Finding out the price for a handpan is not an easy task. In fact, this will depend on the maker and the quality of the instrument they supply. However, keep in mind that price is not always a sign of quality. if you haven't read it already, you can have a quick look at our article on “how to see the quality of a handpan”. Once you know what makes a good instrument it will be easier for you to see if is worth the price.
As the price really varies between makers, we will give you an approximate price range.
keep in mind that it is a really special and rare instrument and could be considered as an art form object. Its origin with theHang of PANArt is very unique and has generated a big demand for a very small supply making it a special instrument.
However, there is now a growth in the number of handpan makers and many kinds of handpan are available. The price can vary between each maker because of the quality of the instrument and because of maker’s credibility. Yes you may be more willing to buy an expensive handpan if it comes from a famous maker who already proved its quality and its professionalism.
Handpan is not the cheapest instrument that is true. However, when taking into account the beauty, the uniqueness and the work behind the creation of this instrument, the price is subjective. Of course it is an investment, but if you really love this music and want to dive into this world this is the price to pay. Also there is a big economic point here. The supply and demand for this instrument is mainly what is keeping the price high. A good manufacture requires skills and time as it is not mass produced. With few skilled manufacturers, the demand is high and supply low. Even if there are more and more makers, the demand is still high compared to the production capacity. With time, the price may go down but is it going to push makers to put less time and effort on the making ? Will they reduce the cost as much as possible to provide cheaper handpan and be competitive ? Being still a new instrument, we will see how this goes but the probability that trusted makers will keep high prices is high.
Many factors enter into consideration for the production cost of a handpan.
First, the fabrication process requires time. Research and fabrication is a long process that takes time and is not visible at first sight. Depending on the makers, it can take less than a week or 3 and 4 weeks to make a good handpan, through polishing and tuning the instrument.
Then there is the material cost. To build a good quality handpan, it is necessary to have some equipment to be able to build a handpan from scratch.Steel for handpan sheel, machines like pneumatic hammer, local to be able to work and stock all the equipment and employees for bigger maker, the fabrication is not an easy task and some organization is needed.
The expertise with the tuning of the handpan, the heating treatment and the shaping of the shell will also be part of this process and will affect the final price of the handpan.
We will see in another article what is the fabrication process of a handpan and make a comparison between different types of makers.
You can take a look at this video to have an idea the making process
When picking up your handpan, it is important to have as much information as possible on the instrument. Here are some advices to avoid any fraud and find the handpan of your dream.
What to look when buying your handpan :
Sustainability : The time the note last after you hit it
The tuning :Verify if the handpan is well tuned
The percussive sounds : check if playing around the notes give nice percussion hit
The dynamic rage : ratio of the softest sound to the loudest sound.
The stability : Capacity of the note to stay in tune when playing strong.
The crosstalk : No interference between the notes of the handpan.
If you decide to buy online, go for a website where all the information about the instrument is displayed. A video showing clearly how the handpan sound is necessary for you to see what you will receive and what to expect. Be sure to order your handpan on a trusted website. If on the website, you don’t see all the information you need about the instrument or if there is no contact information don’t rush on it. In my opinion, when you buy an instrument as unique as a handpan, it is important to establish trust with the seller. Either for a seller or maker’s website, it is important to be able to discuss on the phone. He can then inform you about his work, the status of your order and in a way reassure you all along the process so you don’t get anxious. Being accessible for customers is a key point here. Also avoid facebook ads which land to a strange and not trusty website. Better for you to establish discussion before purchasing your instrument.
Another way to be 100% sure you don't get scammed is to go directly to the maker or to a reseller. This way you can try the instrument and be sure to receive your handpan. It will also give you a better idea of how the handpan sounds and the feeling of playing it.