The JP243 Bb soprano saxophone is a one piece, straight bodied saxophone that is ideal for both advancing learners or existing players looking to double on a better quality second instrument at an affordable price. This saxophone is designed to take the player through into the higher grades and allow exploration of high standard soprano sax solo, band and sax choir repertoire.
With a high grade 80:20 one piece brass body and bell the JP243 performs brilliantly for the price.
Better quality parts such as blue steel springs improve response as they are rust resistant with better tension memory.
Italian leather pads create a great seal that translates into a fuller sound that projects further. These also last longer than conventional pads. Resonator pads also improves projection and gives the tone of the JP243 more depth.
The instrument also features front F, high F# and high G keys and a floating plate design for the little finger (left hand) cluster to aid faster movement.
An adjustable thumb rest achieves a more natural and comfortable hand position. A sling ring also provides the opportunity to make the instrument even lighter with the use of the provided sling.
The appearance of the JP243 has been enhanced with engraving and eye catching abalone pearls.
I received this saxophone last week and have had great pleasure playing it. The sax feels light, which for me is good, as I play without a sling and am now developing arthritis in my wrists. In fact it's 200gm heavier than my 1926 Buescher True-Tone, but so nicely balanced that it feels lighter on the right hand. Good news for us oldies and for younger/smaller players, too. I like the integrated neck and (therefore) absence of a curved alternative crook, thought his might not suit everyone. Overall construction and appearance are of a high quality. Against expectations, I stuck with the mouthpiece provided, which plays very well. In fact, on this instrument, I prefer it to my (presumably more expensive) Vandoren, Barone and Link m/pieces. The square cross-section of the chamber arch reminds me of the Selmer S-80. It speaks clearly throughout the entire range of the instrument from low Bb to high G. Intonation is excellent. The usual variations at tops and bottoms of registers lie within a very narrow range on this instrument. Tone is even throughout the instrument. Inevitable differences of tone for overlapping notes either side of the break are useful, therefore, rather than sounding like different instruments, one too thin and one to thick. The keys are smooth, even, fast and well positioned. My relatively short little fingers can be problematic with low Bb on some instruments. No problem at all with the JP243, which has a well-designed plate for the left-hand cluster. On some instruments altissimo keys are often difficult to find or too easily opened inadvertently, especially for players with smaller hands. Not so with the JP243. Fingering is intuitive and comfortable on this sax. In conclusion, this is a remarkable instrument for its price range, and I would recommend it to beginners and professionals alike.
The JP243 is supplied in a backpack case that can also facilitate a provided shoulder strap for ease of transportation. The case is pocketed which is suitable for storing small accessories and comes with a JP mouthpiece, cap, ligature, JP "Well slung" sling and reed.
Pete Long gives an illuminating demo on the JP243 Soprano Saxophone from John Packer.
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