Nowhere is this more true than with the bodhran. Unfortunately a number of factors and lack of awareness have come together to produce cheap nasty drums that vendors call 'bodhrans'. These are most of the cheap drums that you will see at a cheap price. Crossbars and decals/beer logos are warning signs.
These drums are generally made in the far east or India by people who do not understand how the drum should sound.
Cheaponasty drums will not give you the deep sound that you hear in recordings or on stage. View the videos to the left. eBay is a terrific place for people to buy and sell drums but with a cheap drum you will get what you pay for. You will not get the proper deep sound. You will often get a better result and a meal if you buy a pizza and play on the box. QED
For more information and to discuss anything bodhran, please visit bodojo.com, It's friendly & free!
You should buy a drum by a known maker or hunt down a second-hand instrument. Many collectors have several drums and recycle their past-favourites back into circulation, not because they are bad drums but because their owner has BAD - Bodhran Acqisition Disorder- a strong & untrollable urge to buy new drums.
In all seriousness, you should be expecting to pay around £200 upwards for a drum that will perform. Look for a good skin first & foremost, a good skin on a plain shell is better than a bad skin on an pretty 'shiny thing'. Be wary of paying extra for expensive woods or decoration unless you are confident that the skin is first rate.
Putting impartiality aside, there are a few bodhran builders who I know personally that always deliver and you can buy with confidence. Others will have different opinions but these are my personal recommendations. The auctions below are for instruments by these makers only!
:: Metloef (NL) :: Seamus O'Kane (IRL) :: Diarmaid O'Kane (UK)
:: Albert Alfonso (US) :: Mike Quinlan (US) :: Darius Bartlett (FR)
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There may be no auctions or onlt a few - depending on there drums available for sale.
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