Supro Model 3033S Special Solid Body Electric Guitar (1960)

Supro  Model 3033S Special Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1960)
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Item # 9787
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Supro Model 3033S Special Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1960), made in Chicago, serial # T26612, gold textured lacquer finish, hardwood body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, gig bag case.

This little gold-and-black Valco-made instrument is about as simple as electric guitars get: A flat slab body, neck bolted on and a floating pickup with tone and volume knobs on a raised plastic pickguard. This "Special" was made in early 1960 and is the direct descendant of the earlier 1950s National solid bodies, which had evolved considerably by this point into much more sophisticated creations. This little gold-finished guitar is the last gasp of these super simple early designs and was only available for a couple of years right at the end of the '50s.

Not surprisingly this was the least expensive electric Supro cataloged in 1958-9, listing at $69.95 including strap and cord. The chipboard case was $12 extra! This was $20 less than the better known Ozark model, long considered a bad-boy classic of budget electrics. There is not much to the "Special", but it all works. The black-finished neck has a very short 22" scale length, designed for student players. The slab body is finished in an odd gold lacquer with a fairly distinctive textured effect.

The single coil Supro pickup is mounted by the neck, part of an integral black molded plastic pickguard unit that also holds the controls and jack. The adjustable wooden bridge and short brass tailpiece are standard Valco fittings and the tuners are brass-finished Kluson strips. The very short scale length takes a bit of getting used to but is very easy to play, and the Valco pickup roars with authority and makes for a powerful sounding guitar despite its diminutive size.
 
Overall length is 33 3/4 in. (85.7 cm.), 12 in. (30.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 in. (559 mm.). Width of nut is 1 9/16 in. (40 mm.).

This guitar remains all original, showing some general wear and tear but nothing too severe. The original textured body finish has numerous small dings, chips and scrapes but no major areas of loss. The black lacquer neck finish has some noticeable checking but is not heavily worn. A seam is visible in the upper half of the body but is not open or cracked, just visible. There is a bit of loss to the printed lower part of the Supro logo sticker. The unplated hardware has some corrosion but overall this is a decently preserved example.

This is a fairly rare guitar, only offered for a couple of years of which this one dates to the tail end. The original small frets have very little wear, the neck is quite straight (for a Supro at least). The guitar plays very well for a budget Valco product, and has a big dark and powerful sound for such a little thing. Perfect for those deep blues and swamp rock occasions when even a Les Paul Junior seems too elegant, as down-n-dirty an electric guitar as has ever been made with a killer vibe. Excellent - Condition.