Looking to buy a new cornet...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Phil3822, May 16, 2014.

  1. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Hi all, as my lessons are going well and I am playing with a small training group I am now in the market of buying my own cornet. I am currently borrowing one. On Tuesday I am travelling to look at a couple in shop and try out.

    I am going to see a Yamaha YCR2330 and an ex demo John Packer 371SW. The John Packer is at an excellent price but is advertised as a semi professional cornet with large bore which concerns me a bit as someone not that advanced. Maybe too free flowing etc.

    Will give it a try and consider a different mouthpiece for better resistance if needed however am very keen on the John Packer as its a fair bit cheaper.

    Just thought I would post up and see if anyone has any views. Thanks.
     
  2. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Hello Phil, and a warm welcome to tMP, seeing this is only your second post so let me give the welcome.

    I was also at one time in your position and possibly more recent than many others, so my opinion may well be different than those with more experience. However, to be looking at an instrument that on the one hand is possibly a lot different to the standard of instrument you are used to, yet on the other hand one that would be a crime to pass up on, will be a bit daunting. However what I will suggest is to go for the John Packer while you can, even though at first it may prove difficult to get around and get used to as in one sense it is jumping in at the deep end, providing the instrument is as you say it should be, as indeed I know nothing at all about that maker, but if it is a good one, you will in the end never regret it.
    I will of course have to leave any comments about the instrument itself to others to give you guidance on. As I said I know nothing much about that maker.
     
  3. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Thank you Cornet Nev, I will give it a shot. John Packer are a cheaper newer brand of brass instrument maker. There seem some reasonable reviews about and for the price I have been offered it really does seem like I should snap there hand off if it proves ok. I will try a range of mouthpieces with it to see if I can add a little more resistance if needed. No doubt I could stick with it and get used to it if needed. As I am borrowing a cornet at the moment I am keen to get my own sooner rather than later.
     
  4. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I think you won't regret it Phil, the Yamaha you mentioned the YCR2330, is a middle ranged student instrument, which in itself may well be a good instrument, depending on the dealer or where you buy, a new one is only around £400, whereas the JP371SW is nearly twice that price, however having since looked at the JP website, they call it a professional standard, it does come with first and third triggers that the Yamaha doesn't, and hopefully has a good sound.
    Don't worry too much about the larger bore, you will find it won't take any more air for normal playing, yet for the really loud passages, it will give you that easily.
    It really is down to how good the instrument sounds, and the ever touchy subject of which mouthpiece you use. (I say touchy as there are so many different views) A general rule of thumb though is a shallow cup will give a sharp and bright trumpet like sound, whereas a deeper cup is a more mellow sound, ideal for second or third cornet positions in a brass band.
     
  5. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Ideally, have someone knowledgeable (as knowledgeable as possible) go with you to try them - like Nev I know next to nothing about Packer's cornets. If it's as good as its pricetag suggests then it'll be considerably better than a 2330 (not that 2330's are bad as student cornets go), but you don't want to assume that. Having someone with you who has more experience to judge it can only be beneficial.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the larger bore - it may take a bit more air to fill initially, but that will encourage good habits (deep breathing and breath support are vital for good brass playing).

    You're correct that resistance can be added at the mouthpiece, so many different parameters will change how they play (and the sound you get). HOWEVER, changing too many things and too often can do far more harm than good (even if it feels ok to begin with). I'd advise against chopping and changing too much (especially as a self-professed "not too advanced" player), you want to focus on developing your basic techniques and fundamentals of playing well, not adapting to different mouthpieces. Unless what you're using is drastically wrong to begin with, don't worry about it.
    Try the cornet with what you're used to playing at the moment, don't go trying drastically different mouthpieces - if the instrument is good (again, have someone more experienced/knowledgeable with you!) then with practice it'll come.


    Purely out of curiosity, what are you using at the moment (instrument and mouthpiece)?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  6. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Thanks for the replies chaps. I am going with a more advanced player but not someone who is used to John Packer as a brand. They play Besson 927. I am currently playing an Elkhart 100CR with a DW4B mouthpiece. I am a trumpet player so this mouthpiece is a little deeper and more cup shape than I am used to however I have got used to it and it seems ok. I will try and forget about the bore size of things with thanks. Just when I see semi pro or pro instrument I think that's not me. Many thanks for the replies.
     
  7. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Good to hear you've got someone going with you.
    A Besson 927 is the medium bore Sovereign, good cornets (though not as popular as the 928 large bore), have you tried playing one? You shouldn't have much trouble picking up a used 927 in decent condition for around £500, may be worth bearing in mind if you find you prefer it to the Packer.

