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#1 2011-09-03 05:18:21

HannahBeth
Senior Member
From: Texas
Registered: 2007-07-31
Posts: 950
Website

Ovation Guitars

So I've been toying with the idea of getting an ovation acoustic guitar, mainly to use when I play at church to avoid the hassle of trying to amplify/add a mic to my current guitar. Plus they seem pretty cool, but I don't know much about them. Hows the tone? And whats a good price?


All You Need is Love smile

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#2 2011-09-03 07:11:54

craig23
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-10-02
Posts: 192

Re: Ovation Guitars

I like them alot....plugged in. I do NOT like them unplugged. I've seen them in the $3-400 range new. My boss bought his daughter a used '84 for about 250. If your buying it just for the amplified reason, thats probably fine. I think there are better sounding guitars that also have pickups that you could use in both settings for about the same price range though. Or you could just buy a pickup for your current guitar if you like it.

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#3 2011-09-03 08:35:44

Buzzwagon
Senior Member
From: Surrey, UK
Registered: 2008-11-23
Posts: 306

Re: Ovation Guitars

I've got an Ovation and I love it. You get a lot of guitar your money and although they've fallen a little out of fashion over the years, for me it's my "Go to" guitar, (and that's over a Guild and a Takamine!). Some people have a problem with the bowlback claiming that they have difficulty with the guitar moving around while you're trying to play it but I've never experienced it.

Ovations are renowned for their playability and have a lovely light neck, mine has a superb really fast action, (you can sort this yourself as the bridge height is adjustable using shims under the bridge). Tone and projection is good and is what Ovation is all about, Charles Kaman, the guy who designed them was an aircraft engineer who studied sonics and vibration, and that's what the bowlback is all about.

Machine heads are sealed Grover types, although with Ovation stamped on them, and as you'd expect from Ovation are pretty much faultless. Mine holds its tune better than any guitar I've owned in the last 30 years.

On board electrics are excellent.

For live use I'd avoid the shallow bowl and go for either a medium or deep bowlback for better projection.

As for price, unless cost is a real issue I wouldn't bother with an Applause and as with all other US makers the guitars build overseas are cheaper than the US built models. It would be a big mistake to discount the overseas built guitars, as with Fender, Guild and any of the other US manufacturers the quality control overseas is exceptional and I think avoidance of non US built guitars is more down to snobbery than quality.

I'd definately recommend trying one, I think you'll be surprised at how good they are for the money.

Have fun!!

Jerry

Last edited by Buzzwagon (2011-09-03 08:42:38)


One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

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#4 2011-09-03 13:05:57

bswyers
Senior Member
From: Clarion PA
Registered: 2008-05-18
Posts: 304

Re: Ovation Guitars

I've owned my Ovation for nearly 25 years and wouldn't part with it for anything. I've played Fenders, Gibsons, and Martins and haven't found any that I would prefer over my Ovation. Fast neck,low string height,great electronics and sounds good unplugged as well. The deep bowl have more projection but as I'm not a real big guy I find them a little cumbersome to play. Mine is a shallow bowl and is very comfortable and still has good projection. I'm not knocking other brands but  I personally feel that Ovation stands in the same category as the big names. Play one and then decide


Don't take life too seriously, you're not getting out alive anyway

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#5 2011-09-03 13:16:09

Zurf
Blunt but well meaning moderator
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 2007-06-27
Posts: 5673

Re: Ovation Guitars

I have a solid-body Ovation bass that I absolutely love.

I have diddled around with some of the six string guitars and haven't liked them much.  I haven't tried them plugged in, which is where they supposedly really shine.  It has always sounded like a lot of middle and not much high or low definition to me.  Playability is good.  I've probably never played another guitar brand on which barre chords were easier.  I like the shape and size of the necks. 

- Zurf


"Forced means you're painting a train blue."  - Jets60
"If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome!" - Mekidsmom
"Don't ever apologize for what you have worked hard for." - Pete Benson
Official recipient of B chord amnesty.

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#6 2011-09-03 14:23:27

Grah1
Senior Member
From: Sunny Crete
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 361
Website

Re: Ovation Guitars

I have   an aplause  which  I  gig  regularly  ,my  mate  has  an ovation  both  are  good but the  electrics  on  the  ovation  are   better   I  find  that  the  aplause   pre amp  does  geneate  a  little  feed  back  where as   my  mates  doesnt ,but  youve  got  to  look  at  the  cost  and the  Applause  is  about   £300   cheaper , and  as  we  only  do  a  couple  of  acoustic tunes  in  the  set I  find  it  ok  in terms  of  playabuility  and  sound quality,  the  neck is  very slim and playable  much more like an electric.

