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A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Mandalf » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:38 am

Hey all! I'm an incoming college freshmen going in for Music Ed. The community college I'm attending doesn't have a euph for me to use so, I'm looking for one of my own. My budget is going to be around $3000 so I've decided to go with either a John Packer (374T or 274MkII, In silver of course :) ) or a Wessex Dolce (Silver with gold trim, Tasty! :D ). What are some of your guys experience with both? From what I've heard the JP plays more like a Besson, and the Dolce more like a YEP-642. Any benefits or pluses for the 374T vs the 274MkII? And those vs the Dolce? Any and all comments will be greatly appreciated! Sorry for the long post, I'll go back to my contemplation.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:07 am

I'll throw another option at you. I played 274s and a 374s back to back, and preferred the 274s, and bought one. Great euph
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby marccromme » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:16 am

I own a Wessex Dolce silver plated (without trigger) and are quite happy with it. I bought it used, and it did serve me well. Intonation is pretty OK, sound is fine, response is good.

For a thorough study on intonation, check out http://www.dwerden.com/Intonation/, I find this chart describing the intonation of the instrument faithful. My model has the same tendencies, I find especially B (24) to low, it seems a bit overcompensated on my instrument.

Probably I would like to have the Dolce with trigger to be able to lower the B 123 when I need a sharper version of B than my 24 gives.

I have test-played a used Yamaha 642 (before NEO model, 15 years old) recently because I considered an upgrade, but found that the swap was not worth the surplus money. The Wessex Dolce plays as well as the pre-NEO in my humble opinion.

I did test play a used Yamaha NEO (5 years old), which I find a better instrument than the Dolce, but at a much higher price range, so I did keep my Wessex.

Valves do operate fine, sound is great, and it does serve my amateur needs well.

My model has two smaller technical flaws - silver plating at one place was patchy, and 2nd compensating tuning bow sits too loose. The first I ignore, and the other was easy to fix.

I addition, I can assure that Wessex has great customer service, and does take customer satisfaction serious. I had no problems with warranty issues at my first Danube Eb tuba (which I bought new), and got a warranty swap.

I see that Wessex instruments technically quality keeps improving, hardening of bells is better now, silver plating finish is higher, and intonation better than just 5 years ago. Therefore I will not hesitate to buy another instrument from Wessex.

I can't comment on the other horn you are investigating.

Good luck, and please tell us your findings when you decide to buy.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:25 pm

http://www.jpmusicalinstruments.com/warranty-information.html

My Dad asked me this question about a guitar I was considering buying with paper route money when I was fourteen:

bloke's Dad wrote:Which one is more valuable, a warranty, or something that doesn't need a warranty?
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Wyvern » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:45 pm

bloke wrote:http://www.jpmusicalinstruments.com/warranty-information.html

My Dad asked me this question about a guitar I was considering buying with paper route money when I was fourteen:

bloke's Dad wrote:Which one is more valuable, a warranty, or something that doesn't need a warranty?

As Wessex is the only company (as far as I know) that individually quality checks and play tests every single instrument at the factory before accepting, it is probably the one where warranty claim is the least likely. Wessex have warranty claims on less than 1% of instruments sold.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:55 pm

I personally own one Jinbao-made instrument.
It's an auxiliary instrument that I use just enough to justify holding on to it.
The sound and tuning are both very good.
I will, though, be replacing all of its moving parts with (already-purchased) German-made parts.
I knew what I was getting.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Wyvern » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:41 pm

bloke wrote:I personally own one Jinbao-made instrument.

With all due respect Joe, that has no barring on the quality of Wessex. For a start your horn is at least 3 years old, and the quality of everything out of the Jinbao factory has improved out of all recognition since then. Then the quality of Wessex has improved still further, as all our horns are now made by a small dedicated team of the best craftsmen just building Wessex - plus of course, Jinbao take special care to ensure the Wessex horns are good knowing I will reject any that are not up to standard and they won't get paid for those. That way the quality ever rises, as they work to ensure any deficiencies do not reoccur in future orders.

For the JP, I have never tried, or examined - but am sure it is a nice euphonium. The best thing for the OP to do if he can is try both and see which he personally prefers.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:14 pm

It would have been "neat" had that factory (from which JP acquires their instruments) made the instrument that I purchased (a Jb copy of a RM instrument)...but it doesn't. I didn't have the time to wait for Jb to decide to make stuff that would completely be suitable to me, mechanically...so - again, knowing what I was getting - I just bought it.
Since that time, I had been waiting for MS (valve manufacturer, Germany) to make the parts I needed (to render my Jb instrument more reliable), but I was able to purchase a complete German-made instrument (in good condition) from which I can retrieve nearly all of the needed parts.

From what I've seen in my workroom (and I know there are many factories of which I'm not aware), the best quality stuff I've seen out of China (design/sound/tuning/whatever aside...only discussing build quality) comes from
Yamaha, JP's "mystery factory" (I'm sure Jonathan knows the name/location of the factory), Wisemann, and Eastman.
Lang stuff is made fairly well, but (at least, based on my observations, and others' may be different) seems to be on a tier below those I mentioned in the previous sentence.

