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What's the verdict on the "new" Supro amps???

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by E5RSY, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

    Mar 31, 2011
    Jersey City
    They're decent. I like them more than fenders equally priced offerings and get excited anytime I see one as a backline. That said, they don't have any special qualities to me, just a solid core tone. The "Black Magick" was my favorite I what I've played by them.

  2. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    I like some of the models and they have a great and unique sound not found in most other amps. They low watt models indeed sound like the Led Zepplin I guitar sound. Cost is a bit high across the board. My only issue is that most of the line is under 40 watts and that is not enough to schlep around playing live. I wish they offered some of the current line (sizewise and speaker configuration) in a higher wattage. There are a couple of models that hit the wattage range but they get big fast in size.

    That said, I have a hankering for one just to have another sound color for my recording studio.

  3. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    Never played through an old Supro but taking the new ones for what they are I'll take them over a Fender Reissue anything. I was going to get a used Saturn Reverb but they came out with the Neptune which is what I've been looking for to play my Super 400 thru; a warm, clean sound with a rich tremolo and 2X12 speakers. Now I'm just waiting for one used to pop up which I think will be in about a year.

  4. Beautiful amps for sure but i just have to agree that the prices are too much to justify for me. They are all made in the in the US which is obviously going to push the retail price up.

    Nearly every other manufacturer has a premium US or UK made range and then a more budget conscious range made in the far east somewhere. I'm surprised Supro has not followed this lead.

    There must be a lot of players who like the look of a Supro but don't have that sort of budget available. There is only one amp under a thousand dollars and that's one of the new little 5 watt jobs. That is very simple with just two tubes and a single knob which is, not surprisingly, the volume knob, and this one still costs seven hundred dollars! They need to look at offshore manufacturing for the smaller stuff or a alternate range for players on a lower budget.

  5. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

    Feb 21, 2013
    All I know is what my amp tech has told me: they're junk inside. Cheap Chinese components and sloppy construction. Buyer beware.

  6. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    I had both the Black Magick and the Tremoverb. Both sounded very good to me but the Black Magick had a low hum at idle that drove me crazy. Got an immediate and great response via email from a rep at Supro who told me that, because of the weird power tubes (6973), there could be an inherent hum. Tried a new set of tubes that really didn't help much. I was pretty anal about it and finally traded the amp. The Tremoverb, which uses the same tubes, is as quiet as can be. Go figure. Must be something else in the schematic. Still have the Tremoverb. The only negative I have about the amp is that it's HEAVY. Smaller than my PRRI, but half again as heavy. Also way darker than the PRRI, have to crank the treble to keep it from sounding muddy, even with single coils. Excellent trem and reverb.

    As far as Minivan's comment from his amp tech about junk inside, I had both of mine apart, to change tubes (which is another story), and, even though I am not a tech, looked very clean and tidy inside to me. In fact, the Tremoverb was disassembled at the store where I bought it, because it had a bad preamp tube, and two of the employees there commented on how nice it looked inside. Sure wasn't sloppy construction.

    Price-wise, the Supro's are listed for about $300 more than the Fender's comparable amps, but, at least around here, most dealers that carry Supros are offering them for much less than listed, which brings their prices down to pretty much the same as a Fender.

  7. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    I had one of the Tremo Verb amps, pros, it was a great sounding amp, very nice reverb, tremolo was ok.
    Surprisingly loud for the wattage and size with a 10" speaker.
    Cons, heavy for it's size, I was a bit worried about long term reliability, the chassis is a pain to pull out, construction seemed decent for a mass produced amp but they crammed everything due to the size of the chassis I guess.

    They are considerably cheaper used if you can find one.

  8. cntry666

    cntry666 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 16, 2010
    decatur, ga
    I want one. All the demos I saw looked good. Pricey? Well for almost the same price I could get A custom amp or something I know is built with total quality parts. I would hope for $1800 these are not junk. They look cool though.

  9. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX
    My concern, as well.

  10. Pointmonger

    Pointmonger Tele-Holic

    Aug 29, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    I've got one. Love it. Running a pair of NOS Tung Sols in it. Also have the extension cab. Nice amp. The Supremes are under a grand, now.[​IMG]
    Bones likes this.

  11. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    I'm on a tube amp builder forum and within the passed few months I did see a couple posts of repairs on the NEW Supros. I wasn't terribly impressed with build quality especially considering the price point. (IMO these would be more comparable to $600-1000 mass produced amps) There was at least one instance of a cracked/chipped tube socket, apparently due to cheap, low quality ceramic sockets. I believe I saw a post about issues with the PCB on a new one, too.
    Tube sockets are PCB mounted, as well, FWIW.