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#7 2011-09-03 14:34:46

steelstrings
Senior Member
From: Western Australia (born in NZ)
Registered: 2011-04-18
Posts: 322

Re: Ovation Guitars

Right, that is on my list of guitars-to-get!


"Where you begin doesn't matter. Your willingness to start is what counts."
Without music life would be a mistake.
Country music is three chords and the truth.
cool cool cool cool cool cool

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#8 2011-09-03 18:14:57

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4516

Re: Ovation Guitars

Hi hanna,I had a 1982 ovation,it was one of the higher higher end ones,great guitar amplified but not so good for just acustic use. I finally sold it because the large back bowl made it too uncomfotrable.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#9 2011-09-03 18:47:24

flester
Senior Member
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 154

Re: Ovation Guitars

Not everone likes them but there are many devotees. Get an old, US-made, deep bowl, solid topped one. Anything with 'Celebrity or 'CC', or Applause in the name are more budget models (and are good budget models)

Last edited by flester (2011-09-03 18:49:34)

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#10 2011-09-03 18:58:57

whitewater55
Senior Member
Registered: 2011-01-09
Posts: 242

Re: Ovation Guitars

I used to own an Ovation, and it the slim neck makes the action and playability amazing, but when unplugged, I always despised that "muddy" sound. I currently gig with a Cort semi, 3/4 sized guitar, and while it's action is not quite a slick as the Ovation, the electronics are the equal or superior to the Ovation, IMHO, and there is no comparison whatever acoustically. The Cort is superior when unplugged, and equal to the Ovation in electronics. The Ovation has a thinner neck, but the Cort is amazingly playable.

On the whole, a good quality Cort semi will run 3-600, and you'll pay much more for the Ovation, I believe. Canadian prices.


Hank's prosepctive gutiar player said: "Mr Williams, I'm not sure I can play for you, the onliest chords I know are C D & G"
Hank repleis, after a short pause: "Well, what else is there?"

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#11 2011-09-07 04:02:27

tandm3
Senior Member
From: Florida Panhandle
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 421

Re: Ovation Guitars

Ok.  I'm a die-hard Ovation fan.  I have a 1981 Balladeer model 1112. Its a deep body lyra-chord back, sitka spruce top, mahogany neck, ebony fretboard. It is quite possibly one of the best acoustics that I've ever played.  It did not come with electrics but has Fishman pickups in it now.  The acoustic sound is not "muddy". It is crystal clear. Like a bell. The neck belongs on an electric guitar, it is a soft V shape, just like some Fender's you might know.  It is very fast and extremely easy to play.  I paid $500 for it in 1982.  Every once in a while one becomes available on ebay.  Keep an eye out.  Mine has all of the original parts except for a set of frets. Unfortunately, its about time for another set..


Now available in 5G !

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#12 2011-09-07 06:18:07

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: Ovation Guitars

Ovations are either a love 'em or hate 'em proposition for most folks.     I have one friend that owned every guitar in their lineup for a while (uke all the way down to acoustic bass) while I have another that will state categorically that guitars can not be made out of plastic.  He's a strat junkie, though, so grain of salt... smile

Personally, I don't like any round-backed guitar (I feel like they're always slipping down my body) but that isn't specific to Ovations.

Best bet:  Go play a bunch and see what you think.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#13 2011-09-07 09:33:37

HannahBeth
Senior Member
From: Texas
Registered: 2007-07-31
Posts: 950
Website

Re: Ovation Guitars

Wow what mixed reviews! Guess the best thing is like jerome said, to play a few and see. Thanks for all the insight guys!


All You Need is Love smile

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#14 2011-09-09 17:35:56

flester
Senior Member
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 154

Re: Ovation Guitars

craig23 wrote:

I like them alot....plugged in. I do NOT like them unplugged. I've seen them in the $3-400 range new. My boss bought his daughter a used '84 for about 250. If your buying it just for the amplified reason, thats probably fine. I think there are better sounding guitars that also have pickups that you could use in both settings for about the same price range though. Or you could just buy a pickup for your current guitar if you like it.

Those are definitely the budget ones. No comparison with the 'real' ones (which are very expensive so buy used. Mine was EUR250 at 30 years old)

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#15 2011-09-27 00:58:41

henryb
Senior Member
From: Lhanbryde
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 204

Re: Ovation Guitars

Check out the Ovation Fan Club Form .

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#16 2011-09-27 05:26:08

Jerrybass
Junior Member
From: Santa Rosa, CA
Registered: 2011-09-04
Posts: 20

Re: Ovation Guitars

It seems to me the back would be hard to get used to unless you used a strap to help hold it.


