Supro Thunderbolt Amp Review

Supro Thunderbolt

Finally, an afordable high-end sounding tube amp with a 15 inch speaker

I spent a good half a year searching for an amp to replace my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. The Hot Rod was a great amp but it had seen better days. By the end it was switching itself between the drive and clean channels by it’s own will. Some sort of late stage amp dementia. I loved that amp but it was time to find something new.

I had heard about the Supro Thunderbolt as the original amp of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. I didn’t realize they had an affordable reissue. This amp crossed my path again when I became interested in guitar amps with 15 inch speakers. If you’ve never played through a 15 inch it’s a unique sound. Not for everybody but if it is for you it’s hard to go back. The 15 inch has a little more “sag” to the notes, kind of like a bit of natural compression with a slower response. The plus is you get a deeper bass range. The downside is the highs can be slightly harsher.

One Knob Tube Amp

Extended frequency range means deeper lows and higher highs

The Supro has a uniquely simple approach. It has very few controls. Just one tone knob, a volume knob, and a wattage switch.

The wattage control allows you switch between 60 watts and 30 watts. Flipping to 30 watts will allow the amp to break up sooner. This is really nice if you like a slightly dirty tube driven sound but don’t want to have to crank the amp to ear screechingly loud volumes. The 60 watt setting is nice if you want mroe headroom or want to get all your distortion from pedals.

Supro Thunderbolt

The one knob tone control is brilliantly simple and has some real sweet spots. As you turn the knob you’ll get varied eq curves that are interesting and seem to just really work without all the fussing around. This saves time and is more effective in a live setting.

Features and Details

  • Circuit Type: All-tube Supro Circuit
  • Wattage: 35 Watts – Class A, 60 Watts Class A/B
  • Channels: “Normal” and “Hot” inputs
  • Tremolo: None
  • Reverb: None
  • Assembled in New York, USA
  • Preamp Tubes: 2x 12AX7
  • Power Tubes: 2x 5881/6L6
  • Speakers: 1 x 15″ Supro TB15
  • Cabinet Dimensions (in.) 23 5/8” x 19” x 10 1/2”
  • Cabinet Dimensions (cm.) 60 x 41 x 27 cm
  • Weight (lbs) 50 lbs
  • Weight (kg) 23 kg
  • Tolex Black Rhino Hide tolex

All around this amp has great headroom with the ability to breakup like a tube amp should and comes at a great price for the quality.

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