A Legend Reborn
In 2013, Absara Audio purchased the rights to the Supro brand name from infamous Fender amp designer, Bruce Zinky. In collaboration with Zinky, our Pigtronix design team created a line of Supro 1964 reissue tube amplifiers which first debuted at the 2014 NAMM show. The legacy of Supro amplifiers stretches back to the 1930s and reaches its original peak in the mid 60s with the Blue Rhino hide models that inspired our reissues. While guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Link Wray, David Bowie and Dan Auerbach used Supro amps and guitars, no musician is more closely associated with the Supro brand than Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. It is well known that in 1968, Page used a Tele plugged into a customized 1×12 Supro combo amp to record all of the guitar parts on Led Zeppelin’s debut album. The great irony is that Supro went out of business during that same year! Since then, the raw, blues power of Page’s Chicago-made Supro amplifier has been unattainable unless you had the fortune to acquire a vintage piece.
The signature element of a Supro amp is its “Class-A” power section, which maintains remarkable clarity and dynamics when overdriven. This gritty midrange sound is the original alternative to Fender… you could call it “the other white meat” of classic American tone! Every element of our Supro reissue amps has been designed from the ground up to bring this long-lost, holy-grail amp to musicians at a working player’s price. The Blue Rhino Hide tolex was specially made, the cabinetry is vintage-correct, the USA-made speakers are totally unique, the transformers are custom and the sound is 100% authentic Supro. Supro reissue amps are hand-assembled in Port Jefferson, NY, USA. In the 2 years since we announced the return of Supro, production capacity for these amps has been sold out, leading ultimately to the acquisition of a new, 15,000sq ft. musical instrument factory on Long Island to meet worldwide demand.
Supro amps are now sold in every major retailer worldwide, bringing these classic tone machines to more guitarists than ever before. The team here at Absara Audio, Pigtronix and Supro is determined to deliver a world-class experience for all Supro customers: from our distribution partners to the retailers that sell our gear, and of course, to the musicians who play our amps. We will provide concierge-level service to any and all customers who may need support. Supro reissue amps were born out of a passion for Rock & Roll as well as a deep respect for the history and unique circuity behind the Supro sound, and we nailed it! Joe Perry, Brian Setzer, Paul Simon, David Hidalgo, Joe Walsh, Randy Bachman, Steve Stevens, Robbie Krieger and Adrian Belew all agree. So go grab a guitar, and Discover the Legend for yourself!
Supro Amplifiers: the Lore, the Legend, the Tone
by Dave Hunter
The legendary Supro logo with signature lightning bolt stirs several images simultaneously for most guitarists. Sum these up as unique looks, individual tone, and a near-mythic cool factor that is unmatched in the world of vintage tube guitar amplifiers; but the most common reactions to all of these sensations are best rendered simply as, “I want one!” Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Albert Lee and countless other stars wanted one too—and got ’em, using Supro amps to lay down the foundations of blues and rock. But the roots of the Supro brand go way back to a time well before the period for which we best know them now, to the very birth of the electric guitar.
Supro’s origins date to the pre-electric guitar days and the formation of the National Resophonic guitar company around 1926, with roots in the resonator guitars that became a blues tone standard prior to amplification. National and Dobro merged in the early ’30s to form Valco, and Supro. Soon, Valco-made Supro amps were tearing it up on Chicago’s south-side scene, establishing a tone that has been synonymous with gritty blues ever since. By the mid 60’s, Jimi Hendrix was playing a Supro Thunderbolt amp on tour with Little Richard and the Isley Brothers. A few years later, Jimmy Page, inspired by the raw tones of the Chicago blues scene, cut seminal Led Zeppelin tracks on a Supro Model 24… and so the chain of influence goes, full circle from Chicago blues, to London blues-rock, with Supro the hip tone to beat.
Player upon player has since discovered the sonic splendor of Supro’s extremely original circuits and unique build style, as well as the surprising versatility hidden within the appealing simplicity of these amps. Plug into one of these beauties, and you know you are striding out onto original and inspiring sonic ground. There’s a girth, depth, and dimension to the tone of these old circuits that is simply unattainable from the other brands, and a dynamic playing feel that definitely puts a smile on my face every time. Keep them clean, and they are sweet and rich; crank them up, and even the smaller Supro models issue a bold, furious roar that retains its edge and cutting power amid heavy overdrive.
From authentic Chicago blues to all-out rock’n’roll, the Supro brand has distinguished itself as a sound for players who want to make their own mark on music, rather than merely chasing some tired standard that has gone before. Players who know Supro amps and understand what they can do have always appreciated them for their ability to help you sound like you. Supro has always presented a great alternative way to get your music made, and to get it noticed. For years, the only way to achieve that legendary Supro tone was to track down an original amp, get it running well, and hope it stayed that way. Not any more. Supro is back—and the lore, the legend, the tone, and the total attitude is back with it. Check out Supro’s growing lineup of American-made amplifiers that honor the original circuits, while presenting value and performance unparalleled in today’s market, and a tone that is truly all your own.