Just as - bit-by-bit over the years - GM migrated production from western Germany to eastern Germany - which surely (??) saved him a great deal of money with no drop in quality, I suspect (guessing...??) that Buffet bought Wisemann with the same idea in mind.
========================================
TO THE ORIGINAL POST:

:arrow: Yes, you're basically deciding between a Yamaha copy (with Yamaha's quirks) and a Besson copy (with Besson's quirks).


Were all of Jb's rotary mechanisms and linkage as nice as the piston mechanisms on Jb's Yamaha euphonium copy, I could see myself looking at more of the Jb instruments with a more serious attitude. There is no reason to exclude the Jb Yamaha copy from your search, if you like Yamaha euphonium playing characteristics. They are well-made.

finally, this:
Given the choice between Jb-made instruments and another J brand of instruments...which represents itself as a "major brand" in America...
It's Jb, hands-down. :| Jb is better than J.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bisontuba » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:37 pm

A third option.....bank $2k and spend $1k on this:

http://www.mackbrass.com/MACK-EU1150_Comp.php
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:31 pm

bisontuba wrote:A third option.....bank $2k and spend $1k on this:

http://www.mackbrass.com/MACK-EU1150_Comp.php" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank


Aren't Jonathan's jb prices only a couple hundred more than Tom's?

My JP274 prices are in the same range...

...so where is the $2000 savings...??

bloke "fwiw, Tom and - mostly - a very capable friend of mine uncrate every single Jb instrument they ship out, check them over, and address things that aren't quite right. Stuff can change, particularly with brand new instruments, with possible stray solder acid and shiny no-patina interiors which are already beginning to tarnish - between manufacturer and some 12,000-miles-away end-user."

bloke " target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank...
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bisontuba » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:36 pm

bloke wrote:
bisontuba wrote:A third option.....bank $2k and spend $1k on this:

http://www.mackbrass.com/MACK-EU1150_Comp.php" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank


Aren't Jonathan's jb prices only a couple hundred more than Tom's?

My JP274 prices are in the same range...

...so where is the $2000 savings...??

bloke "fwiw, Tom and - mostly - a very capable friend of mine uncrate every single Jb instrument they ship out, check them over, and address things that aren't quite right. Stuff can change, particularly with brand new instruments, with possible stray solder acid and shiny no-patina interiors which are already beginning to tarnish - between manufacturer and some 12,000-miles-away end-user."

bloke " target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank...


The budget is $3k...spend $1k...$2k back in the bank
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby eupho » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:43 pm

I own a Tuba Exchange 2052 silver/gold with trigger. You can read my review on the Tuba Exchange website. It is in your budget and a great euphonium.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:00 pm

There are some really nice euphoniums made by Wisemann, but I don't know which ones (stencil names) they are.

As one might expect, they cost more than Jb...more in the same price range as the 3-series JP.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:02 pm

Pretty sure the tuba exchange exchange euphonium is the same thing as the mack brass.

Lots of options around 1200 or less. I'm partial to the besson sound, so I went for the 274s, which by the way, has a 12 inch bell, not an 11 like on the specs
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:11 pm

58mark wrote:Pretty sure the tuba exchange exchange euphonium is the same thing as the mack brass.

Lots of options around 1200 or less. I'm partial to the besson sound, so I went for the 274s, which by the way, has a 12 inch bell, not an 11 like on the specs


older version had the 11" bell...was built just as well... I tend to migrate to 11" bell euphoniums. Admittedly, I'm a DOUBLER (and certainly no "euphonium artiste"), but I view myself as a really *decent doubler. I tend to pick Willson 2900 euphoniums over 2950's, and really like the sound of a (if the valves aren't shot) older 11" bell Imperial.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Mandalf » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:00 pm

Thanks for all the replies!

58mark wrote:I'll throw another option at you. I played 274s and a 374s back to back, and preferred the 274s, and bought one. Great euph

The JP website list the 274s as a 274 Mk II in Silverplate for whatever reason. :roll:

eupho wrote:I own a Tuba Exchange 2052 silver/gold with trigger. You can read my review on the Tuba Exchange website. It is in your budget and a great euphonium.

Do you happen to know the bore size on this? Looks like a beaut though, definitely going to look into it! :D

bloke wrote:
My JP274 prices are in the same range...

Do you do trial periods on the horns you sell?


I'll give Wessex a shot first since I know that they have a 2 week trial period. Thanks again for all of your time!
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:51 pm

Yes I do, but my response here is moot.
Most everyone keeps what they order first, if it works.
The Jinbao euphonium works.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Mandalf » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:53 am

Dang, that makes things harder. I heard mention of Wessex venting valves standard, is this something JP does or would I have to pay someone to do so?

bloke wrote:Yes I do, but my response here is moot.
Most everyone keeps what they order first, if it works.
The Jinbao euphonium works.

How long do you let trials run for?
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby Wyvern » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:30 am

Mandalf wrote: I heard mention of Wessex venting valves standard

The latest Wessex Dolce all have vented valves. They are also now finished using a new mechanical polishing process, so the finish is superb.
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Re: A John Packer or Wessex?

Postby bloke » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:02 am

Tom McGrady has the Jinbao for $995.
http://www.mackbrass.com/Euphoniums.html
If gold trim and four holes in the valves are worth $445, you should probably buy the one you've been looking at.
You seem to be strongly leaning towards Jinbao.
Have you played any new euphoniums, or only looked at pictures?
Last edited by bloke on Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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