  12. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Holic

    Jun 11, 2016
    I'm no amp tech so take this as ..... Useless? But I have 6973 tubes in the treble side of my Gretsch Stereo King and there's no issue going on like that.

  13. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    To me, it sounds like Supro has/had an issue with that amp and played it off as 'bad tubes'

    FWIW, looking 'neat and tidy' inside doesn't mean much. Most PCB amps looks very tidy. That wont change flaws like running bias supplies too close to HV and getting conduction across them causing the bias on tubes to go crazy (An extremely common issue on JCM2000 amps, for example)

    There can be good PCB amps and bad PCB amps. IMO the Supros aren't top tier PCB amps as far as quality. That doesn't mean they can't work acceptably, though.

    Also, take this with a grain of salt, as it's heresay from another (experienced) tech, but they were claiming the new Supros 1690T aren't 'real' 1690T, and it's not because they're PCB, it has to do with circuit values, apparently, and claimed that there was a noticeable tonal difference between the Reissue and vintage versions.

  14. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Holic

    Jun 11, 2016
    I also wonder how accurately a vintage amp sound can be reproduced. Old windings on transformers, 40 year old speakers, old tubes. I just can't believe these things don't effect the tone. I don't know.... Maybe I just like old stuff :D

  15. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    Ok. Got my supreme. This thing has the right stuff. I've been through many handwired botiques and all my sf fenders, this is pulling the right chains.
    Pointmonger likes this.

  16. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    re the 6973 tubes, seems like I read that the new Supro amps were designed around the new production 6973 tubes. I could be wrong but since NOS 6973s are very hard to come by it makes sense.
    I bought some NOS 6973 tubes to try in the Tremo Verb that I owned, they didn't sound any better than the stock tubes to me.
    uriah1 likes this.

  17. mitchfit

    mitchfit Tele-Holic

    Aug 14, 2011
    north east texas

    have a muchxs built 6424T circuit clone with tremolo tweaks for a slower cycle rate. as such it was originally designed for early/mid '60's RCA 6973 tube performance. couldn't make any before and after comparisons as it has only had RCA twins in it, and i don't expect to demo the EHX tubes with the same numerical designation just due to curiosity.

    as far as "original" supro circuits go, the 1624T started life with 6V6 bottles pushing the output and a 6SQ7 tremolo oscillator. then, according to Eric Kettenburg of Dirty Girl amps, perhaps THE authority on this branch of the valco family tree, says that from mid 1959 through 1962 this model had 4 different circuits. and even among these, variations exist. the 6424, or just plain model 24, were the last offerings tweaked to increase headroom. funny how the very thing they are sought out for today was the exact thing that was being designed out...

    so even in that 3 year period, which 1624 is a valid question.

    the truth is these were considered redheaded step children amplifiers in their day because "cleans" were what high end guitar amps were all about. hence, to quote Boris Badenov, "bad is good". their design economy/failure is what the "Supro" [valco] sound is currently sought out for. at the risk of stepping on sensitive toes, literally "montgomery ward" mail order amps.

    Absara Audio LLC, who currently owns the supro name and pignose, has introduced the "Black Magick" variation. to my ears, this model videos on the internet nails the "LZ1" sound best. according to folk legend and the recent excavations of Egyptian archeologist Tone Sarus, JPP played a sola sound tone bender II fuzz into, or patched between inputs one and two. same was also engineered to boost high HZ guitar output.

    my personal best guess is that the Black Magic has this pedal at a fixed value built into the circuit. probably turned up on the treble boost, and down on the squarewave. even though i used to own a "fuzz face", i have never been a fuzz fanboy. i feel the guitar voltage boost, and treble boost of the MXR 10 band EQ pedal works just fine for that purpose.

    after all, supro II also makes pedals, and pignose amps are just the biggest pedals ever made, with a speaker.

    as far as NOS 6973, i also have a Winfield Thomas designed/built single ended 6973 amp that is based on the 1624 circuit. both played through this, the difference between RCA and EHX 6973 offerings is easily discerned. more clarity when clipping, and better harmonic overtones.

    wanna sell your [matched?] set?


  18. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

    Mar 9, 2004
    Greensboro NC
    I would love one, but no master volume means I would only get cleans at home and have to use pedals for dirt which I'd rather not do.

  19. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    I just saw a 25 watt 1x12 combo at sweetwater on sale for $700. The comett is the only thing I know of with a wattage switch, spring reverb, and bias tremolo for $1300. I can do better on the used market, but I don't see how this can be called overpriced.

  20. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    Maybe true, but I've yet to hear a master volume amp break up like a non-master-volume amp. And the cleans never sound as good to me. They always sound too clean, or kind of artificially distorted.

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