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Thread: John Packer revisted...

  1. #1
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    John Packer revisted...

    So, what I've gleaned from here (and elsewhere) is that, at the very least, the JP horns (will focus on the JP274 specifically here) are not sourced from Jinbao. Thus, they are different than Schiller, Wessex, Mack Brass, Monzani, Thomann, ACB (Doubler), Dillon, etc.

    Many have mentioned that these seem to be Yamaha copies (641/642 pre-Neo?) and the JP274 seems more like a Besson (some say Prestige, some say Sovereign). However, the general consensus seemed to indicate that they are stencil horns from a different Chinese company (JinYin perhaps?).

    Anyways, I have been told differently from a John Packer representative. They told me directly that they have a "Dedicated factory and design. We don't do stencils."

    Has anyone else heard this?? This is news to me. Having laid hands on a JP274, I can say that they DO seem a bit better built (perhaps just heavier) than the Jinbao horns I've played.
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso [Doug Ruby “signature edition”]
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L
    S.E.Shires Q41s

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
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  2. #2
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    When I asked how they can be so price-competitive with the stencil horns out there...even beating many of them on price... They said, "We have been doing this for a very long time and we run very lean."
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso [Doug Ruby “signature edition”]
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L
    S.E.Shires Q41s

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

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    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  3. #3
    Well, it's another one where if you look at John Packer's website he designed his first oboe in 1999 and now JP sells every conceivable instrument--trumpets, trombones, flugelhorns, clarinets, saxophones, etc., etc. His rise coincides with the rise of mass Chinese manufacturing. Here are some questions:
    -What is a dedicated factory?
    -Can you visit the factory?
    -Can you meet their instrument designers? (And what makes it "British design"?)
    -Do they have a brass "style"? (More like Besson, Selmer, etc.)

    If you poke around on trumpetherald and similar sites it sure seems like in the past they had instruments that were identical to those sold under other names (piccolo trumpets, etc.). I don't know.

    For a buyer, I would just say that it is another Chinese based instrument maker that has brought up their game and produces solid instruments. To me the Chinese makers still don't seem like they've really been able to break out distinctive approaches. For Taiwan, Jupiter makes its own instruments and it makes a lot of them in several tiers. Carolbrass is famous now for creative design and selling components or stencils for others. I can't really distinguish the different approaches yet out of China. Are valves on Eastman vs Jinbao vs JP different? Do they use different processes?
    Jupiter 462 & 470, XO 1270
    Stork 4.5 mouthpiece

  4. #4
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    I definitely took notice of the bold statement "We don't do stencils." That has to mean they either have an exclusive relationship with a chinese factory, or they have their own factory, right? (Doesn't Eastman have their own China-based factory??)
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso [Doug Ruby “signature edition”]
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L
    S.E.Shires Q41s

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  5. #5
    I honestly don't know this. In the trumpet world, this is part of the appeal of Bach or Yamaha, where there's a continuous history with serial numbers or even shop cards. And with Bach, there's a famous "strike" era where the experienced workers weren't making things and production was uneven. I wish companies would just say what they do, but then they couldn't charge higher prices.

    I think "their own factory" could mean a small space that ships their stuff, or a that there's a faculty that makes products "exclusively" for them some of the time, or that they they actually own a factory and directly pay workers. I think that last one is pretty unlikely. I got interested in these questions because I own two trumpets (which I quite like). One is a Fides, which is supposedly a Spanish company and lists an address in Spain, but the instrument sure seem a lot like Carolbrass to me (same valves, caps, etc.), and when I wrote them asking to buy a new bell, they just didn't write me back. I also have a Taiwanese trumpet that looks identical to the body of a boutique Swiss brand. A lot of companies advertise their [English/Spanish/Swiss/French] "design" or "ownership" or "innovation," but I suspect they're just working with a factory in China, which is okay. I now feel like any company that doesn't have a factory you can visit in person is probably outsourcing their manufacturing.

    Eastman is a little different in that they're an actual Chinese company that probably does have its own factories. I first knew about them because they make violins. I think it was creative of them to buy Shires and Laskey.
    Jupiter 462 & 470, XO 1270
    Stork 4.5 mouthpiece

  6. #6
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    At the very least, it seems JP horns are "different" than Jinbao...so likely sourced somewhere else in China. I've also seen that they weigh significantly more than the comparable Jinbao horns. (Over 10 lbs 4oz or so for the JP274. I think the BE967 weighs nearly identical. The Jinbao horns, I believe, are around 9 lbs.)
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso [Doug Ruby “signature edition”]
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L
    S.E.Shires Q41s

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  7. #7
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    I own a French Horn by John Packer and it has a leadpipe "designed by Michael Rath", so it seems they indeed do some design of their own instead of just making stencils.

  8. #8
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    Ok. I've been told by multiple sources now that the JP euphoniums (only asked, specifically, about them) are manufactured in Taiwan...for John Packer specifically/exclusively.

    [CORRECTION]
    A John Packer rep has given further detail.
    ("dedicated" factory in mainland China)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	taiwan.jpg 
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ID:	9641
    Last edited by iMav; 11-28-2022 at 08:41 AM.
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso [Doug Ruby “signature edition”]
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L
    S.E.Shires Q41s

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  9. #9
    Larry, thanks for doing the work on trying to figure some of this out. I know JP has done a number of artist or brand collaborations in the trumpet world, with Taylor and Smith-Watkins. Since the owner is based in the UK it makes sense that they'd be more focused on the brass band world. I feel like they're still not really known in the trumpet world, at least in the US.

    For the user, knowing where an instrument comes from only makes a difference in a few cases: (1) finding parts, (2) dealing with warranty issues, or (3) brand longevity. To me, it's also a bit weird that they can't say where their instruments come from. If their instrument is made in Taiwan, that should be stamped on it somewhere. My guess is still that it's a design made in conjunction with a local manufacturer where their main contribution is quality control and sales. The "English design," "dedicated factory," etc., all sounds like marketing.
    Jupiter 462 & 470, XO 1270
    Stork 4.5 mouthpiece

  10. #10
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    This seller (capitalmusicgear) is accepting “Best Offer”s of $1250 (free shipping) for new JP274s in lacquer.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/175424707616

    That’s probably the best deal on new JP274s currently available.
    (Considering I talked to another small reseller who claimed they have the best price available in the US at $1695 (plus shipping).
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso [Doug Ruby “signature edition”]
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L
    S.E.Shires Q41s

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

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