The Trombone Forum

Horns, Gear, and Equipment => Instruments => Topic started by: sterb225 on Feb 12, 2018, 06:57PM



Title: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: sterb225 on Feb 12, 2018, 06:57PM
Just appointed principle chair in the community orchestra I've been playing in for some time.  I've got some big shoes to fill and as such will need to actually become proficient on alto.  I've dabbled in the past with a Jin Bao that I hated and recently did trials of a Courtois that was way out of my budget and Werril with a too heavy tuning in slide slide.  I''m thinking of the JP Path, Wessex and possibly the Jin Bao that has been rubbed by The Horn Guys.  Also open to other suggestions for a new or used alto in the $1k range.  For context I play T-396 with a Griego Alessi 1C as my daily driver.  Thanks.



Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Matt K on Feb 12, 2018, 07:13PM
If you didn't like the Jin Bao, while the leadpipe does make a difference, I find the JP Rath and the Wessex to be leaps and bounds better than the Jin Bao. (The only one of these I haven't owned is the JP Rath, but I have tried it).

I have a Wessex 525/547 right now that I really like.  It is on the bigger side of things and you do have to pull the tuning slide out to get a decent 7th position E, but the slide is smooth.  It plays a little bigger than other altos but not nearly as much as you would imagine being so large.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Sliphorn on Feb 12, 2018, 07:36PM
I like my 236.  Good horn.  Pretty even up and down.  Sounds like an alto.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: cozzagiorgi on Feb 12, 2018, 10:08PM
For 200 usd more you can essily find a k&h 122 used. Why get a copy if you can get the real deal? Pm me if you want to know more.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Sliphorn on Feb 13, 2018, 08:07AM
For 200 usd more you can essily find a k&h 122 used. Why get a copy if you can get the real deal? Pm me if you want to know more.
I had one of those, too, and a reasonable player.  I wish I still had it to compare to the JP.  I sold it when I bought a Shires, which I eventually sold and replaced with my cheapie JP.  Oh well.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: cozzagiorgi on Feb 13, 2018, 08:28AM
I think they are cool horns and pretty easy to sound good on. Not hard to learn for an alto.
The k& Hoyer


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Dukesboneman on Feb 13, 2018, 10:00AM
I have a Weril Alto and I agree that it is Front heavy.
I put an old King Counter weight on it and I actually think it plays better with the counter weight.
I tried a bunch of the Bargain Altos and (for me ) the Weril felt the best and the transition from Tenor to Alto was easier


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Sliphorn on Feb 13, 2018, 10:10AM
I have a Weril Alto and I agree that it is Front heavy.
I put an old King Counter weight on it and I actually think it plays better with the counter weight.
I tried a bunch of the Bargain Altos and (for me ) the Weril felt the best and the transition from Tenor to Alto was easier
I forgot about that  I also had a Weril alto, tuning-in-slide.  Ehh. I didn't love it, and ergonomically it wasn't so nice.  Front heavy, as previously mentioned.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Matt K on Feb 13, 2018, 11:03AM
Weril is TIS, right?  Seems like you can either get a comfortable E or have a horn that is comfortable to hold... but not both! Makes me wonder if something like an alto tuned to 442 or 443 without the tuning --- but with a long slide and a comfortable E --- would be popular.  Could give the benefits of a TIS instrument minus the weight and porblems with the TIS mechanism.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: sterb225 on Feb 13, 2018, 12:46PM
Weril is TIS - horrifically heavy fell to the slide IMHO.  Though I must say that I did not try a counterweight and may now revisit the one I tried again ...


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Matt K on Feb 13, 2018, 12:58PM
I was thinking about adding an F attachment to one.  It's 500 bore and a 3BF attachment or 607F woul dwork. (There's a thread where I ask as much and all the techs here gave me some great advice that I never ended up following up on).  I was pseudo-quoted/estimated that ti would be ca. $500 in labor.  That's a lot more than a counterweight and that was a few years ago so that might be different... but I'd imagine an open wrap valve that extended behind your head would go a long way towards making it balanced.  I need to secure some funds, but I'm thinking about doing it very soon to my Wessex (with a 562 valve).


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: sonicsilver on Feb 13, 2018, 02:27PM
I have a Wessex 525/547 right now that I really like.  It is on the bigger side of things and you do have to pull the tuning slide out to get a decent 7th position E, but the slide is smooth.  It plays a little bigger than other altos but not nearly as much as you would imagine being so large.

I have an older Wessex with a single bore slide and I like it very much. The sound is clear and there are no problems turning the volume up or down. 6th harmonic Bs and Cs need a big correction, but otherwise the intonation is pretty tame. Fit and finish is a bit cheap: ferrule shape, the slide lock, water key etc but I don't care. It cost $500.

Other altos I've tried were from Courtois (horrible, fit only for car-horn duty), and Yamaha who make a good, well-designed instrument as you'd expect.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: Matt K on Feb 13, 2018, 02:47PM
I have an older Wessex with a single bore slide and I like it very much. The sound is clear and there are no problems turning the volume up or down. 6th harmonic Bs and Cs need a big correction, but otherwise the intonation is pretty tame. Fit and finish is a bit cheap: ferrule shape, the slide lock, water key etc but I don't care. It cost $500.

Other altos I've tried were from Courtois (horrible, fit only for car-horn duty), and Yamaha who make a good, well-designed instrument as you'd expect.

Single 525/525 or was it the Jin Bao (470?) model? (Just curious for those who might be reading in the future! e.g. Specifically, future me most likely  :evil:)

I'm a little surprised by the Courtois.  I've yet to try one that I didn't like even if it wasn't my particular cup of tea. At least modern ones.  Although I know Steve Davis likes his old Courtouis from the 80s!


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: deanmccarty on Feb 13, 2018, 05:09PM
My JP Rath alto is great!  SO much better than the Jin Bao.


Title: Re: JP Rath Alto and Other Bargain Altos
Post by: sonicsilver on Feb 14, 2018, 06:10AM
Single 525/525 or was it the Jin Bao (470?) model? (Just curious for those who might be reading in the future! e.g. Specifically, future me most likely  :evil:)

I'm a little surprised by the Courtois.  I've yet to try one that I didn't like even if it wasn't my particular cup of tea. At least modern ones.  Although I know Steve Davis likes his old Courtouis from the 80s!

Yes, definitely Wessex single bore. Apparently this instrument (or just the slide section?) is no longer made - which means it's vintage! Truly right up there with NY Bach kit  :/

The Courtois horn was not a modern one. It really did sound like a car horn. After a lot of careful practice the sound improved a bit and I sounded like Roadrunner.