John Packer Cornets

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Ant W, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Ant W

    Ant W New Member

    Hi All,
    Has anyone had experience of the John Packer large bore cornets. I am returning after a long lay off and want to play brass band but don't want to spend thousands. I have looked at used Sovereigns but have been put off by reviews on 'lottery models'. Any advice would be welcomed.
  2. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Join a decent band and play whatever Cornet they give you. Typically there’s no need for players to buy their own instrument - that’s not completely what I’ve told Mrs 2T - so save your money for a couple of years and then buy something nice if you wish.

    Trumpet Mike is a brass teacher and member here, he has experiences of his student’s JP instruments to share and IIRC they are mixed.
  3. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    If you want to pay sub-1000 and get something that plays great, look for a secondhand getzen eterna - they play really nicely and they're fairly unpopular, so you can find them very cheap for what they are...
    Sound's a bit brighter than the sovereign and the wrap is a bit different, both of which probably contribute to them being less popular than they should be - in value for money terms, they're almost unbeatable.

    Sovereign's can be good, but as you're already aware there are some pretty awful examples too.

    You would be able to find a Yamaha maestro for sensible money, they sound lovely but they're slightly on the tight tight side blow-wise, and there's a well known issue with slotting of the top A being a bit dodgy.
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    We have a few Packer SW Cornets at our band and have found them to be great value for money.
  5. IamHorny

    IamHorny New Member

    Yes my 12yr old son has the jp271sw. Can highly recommend. I’m a flugel player but have used his cornet when depping for other bands sometimes on solo cornet. He’s had it 4yrs now it’s been dropped, kicked has hardly a mark on it and sounds and plays great. We haven’t even changed the mouthpiece. Think we paid around £300 mark
  6. Ant W

    Ant W New Member

    Thanks for all the replies so far. I expected opinions would be mixed as they are for all instruments. I'm thinking about unlocking the money belt, biting the bullet and spending more than I intended but I still have no idea what to buy at this point.
  7. sop@55

    sop@55 Member

    It's worth taking a friend and popping into Phil Parkers and trying out several different makes...all price ranges...but keep in the back of your mind "Carol Brass". Oh Tom King is dead right about the Getzen Eterna, in every respect.
  8. julian

    julian Active Member

    I have a 921 large bore Boosey and Hawkes Sovereign in silver plate (no plating wear) in its original case, that I am just cleaning ready for sale. Many, including me consider that these older Boosey & Hawkes 921 Sovereigns are much better that the newer Besson 928' (both pre and post lottery builds) It will be £1,000. P.M. me if you're interested.
  9. David Broad

    David Broad Member

    You could do a lot worse than a good Besson 921 Sovereign as above. Built like a tank, good thick plating it should be a sound investment if you don't let the Band bus drive over it.
    Playing the same make / type pf Cornet as the rest of the Band has to be a good idea if you want to avoid tuning issues.
    Our principal Cornet used a JP 371 large bore but he was always having tuning problems viz a viz Besson Cornets as it seemed more temperature sensitive and the relative pitch seemed to go up and down like a yo yo.
  10. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Sorry David, this is nonsense.

    I've noticed it tends to be bands/players with noticeable tuning problems that trot out lines like this one (same with mouthpieces, truth told).

    If there were a noticeable advantage to doing this then you can bet that most championship bands would insist upon doing it, and yet it seems to be that attitudes to this are the most relaxed at that level (we have 4 different brands and a couple of different models in our cornet section, the only repeat is two 928 sovereign's)... When I depped for GUS last summer a very similar story, when I dep for JLR from time to time there's a good mix too.

    Honestly, I think this is just one of those "lines" that feels like it ought to make sense - problem is, it's nonsense
    Jack E likes this.
  11. Ant W

    Ant W New Member

    Again, thanks for all the replies. The band I am joining also appears to have a mix of instruments. I am going to try some instruments next week so hopefully I will have a better idea then. The last serious cornet I played was a B&H International (pre triggers, they introduced them about the time I stopped playing). I am currently practicing on a student model but outgrowing it rapidly so I will need to make a decision soon.
    Tom-King likes this.
  12. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Let us know how you get on, Ant.
    Tom-King likes this.
  13. David Broad

    David Broad Member

    Then why did the problem disappear when he played a 928 for a while and reappear when he reverted to the JP when the 928 suffered sticking valves? No you need a set of instruments made by the same manufacturer within te same time frame to avoid tuning issues. It only wants one tone deaf player blowing straight down the middle of his horn to ruin the sound of some lower section and non contesting bands. If you need to tune up before practice or a gig you have tuning problems. Simples
  14. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Because one is a time-proven professional instrument, and the other is an intermediate ("step-up") model that costs a third as much.

