Supro Amps to Relaunch!

December 7, 2013


Guys. They're back!




December 4, 2013 (Port Jefferson Station, NY) – Absara Audio LLC, parent company to ground- breaking analog effect brand Pigtronix, is proud to announce its acquisition of the historic Supro trademark—pertaining to both amplifiers and guitars—worldwide. To accommodate this expansion, Absara Audio has constructed a new production facility in Port Jefferson Station, NY and will begin shipping a line of USA-made, vintage-inspired Supro tube amplifiers in April 2014. The rights to the Supro brand were acquired in September from former Fender amp designer and long-time Pigtronix associate, Bruce Zinky. Zinky has been retained as exclusive design engineer, and has collaborated with award-winning sound designer David Koltai to realize a modern incarnation of the Supro sound that has been out of production since the mid ‘60s.


Supro’s origins can be traced back to the early ‘30s when the National Resophonic and Dobro guitar companies merged to form a manufacturing entity called Valco. As electrified music started to emerge, Valco began producing guitars and amplifiers under the Supro name. Supro amps delivered the tone of choice for the early ‘60s south-side Chicago blues players who in turn influenced the British invasion. By the late ‘60s, Jimi Hendrix was playing a Supro Thunderbolt amp on tour with Little Richard and the Isley Brothers, meanwhile, in England, Jimmy Page, inspired by the raw tones of the Chicago blues scene, cut seminal Led Zeppelin tracks using a Supro Model 24. The Supro tone has gained enduring notoriety as a unique and commanding voice—never a copy, clone or wannabe of any other major make of amplifier.

“We are humbled by the opportunity to re-imagine the Supro product line in a way that honors its rich history and will push these classic designs to the forefront of the modern tube amplifier industry.” – Pigtronix co-founder, Brian Bethke

USA-made reissues of the most sought after Supro amps will be unveiled to the world at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, January 23-26, 2014 (booth # 5218). At that time, a press release will provide further details on the products and launch.


  1. Dan says:

    Will these be hand-wired like the originals?

    posted on December 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm
  2. shrim popen says:

    not if Bruce Zinky has anything to do with it.

    posted on December 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm
  3. Peter says:

    I don’t know why I find this so cool—it’s just a name, a brand.  I guess I want them to be low tech hand-built American amps with a soulful tone and without a boutique price tag.  Maybe I really want a time machine.

    posted on December 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm
  4. Chad says:

    A artist once told me you can make a caricature or a portrait. Everything in between is shit. This one will be really hard to get right.

    posted on December 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  5. Jason says:

    Will they be affordable?  I have seen the vintage ones on ebay are priced between $500 and $2,500 depending on condition and function.

    posted on December 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm
  6. William says:

    I’ll be interested to hear how they sound.  I have a Fender Excelsior—-definitely low tech, but a fun amp to play.  I would expect these Supro amps to be higher quality but higher priced as well.  I do hope they keep the price reasonable.

    posted on December 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm
  7. serge carignan says:

    Let’s my no , i’m very interest to that amp , many aps or fabrication to sale ... it’s small , clean , and soft , that it for studio .

    posted on December 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm
  8. thuggyBear says:

    I hope that these are affordable, like the originals.  I don’t see any reason to buy a brand new Thunderbolt for twice the price of a vintage one.  The new Magnatone amps, for instance cost much more than the real thing.

    PC boards don’t have to make your amp sound terrible, BTW.  My understanding is that many manufacturers use machines to assemble the boards, which require them to use certain low quality brands that fit into the parts-stuffing machine.  PC board don’t mean you have bad tone- bad components mean you’ll have bad tone.

    posted on December 8, 2013 at 4:09 am
  9. JumpMarine says:

    If they can put together a handwired PTP Thunderbolt I’m there.

    posted on December 8, 2013 at 4:23 am
  10. Me says:

    Hey Peter, I’d like a car built like a Ferrari and priced like a Honda Civic. Your dream is as likely as mine.

    Supro amps will either be built to the same quality of the old amps OR be cheap. They will not be both. Supro amps (and guitar amps in general) could be cheap 60 years ago because the parts used in them were cheap 60 years ago. Now they’re not. You need expensive parts and skilled labor, and that costs money.

    And thuggybear, the PCB boards have to be high quality too, and 98% of the PCB boards used in amps today are junk. That’s why PCB amps get a bad rap. They use cheap flimsy made-in-china crap. Even if you mount good parts on a board like that, you’re going to get bad tone. So if they go that route, I hope they use thick, high quality boards. The amps will still be $1,000+ if they go that route though.

    posted on December 8, 2013 at 5:12 am
  11. sidvicious says:

    i love to see articles on new amps and manufacturers, and particularly a resurrection of sorts.

    that said, there is little ground that hasn’t been repaved.  frankly, the supro moniker isn’t that well known.  there are lots of builders now that have built just about everything that can be built.  what could this amp offer that can’t already be found?

    they’ve got to sell them to stay afloat.  ptp is expensive.  my guess is that they’re banking on a distro deal with box stores.  if so, they’ll design and build whatever the store thinks it can sell.

    i forsee pc boards primarily, with a few ptp models in limited quantity.

    any amp priced more than 1k will be a doorstop most likely.

    a suggestion is to go after the rumble clone market.  ceriatone is gaining strength in that area.  the u.s. competition in that arena is high priced at the moment.  i’d love to see some dumble clones in class A driven by an el34.

    posted on December 10, 2013 at 1:15 am
  12. Joshj says:

    Hey Me, man thank you so much for setting everyone straight. all of us idiots would be lost in this world if we didnt have such a smart person to tell us whats what. I hope one day i can be half as smart as you. You know what amp companys should do? whatever you say, then all amps would be the best in the world because your such a awsome guy, who knows everything. I bet you went to college huh? you wouldve had to of to be suck a know it all prick that thinks everyone would be lost with out his extremely valuable opinion. Or maybe your mommy just told you you were #1 too many times.  Whatever the case, maybe you should take one of those thick PCBs and shove it up your ass….....Oh but we wouldnt wanna waste em, Cause your so smart that you came up with the exact percentage of amps using flimsy pcbs. So theres only %2 of all pcbs in the guitar community that meet your standards, man, you better use a cheaply made one.

    posted on December 11, 2013 at 4:18 am
  13. thuggyBear says:

    Overreact much, Josjj?

    posted on December 11, 2013 at 4:33 am
  14. Joesockit says:

    I had a bunch of Supro-Valco Amps. The Statesman was the top of the line 2 X 12 with two power amps in model. Sold it to get through college a second time. I had the Montgomery Wards models too, I believe they were the same design with the funky panel lights. turn em’ up all the way and burn!. Like a Marshall only smoother. The Thunderbolt is alright and really should be cheap to build correctly but we’ll see. There is really not alot of components to a Thunderbolt. Supro amps really are a bit of history and were killer amps.

    posted on March 4, 2014 at 7:31 am

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