Looks nice... Sounds nasty?

Discussion in 'theMouthPiece.com User Reviews' started by Brassperi2009, Mar 26, 2009.



    Has anyone out there had experience of JP instruments from John packer? I am specifically refering to the tenor horn, though experience with other instruments would also be usefull to know.

  2. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    The authority I teach for has a large number of John Packer instruments - trumpets, tenor horns and mini-french horns. The only ones of these I would even consider purchasing again would be the tenor horns.

    The french horns have all had valve issues and EVERY one of them has also had to have resoldering done on the braces, which are very flimsy and either come apart from their soldering, or just break. These are not instruments that are getting a lot of abuse, some of them have been in the cupboard for a year, are brought out and the braces have come apart during the time of non-use.

    With the trumpets, the main issue is with the valves - even with regular oiling and maintenance they still stick regularly. The only ones that work well are those that have had the valves lapped a little more than JP seem to do.

    As with many cheaper instruments, they are cheaper for a reason.
  3. BoneyM

    BoneyM New Member

    I've picked today for my first ever contribution as I've been a bit shy up til now. However, just thought I'd add my thoughts as I play a large bore Virtuosi trombone - it certainly does not feel as cheap as it cost and I for one love it to bits. OK, so there may not be as many intricacies on a trombone compared to valved instruments, but still it feels very robust. Granted, after almost 18 months there are some minor signs of wear and tear, but for overall value for money its fantastic - and it produces a lovely warm sound too which satisfies me.
  4. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    I use a JP tenor horn for teaching and it is great no problems at all it compares favourably to sovereigns and I played it recently in the first section areas (I am a cornet player really but they were short!!!)
    I also have a JP cornet which is great, no probs whatsoever
    I have a virtuosi trumpet and flugel and they are fab too, Ihave had all these around 18 mo
    nths now and am very pleased with them:clap:
  5. englishgill

    englishgill Member

    I tried the top model Virtuosi tenor horn about a year ago - they gave great service (ie were really helpful and tried to solve problems that arose) but the instrument just didn't do it for me. The 1st valve was damaged in transit and when that was fixed so I could finally play it the location of the lead pipe meant a bit of contortionism for me trying to hold it and play it like a Besson which gave me really bad neck and shoulder ache. I couldn't achieve the same full sound as I had previously on other instruments and found blowing generally much harder work so I got my money back. My advice would be to try it, if it doesn't suit you then get your money back - they are reasonable people.
  6. Baton twirler

    Baton twirler Member

    I have a Virtuoso gold Eb/D trumpet with the long bell and have had no problems with it at all.
  7. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Hi Andrew,

    The most recent JP tenor horn wasn't released all that long ago (less than 6 months).
    I did a bit of testing with the aim of buying a set for my youthband.

    The mark IV is, as they advertise it, astounding value for money at around £400 if my memory serves me right.
    I have a friend at JP who I was testing for and although she told me to look at them only as what they are intended, (low budget instrument), and not to be comparing them with sov's/prestiges etc.. but it's only natural to compare!! The only other student model I'd looked at was a yamaha 203 which the JP completely blew out of the water both on value for money and overall quality (the build AND the noise the thing made).

    It has a fantastic middle register giving clarity and a great tone comparable to the new prestige/york or sovs. Lower register parps out well, from C above the stave upwards the sound deteriorates a lot, but then again, it's a student instrument, and by the time my kids are parping out top C's on a regular basis, it's time they moved on to a decent adult band or invested in their own instrument. Intonation all round was good, shame prestige and yorks can't make this claim!

    I know that at least one decent 1st section band in UK has opted for these mk4 JP horns over prestiges/yorks. And I don't blame them in the slightest, I ended up buying a full set for my band, and they are doing great.
    Also know of one v good player who took his daughter to try some new horns, she tried a prestige, york pref and the JP mk4 and wanted to keep the mk4 but her dad wouldn't let her as it wasn't a "top brand" :)

    I'm not too hot on the other lines, but I know it wasn't only the tenor horn line that JP were updating, and I'll definately be trying out other JP instruments when my band need them. Great value for money.
  8. Brassperi2009

    Brassperi2009 New Member

    FYI, this was my first post as I had only just signed up for tmp on the basis that a close friend reccomended the site to me after discussing with him the issues previously posted.

