What is a handpan?
The handpan is a hand percussion instrument derived from the Caribbean steel pans. It’s made out of steel sheet (usually 1 mm or 1.2 mm thick). It’s mostly shaped by hand with different hammers, creating several separated membranes which are called tone fields. The central tone field is called Ding and is the lowest note. Each tone field has at least 3 notes tuned in it, the fundamental and the harmonics. So when you strike one tone field you actually hear 3 notes. The fundamental, the octave and its fifth. For example A3/A4/E5. For the highest notes, 2 octaves are tuned (D5/D6/D6).
All the tuning and shaping work is done by hand, thatʼs why every handpan is unique.
What makes a good quality handpan?
1. What makes a good sound? First of all a strong fundamental. That means a stable note with a rich body and with the right amount of sustain. The overtones (or partials) should come up with sustain but not louder or lasting much longer then the fundamental itself. You should be able to have a full bodied sound or easily isolate the harmonics depending on the technique used. The tone fields should not interfere with each other (crosstalk). That means, each tone field should have a full sound without activating the one next to it.
2. The tone fields need the right amount of tension to not get out of control when played loud. The pitch should not change (wobble) with a stronger stroke of the fingers. All the notes should be equilibrated, that means, played with the same intensity they should have similar volume and sustain.
3. The shaping of the notes, the heat treatment and the tuning technique has a big influence on the stability of the tuning (pitch).
A carefully crafted handpan should stay in tune over a long period.
However it’s normal that the pitch can move slightly over the years, this is due to processes of the metal itself. Professional players have their pans retuned every 2 years.
Last but not least, the material should be sufficiently rust protected.
How can I buy a handpan?
The best way is to come and visit my workshop near Barcelona, Spain and choose a handpan.
How do I choose a scale?
You can check the videos of the different sound models and find out which scale feels better to you. Anyway, there is a whole universe of musical possibilities in every scale. In the Menu you will find a list of scales which work well.
Are Lupan handpans nitrided and what material is used?
We are using 1mm DC04 nitrided low carbon steel, stainless steel AISI 430 and stainless steel “ember”.
What is the price of the different sound models?
8 Notes + Ding (9 Notes in total): 1450 euro
9 Notes + Ding (10 Notes in total): 1600 euro
Softbag Smarty Repet: 80 euro
Evatek M Size: 150 euro
Evatek Fly L Size: 300 euro
Shipping Europe: 60 euro
Shipping worldwide: 150 euro
For bottom notes, cyclops or mutants please contact us.
How do I take care of the instrument?
Avoid salt water and humidity and make sure the bag you are storing it, is dry. The best way to clean and protect your handpan is to put some drops of oil (Phoenix, Ballistol or Froglube) on a small piece of cloth and spread it over the whole playing surface and the rim. Then take some kitchen (or toilet) paper and wipe away the excess. The result is a clean surface with a very thin layer of oil which protects it.
Handle it with care, and protect it from any pressure or impact on the note fields. Avoid direct sunlight or heat on the playing surface.
What if I want to retune my handpan or if there is any issue with it?
Just contact us. We are happy to offer lifetime service for our instruments.