side to the point of destroying the earthy warm tones that are expected from Peruvian cajons.
The front of the Triple-Play is the most interesting portion. It’s constructed from beech and features three tones of its own. The upper portion is designed to provide high and low bongo-cajon sounds, while the lower section is used for bass hits. Playing on this side of the Triple-Play was a nice, clean-sounding contrast to the more aggressive, earthy tones of the other two sides. I found that when grooving on the oak or ebony side, it was easy to shift one hand over to the beech side to layer in some bongo-cajon sounds. This was a great way to change up the texture of my patterns during different sections of songs.
The one thing I felt the Triple-Play was missing was a padded seat top. Its top is flat wood, which isn’t very comfortable to sit on for multiple hour-long sets. But for a portable, all-in-one multi-tonal instrument that can stand on its own for acoustic duo or traditional percussion gigs, the Triple-Play cajon is a great choice.
Weight: 13 pounds
Faceplates: dark ebony (with snares), red oak (without snares), and beech (for bongo-cajon tones)
by Michael Dawson