The latest addition to the JP Rath Collaboration - the JP333 Rath Bass Trombone - has been described as “flawless” by a top UK trombonist.
Garrath Beckwith, an experienced performer and educator from the UK tested out the JP333 RATH over a number of weeks.
“Having reviewed the JP233 single valve bass trombone some time ago I was delighted to be asked to offer my thoughts on the new John Packer JP333 double valve bass trombone.
“The latest addition to the John Packer trombone family has, again, been designed with input from the British trombone guru, Michael Rath. This expertise has been invaluable in the long term success of the JP / RATH range of trombones – a very clear message: superb value instruments with high end quality.
“The JP333 maintains all the quality hallmarks I have come to expect from the John Packer range of brass instruments over the years – the attention to detail is evident from opening the Pro line JP case, a case with a neat and compact set up with space for all the trombonists gadgetry and extra interchangeable padding to ensure the instrument is protected without weighing a tonne. The case also comes with an excellent maintenance kit and (approx.) 2G size heavy weight mouthpiece.
“I am really very impressed with the build quality of the JP333. I was fortunate to spend some time testing the instrument against some other household names, and I was hugely impressed with the consistency the JP333 presented. The instrument feels very sturdy and is ergonomically sound with the introduction of a counterweight to add a much likeable balance in the instrument, the hand slide is well spaced and the overall feel when holding the instrument is very pleasing.
“The JP333 is an aesthetically pleasing instrument. The lacquer finish in the instrument is consistent all over the instrument – I checked the entire instrument from the box and can honestly say the finish of the instrument was flawless. The 9.5 inch gold brass bell offers a warm and focused sound and the consistency throughout the different registers is very pleasing. This flexibility the Michael Rath designed lead pipe offers is the key to this instruments success – the different harmonics feel effortless when playing exercises in flexibility (Remington / Van Dijk et al), and the shifts in the lower register works very well between open instrument and the often difficult lower valve combinations.
“The JP333 sounds GREAT! Each different register of the JP333 is focused and feels to slot exactly where it should do. The middle to high registers are easy to sing through and give the instrument a superb lyrical quality across the various harmonics. The standard rotary valves offered on the JP333 offer a compact and warm sound in the lower register that is able to project and dominate when required or alternatively blend and still be able to speak in softer dynamic playing. I really enjoyed playing orchestral excerpts on the JP333. The instrument performed very well when tested against three other different instruments, offering a good weight to the sound when required and also a little more subtlety when appropriate.
“I feel that the JP333 is an excellent addition to the bass trombone market offering exceptional value for money. This instrument would be at home playing in a solo / recital capacity and would also make an excellent contribution to section work in an orchestral setting, brass band, symphonic wind ensemble, brass chamber ensemble or more commercial / big band style work.
“Don’t just take my word for it – contact your local John Packer dealer to book a test drive, you will not be disappointed.”
Garrath Beckwith started playing at the age of 10 in the heart of the brass band country. He was a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and has played bass trombone for many of Europe’s leading Brass Bands: Grimethorpe Colliery, Brighouse & Rastrick, and Black Dyke amongst others.
After studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Garrath enjoyed a busy and diverse freelance musical life performing around Europe, Malaysia and the US for world renowned orchestras, big bands, and in show pits and trombone quartets.
Back in the Pennines - where he grew up - Garrath has established a well-respected career in music education; initially teaching brass, but now as the Head of Music in his home town, Saddleworth. He remains an active performer; managing and playing bass trombone for the ensemble Austonley Brass.
Find out more about the JP333 Rath Trombone by clicking here
Interested in the JP RATH collaboration? Read on...