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Supro Dual Tone 1958

Valco Dual Tone black & white tone monster


Crown in the range of long-gone American manufacturer Valco, the Supro Dual Tone is a downright cool guitar with a similar aesthetic to those iconic 50s ice cream parlours. The Dual Tone’s street cred is also bolstered by being David Bowie’s electric axe of choice (it also saw use in the hands of Link Wray, Joe Perry, Jimmy Page… the list goes on).

It’s bright, punchy and unique in the looks department - it’s little wonder ol’ Ziggy had such a fondness for it. Supro mastered the black and white look and the bi-level pick guard is an especially nice touch. In fact, features abound with this Dual Tone: Kluson Deluxe tuners, adjustable rosewood bridge, brass Supro nameplate on the headstock and brass / plated hardware. Just check out that awesome tailpiece.

The original catalogue describes this particular Dual Tone’s colour as “Arctic-White.” It goes on to say that it “offers a superior electric tone range that is clean and clear - from mellow bass to sharp treble,” and we won’t argue with that. There’s a great deal of variation which can be had by playing around with the volume and tone controls for each pickup, obviously the source of the guitar’s name. When both pickups are engaged, there’s a point on the tone dials (just slightly rolled off on the neck and halfway on the bridge) that gives an excellent sound across the board. These are single coil pickups (yes, they do look like humbuckers don’t they?) and they sound absolutely great – the pickups are the key to the desirability of this guitar.


There’s light player wear as you’d expect given the Dual Tone is over half a century old. The headstock has some moderate wear and the black detail of the white pick guard had faded. The black pick guard underneath is in good condition, but it’s tricky to photograph black plastic. The “dice” switch tip is not original in case you were wondering!

The neck feels great, and the reason the action is straight as an arrow is that the Dual Tone employs what the manufacturers dubbed a ‘Kord-King’ neck; basically a bolted-on solid aluminium tube wrapped in wood and plastic (kinda making the entire neck a giant truss rod!). Also worth noting is that as a 50s Dual Tone the body here is semi-solid basswood with plastic finish, rather than the all-fibreglass of the 60s designs.

It’s slick to play and perfectly proportioned, and if it’s good enough for Bowie et al then it’s more than good enough for us. They went out of production in ‘67, so grab it while it’s hot and you’ll have this gorgeous Indie classic in your excited mitts by the end of the week, all ready to rock and presented in a modern slim-line flight case.

Dualtone features

  • 13 ½” Single-cut solid body with white plastic finish
  • 24 ¾” scale length
  • Aluminium core ‘Kord-King’ neck
  • Two oversized single coil pickups
  • Volume and tone knobs for each pickup
  • Height adjustable rosewood bridge
  • Kluson Deluxe tuners
  • Chrome hardware
  • Supro ‘pat. Pending’ logo plate on headstock
  • Era-correct serial plate on back of headstock
  • 3-way pickup selector
  • 20-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • White block inlays
  • Bi-level pick guard (white over black)
  • Modern hard shell flight case

As played by

Link Wray, David Bowie, Jack White, Michelle Malone, Aeorsmith's Joe Perry, Jimmy Page

Supro DualTone tags

Supro DualTone, Dual Tone, Bowie guitar, 50s guitar
Call: +44 (0)113 320 3322
Price: Sold
S/N: R306
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