A perfect balance of high level performance at an attractive price, the JP251SW is a popular choice for schools and students. Designed for the developing player to tackle the mid-to-late grade exams, the JP251SW's versatility has seen use on stage in professional settings, from Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra to various shows in London's West End.
The JP251SW has been carefully designed in collaboration with Dr Richard Smith of Smith-Watkins to ensure the instrument benefits from the prestige of Smith-Watkins instruments. The excellent articulation and sound projection stem from the specially designed Smith-Watkins leadpipe, setting the JP251SW apart from other intermediate level trumpets. Constructed from high grade 80:20 brass to ensure a bright tone, the JP251SW also features monel piston valves and adjustable 1st and 3rd valve slides to assist on the tuning of the more difficult notes. Attractively designed, this instrument resembles a fully professional Smith-Watkins model and is available in many different finishes for that personal touch.
"I think this is without doubt the best trumpet John Packer have produced to date and as far as student trumpets go, it is one of the best I’ve played. With a small price tag, it seems to me to be good value for money and would be a suitable instrument to take pupils through from beginning, to a point at which they need to move onto a “pro” instrument."
Author: John Dickinson. Ex Principal Trumpet Halle Orchestra, Tutor at RNCM, ex Head of Brass at Chetham's School of Music
"John packer have introduced their new trumpet the JP251 (SW). It is very well built with a lot of attention to detail, including a solid locking third valve key ring and great water key operation. The instrument is very free blowing due to the addition of the Smith-Watkins lead pipe and all the higher register is much easier to control. The intonation over the range is clear and the usual notes that are flat are easily adjustable and pose no problems as my students have found out! This is not a student trumpet. It is as good as many trumpets five times the price. This is a newcomer to the market and ideal for both the student who needs a good instrument to develop and the parents who will appreciate the great price. A real bargain for a quality instrument."
"As we have come to expect from the Packer stable, the 251SW is well crafted, solidly built and beautifully finished. The ‘one piece’ rose brass bell comes with a standard flare and bell ring, there are Monel valves and a specially designed leadpipe by Smith-Watkins specifically developed to maximise the performance of this particular horn. Fitting the supplied 5C mouthpiece, the 251SW is free blowing and those Monel valves are super smooth - it’s a breeze from the top right down to the bottom F sharp. And that purpose built leadpipe really does help. . . there’s an amazing degree of freedom, allowing the player to shape their sound, bend notes etc . . . Easily driven, the 251SW offers plenty of power and has a good dynamic range. The sound is bright, with a lot of depth and body and there is a lovely sweet, warm tonality - further accentuated when we fitted our own 3C. Shipped in a semi-rigid case that is a C21st update on the original rectangular model, it has a shaped styrofoam plush lined interior, a 3/4 zip, a full face zippered pouch pocket, a back harness stashed behind a velcroed storage flap and two top mounted ‘D’ rings carrying a shoulder strap. Oh yes - and we particularly liked the two shaped, rubber grab handles to the top and end panels. There’s really nothing that we didn’t like about this horn, and with a normal selling price of just £454, it’s easy to see why this little beauty is deservedly top of its class.
"For starters, this instrument looks fantastic if you like the unlaquered or vintage appearance that has become popular amongst jazz players in recent years. It also has rather snazzy valve top inlays which an eleven-year-old pupil described as “cool,” so there you have it.
"The playing characteristics of this instrument are outstanding, and as other reviewers have pointed out it does genuinely bear comparison with trumpets costing several times more. Overall I’ve found the intonation to be rather better than for the professional level instrument I’ve played for many years, requiring less lip and slide adjustment for those awkward notes. It feels comfortable and easy to play.
"The JP 251SWA represents outstanding value for intermediate players, and is certainly worth considering up to professional level. Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised."
Purchased the Satin mode 251 and after over 12 months of daily playing, I can say now as of from the first week that for the money it is well spent on this item.
The trumpet design weight and feel suit me, coupled with a quality hard transport carry case and as a beginner trumpet player this is an affordable Intermediate level model, with fixed third slide ring which I wanted. As an adult the lack of slide adjustment doesn't matter and can become permanently wobbly/lose as previously experienced by myself on another trumpet.
The finish is pretty good but not a1 due to 2 small areas missed with the finish, but attention to detail such as little rubber washers on the slides, fancy valve tops, Monel piston valves for durability and a Smith Watkins leadpipe more than make up for this, I am very fussy. The trumpet still looks good because the lacquered finish is holding up well, but I do tend to look after my instruments.
Sound can be described as bright and cuts through in a band environment nicely, sounds also particularly sweet when a Denis Wick protruding mute is used.
In summary 5*, this trumpet is regularly used and enjoyed, the only downside common with many trumpets is trying to re thread the bottom fiddly caps, x2 of the 3 are more time consuming when having to remove excess water build up.
The JP251SW is supplied in a protective hard case with metal clasps, and comes with a JP 5C mouthpiece, bottle of Ultra Pure valve oil and a maintenance guide to help you keep your instrument in top playing order.
Our very own JP251SW Trumpet features in this stylish music video from The Heavy. Watch out for the trumpet solo at 2:37.
Austin Custom Brass tests the JP251SW
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