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John Packer JP159 pocket trumpet experiences



 
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SaxoTrump
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:56 am    Post subject: John Packer JP159 pocket trumpet experiences Reply with quote

Has anyone here owned and played that JP pocket trumpet for relatively long period of time? I mean over a year or longer?

This is a hobby instrument BUT I would expect it to last unlike many Chinese trumpets that according to numerous reports "play for one year and after that the valves... you name it... _freeze_, _wear out_, _get corroded_, etc. ".

One specification feature that makes this trumpet attractive is its Monel valve pistons.
I wonder if it's possible to successfully screw up Monel pistons so that they'll give up in 1 year of use like those Chinese "stainless steel pistons" that begin to corrode which is of course a big surprise: stainless steel = no corrosion.

Otherwise I wouldn't expect much from a $250 trumpet.

Here are couple links:
- First is the manufacturers site:
https://www.jpmusicalinstruments.com/prod/john-packer-jp159

- Second is a quick play test by Tim Battig on YT:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma0wD-VxNlY
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delano
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to be the standard Chinese pocket which sells by a lot of different names. I own the same horn but of an older generation (?) with a 104 mm bell. I am not sure the valves are monel (I think stainless steel) anyway they function quite good and are still not corroded.
Mine is https://arnolds-sons.de/de/shop/trompete/atr-200/

It's possible that the quality of these horns is better when ordered by a big(ger) company like A&s or JP.
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cgaiii
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From first glance this has the typical wrap of the cheap Chinese pocket trumpets. I know nothing about the John Packer, but just judging from that, I would be suspicious.
Look at the difference between this wrap and the Carol Brass, Manchester Brass or Schagerl.
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arthurtwoshedsjackson
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The valves on the 159 that I owned froze if left to sit for more than a few days. I tried different brands of oil to no avail. I gave the horn away. Good riddance. Sorry.
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SaxoTrump
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

arthurtwoshedsjackson wrote:
The valves on the 159 that I owned froze if left to sit for more than a few days. I tried different brands of oil to no avail. I gave the horn away. Good riddance. Sorry.


I searched the forum and imagine, in one of the recent threads the same problem as yours was reported in respect to the valve pistons: they freeze once this trumpet is stored for couple days without playing!
Here is that thread:
https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1580966

multiphonic wrote:
...The only nitpick is that the valves get stuck if the horn is stored for more than a few days. They can be freed once oiled from below, but it's a bit of a pain. I'm assuming that they weren't lapped properly. Perhaps they'll wear in over time.
...


He calls it a "nitpick". So - that's a feature, not a bug
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the valves freeze within a couple of days without playing, why do you have a problem w/that??? (HA)
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SaxoTrump
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yourbrass wrote:
So the valves freeze within a couple of days without playing, why do you have a problem w/that??? (HA)


Maybe because they kind of need to be "broken in" every time you get the trumpet out?
Anyway there is something wrong with the oiled valves that get stuck after couple days. Don't you think so?
(I understand the joke about using a trumpet every couple days but remember this is a hobby instrument that's probably not supposed to be played every day).

Anyway, my Yamaha could be taken out of its case after couple months of not playing it and it was ready to go - no stuck valves.
Mind you, I don't mean I played trumpet with 2 month intervals but just mentioning that to emphasize there is definitely something wrong with those JP valves.
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Bflatman
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every instrument I own and every instrument I have ever owned can be left for weeks or months and the valves work perfectly and sweetly the instant the instrument is picked up.

No freezing no sticking no valve issues at all.

This is what I expect from any trumpet and any cornet.

It is the standard and normal quality that the manufacturers achieved from 1900 onwards and all my instruments are between 40 years and 100 years old and all the valves are perfect.

Why expect or accept anything else than this.

Having said that I have seen this problem before with dirty valves and or poor valve oil that goes thicker over a day or so.

This is caused by the thin distillates in the oil formulation evaporating leaving the thicker distillates behind on the valves and this makes the valves stick.

I would have to see the valves and the issue before accepting the valves themselves are at fault.

This could be a combination of rough valve surface small clearance poor oil cling and inappropriate viscosity.

In essence a small valve clearance forces the use of thin oil that has poor cling and evaporates swiftly resulting in the loss of adequate oil film over a few days. Then the valve sticks.

The replenishing of oil from below resolves this.

Lapping the valves then would polish the valve surface and open the gap slightly allowing thicker oil with better cling and the problem disappears.

I am not suggesting this as a fix I havent seen the valves yet so I cannot say what the root cause of the problem is.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the sticking issue with my Yamaha, Kanstul and Bach trumpets. All have this issue when I use Al Cass valve oil.

