Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Supro guitars

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by blowtorch, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Anyone got one or ten? Either the original old ones, or the new Indo stuff...
    Whaddya think of em?
  2. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic

    Dec 1, 2014
    I bought a Supro Hampton after playing a few at Winter NAMM this year. They are well made, and have great pickups. Hardware was excellent. My only niggles were the mini pots and silly control knobs. They are the same knobs that I dislike on my Supro amp.

    They *were* expensive for an Indonesian made Guitar with no case. I think I paid $1150. I sold it recently for $700. I eventually capitulated to the sales price because a saw a new Supro on sale for $550, albeit the single pickup version.

    What I liked most about the Hampton was the familiar strat switching, but the unique sound of three goldfoils. It was refreshing.

    My advice would be to be patient and find a used one.
  3. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    I work for a dealer who sells them.

    With my work hat off, they're nicely thought out guitars with a lot of character and the ones we've had were well set up and fret dressed to a pro level standard, but you're paying a lot for all those custom tooled aesthetic aspects - I feel like they're 30% more than they should be for what you get in terms of functionality. The pickups sound great. Obviously if you're a fan who lives the designs and wants something that plays like a modern guitar them maybe it's worth the premium but at the moment it feels like they're not merging enough of them to get the economy of scale to kick in and bring the prices in line with the thousands of other retro electrics coming out of the far east.

    I much prefer the simple ones - I'm never overly impressed when I pick up a guitar with more knobs and switches than the average helicopter and yet doesn't seem able to come up a combination that gives you the three Les Paul / Tele pickup selections. The Sahara is a really cool guitar, just cries out for Jack White style crunchy riffs.

    I do have one of the Royal Reverb amps which is my go to for larger gigs - it's fantastic, that thing.
  4. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I think Alto music on Reverb has the Jamesport on blowout for 299
    n__B likes this.
  5. Thanks for listing that! I just had to buy one of these at that price.... so I did!
    ftbtx likes this.
  6. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    Sam Ash just had a blowout sale on the Westbury model, and I got one.


    Seems very well made and finished, frets, etc. Body is resonant. (These are the all-wood models, the 'Island Series'; they have the other 'reso-cast' models as well.) Mine set up nicely with very low action. Neck has the back done in satin, but the butt and back of headstock are gloss. Odd, but it feels nice, and is Fender C-ish.

    I find that the volume knob and the toggle switch are right in the way of strumming, but others may not think so. Haven't plugged in yet, just back from out of town.
    Had I paid $1000 like they were originally priced, I wouldn't be happy, but at the blowout price, it stays around as a fun, different guitar.

    As a plus, Supro had a deal running from Sept. to Dec 1, where they gave you $130 in Supro store credit if you buy an Island series--just enough to cover the hard case made for these guitars. Nice little bonus.

    I had a 58 (?) Supro Sahara, and after all that age, it seemed like it might just fall to pieces with a little rough handling. But it was fun to play if handled delicately. Much more 'baseball bat' neck.
    P Thought likes this.
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I went through a Valco/ Supro phase a few years ago. I had a couple of the old ones, a Belmont, a Dual tone, a Triple tone, and half of a Martinique. I found these at my local flea market pretty cheap during the '90's and before Ebay ruined everything.

    I still have one of the ES 335 things. They are really nice looking but kind of poorly made in my opinion. They had a huge non adjustable truss rod that was subject to breakage. The pickups were pretty nice though. Many get parted out for that reason.
  8. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Let me know what you think of it, I'm really tempted to pull the trigger, it has been sitting in my cart.
  9. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I have an old Supro Lexington (Jazzmasterish offset) I use for slide because I like the pickups for that.
    These are single coil pickups like the ones used by Supro / Valco / National, the same as on the National map guitars.

