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Thread: John Packer 274 and 374 review/comparison

  1. #61
    There are a great many "clone(ish)" euphoniums around, and it can get confusing. But limiting my observation to the 2 JP models discussed here, something dawned on me, which I should have taken time to notice before.

    It appears the 274 is based on the British Besson design, which I assume was a 967. And the 374 is based on one of the newer designs, Besson or someone else. The 274 has a bore and bell size like my 967 did, and it is similarly made of yellow brass. The 580 bore combined with the large bell can give one a nice, large, round sound, while requiring a bit less air than the newer designs that are based on a 590-502 bore. On the other hand, the larger bore models can feel a bit easier to blow on the low notes, especially in the compensating range.

    The 374 says it used gold brass, which would change the sound even if everything else were the same. I can't think of any of the pro brands that use gold brass on the whole horn. Does anyone know of one?

    In any case, this says to me that either model could be a good choice, depending on what you want. For those who like the classic Bessons or the Round Stamp Bessons, the 274 might be a very nice choice.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
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  2. #62
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
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    787
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    There are a great many "clone(ish)" euphoniums around, and it can get confusing. But limiting my observation to the 2 JP models discussed here, something dawned on me, which I should have taken time to notice before.

    It appears the 274 is based on the British Besson design, which I assume was a 967. And the 374 is based on one of the newer designs, Besson or someone else. The 274 has a bore and bell size like my 967 did, and it is similarly made of yellow brass. The 580 bore combined with the large bell can give one a nice, large, round sound, while requiring a bit less air than the newer designs that are based on a 590-502 bore. On the other hand, the larger bore models can feel a bit easier to blow on the low notes, especially in the compensating range.

    The 374 says it used gold brass, which would change the sound even if everything else were the same. I can't think of any of the pro brands that use gold brass on the whole horn. Does anyone know of one?

    In any case, this says to me that either model could be a good choice, depending on what you want. For those who like the classic Bessons or the Round Stamp Bessons, the 274 might be a very nice choice.
    I wonder if the 374 is modeled more after the Sterling Virtuoso (for obvious reasons). The bell is even larger on the 374.

    I remember a particularly heated FB thread where a JP 274 owner stated that the 274 was designed after the Bessons...the heated convo centered around him declaring it better than the Bessons it was designed after. (and, I'm sure, to HIM it is!) In such threads, the term "stencil horn" is thrown around as derogatory (or even Chinese-built in general). John Packer's horns (and variants) and Eastman horns certainly prove that China can produce absolutely great horns...and ones that can survive abusive school environments (much more robust than the Jinbao horns, for the most part).
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso IV
    S.E.Shires EUQ41S
    John Packer 274L


    Larry Herzog Jr.
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  3. #63
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by guidocorona View Post
    Hmmm... I am not sure if the Schiller and the JP are really cloned siblings.... Specs for the Schiller Custom Shop Elite IV do not seem to match the JP274:


    Schiller Custom Shop Elite IV Compensating Euphonium Gold
    12.28″ Bell
    Dual Bore .571″ .661″


    Conversly, I have found the following specs for the JP274:
    Bell Size: Yellow Brass 279.4mm (11")
    Bore: 15mm-16.8mm (.590"-.661")
    Could be similar to the 374 (perhaps minus the Sterling influences).

    Who knows? A bit of the point of the latest comments... It's all shrouded in mystery and, in some cases, overt deception.
    Euphoniums
    Sterling Virtuoso IV
    S.E.Shires EUQ41S
    John Packer 274L


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

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  4. Interesting, Interesting!
    Here is the JP274 and Thoman 902
    Click image for larger version. 

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    They look VERY similar even the bell, bore, and listed weight are the same. I measured my JP274 bore to be .590.

  5. #65
    I recently took the opportunity to compare my Dillon 967 (essentially a slightly tighter but sweeter sounding JP274) to a JP374 and a few other more established pro-level instruments. The more established pro-level instruments had better response and valve action, but I didn't think any of them had the tonal sweetness of the Dillon at all volume levels. The JP374 had essentially the same type of valve action as my Dillon which I think is quite respectable, and the tone was GLORIOUS! I like a dark, rich, sweet tone, and the JP374 takes what the Dillon does tonally to the next level. From a tone perspective, I was really, really impressed and from my memory, this may be one of the best sounding euphoniums I've ever played. HOWEVER, like the Matonizz comments from the 1st page of this thread, it does take some effort to play. He called it "stuffy" - I've played instruments that were "stuffy" before, and a result of that is usually poor tone quality - poor tone quality certainly isn't an issue here, but I did notice it took more effort than my Dillon (which takes more effort than the JP274). Tone quality is the most important factor to me by far, and I came close to buying this. I know Matonizz doesn't like the JP374 as well, but this instrument received a glowing endorsement from Riki McDonnell who is one of my favorite players (I was so sorry to learn of his passing during my layoff).

  6. Here is Mark Glover's take on the JP 374:
    http://www.musicthreesixty.com/reviews.html
    (At the bottom of the page)

    I hope I'm correct in saying Mr. Glover plays on a Sterling Virtuoso?

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