In my case one trumpet has loose valves that work best with Berp Bio Oil. The valves. on the Kanstul pic and Yamaha flugelhorn are relatively unused. My primary horn also has only a few years of relatively light/non-pro use.

I use Hetman now on all but my 1972 Strad, which I use BBO on, and never have the seizing issue.

In my case I am convinced it was the oil, but there are surely other issues that could cause these symptoms.
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arthurtwoshedsjackson
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dissertations on valve oil aside...

All three valves in my 159 would become stuck solid in the casings after sitting a few days and had to be oiled from below and then tapped (with a rawhide mallet) to be freed. Choice of valve oil from my stockpile of various well-known brands had no effect. The valves were faulty. The horn was garbage.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

arthurtwoshedsjackson wrote:
Dissertations on valve oil aside...

All three valves in my 159 would become stuck solid in the casings after sitting a few days and had to be oiled from below and then tapped (with a rawhide mallet) to be freed. Choice of valve oil from my stockpile of various well-known brands had no effect. The valves were faulty. The horn was garbage.

So if the issue isn’t related to oil how do you explain the valve sticking? I am pretty sure if you thoroughly clean the piston and casing, reassemble the horn and leave it sitting for a few days that the valve won’t seize.

But I welcome someone with the issue trying this, proving me wrong and definitively eliminating the oil as a contributor in that case.

I do know in my case the issue was 100% a specific oil on four horns with monel pistons made by three respected manufacturers.

Edit: please note many other musicians use that oil without the issue I have.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue of valves sticking after sitting for a while is rather common in cheap, frequently Chinese, instruments. This topic comes up every time someone askes what "carbon blasted valves" are after visiting the Andalucia website to find out about Vance's fairly impressive line-up. (it is a fix for this issue by the way, but not at all common).

Traditionally, one might expect a cheaply made horn to be loose fitting with imprecise manufacturing tolerances causing issues. The norm with cheap Asian manufacturing however is to heavily automate the process employing commonly available modern machinery that can achieve insanely tight tolerances if programmed to do so. If you take stainless steel, machine it to a perfect polish, and then fit it so tightly that there is almost nowhere left for the oil to even fit (necessitating a thin oil), that oil very quickly wipes off the surfaces that are essentially in contact and winds up in the bottom cap.

The moist environment in the horn then reacts with the raw brass casing wall and, no surprise, things stick.

("carbon blasting" is a process of etching a matte finish into pistons with tiny high velocity pellets of dry ice to give the oil something to hold it on the piston surface - its a good fix for this, but when it comes to wearing in, better be pushing those valves straight or you will hour-glass the casings a lot easier too)

This is a case where cheap manufacturing does not do things sloppily, rather, it does them too precisely.
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delano
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own such a standard Chinese pocket trumpet (with A&s on it) and the valves are great (for this price category) and never stick, not even after months of no-use.
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arthurtwoshedsjackson
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed and logical explanation, oldschooleuph. Do you know if monel valves machined to such close tolerances could exhibit the same issue?
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same problem with Adams valves in my flugelhorn. Cleaned them and tried many different oils. Including the recommended Monster oil. Nothing worked. Took the horn for an ultrasonic cleaning. No more problems with any oil. Goes to show, eh?
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

arthurtwoshedsjackson wrote:
Thanks for the detailed and logical explanation, oldschooleuph. Do you know if monel valves machined to such close tolerances could exhibit the same issue?


Thus far, I have not encountered monel machined that tightly. Monel is more expensive than stainless and far more difficult (expensive) to work with, so not terribly popular when it comes to low-cost manufacturing.

Monel valves sticking however is something I have seen. Monel when it cools from its liquid state has a tendency to form air pockets. This porosity is exposed in subsequent machining turning the surface of the piston into a rasp. With tight tolerances, this immediately scavanges brass off the casing wall and brass-to-brass corrosive occlusion follows as the horn sits - like overnight in bad cases. This condition is visible as dark blotches on the piston surface wherever a porosity cluster is located.

Jupiter in particular had a significant problem with this. With the singular exception of the JTR-1100 trumpets, all other Jupiter piston-valve brass now use stainless today. As the XO line, which like Jupiter is made by KHS, also features monel valves, I can only presume that they got this porosity problem under control at some point.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III wrote:
I had the same problem with Adams valves in my flugelhorn. Cleaned them and tried many different oils. Including the recommended Monster oil. Nothing worked. Took the horn for an ultrasonic cleaning. No more problems with any oil. Goes to show, eh?


