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Modern Singing Bowls

While you won’t find a contemporary bowl for sale on this site, it is important to understand the landscape.

Bowls and Bells

There is a very important fundamental distinction in the manufacturing process between singing bowls and bells. I would say it is analogous to the difference between woven and knit fabric; you may not notice it because the result is so similar but once you look close you discover they are actually in different worlds. This distinction can be summed up as :

Hammered or Cast?

Bells are cast. Hot metal is poured into a form, allowed to cool, broken out then finished by removing metal with abrasive tools and materials. Singing bowls are hammered. Metal that is either very hot or room temperature cold is beaten into shape with usually very Antique temple belllittle finishing in the end. The difference between these two methods is plain to the ear. The compression of the hammering process adds a complexity to the tone that a cast bell generally lacks. I say generally because precious metals can go a long way towards augmenting the tone of any metal object. The 300 year old temple bell in the picture is cast. It has just as much metal as a singing bowl but nowhere near the staying power.

New Singing Bowls

I have visited places in Asia where they were making new metal singing bowls with hand methods. My own personal singing bowl making experience was using cold metal. From what I’ve seen the usual way to do it involves pounding on red hot metal. The process is quicker, a set of three or four singing bowls might take fifteen minutes to form from a multi-layered planchet. Generally it requires more than one person working on the bowls at a time. After forming the bowl there are rough edges and soot to be worked out and markings to be added. You can get fairly decent sound out of a newly made hammered bowl, especially if the metal used is of high quality. Mostly, though, you get harsh tones that lack resonance. High quality metal in this case means more complex with some precious metal content and, if possible, including old metal objects as the source.

New Bowls, Antique Finish

New metal singing bowls tend to look new when they are made but a little bath in acid can add a darker, more antique finish

There is a group in the Kathmandu valley making rather pleasant looking medium thick Jambati singing bowls out of a good quality mix of metals. They have a solid export trade as I see their singing bowls in stores both in the US and Europe. These singing bowls have a darker finish like some antiques but are lacking the decorative features and wear patterns of old singing bowls. I have seen huge singing bowls, ones you can stand in. They’re great fun but like all new metal sound bowls, they lack the sonic complexity of great old singing bowls.

Machine Made Brass Bowls

The least expensive method of making new singing bowls is to leave out the hand labor. Machine-made bowls can be wonderfully clear and consistent, with no variation from bowl to bowl. They can sound pretty good, especially the small ones in the higher octaves, but there is a hollowness to the sound that is readily apparent once you ring a good old singing bowl next to them. Singing bowls made out of machines are often dressed up with chemical etching, antique finishing, and even sometimes cast figurines.

Best Singing Bowls is in the business of providing extremely high quality genuine antiques to individuals who value both antiquity and beautiful sound. I find the old singing bowls have character and energy that is missing from any 21st century bowl. There are lots of places you can go to get mass produced new singing bowls and some of them are quite inexpensive. I’m really interested in conveying antique singing bowls, not moving a lot of product so I’ve passed on the easy opportunity to import modern metal sound bowls with my old ones.

Singing Bowl Buyer Beware

If you see a singing bowl with etching, big Tibetan letters, and symbols or a little statue at the bottom it is a new singing bowl. Unfortunately, there are also places selling new “antique finished” singing bowls as old ones. Sometimes this is ignorance, but more often, malice. However, it happens it causes confusion and tarnishes the reputation of genuine antiques. Modern deliberate fakes never replicate the complex older singing bowl styles, for the most part they are simple Thadobati and Jambati shapes. Look for thin even rims, round bottoms, clunky hammer marks, no design features, very consistent color, and patina. Oh yes, and listen to the sound.

Fake Lingam Singing Bowls

While you aren’t going to see a fake thick and heavy bowl such as a Mani style, there are high end bowls that are subject to forgery. In recent times as supply dwindles there has been an emergence of fake lingam singing bowls, specifically the most rare and expensive Jambati and Thadobati types. When these fakes are made new telltale signs are in the patina, shape of the lingam, and distribution of metal. Lingams are so valuable people will start with an old bowl and add a lingam. Sometimes the lingam is a blob of metal arc welded onto the bottom and hammered into shape. You can see this at the interface between the original bowl and the lingam. Other times the bottom of the old bowl is hammered up. Here you can tell by the relative thinness of the metal and some wavy distortions in the metal caused by heating.

Lingam forgeries are all you see in the markets of old-town Delhi these days. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen forgeries and fake singing bowls on usually reputable websites where the people running them aren’t knowledgeable enough and believe the lies of the sellers. This forgery scene is really a shame as the true lingams are ceremonial objects where an energetic lineage is carried from the maker through the owners.

