RAV Vast Drums
30 years ago I looked over at an old water tank in my yard and thought "Huh, wonder if that would work for a tongue drum?" As far as I (and many other makers) know, that was likely the very first steel tongue drum. Over the years, my drums evolved into bigger and heavier drums (see my Whale). Meanwhile a man named Dennis Halvena was experimenting with smaller drums to imitate the playability of the quite expensive and evasive Hang. A whole pile of makers ran with that idea and the tongue style hand pan proliferated. In my opinion, the RAV Vast drums are at the absolute height of the evolution of pan style drums. And after personally making many hundreds of metal tongue drums, I'm pretty picky about sound quality and playability.
That said, I'm very happy to now be carrying the RAV Vast line of Drums!
As there are too many tunings/models to list here, please visit the RAV Vast website to check them out, watch/hear each model being played, and descriptions of the tunings.
Absolutely anyone can make beautiful music with these. At the same time, the most accomplished musician can find plenty of challenge in the more esoteric tunings. For Novice musicians I'd recommend checking out the RAV Vast B Celtic Minor drum, and the RAV Vast G Minor Pentatonic.
The prices listed on the RAV site are list prices, and you can buy directly from RAV there. I can offer discounts of 15% from those prices. These are made in and shipped from Russia, so expect shipping charges to be between $100-$160.
And for a more complicated tuning for advanced players, here is the B Onoleo:
With the current 18 tunings to choose from, there is plenty variety of sound to explore.