Supro Amps and Bruce Zinky

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by RockinB23, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. RockinB23

    RockinB23 Member

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    I saw what looks like a new line of Supro amps for sale on sweetwater's web site. I was curious has Bruce Zinky sold the rights to that brand or are these new amps Zinky designs?
     
  2. e???

    e??? Member

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    they are his and Dave Koltai's brainstorming. Dave Koltai is the owner and inventor of pig tronix. the stuff Zinky was doing before him and Dave got together had some of the Supro vibe but was pretty much its own thing, which was all the knowledge that Zinky had from the fender custom shop and his own ideas. The new line uses the same names, speaker sizes, tubes etc, and retains a bit more of each amps vibe, like they were made in the sixties. But not exact. Controls, a couple well placed pcbs, but most of it handwired, makes the new ones way more durable, and to my ears better sounding. I bought a new Supro thunderbolt in late November and I love it. As the speaker has broken in, it's become one of the coolest amps I've ever played. Then just last week I got to try a real supro thunderbolt from the 60's. I was scared that it would smoke the new one I had fallen in love with. Not even close. Sounded like a mushy bass amp with bad mids n highs. I recommend the new ones highly. I liked the thunderbolt best, then the dual tone, then the coronado, then the thunderbolt plus. The plus didn't sound as pure as the normal one, and the coronado sounded a bit harsh to me at the time, but I bet speaker break in would do wonders for it. The dual tone was really cool, I just need a bit more watts and headroom, and I like the simplicity of the normal thunderbolt. Not much between your guitar and the speaker!
     
  3. RockinB23

    RockinB23 Member

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    I was curious because Zinky doesn't really reference them anymore on his web site like he used to and there's no mention of Bruce Zinky on the new web site from what I could tell.
     
  4. e???

    e??? Member

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    Yeah it's not to clear how much of a role Zinky plays at present, and Koltai seems more like the face of the new Supro USA company. But last year when this was just starting to brew, they advertised Zinkys part in it heavily. At the Supro 14' winter Namm they were advertising it more as a collaboration, where Zinky designed the circuits of the first four (thunderbolt, thunderbolt plus, Coronado and dual tone). And on the websites Thunderbolt plus page they say "decadentally brought to you by Dave Koltai and Bruce Zinky", and even last April in an interview Koltai said he was busy with tube amp designs with Zinky. So what my guess is, is that they worked out some kind of deal where Zinky would stop selling the Supro name by himself and they'd both work on the new Supro USA line together. Whether or not this partnership still stands or if they are still designing the new stuff like the Saturn Reverb and Royal Reverb together I don't know. The only reason I know so much about this stupid stuff is because before I bought my Thunderbolt I researched everything HEAVILY. It was my first amp purchase over 350$ so I didn't wanna mess it up. Though the research did help my confidence to buy the amp cause I figured Zinky wouldn't put his name on something stupid and unreliable, and neither would Koltai. They're both still in the music gear business heavily and I doubt either of them would blow their credibility by putting out a bunch of bad tube amps. If they become huge and start to manufacture in giant numbers, I don't know how that will go, but I figure the first couple years of this Supro USA run should be some damn nice amps. The serial number on my thunderbolt is #000067. Cool eh?
     
  5. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    I believe the official company word was Bruce Zinky licensed the name and consults, but otherwise this is an entirely different venture.
     
  6. RockinB23

    RockinB23 Member

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    Thanks for the info e??? and wyatt. I've always been a big fan of the Amps that Zinky has designed so these new Supro amps peaked my interest.
     
  7. nealh999

    nealh999 Member

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    One of the the surprisingly cool things about Bruce is that he will likely respond himself to concise, respectful email questions. I can only imagine how full his inbox must be, so YMMV. I have one of his Tremolectric 3×10 models he put out under the Supro name before the full production stuff with Pigtronix. It's an absolutely killer amp, and he promptly responded to each question I had about some technical issues.
     
  8. stratohiker

    stratohiker Member

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    hmmm........the way some of u guys are framing this...sounds like a temporary deal for Bruce
    I thought he sold the rights away for the supro name in this deal

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Forum Fiend v1.2.13.1.
     
  9. e???

    e??? Member

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    Why's it sound temporary? Makes sense to me. If you and I were gonna sell roller skates together, using everything we know about the subject, advertising that we worked together and this is what we came up with,;I wouldn't want you selling your own stuff on the side when we are advertising this as the best roller skates around. Sure you can go sell rollerblades on the side all day, I don't care. Just as long as you don't make people wonder why you're peddling your own roller skates, when our thing is supposed to be the best roller skates around. It wouldn't make sense. And I can only assume that Zinky has a serious/invested interest in it otherwise he wouldn't let his name get used, and let people say he designed the circuit. His own amps are his own thing, but Supro USA is here now, you wouldn't want the creator of it saying he's got something better that's also a Supro.

    It's kinda like if Leo Fender would have stayed on as consutant/designer when his company went to CBS (except Supro USA is WAY smaller numbers than Fender). CBS would have probably advertised that they still had the guy who knew it well and took pride in it, working on it. Maybe Zinky will eventually do his own thing, probably same as Koltai. Doesn't take away from the fact that he oversaw and designed this stuff.
     
  10. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    NAMM 2014: Supro amps to return

    "The Supro trademark has been purchased by Absara Audio LLC,
    the parent company of effects brand Pigtronix, and a range of new
    amplifiers will be making their debut at NAMM in January 2014.
    "
     
  11. stratohiker

    stratohiker Member

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    From the inferences of your previous posting, Bruce appearing not to be involved as on the front end of this deal, as if he'd stepped away, etc.....that's all.
    I understand the straight up logic of business/licensing deals on their face, but sometimes things don't turn out that way in the end for a variety of reasons.
    And, it looks like from the above post....is as I assumed, that the trademark is in Dave's camp.
     
  12. RockinB23

    RockinB23 Member

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    I always had it in my mind to buy a Supro Tremolectric but it may not be in the cards, unless I can get it in Zinky form? The Zinky web site doesn't show any amp models.
     
  13. RockinB23

    RockinB23 Member

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    The other thing that bothers me a bit about these new Supro amps is the single tone knob design. I could understand stand having one model that is that way but all three!!?? I had a Zinky blue velvet years ago and I loved the amp but that one feature or lack there of really bothered me enough to sell it off.
     
  14. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

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    I was under the impression these were all PCB based not hand wired.
     

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