The JP333 Rath is John Packer's Double Valve Bass Trombone and is suitable for musicians who are looking for a mid range/pro level instrument perfectly suited to orchestral playing, in a brass band section and also in a trombone section in a big band.
The JP333 Bass Trombone has a broad and free sound, developed in collaboration with UK trombone guru Michael Rath. This JP Rath design combines a double in-line rotary valve with a modern open wrap style.
The development of the JP333 Rath saw the instrument finely balanced, with the help of the counterweight, to ensure an excellent playing experience for musicians of all levels
The JP333 Rath features a large 14.27mm (.562") bore and a 241mm (9.5") bell and is constructed from high grade brass throughout.
The instrument also features an exclusive Michael Rath design leadpipe which supports flexibility throughout the whole register. An extremely high level of craftsmanship is apparent throughout, as is to be expected with instruments that bare the Rath seal of approval.
The JP333Rath Bass Trombone has met my expectations as a performing bass trombone player. The Rath Designed rotors are quick and responsive and the playability is second to none. It produces a rich, dark sound, but when you need it to pop, it will do that too. Honestly, it's comparable, if not better than other bass trombones in the marketplace that have double the price tag.
I'm a tenor player most of the time but when the gig calls for the low notes you gotta do what you gotta do. I needed a bass that would keep up but not break the bank. This horn has been great for me. I have no problems blending into a section or giving it that bass edge that is needed sometimes. For a horn that costs significantly less than the usual suspects, it gets the job done really well. If you're looking for a Bass to complement your arsenal its tough to go wrong with the 333
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.
The JP Rath 333 bass trombone is the latest addition to the JP Rath trombone family. While it appears to be aimed at intermediate and progressing player’s budgets, the JP Rath 333 has a number of features which places it in competition with established brands and models.
I was sent a model for review and enjoyed two weeks playing it in a number of contexts. I was impressed by how little setting up the instrument needed and was literally ready to play out of the case, apart from adding some slide lubrication.
I found the instrument to be very responsive in terms of production and articulation and warm sounding. This is likely the combination of the nickel hand slide, Rath designed leadpipe and 80:20 brass bell. Intonation and slotting of harmonics was very secure in the middle to lower registers with pedal notes being open and free. The upper range and extreme high range settled during the time I had the instrument partially as a mixture of developing familiarity and blowing in. The trigger register was very responsive even for rotor valves. The open wrap design clearly helps to offset the resistance of the rotary valves.
Personally, I prefer having students using rotary valve triggers as the natural back pressure helps the developing embouchure and articulation in the trigger register. There was no sense of stuffiness and, single and double trigger notes were easy to produce and centre. The valves also have a short throw resulting in them being quick to action. The quality of the valves themselves was very good - silent in operation and perfectly aligned. Both valve ‘paddles’ are adjustable to accommodate hand size and width of grip where the majority of other intermediate models tend to allow for the Gb paddle to be adjusted. The slide was particularly impressive considering the price point of the instrument. After a wipe down and lubrication with a liquid based product, the action was extremely smooth and slick. The nickel outer slide reduces the weight of the instrument and also facilitate production and articulation. The slide positions were exactly where I would expect them to be when referenced against a tuning machine.
The instrument build quality is excellent. The finish was impeccable with no lacquer or solder flaws evident. The tuning slides were in true alignment and lapped resulting in free movement. It looks great and there is clearly a high level of quality control in place through the production process.
The trombone is solid to hold and very well braced. The bracing still allows for the instrument to resonate across the dynamic range which would be adequate for all settings barring perhaps the most extreme fortissimo. I would, however, suggest that any player explores playing with and without the counterweight as this does add to them mass of the trombone and a developing player may well find it necessary to use a hand support to prevent fatigue.
In conclusion, I was highly impressed by my experience with the JP Rath 333. It is an excellent contender in the intermediate instrument market while also having a number of qualities which means it can easily punch above its weight. Robust, responsive and would appeal to a broad market including students, hobbyists, doublers and experienced players who might be looking for a back up horn. An excellent quality instrument especially at the current price point.
The JP333 Rath Trombone is supplied with a JP mouthpiece, JP pro lightweight case and an Ultra-pure Maintenance Pack.
The case is well designed to be robust yet lightweight and to provide as much protection to your instrument as possible.
It is equipped with backpack straps and a comfortable should strap as standard and also includes a small storage pocket accessible from the outside suitable for storing small accessories and sheet music.
The incredible Christopher Bill shows what can be done with John Packer Rath trombones.
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