Today in the shop I had the pleasure of noodling around on a new favorite of mine, the Supro Westbury (Antique White.) This guitar jumped out at me from the first glance, gorgeous looks coupled with a fast satin neck and vintage-toned gold-foil pickups; let’s get into it.
The first thing I noticed was obviously the retro looks of this guitar. It’s just weird enough looking and feeling to draw in the vintage lovers and utilitarian enough to bring in the modern tone-chasers.
Based on a 1960s beveled edge body style, the Westbury is more reminiscent of a 50s roadster than Fenders and Gibsons of the time. Block inlays, striking black pick guard with “50s wiring” volume and tone completed with a 5-way pickup switch, “wave-style” tailpiece, and all draws the eye to the Supro mini gold-foil pickups in the bridge and neck positions.
Seconds after grabbing the Westbury off the guitar stand I noticed a key feature: it’s weight. I expected it to be a bit heavier, more like a Les Paul nearing 11lbs. Supro gives this guitar an average weight of about 9lbs. That’s great news for those with shoulder problems and road warriors alike.
After marveling about the weight I got down to playing and this 12″ radius satin maple neck spoke to me. Fast, responsive and just thick enough, it really had me treading the line between fighting the guitar (in a good way) and putting me on auto-pilot (like some tele necks do.) After a few months of playing this guitar I can postulate that I’ll really never want much else. The set neck is another feature that gives a nice sustain-filled, vintage vibe only replicated in similarly voiced vintage instruments.
As stated before, the center-piece of this guitar’s design is most definitely the Supro gold-foil pickups; this is also true for the tone and playability of this instrument. When I’m really digging in and pushing the Supro 1624T combo amplifier there is a nice high-end sparkle that accompanies the mid-range crunch and resonance I’m use to with vintage toned guitars. On the clean side, the Westbury punches through and could easily be used as the main voice in a crowded song.
I can see this guitar being utilized in both rhythm and lead applications on-stage. A lot more versatile than I originally imagined from an instrument of this design.
This guitar is for the player who wants a “work-horse” with all the flash of a vintage “private reserve” style instrument. The touring musician can draw from the weight and playability of the neck, and the studio dweller can use the Westbury as an alternative single-coil option to bring a different sonic profile to a track.
This is a guitar I want to pick up everyday and try on every amp I can get my hands on. It’s tone is rare, and finally available on a modern designed instrument with an affordable price.
For more info on Supro’s newest line of guitars and amplifiers, visit: SuproUSA.com.