If there were no guitars, everyone would have to sing a capella.

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#17 2011-09-27 10:30:14

joeyjoeyjoey
Honoured Member
From: massachusetts
Registered: 2010-10-18
Posts: 1115

Re: Ovation Guitars

HELPFUL HINT: to keep an ovation or applause from sliding off your lap.Use a rubber jar cap remover.It will keep it from sliding and they are dirt cheap or usually given away.Also if you are in the middle of a gig and someone needs a jar of pickles opened and are willing to pay 500.00 for the favor,You will be all set.


Enjoy Every Sandwich - Dr. Lee Lipsenthal

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#18 2011-10-01 09:14:12

tombyrne
Junior Member
Registered: 2007-04-23
Posts: 5

Re: Ovation Guitars

I never thought much of them other than a good beater that could take a spilled drink, but.....I picked one up on Craigslist advertised as having the binding coming off and a scratch on top. Paid $40.00 for it, fixed the binding and I have to say, it is one of the best sounding guitars I have. It is an older, deep back model. I use a clip on pick up, but plan to get one installed. The best part is, it can still take a spilled drink and a trip to the beach.

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#19 2011-10-14 00:17:24

davesworld
Junior Member
From: North Texas
Registered: 2011-10-13
Posts: 6

Re: Ovation Guitars

bought a 12 string in 81 just before deploying on a submarine. we spent 3 wonderful months underwater and created two of my best songs. cost me 800 back then and i ve banged on it for over 30 years.  destring the octaves and it is totally awesome for fingerstyle.  the finish has cracked in a few places and the ring has been chipped up from dropin pickups but looks don t thrill me    good tone over the entire fretboard does. and she still sings just fine.    but as with any instrument.   find the one that speaks to you and plays for you and you will find happiness..   3 of my guitars are off brands that i wouldn t trade for a martin or a taylor or a takaminie.  good luck and good hunting....


may your strings sing you a light on those cold dark lonely nights
the only two things in life that make it worth living
guitars that tune good and strings that sing

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#20 2011-10-19 15:40:11

flester
Senior Member
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 154

Re: Ovation Guitars

Not every 12-string would last 30 years as well davesworlds one, and my one. The "sliding off your lap" issue I just don't get. Doesn't happen to me. Does it affect only people who've never played one?

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#21 2011-10-19 16:13:19

Zurf
Blunt but well meaning moderator
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 2007-06-27
Posts: 5673

Re: Ovation Guitars

flester wrote:

Not every 12-string would last 30 years as well davesworlds one, and my one. The "sliding off your lap" issue I just don't get. Doesn't happen to me. Does it affect only people who've never played one?

Perhaps you do not have a surface that is an alternately rotating arc against which you are placing the curved back of the Ovation, as do some of us.


"Forced means you're painting a train blue."  - Jets60
"If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome!" - Mekidsmom
"Don't ever apologize for what you have worked hard for." - Pete Benson
Official recipient of B chord amnesty.

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#22 2011-10-19 17:01:25

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
Website

Re: Ovation Guitars

Zurf wrote:

flester wrote:

Not every 12-string would last 30 years as well davesworlds one, and my one. The "sliding off your lap" issue I just don't get. Doesn't happen to me. Does it affect only people who've never played one?

Perhaps you do not have a surface that is an alternately rotating arc against which you are placing the curved back of the Ovation, as do some of us.

hilarious!

http://www.likecool.com/Gear/Design/Facebook%20Like%20Button%20Stamp/Facebook-Like-Button-Stamp.jpg

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#23 2011-10-19 18:00:16

flester
Senior Member
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 154

Re: Ovation Guitars

Sadly, I do, Zurf. Maybe I've just adapted my technique to suit!

Last edited by flester (2011-10-19 18:00:40)

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#24 2011-10-19 18:34:15

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4516

Re: Ovation Guitars

I liked my 82 ovation,but after having it for awile the round back drove me crazy.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#25 2011-10-25 18:13:34

tfsails
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-10-11
Posts: 19

Re: Ovation Guitars

I don't own an Ovation, but I've played my buddy's at his gigs before.  I've got a nice, round pot belly and I find that the round-backed Ovation doesn't stay in place as well as my Martin does.  I have to say that I've never played his guitar sitting down so I don't know how it would do in that situation.  I don't know the model number but his is black without the traditional soundhole but rather several smaller soundholes in the upper bout.  It's a sweet player, though, as far as the feel of playing it, and it has really good projection plugged in.

My advice to the OP would also be to go out and play a bunch of them and buy the one that chooses you.  You'll know it when it does.

Last edited by tfsails (2011-10-25 18:14:11)

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