Supro Guitars and Equipment

Supro Guitars and Equipment on Ebay
Supro guitars and amplifiers Valco was formed from the reorganization of the National-Dobro company in 1942. Manufacturing of resonator guitars ceased with the introduction of metal rationing in World War II, and the focus was placed on Spanish- and Hawaiian-style guitars and amplifiers. Valco quickly became one of the leading manufacturers of lap steels, alongside Magnatone, Gibson and Rickenbacker, and the company also sold acoustic guitars with National necks and bodies by Gibson. A number of electric archtop models were sold with bodies by Gibson, Harmony, and Kay, but fitted with Valco-made pickups, hardware and necks.

Following the leads of Fender's Telecaster and Gibson's Les Paul models, Valco introduced its first solidbody Spanish guitars in 1952 under the National and Supro brand names. These small guitars had peanut-shaped bodies and chunky, 25"-scale necks; the bodies were available with or without cutaways and with one or two pickups. The National-branded guitars were available in a dark sunburst finish, while the Supro equivalents were at first covered in a plastic faux-pearlescent plastic commonly referred to as 'mother of toilet seat'. Guitars sold under other brand names, such as Oahu, generally followed Supro stylings.

These were fairly plain, understated instruments, however, so in 1955 Valco introduced the National model 1104, also called the Town and Country. This new top-of-the-line guitar was designed to compete with Gibson's Les Paul model, complete with a single-cutaway body and two large, chrome-covered pickups. The solid maple body had ivory-colored binding and a matching plate covering the back. The bound neck was bolted on and inlayed with fancy parallelogram fret markers. The first professional-quality Valco solidbody had arrived.

By the end of the 1950's Valco had introduced a variety of guitars under the National and Supro names, and it had also begun building guitars for other retailers' brands such as Academy and Silvertone. The Supro Dual-Tone is probably the most famous guitar from this period. In 1959 many of these models were radically updated with German carves and additional small cutaways on the bass side. Some models were available with Bigsby vibratos or Valco's own vibrato design, and the Silver-sound pickup was introduced.

About the beginning of the 1960's, Valco had ceased production of most archtop models and revamped its amplifier line. National amps now bore flashy chrome panels, and the largest ones quickly grew to accommodate two 12" speakers, plus effects like tremolo and reverb. Supro amps, as well as those made for other brands, were mostly covered in conventional tolex with appealing piping. Valco also experimented briefly with other electronic devices like the Supro Stereo Converter, which took a mono input and sent the high frequencies to one amp and the bass frequencies to another. Amps were also built for an increasing number of brands, such as Vega and Martin.

Valco guitars were also revamped at this time. In 1961, National and Supro guitars debuted with hollow fiberglass bodies (called res-o-glas in company literature) in bright, opaque finishes. These fairly expensive guitars came out of molds, not carving shops, and the result was unlike anything produced before or since. A res-o-glas bass was also introduced but failed to sell, probably due to its extremely short 25" scale. The top-of-the-line National res-o-glas models, such as the Glenwood series, are by far the most collectable Valco products ever made.

Supro amps were visually revamped about 1966 to keep up with changing styles, although their circuitry changed little. They now sported blue-green striped control panels and slider switches, and some of the larger ones had separate heads that could be stored and transported inside matching cabs. While these amps sound just as good as models from a year before, they lack the earlier amps' visual flair and collectability. National amps suffered the same unfortunate restyling by 1968. Valco produced some solid-state amp models around this time.

For a long time, Valco guitars and amps were traded on the cheap in the vintage market while the likes of Fender and Gibson ruled at the cash register. However, there has been a recent surge of interest in Valco amps - particularly Supro models - which has lead to the Zinky company producing a line of Valco-inspired models under the Supro name. Valco-built guitars aren't usually as sought-after as the amps, but they too are gaining ground in the vintage market. Now that the most desirable Fenders and Gibsons are out of many people’s reach, folks are turning to other brands and realizing that there is something magical about those Valco instruments that they've previously ignored.


Collegian Spanish
Coronado I/II
Folk Star / Vagabond
N800 Thinline Electric
Rhythm Master
S710 Flat-Top
Special 12
Strum N Drum Solidbody
Super Seven
Suprosonic 30
White Holiday / Holiday

Bass Guitars

Pocket Bass
Taurus Bass


Accordion 1615T Amp
Bantam Amp
Bass Combo Amp
Big Star Reverb S6451TR Amp
Brentwood 1650T Amp
Combo Amp
Combo Tremolo S6497T Amp
Comet 1610B Amp
Comet 1610E Amp
Coronado Amp
Corsica Amp
Dual-Tone Amp
Galaxy Tremolo S6488 Amp
Golden Holiday 1665T Amp

Model 24 Amp
Reverb 1650R Amp
Royal Reverb 1650TR Amp
Special 1633E Amp
Spectator 1614E Amp
Sportsman S6689 Amp
Statesman S6699 Amp
Studio 1644E Amp
Super 1606E Amp
Super Amp
Super Six S6406 Amp
Super Six S6606 Amp
Supreme Amp
Supreme 17 S6400 Amp
Supreme Twin Speaker 1600E Amp
Thunderbolt S6420 Bass Amp
Thunderbolt S6920 Amp
Tremo-Verb S6422TR Amp
Trojan Tremolo Amp
Vibra-Verb S6498VR Amp