Mudcat Café message #61901 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9486   Message #61901
Posted By: catspaw49
08-Mar-99 - 09:42 AM
Thread Name: Info/Opinions RE: Ovation,Takemine,Yamaha
Subject: RE: Info/Opinions RE: Ovation,Takemine,Yamaha
I guess it's time to speak up on Ovation. Ovation had not been out long when I was working in the music store and they sure were fun to demonstrate. We all probably lost some sales by scaring the hell out of people by whacking the crap out of them on the countertops and walls ( the Ovations, not the people). But they were very playable and good sounding guitars. I wasn't plagued with the fever to have one right away, but soon bought one anyway, a basic "balladeer" model. I found myself using it more and more and at this point Ovation was still not into electronics. Then I got a 12 that had a fine, big sound and I couldn't have been happier. I noticed that Ovation was very consistent and though the 12 was not quite as good as my Guild, it wasn't as sensitive either. After burglary number 1, I purchased more Ovations along with others. Following burglary number 2, I didn't buy another Ovation for almost 15 years. Through the '90's I'd occasionally play one and found them less than thrilling. What this is saying is that sometime in the mid '80's the guitar changed.

The original idea at Kamen had been better acoustic sound, but they saw a market for electronics and after a slow and rudimentary start, attacked in a big way. I think that sometime during this period they canned the whole acoustic concept. Then there's the "Adamas style" top which is definitely not acoustically a happy camper. And what did they do to the neck??? At least for me, very uncomfortable. My wife is learning now and awhile back I...don't ask why...bought her an elite, used from Elderly, at a good price. She loves case. But have you looked at the top bracing on the Adamas style? Very scary. Interestingly, all of our non-musical friends think it sounds great.

About that same time, I'd been looking hard for another 12 and after 6+ months I couldn't find anything that had dollar to sound ratio I could live with. Then an '81 custom Balladeer showed up (where else...Elderly) and once again out of desparation as I had done with my Tak, I bought it. And once again...what an instrument!!! Why anyone would get rid of this guitar I have no idea. All the best of what Ovation could do in one guitar.

So I've got truly mixed emotions about Ovation. I think their emphasis is on "rocker plays amplified acoustic" far more than "folkie or C/W needs amplified." After all, Kamen has Takemine to fill that void. My advice for the absolutely nothing it's worth would be to try to buy earlier (pre 84-83), stay away from the Adamas tops, and play a bunch of them if you're buying new.