Avoid cheap knockoff drums made in China.
Knockoffs are cheaply-made imitations that do not offer the same quality as the original product. They are often made with questionable materials in unregulated factories.
We are seeing an onslaught of very inexpensive knockoff metal tongue drums and handpans hitting the market, they are all made in China. We ordered several to see what the quality is like. We have also tested them in person at NAMM. What we found is very unsettling:
- Thin metal drum bodies that are not at all musical sounding (many are made from titanium).
- Notes that are out of tune.
- Some notes do not ring at all and are just dead (no sound).
- These drums will go further out of tune with use because of the thin metal.
- Travel bags rip easily, zippers break.
- Instruction booklets are in Chinese, or there is no booklet included at all.
They simply cannot be called musical instruments. We have had numerous customers contact us, asking us to repair and properly tune these drums and handpans, sadly they can't be fixed.
What can you do? Purchase from a reputable steel tongue drum maker or reseller.
We created the HAPI Drum in Oakhurst, California in 2008. We supply
the best playing instruments on the market today. We personally test
each drum right before it ships out to assure that you will enjoy your
appreciate it for years to come. We offer fast reliable shipping from
Oakhurst, California via UPS and USPS. Customers can make purchases 24
hours a day, 7 days a week via our website. We can also be contacted by phone at (559) 642-6248 or by email at email@example.com. We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell.
Customer email concerning these drums: These mass produced tongue drums from China that are being sold on Amazon and eBay are not in tune and do not sound good. The notes have not been tuned properly and they do not resonate properly, if at all. It's not even a case of: These instruments are so-so and good for a beginner but a pro drum plays better. This is a case of: These are just plain bad and they do not function as these musical instruments should function. They are faulty and do not work. These products are a scam. People are being scammed and getting screwed out of their money.
Be aware of fake reviews on Amazon, eBay and elsewhere. Reviews purchased by the sellers on the black market (see below). There are more than 150+ private Facebook groups where sellers from China openly exchange free products (and, in many cases, paid commissions) in exchange for fake 5-star reviews. This practice is illegal and Facebook takes these pages down quickly only for new ones to appear.
Actual real Amazon product reviews for these cheap knockoff drums:
- Cheap looking, cheap sounding. This review is for a
little metal drum. Read the reviews carefully because some reviews on
this listing are actually for other products! The drum is cheaply made
and I don’t recommend it. I returned it and bought one that’s not
available on Amazon.
- One tongue of the drum is flat and has no tone. Worthless.
I bought this drum for my niece's birthday, and it is unplayable due to
one of the tone tongues having no tone at all; it just sounds like a
piece of metal being struck. I can't give it to her and I can't sell it
to anyone, so it is a $70 piece of garbage.
- Don’t waste your money! Very difficult to read small print for songs. No directions for using note stickers. Have thrown it out. Waste of money.
- Not worth the money. Really cheap, poor sound.
- High pitched... not relaxing. Oddly we received one that sounds really high pitched and tinny. Its not relaxing at all. Very disappointed.
What about all those ads I see on Facebook and Instagram? A new trend, fake ads on Facebook and Instagram for tongue drums and handpans (see below). These ad companies steal your money and send you nothing in return, or they send you a completely different product. We report these ads to Facebook and Instagram but they still continue to show them. Many of these websites are hosted by Shopify.
Our photos, videos and product descriptions are being stolen and used by these 'companies'.
It is breaking our hearts to see this happening in our steel tongue drum and handpan community. Support the artists and creators who love these instruments. We love seeing the good you do with these instruments out in the world.
Our drums are available here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. As always, if you have questions or comments, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With love, rhythm & light,
Trish and Grahm
HAPI Drum | 49522 Road 426 | Oakhurst, California 93644 | Phone: (559) 642-6248