    supro-lexington-2pu.jpg supro-hs.jpg $(KGrHqZHJDoFH7yC4j2,BR+slucMEQ~~60_57.jpg
    dr_tom and Flaneur like this.
  10. How can you go wrong for $299 with free shipping no tax when they go for $899? Do it!
    ftbtx likes this.
  11. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I just have to hope it looks enough like my Melody Maker to my wife so she won't notice, hahaha.
  12. Exactly! I look at like this, if you don't love it you'll have no issue selling it for what you paid for it, possibly a bit more even. These won't last for long at this price. Never been a fan of a non-wood body so the Island series is what I could have bought anyway (being wood/alder). Love the idea of a single pickup as well and the placement looks very interesting (not close to the bridge).
    ftbtx likes this.
  13. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic

    Dec 1, 2014
    Just do it. Even though I just sold that Hampton a couple weeks ago, I can't resist a well-made $299 guitar. I had some reverb bucks to throw at it so I could not resist.

    If it is anything like the hampton, it will play great. It is a seriously great guitar for $299. I will probably add a second pickup, goof with the electronics, lose the corian nut. You cannot do anything wrong to a guitar at this price. Heck, buy it to practice refretting a neck.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    ftbtx likes this.
  14. Sold out on reverb.... knew they wouldn't last long at that price. :D
  15. plusorminuszero

    plusorminuszero TDPRI Member

    Jan 16, 2012
    I have an old case which I was told belongs to an old Supro, or Valco guitar. It is 3.5 by 13 by 39 inches, outside dimensions, and has what appears to be a bakelite brown handle. Inside it is brown felt, with a center neck rest. It fits a first generation duo sonic though it is a little bit too deep to use for this guitar. The outside is brown, very simple with no end padding, and quite sharp at the corners. It is in nice shape and fairly sturdy (much nicer than the Bulwin jobs which were offered with some Fender student models~likely plywood) with good hardware. There are 4 somewhat unusual hinges in back, no corner protectors.

    I thought I would mention this here on case anyone can help identify it. I have no Supros nor have I seen a case
    like this except for on ebay where a duo tone case was listed which appeared similar, though no dimensions were listed. The duo tone sold case for a lot of money and had what looked like a more recent vinyl handle.
  16. You should post a pic of it!
  17. Sam Ash now has a Hampton model for $399 normally $1099 - what is the deal? Is Supro dropping the Island line and everyone is just clearing out their stock?
  18. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    A good friend I played in several bands with over the years used to have a National archtop, single cut, single pickup, that came with a bigsby and roller bridge. The pickup was the typical old national/supro single coil under a humbucker-sized cover. One of my favorite guitars to listen to, but sadly, it was stolen. I've never seen another one with that exact configuration.

    I have this supro pocket bass that I got in rough shape with no logo, so it may be a national. Looks like it used to be black, but it had been badly painted over, so I sanded it and painted it red years ago when I got it. It was missing the saddle portion of the bridge, so i drilled holes in a steel tube and it's still there because I procrastinate. I need to cut a wood bridge for it with proper saddles. Luckily it wasn't missing the base of the bridge, because it has some kind of transducer in it. I've read that it's not piezo, but never found out exactly what it is.
    One of the knobs blends between the magnetic pickup and the transducer, and it's a great sound. This pickup setup is also used on the supro res-o-glass guitars. I'd love to play with the guitar version some time. The transducer lets the bass do a very nice impression of a bass violin if I play on top of the frets, and it just sounds all around great for a mellow jazzy sound with a 50/50 blend.
    The scale length is only 25.5", which is shorter than my main guitar.

    Zepfan likes this.
  19. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County

    If I recall correctly, that supro type of pickup has coils of wire in the bottom and the top portion has magnetic rods that fit down in the center of the coils. string to bridge vibrations make the rods occillate in the coils, creating a current that goes into the amp.

    see this link I just found:
    bottlenecker likes this.
  20. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic

    Dec 1, 2014
    holy moley. Glad I sold mine for $700 a couple weeks ago. This has got to hurt the used market big time. Between gibson's being sold at 50% off, and Supro at almost 2/3 off, the world has got to be ending.
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