Sterling JP150 Review & Prices

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Sterling JP150 Review
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  • From Sterling's 2017 John Petrucci series
  • John Petrucci Signature
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Figured Maple top
  • Mahogany body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Roasted Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Sterling Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Sterling Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Modern Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • John Petrucci Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Sterling's 2017 John Petrucci series
  • John Petrucci Signature
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Figured Maple top
  • Mahogany body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Roasted Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Sterling Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Sterling Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Modern Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • John Petrucci Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Sterling JP150 a Good Guitar?

Made in Indonesia with great craftsmanship while keeping the price as low as possible. It's a guitar with decent playability. It doesn't come with the best pickups, so you might want to upgrade them eventually. It's a well-balanced guitar for playing solos and chords. In general, it offers a good amount of features for the price. Overall, a good guitar for the price.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 69
Build quality 63
Value for money 75
Overall Score 70
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Sterling JP150
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Boost Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

Sterling JP150 John Petrucci - An Honest Review - [Buy this instead of an RG....]
John Petrucci Demos His Sterling by Music Man JP150
Sterling JP150 Quick Review
UNBIASED GEAR REVIEW - Sterling by Music Man JP150 6-string Guitar
This is THE BEST Sterling Guitar Ever! (Sterling by Music Man JP150DSM)

Sterling JP150 Prices

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Is the Sterling JP150 a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $700, which means that the Sterling JP150 costs around 26% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in Indonesia.

Explore All Sterling Guitars >

Is The Sterling JP150 Easy to Play?

The Sterling JP150 meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Sterling JP150
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Sterling JP150's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Sterling JP150's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Sterling JP150 Scale Length Comparison
Sterling JP150's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Sterling JP150 Neck Profile
Sterling JP150's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Sterling JP150 has a 16" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Sterling JP150 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Sterling JP150's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This fretboard radius is really different than Stratocasters, but it's also a lot flatter than Les Paul fingerboards. It'll heavily favor soloing over playing chords. This doesn't mean you can't use it for chords, but it will be more comfortable to play chords without muting strings in a more curved fretboard. Bending and sliding without losing sustain will also be more likely in a flat fretboard like this one.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Sterling JP150 has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Sterling JP150
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
Wizard Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Sterling JP150 Nut Width
Sterling JP150 Nut Width

The Sterling JP150 has a nut width of 41.9mm (1.65''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") width. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The Sterling JP150 has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Sterling JP150 Fret Size Comparison
Sterling JP150's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Sterling JP150's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Does the Sterling JP150 Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Sterling JP150

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body
Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple Neck, Fretboard

Mahogany Body: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Roasted Maple Neck and Fretboard: Similar to simple Maple, but even stronger, darker, and more stable to temperature changes. This is thanks to the treatment process that consists in using high temperatures to drain the water, sugar, and resins from the wood.

More guitars made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Sterling JP150's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More guitars with the same pickups

Sterling JP150
This model
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Sterling Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Sterling Humbucker Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Sterling Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Sterling Humbucker Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Sterling Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Sterling Humbucker Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Sterling Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Sterling Humbucker Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Sterling Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Sterling Humbucker Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Boost option. It'll increase the output of the pickups when activated. You'll be able to increase the output for heavy genres while still being able to use a cleaner voice when you need it.

More guitars with the same mods:

Diagram

Sterling JP150 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Sterling JP150's switch options

What music genre is the Sterling JP150 good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 55
Sustain 65
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 69

How well is the Sterling JP150 Built?

Where is the Sterling JP150 Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Sterling JP150 is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

More guitars made in Indonesia

Bridge

Modern Tremolo: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Sterling JP150 comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

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Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Sterling JP150 has a Compensated nut. It's cut in a way that makes each string have the correct length for perfect intonation across the fretboard. It provides excellent tuning stability.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

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Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 50
Features 70
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 63

Most Popular Comparisons With The Sterling JP150

Sterling JP150 Specs

General
Brand: Sterling
Year: 2017
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: John Petrucci
Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Black Satin
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Figured Maple
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: Modern Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Locking
Fretboard: Roasted Maple
Neck Material: Roasted Maple
Decoration: Custom Jp Inlays
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: John Petrucci
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 16"
Nut: Compensated
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Boost
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Sterling Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Sterling Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)