Tibetan Singing Bowls

Singing Bowl Types

What Our Customers Say

Bob MetivierBob Metivier
17:26 09 May 24
Ryan, your L6 medium mallet is amazing! Your attention to particular needs in detail is the reason I decided to make my purchases with you.
Aria ThomeAria Thome
17:28 22 Apr 24
Ryan is absolutely amazing at his craft. He cares so deeply that you get matched with the right bowl(s) and will go out of his way to make this happen for you. His knowledge is unsurpassable and purchasing from him allows you to tap into his bottomless education and knowledge!!
Zara D'SouzaZara D'Souza
15:43 03 Apr 24
My entire experience was so seamless. The website is so flexible and easy to navigate. For anyone looking to build a bowl collection, this is the right place to go. I highly recommend reaching out to Ryan. He was so helpful and supportive in guiding me and making sure I make the right decisions. His suggestions were spot on and Im glad I trusted him!! The shipping and tracking was really great as well. The bowls were well packaged when shipped to me. I got an email with the tracking info and Ryan was a great communicator during this phase as well. In the end, I am very happy with the set I acquired.
Zachary NewtonZachary Newton
16:32 14 Mar 24
You are in excellent hands here with Ryan if you are just embarking on your singing bowl journey.I came knowing I wanted a deep resonant bowl or two when I initially reached out. This began a months' long dialogue with Ryan, who was nothing but patient and generous with his time, sending me recordings of additional bowls not on the website and answering my many questions. Over this period, I spent hours listening to dozens of bowls, beginning to figure out what resonated most with me and expanding my search from there. I ended up putting together a small set. When I found a few bowls I was pretty sure I wanted to be the core of this set, Ryan offered to put them on hold for me while I spent some more time listening to additional bowls. So whether you know exactly what you want, or you just have a vague inclination and see yourself at the beginning of a journey--like I was--you have come to a good place.When I finally made up my mind and ordered my bowls, they arrived impeccably packed and already sounding familiar after having spent months listening to their recordings. I have been very happy with them. In the months since, I have spent many hours playing them, and have even added a couple more. I am still on that Journey I began a year ago, and I continue to value the care and patience that Ryan puts into his work as a guide along my path.
Philip MartinPhilip Martin
23:15 08 Mar 24
I heard about singing bowls many years ago but stored their existence in memory. I recently heard what they sounded like on a recording, which piqued my interest. I began looking into where I could obtain some of these bowls and found many options on the internet. I decided on Best Singing Bowls. The website has many different bowls that allow searching for specific notes, octaves, types of bowls, and much more. The website has an image of the bowl and two soundtracks that let you hear what the bowl sounds like. I found this very helpful and received help from Best Singing Bowls on how to play the bowls, the types of ringers and mallets, and the bowl's history. I asked many questions because I knew little about singing bowls. Delivery of the orders came exceptionally fast. I will look to Best Singing Bowls for future additions and ask for the promptly answered guidance I found immeasurably helpful. I found the entire experience very straightforward and seamless. The website has a vast amount of information on the many tabs related to singing bowls.
SvetaSveta
03:56 12 Feb 24
This was the best shopping experience I have ever had online. Ryan has provided an exceptional customer service. He replied to all my questions timely and his suggestions helped me to find the perfect addition to my set. I am very satisfied with the quality and the sound of my newly acquired ancient singing bowls. I received them within a few days of the purchase. Thank you, Ryan!
Jim ManganiJim Mangani
13:32 14 Dec 23
Ryan provides outstanding customer service, quality bowls, and every accessory you might need at highly competitive prices. I've purchased his precision mallet set which is a must for anybody serious about getting the most out of their instruments, in addition to a number of other accessories. I recently purchased a large jambati and Ryan answered all my questions quickly and courteously. He has always shipped items quickly and is a man of his word. You can feel confident doing business with him. On top of this, he has one of the best websites in the business for sorting through his expansive inventory. If you're considering buying anything from him, you should not hesitate!
“Best Singing Bowls is absolutely the right name for Ryan’s collection! It’s been many occasions for many years now that I have not only found bowls with beautiful sounds and energy in Ryan’s collection - but also the kind of bowls that you know the instant you ring them that they are special - unique - with a sound and a power beyond normal understanding. That’s the beauty and the magic of singing bowls. And on top of that Ryan is the best to guide you - always withimmediate precise response and he provides a fast and secure shipment. I can highly recommend Ryan and Best Singing Bowls.” - Shanti inga
Mojca StudenMojca Studen
07:03 22 Nov 23
The very experience of choosing the singing bowls was a pleasure; not only are the audio recordings of the bowls extremely high quality, the collector Ryan himself kindly offered to help me a lot in choosing the right bowls.The shipment arrived quickly, even across the Atlantic.I am absolutely delighted with the singing bowls I bought! The richness of sound and resonances is extraordinary. And all this for a fairly affordable price.Ryan thank you!
Laurie LowenLaurie Lowen
12:29 03 Nov 23
