Ovation Guitars ??

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Robert1950, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Jimbo99

    Jimbo99 Member

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    Any one bashing Ovation for tone because of wood vs the Lyrichord bowl is out of their minds. Taylor acoustic guitars are arguably the most often name dropped guitar. I'd stack up Ovation to any of them, Taylor & Martin especially since those are the biggest names. I spent time playing Taylor, Martin, Fender/Squire, Gibson/Epiphone, Ibanez, Takamine, Breedlove, Luna and every other brand that are/were in the room(s) at several Music stores in the area. At the end of the day, considering sound and durability of the guitar to last a lifetime, there was really no other choice but an Ovation. That said I found a virginal condition, pre-owned Ovation Applause AE128 with the Super Shallow body and walked out of the music store with something I feel will play with the best of them. I realize I sacrificed a little on sound quality with the bowl dimensions, but that was more a matter of body depth acoustics than it was the material of the bowl/body. The shape of the Ovation bowl actually compensates for sound. I've never heard anyone that complained about a Bose Sound wave small speaker design for depth of a small speaker sounding way bigger than much larger speakers & cabinets. Ovation has done a remarkable job bringing the acoustic guitar forward with technology. Many argue/debate wood vs carbon fiber even. Nancy Wilson seems to play Ovation and nobody ever told her the sound was a cheap plastic tone ? I wonder why ?

    https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/818718


     
  2. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    Weirdly, one of my favorite individual guitars is an Applause - and it's not mine. A friend of mine who does a lot of homemade instruments and chopping things up in unexpected ways found this one, as he put it, "hanged by the neck until dead". Someone had hung it from a tree, smashed it with a bat or something, and left it there. The bowl was intact, of course, as was the aluminum neck. He carefully rebuilt (not replaced) the top, with a Babitz-like suspension arrangement to take stress off the bridge. He plays gutbucket blues on it, and it's just an amazing-sounding instrument. I guess that's what you have to do to one to make it sound good!

    Another friend of mine is an Ovation Adamas loyalist. She's a very good player and could easily choose something else, but she prefers her Ovations, and has a small collection of them. She's built her own way of playing around them and that tonal consistency.

    So I see them as love/hate instruments. Those who love them, really love them. Those who hate them have a laundry list of things to hate, from the legit (hard to hold) to the nonsensical (but it's plastic!). Me, I don't like them much. I find them compressed and flat-sounding, not very dynamic. I have exactly the same complaint about most Taylors. But my preferred sound is really vintage-style, with big dynamics and a tempermental nature. That same compressed consistency that bores me makes them a blank canvas for other guitarists, who can craft parts without wondering what kind of mood their guitar is in today.
     
  3. Losov

    Losov Member

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    I have a Martin HD-35 to please the audience but an Ovation C2079-LX to please myself. I wish the Ovie sounded like the Martin and the Martin felt like the Ovie, but neither is true.

    What it comes down to is this: When I want to just sit down by myself and enjoy playing, I pick up the Ovation.
     
  4. fetchzee

    fetchzee Member

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    Just picked up a 1978 Custom Balladeer with the OHSC for under $300. Here are my impressions.

    1. Mine is the deep bowl model. Acoustically, its a very balanced tone with good projection- it’s not a cannon, but it’s not a bad tone at all.

    2. Being an older model, electronics are bone simple. Piezeo undersaddle pickup, preamp, volume. That’s it. Sounds good for what it is.

    3. Best neck I’ve ever played on an acoustic, and it’s as good as any of my electric necks.

    I’ve got a funny feeling that it is going to sound phenomenal in a recording situation because it is so balanced tone-wise.
     
  5. gillman royce

    gillman royce Supporting Member

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    The original sales pitch was that you could stand on the back without breaking it. I guess that's great for people whose tone is in their feet.
     
  6. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    There is nothing wrong with those round-backed Ovations in the sound department. The problem is, most of us don't have a concave stomach to match.
     
    MikeVB and placebo62 like this.
  7. alphasports

    alphasports Member

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    I have, and have had, a lot of nice expensive guitars over the years but I still have an Ovation 1778T Elite USA-made cutaway that I love, not sure what the deal is but I have a thing for it, I paid $380 Canadian to rescue it from a pawnshop, like new with original hard case (they sold new for something like $USD 1500...this is the T model not the Asian TX). Guitar sounds absolutely great, plays easy, has a great built in pre-amp. We're buddies. It would be the last guitar I ever sell simply because it has no monetary value and it's durable as hell. Only thing I can't deal with is the round back while standing...I don't know how people play these standing up!
     
  8. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    This is such an interesting little thread. It goes away for years, them pops back up. And it only has 48 posts, so it doesn't stay up for long.

    @alphasports - I've never really had trouble playing them standing up (or sitting down), though mine is a thin body rather than the deep bowl. Right now my son has my Ovation (and he lives eight hours away), but feeling like I should snag it the next time I see him. Here is a video playing mine standing up--kind of butchering a request but laughing through it. Anyone else have Ovation videos to share?

     
    derekd likes this.
  9. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    My first quality guitar after finishing college was an Ovation Collector's Series. 1985.

    Shallow bowl, onboard electronics, looked like this. I gigged the heck out of it for close to 20 years.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    No, just no.
     
  11. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Nice! My first quality acoustic was an Ovation Balladeer that my wife bought me for my birthday in 1990. I gigged that one a lot too, but the top bowed and eventually cracked. I stumbled upon my current Balladeer on CL probably ten years ago and couldn't pass it up. And it's nice enough, but there is a reason it lives with my son rather than my other acoustics.
     
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  12. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I had a cheaper Ovation, bottom of the line in the early 80s, with a big bowl I used at camps and other settings where I was leading singing with kids.

    Moved up to the collector's after school when I could afford something decent. Bought a cheap Tak for camps and such, something with electronics that I didn't mind banging around.
     
  13. dazco

    dazco Member

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    My first "good" acoustic was a ovation in the early 70's. I was new to playing and i was so enamored with the look i could not live w/o the thing. That is until i owned it a short time which was all it took for me to realize it sounded like cr@p. I hated selling it because i just loved the way they looked but i never wanted to play it so away it went. By the way, i bought it at GC when there was only one GC, no chain stores. The one in hollywood of course across the street from where it was now. Also bought my first gibson there, a used white SG custom which also got sold quick due to the horrible neck shape and size. Little did i know at the time they were the beginning of a many decades long GAS infliction with many hundreds of guitars to come. :D
     
  14. placebo62

    placebo62 Member

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    I recall a few years ago that they stopped making Adamas guitars, but looking at the Ovation site now I see they're back, that's very cool to see.
     
    musicman1 likes this.
  15. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Member

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    LOL, this is a THIRTEEN year old zombie thread!
     
  16. Julio Iguana

    Julio Iguana Member

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    Mr Kaman (Comman) to my knowledge was an aerospace engineer who played guitar. He applied his knowledge to making an acoustic guitar less fragile (why?...because he wanted to). Calling his guitar plastic (ie: referring it to something cheap) doesn’t make it not the “evolution” it is but shows that some people’s blinders only allow them to see the end of their noses. Thank you very much.
    JI
     
  17. fjblair

    fjblair Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never owned one, but never played one that I didn't like.
     
  18. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

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    Gotta be packing a giant, foil-wrapped zucchini to keep an Ovation from sliding out of your lap
     

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