The MEINL Range of Sonic Energy Harmonic Art Handpan

It has been impossible to move through Handpan-circles this last week without stumbling across talk of German percussion manufacturer and distributor MEINL’s first foray into the Handpan market. Bringing with it renewed talk of the “Yamahang”, a term that has been in use since at least as far back as 2009 (and likely before) to describe the oft-feared-by-many introduction of a mass-produced Handpan, that would with its birth suck all traces of artistic-integrity from the art-form. And force trend-setter types the world over to ditch the now soul-less instrument in numbers - in favour of some other newly discovered and hard to acquire fad.

While for the rest of us, MEINL’s newly introduced range of Handpan represent nothing more than yet another option to be considered under their own merits (or lack thereof depending).

At time of posting MEINL are offering three different sound models / tunings, under the title of “Sonic Energy Harmonic Art Handpan“, each priced at 2.490,00 € (approx $2650), including bag, and protective shell (and you can see how this compares price-wise to a handful of other brands: HERE).

Unfortunately though, there's nothing in the way of audio, or video being offered up by MEINL to demo their new Handpan range over on their site (that we can find). But thanks to YouTube user, borisak, you can at least catch a brief soundcheck of one of the MEINL pans (below).

Arguably more interesting, and relevant to MEINL's newly offered range of Handpan, than the whole YamaHang debate (which has been levied against at least half a dozen other "non-conforming" Handpan operations over the years), is the origin of these particular instruments.  Because while these may be a new offering from MEINL, Colombian Handpan makers, "Harmonic Art", who appear to be producing these on MEINL's behalf, are certainly no new entity to the world of Handpan.

And while some might consider Harmonic Art's own past to be among the most controversial and checkered in Handpan history, their instruments have certainly shown considerable improvement since their earliest days.  And with sound-samples for the MEINL range of Handpan being thin on the ground at time of posting.  Should you be considering purchase - you might do well to take a listen to some of Harmonic Art's own videos (below).  In order to gain a more thorough idea of approximately what it is that you might be spending your money on. And/or possibly even grab yourself a better deal by purchasing directly from the makers (though it's worth pointing out that when purchasing the MEINL range through distributor Thomann you receive a thirty day money back guarantee, and a three year warranty, which may, or may not be offered when purchasing directly)...

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