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majorrich's avatar

Opinions on Ovation guitars as a starter instrument?

Asked by majorrich (12331 points ) March 15th, 2012

By an extreme bit of luck, I got an old Ovation Balladeer (circa 1977) with a case on eBay that I was hoping to use as a beginner instrument. I selected Ovation based on the thin neck and the just plain neatness of a composite body. I think I got it at a pretty good price ($240) and it came with a case. My question is, did I get too much instrument for a beginner?

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16 Answers

harple's avatar

You can’t have too much instrument for a beginner! A bad instrument will hold you back and put you off because you will be fighting with it.

The consensus on Ovation guitars over here is that recently they’ve gone downhill, but as yours is an old one, it should be great! (Would love to see a pic!)

And yes, sounds like a great price :-)

majorrich's avatar

Here’s hoping this works. link

redfeather's avatar

I started with an Ovation and loved it. Good choice.

Bent's avatar

I’m not a guitarist but I have been in a band and one of the guitarists in it had an Ovation, it was a very nice instrument. Even beginners should get the best they can, and you got a real bargain there.

Cruiser's avatar

Acoustic-electrics are a unique hybrid that the Ovation really had it down for both sound and playability. You are blessed with an amazing guitar and do not let that intimidate you….just play, practice and enjoy!

tedd's avatar

I’ve only played on an ovation a couple times. My uncle has his still from when he was in college (it’s also from the 70’s). Sounds amazing, and I’ve always heard good things about their quality.

As others have said, you can’t have too good of an instrument to start with.

majorrich's avatar

Is this ‘bellying’ anything to worry about, or is it like middle age paunch given the age of the instrument.?

tedd's avatar

@majorrich Please define “bellying.”

Cruiser's avatar

@majorrich The large area of the front of the guitar below the bridge is called the belly. On some guitars it may arch out a little bit from the pull of the strings. This is called “bellying” and is normal as long as it only does it a little bit. This is how the front of the guitar (soundboard) amplifies the string vibrations and makes the guitar sound good; however, if it arches out too much, it could indicate a problem like broken or loose braces. Other causes can be you are using too heavy a gauge of strings, you’re tuning to too high of a pitch, or your guitar was not fitted with strong enough braces to begin with. I looked at the pics on your link and the side angle shot appears OK. If you see this bellying is indeed pronounced you might try lighter gauge strings. Have fun!

zensky's avatar

I started with an Ovation and loved it. I don’t have big hands and their necks are usually smaller – the action lower – easier to play. I love the sound – and tolerate the shape.

By the way – their service is great. They will go out of their way to satisfy a customer – long after the initial purchase.

Recently I lost the little part that holds the battery in place. As I have an old model, they sent me two different parts – to make sure that I received the correct one. No cost.

Ovation as a guitar, and as a company, rock!

majorrich's avatar

My guitar arrived today! It’s prettier than it looks in pictures! No finish cracks or anything! It is significantly louder than my other acoustic and sounds a less “tinny” if that can be attributed to guitars. The neck is indeed thinner and I can at least barre the first 5 strings. I’ll cheat and use my thumb for the rest! There was a 9 volt battery rattling around inside, but I see where it goes, (have no idea how I am going to get it in there to clip it in, but I don’t intend to worry about it for a while. Thanks for all your affirmations on my choice of instruments!

zensky's avatar

Remove the plastic case for the battery and then put it back in with it.

majorrich's avatar

Alas, I find no case. There is a screw that I think may make the little clip come loose from it’s moorings. I’m thinking if I hook the battery to the wires, I may be able to kind of worry it into position and then clip it into the thing with a little stick or something. I think this instrument will remain an acoustic until it becomes necessary. lol

zensky's avatar

Model and Serial Number?

majorrich's avatar

It’s 1612–1 sn 102840 The screw appears to be made of plastic, but could be painted and is just really smooth.

zensky's avatar

Is this it?

http://www.ovationguitars.com/archive/guitar/custom_balladeer_1612

Contact Ovation and ask them how to do it – or download a manual:

http://www.ovationguitars.com/support/contact

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