FAQ 2017 Update
1. What is the AsaChan made from?
The AsaChan is made from chemically treated steel, which is Half-deep-drawn, Half-Hand Sunk and hand hammered into tune.
2. Who builds the AsaChan?
The AsaChan is handcrafted by the founding artisan behind EchoSoundSculptures, Ezahn Bueraheng.
The AsaChan MiRim is handcrafted by Flávio Brant Alvim
3. In what country is the AsaChan made?
The AsaChan is constructed entirely in Switzerland
4. Can I buy an AsaChan?
Unfortunately the demand for the AsaChan is extremely high. A waiting list of several thousand people was created between 2011 and 2013. The AsaChan currently being built are for the people on that list. There are no current plans to sell AsaChan to other customers.
5. How many AsaChan are built every year?
At current planned production for 2017 rates, between 20-30 AsaChan are built this year.
6. Why is building AsaChan so slow, compared to other instruments?
The AsaChan is a new instrument and continues to develop, current production rates allow for times of experimentation and research in an effort to continually improve all aspects of the instrument. All stages of building are currently done by one person and much of this by hand. Like any quality craftsmanship, this leads naturally to a lower output of completed instruments. Furthermore, I do not intend to grow my company in the traditional way. I am happy to make my creations at my current pace, where I can maintain creative control and fully ensure the quality of each sculpture.
7. What size/Thickness are the AsaChan/AsaChan MiRim?
The AsaChan is 53 cm in diameter and 26.7 cm in depth. It 1.25 mm Thickness
The AsaChan MiRim is 46 cm in diameter and 20.5 cm in depth. It 1 mm Thickness
8. How much does an AsaChan cost to buy?
The current price for an AsaChan is 2,200 CHF (the price for 2015). For 2017 are available yet.
9. Can I ask for any scale on my AsaChan?
Unfortunately all instruments of this type have subtle acoustic limitations due to their physical properties meaning that not all combinations of notes can be offered on a single instrument. The current list of offered scales represents the best note layouts for the architecture of the AsaChan. I build news scales periodically and aim to grow the list of offered scales. This list can be found on the videos page of the website http://echosoundsculptures.com/videos/
10. Does the AsaChan come with a bag?
Currently no ESS soft bag is issued with each instrument. This is due to the need for a redesign of the previous soft bag that was issued for 2013-2014 instruments. It is hoped that the new soft bag will be available in the near future. For immediate needs, the products from Hardcase Technologies are recommended.
11. Are there hard cases available for the AsaChan?
We don’t have the hard case available. But it possible to get the products from Hardcase Technologies are recommended.
12. Can the AsaChan be safely shipped?
Shipping AsaChan is a difficult task. The current architecture of the AsaChan is taller than previous making shipping less safe and considerably more expensive due to Swiss shipping rates for packages above a certain size. For the time being I request that all AsaChan are picked up in person by arrangement with Ezahn.
13. Can an AsaChan be repaired if it gets damaged?
It depends on the damage. I will need a description of the damage and most likely a video of the instrument, to hear and see the damage before an assessment can be made. Please email with Damaged AsaChan in the title.
14. Do you offer a retuning service for AsaChan?
Yes, I will retune AsaChan whenever they require it. Please email my retuning adderss: firstname.lastname@example.org.
15. Do you offer a retuning service for other tuned steel instruments/Handpans/Pantams?
Contact us here: email@example.com
16. I have general questions about playing technique, other AsaChan enthusiasts and community gatherings. Is there a way I can get information about such issues?
Yes I recommend finding out all this information by researching the major online community of these sound sculptures at www.handpan.org/forum/. There is public information there on almost all subjects to do with Handpan/Cupola/Pantam etc. Including specific information regarding the AsaChan.
17. I have received my AsaChan but I don’t like the sound model that I chose. Can I request a change of instrument?
No, each AsaChan is made to the scale requested by the customer and cannot be exchanged for a new one. I ask that care is taken over which sound model you wish. I strongly recommend getting experience playing an AsaChan or similar instrument to familiarise yourself with different scales. If this is impossible, then make use of the videos on this website and recordings/videos and comments on websites such as www.handpan.org/fourm/. These will help you reach a final decision.
18. Can I sell my AsaChan?
You can sell your AsaChan, there is no agreement necessary regarding second hand sales. I would advise people who are less familiar with the handpan community that it is generally encouraged that such rare instruments are not bought and sold simply for profit. I especially ask that AsaChan do not be placed for sale on ebay or any other similar auction website. I will refuse to retune any AsaChan that is sold in this manner for profit.
19. Do you have a problem with me swapping/trading my AsaChan?
No you are free to swap your AsaChan for whatever you wish.
20. Do you recommend any care and maintenance procedures for the AsaChan.
Yes it is strongly recommended that players wipe the surface of the instrument with a microfiber cloth after each and every session of playing. This will help remove skin-oils and prevent rusting.
21. Do you recommend any regular cleaning and protecting methods for the AsaChan
Yes, it is recommended that the surfaces of the instrument are cleaned with an alcohol solution to remove any build-up of salts or oils. A 70 % solution of ethanol or isopropanol is very effective. Once the instrument has been cleaned and dried, protective oil (such as Coconut Oil or Phoenix Oil) can be gently rubbed into the steel and given time to penetrate the surface. It is recommended that only the minimum necessary amount of oil be applied and that any excess is removed before playing otherwise the sound and volume of the instrument may be impaired.
22. Does each AsaChan have a serial number?
No, I do not put serial numbers on my AsaChan. Each instrument will be signed by me and will have the name of the scale. I also inscribe the date the AsaChan was glued.