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from: barry mason

I'd like to add the hand pan family to the list of instruments.The HANG was the first of this family, and remains an extraordinarily beautiful and powerful tool for meditation, and whose sound can be released by anyone within a few minutes of familiarity. Unfortunately the enormous worldwide demand for theHANG has far outstripped the ability of its creators to supply, and this situation has created a "black market" , as well as triggering a great deal of speculation and misinformation on the internet. However there are alternative instruments in the "hand pan" family. I have played, and can personally recommend the HALO , produced in America by Pantheon Steel. There is also the BELL, by BELLART in Spain, which I hope to sample soon. The CAISA is another candidate, although it must be approached as an instrument in its own right, and not just as a HANG substitute. There are also many steel tongue drums, which look similar to the HANG, but can be distinguished by the fact that they have their individual notes cut out so that they resonate free from the surrounding metal, and thus do not have the range of subtle harmonics of the HANG or the HALO. These vary widely in quality. I have tried, and would recommend the ECLIPSE, but have not yet encountered others of a similar quality. Barry Mason

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