The rotary valves featured on the JP154 help assist a smoother sound suitable for more lyrical works, due to the shorter valve stroke than piston models. The choice of 4 trumpet shank leadpipes allow the change of pitch between Bb and A to suit the requirements of the player. Free blowing and with good intonation, the JP154 represents excellent value for money and is a great choice for first time piccolo trumpet players.
Firstly, with a P5-4 in the stable did I really need a new piccolo trumpet? Well after borrowing a friend’s JP 154 and really enjoying playing it for a week I found that I liked not only the sound but also the rotary valves...something which was quite foreign to me. So I opted to buy my own.
The outfit comes with four leadpipes, an A and three Bb pipes and although they are unmarked it was simply a matter of trying each to find which one best suited my needs. I find the trumpet free blowing and although bright, as one would expect from a picc, the sound is slightly more mellow than the Schilke. There is a train of thought which suggests tuning can be a problem with cheaper trumpets and in particular the smaller trumpets. However, this was not the case...even the infamous bottom C# works without alternate fingering!
If I have one adverse comment, it is that the mouthpiece which comes with the trumpet does not do the outfit justice. I used a cornet/trumpet adaptor with my Taylor cornet mouthpiece which Andy Taylor made for my Schilke. Maybe that combination just works for me but nonetheless it works well!
So, a rotary valve piccolo trumpet which sells for around £375. With the right mouthpiece it blows freely and in tune and thus far has handled Albinoni, Bach and Handel without any problems. For anyone considering buying a piccolo trumpet for the first time, the JP154 should be well up on the list of ones to try!
The JP154 is supplied in a protective case with a shoulder strap, and comes with a 4 trumpet shank leadpipes, a 5C trumpet mouthpiece, a bottle of Ultra Pure valve oil and a maintenance guide to help you keep your instrument in top playing order.
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