The Blue Point Steel Harp / Innersound HandPan

(!) This post may now be out of date - but has been left published for archive purposes.  It may still prove to be of interest, but some (or all) details may now be out of date (!).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 Blue Point Steel Harp (also commonly known as the ‘Innersound’, [UPDATE, 2015 - the Innersound is now known to be a completely different entity to the BPSH] is the HandPan tuned by 'Eckhard C. Schulz', of E.C.S. Steeldrums in Germany. A tuner of some note, with plenty of experience to back up his name, Eckhard began creating his own range of HandPan following being called upon to frequently re-tune Hanghang, following PANArt’s (the Hang makers) decision to bow out from the responsibility of maintaining their old instruments. So that from Eckhard Schulz’s gained experience in re-tuning Hang (and years of experience as a steelpan tuner), the Blue Point Steel Harp was born.

Personally I really like the sounds of the 'BPSH', and for me, Eckhard's skill as a tuner really shines through in the refinement of the instrument's voice. However, word on the street is that while the level of tuning of these HandPan is up with the best of them. The steel shell from which the BPSH is made lets it down a little. Being softer metal, and requiring a gentler touch than some other HandPan to avoid ‘screaming’ (at time of writing). Issues that will hopefully be solved with later shell development. And not necessarily issues that make for a 'bad' HandPan (it's better than many, in my opinion), but something that has kept it just short of being counted among the very best.

Points of note:

* The last known price of the Blue Point Steel Harp was somewhere around the 2000 Euro mark. Which makes it one of the most expensive HandPan currently available (this high price is believed to be due to the fact that E.C.S. tune the shells, but do not manufacture them themselves, instead importing them from abroad - resulting in shipping charges that unfortunately need to be passed on to the customer).

* The Blue Point Steel Harp HandPan also goes under the name of ‘Innersound’, a name given to the BPSH by a HandPan reseller. And despite the official name of the instrument being the BPSH, the Innersound moniker (being somewhat less of a tongue-twister) seems to have stuck. (The Innersound re-seller 'Meditationtone' can be contacted via his YouTube account: HERE).

* With (as mentioned above) E.C.S. not manufacturing the HandPan shells themselves, it is believed that there are several other tuners out there using the same shells for making their HandPan. So, while it can be more difficult with this HandPan than any other, if you’re considering buying a HandPan that ‘looks’ like an Innersound/BPSH from a source other than direct from the tuner, be as sure as you can be before parting with any money for it, that the HandPan is what the seller says it is. If a BPSH is what you’re looking for, and not simply something that 'looks' like one (but may sound very different).
For more information, and/or to make purchase of a Blue Point Steel Harp, you can visit the E.C.S website: HERE (or possibly from this website - though as always, tread carefully).
Or alternatively, you can usually keep up-to-date with the latest on all things BPSH/Innersound over at the forums: HERE

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