The newly revived Harmony brand unveiled this Stratotone-like remake last year to great fan fare, but will it hold up to our strict standards?
Another huge thanks to Ben and Bandlab Technologies, their support by loaning these guitars for review is what keeps this site going!
Overview & Final Score: 8.6
Another popular model from Harmony Guitars, the Jupiter is slightly reminiscent of their vintage Stratotone guitar. This flat top, Les Paul shaped guitar has recently been re-popularized by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Like their other models, the Jupiter features a Mahogany body with a Nitro finish. A Mahogany neck and Ebony fretboard holds 22 medium-jumbo frets, a 25″ scale length, and C-shaped profile, just like their Rebel guitar.
Those same gold foil humbuckers are also loaded onto this equally simple electric guitar. The cupcake knobs, one for volume and one for tone, contrast the dark body finish nicely. The Jupiter also features their half-bridge system, with adjustable saddles. Basically, it looks like a Tele bridge cut in half, giving it both a familiar and unique look. More locking tuners, dot inlays, and plenty of vintage vibes round out the premium features on this USA-made LP.
To be honest, the Jupiter has the same electronics as the Harmony Rebel and basically sounds the same. I’m sure the most fine tuned ear could argue that the single cut away shape makes a difference. But really, they are the same.
The good news? Harmony’s Jupiter sounds killer, just like the Rebel. I love the gold foil humbuckers, they’re clear, snappy, and sound great with overdrive. The Jupiter pushed my Vox AC15 into a nice crunch, though nothing as crazy as a PAF-style humbucker would. Harmony’s Jupiter has that distinct garage rock sound, and could easily find its way into the hands of the next alt-rock guitar hero. Layers of fuzz only make the Jupiter more fun, and this is a guitar I’d love to take on stage if I was a player who relied on fuzzed out tones often.
When played clean, the Jupiter easily jumps between U2-like arpeggios and Beatles-style jangle. Chords ring out clear and there is a decent amount of sustain, though not nearly as much as your typical archtop-LP style guitar.
I found the fret work, action, and tuning stability all well above average on this Jupiter. The locking tuners have been consistently great across all three Harmony guitars that I have reviewed here. The C-shaped neck is welcoming and the 25″ scale length sits comfortably between Fender and Gibson, much like a PRS. Personally, this guitar didn’t feel quite as fast up and down the neck as their Juno model, though I’m not sure there is any spec’d difference. Perhaps it was just the way the larger body sits. Though I’m sure the different, less-exaggerated lower horn cut contributed to that. Upper fret access isn’t an issue, it’s just not as easy as on the Juno.
Finish & Construction: 9
No scratches, dents, or any sign of defect on the lovely nitrocellulose finish. The champagne finish will certainly draw some eyes, and this one seemed to have more of a sparkle than the previous version I saw. The pickups were well adjusted, the cupcake knobs look awesome, I’m a big fan of the Jupiter. The guitar also comes with a sturdy MONO case that makes it a lot easier to take this guitar on the road to practice or gig. Also, the Jupiter is insanely comfortable and lightweight, making it a joy to play standing up or sitting down.
This guitar and the Harmony Jupiter are really just two sides of the same coin. Not that that’s a bad thing, I thoroughly was impressed with both guitars! It’s just up to if you prefer the double cut or single cut variety. But once again, the Jupiter is a really solid option and good value for a USA-made guitar. Despite the more affordable price for a domestic guitar, there are no clear signs of any shortcuts or quality control issues. Plus, you get a unique, vibe-heavy guitar. That’s right, I said vibe-heavy. Harmony’s Jupiter just looks like it should be kicking out fuzzy garage rock riffs or precise finger picked clean lead lines.
Good for: Garage Rock, Punk Rock, Indie/Alt Rock, LP Junior Fans, Domestic Guitar Fans, Hipsters Looking To Vibe