Baritone review

Col M

New Member
Does anyone have any views on the Odyssey OBH1400 baritone? The horn looks good but how does it play?
What cheaper end horns do people feel are good value for money?
Many thanks C
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
If he doesn’t answer for himself then I suggest that you contact Jack E. IIRC correctly he used to play a Regent and then he moved onto a Packer (which he was even more pleased with). Not sure which Packer range though and some are better than others.
 

Col M

New Member
Thanks 2nd tenor. I've read good reviews about the JP373 Sterling horn. It's more expensive than the Odyssey and the Wessex but I guess the only way to find out is to try them - not very easy in the current situation though.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
I’m not saying that they will be particularly helpful but suggest that you try (wade through) these threads:

I don’t think that Jack would claim to be a Star Player - neither would I - but IIRC he was pleased and it gives you a start point. My guess is that Wessex and Packers get their instruments from the same manufacture, you pays your money and takes your choice. For the more serious player I’d expect that Wessex would be the better option and for students Packer might deliver the goods.
 
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Col M

New Member
Wow thanks 2T. There's a lot to digest there and a lot of good banter too. I have been looking for S/H but like MoominDave says it could be a long time before the right horn turns up somewhere and you don't necessarily know what you're getting. I'll keep looking though and hopefully soon be able to get somewhere to try some out - as I say not easy in the current situation.
 

KenIrvin

Member
I’m not saying that they will be particularly helpful but suggest that you try (wade through) these threads:

I don’t think that Jack would claim to be a Star Player - neither would I - but IIRC he was pleased and it gives you a start point. My guess is that Wessex and Packers get their instruments from the same manufacture, you pays your money and takes your choice. For the more serious player I’d expect that Wessex would be the better option and for students Packer might deliver the goods.
I've played alongside Jack and for an amateur he produces a sweet sound from his horn. Worth contacting.
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
Does anyone have any views on the Odyssey OBH1400 baritone? The horn looks good but how does it play?
What cheaper end horns do people feel are good value for money?
Many thanks C
Good evening, Col - I've never seen (or, to my knowledge, heard) an Odyssey, so I can't help you directly, and my Packer 173 Baritone is uncompensated; I presume as you're looking at the OBH 1400 that you want a compensated model.

What I can say for sure is that, albeit they are made in China, John Packer imposes his own quality control standards on his suppliers (and I understand that the boss of Wessex Tubas takes the same approach). And it shows! My 173 is definitely an entry level instrument, but the cost has been kept down by Packer's specifying medium bore and no compensation, not by making it cheap and nasty! You may see old threads referring to John Packer's range from quite a few years ago, where some people felt the quality was not as good as it might be, but I did a considerable amount of background reading before buying mine, and what I found was that as time went on, reviews by other people indicated that the build and finish quality steadily improved. Certainly, I have no complaints about mine, nor has anyone who's seen / tried it said anything to the contrary.

I've just checked on Packer's website, and it seems they are still open for potential customers to go and try their range. As the Packer 273 in silver plate is a couple of hundred quid cheaper than the Odyssey, it might be worth going to the shop if you aren't too far from Somerset - but according to their website they are also willing to ship them on approval (though there's obviously a shipping cost involved, whether you keep it or not).

Alternatively, if you live anywhere near me (Buxton, Derbyshire) and you'd like to try mine just to get a feel for how they're made and play, I'm sure we can come to a mutually agreeable (and Covid proof!) arrangement - send me a PM if you'd like to give it a go. But bear in mind that the feel of mine would be different to that of a Packer 273, as the 273 has both a larger bore and a larger bell, as well as compensation.
HTH, and best regards,

Jack E
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
I've played alongside Jack and for an amateur he produces a sweet sound from his horn. Worth contacting.
Thank you, Ken - I very much appreciate that compliment, and I hope that you and Jean are keeping well.

With best regards,

Jack
 

Col M

New Member
Thanks Jack for that comprehensive review. Things have moved on a bit. I'm getting a 373 sent to me for trial by Band Supplies in Leeds. I'm in the fortunate position of having a Wessex Euph to part ex and they've given me a good deal. Anticipating your next question, why am I trading in the euph which is a very good horn? I'm one of the 'older' players and the euph is now getting a bit too much for me, also my grandson is taking an interest and it's a bit too big for him too so I'm hoping a bari will satisfy us both. Thanks for the offer of trying yours but I live in Lancashire which is in more stringent lockdown measures at the moment so no non essential travel. I'll let you know how I get on when I receive the horn from Band Supplies.
Cheers, Col
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
Thanks Jack for that comprehensive review. Things have moved on a bit. I'm getting a 373 sent to me for trial by Band Supplies in Leeds. I'm in the fortunate position of having a Wessex Euph to part ex and they've given me a good deal. Anticipating your next question, why am I trading in the euph which is a very good horn? I'm one of the 'older' players and the euph is now getting a bit too much for me, also my grandson is taking an interest and it's a bit too big for him too so I'm hoping a bari will satisfy us both. Thanks for the offer of trying yours but I live in Lancashire which is in more stringent lockdown measures at the moment so no non essential travel. I'll let you know how I get on when I receive the horn from Band Supplies.
Cheers, Col
Re. the euph getting a bit much to fill; I know how that feels, Col. About two and a half years back, after heart surgery, I got a lung infection which really messed up my breathing, compounding the fact that in my late teens I got exposed to phosgene gas which probably left some permanent damage (industrial accident, long story); after the chest infection, I could play no more than a handful of notes before I was knackered, and I thought I'd have to give up playing completely. Then a friend let me have a go on a tenor horn, and I found that I could play that - though it needs more pressure to play, the tenor doesn't need the volume required by a baritone (in my case, after five months of the docs trying me on various puffers, we found one that suited, and I was able to revert to baritone). I suspect that you'll find the same in switching from euph to baritone.

A point in your favour is, of course, that the baritone is in the same key as euph - so you won't have the problem of retraining your ear to adjust to hearing an Eb rather than a Bb when you play a written C. Some people can switch from one to the other with no trouble at all, but it took me a long time to get used to it - and I kept thinking I'd played a wrong note!

Do let us know how you get on, as I'm sure the problem you're dealing with will be faced by many more of us who are no longer spring chickens (such as me!).

With best regards,
Jack
 

Col M

New Member
Thanks Jack, yes I will let you know how I get on. I have played baritone before in my banding days so it won't be a total surprise to me. I'll be sorry to see the euph go, it's a lovely instrument but I can't justify having 2 horns.
Cheers, Col
 
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