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Which provider should I buy my handpan from?

This is the question asked by everyone who delves into the world of handpans for the first time and wants to purchase their first handpan. First things first: Welcome to the new age of the handpan. Congratulations on having such a wide and varied selection of handpan drum instruments. Less than five years ago there was hardly any visible offering of high-quality handpans and certainly no real comparability. And the handpan offers that were available were mostly absolutely overpriced. Fortunately, a lot has changed in recent years: more and more high-quality manufacturers and instrument makers have developed. The prices have become more moderate. Providers like Handpan.World carry different brands, create comparability and set up places to try out, test and get good advice.

Despite the great development, the handpan market is still full of pitfalls, traps and dubious providers, or simply poor quality. The offers, price-performance, quality and service of the handpan manufacturers and providers sometimes differ immensely. Finding the right provider is one of the most relevant factors when choosing a handpan. With this article we give you some pointers on what you should pay attention to when choosing your handpan provider.

The heart is in the right place

Making a handpan is a high level of craftsmanship that requires a lot of experience and dedication. There are now numerous providers of handpans - not all of them are trustworthy and unfortunately for many of them there is no balance between quality and price. Also read our article about inferior cheap offers , which we strongly advise against. In our tests, we have not had a good experience with handpans under €1000.
We believe where you get your handpan from is an important consideration and we would like to help you with the following criteria. This way you can check the honesty of the numerous providers, who sometimes seem more or less reputable, and make a conscious decision about who you want to buy your handpan from and who you want to support with it.

1. Quality of instruments

Not every provider has the same quality standards when it comes to the processing of the advertised handpans. Sound is always a matter of taste and not necessarily a question of quality. Nevertheless, a few important parameters can be identified that guarantee basic quality and make the difference to a machine-pressed steel shell, which looks like a handpan and perhaps sounds like it at the beginning to an inexperienced ear, but soon it doesn't brings more joy. For Handpan.World we have set the following basic quality standards for our handpans:

  • Method of processing
    Of course, there should be clean processing. This means, for example, no sharp edges, pronounced inconsistent surface structure or strong scratches, damage on the top. In addition, the top and bottom should be glued cleanly.
  • Cleanly tuned
    A handpan is tuned to a specific, harmonic tone sequence - this is usually specified. The respective grades must of course be correct. The heart rate should also match as far as possible - slight deviations occur and also depend on the current temperature. However, the frequency should not exceed a tolerance of 10 pcs. You can measure yourself whether a handpan is in tune correctly using a tuner (also as an app). For example, we use the pano tuner. Here you can set whether you want to measure an instrument in 440Hz or 432Hz. It also shows you exactly how different the sound is.
  • Tuning stability
    A correctly tuned handpan is a prerequisite. How long it maintains the mood is also an important criterion for us. It is completely normal for musical instruments to go out of tune after a while and this also applies to handpans. A good handpan should be able to keep your mood stable for at least two years if treated with care. With high-quality handpans, no noticeable detuning can occur for three to five years.
    Here you can find out more about detuning and retuning.
  • Balanced sound
    The overall sound of the instrument and the interaction of the individual sound fields should be harmonious with one another. The timbre, volume and sound effect should be balanced and harmonious within the instrument.

2. Selection & Comparability

Handpans are as individual as we humans are. A different sound world suits each of us. There are so many differences in handpans in tuning, price, material, timbre, frequency, length of resonance, etc. that we find a large selection and comparability of different manufacturers and handpan types, as well as prices, to be very helpful. The broader and more diverse the offering is, the more freedom you have in choosing your instrument. A large selection can be overwhelming for newcomers, but with the right advice, you can quickly narrow down the few models that are right for you.
Handpan.World is a network of currently over 20 instrument makers, all of whom have developed their very own sound world. With us you will probably find the largest selection and variety of handpans.

