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Supro: Iconic Amps, Guitars and Effects

By Mark Johnson: April 11, 2017

Ask most guitarists/opinion polls who are the top 5 most influential guitar players of all time and you are bound to find Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page in that list. If you are a Jimmy Page fanatic and really know your stuff  you will know that he recorded Led Zeppelin’s debut album on a customized 1×12 Supro amp in 1968. Jimi Hendrix used a Supro Thunderbolt early on in his career (pictured) which was actually a bass amplifier but sounded better putting a six-string electric through it. Another guitar great, Joe Perry recorded many of Aerosmith’s songs on a Supro amp and more recently the first two Kid Rock albums were recorded using these legendary amps.
These amps had a great reputation for tone and reliability but, despite the endorsement of Page and Hendrix, the company ceased trading in 1968. Curiously, this iconic brand didn’t make an appearance again until 2013 when Absara Audio purchased the rights to the Supro name from Fender amplifier designer Bruce Zinky. In collaboration with Zinky the design team went about reproducing a line of Supro 1964 reissue amplifiers.


Supro offer three different series of amplifiers:

  • Classic Series – a tribute to the late 1950’s Chicago-made combos played by the guitar icons of the British Invasion.
  • Retro Series – taking the sound of Supro into the modern age with additional clean headroom, 2-band EQ, reverb and tremolo. These high-power, 6L6 based models are available in 1 x 10, 1 x 12, 2 x 10 and 1 x 15 speaker configurations.
  • 1964 Reissue Series – faithful recreations of the legendary Chicago-made combos of the mid-60’s. From the vintage correct cabinetry and “Blue Rhino Hide Tolex” to the custom made transformers, proprietary USA-built speakers and original Supro circuitry, every element of the 1964 Reissue line was made from scratch to re-create the look, tone and feel of these iconic American tube amplifiers.



If you think it stops there you’d be very much mistaken Supro are just as well known for their guitars as they are for their amplifiers. In fact, Jimi Hendrix’s first guitar was a Supro, the 1957 Ozark 1560s was purchased by his father in 1959 from Myers Music in Seattle for $89.

Supro also offer two series of electric guitars plus a lap steel:

  • Island Series – based on the 1962 Supro Ozark, these solid-body electric guitars are an updated version of a retro classic. The Supro gold foil pickups provide the full-bodied sparkling single-coil twang. The Island Series also has some modern appointments like the 12″ radius rosewood fretboard, fast satin finish on the back of a set maple neck, and easy access for those high register notes. So what you basically have here is a vintage classic with some modern features to allow for today’s playing styles.
  • Americana Series – this series focuses on the Supro “Reso-Glass” instruments. Classic Supro tones are provided by the authentic Vistatone pickups. These pickups are reproductions of the original groundbreaking Ralph Keller single-coils developed for Valco in the early 1950’s. The chambered body is married with a newly designed “Acousti-Glass” composite top giving it that resonant semi-hollow sound. Other original features found on some of the models are the over sized tuners, adjustable rosewood bridge and original 1950’s wiring on the volume and tone controls which produce a broader range of sounds.
  • Jet Airliner – a re-vamped version of a Supro lap steel that was manufactured in the early 1960’s. The art deco aesthetics and vintage body shape are enhanced sonically by the silver foil pickup.

Check out Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Richard Fortus demoing the Supro Sahara:


Supro also offer a fantastic selection of guitar effects pedals:

  • Supro Boost – a clean pre-amp which provides you with up to 20dB of boost pushing the front end of your tube amplifier. The pedal also features a bright and dark switch allowing you to change the contour of your sound.
  • Supro Tremolo – a 2-in-1 analog tremolo effects pedal with an amplitude and harmonic switch. The amplitude mode gives you a swampy tremolo sound achieved by bias modulating the power tubes in the original Supro amplifiers, whilst the harmonic mode provides the psychedelic tones found on Leo Fender’s brownface and blonde amplifiers from the early sixties.
  • Supro Drive – emulates a class-A Supro valve amplifier. The Rich/Bold switch on the pedal gives you high headroom sounds when the Bold mode is selected or more compressed high gain tones when the Rich mode is engaged.
  • Supro Fuzz – combines three legendary fuzz pedals in one stomp box. Imagine combining the ruthless sustain of a silver box Big Muff, taking the harmonic signature of a Tone Bender MkII and the unrivaled touch dynamics of a germanium Fuzz Face there you have it! the Supro Fuzz.

Building on the company’s heritage, the re-established Supro team have a strong iconic brand and a comprehensive range of quality amps, guitars and effects. We’re very pleased to be stocking and supporting this great brand. So come along to our Surrey UK store and try some out or visit us online and take advantage of free UK shipping on the guitars and amplifiers. We also have finance options available in store and online.

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