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

Road Closures: Mon 24 June - Fri 12 July

by Administrator 21. June 2013 13:20

Please remember that there will be road closures close to the John Packer shop for the next couple of weeks. This is part of Wessex Water's £16 million scheme to improve the quality of drinking water in Taunton and the surrounding areas. The shop will still be open as normal with our usual opening times (Mon - Fri 9.30 - 17:00 & Sat 9.00 - 17:00). If you have any queries please don't hesitate to contact us on 01823 282386. Further information about Wessex Water's scheme is available on www.wessexwater.co.uk/taunton.

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Shop news

Garrath Beckwith reviews the JP233 Rath "a real winner of an instrument"

by Administrator 17. June 2013 11:25

"I was absolutely delighted to be asked to write a review for the latest instrument produced by Taunton based music-meisters John Packer Ltd. I have in my educational capacity bought a vast array of the JP instrument range for my students at beginner and more advanced level.

There are many different Bass Trombones on the market today with many different combinations and options available to suit every individual need. In this day and age where there is a tendency to veer towards large equipment and gadgetry it is reassuring to see that a companies like Michael Rath and John Packer create a single Bb/F Bass Trombone set-up that works so effectively – in the JP233RATH Bass Trombone they have created a real winner of an instrument."


Quality of Build:
Craftsmanship is something that we come to expect of the JP instrument range and the JP233RATH does not disappoint! I have bought a variety of instruments from the highly successful collaborations between top British instrument manufacturers and John Packers. My first job was to check all the joints that hold the bell section together as this is sometimes an area for improvement. I was massively impressed as they were all neatly finished with excellent high quality (80:20) lacquer work. The quality of the slide is what we come to expect from a Michael Rath designed product – a smooth action with a quality response. The slide width is perfect for both amateur and professional players – great ergonomics that give a comfortable feel when holding the instrument. The weight of the trombone is well balanced, this is aided by a removable counterweight. The instrument is entirely made of dark yellow brass and the finish is immaculate. Overall: Many student / mid-level Bass Trombones feel light and flimsy the JP233RATH goes against this stigma with a real feel of quality. I consider the build quality of the JP233RATH to be fantastic.

Valve and Wrap:
The JP233RATH has a standard traditional style Bb/F rotor married with the more modern open wrap which allows a free blowing valve section with just the right amount of resistance required in a single valve Bb/F bass trombone. The valve has an adjustable trigger lever which caters perfectly for younger players and the valve itself has a lightening quick reliable mechanism, very similar to the popular Rotax valve offered on Michael Rath professional model Bass Trombones. I spent quite a lot of time working on the lower valve register and the ease of blowing really is quite superb. The traditional style valve gives a focused, even core of sound throughout the entire low register.

Leadpipe:
The instrument adopts a Michael Rath designed fixed leadpipe that displays terrific flexibility throughout the whole register of the instrument. Flexibilities work smoothly and effectively in each slide position and each and every note slots into place with ease: the high register is effortless as is the low valve and extreme pedal register work very well providing a true sounding instrument with just the right amount of resistance required in the middle and high range.

Quality of Sound:
Personally I think the sound this instrument produces is fantastic: focused and warm with a little bite when required - just as it should be. I played a variety of exercises, solos, studies and excerpts at various dynamic ranges and the sound holds well throughout: the instrument does not burst in the louder extremes and it holds a nice focused sound at the more delicate dynamic levels. The fixed leadpipe allows for clear projection and intonation at different dynamics using a variety of different styles of articulation.

Intonation:
Intonation is a very individual matter with trombones – many different instruments have their individual little ‘quirks’ and playing characteristics. I tested the JP233RATH against two other brands of professional level Bass Trombones I use regularly and the JP233RATH compared favourably in comparison to both of the other market leaders. The balance within a trombone section was also easy to manage and the adjustments of certain partials I would make naturally all worked and the overtones speak clearly with the JP233RATH.

Value for Money:
This Bass Trombone offers fantastic value for money and is an excellent addition to the market for a mid-level / single valve Bass Trombone. The JP233RATH is a serious alternative for the higher level performer who requires a lighter sounding or a single valve Bass Trombone for chamber music. If I had received one of these instruments as my first ever serious Bass Trombone I would have been over the moon!


"I heartily recommend JP233RATH and applaud John Packer and Michael Rath for providing trombonists with yet another excellent trombone in the JP / Rath range of instruments. Roll on the next one!"

- Garrath Beckwith, Bass Trombone, Grimethrope Colliery Band

For more information about Garrath, visit: http://www.grimethorpeband.com/meet-the-band/garrath-beckwith

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New Products | Reviews

"A triumph of engineering!" the JP374 Sterling gets reviewed

by Administrator 7. June 2013 13:53

JP374 Sterling Euphonium reviewed
by Mike Howley, Solo Euphonium with the Desford Colliery Band, formerly Solo Euphonium with Brighouse & Rastrick and Yorkshire Building Society (YBS)

Staff at John Packer Ltd recently caught up with Mike Howley of the Desford Colliery Band who had been trying out their JP374 Sterling, a collaboration between brass design luminary Paul Riggett (formerly of Boosey & Hawkes) and themselves.

On discussing the instrument with Grenville Moore, Mike had the following to say about his experiences playing the JP374 Sterling.

“A triumph of engineering! How can such quality be so affordable? I have been using the euphonium as a soloist and in brass band and it is at home in both environments. The tone is true at the extremes of pitch and throughout the dynamic range.

The Euphonium is all about sound. With the JP Sterling Euphonium I can create the very personal sound which is in my heart, in my soul.

That's simply not possible on many of the much more expensive brands.”

The JP374 Sterling is available now from £1908 from www.johnpacker.co.uk

If you are interested in finding out more about our JP374 Sterling Euphonium, please visit our website or email Steve, our brass manager at steve@johnpacker.co.uk.

For further news and to keep up to date with John Packer why not like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/johnpackerltd or follow them on twitter at www.twitter.com/johnpackerltd



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Reviews