“The JP Rath 333 bass trombone is the latest addition to the JP Rath trombone family. While it appears to be aimed at intermediate and progressing player’s budgets, the JP Rath 333 has a number of features which places it in competition with established brands and models.
"I was sent a model for review and enjoyed two weeks playing it in a number of contexts. I was impressed by how little setting up the instrument needed and was literally ready to play out of the case, apart from adding some slide lubrication.
"I found the instrument to be very responsive in terms of production and articulation and warm sounding. This is likely the combination of the nickel hand slide, Rath designed leadpipe and 80:20 brass bell. Intonation and slotting of harmonics was very secure in the middle to lower registers with pedal notes being open and free. The upper range and extreme high range settled during the time I had the instrument partially as a mixture of developing familiarity and blowing in.
"The trigger register was very responsive even for rotor valves. The open wrap design clearly helps to offset the resistance of the rotary valves. Personally, I prefer having students using rotary valve triggers as the natural back pressure helps the developing embouchure and articulation in the trigger register. There was no sense of stuffiness and, single and double trigger notes were easy to produce and centre. The valves also have a short throw resulting in them being quick to action. The quality of the valves themselves was very good - silent in operation and perfectly aligned. Both valve ‘paddles’ are adjustable to accommodate hand size and width of grip where the majority of other intermediate models tend to allow for the Gb paddle to be adjusted.
"The slide was particularly impressive considering the price point of the instrument. After a wipe down and lubrication with a liquid based product, the action was extremely smooth and slick. The nickel outer slide reduces the weight of the instrument and also facilitate production and articulation. The slide positions were exactly where I would expect them to be when referenced against a tuning machine.
"The instrument build quality is excellent. The finish was impeccable with no lacquer or solder flaws evident. The tuning slides were in true alignment and lapped resulting in free movement. It look looks great and there is clearly a high level of quality control in place through the production process.
"The trombone is solid to hold and very well braced. The bracing still allows for the instrument to resonate across the dynamic range which would be adequate for all settings barring perhaps the most extreme fortissimo. I would, however, suggest that any player explores playing with and without the counterweight as this does add to them mass of the trombone and a developing player may well find it necessary to use a hand support to prevent fatigue.
"In conclusion, I was highly impressed by my experience with the JP Rath 333. It is an excellent contender in the intermediate instrument market while also having a number of qualities which means it can easily punch above its weight. Robust, responsive and would appeal to a broad market including students, hobbyists, doublers and experienced players who might be looking for a backup horn. An excellent quality instrument especially at the current price point.”
Omar has worked with orchestras such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Britten Sinfonia, CBSO, Halle, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Pops Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Omar's studies began at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and he then went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and Middlesex University.