3. Fair prices

Making a high-quality handpan is a complex process. A lot of effort and dedication goes into making a handpan, especially if the instrument maker doesn't just want to create a practical object, but rather a soulful sound creature. In many cases, this justifies the high prices. But not every manufacturer works cleanly and with passion. This is noticeable in the sound and “character” of the instrument and, in our opinion, should be taken into account in the pricing.
Not every handpan player is looking for the highest quality - for many, instruments with special tonal characteristics are much more interesting than a perfect sound down to the finest detail.
Newcomers in particular tend to compromise on the fineness of the sound and often ask us about cheaper models.
We at Handpan.World can meet all requirements thanks to a very wide price range and variety of sounds. Our aim is to create a fair and balanced relationship between quality and price.

4. Service & After Care

Your satisfaction as a handpan owner comes first. A provider should accompany you well and be at your side. Both before, during and after purchasing a handpan. The following services are a matter of course for us:

  • Competent advice: You should feel well advised and in good hands with your questions and concerns. Anyone who offers handpans should be well versed in them. Not every provider has understood the instrument and has studied the handpan in depth and is advertising with misinformation. For example, anyone who claims that handpans are usually tuned pentatonic or who offers mallets to play with does not seem to have even dealt with the basics of a handpan.
  • Possibility to test: Being able to try out a handpan before buying it makes a bad purchase less likely. Not every provider can guarantee that you can test their instruments in your area. We at Handpan.World are constantly setting up additional handpan showrooms with experienced handpan players to enable on-site test playing.
  • Granting & compliance with a right of return and/or exchange:
    According to European consumer law, you as a customer have a right of cancellation within fourteen days of receiving the goods when ordering online. This means that you can return your order without giving any reason and are entitled to a refund of the purchase price.
    CAUTION: European consumer law does not apply to providers outside the EU. They often state a 14-day return policy. In retrospect, however, it usually turns out that this is not the case or that they only offer a credit. We generally advise against purchases from outside the EU, as it is virtually impossible to enforce claims, including warranties.
  • Guaranteeing tuning stability: A handpan should be able to maintain its tuning for several years and not go out of tune after just a few months. Unfortunately, this does not apply to all handpans. So pay attention to whether the provider guarantees tuning stability. We guarantee tuning stability for at least two years. Most of our instruments keep their tuning for three to five years. But this mainly depends on how you handle the instrument.
  • Retuning service: Handpans go out of tune after a while and require retuning. How often depends on the load and quality of the handpan. The greatest stress is solar radiation, or rather strong heat. The stress is also relevant when playing, which is why it should not be played with mallets, but if possible only with fingers. When buying a handpan, it is important to think about who will put the handpan back in tune. What do you do if your handpan goes out of tune? If you don't have someone to contact to retune, it will be difficult. A provider should feel responsible for you and your handpan even after purchase and be able to offer you the option of a retuning service.
    If your handpan is out of tune, you can use the Handpan.World retuning service. We take care of the entire retuning process from collection from your home to delivery of the perfectly tuned instrument.

Having purchased a handpan is just the beginning of an exciting journey. We would be happy to accompany you and provide you with everything you need to get your bearings:

  • Part of a network: By purchasing a handpan from Handpan.World, you become part of an ever-growing network from which you can benefit. With the planned Handpan.World passport you can take part in events organized by our partners at a discount and you will receive 10% on equipment and accessories in our online store.
  • Info: The monthly newsletter informs you about news from the world of handpans, gives you an overview of events, provides you with tips and provides impulses for your further development as a player.
  • Learning to play the handpan can sometimes lead to your own limits, but these can quickly be overcome with the right input. We provide you with video tutorials to practice new rhythms and techniques . Our partner “Master the Handpan” offers you an extensive learning platform . Handpan.World members receive discounted access.
  • Workshops & Courses: There are many experienced handpan teachers in our Handpan.World network who offer lessons, courses and workshops. We give you an overview of who can support you and where in your playful development.
  • The upcoming Handpan.World portal will be available to you as a guide in the future and will give you a good overview of everything you need to know. You will also be able to exchange ideas with others from the community, learn from others and share your own experiences.
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