One instrument that the company is particularly well-known for producing is the Jupiter Saxophone.
First established in 1980 by its Taiwanese parent company KHS, Jupiter makes and distributes a variety of percussion, woodwind and brass instruments.
While Jupiter saxophones are not as popular at the professional level as some other brands, Jupiter has developed a positive reputation for producing quality beginner and intermediate horns.
In the past, Jupiters were known to suffer from a number of mechanical problems, leading many players to opt for the more popular Saxophone Brands like Yamaha. Most new Jupiter saxes have improved in quality, although they can still generally lose their resale value quite quickly. Some players have also claimed that Jupiters usually cannot handle the same level of wear and tear as some other companies. This leads them to recommend against purchasing Jupiter saxophones as beginner horns, given the tendency of elementary and high school students treating their instruments rather carelessly. Although someone looking to purchase a saxophone should never rely solely on the advice of other players. The best way to find the right horn is to try out several in person and select the one that works well with your mouthpiece, embouchure and playing style.
Jupiter has several lines of saxophones for players of varied expertise. The CXL series is designed specifically for student musicians and is aimed at promoting faster skill development. CXL saxophones have a number of special features like brass, silver and gold-plated component, adjustable thumb rests and tone boosters. Such features tend to increase comfort, improve tone and extend range for young or beginning players. Within the CXL line, saxophones are subdivided into either academic or concert horns. While horns in the Academic series are built to accommodate the needs of inexperienced players, Concert series saxophones are designed to add aesthetic polish with gold-plated lip plates and trim made from sterling silver, grendilla wood and rose brass.
Jupiter also offers the saxes in their XO Series. This line was started mainly as a way for Jupiter to break into the professional horn market. Introduced in 2002, XO saxophones were first released as prototypes, undergoing more design changes shortly after. Jupiter claims to have developed the series using thousands of hours of research and state-of-the-art production techniques. There are a few good players using this series.
The company has been somewhat successful, but has been unable to get a large number of professional players to switch away from more established brands like Selmer, Yanigasawa or Yamaha. Still, the XO line of saxophones has been well-received, praised specifically for their attractive appearance and solid construction. Jupiter’s XO saxophones feature a custom hard rubber mouthpiece with a Rovner EVO-5 ligature, as well as metal tone boosters and tilting G# – Bb table key. The necks and bells of these horns are hand-hammered, typically from rose brass, with decorative engravings on the bell.
The Jupiter Sax have been endorsed by such artists as Kevin Harris, Roger Lewis and Dale Fielder, all jazz musicans of recent years.