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

Yamaha Produce Limited Edition Custom Trumpet

by Administrator 29. January 2013 11:44

AS part of their 125th anniversary celebrations Yamaha has produced a special edition Bb trumpet - the YTR850 Custom.

Developed with top class professional artists and made by their most skilled technicians in Japan, this special edition model is sure to be hugely popular amongst professional musicians, semi-pro players and advanced students.

The 850 Custom benefits from nickel silver slides and a gold brass leadpipe. It's based on a lightweight trumpet to give the instrument a versatile sound. Easy blowing with excellent intonation, it's flexible enough to tackle any genre of music by the most demanding player.

Musicians can choose between a yellow or gold brass bell and in a silver plated or lacquered finish. Each trumpet is supplied in a high quality hard double trumpet case.

The special edition model is fantastic value for money, being the most affordable Yamaha Custom trumpet to date  - in fact it's lower in price than Yamaha's renowned Xeno trumpet range!

Click here to buy. Or if you'd like to try it on approval, please contact or call 01823 282386 (option 1).

Yamaha Custom 850 Trumpet

Rare Olds Trumpet Sold Within 48 Hours!

by Administrator 24. July 2012 13:48

BRASS Department Manager Steve Herbert was recently given the opportunity to sell a piece of trumpet history by a customer calling into the shop with a 1972/73 Olds Pinto Bb Trumpet.


"The ‘Olds’ brand of trumpets are very sought after, with this particular model especially popular with collectors as they were only produced for three years making them a rare find", said Steve.


Although the Pinto was the entry level Bb trumpet in the successful Olds range it sold for $169.50 in 1973 and is unique in its design with its polycarbonate mould around the brass valve block and removable leadpipe / bell. The Pinto also has the strange main tuning slide/ 3rd slide configuration like the Olds Ultrasonic model which made it a very freeblowing instrument.


The instrument was quickly snapped up by a customer, who specifically liked how free-blowing it was.

Another quick sale for our brass department! If you've got a secondhand instrument you're considering parting with, click here to read about our secondhand scheme.

Keep Your Lips in Check this Holiday

by Administrator 23. March 2012 09:58

JP159 pocket trumpet

THE summer is fast approaching and the holiday season is just around the corner, your thoughts drift off to those lazy days sat in the sun on the beach, but then a horrible realisation hits you... my cornet is too big to take on holiday how will I keep my lip in?

Do not despair! Us clever clogs at John Packer Ltd have the answer with this specially designed pocket trumpet called a JP159. Essentially it is a Bb trumpet which is wrapped up extremely small measuring only 230mm in length which can be stowed away in your luggage without taking up valuable clothes space.

The JP159 comes in a range of wonderful colours to match your summer outfit: red, blue, green black, silver or lacquer for only £146.28 inc. VAT which includes a mouthpiece and an easy to carry case.

For more information call Steve on 01823 282386 or email

Sold? Buy NOW!


Yamaha Calls Change on Selected Student Instruments

by Administrator 8. March 2012 11:44

YAMAHA have just launched some new models/variations on some of their student lines. This is part of a review of their position in the market place, so some instruments have been discontinued while others have revised specifications. We're all going to have to learn some new model numbers as, for example, old favourites like the 275 saxes and 250 clarinets are now the 280 and 255. Groups affected are all in student/step up areas of trumpets, cornets, clarinets and alto/tenor saxes. We've new models in stock. Keep reading to find out about all the changes.



The Yamaha YTR1335 & 2335 trumpets have been replaced by the YTR2330 trumpet. This instrument features new caps and buttons on the valves, Monel alloy pistons, an adjustable 3rd ring, thumb hook, 3rd slide water key and yellow brass two piece bell. It also comes in a lightweight gig style case.

There now is a YTR3335 trumpet, with many shared features of the 2230, along with a brace and reversed tuning slide. It comes in a lightweight hard case, two carry handles and an external pocket for music.

The YTR4335G has become the YTR4335GII It has a fixed 3rd ring unlike the earlier student models, which helps the tone of the instrument. The case is also upgraded from the 3335 model and includes an additional shoulder strap.



The YCR2330III has a new round shaped leadpipe which makes the instrument much more free-blowing and easier to produce a good sound for students. It also now has an adjustable 3rd ring which wasn't found on the previous incarnation of this model. It is supplied in a standard cornet case.

