The Pantheon Steel Halo HandPan - An American-Made 'Hang Drum' Alternative

(!) This post may now be out of date - but has been left published for archive purposes.  It may still prove to be of interest, but some (or all) details; may now be out of date (!).

The ‘Halo’, made by Pantheon Steel (comprising of “Kyle Cox’, and ‘Jim Dusin’), based in Farmington, Missouri, U.S, was among the first HandPan (and thee first to use the ‘HandPan’ moniker) to appear following the popularity of the PANArt Hang.

The Halo

Like the Hang, the ‘Halo’ is an instrument, sound-sculpture, and descendant of the steel pans of Trinidad and Tobago. A metallic UFO shaped, lap-played, HandPan, that while being an instrument of the idiophone class, is often referred to as a drum.

Halo HandPan are larger than the Hang, and Pantheon Steel its creators describe the Halo as being not simply a copy of the Hang, but a side-step along an alternative evolutionary path, to create an instrument with its own voice and character, that boasts a ‘soulful and rich timbre of its own’ that is capable of providing a ‘powerful sonic experience’. 

Halo are available in a wide variety of scales, and customers are encouraged to choose the style of tuning that ‘speaks to them’. And while PANArt may not have appreciated the association (or competition), Pantheon Steel’s Halo, has been largely applauded within the Handpan community, for both its solid build quality, and its sweet-sounding singing voice. A fact that has unfortunately (currently), made Halo HandPan almost as hard to get hold of, as the instrument that inspired their creation.

Points of note:

* For the chance to obtain a Halo you must sign up to the Pantheon Steel mailing list. Roughly once a year Pantheon Steel run a lottery among all those who show interest, with the winners receiving the opportunity to purchase Halo, as and when they become available. With Pantheon Steel building roughly 200-300 Halo over the course of each year.

* At last known count the list of people having expressed an interest in purchasing a Pantheon Steel Halo was 14,000 strong. Not all will commit to purchase at the time of lottery. But even so, chances of winning a Halo from Pantheon may prove slim.

* The Halo is among the largest, heaviest HandPan (something to keep in mind when considering shipping costs), with the batch one Halo being: 58cm (23 inches) by 22cm (8.5 inches).

* In addition to their waiting list / lottery, Pantheon Steel also offer one Halo per month (roughly) for sale via their ebay store: Visit Pantheon Steel Halo ebay Store.

* The last known price of a Halo purchased directly from Pantheon Steel is $1800 (with those sold on eBay frequently selling for around the $7000 mark).

* The original Halo (now known as the Halo ‘Genesis’), had/has a much deeper sounding voice compared to that of the PANArt Hang. And is considered to be the ‘Baritone’, to the Hang’s tenors, and altos. However, Pantheon now also produce the Halo ‘Stratus’, a HandPan with a higher register than the original Genesis Halo.

For more information on the Halo, and/or to sign up to Pantheon Steel's mailing list, you can visit their website: HERE Or find more information on the makers page: HERE
© HandPans Magazine