Updated: Mar 23
Congratulations, you are almost the owner of a handmade, one of a kind handpan! There are so many great handpans out there, do you know how to find the one that is right for you? This is a big purchase, and I can tell you are doing your research—you're starting by reading this article!
I want to help you find a quality handpan that is the right fit for you. The handpan marketplace can be difficult to navigate. So I want to give you some tips and tools to position yourself to buy a handpan.
First, if you don't know much about handpans, I recommend you read my other articles.These will give you some practical things to think about and also discuss personal preference considerations: scale, sustain, material, pitch, size, etc.
How do you know if the instrument you're researching has the qualities you're looking for? This is the hard part. I hope you can find some of these answers on my website and blog. Check out blog articles like "6 Handpans You Should Know". You can also visit the maker websites here for details on each of the instruments. They often have video samples of their instruments, too. You can also check out some YouTube videos and reviews from other players. Make sure to use good headphones or speakers to hear the subtleties of the instrument on video. My best piece of advice is to get your hands on some handpans to try them out in person. Find other players in your city or go to a handpan gathering. Hearing these instruments played live by a skilled musician or trying them out on your own is the best way to learn about different handpans.
Next, I want to share some tips to skipping the wait lists and actually purchasing a handpan. You probably know that the original handpan, the Hang from Switzerland, is no longer in production. It will be almost impossible to find a second hand Hang to buy. Some of the top makers today have a waiting list. Or they only sell instruments through a lottery—selecting a limited number of random customers sell to each year. It may take a long time to buy an instrument through this traditional route. One option would be to find "up and coming" handpan makers, who may not yet have as much demand. Some makers have wait lists only 1-3 months (the time it takes to make your custom instrument).
Another way to skip the wait list is by attending a handpan gathering and joining the on-site lottery. Often makers attend handpan gatherings with 1 or more instruments to put in the lottery. Here you would be competing with a limited number of others players who enter the lottery. Your chances of winning are much higher than joining the makers' lottery online. Keep in mind that if you "win" a handpan at a gathering, you only "win" the right to buy the instrument and skip the line- you don't get it for free!
The last method to purchasing a handpan that I will discuss is finding flash sales. Many makers have an occasional instrument for sale and they will post a flash sale. This is usually a first come first serve sale. If you write back to them first, and you have the funds to buy the instrument, it's yours! I recommend you follow handpan makers on social media or sign up for their email list. Then you will hear about future flash sales and you can skip the wait list and buy a handpan. Keep in mind that you may not have the choice of scale or other preferences when buying a flash sale handpan.
Finally, I want to remind you to visit this website again as we have handpans for immediate sale. I am proud to partner with some of the best handpan makers to offer you amazing instruments at a good price.
If you're in love with the sound of the handpan, I also recommend you check out the Iskra Handpan made by Symphonic Steel.
I am excited to tell you about his instruments because, as a maker, Sean Beever holds true to the handpan art-form. He's been a part of the handpan community from the start and he's held in high esteem by all.
I recently visited the Symphonic Steel workshop and I filmed a mini-documentary about the Iskra. You can watch it below:
I waited about 2 months for my Iskra. And if you order yours now, you can expect to receive it within 4 to 6 weeks. That's a very short waiting list for a custom built instrument. Over the years, Sean and I have become friends and he's giving $50 OFF of the purchase of your Iskra by entering the code SYLVAIN at checkout. Iskras are made in Lake Forest, California and ship world-wide. Click here to learn more about the Iskra.
I hope these tips will help you to buy your first (or second or third!) handpan. Please comment below if you have any other tips to share with others, or if you have any more specific questions.