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John Packer UK 179B 4V Piston BBb Tuba


Item Details

This is a compact BBb tuba for wind bands, orchestras and concert bands. Made in China for John Packer UK.  Parts and service are available in the US.

The front action piston valves are ergonomic and the piston layout is designed for smaller hands.  This tuba body size is not exactly 3/4 or 4/4... it's more like 7/8.  This is the same shape and size tuba as a Jupiter 478/1010, meaning this instrument is comfortable for small to medium size players and will fit in well with the trombone section of the band.  Includes carriage rings for marching.  The second valve slide looks vulnerable to denting the way it's angling off to the side, though it doesn't protrude much.  Reinforce your good habit to lean your tuba against a wall so it won't tip over, as this tuba is no exception.

I/Steve am six feet tall with adult size hands and I find this tuba very comfortable to play.  The angle of the piston block aligns with my hand even when standing.  The low piston block location on the tuba body puts my right hand more in the bari sax right hand position, I like.  It's a fairly light instrument and the strap rings are well placed.  For seated playing it's a straight-in forearm reach from the right, more comfortable than the old Conn-style angle to me.

The JP was playable right out of the case after a cursory oiling.  The finish is smooth and buffing very shiny.  All the slides move freely and I don't see any major blemishes.  It's a fine playing tuba for the price.  I haven't settle on a mouthpiece to make it sing, but the included mouthpiece works at least as well as any of the several favorites I tried with the JP.  I'm not yet wowed with the response, these smaller BBb tubas, no matter who makes them, can be difficult.  I'll try several other mouthpieces.  One will be magic.  The tuba seems well designed and well assembled.  It's fine for a young player or those seeking a lighter, compact instrument for a very fair price.

The top action slides for first, third and fourth valves are convenient, but you must push the slides in to close the case.  The case is sturdy with wheels and 3 handles.  The outfit includes a large Styrofoam cone to protect the bell in the case.  Keep this piece for heavy travel - it's useful to prevent damage.  Shown with a can of polish for scale.

Includes spare piston guides, valve oil and JP warranty. 


  • Model: JP179B

  • Key: BBb

  • Bell Size: Yellow Brass 370mm, 14.5”

  • Valves: Piston 4

  • Bore: Large 17.5-18.5mm, 0.689-0.728"

  • 1 waterkey

  • Body: Yellow Brass

  • Finish: Lacquer

  • Mouthpiece: JP611

  • Leadpipe: Rose Brass


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