John Packer Blog

Welcome to the John Packer blog. Here we’ll keep you updated on all the latest happenings at John Packer Ltd, all the latest music news, musical instruments and competitions.

Month List

John Packer Ltd achieve Michael Rath Official Testing Centre status

by Administrator 25. November 2009 09:06

We are very proud to announce that we now have the honour to be stocking Michael Rath trombones. We are the only specialist in the country to be given this responsibility outside Michael Rath's own Yorkshire premises.

This isn't simply a question of having the odd trombone in stock. A number of our staff and technicians have been trained by Michael's specialists and we now have an enormous selection of Michael Rath trombones, slides, bells, leadpipes and valves etc. to enable instruments to be customised precisely to fit the requirements of the most discerning player.

These instruments are a wonderful blend of function and form and are both beautifully made to the highest engineering standards and capable of playing to the highest standards.

Steve Herbert, our experienced Brass Department Manager, is in sole charge of offering a special trombone tailoring service and is looking forward to working with our customers to create their ideal instrument. Owing to the number of possibilities, this is a very worthwhile, but necessarily time consuming process and needs to be done on an appointment basis. For further details or to make an appointment please call Steve on 01823 282386. 

This also seems to be an appropriate time to say that, following a recent factory visit by Michael Rath and John Packer, we are about to take delivery of a prototype model of our new JP/Rath .500 bore tenor  trombone. Medium/large and large bore Bb/F trombones will follow close behind. We hope to have full production models of all three types available early in 2010.  Keep watching for news of the launch!

View Rath trombones



Picture: Steve Herbert shows John Packer the new Rath stock of trombones.

Antique trumpet "outstanding" says pro jazz man

by Administrator 9. November 2009 16:56

THE antique finish may make the JP251SWA look old - but it is very much a new trumpet on the brass scene.

Andy Hague - who directs the Music For You Jazz Summer School, and has acted as an external examiner for the Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama jazz degree course - tried it recently and described it as "outstanding".

He was so taken with it, he even made a recording of him playing it!

In between playing and recording Andy found time to wax lyrical about the 251SWA, here is what he said:

"For starters, this instrument looks fantastic if you like the unlaquered or vintage appearance that has become popular amongst jazz players in recent years. It also has rather snazzy valve top inlays which an eleven-year-old pupil described as “cool,” so there you have it.

"The playing characteristics of this instrument are outstanding, and as other reviewers have pointed out it does genuinely bear comparison with trumpets costing several times more. Overall I’ve found the intonation to be rather better than for the professional level instrument I’ve played for many years, requiring less lip and slide adjustment for those awkward notes. It feels comfortable and easy to play.

"The JP 251SWA represents excellent value for intermediate players, and is certainly worth considering up to professional level. Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised."

Picture: Andy Hague with the JP251SWA trumpet

Click here to buy the JP251

Jazzwise Welcome New JP231Rath Trombone

by Administrator 3. November 2009 09:01

John Packer JP231 Rath Trombone

“This is the first we are told, of a number of collaborations between retailer John Packer and manufacturer Michael Rath, with Rath having had a hand in the design of the instrument and Packer finding a quality manufacturer in China. The 231 comes with a medium-large bore and a very playable, lightweight slide. The build quality is excellent and the finishing is nothing short of superb. It’s a very responsive instrument, particularly in the middle-to-lower register, where it can really bark. The upper register needed a little getting used to, requiring as it did a lot more puff. But the tone is warm and the character of the sound suggests that the 231 would be just as comfortable in a symphony orchestra setting, as it would be used by a jazz group or big band. At a fraction of the price you might expect to pay for a horn of this quality, it all packs into a standard nylon denier semi-hard, zippered shaped case, with exterior zippered pocket, grab handles and a back harness with a Velcro flap cover.”

David Gallant

Jazzwise November 2009.

Click here to buy