Supros

by Rik Mercaldi on June 25, 2012

1960 Supro BelmontI love Supros, they are a great way of owning a cool vintage American made instrument with a style of their own without breaking the bank! The brand was introduced in 1935 by the National Dobro Company and Valco as a budget line to exist alongside their newly unveiled electric guitar line.

Some Supros were also sold under the Airline brand made exclusively for the mail order and department store retailer Montgomery Ward, their models included : molded Res-o-glas, bodies made of molded fiberglass, as well as wood solid bodies, and lap steels, and a line of amplifiers (Jimmy Page famously used a Supro Amp to record the first Led Zeppelin album).

Not carrying the prestige of their higher end line at the time, Supros were very unique looking (and sounding) instruments that have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. They are enjoyed by players as diverse as multiple instrumentalist David Lindley, and Jack White who was almost never seen without his Res-o-glas Airline during his tenure in The White Stripes.

I’ve always been a huge fan of their lap steel guitars in particular, as they have a dirty tone that sounds great through an overdriven tube amp. Have a listen to Lindley’s Mercury Blues, on the first El Rayo-X album, and you’ll hear exactly what I’m talking about…

  • http://n/a Mike D

    The Supro/Valco lines included some hidden treasures, I’m particurly impressed with some of their amps from the 1950’s and own a few 1950-60’s models. They really like strats and tele’s for some reason. There is a very classic Americana tone to these little jems.

  • http://www.thestrummingmonkey.com Rik Mercaldi

    We actually have a really cool Supro amp in stock right now, and I agree about them sounding especially good with single coil pickups, they also love P-90’s!

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