The 4000 series cornet has also undergone the same treatment as the 2000 series. This model already had monel alloy pistons and as with the 4000 series trumpet, has a fixed ring. The case is also slightly upgraded.

Yamaha's Soprano cornet - the YCR2610S has also been upgraded.



Both the alto and tenor saxophone has changed model numbers from the 275 to the 280. The standard spec on this model includes things like a gold lacquered body and keys, high F#. Changes include a new neck receiver which makes the crook more stable. The low B-C# connection has been mechanically improved which has a positive effect on the tone. The case remains the same as previous.

The 475 models have moved to 480 models in alto and tenor. They feature new octave keys - which are now compatible to take Custom necks - easily upgraded. The engraving on the bell is also new.



One final instrument that has been reviewed is the JP250 - now the YCL255S. Still made from ABS resin there are two major changes. The thumbrest is now bigger and stronger (and still adjustable) and the bell is now lightweight making it easier to hold and play. It also comes with a newly designed case.

Five Good Reasons to Have a JP152 'C' Trumpet

by Administrator 2. February 2012 09:28

A 'C' trumpet is not the standard trumpet that a person would ordinarily begin on. It is more usual to begin on a Bb trumpet, or even cornet (also in Bb). Despite this it can be quite advantageous to own a 'C' and here are five reasons why!:

  1. No transposing! If you're reading music in church it's much easier to play
  2. No need to work out! A 'C' trumpet is lighter than a Bb trumpet - so you can play for even longer!
  3. Be heard! The 'C' trumpet is commonly used in orchestras for its bright sound which cuts through better than a Bb trumpet
  4. Great for teaching! The trumpet is ideal for teachers in classroom situations, so they can play piano, flute, violin etc. parts
  5. They're not expensive! You can own one now at this great sales, JP152 lacquer £267.12 inc. VAT & JP152 silver £279.84 inc. VAT.

Find out more, or buy now by clicking this link!


JP351SW Trumpet Receives Thumbs UP from NYJO and Royal College Prof.

by Administrator 17. January 2012 14:37

We're delighted to have received this review from Mark Armstrong about our JP351SW LT trumpet. Mark is Musical Director at NYJO and Jazz professor at the Royal College of Music. 

"I was recently asked by the chaps at John Packer's if I would review one of their recent introductions to the market - the JP351SWLT trumpet. Having both tried and been impressed by some of their earlier instruments I was keen to see what they had conjured up now. This interest was further enhanced by the fact that this instrument is a movement into new higher market areas for the Packer team and this means that you are battling with tougher opposition. Firstly the model number - 'SW' shows that, once again, Richard Smith (of Smith-Watkins) has been involved both in the overall design and, specifically, the all important lead pipe.  The 'LT' refers to the fact that the bell is very lightweight which, combined with the nickel silver reverse leadpipe, is an interesting combination on a large bore instrument.   

"On first sight I was impressed by the build quality - lovely construction and the slides and valves all moved sweetly and positively. Not only are Packers collaborating with the best designers in the West they are also using western grades of materials and, it seems, the best technology to ensure good construction quality. This instrument is over £1000 less than my own trumpet, but the build quality appeared to be equal.  It's impressive even when you open the case and look at it.  

"That's the cosmetics dealt with, but how does it all combine as a working tool for a musician? I tested this trumpet both at home and 'in the field'. My initial tests made me feel so confident in the instrument’s capability that it has now been heard by many people who have been to see Chicago in the West End. The sound is pleasingly warm and centred even at extreme dynamics and its overall characteristics make it ideal for jazz, big band or showmusic etc. Capable of power or subtlety with equal ease.   

"Frankly, at this price, this instrument is amazing value. Packer's intention in bringing higher quality & performance to the market place at accessible prices has certainly been achieved. I have been happy to use it professionally and will be using it again on Boxing day when I take NYJO to the Today [BBC Radio 4] programme.  This trumpet is without doubt capable of professional performance, but priced to be accessible to players doing the higher ABRSM grade exams. Great combination!"

See this wonderful trumpet by clicking here!

JP351SW LT trumpet

One of a kind euphonium on display at Cheltenham this weekend

by Administrator 20. September 2011 15:04

John Packer Ltd will be attending the Brass Band Championships in Cheltenham this weekend with some fantastic new products on display, including a unique ‘White Rose’ euphonium handmade by Paul Riggett of Sterling Musical Instruments.

