Total Pillow - A HandPan Cushion for Playing in Comfort

Whether for improved comfort while playing, by raising and supporting your pan, or simply to protect the bottom of your HandPan from marking, some kind of cushion can be advisable, if you’re the kind of player who plays sat on the floor.

And while a regular cushion, or a tabla cushion can do the job (among other options). There is another option that is fast becoming a firm favorite among HandPan players. Myself included. And that is the ‘Total Pillow’. A flexible donut-shaped travel-pillow that’s ergonomically designed to support the neck. But that, due to its size, and shape. Also makes an almost perfect cushion for supporting, and protecting HandPan during play.

At 12x12x3 inches in size, the Total Pillow is adequate enough in size to support the average HandPan from below, and also raises the HandPan just enough from the floor to reduce back strain from stretching. From those who suffer from such things during play. And the Total Pillow’s micro-fibre filling has, IMO, no dampening effect on the sound of the HandPan. Making the Total Pillow, available on sites like ebay, and Amazon for around the $10 mark. An almost ‘must-have’ HandPan accessory. Especially for globe-trotting HandPan musicians. Who can also use the Total Pillow as it was intended to be used. To grab some often much needed sleep in comfort, while flying to their next destination to play their Handpan at some jealousy-inducing location, in front of the Pyramids, or on a tropical island in the Philippines...

The Glue that Holds the PANArt Hang Together - Info for HandPan Makers.

Just a quick info post, for those who might come looking.

If you’re interested in attempting to build your own HandPan, and are wondering what PANArt use to attach the two steel hemispheres that make up the Hang together. They’re not welded. But are attached using a type of glue named ‘Merbenit HS 60’ (or at least it was used by PANArt at some point, if it isn't currently).. And it's also believed to be used by at least several other HandPan makers as well. Making it at the very least, a good glue with which to start your HandPan building experiments.

Merbenit HS 60, is a ‘permanently elastic, high shore adhesive’, and, like the Hang itself, is a Swiss-made product.

* Quote from the Saraz maker, Don Marco, as to why he finds glueing is preferable to welding: 'There is magic in the glue....a mysterious perfect muffle and control. I barely understand it but can tell you the sound of a pan changes as the glue cures from wet to kinda dry to very dry. about 12 days after gluing, something abruptly special happens! a month later, something else. I hear even 3 months and 12 months later, there is still more development of the sound for some pans...'.

And the publishing of this post was responsible for the only personal contact we've ever had with Felix Rohner, Hang-maker, in which he lightly-reprimanded us, for revealing "...secrets of Hang-making".  Though we didn't feel too bad, as that particular genie was already well and truly out-of-the-bottle, circulating around the web.

Hernan Drum - Beginning to Show its Voice

(!) 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 (!).

If you know the story of the ‘Hernan Drum’, you’ll know that until recently they went under the name of ‘Hang Drum US’, and sold as Hang 'replica', and were seen at best to make a nice wall-hanging, or an ornamental beer bottle holder. Un-tuned, HandPan shells, Hernan drum, became something of a joke within the HandPan community. And by most, were thought of as little more than a scam attempt.

Recently though, however, having taken on the new name of Hernan Drum (most likely due to PANArt’s recent actions against incorrect usage of the name ‘Hang’ by their ‘competitors’), this infamous HandPan has, unexpectedly, found its ways into the hands of a tuner, and is now, just beginning to show its voice.

And while it’s fair to say that this is not a Hang, yet, in terms of sound quality. And nor is it a Halo, a Bells, or an SPB, etc. If you’re looking for comparisons. But what it is, is a strong step in the right direction. And listening to a recent ‘Arezzo’ tuned Hernan Drum, with its high, and actually fairly sweet sounding tones (IMO). I caught myself thinking that actually, if the price were right, and if the sound improved just a little bit more. I could even find myself tempted. Just possibly.
Decide for yourself by visiting the Hernan Drum YouTube channel: HERE, or alternatively, you can visit their website for more information: HERE  (EDIT - Both now seem to have been closed, moved, renamed).

{UPDATE} While the following source has proven historically to be particularly unaccepting of the vast majority of newer HandPan makers (being primarily devoted to discussion of the PANArt Hang) - in this instance, we feel that anybody considering purchase of one of these '(what are believed to be) Columbia-made HandPan (changed from 'are' Columbia-made following complaint) might benefit from the read prior to purchase: Some Information and Thoughts About - Additionally, while the makers of the Sagittarius HandPan (also known as the STG Escultura) deny any connection with the Hernan, there are a huge amount of similarities, so that at this point in time, we would strongly encourage thorough online research of any of these brands before considering purchase).

Resources such as may prove beneficial in seeking further information, and advice.
© HandPans Magazine