1961 Supro Martinique Semihollow Electric Guitar

Fiberglass body! Modernity! Semihollow design! I like.

This Martinique is from '61 and it's a much nicer guitar than your average National/Valco design from the time because of its upscale place in the product line. The neck is faster, more nicely-cut, and straight and it has enough knobs to get you into the space program.

It was just in for service and return to its owner, but as you might expect with an oddball build, it means some sussing-out of interesting design "features" and adjusting it to be a little more practical. Have you spotted the coolest modification to it yet, though? I'll let you look for a sec...

Work included: a fret level/dress, two replacement knobs, tightening-up of the neck joint and body panels, wiring check and cleaning, and a good setup. It plays bang-on at 1/16" overall at the 12th fret and it's strung with 10s. The slim-ish, Gibson-like C-shaped neck has a Gibson-like 24 3/4" scale as well and feels very "home base" to me.

Someone had installed a useless downpressure bar at the headstock -- so I removed that. Initials of a prior owner were also removed.

The board has bold, thick binding and giant white-block inlay.

The three-way switch seems to be some sort of selector (on/on/off) but I can't figure it out. This has a neck, bridge, and piezo pickup installed but the piezo in-bridge pickup no longer works.

The original National-style single coil pickup at the neck is still going strong but due to its design it's almost impossible to dial-in an even tone string-to-string. The two outer "polepieces" also adjust pickup height and for whatever reason they're both over-strong.

Here's the surprise -- someone installed an early-'60s Gibson PAF mini-humbucker (with original housing) at the bridge! This pickup sounds excellent. I had to do a bit of minor surgery to get it to raise and lower via the adjuster screws (someone had blocked it in place), but it's working as it should, now.

The three-way switch got a replacement, bakelite tip from my bins.

While this appears to be a "master volume" knob, unfortunately every volume knob on the instrument works as a master volume knob. The wiring is funky and looks like it'd need to be entirely rewired to work in a modern manner.