Riverhead Jupiter


I have three Riverhead Jupiter basses, built in Japan in the ‘80s.  The Jupiter seems to be a fairly rare and, certainly in my opinion, an underrated bass guitar.

Some folks know about Riverhead through the Unicorn and the Phantom headless designs, but not the Jupiter. The Jupiter could definitely be the love child of a Spector and Warwick. Probably the most noticeable feature is the asymmetric  headstock, which is very ergonomic.

The Riverhead Jupiter basses were made in the late 80s by the Headway Co Ltd of Nagano Japan.

I got my first Riverhead Jupiter (a natural RJB-1300PJ) in 1988. I bought it new and was told at the time it was one of five ‘launch’ basses brought to the UK. It has a low serial number. Since then I have acquired two other Jupiter’s (an metallic gray RJB-1300PJ and a black RJB-1100PJ, which has had its pick-ups replaced). Judging by the serial numbers (>5000) these two are some of the last to be made. I am currently on the look out for additional machines, so if you know of any looking for a good home let me know!

I used to gig my natural Jupiter regularly but these days I use it only for recording and solo fun! It was always a conversation piece, particularly with its unusual headstock, which makes tuning very ergonomic. These days I have it strung 30 50 70 90: it's fast and funky! There is a difference of nearly 2lbs (10lbs vs 8lbs) between my natural Jupiter and the two late serial numbers. The build quality of the natural Jupiter is extremely good, some of the best I have seen in a non-custom bass.