The current Head of Qualifications (Music) at Trinity College in London, Christopher Walters, recently tested an exciting new student clarinet from South West woodwind and brass specialists John Packer Ltd. The JP221 Bb Clarinet is aimed at students and progressing musicians and made of ABS resin, but has an appearance and sound very similar to that of grenadilla. This improved model also features strong silverplated keywork for durability and longevity, especially useful for schools and music educators.
On receiving the instrument Christopher said that “the JP221 lives up to its exterior.” And went on to say “the instrument I was sent had been superbly set up and was convincingly airtight ? not always a given with student clarinets. The intonation was secure and the tone was full and even, giving little suggestion that this is plastic clarinet.”
The new JP221 reflects a complete ground up redesign of the previous model and is the result of years of new research and development. The new heavily silverplated keywork also gives a great shine and sets the instrument apart from other student clarinets.
“Anyone who has been handling student clarinets for more than a few years will tell you that production values in this category have generally gone up, and the JP221 is no exception. This instrument gives an impression of quality, from the smart back case with detachable rucksack straps to the smooth wood-effect body and shiny silverplated keys. Additionally, the design of the JP221 gives a pleasing feeling of individuality ? not bad at this price point.
For readers who are wondering why I can’t offer any negatives, the reason is that there aren’t really any. For nearly ?100 less than the market-leading Buffet B12, this instrument should definitely be among those you try before you buy."
Already proving very popular within the UK education sector, the JP221 will also appeal to those serious about learning to play the clarinet. For the full instrument specification, visit the johnpacker.co.uk website and search JP221. Prices start from ?325 (RRP ?433) with the option to upgrade to a higher performing package which includes a Vandoren M30 mouthpiece.