If you are looking for a Cajon pedal, you will be spoilt for choice. But the search could come to an end here, because the DG De Gregorio Cajon Pedal offers four possibilities of mounting on the Cajon and a direct and smooth-running drive via a cardan shaft. Whether there is also a hair in the soup at the current selling price of almost 140 Euros is of course just as interesting to us as it is to you!
The fact that Cajon pedals hardly use cardan shafts despite the very direct play feeling is due to the fact that the joints may not be bent further than about 50 degrees, otherwise they block. This means that it is not always possible to position the footboard satisfactorily, because the pedal unit has to be positioned relatively far outwards, and the pedal itself cannot be aligned in the same axis as the foot. However, a special design feature of the DG Cajon pedal is intended to remedy this and still allow comfortable playing.
Details & Practice
DG De Gregorio’s Cajon Pedal relies on a proven technology with the cardan shaft to transfer the energy from the footplate to the beater. In contrast to other Cajon pedals with cardan shafts, such as the Millenium CP-777, the pedal plate runs parallel to the hexagonal shaft so that the angle of the cardan joint on the pedal unit is well below 50 degrees, which would lead to blocking. The design also allows the Cajon to be played from the side, which makes sense if the Cajon has a side playing surface, such as DG De Gregorio’s Drumbox Plus. A conversion to the leftie version is also possible without any problems, as the step plate can also be mounted mirror-inverted.
In addition, the pedal offers the possibility to be adapted to one’s own preferences. In addition, the beater and pedal tilt, the spring tension and the length of the cardan shaft can be adjusted separately.
The pedal built in Taiwan does not necessarily stand out due to its particularly chic design, but is rather reminiscent of inexpensive pedal machines for beginners. Nevertheless, it is neatly manufactured and makes a robust and tour-suitable impression.
Only the fastening of the pedal mounting plate to the clamp by means of only three welding spots has proven to be a weak point on other models and doesn’t look more stable here either.
Even though the pictures on the photocopied English instruction manual are not always very clear, the assembly of the pedal does not pose a particular problem. The direction in which the pedal plate is mounted determines which foot can be used to play the Cajon from the front or the side. If you are unsure, simply place the pedal in the desired position before screwing it together. The rest is almost self-evident. Since the clamp, which is fastened under the Cajon, does not offer any length adjustment and therefore has no overlap, as is the case with other pedals, the Cajon stands bomb-proof on all four paws. However, the Cajon must not be lower (or wider) than 32 centimetres, which is the case with very few models anyway.
The positioning of the pedal unit comes very close to my desired position, even if I would like to have the right foot a little closer to the Cajon in order to have to put the right leg less far out. But the position is good enough, so that I would be able to play longer with the pedal without any problems. The playing feel is very direct, and I have no problem using different dynamics and playing techniques without having the feeling of having to adapt to the pedal. The tilting foam beater head also gives me two sound options: If it hits flat, the attack and the volume dominate. If it hits obliquely, the sound becomes softer and more bass.
Conclusion (4.5 / 5)
DG De Gregorio’s Cajon Pedal makes a convincing impression in the test. Thanks to the cardan shaft and the step plate mounted parallel to the hexagonal shaft, the pedal can be positioned comfortably enough and played smoothly and quickly at all dynamic levels. Thanks to the good adjustment possibilities, it can also be adapted to your own preferences. There are also plus points for the good and variable beater sound and for the fact that it can be operated both with the right and the left and can even be played on the side of the Cajon, which is, however, mainly interesting if the Cajon also has a side playing surface. There is only a slightly weak welded connection on the clamp to criticize. If you want more playing comfort than with the Millenium CP-777 and are willing to dig a little deeper into your pocket for it, this pedal is definitely a good choice.