School me on Supro amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rotten, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    I know that JP used one recording all the time. Are they used primarily for dirty/nasty tones or can they do clean? Any models to look for? Thanks!!
     
  2. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    No one? Jimmy?
     
  3. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Gold Supporting Member

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    Supro amps were made by Valco, which also made National, Gretsch, Oahu and other amps. There was a huge range of Supro amps form the '30s through '60s - anything from tiny 4W practice amps to 70W bass amps and everything in between. The larger models have great, glassy clean tones, and most models are capable of great overdriven sounds as well. The most highly sought-after for overdriven sounds are the 6973-powered models such as the Supro 1624, whereas the solid-state rectified Thunderbolts have some of the best cleans. All Valco amps have a prominent upper-mid-range hump that cuts through a band or a mix very well.

    Supro-branded amps, even though they were technically a cheaper brand compared to National (think Epiphone vs Gibson in the '60s) are usually most desirable amps out there. However, most Supro models are available for much cheaper under other brands. If there's a particular sound you're looking for, or specific features, I can give you more specific advice.
     
  4. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Member

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    They were made by Valco, who also made Gretsch, Harmony, Airline, and National amps. Generally they sound like tweed Fenders with a little less gain. A bit tighter and grittier. My favorite amp manufacturer. Valco made a lot of different models with a lot of different tubes under a lot of different names. Some sound better than others, so find some and play them. When you find one you like that isn't for sale or is too expensive, write down the model and tube complement and search for a similar amp in another line like Harmony or Airline. It'll be a lot cheaper just because it doesn't say Supro or Gretsch.
     
  5. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    Don't know him personally , but spoke to Bruce Zinky a few years ago and he had acquired Valco line.

    I asked if he might use some of his more advanced ideas ( high gain , channel switching ) and voicings in some new models- and he said it was possible , but so far hasn't happened...........
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  6. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Gold Supporting Member

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    Zinky owns the Supro name, but that's all. He has nothing to do with Valco, nor do his amps resemble Valco amps in any way. My understanding is that they're quite good amps, but their circuits and sounds are far removed from the original Supros.
     
  7. Vibrolux

    Vibrolux Gold Supporting Member

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    jasonmbeckman likes this.
  8. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    Yeah- I guess he's using the Supro name more , right ?
     
  9. johnhenry

    johnhenry Supporting Member

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    check out vintage47amps.com. David Barnes builds them pretty much to mirror the Valco originals. he does beautiful cabinets as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  10. Rumble

    Rumble Member

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    I have a 1959 Comet in like new condition. Has a pair of 6973 tubes, 10" Rola and Vol/Tone. It can get down and dirty, and does fine clean. It came as a set with a '59/'60 Supro Dual Tone guitar purchased by the original owner.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Krayon

    Krayon Senior Member

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  12. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    Has anyone tried the Supro copy from Magic Amps?
     
  13. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got two different Z amps from Magic Amps right now -- the ZII and ZII-v -- and I've played Mike's regular Z models a number of times. They're just fantastic sounding amps. The Z (the model with 6973s) is probably the most Valco/Supro-like, for that reason and it is an amazing little rock n roll machine. The amps are built as well as anything you'll find out there and can be very easily serviced. Swanson's cabs sound and look fantastic as well. Can't speak highly enough of these products.
     
  14. strat-rock

    strat-rock Member

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    [​IMG]

    Something like this one? It's a mean mean amp. It's got a throaty growl, a bit compressed, but explodes and maintains a wide spectrum. It's very responsive and dynamic. Play lightly and it just has a brown, sweet mature sound. Crunch down and it cooks, sending notes and chords screaming, but still with that saucy brownness to it. There's my drug induced description.

    I do like it!
     
  15. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    I have a weird Thunderbolt, the pre amp and power amp sections are separate. Plug in a Tele and a fuzz, and you get Zep I (I know that JP didn't use a TB).
     

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