After a three-year hiatus, Jimmy Page has rekindled his Sundragon brand of signature guitar amps for a new limited-edition offering: the Super Dragon half-stack.
The Sundragon name first arrived on the scene back at winter NAMM 2019, when the Led Zeppelin man announced he’d be embarking on a new collaborative project with Perry Margouleff and Mitch Colby.
First, there was the limited Sundragon Limited, and then (at Summer NAMM) there was the Sundragon Standard – both of which were based on the Supro Coronado that Page famously used on the first Led Zeppelin album and on the solo to Stairway to Heaven, among other recordings.
Now, after a long wait, the Sundragon stock has finally been replenished with another ultra-limited signature guitar amp, which is described as a “meticulous recreation” of another one of Page’s iconic amps.
Whereas the flagship combos were Supro in nature, the Super Dragon is instead based on the amp that Page turned to soon after completing Led Zeppelin, and the amp that became his go-to unit both on stage and in the studio from Led Zeppelin II and beyond.
Specifically, the Super Dragon is a reborn take on the modded 1968 Marshall Super Bass that Page used to tour in 1969, and in the studio to record the band’s sophomore studio album. Further still, in Page’s own words, the Super Bass remained his “Number 1 amp” and was used on all studio records that followed.
Introducing his new signature half-stack, Page explained, “The Super Dragon is a faithful recreation of my 'Number 1' amp. After recording the first Led Zeppelin record and creating sounds that define rock guitar, I needed an amp capable of reproducing this broad palette of sounds including the light and the shade in the studio and a live setting.
“Not only was the volume and tone important but it needed to have enough power to hear the subtlety of various aspects of my guitar playing,” he went on. “I experimented with different amps until hearing about a fellow in the USA named Tony Frank who was modifying Marshall amps.
“I sent Frank my favorite Marshall, a 1968 Super Bass and the result was exactly what I was looking for. Frank’s modification enhanced the amp’s power and expanded the dynamic range. This amp became the main amp for live shows as well as the principal amp I would rely on in the studio for all Led Zeppelin records from Zeppelin II onwards.”
Notably, we’ve all already heard the Super Dragon in action – we just didn’t realize it. Earlier this month, Page played live for the first time in eight years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, during which he inducted Link Wray with a rendition of Rumble.
The guitar amp he was playing through on the night? That’s right: The Sundragon Super Dragon.
According to the Sundragon site, just 50 Super Dragons will be made, each of them hand-built by Mitch Colby and the rest of the team, and coming loaded with NOS GE 6550 tubes, Iskra and Allen Bradley resistors, and Phillips mustard capacitors. In other words, components found in the original.
There will also be a specially designed speaker and cabinet to complete the half-stack, designed to “create the response and feel of Jimmy’s original”.
The Super Dragons will be built from November 2023 to mid-2024, and those interested in picking one up will have to contact Sundragon directly. As such, no price has been made public, but you can expect it to cost a pretty penny when the amp finally arrives next year.
Head over to Sundragon to find out more.