John Packer Blog

Welcome to the John Packer blog. Here we’ll keep you updated on all the latest happenings at John Packer Ltd, all the latest music news, musical instruments and competitions.

Month List

Keep healthy - keep playing: Silverstein introduce revolutionary cleaning device

by Administrator 28. April 2015 13:01

Everyone's familiar with pull-throughs, cleaning sprays and polishing cloths, but now there is a new revolutionary way to keep your instrument clean and yourself healthy! Silverstein - who are notorious inventors of musical gadgets - have just brought The Light to market. With the use of ultraviolet and ozone technology, the Silverstein Light has been lab tested against various strains of bacterial and infection-causing microbes that when left unattended can lead to a variety of health concerns. The light is 99.9% effective against several notable infections, including E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus (cause of skin infections, respiratory disease, and food poisoning), Klebsiella pneumoniae (causing pneumonia, bronchitis, and respiratory disease) and MRSA. 

You can use the light to sanitize mouthpieces, reeds and other small accessories.

Available online for £75.38. For more information, click here, or contact Andy Still on 01823 282386 (menu option 1).

Silver plated stars: Sovereigns and Sterlings

by Administrator 9. July 2013 10:47

JP372 Sterling                    £695 (ex demo)
Sterling Pro                        £2035 (ex demo)
B&H Roundstamp           £1150 (client sale)

Frequently we see some interesting instruments turning up on our doorstep that raise an eyebrow or two. Recently we’ve seen a number of inviting tenor horns that have caught our attention and following a bit of tinkering are now available to purchase from

Amongst these is a lovely example of the highly sought after B&H Roundstamp. An instrument that many consider to be the connoisseur’s horn, this one is in a particularly good condition with only a small amount of wear, commensurate with its age. With great smooth valves and a rich tone, this instrument is a must for any serious horn player.

 We also have a fine example from Paul Riggett’s Sterling range. Previously of Boosey & Hawkes Ltd, Paul has gone on to create the Sterling range which has always been well regarded for its innovative design and high quality sound. The Sterling Pro was hand built by Paul himself and is in great condition.

Finally we have an ex-demo model of our JP372Sterling available. This collaboration with Paul Riggett led to the creation of a highly affordable pro level instrument with all the high end ‘bells and whistles’ usually reserved for instruments three times the price. Featuring the famous Sterling design lead pipe the JP372Sterling offers unparalleled value. A very worthy candidate for any band.

For further information on any of these or to discuss other second-hand instruments that are available, please contact Grenville Moore at

Keep up to date with John Packer Ltd news, events, offers and more by ‘liking’ us on Facebook (, ‘following’ us on twitter (

Pictured below: B&H Roundstamp £1150 (client sale)

Yamaha Produce Limited Edition Custom Trumpet

by Administrator 29. January 2013 11:44

AS part of their 125th anniversary celebrations Yamaha has produced a special edition Bb trumpet - the YTR850 Custom.

Developed with top class professional artists and made by their most skilled technicians in Japan, this special edition model is sure to be hugely popular amongst professional musicians, semi-pro players and advanced students.

The 850 Custom benefits from nickel silver slides and a gold brass leadpipe. It's based on a lightweight trumpet to give the instrument a versatile sound. Easy blowing with excellent intonation, it's flexible enough to tackle any genre of music by the most demanding player.

Musicians can choose between a yellow or gold brass bell and in a silver plated or lacquered finish. Each trumpet is supplied in a high quality hard double trumpet case.

The special edition model is fantastic value for money, being the most affordable Yamaha Custom trumpet to date  - in fact it's lower in price than Yamaha's renowned Xeno trumpet range!

Click here to buy. Or if you'd like to try it on approval, please contact or call 01823 282386 (option 1).

Yamaha Custom 850 Trumpet

What to Expect When Shopping for Euphoniums

by Administrator 3. August 2012 14:00

IF you take an initial glance at the wide range of euphoniums available in the modern world it will seem like a very bewildering prospect of actually finding the one that suits you best, so our Brass Department have drawn up this easy no nonsense guide to Euphoniums.

 Euphoniums can be split into 3 categories:     
 3 valve Euphs
4 valve Non Compensating Euphs
4 valve Compensating Euphs

3 Valve Euphs – Generally considered to be ‘student’ level as they only have 3 valves (rather than 4) which makes them light and easy to use especially for younger players. Our best selling ‘student’ 3 valve euphonium is our very own JP074 with prices from £344 inc. VAT.

The 4th valve on a euphonium increases it’s range by 2 ½ tones downwards when used. The 4th valve on euphoniums played in the UK is usually separated from the main valve block and is played with the left hand. Non Compensating euphoniums are considered a step up from the starter 3 valve instrument as it offers the player access to the lower range but may have a tendency to play sharp.
Non Compensating models start from £420.

