Well I took the chance myself, and ordered a steel tongue drum from Manastone, tuned in F minor, which arrived in just two days. And I had a huge positive surprise! My previous I , somewhat limited, experience with hand pans had left me disappointed. I owned a Hapi original drum that had sweet tone and impeccable tuning, but it was very quiet and did not sound as brilliant and loud as in the videos (sold) Then got a big HAPI Ufo which unfortunately was a disappointment: not only it sounded quiet, but its big chamber creates such an annoying resonance that makes the sequence of notes very muddy and confused (returned for a refund…) I was even thinking about giving up with steel tongue drums and wait for my Disco Armonico to arrive from Italy.. but then I had the chance to get this drum, hand made in Georgia by Noah Pulver. It sounds very musical, it is loud, it has impeccable intonation (I double checked with a chromatic tuner) and, more over, it reacts extremely well to different techniques, like rest strokes and/or dampening. It can sound sharp and edgy, or sweet, depending from how you play it, how open you leave the bottom hole, and how much you dampen the notes with the other hand. Last but not least, it has a pleasant sustain and decay, but not too long to create a messy sound when several notes are played in sequence. I believe that the good result is achieved by the thickness of the metal which is not very thick (much thinner than the HAPI) and by the size of the drum which is not too high.
Last, but not least, it has nine tongues instead of the standard eight (OK Spike I know that you make them with 11 tongues!).
I am sure that there are many other great drum makers out in the market (Spike, FocoRock Star) but I can’t comment on that because I never had the chance to play one of their drums personally. But I really believe that the ManaStone drum deserves more recognition.
If you are willing to spend $250.00 on a steel tongue drum with your choice of tuning, I dare to suggest that you can put Noah among your options
And I live in Michigan, with no link whatsoever with the ManaStone Drum company.