    The bore size is really only part of the equation at any rate - different cornets can have the same specified bore size and play completely differently (just for example, a 927 Sovereign has a .460" bore and a Bach 184ML has a .459" bore - in terms of feel, they're totally different to play).
    Only way to tell is to try them and see.

    Don't get hung up on the labels either - student, intermediate, advanced/professional - just because a particular model is sold as advanced/professional doesn't mean it'll necessarily be harder to play, in many cases it simply means more attention to detail/QC that they would expect only more advanced players to want to pay for (and/or be able to notice).
    Without being unduly offensive, most brass band players are not "professional" standard players (myself included), but you'll find most of them playing Besson Sovereigns and Yamaha Maestro/Xeno/Neo cornets (all of which are marketed as "pro" models). Again, all you can really do is try it and see if it works for you.

    A Wick 4B is a decent mouthpiece to start off with, you don't want anything that'll create a brighter sound than that if brass band playing is the goal.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  8. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Thanks Tom, I like the Besson 927 however cheapest I have seen one so far is around £700 so thought them to expensive. £500 is about my limit really and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Could push it a little but not much. Your point on mouthpieces is something I will consider. I am more comfortable with a tighter mouthpiece however brass band is the goal so need to fit in. I was going to try a DW 5B but think that may be a bit too bright. I intend to have a good play with a range of cornets there however those two are in price range and not complete bottom end of the line up. If it does not work out I will hold on.
     
  9. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    I suppose second-hand instruments can vary wildly in price - I wouldn't be surprised to see a 927 at around £500 in decent condition, £700 in VGC wouldn't be unreasonable (to be fair, there are less of them about than the 928's).
    I suppose if you can't find one within your price range its a non-starter.

    The 5B isn't that much brighter than the 4B, the rim is narrower so you'll naturally find that it feels different to play (which may or may not be better) but otherwise they're pretty similar. In terms of strength, range and comfort with mouthpieces, practice (and practicing the right things) will do far more good than moving to an ever-so-slightly narrower rim - and changing in itself will give your lips something new to learn, which could cause you problems that aren't worth it.
    There are "tighter" mouthpieces out there that work well for brass-band playing (could name several excellent examples) but generally if you're feeling like you're working your lungs and diaphragm hard (utilising as much of your lung capacity as possible and keeping up good support) then you're doing it right and this will stand you in good stead as you advance.
    If you feel like you're advancing well with the 4B and whoever is teaching you feels it's working well for you, don't worry about it - it's not going to be holding you back.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  10. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    On the subject of mouthpieces I find sometimes in the higher register that my head is about to explode. Red faced etc. I get the note out ok but it lacks a bit of power and I receive quite a bit of pressure. This is above the stave, my teacher does not seem concerned though. He says it will get better with time. I appreciate your replies Tom, what I worry about most if being more comfortable with my current loaned instrument and that putting me off buying another. Not looking ahead at the bigger picture if you see what I mean.
     
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  12. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    I keep an eye on eBay prices, and it is not uncommon to see Sovereigns sold in your price range. You can pick up both 921s (globe stamps) and 928s for around £550. Of course, the drawback is that you seldom get to try before you buy, and there is little or no comeback. however, some very good quality instruments are available in your price range, far beyond the Yamaha that's your alternative to the JP.
     
  13. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

  14. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

  15. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Just checked the JP cornet...far superior to the Yamaha, and is an instrument that will probably serve your needs forever ( assuming it's in good nick). You'll probably outgrow the Yamaha in no time
     
  16. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I will agree with what your teacher says regarding the higher notes, it is continuous playing in the lower register that builds your lip. Striving to get the high notes too early before you have built your lip up does no good and can do harm. Keep up the practice on notes within the stave and do so for some time without trying for a top A, B, or C.

    When the time comes to actually need those notes, you will suddenly find they are as easy as the lower notes. It is no different to anything else that requires muscle strength and stamina, does a budding athlete start off by trying to run a marathon? Fool if he does.
     
  17. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    Well I travelled up to Leicester today to view the JP371SW and to compare it with a few others. Short story is I tried it, liked it and purchased it.
    The larger bore I found made a bit of difference however all good. Like anything, will take a couple of weeks no doubt to get used to it fully. I was impressed with the build of the John Packer and the price they did it for was outstanding considering its retail new price. As an ex demo model it has a blemish or two but very hard to notice unless closely inspected. The case it comes with is my only gripe, its large for a cornet case and the back pack style case is something I am not fond of. It was no deal breaker though. Thank you for all comments, the Yamaha was nice, probably a little easier to play but did not compare.
     
  18. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Best of luck with it, Phil, I think you made the right choice...you'll get far more mileage out of the JP and they look as though they might hold their value too, which will stand you in good stead should you ever wish to trade it in.
     

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