Having already created a stir with the re-introduction of the Supro amplification brand, Absara Audio has announced an equally powerful assault on the guitar business with its new Supro Guitar Collection, officially announced today.
Supro’s Dave Koltai, working alongside Trev Wilkinson, vintage pickup expert Ken Calvet and luthier Glenn Sweetwood have updated the playability of a range of classic designs while attempting to capture period-correct electronics and unique construction details of the original Chicago-made models.
The result is two lines – the Island Series and the Americana Series – with a total of fourteen individual instruments. UK distributor JHS says: ‘The Supro guitar range takes 21st century playability and performance and mates it perfectly with retro looks and iconic tones’.
Based on the Vintage 1962 Supro Ozark body design, the Island Series guitars offer the player a choice of three pickup configurations – the single pickup Jamesport, the twin pickup Westbury and the the triple pickup Hampton model. All three models have solid alder bodies, with set maple necks. Each sport Gold Foil pickups, based on the units designed in the 1950s, as are found in many desirable vintage Supro, National and Airline models. Since there are no pole pieces, this is a “field coil” pickup. It provides a huge, wide-open sound that is best-described as broadband (JHS says)) due to the rather wide frequency response, ‘…with big fat bottom and crystal-clear treble. These pickups work very well with overdrive, distortion and fuzz pedals, as well as vintage-voiced amplifiers’.
The Americana Series employs the vintage Supro body design with Acousti-Glass top matched to a semi-hollow mahogany back and uses a redesigned two bolt neck joint for the mahogany neck. Comprising of the single pickup Sahara, Dual-Tone and Belmont models, and the Holiday, Coronado II and Martinique twin pickup models, the vintage-correct Vistatone pickups accurately replicate those sought-after tones often found in Supro, National and Airline guitars of the period. The ’50s wiring captures the design developed for Valco by Ralph Keller in the 1950s whilst the Coronado II, Martinique Deluxe and Belmont Vibrato guitars all feature a period correct fulcrum vibrato tailpiece.
Also included in the new Supro Guitar collection is the Jet Airliner Lapsteel. Using a vintage Supro body design, the Jet Airliner has air deco fingerboard design with a string through body hardtail bridge and features vintage Gold Foil pickups with authentic ’50s wiring and volume and tone controls.
Supro Island and Americana Series guitars will be available across Europe in January and February and UK RRPS will range from £369 for the lapsteel to £649 for a Sahara up to £1,199 for a Martinique Vibrato.