The making

Stainless steel Handpan by Metal Sounds


The manufacturing process of Spacedrum is the result of several years of study and research. This is an exciting and complex percussion to manufacture. Our initial purpose, the convergence of the 5 parameters below, is now acquired

Sound Quality
Ergonomics game
New Formats
Best Quality/price ratio


For almost 30 years Philippe Maignaut manufactures and tunes steel drums (pan drums) in the South of France. Several years of research in mechanical production of steel drums, and experience by making traditional "pans", have been used to build the Spacedrum project. By using specific tools, we offer a full range of Spacedrum designed and assembled with great care from selected stainless steel sheets (special alloy), using a mechanical process. The tuning is an Art. This know-how acquired along the years is a quality guarantee that we can now produce reliable and sunstainable instruments.

We offer 2 different handpan lines: Spacedrum EVOLUTION®, made of stainless steel, and Spacedrum NITRO®, made of nitrided steel.

How our Spacedrum are different from other handpans?

Most of the handpan makers are buying their shells from the same suppliers, like Ayasa® or Shellopan® for instance.It’s simple and convenient but the acoustical result sounds pretty much the same and the makers can hardly set their own sounding signature on such a pre-shaped and already treated material. They do not control all the manufacturing stages of their handpans.

Metal Sounds team gives a special care to the material we use and also to the heat treatment. We believe that it is what makes each instrument a unique piece of Art. We select carefully our raw-material batches, according to the vibrating and mechanical properties we’re looking for. As a result our handpans have a specific sounding label that we can reproduce from one piece to another.

As a matter of fact, Metal Sounds, as the first handpan maker in France, takes advantage of a know-how learnt on the long run that helps us to build high quality intuitive percussions, very reliable and with a remarkable sounding quality.


Building and tuning a handpan seems to be quite easy at the first look. 2 metal plates, few tools and patience. Actually, not less than 24 stages are necessary to make a Metal Sounds handpan! The main important of them will help you to figure out the extraordinary process that leads to create a high quality handpan.

Everything starts with the raw-material selection. It’s an essential stage that has a tremendous influence on the making process and the final quality of the instrument. Since our metal plates are selected, according to their thickness and their alloy, we reproduce the manual stretching and sinking of the bottom shells with a customized tool that gives a perfect result in terms of shaping and surface condition. The sound hole is made with a press, then we do the heat treatment in our oven. We use our press to shape the tone fields and we hammer them by hand before a first tuning round. The top shell (dome) is burnt and is tuned again. At last, the two shells are stuck together, whether by welding or by gluing, depending on the Spacedrum line (Evolution is welded while Nitro is glued). Once these stages are done, we do the final tuning and blending until we get a perfectly balanced instrument.

All our Spacedrum come with a deluxe protective bag & care lubricant or wax. We ship the musical instruments in a very solid cardboard box, specially designed for a safe delivery to our customers all around the world.


We make our handpans in France because we want to keep control on our process and the monitoring. We actually control every single stage of our handpans manufacturing, from the purchase of the raw-material to the shells shaping, passing by all the heat treatment steps, until the handpan finishing. We have then more flexibility to modify and improve our work in order to reach the best quality as possible.

Each handpan is a unique musical instrument, a fully handcrafted sound sculpture. That is also why we can respond to specific requests, like custom scales for instance.


The tongue drum, originally built from a propane gaz tank, has been improved by Elie Dacenko (Metal Sounds), designer of the Zenko, thanks to a close partnership with an Industrial subcontractor. While the manufacturing is processed industrialy, the tuning and the finishes are hand made. Each instrument is finely tuned with Linotune for a reliable and guaranteed result.

The Zenko is the result of a successful collaboration between Industry and Arts and Crafts. An instrument 100 % made in France that proposes a professional quality affordable for all!


To ensure the Zenko production in France is to ensure the quality control and the monitoring. The full manufacturing process is easily controllable, from the purchase of raw materials to the finished instrument. Each Zenko is unique, fully manually granted, so this home-made work permits us to answer to special queries. We carry out specific tunings such as in 432 Hz.


Until 2011 the Steeldrums were completely hand made in our own workshop by Metal Sounds, in a constant quality preoccupation. Today we're missing time to build the Steeldrums and the Spacedrums in the same time, that's why we decided to import the Steeldrums from Trinidad and Tobago where we've been personaly to settle all the details with our partners, among the best manufacturers and tuners of the island.


Regarding the number of existing patterns we have decided to make choices. We propose what we consider to be the best formula regarding the visibility and the acoustic quality. Our patterns choices are a result of research and several experiments. All the "Classic" patterns can be done and we can also realize custom instruments (after a study).


All the Steeldrums are tuned with precision and very carefully and they're all checked when we receive them. They're all checked with a stromboscopic tuner that analyzes all the frequencies. The ear of the maker added to that technology give a reliable result. Thanks to more than 15 years of experience we can tune and re-tune almost any steelpan or handpan.


Our workshop in France also guarantees our customers efficient and fast service, with adapted tools to repair and/or re-grant any instrument. Re-granting a Steeldrum or a Spacedrum costs between 70 € and 200 € maximum. We will do a specific study and an preliminary estimate for each case, we start the work after your validation.

Knowledge made in France
Knowledge made in France
Creator of unique instruments
Creator of unique instruments
Artisanal production for optimum quality
Artisanal production for optimum quality
Personalized advice and customer services
Personalized advice and customer services

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