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Can John Public walk into any store that sells pan and purchase one and be sure that he's getting a quality instrument.

 

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In my opinion, NO! The old folks have an expression for this... Bon maché ka kouté chè...

Wi, gason. Sa se bagay ki bon vre. Men le w gade, si w beswen monte an ti atelier pw montre ti moun yo jwe pan, w tini de solisyon: swa w kapab fe pan yo siw konnet kijan, swa w achte yo. In any case it becomes a tough proposition when you are confronted, as we are, in country where these instruments are not manufactured and pan playing hardly enjoys any support. We have to import them, pay full price and have not benefited from any help in most instances so far, and yes, cost is a huge factor. This explains why the practice of this regional instrument is so low, and except from some real aficionados, practically inexistent. I am in Martinique.

For commercial purposes I think its ok if you want it as a hobby but if you plan to perform professionally its best to go custom made by the recognized tuners.In Ohio there's a company well established but I hesitate to buy one because I depend on pan for a living has been for the last 30 yrs so I have to be particular because sometimes members of the audience want to sing with the band and if you're out of tune it exposes any inadequacy of the instrument..so for that reason I stick with the pros even if I have to travel 400 miles to virginia to tune it

I believe the pans that are sold in those store are inferior but sometimes John Public has no choice because they want to get one for their kid so they buy it because they don't know of any tuners in their town. It's always better to buy from the tuner himself . So all in all I would say no to the question .Contact Birch Kellman if you. want a good pan .

Buy your Pan from Guppy Brown and get Birch Kellman to Blend it (fine tune it)

Some of the distributors ship all over the planet...

Pan making technology is now available world wide and we have to accept that. But I still think that Trinidad is missing the boat by not establishing a "Made in Trinidad " label , and making that the internationally accepted standard for a quality pan (like a Stradivarius violin)

Absolutely right. This would not only be a hallmark & guarantee quality, but also

remind customers where pan comes from.

I agree with the other posts. As I found out, there are many intricacies with the instrument, ie how well the are harmonics/octaves tuned, resonance, blah blah blah. I think that the answer depends on what you are going to be using it for. Professionals will most likely know a few tuners that they deal with and purchase directly from them. If it is for a child/beginner, then alot of the little things would not matter yet. For example, choosing to go chrome or not, is there a difference? - most definitely - will a beginner really be able to appreciate that difference - probably not so much because he will be focused on actually learning the pan, plus they can always just chrome the pan later. Walking into any store does not guarantee a quality pan. Do the research on the business and read some reviews. Hope this makes sense :)

GRJ some tuners put their mark on their pans but the made in Trinidad idea is a good one to add to this so even if it was store bought you would know who tuned it and where it was made . Long and Mcquade music stores here in Toronto sell pans made by local Toronto tuners . It's usually less expensive to buy from the tuners directly but people don't know who they are. I only know of two here. Tommy Chritchlow and Earl ( Pow) Wong.

Pans should only be bought from recognised tuners such as Brown,Birch Kellman, Mapo,Dudley Dickson, Toussaint Clarke and other recognised tuners especially if you want them to last with constant playing.

Ah At last someone has reminded me of the tuner closest to me Toussaint Clarke of Rainbow Steel Orchestra in Bath UK now I just need his phone number, My tenor is in desperate need of a good re-tune

Randi

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