Which JP Oboe Should I Choose?

Which is the right John Packer oboe for me?


There's a lot of justified enthusiasm for our oboes. While they're both designed for the student market, there are some quite distinct differences...


For a start, when you look at the oboes side by side you can see that the JP081 has a lot less keys. And when you hold them you can also feel a clear weight difference. It this light weight and simplicity which makes the John Packer JP081 an ideal oboe for younger beginners. (We do recommend children have their adult teeth through before they start the oboe.)

Both JP oboes are made from resin, making them  robust and durable (a key reason they've become a firm favourite within the education sector since their introduction). They're tolerant to temperature changes and virtually impossible to crack!

A key feature of the JP081 is that is has no linkage between the joints. It is so easy to put together; grease the joints and push! No lining up mechanisms and holding down keys, which can be challenging for children and lead to bent keys!  Designing it to have no linkage means the JP081 only plays to low B, not Bb.  We feel the benefits far outweigh this note. But it does in a practical sense limit the oboe to UK Grade 3 level - which is where it's designed to go to.

In the UK market thumbplate models are the 'norm', but we do have a Conservatoire model, the JP081C, which sells equally as well as the JP081 outside the UK! 


John Packer JP081 Oboe



John Packer JP181 Oboe


The JP181 is a natural step-up from the JP081 and should feel familiar in tone. Crafted in the same material as the JP081, mature beginners may choose to start on this model instead of the simplified JP081. 

Again, the UK market favours Thumbplate oboes, and step-up oboes often will be dual system (with a thumbplate while accommodating Conservatoire fingerings).  Being dual system, along with additional keys like the left-hand F key, semi-automatic octaves and Ab-Bb trill, the JP181 is comfortable to the mid/upper grades.  

Similar to the JP081C, outside the UK, the JP181 is widely available as a solely Conservatoire model: the JP181C.


You can read full specifications and see reviews of our JP Range of oboes by clicking here.

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