    Price doesn't have to be an indicator of quality, of course, but one of the first things to be cut when you want to build things to a budget is QC.

    There are lots of much simpler and much more likely answers than "you need to brand match because of the effects of temperature variations" - you might have a particularly poor example of the JP; the player might be struggling to register where their tuning sits (if the feedback is significantly less than they're used to); etc.

    You absolutely do not.

    If you did, every championship band in the land would insist upon it, and they don't - I can personally attest to some bands using 4 or 5 different brands of cornet in the section without issue.

    The only way this statement of yours could possibly make sense (though it still doesn't) is if you WANT people to blow blindly down the middle with their ears closed, with the blind hope that that will somehow give you decent intonation at the end - that's like lining up a set of footballers, dressing them up in the same brand of boots, putting blindfolds on and wondering why they can't pass to each other accurately.

    That will ruin the sound of the band whether the player is on a relatively in-tune instrument or not - it'll be worse is the instrument is poor perhaps, but that's by no means brand specific... and if that's happening, it's that behaviour that's causing the problems, not the brand of instrument in the players hand.

    If you *need* to tune up before every practice/gig then you have inconsistent players - either not regularly in practice, or not in regular enough habits to keep their tuning consistent, (or plalying in other groups and moving slides around between rehearsals).... and/or you have players who aren't listening and adjusting for themselves, in which case you're going to have issues anyway (whether it's because they're not listening or not capable of adjusting enough) simply tuning up can be interpreted by some as free license to blow straight down the middle without listening.
    Jack E, Suzi Q and Ant W like this.
  15. GER

    GER Active Member

    I once played with a band that received a brand new set of AC instruments via lottery funding. They had tuning issues before, and things didn't improve when they received new instruments.
    Jack E likes this.
  16. GER

    GER Active Member

    The band I am with at the moment have tuning issues, I've suggested additional heating in the band room may help (just a couple of fan heaters) as it's quite cold but several members didn't agree, basically saying as it's the same for everybody it won't make a difference. Am I right or wrong? to me it's a no-brainer but would appreciate any comments
  17. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    It won't hurt, but it shouldn't make a crazy amount of difference...

    It's probably more important that everyone's reasonably comfortable - we have to be used to playing in cold environments (outside) and hot (under stage lights)... And being aware of the effects those environments can have.

    IIRC the reason is that there's a thermal element to the sound waves passing through the instrument (and being created by it) so when it's hot the speed increases, frequency rises and we go sharp (and the opposite for flat/cold.
    If we think fractionally different batches of brass affect the temperature within by much we're kidding ourselves
  18. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    It seems that Tom doesn’t agree, I guess that you both have years of experience to support you own judgements and there’s times when we just have to say: YMMV.

    In the past I’ve heard that it’s best for all players to play the same brand of instrument, etc., but have always been a bit sceptical of that. Perhaps it does make a difference, but there’s fashion, fad, mouthpiece and most importantly the person playing to be considered in the mix. A while back I was playing in a Concert and being short of a player we got a good Dep to help us out, he had his own old Imperial and I played a Sovereign - having played examples of both I think, in general, the Sovereign slightly better. The difference in bore and bell sizes wasn’t noticeable but I did notice the excellence of Music and tone produced by our helper: it’s the person behind the mouthpiece what counts most. YMMV :) .
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  19. GER

    GER Active Member

    Thanks Tom
    Tom-King likes this.
  20. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    YMMV applies in cases of pure subjective opinion - this is not one of those cases.

    You wouldn't give equal weight to a championship players playing advice Vs. Grade 3 players playing advice - let's not pretend that every opinion has equal weight.

    David's views on this make no sense at all, even without getting scientific.
    Jack E likes this.