For decades, "acid bath" cleaning was the norm for brass instruments that were beyond the aid of soap and a brush. Given the nature of red rot, this was a pretty drastic practice, and was very aggressive as far as impact to the brass itself. (Caustics adequate to removing the crud however happen to be even worse on the brass given the prevalence of copper in the alloy, so it was the lesser of evils)

Ultrasonic cleaning gave us a less aggressive alternative that would not strip the zinc out of the inner layer of our horns. However, to assume it is not aggressive is a fallacy. In the decade I spent working with exhaust emissions instrumentation, I cleaned thousands and thousands of very expensive little stainless steel tube fittings (you need stainless or PTFE conduits for the carrying the gases in sampling and analytical systems in order to not have the system contaminate the sample). We were always replacing and modifying systems, and given the cost, saving the fittings was important (back then, today they outsource the entire system and its care to AVL or Horiba - who probably salvage old fittings). Every so often, someone would slip a brass fitting into a batch waiting for ultrasonic cleaning (with pure abrasive so as to leave no hydrocarbon residue behind). The brass fitting could be cleaned afterward with soap and water just like a horn, but the thick black coating it came out of the bath with was the converted brass surface. Ultrasonics take away material too.

So, when a horn is ultrasonically cleaned, there is a minor impact on valve clearance (leave the valves in and it can be more than minor). Is that significant with this Adams? I dont know. But I have to wonder if it was fully broken in (break-in creating daily black grime that binds) and if not, did you ultrasonically break in your valves?
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arthurtwoshedsjackson
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really interesting. Thanks. The horn in question has monel valves.

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
arthurtwoshedsjackson wrote:
Thanks for the detailed and logical explanation, oldschooleuph. Do you know if monel valves machined to such close tolerances could exhibit the same issue?


Thus far, I have not encountered monel machined that tightly. Monel is more expensive than stainless and far more difficult (expensive) to work with, so not terribly popular when it comes to low-cost manufacturing.

Monel valves sticking however is something I have seen. Monel when it cools from its liquid state has a tendency to form air pockets. This porosity is exposed in subsequent machining turning the surface of the piston into a rasp. With tight tolerances, this immediately scavanges brass off the casing wall and brass-to-brass corrosive occlusion follows as the horn sits - like overnight in bad cases. This condition is visible as dark blotches on the piston surface wherever a porosity cluster is located.

Jupiter in particular had a significant problem with this. With the singular exception of the JTR-1100 trumpets, all other Jupiter piston-valve brass now use stainless today. As the XO line, which like Jupiter is made by KHS, also features monel valves, I can only presume that they got this porosity problem under control at some point.

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SaxoTrump
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the specs John Packer JP159 indeed has Monel valves.
Those JP Monel valves are said to get stuck or otherwise become very sluggish according to the 2 previous owners of the horn found on this forum and in some other JP trumpets according to my Internet research.

OldSchoolEuph explained in his highly educated write-up the possible cause of the problem.

However, why not to assume intelligently that the Monel in question used in those trumpets has some poor composition or maybe poor manufacturing process or both? Respectively regardless of the actual piston-to-casing wall clearance the two metals can react in an unexpected way resulting in valves being stuck.

The low retail price of these trumpets suggests that expectations of their playability shouldn't be high so when such a problem as sticky valves is encountered there is no big surprise for a buyer. There is no need to improve the manufacturing process or the Monel composition as well as the horns will always sell.

arthurtwoshedsjackson wrote:
Really interesting. Thanks. The horn in question has monel valves.

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
arthurtwoshedsjackson wrote:
Thanks for the detailed and logical explanation, oldschooleuph. Do you know if monel valves machined to such close tolerances could exhibit the same issue?


Thus far, I have not encountered monel machined that tightly. Monel is more expensive than stainless and far more difficult (expensive) to work with, so not terribly popular when it comes to low-cost manufacturing.

Monel valves sticking however is something I have seen. Monel when it cools from its liquid state has a tendency to form air pockets. This porosity is exposed in subsequent machining turning the surface of the piston into a rasp. With tight tolerances, this immediately scavanges brass off the casing wall and brass-to-brass corrosive occlusion follows as the horn sits - like overnight in bad cases. This condition is visible as dark blotches on the piston surface wherever a porosity cluster is located.

Jupiter in particular had a significant problem with this. With the singular exception of the JTR-1100 trumpets, all other Jupiter piston-valve brass now use stainless today. As the XO line, which like Jupiter is made by KHS, also features monel valves, I can only presume that they got this porosity problem under control at some point.
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