John Packer Ltd has established a reputation  for innovation, following collaborations with Dr Richard Smith of Smith-Watkins, Michael Rath Trombones and Sterling Musical Instruments  These three highly successful partnerships have been significant to the brass market, with many professional players and teachers turning to the JP range for their high performance at a moderate price.

Instruments from the new line of JPSterling lower brass instruments will be available to try out at the John Packer exhibition stand, along with instruments designed by JPRath and the famous modular Rath trombones, JPSmith-Watkins and the professional range of Smith-Watkins instruments. A large selection of accessories will also be available. 

Feel free to come along and see our friendly staff, who can help with any musical enquiry – beginner, professional, or school queries welcome.

If you would like us to take anything in particular from our shop we will do our best to accommodate. Please contact or call 01823 282386 to arrange beforehand.

Look forward to seeing lots of customers there!

Who is the real John Packer Ltd?

by Administrator 3. May 2011 11:33

FOR almost 10 years John Packer Ltd has been busily developing and expanding a JP range of woodwind and brass products. This has been very successful and the range now extends to over 100 different models with more in the pipeline.

Inevitably, all this activity and our pride in what we have been doing has meant that our promotional efforts have become dominated by the JP product brand. It has occurred to us that maybe we have created the impression that things have changed here at John Packer's.

Let us reassure you that (with the exception of our own range) nothing has changed. We still carry a huge breadth of stock from student to professional including all the latest models from a broad range of manufacturers. Even where we have our own products, we still carry all the usual alternatives from other makers because we know that all players are different and you need a real choice!

The latest additions to our stock include: the exciting intermediate range of Schagerl trumpets, the new Neo euphonium and YPC62R piccolo from Yamaha, Fossati oboes, Azumi flutes, Trevor James Signature saxophones, Michael Rath handmade trombones, not to mention an abundance of new accessories; Stock mouthpieces, Aizen saxophone mouthpieces, Voros bassoon reeds and Kernow oboe reeds.

Bottom line? We are everything that we used to be and a little more besides!

That includes: Adler, Altus, Azumi, Besson, Buffet, Bach, Conn Holton, Howarth, James, Jupiter, King, Leblanc, Mateki, Miyazawa, Muramatsu, Patricola, Paxman, Pearl, Powell, Rath, Sankyo, Schagerl, Schreiber, Schilke, Selmer, Smith-Watkins, Stomvi, Yanagisawa, Yamaha and more! All in stock, all ready to try in the shop (or on approval), all can be checked/set up by our workshop, all with the personal specialised service that helped to give us our reputation.

Schagerl Instruments Now in Stock!

by Administrator 24. March 2011 11:09

JOHN Packer Ltd is delighted to be among a very limited number of specialist retailers allowed to stock Schagerl trumpets.

Schagerl has been making top end professional instruments for the past 50 years. Their instruments are the perfect synthesis of traditional craftsmanship, innovative design and have all the attributes to serve the needs of musicians of all genres and levels. Schagerl Instruments are played all over the world: in great Symphony Orchestras, Ensembles and by great soloists. Perhaps the most well-known player is the Australian virtuoso James Morrison.

Brass department manager, Steve Herbert, said: “We’re really lucky to be selected to stock these superb trumpets. It goes to show how highly regarded our brass department is.”

John Packer Ltd is currently stocking five trumpets; TR-421L, TR-650L, TR-600S, TR-610L and the James Morrison Signature trumpet (pictured right). Other Schagerl trumpets are also available. Click here to view.

Anyone wanting to know more about this exciting range of instruments, can contact the John Packer Ltd brass department by emailing, or calling 01823 282836.

New Schilke 'HD' trumpet in stock

by Administrator 29. December 2009 09:11

The long-awaited 'HD' Schilke trumpet is now in stock.

Much speculation has been about what the HD would mean, it actually stands for 'Heavy Design', with the theory being, the more mass/weight, the bigger the sound.

The S32HDL, is medium-large bore, and is currently available in silverplate.

It has a heavier receiver/leadpipe, heavy gauge one piece 'seamed' brass bell.

Unlike other pro level trumpets, the Schilke comes in a case.

If you would like to know more, please contact Steve: or visit the product page below.

Buy this trumpet