Jump to content

Red Supro guitar - need help with positive, detailed identification, please!


Revenge013
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Hello, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post.

 

I've inherited this red Supro from my late Uncle.

 

Vigorous, and perhaps not enough, research leads me to believe that this is a Supro Airline, or Belmont, model. However, I'm unable to find a picture of an Airline model with a 'cream' colored headstock.

 

The, what I assume is a serial number, which reads G4301, is stamped on a metal tag, which is riveted on the back of the headstock.

 

I have submitted a ticket to Absara's SuproUsa.com website, requesting any information they could share with me. I have yet to receive a response beyond the automated "we have received your response" email.

 

As an aficionado, I'd love to know her history, (factory/city of production), year, and value.

 

Again, thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance for any information you can share with me.

 

Very respectfully,

 

 

Keith

04191094fc5f37bc5e8b2d3a3e3d5265.thumb.jpg.b13b69df12fe642b983b1d0953e07a1e.jpg

caed0a010fa83158ca818972f2e1d761.thumb.jpg.e93ea047e995057c0d8230565a6e8703.jpg

276024c1b422b7b60ab7967d139df997.thumb.jpg.b49baa103e16ba782105e2541601174b.jpg

de42b8f65b85f7daf6d11d818316f34e.thumb.jpg.c21de9e17a216cdc57fb1fb775b10746.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The closest thing I can think of is the Supro Sahara or Belmont... you might want to do some research on those models. It's definitely a fiberglass / reso-glass body (Valco built) guitar - probably from the early to mid 1960s.

 

Supro USA makes a reissue Belmont that you can buy new today that looks practically identical to your guitar...

 

https://suprousa.com/guitars/americana-series-guitars/1572vpr-belmont-vibarato/

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Members

You may or may not get a response from Supro USA.

 

The only resemblance they have to the original "Supro" is they (Pigtronix) bought the "Supro" U.S. trademark from Bruce Zinky a number of years back. Not sure if Bruce bought the name from the original owners, if Valco did in fact trademark the name, or he just filed an application with the PTO and was first in line. The new Supro line is marketed as a "re-imaging" of the originals. There is no affiliation between new and old.

 

What you have is a super cool vintage reso-glass Supro. Nice score!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
  • Moderators

IIRC, the Ranchero is essentially a Harmony Monterey body with a p-up and a pickguard, and of course the Supro bolt on neck in place of the Harmony neck. Montereys don't get much love but some of them are pretty nice looking and play okay for an older archtop....sound wise...erm.....

Rancheros are very cool old critters...I've only ever played one, many years ago, great bite on the pickup at full volume through a small tube amp!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Members
Posted (edited)
On 7/29/2018 at 2:11 PM, Verne Andru said:

You may or may not get a response from Supro USA.

 

The only resemblance they have to the original "Supro" is they (Pigtronix) bought the "Supro" U.S. trademark from Bruce Zinky a number of years back. Not sure if Bruce bought the name from the original owners, if Valco did in fact trademark the name, or he just filed an application with the PTO and was first in line. The new Supro line is marketed as a "re-imaging" of the originals. There is no affiliation between new and old.

 

What you have is a super cool vintage reso-glass Supro. Nice score!

FWIW I took trip through the USPTO trademark files and discovered:

- Valco used the Supro name on cheap department-store guitars and amps back in the day but the Supro name and "Supro" graphic with the lightening-bolt were never registered by Valco. The Lanham Act, which governs US trademark law, didn't come into effect until the late 1940s and Valco had a pre-existing business-model (as did Gibson and the others) that likely didn't account for the then new IP regime.

- In 2004 Bruce Zinky registered "Supro" as a wordmark for use on his re-branded Zinky amps. The wordmark is also for guitars, a couple of prototypes of which Bruce brought to NAMMs circa 2005+. He tried registering Supro for swag like shirts and caps but was denied because of a pre-existing "S.U.P.R.O." registration owned by a footwear company IIRC.

- The "Supro" trademark - the graphic with the lightning bolt - has never been registered by anyone anywhere and is probably in the public domain and can't be registered.

- Around 2006 Absara/Pigtronix moved from NAMM Hall E up to the main floor taking over Zinky's prime booth-location right between PRS and Seymour Duncan. It quickly became a Pigtronix booth with Supro relegated to the backline.

- Around 2013 Abasra/Pigtronix bought "Supro" from Zinky and embarked on an ill-advised rapid expansion that started hitting the wall a few years later. They started using the ® mark with the Supro trademark even though it isn't registered. They also started using the ® with "Pigtronix" and that had never been registered as a trademark or wordmark.

- In 2020 Absara sold Pigtronix and Supro to BOND who also own the D'angelico line.

To summarize, the Supro stuff selling today has nothing to do with the Valco Supro stuff either by legal registration or guitar DNA. The OP's guitar is vintage Valco.

Edited by Verne Andru
typo
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...