Jupiter Band Instruments
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KHS was first founded with the Wan Wu name in Taiwan in 1930 by Tsu-Cheng Hsieh as an educational products company and was renamed to KHS in 1945. KHS stands for Kung Hsue She which means a company helping schools and culture. KHS started harmonica production in 1956 and started band instrument production a year later in 1957. By 1980 KHS was a full-scale musical instrument manufacturer and the Jupiter brand was started to market a complete line of wind instruments and percussion. In 1985 KHS established the Musix company and KHS acquired Altus flutes in 1990, Ross Mallet Instruments in 1994 and Hohner/Sonor percussion in 1997. Altus flute employees and specialists from Japan worked as KHS technical advisors.
In 1986 KHS transferred most of its production from its small factory in greater Taipei to a major complex in nearby Zhongli. In 1993 KHS started building a factory near Tianjin China for the main purpose of entering the Chinese market. In 1996 the KHS Chinese factory began producing instruments and instrument parts and since 1996 some lower priced Jupiter instruments have been totally made in China and some mid priced Jupiter instruments have been assembled in Taiwan from parts made at the Tianjin China factory and some higher priced Jupiter instruments have been totally made at the Gouling factory in Taiwan. The entire Jupiter 500 series are made in China and the Jupiter 700 series are assembled in Taiwan.
The main KHS manufacturing facility at Zhongli, Taiwan, is spread over a 55-acre (220,000 m2) industrial complex, featuring a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) band instrument and drum factory and the KHS manufacturing facility at Tianjin China, is spread over a 30-acre (120,000 m2) site. Imported European components are often used and most raw materials are imported from Japan. Clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces are imported from ESM in Germany and the pearl shell used for keys is imported from Germany. Pads, springs, felt and natural cork are imported from Italy and synthetic cork is imported from France. The brass and silver plates used for the instruments bodies are imported from Japan as are the knock pins and natural cork.
The hand tools used to fashion the musical instrument parts are from Switzerland and the USA and the CNC machines are from Japan. The lacquer used is imported from Britain and the USA and the soldering powder is imported from Canada. All of the KHS manufacturing facilities in Taiwan and China are ISO 9001 certified. KHS has made musical instruments for other companies such as Buffet Crampon (Evette), Vito and Keilwerth ST-90 series IV saxophones, B&S trumpets and Courtois cornets. KHS has made Olds, Blessing, Riley and Arbiter Jazz saxophones.
Altus (professional flute)
Azumi (intermediate flute)
Jupiter (wind instruments)
XO (professional brass)
From 1985 to 1998 the year of manufacture is the first digit of the serial number + 1. For instance a serial number that is 7XXXXX = (7+1) = 8 = 1988 or 1998 and other indicators have to be used to decide whether it was made in 1988 or 1998 because there is no decade information in this serial numbering system and the serial numbers repeat for every decade.
To help decide which decade the instrument is from, the Jupiter logo designs can be used. The earlier Jupiter saxophones have a "Jupiter and KHS Musical Instrument Co Ltd" logo on the bell and have Taiwan near the model and serial numbers under the thumbrest. This was changed in the early 1990s to a "Jupiter and KHS Musical Instrument Taiwan" logo on the bell with no Taiwan near the model and serial numbers under the thumbrest. The newer Jupiter saxophones just have a Jupiter logo on the bell and have Taiwan near the model and serial numbers under the thumbrest. Earlier Jupiter instrument cases have a "Jupiter Wind Instruments" logo and newer Jupiter instrument cases just have a Jupiter logo.
Unfortunately the serial numbering system that was used had no decade information so in 1999 the serial number format was changed from a digit format to a letter format. For instance AXXXXX=1999, BXXXXX=2000 etc.
Common Jupiter Saxophone Model Codes
Higher model numbers (700 series JAS-767GL) are more advanced than the lower model numbers (500 series JAS-565GL)
- JAS = Jupiter Alto Saxophone
- JTS = Jupiter Tenor Saxophone
- JPS = Jupiter Soprano Saxophone
- JBS = Jupiter Baritone Saxophone
- GL = Gold Lacquer
- GN = Nickel-plated keys
- BL = Black
General Finish Types
- L = Lacquer
- S = Silver plate
- N = Nickel plate
"Jupiter" name was licensed by KHS to Roland corporation (unclear when) who produced very successful line of analog synthesizers (Jupiter-4, -6 and -8) in late 70s - early 80s, and the modern digital Jupiter-80 and -50. in 2011. At Roland's Jupiter-80 product page there's a line that says "JUPITER" is a registered trademark of and is licensed by K.H.S. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT CO. LTD. in the United States and other countries."
Marching Instrument Use and History
Jupiter instruments are commonly used in the marching arts, such as Drum Corps International (DCI), Indoor winds (through WGI), and traditional marching bands across the globe. Three of the top 15 World Class Drum Corps use Jupiter instruments: The Academy, The Mandarins and The Blue Knights.
Notoriously known for their heavier weight, Jupiter has made changes over the past 4 years to the materials and shaping of their line of marching instruments to help facilitate easier use for this activity. The largest change in weight can be seen in their new "Pegasus" Contra - dropping the weight from a recorded high of 42 pounds to 21 pounds.