JP274 Euphonium

Compensating 4 valve euphoniums are considered to be advanced models as not only have the 4th valve but also have extra tubing called ‘knuckles’ which ensures that the instrument plays more accurately in tune. Due to the extra tubing, larger bell and bigger bore the compensating euph is heavier than other models but the result is a much larger / rounder sound. Tuning can be further refined by the addition of a main slide trigger which can be found on certain models.
Prices for compensating euphs start from £700 for a JP274 right upto nearly £6000 for Sterling / Besson and Yamaha professional euphoniums.     

If you would like any more information about euphoniums, contact Steve on or call 01823 282386 (option 1).

Upgrade your JP musical instrument and save up to 20%!

by Administrator 18. April 2012 12:39


What is the JP+ Scheme? 

THE JP+ Scheme allows you to upgrade your JP instrument to a higher spec JP model (within the same musical family) and receive a discount of up to 20%.

Why Upgrade?

SO you've got off the marks and are progressing through the grades - well done! Our JP instruments are designed to support the progress of a player, so by upgrading you'll be allowing yourself to reach new potential.

Who Can Upgrade?

ANY school or individual owner of a JP Musical Instrument can upgrade. They can even keep their old instrument. Proof of purchase is required.

What Saving Can Be Made?

THE JP+ Scheme allows you to upgrade any JP model and save as follows:

10% off a JP 1 Series instrument
15% off a JP 2 Series instrument
20% off a JP 3 Series instrument

If you're at a state school you can still purchase it via the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme and save the VAT! For more information on the AIPS click here

How Do You Do the JP+?

IT'S easy! Call us on 01823 282386. We'll need to know what instrument you want to upgrade, and details of your current JP instrument. You can then buy your new JP instrument!

Where Can You Do The JP+?

ALL UK retailers of JP Musical Instruments are participating in the scheme.

Terms & Conditions:

Must be same instrument type. You cannot upgrade a flute for a trumpet! Offer only applies to John Packer Musical Instruments. You can keep your own instrument, although you may be able to part exchange it (subject to condition etc.). You must present us with proof of purchase/ownership, including the model and serial number. You can only use your instrument to upgrade once. This scheme cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offer or promotion. We reserve the right to close the offer at any time without notice or obligation.

Speak to one of our sales staff to arrange your upgrade. Call 01823 282386.

Keep Your Lips in Check this Holiday

by Administrator 23. March 2012 09:58

JP159 pocket trumpet

THE summer is fast approaching and the holiday season is just around the corner, your thoughts drift off to those lazy days sat in the sun on the beach, but then a horrible realisation hits you... my cornet is too big to take on holiday how will I keep my lip in?

Do not despair! Us clever clogs at John Packer Ltd have the answer with this specially designed pocket trumpet called a JP159. Essentially it is a Bb trumpet which is wrapped up extremely small measuring only 230mm in length which can be stowed away in your luggage without taking up valuable clothes space.

The JP159 comes in a range of wonderful colours to match your summer outfit: red, blue, green black, silver or lacquer for only £146.28 inc. VAT which includes a mouthpiece and an easy to carry case.

For more information call Steve on 01823 282386 or email

Sold? Buy NOW!


Yamaha Calls Change on Selected Student Instruments

by Administrator 8. March 2012 11:44

YAMAHA have just launched some new models/variations on some of their student lines. This is part of a review of their position in the market place, so some instruments have been discontinued while others have revised specifications. We're all going to have to learn some new model numbers as, for example, old favourites like the 275 saxes and 250 clarinets are now the 280 and 255. Groups affected are all in student/step up areas of trumpets, cornets, clarinets and alto/tenor saxes. We've new models in stock. Keep reading to find out about all the changes.



The Yamaha YTR1335 & 2335 trumpets have been replaced by the YTR2330 trumpet. This instrument features new caps and buttons on the valves, Monel alloy pistons, an adjustable 3rd ring, thumb hook, 3rd slide water key and yellow brass two piece bell. It also comes in a lightweight gig style case.

There now is a YTR3335 trumpet, with many shared features of the 2230, along with a brace and reversed tuning slide. It comes in a lightweight hard case, two carry handles and an external pocket for music.

The YTR4335G has become the YTR4335GII It has a fixed 3rd ring unlike the earlier student models, which helps the tone of the instrument. The case is also upgraded from the 3335 model and includes an additional shoulder strap.



The YCR2330III has a new round shaped leadpipe which makes the instrument much more free-blowing and easier to produce a good sound for students. It also now has an adjustable 3rd ring which wasn't found on the previous incarnation of this model. It is supplied in a standard cornet case.

The 4000 series cornet has also undergone the same treatment as the 2000 series. This model already had monel alloy pistons and as with the 4000 series trumpet, has a fixed ring. The case is also slightly upgraded.

Yamaha's Soprano cornet - the YCR2610S has also been upgraded.



