Phil Maneri’s
BASS
LAB

It’s always fun to have two similar instruments on the benches at the same time. It is a great opportunity to see how close the manufacturing tolerances are between two models. This Supro Huntington II bass is a brother the the Supro Huntington III made at the same time and place, reviewed here, also. The Supro nameplate was resurrected in 2013 by Absara Audio, after laying dormant since 1968. The nameplate was never reserved for high-end instruments. In fact, they were often pretty cranky and poorly made – revered more for their keen deco design, rather than any great functionality. These new Supro basses are way better made than their vintage counterparts. 

This particular bass differs from the H-III in being an all-mahogany body. The neck and pau ferro fingerboard are the same. I account for the difference in body woods giving the two instruments slightly different sound, overall. The ash body tone is tighter and bigger; the mahogany is tubby and unfocused, in comparison. 

The same Gold Foil pickups are here, except there are only two (compared to three, on the H-III). The bridge-mounted piezo is unbuffered, and while it does make a sonic difference when engaged, it is not what I would call a typical “piezo” or “acoustic” tone.  I do notice the bridge pickup on the H-III adding some sounds I prefer (and would miss on the H-II). 

Hardware here is the same Hipshot-style bridge and Gotoh-style keys that are serviceable, but unremarkable. The woodwork is spot-on everywhere I could see. No slouching anywhere on this model. Like the H-III, the frets look great for the price point. Love the glossy cherry finish, like an old Gibson SG; over the mahogany, it completes that Gibson homage. 

The bass is short and comfortable to play. However, if, you’re used to 34” scales (like me), then everything seems in the wrong place. I’m sure this is something I could adjust to. I prefer the sound of the ash body 3-pickup, but this one retains the booty shaking potential they both share; unexpected in its short stature. Unlike the ash bass, this neck works perfectly and has no truss rod issues. 

This one clocks in at around $925. It’s built well enough and offers that “big sound” in a small and deco retro package. 

bass test
Supro Huntington II

Supro Huntington II

CONFIGURATION

Strings:4
Style:Single cutaway
Overall Length:41”
Body Dimension:17 ¼” long x 13” wide at lower bout
Body Contouring:Minimal
Weight:8.4 lbs.

NECK

Scale length:30”
Neck width at nut:1.674” 41.97mm
Neck width at 12th fret:2.175” 55.25mm
Neck width at joint:2.271” 57.69mm
Neck thickness at nut:1.1” 27.97mm
Neck thickness at 1st fret:.806” 20.47mm
Neck thickness at 12th fret:885” 22.43mm
Neck thickness at joint:1.259” 32.02mm
String spacing at nut:.406” 10.31mm
String spacing at saddle:1.754” 9.16mm
Fingerboard radius:10 deg
Descriptor for neck shape:D
Peghead break angle:12 deg
Bridge break angle:14 deg
Afterlength at nut:2.261” 57.42mm
Afterlength at saddle:1.47” 36.5mm
Pocket gap:Set neck
Truss rod type/access:Dual action / peghead end
Fret count:20
Fretwire:91x51

ELECTRONICS

Pickups:Gold Foil
Pickup location(s), from 12th fret:7” and 11”
Electronics:N/A
Controls:Volume, Volume, Tone (push/pull for piezo)
Shielding:Foil
Preamp circuit voltage:N/A

CONSTRUCTION

Body Woods:Mahogany
Neck WoodsMaple
Fingerboard:Pau ferro (with block inlays)
Body Finish:High-gloss polyester
Neck Finish:Black satin polyester

HARDWARE

Strings:D’Addario XL flatwound (short scale)
Attachment:At bridge
Bridge/color:Proprietary “high mass” / chrome
Nut:Bone?
Tuners/color:Gotoh style / chrome and amber
Knobs/color:Plastic / black & silver
Pickguard:3-ply black/white/black
Control cavity cover:n/a

GENERAL

Company:Absara Audio LLC
200 Wilson St.
Bldg F
Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776
Phone: 631.331.7447
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://suprousa.com
County of origin:Indonesia
Warranty:One year
Price:$924 (MAP)
Options:Piezo pickup, fretless
Accessories:2mm and 4mm hex wrenches
Available colors:Natural Ash, Tobacco Sunburst Flametop, Natural Mahogany, Fretless Flat Black, Antique White, Ocean Blue Metallic
Acquired from:Supro
Dates:Fall-Winter 2019-2020
Locals:California
Test gear:Genzler MG-800, Baer Amplification ML-112

TEST RESULTS

1-5 (unacceptable to impeccable)

In-hand

Features:3.75
Tonal Flexibility:3.5
Ease of Use:4
Aesthetics:3.75
Ergonomics:4
Tone:3.5
Value:3.5

In-hand Score
3.70average

On-bench Score
3.65average

On-bench

Overall construction4
Wood choice3
Materials choice3
Joinery5
Fretwork3
Fit and Finish of adornments4
Quality of finish work3
Ease of repair4
Potential range of setup4
Balance on knee4
Balance on strap4
Overall electronic quality4
Solder joints, wire runs3
Clarity4
Noise4
Shielding3
Quality for Price Range3

SONIC PROFILE:

Low: Buttery/mellow to deep/full
Mids: Upper-mids and punchy
Highs: Focused to aggressive


TONE-O-METER

This bass has a unique sound with its two pickups and piezo bridge. It will enable you to fit into any metal, funk, or rock gig.