Ryan will answer every question that you have honestly and knowledgeably.He has gathered the best and largest collection of antique Tibetan Singing Bowls in the world.He has a huge inventory that is all cataloged with musical chakra note(s), vibration in hertz, condition, decoration, inscription and includes actual sound for you to listen to the bowl being used with a beater and with a wand. He has tons of wands and beaters to choose from, including those handmade by Frank Perry the world’s leading authority on Himalayan bowls in England.I started with one bowl and was so happy with it and what it did for my life, that over the past two years, I now have six bowls that I have gotten from Ryan. I love every single bowl and play them all every day just for me.These Tibetan bowls are way more powerful than the crystal bowls that are in vogue. Crystal bowls are machine made and have no history. The bowls that Ryan collects and sells are full of old wisdom and energy and years of use. If you listen while you play one, you will receive information and understanding and they will actually tell you how to play them and talk to you. I am a shamanic drum practitioner for the last 30 years and these are one of the best tools in addition to drums for healing that I have ever used. If you are ready to open yourself and receive healing and peace….get one of these bowls. I can guarantee you this as that has happened to me. You will find there is one there that is calling you. Blessings to whoever reads this🙏
Lisa BushmanLisa Bushman
21:26 17 Jan 23
Ryan has helped me develop a set of singing bowls for my sound studio in OH. He has a large selection of bowls and they have great sound quality. Love working with him!
at01musicat01music
19:22 28 Nov 22
I have been collecting antique singing bowls for over 10 years and just recently discovered Best Singing Bowls’ online store. In a short time, it has become my go-to for finding new bowls that add interest to my singing bowl arrangements. BSB’s inventory is quite large and includes types of antique bronze bowls with different geometries and thicknesses I haven’t seen or listened to before.At first, I was drawn just to familiar jambati and thadobati bowls, but after exploring other possibilities I have become a fan of the otherly-appearing trapezoid bowl. The first one I selected sounds cold as steel and reminds me of the clang of a temple bell I heard every day I was in Varanasi 24 years ago. Another small trapezoid I found has a tone similar to its thadobati companions and contributes a well-tuned 5th octave G#, the new crowning high note of my bowl set.My singing bowl experience has also been enlivened by the Best Singing Bowls Precision Mallet sets. The weights and hardness’s of the mallet heads are designed to produce varying tone colors for small, medium and large bowls. The length and balance of the stick handles make it easier for me to reach bowls and strike them accurately in a timely way with less effort than before. They are fun to use and have mostly replaced my use of other strikers. I love to play the bowls and listen to their tones and harmonics interacting to create kaleidoscopic, resonant patterns that gradually fade away into silence when playing stops. For me, it is an exquisite and deeply comforting sound (and no sound) experience.As others mention, the sound recordings and detailed physical descriptions on the website make it easy to compare bowls and select one that best suits your needs. I’ve also found BSB’s customer support to be very responsive and helpful. Pricing is quite reasonable and return policies are buyer-friendly. Highly recommended!
Dylan TweneyDylan Tweney
18:12 23 Jun 22
Ryan has an amazing collection of singing bowls (which I mostly use as bells) and he's really helpful at providing personalized advice and guidance on which ones to select. I have bought two bowls from him so far and they are magnificent: they produce a variety of resonant sounds with long sustain and great complexity. I also really appreciate his efforts to provide accurate descriptions and high-quality sound files for each bowl.
Mel JonesMel Jones
15:57 13 Apr 22
Just wanted to say thank you for the speedy delivery. The bowls are both wonderful and a great addition to my small but happy collection. Appreciate the service.
Sara JennenSara Jennen
13:12 05 Apr 22
I was looking for a singing bowl. Started by looking at new bowls that were priced ridiculously and were obviously factory produced. I stumbled upon this site and filled out the contact form. Ryan got back to me within a few hours. He travels the world to collect antique bowls. He is obviously knowledgeable and passionate about the work he does. After a conversation where he learned a little about me and my intended use of the bowls, I ended up letting him select 3 for me from his extensive collection. I received manipuri bowls that sound magnificent. I have already begun incorporating them into my yoga and meditation practice. I intend to add to my collection over time. I hope that someday I can visit California to select my bowls in person....or maybe even Nepal;) Sat Nam.
Patty CarmodyPatty Carmody
23:54 28 Mar 22
I have been wanting to own a singing bowl for a long time and finally have received a beautiful one from Ryan. His website is interesting on its own for history and detailed knowledge and also has the capability of playing the different tones the bowls can produce. Mine was very true to that sound. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated Ryan’s patience and assist in choosing a bowl and the correct mallets. Mine has a low resonance with higher overtones depending on how it is played and is absolutely beautiful. All of his bowls are antique so you don’t have to worry about whether it is a “new” one made to look old. Everything in the process from beginning to end was a pleasure. No worries and the bowls arrived safe and sound (0h - that’s a good pun ha!) Thank you Ryan!
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Huge selection of antique singing bowls with detailed information and two sound clips.
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