Both the alto and tenor saxophone has changed model numbers from the 275 to the 280. The standard spec on this model includes things like a gold lacquered body and keys, high F#. Changes include a new neck receiver which makes the crook more stable. The low B-C# connection has been mechanically improved which has a positive effect on the tone. The case remains the same as previous.

The 475 models have moved to 480 models in alto and tenor. They feature new octave keys - which are now compatible to take Custom necks - easily upgraded. The engraving on the bell is also new.



One final instrument that has been reviewed is the JP250 - now the YCL255S. Still made from ABS resin there are two major changes. The thumbrest is now bigger and stronger (and still adjustable) and the bell is now lightweight making it easier to hold and play. It also comes with a newly designed case.

The Howarth S2 oboe - a brief history!

by Administrator 6. March 2012 14:59

The Howarth S2 oboe was made from 1948 – when T Howarth started manufacturing oboes - up until the mid 1990s. This thumbplate model was extremely popular when the ‘norm’ for oboes was open-hole construction; its decline owing to improvements and general acceptance of the covered hole. These days learners and manufacturers favour the covered hole system – certainly many find it easier to play. Despite this, there is an argument that those who learn on an open hole instrument develop a better hand technique.

There still is a place for this beloved oboe. It was exceptionally well made. The African Blackwood out of which the instruments were made was seasoned for many years before being shaped to very precise design specifications. All the instrument keys were handmade and fitted to the instrument by hand - some oboe keys were even made of solid silver! The instrument was tested and tuned, with final adjustments made by Howarth’s highly skilled craftsmen.

While no longer made, it remains a professional standard oboe. Most importantly it is still capable of producing a traditional English sound.

In recent years professionals have favoured heavier instruments like the S5 model and above. The thicker body produces a darker sound, but it also makes the oboe a bigger instrument to play – quite physically tiring for the amateur player!

Howarth’s oboe construction has inevitably evolved over the years, the S2 has a thinner body than modern oboes, but it presents a manageable and easy blow. So there are many advantages to the S2 in the current market.

Because the new market now favours covered hole you can find yourself an exceptional Howarth S2, for a very good price. It competes well with modern wooden student instruments; it is made to a much higher specification. It is light, durable and as it has less keywork maintenance is simpler and it is easier to play for longer periods.

Howarth S2 on client sale

John Packer Ltd currently has three Howarth S2 oboes available for sale.  All of which have been serviced by our experienced workshop. Please click here to view the double reed department. To arrange a trial, please call 01823 282386 option 1.


This oboe is only £950 and has been fully repadded by our workshop!

Patricola Musical Instruments - a brief history!

by Administrator 28. February 2012 15:24

PATRICOLA began manufacturing woodwind instruments in 1976, founded by experienced makers Franceso, Pietro and Biagino Patricola in Castelnuovo Scrivia, Italy. This village has had a history of instrument manufacture since World War II.

Since their founding, Patricola has forged an excellent reputation worldwide for their quality instruments. The company has expanded and now includes the next generation of Patricolas!The company designs and manufactures all of their instruments. Each is made with the same care and workmanship – with the greatest part of the work done by hand, and wood naturally seasoned for more than ten years. Because of this attention to detail, Patricola instruments are not mass produced and have established a strong cult following.

In our clearance sale we have a CL2 & CL5 clarinets and an Evoluxione oboe. All are professional standard instruments and provide a sizeable saving! If you’d like to know more about them, please click on the links or call the shop on 01823 282386 option 1.


PHOTO: Sara, Francesco, Pietro, Biagino, Salvatore, Angelo, Davide, and Claudio. (Sara and Davide are the only two members not from the Patricola Family).

Don't let making music make you ill!

by Administrator 14. June 2011 12:13

A RECENT report from the American journal General Dentistry has revealed that used instruments could be contaminated with enough bacteria or fungi to bring on anything from food poisoning to brain abscesses!

A team of researchers gathered samples from 13 high school band instruments; including two clarinets, two oboes, two mellophones (brass instrument), two trombones, two trumpets, and one cornet. A whopping 442 different species of bacteria were found, along with 58 moulds and 19 yeasts.

These nasties could make a player quite poorly; with the potential to produce infections diseases and even asthma. Children are more at risk because their immune systems aren't as well developed as adults.

Bach Hygenic Spray

Before you give up your instrument for health reasons never fear - you can keep your instrument clean with various hygienic sprays. You can use the Bach Hygienic Spray on mouthpieces, down the bore of an instrument and even in the instrument's case (a breeding ground for bugs). IT costs only £3.02 on our website

You can also use pull-throughs (as oppose to mop sets) which can be easily washed in warm soapy water to rid germs.

We have a full department of cleaning and maintenance accessories for brass and woodwind instruments, from pull throughs, to oils and greases.


Don't let this horror story deter you from playing your instrument - just keep it clean!