The iskra handpan
by Symphonic Steel
We’ve Moved to Aurora, Colorado!
The order backlog is being worked through from the downtime during the move. Thank you for your patience!
I am beyond happy with the Handpan I received from Sean. To see someone who takes pride in their craft in creating such a piece of art is amazing. Just by watching Sean’s videos & seeing how he speaks about the instrument with such prestigious intellect brings me great joy knowing the hard work this man puts into his craft.
The instrument arrived yesterday and is positively magnificent. A work of incredible virtuosity. Clear, resonant, immaculately balanced and possessed of beautiful character. Though I’ve played for a long time on many quality instruments, this is undoubtedly one of the finest I’ve laid hands on. Rarely does one find this combination of precision and soul. Just wanted to thank you for a fabulous job.
Hi Sean, just wanted to confirm that I received my beautiful pygmy
yesterday, and I am THRILLED with it! It is addicting to play, and I
can’t wait to check out techniques so I can learn more about crafting
I appreciate the time and effort that went into this instrument.
Keep up the good work, and I thank you again for providing this fine
piece for my musical journeys!
I ended purchasing one of his Iskra Motif models during the visit. I’m so glad that I did as I’m getting so much joy out of playing it. It sounds so beautiful and it keeps sounding more and more amazing as I become better at striking the tone fields. I’m definitely seeing myself having one of Sean’s flagship models when I become a better handpan player.
For my first handpan, I searched an inexpensive model and found the Iskra Motif series by Symphonic Steel. Despite the price, no compromises were made regarding the sound – it sounds perfect to me. I love it!
Also the service was perfect, all my e-mails have been answered fast, very friendly and competent.
Thank you very much for this great instrument!
What an amazing experience I had!
Sean was super friendly and took his time to explain so many important details about getting a good quality hand pan.
He has an incredible knowledge about hand pan in general. Excellent customer service!
Im really happy with my purchase!
Just got my new D kurd & Melog Selisir .. both sound amazing!!.. tone , quality, craftsmanship , as well as receiving the items sooner than expected “.. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the purchase “.. I highly recommend Symphonic steel.. you won’t be disappointed “..
Hi Sean. Received my handpan today. It arrived so carefully packaged from CA all the way to the Adirondack Mts of NY State. The handpan sounds lovely & requires only a soft touch. The engravings on top & bottom are a nice feature as well, with the scale sound model & origin of handpan indicated. I am very happy with the handpan & will enjoy it immensely. Thanks so much!!
Inspired by the PANArt Hang®, the ISKRA Handpan is the most refined version of the original sound sculpture.
The PANArt Hang (also known as the “Hang Drum”) was the starting point for a hand-played tuned steel instrument. Gaining its roots from the steel pan from Trinidad and Tobago, it combined the beautiful sound of singing steel with a direct touch of the hands. The original instrument, consisting of 7 to 9 notes, was simple enough to not be intimidating to the novice, but allowed for nearly anyone to start down the path of playing and enjoying music for themselves.
I, Sean Beever of Symphonic Steel, have been producing some of the world’s best handpans since 2013. Years of metallurgical and acoustical research have helped form the Iskra handpan as it is known today.
Many people are familiar with the original sound sculpture design from PANArt in the early 2000s (known as the Hang®). The Iskra has built upon those same techniques and principles to create an even more amazing handpan.
Each Iskra handpan is hand-crafted by myself, Sean Beever, in my workshop located in Aurora, Colorado.
The Original Sound… Refined.
The Iskra’s successful ‘back to the basics’ design is proven by the original sound sculptures conceived in Bern, Switzerland over 20 years ago. Many people know these original sound sculptures as a “hang drum”. To learn more about why we don’t call our handpans “hang drums” instead, check out this article.
In the vast world of handpans, the Iskra offers simplicity coupled with sonic excellence. Handpan masters and novices alike can create beautiful music at the tips of their fingers with the Iskra Handpan.
Each Iskra handpan is hand-crafted and tuned by Sean Beever, a master steel tuner with more than 18 years of experience.
With over 750 handpans individually crafted and sold world-wide since 2013, Symphonic Steel is a top producer of quality handpan instruments.
The Iskra handpan has recently been performed with by the talented Dan Mulqueen in the last live performance of Shpongle at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado!
Our handpans are generally built to order, but sometimes we have some for sale immediately! If you see “sold out” handpans, just place an order for one here!
Why Are Handpans So Expensive, you ask?
After all, handpans are just metal bowls with dents, right? Wrong!
The cost of a handpan today ranges from $999 (See our “Motif Series”) all the way up to $5000. This usually surprises the uninitiated, to say the least! But why are they so expensive???
While they appear to be very simple in architecture, handpans are actually extremely complex. The unique sound you hear from them is created by the coupling of many frequencies that have all been tuned into each note or tone field. This complicated process of handpan tuning takes years, even decades, to master. Even with experience, the tuning process for each handpan requires a significant amount of time.
This process also can’t be done by machinery as many would like to believe. It is certainly possible to make something that looks like a handpan with machines, but it won’t ever sound like one! A talented handpan tuner simply must bring the magical sound of tuned steel into the instrument themselves.
Like many things in today’s world, you will get what you pay for, and the handpan world is no different. With handpans copies being made in large factories in China, many of us established steel tuners are seeing the handpan instrument tainted by low-quality tuning, and non-existent customer service. Such is the way of the world, but many of us encourage a prospective buyer to do their due diligence before purchasing any handpan.
The Iskra Handpan on Instagram!
What is a Handpan ‘Sound Model’?
Many musical instruments people have heard of are “fully chromatic”. This means that they can play any musical note in the western musical scale, A through G. A piano would be the most classical example of this.
Handpans, on the other hand, are not fully chromatic. Instead, they have a specific and defined selection of notes. This selection of notes has been coined as a ‘sound model’ in the handpan world. There are many, many handpan sound models in existence. Each sound model will invoke a certain ‘mood’; some are happy, some are sad, and some are quite exotic.
Since the selection of notes is fewer than a ‘fully chromatic’ musical instrument, it is much easier for anyone, regardless of their musical knowledge, to pick up a handpan and create beautiful music on it.