Ovation Magnum 3 - - WHOA

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mullytron, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. mullytron

    mullytron Member

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    I'm not sure if it is the coolest bass ever, or a combination of the worst ideas the 70's had to offer, but a friend of a friend just walked in with the weirdest Ovation bass I've ever seen. A little research leads me to believe it is a Magnum 3, since it has the WACKIEST active electronics I've ever seen, but a more normal (Fendery) body shape.

    OEM Magnum owners manual here:

    http://www.ovationtribute.com/Catalogues/Magnum%20Bass%20Owner%20Manual/Magnum%20Bass%20Owner%20Manual.html

    Weird body style, huge weird bridge, HUGE neck 'bucker, weird greyburst finish, this thing is an ugly duckling for sure. You can see the PCB in the manual, it has (8) ICs, and (2) 9V batteries. Whoa. Now I just have to find what's not working. Any tips? The input jack alone is a switching type I've never seen... Eesh.
     
  2. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    A very nifty, warm-sounding bass indeed. Heavier than an Edsel, but a nice neck.
     
  3. CharlieS

    CharlieS Member

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    I had one back in the late 70s. It played pretty well, but looking at those pics, it reminds me that it was pretty homely. It held up well for gigging. I eventually traded it in on a Gibson Heritage 80 Les Paul in 1980-1.
     
  4. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Member

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    Jah Wobble has long favoured a Magnum I. Barry Adamson played a Magnun for a while with Magazine.
     
  5. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

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    Ross Valory of Journey played a Magnum back in the day.
     
  6. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

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    They were well made (machine screw neck bolts, mil spec looking electronics) basses. So were the guitars. Very solid instruments.
     
  7. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    A friend of mine played one of those in her band but it was the I model without the graphic EQ. As far as I remember it sounded good.
     
  8. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    Bill Brasky, you stole my thunder! I remember Ross playing one on the Escape tour.
     
  9. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Just read through more of the manual. Has anyone made a guitar pickup with the same construction as that Magnum neck pickup? I like the individual coils concept. You could have a unique wire gauge, turn count and polepiece / magnet that is optimal for each string.
     
  10. mullytron

    mullytron Member

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    I got this thing running, and it is indeed a tone machine. That neck humbucker is SWEET, and it has individual string output controls! And the bridge pickup is no slouch either.

    I took some quick pics for you guys.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Kind of an ugly duckling, isn't he? (matte greyburst finish...).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The jack was a little rusty, so I thought I would replace it, but it's a real weirdo, so I got it working and left well enough alone.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Check out that PCB! Total dinosaur, I love it. Too weird to die, I guess. Just don't break one of those faders...

    BTW, if anyone finds themselves working on one of these (the active model) and wants or needs to replace the ICs, GOOD LUCK. It's a weird programmable op amp that isn't made anymore, but I found a replacement, so let me know if you need the data sheet. Something tells me the new part is quieter and more robust than the original.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  11. mondaythursday

    mondaythursday Senior Member

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    I dig that bass a lot. Just owning that bass is almost a sure sign that you will score more often with the ladies.
     
  12. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Member

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    Another Magnum user was Kim Gordon, who used one in the early days of Sonic Youth.
     

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