    I've not been online for a while as I have had issues of my own with regards to my internet connection being very slow so only check emails if that is ok? I stand by my comments on the chinese instruments as I saw the quality of the workmanship first hand - and felt that I was doing the general public a favour by flagging this up. It's only advise, you can take it or leave it... it is up to you!

    IMHO there is no longevity in these instruments - and think that it is ethically dubious to be selling and marketing instruments which are essentially cheap chinese instruments [that you would avoid on ebay if the location of the seller was in china] as "british made" instruments with implied "quality" or "standards". Why else would you advertise its "Britishness"?

    I know that the current shortage of YAMAHA instruments in shops is due to them outsourcing to China and having to then withdraw all the stock for not meeting YAMAHA's quality control which confirms my suspicions about the quality of chinese instruments.

    Who will be next to have their instruments made in China for the cheap labour compromising quality for profits... York...? Besson...? Bach...?
  9. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    You seem to base your argument primarily on one instrument you took apart, with which you did the wrong thing. You should of had it replaced if as bad as you say, not take it apart and rebuild it.

    People seem to forget just how bad Bessons were put together, and none were made in China. Not one, but a lot of what came out of Besson was made late Friday.....and to buy a Besson without Valve issues was like winning the lottery. Where was the quality control?...and at a premium price.

    Looking at my 2 virtuosi instruments, the standard of care is far greater!

    With any manufacturer you can luck out, and that should be dealt with accordingly, and with little hassle if the manufacturer cares.

    When you have one instrument that is wrong, report it, but do the right thing. No reason at all to try and pull down a manufacturer for one instrument, but remark on how they deal with it.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  10. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    In Hyacinth Bucket accent:
    I'll always prefer my Sov... I'm well known in brass band circles as a 1st Horn player who possesses an upmarket Tenor Horn :lol:
  11. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    Sorry, but only the price is upmarket:rolleyes::biggrin:
  12. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    You are entitled to your opinions but were you buying substantially cheaper chinese instruments expecting to get a "professional" standard model to compare with the most expensive brands? I think you get what you pay for really.
    The cheaper instruments have their own place in the market just as much as the "professional" models.

    If you want dodgy build quality, look closer to home too. Remember at the height of the lottery grants when the besson factory was in overdrive, some major pap came off the conveyor belts at that time. And more recently, how about the prestige horns, the cream of the crop, where the mid range C is a quarter tone sharp. I've even played one where it was so sharp and the tuning slide so short that if you tried to trigger it, the tuning slide popped out before it came in tune.
  13. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    I bought a couple of cornets and a baritone for my school band last year and have been very impressed - you get more than you pay for.
    I was so chuffed I got a baritone for my wife for Xmas, just for fun. On the whole I would have to say that we've had more fun with the other toy I bought her.....
  14. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    In general, you get what you pay for, however, you can get lucky with cheaper brands, and you can also be very unlucky if you get a dud named brand instrument.
  15. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    My wife has just read this and is not happy, but I have been able to staunch the bleeding. My wife would like everyone to know that her other "toy" was a new snooker cue which has, just now, been put to good use....:oops:
  16. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    I know a girl who put a snooker cue to good use too...

    are we in danger of going off topic?
  17. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    ...yes, but was it made in England or a far east copy of a Riley?
  18. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I have heard some good reports of some chinees made EEb tuba's.
    so much so a freind of mind was tempted to sell his besson 981 and buy one.
    the reports from those that did buy the chinees copy was very favourable. They had a 3 valve Single Eb still in stock which I was very suprised at re quality of build and sound. Only time will tell how long the plating will last but at a third of the price of a Besson or less I think they are worth a look and a trial
  19. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    I was told by a repairer that the main problem with the Chinese instruments is that they cut the pipes that come off the valve blocks too short which means if a repair is needed there often is not a lot to get a good solder joint on.

    I play on a chinese rotary valve piccolo trumpet.
    Its the best piccolo trumpet I have ever owned, sound wise and response wise, but the valves are probably not very durable.



    I also have a Bach TR700 which is Chinese but made to quite a high standard. The John packer instruments are supposed to be quite good especially the ones that have the smith watkins designed leadpipes.
  20. brass_master99

    brass_master99 New Member

    Thanks for that I will make a note.