The Company Line
Originally produced in Chicago, Supro is a pioneer brand that has been around since 1935, producing amplifiers and guitars. In 1968, Valco (owner of the Supro brand) closed its doors due to financial difficulties. In 2013, Absara Audio (known for Pigtronix pedals) revived the Supro brand, paying homage to the 1950’s and 1960’s classic designs by reinventing the entire line of amplifiers, effects, and basses with the iconic Supro lightning bolt logo. The current product lineup is now based out of Port Jefferson, New York. You’ll see Supro products with some of the top musicians in the industry today.
Both Huntington basses in this review have the same key features. The headstock exhibits the original stamped-metal logo plate held in with two small screws. The die-cast tuning keys are the same, but do have a very short range, which lend themselves to dialing in a less-precise result. The block inlays are installed clean and flush on the fingerboard. The fingerboard and frets are finished nicely, enabling fast play. Both basses came standard with D’Addario XL flatwound strings. The action is set higher than I would prefer, but when adjusted lower, I experienced undesired fret buzz. The Gold Foil pickup design has that retro classic vibe with the Supro “S” in the covers. The overall construction/design holds true to the original Supro vintage look from long ago. The Huntington II has a high-gloss finish over a mahogany body, while the Huntington III has a medium blue matte finish over an ash body. The strap buttons are placed perfectly, which enable these basses to balance just right. Neither of these basses came with a gig bag or case. At this price level, I would expect some type of protective cover/bag, rather than nothing more than arriving in a cardboard wedge-shaped box.
The volume pots are not linear. I found the sound output without the piezo engaged to jump from low to loud without a gradual, steady volume increase. I found this to be a negative feature only because it seems like the Huntington II and III basses are either on medium to full loudness, or off. The piezo bridge option is engaged by lifting up the tone knob – otherwise the piezo is off and has no effect. The piezo option does add a large boost in loudness and a hyperactive, trebly bass sound output. Both Huntington II and III can sound overly muted, to deep/rounded, to brighter with punchier lows. All tones are easily accomplished by dialing-in the volume control of each pickup and then further setting the overall tone control.
Huntington III Neck Pickup:
This pickup overall has some seriously deep, articulate, lows that just scream classic P-like Motown tones. The neck pickup alone (no piezo), volume up at 80-90% and dialing in the tone knob will really shape the H-III into a Motown P-bass.
Huntington III Middle Pickup:
Overall, the tone from the middle pickup was similar to the H-III neck pickup, but with slightly muted tones (with volume knob about 85%-90%). Simply by opening up the tone control really gave this bass has a new heartbeat with some sizzle and snap, without losing the deep P-like tones. I found this setting closer to a “P/J” bass tone – something I am pretty familiar with – and with lots of range to ensure that this bass can step into any classic or pop rock gig with ease.
Huntington III Bridge Pickup:
I did find an unusual volume difference in the bridge pickup only: at 80-100% volume and no piezo, I noticed a slightly muted tone from the low E string. It just sounded like it lost a little output, and not the same tone/volume out as the other strings. On the other hand, with the piezo engaged, volume knob 20-50%, the A string output was muted and the rest of the strings had similar volume output. I ran through the same lick and the same finger feel with the neck and middle pickups – piezo/no piezo – and did not encounter any muted tones or dissimilar volume output.
Huntington II Neck Pickup:
The neck pickup (no piezo) just had little to no output until the volume was turned up to 80% -100%. With the piezo engaged, the tone again was muted/muffled and lacking in the deep lows. The volume knob had to dialed up to around 85% before the muted tones became clear and distinct with punchier, detailed thunderous low tones.
Huntington II Middle Pickup:
This pickup is in the middle of the playing zone and not as close to the bridge as the corresponding bridge pickup on the H-III. Without the piezo engaged, the tone from the H-II did not come alive until about 70%, and then it sounded a bit nasal, with a muffled output tone. Moving the volume knob louder 70-100% is when this bass came alive and sounded fuller and richer, with deep clear lows. Dialing in that rich/full, rounded tone to a punchier P-like tone was a breeze with the tone control knob. I found the same to be true with the piezo engaged – the real meatier bass tones were above 70% with the volume knob.
Huntington II & III Piezo Only:
The bass has a brighter, louder attack that to my ears is not necessarily “acoustic-sounding.” There is a brighter range of achievable tones with the tone control knob, but the output is quite loud and starts out not that deep and gets brighter and punchier with a heavy, snappier attack tone. Playing fingerstyle, with the tone control brightness favored, there is a very noticeable magnified sound of the strings contacting the frets. This was something new to me and I found it very distracting in a practice situation. On a gig, this may not be an issue.
Officially launched at Summer NAMM 2017, the Huntington II and III are attractive short-scale basses with a very deep or big sound in a comfortable small package. The classic styling and versatility of the Huntington basses are going to fulfill the needs of many players at a low price point. The exterior appearance is extremely attractive with the flawless glossy and matte finishes. The playability is easy and effortless with the satin finish neck and the feel of the bass over your shoulder is well balanced almost disguising the 8.5 lb. (H-II) and 9.1 lb. (H-III) weight. The piezo bridge option is not for everyone, but with it, the versatility of this bass is going to open a lot more doors of opportunity for the gigging player. I had a difficult time deciding which one I preferred over the other. If I could only have one, I would go with the Huntington III, due to the 3-pickup design lending itself to a bit more rich/full tonal variation than the II. Supro offers a limited 1-year warranty to the original retail purchaser. Neither bass includes a gig bag or hard case, though I did notice that an original Supro gig bag is available on Amazon for $39.99.
[Editor’s Note: the Huntington III model has been discontinued, though the Huntington II is still available.]
In-hand(Supro Huntington Bass II )
|Ease of Use:||4|
In-hand Score 3.70average
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.
In-hand (Supro Huntington Bass III)
|Ease of Use:||4|
In-hand Score 3.90average
This bass is unique with its three pickups and piezo bridge and has a deeper vibe than the H-II. It will enable you to fit into any metal, funk, rock, or classic oldies gig.