Ovation Problem

Discussion in 'Restoration & Repair' started by gborelli, May 12, 2017.

  1. gborelli

    gborelli Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Stocktn, CA US
    Hi all,

    Its been a while since my last post but have been reading and following threads. I have a guy who approached me about working on an older Ovation he has. He said his son left in the garage for a few years and as a result the face of the guitar has become very wavy ( I haven'tg seen the guitar yet). From his description it doesn't sound good and I am having a problem finding anything show me how this might be repaired if it even can be fixed. As soon as I have pictures I will post them, but for now, anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
  2. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Might be a good candidate for top replacement.
     
  3. gborelli

    gborelli Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Stocktn, CA US
    Hi Adam,
    I was thinking the same thing, but it this guitar really going to be worth the cost? It would have to be a emotional fix rather than a prudent one I think. I have a 40 year old Ovation that is in great condition, but, the sound doesn't even touch of new guitars. If he wants to do it, you up for that kind of job? If so I will recommend he contact you.
    Gary
     
  4. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    No, I'm not interested in retopping acoustics :lol:
     
  5. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    A recommended site is Ovationfanclub.com that has various forums on Ovation topics, including "for sale."

    Some vintage Ovations are highly sought and bring a rather high price: I've seen as high as approaching 2K (just in causally looking at a major guitar selling website) and these do not look out of the ordinary--what looks common may worth more than it might appear.

    The key here seems to be finding out what he has and its desirability, which the above website may be a starting point. A factory product certificate, with serial #, is generally placed inside the Ovation visible from sound hole(s), but in this situation it may have peeled off and has fallen unseen inside the guitar.

    The Ovation factory might provide a model and year if the serial # if given; or the above website may have a link for this.

    Since I am sure you appreciate craftship, keeping in mind the renowned Ovation story is often overlooked, might I ask that you urge the gentleman not to just toss away the instrument if finding its potential value is of naught. Someone on the Ovation website may simply like to have it and work on it even if not of any particular value restored, paying for shipping and time and trouble to box & ship. Ovation players seem to have a special attachment to these instruments. The history and innovation of Ovation is quit intriguing. The real story is about the designer, who integrated his aviation engineering background into the materials used and design ideals.

    For me, I needed a physically comfortable instrument to return to playing after a spinal injury. The small bowl on my '84 CS257 is perfect. For $250, which is its typically found price, its intonation and ease of fretting (buzz free), makes it play way above this pricing.

    I do hope you acquaintance offers that guitar, if not of monetary value, to an Ovation enthusiast that will restore it or use its parts even though not of worth in resell--craftship should be preserved whenever possible, and these will never be made again of model, even if high in numbers surviving at present.

    Hope this is insightful, Jeff.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  6. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Repairman with 40 years experience at the bench here.... If it's really bad... many guys won't touch it. Ovations are unlike any other guitar in construction and design, and I don't mean that in a good way. There are a few specialists, you might do well to seek them out.
     
  7. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  8. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gary,

    It occurred to me that perhaps the reason your acquaintance's son put away the guitar in the garage for a number of years is that it might be a large-bowl model: I've heard comments from adults they find large bowls too bulky. (Some of these large bowls are highly sought, however, and among those of highest collectors' valuing, along with other bowl sizes.)

    As for finding an Ovation practical for the boy's interest in playing (if indeed the guitar is a large bowl), the father might want to consider a small bowl model, like my CS257 or other--older--small bowl models in same price range, for under $300 used (typically found in good to excellent condition). I stressed "older" because these instruments, price wise, are in the range of what a new low-end costs, but these older models were probably mid-range productions when first sold. (I cannot see my discontinued CS257 model selling today for its used price because of its better quality than its price suggests.)

    Before my spinal injury, I owned a Gibson and Gretch for years (before having to sell), so here is my critique of my recently purchased '84 Ovation CS257: There is no issue with intonation, action (typical height without buzzing), encased (non-lubing) reasonable ratio tuning keys . . . no apparent issues discouraging me as a returning player. (I've not played new low-end Ovation or Applause models, so I cannot comment on the continuity of quality.)

    While my small bowl is an electric acoustic, its unplugged relatively low sound production is welcomed while practicing where sound level is respectfully kept low. (However, this would be a downside for a beginner who needs to hear the subtleties of sound production, so maybe a smaller box acoustic from a major manufacturer might be better in this sense--I see some in $500+ range. I haven't played Taylor's or Martin's offering of these small models, but the YouTube videos seem to suggest quality though I would not buy on name alone anymore.)

    I haven't played my Ovation plugged in, so I cannot comment on whether there is any issue common to design, but asking on the aforementioned website would give more insight on this.

    There are mid-sized bowls, but I do not know about those. As an smaller adult, 5'-6", I would find anything larger in bowl size than what I have as too bulky though keep in mind I have a spinal issue.

    Upon giving this due consideration, I would think the need for a beginner to learn about sound production dynamics would necessitate for a youth a smaller well-made acoustic rather than an Ovation or Applause (bowl models).

    Much joy to share, Jeff.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017

Share This Page