Jupiter Saxophones seem to have come a long way since I last played one over a decade ago; no longer the budget beginner horn I recall. The Jupiter 767 GL Eb Alto Saxophone is a congenially versatile, responsively intuitive instrument well suited to intermediate students and folk after something well and truly gig-able, but with value-for-dollar as a primary concern.
Its tone is ripe but dulcet, offering a moderately bright sound that wouldn’t be out of place in any Sax-appropriate context. With my more classic-sounding Selmer C star mouthpiece, the 767 is instantly comfortable, obligingly resonating all the way from its low Bb to high F#, though perhaps the lower end is a little rougher sounding. The upper register is wonderfully reactive though, blasting rich-sounding harmonics and false fingerings with little to no trouble at all! At this point I can hardly wait to pop on my metal Bobby Dukoff mouthpiece. The Sax growls with such gusto I get so excited I almost commit saxcrilege and pop out a cheeky Careless Whisper. Thankfully, my neighbours prevent this by asking what I think I am doing in a rather raucous manner – but you get the idea.
Whilst even the high F# is a relatively pleasant surprise of a feature for a Sax in this price range, I am particularly impressed by a peculiar component I’ve never seen on a horn before – with an included allen key, the palm keys can be raised and lowered to fit hands of any size. Parents, caregivers and fosterers of musical joy within children; I was lucky enough to be gifted a beautiful probably-better-than-I-deserved-at- the-time sax around age 10 and that had me hooked, just sayin’. The action on the keys is enjoyably smooth and easy, and coupled with the fluency of register transition shredding all the way up and down the 2 2/3 octaves is a cinch.
The gold-lacquered body, keys and ligature undoubtedly contribute to the saxophone’s smooth texture but also afford a classic aesthetic to the horn. The backpack style case is subtly attractive too, but more importantly seems to be quite sturdy for something so lightweight, and the shoulder strap is always a welcome addition for the multi-instrumentalist/student lugging lots of gear. Included with the sax is everything you’d need to get straight into playing, including a Jupiter 4C mouthpiece with plastic cap, neck strap, cork grease, a Vandoren V16 reed, micro fibre cloth, ‘condensation’ cleaner, a care instruction booklet and the aforementioned allen key. 5 year manufacturers warranty comes standard, but if it’s as robustly constructed as the 767 initially feels I cannot really see any problems arising.
At this sort of price range I imagine you’d be hard-pressed to find a sax as adaptable or tonally splendid as the Jupiter 767 GL, appropriate for a multitude of uses including taking an emerging woodwindist to the next stage or as a dependable backup instrument for a professional player - for those gigs that just don’t warrant dragging your pride and joy across hours of public transport adventures.
For more information, visit the Music Merch website.
Hits and Misses
Adjustable Palm Keys