28 July 2014

Well Shit, I Did Not Know This

By way of Weapons Man, I found out that Ovation Guitars is ceasing productin in the States. This doesn't suprise me terribly; The Encore line has been made overseas since its inception, and the fact that the factory was up in, wazzit, Connecticut?, meant that it was doomed by the political climate. The founder, guy names Kaman, started out as a military Helicopter maker. 'Nuff said, for the state that has run native son Samuel Colt the hell out of town.

That being said, I can't say I have any fondness for Ovation guitars. The turtle backs make them difficult to play when sitting or standing – they always want to go strings-up like a BlueGrass Dobro. That's a distraction that gives a pro player problems. The choices are to hunch over to a really uncomfortable degree, or to use a special stand to hold the guitar in place while standing behind it (I remember seeing Rennisance and Yes using this method).

They shine in one application, though. Can't beat 'em as beach guitars. Loud, clangy, brash... The fucking guitar's already 3 beers ahead of me! All man-made materials, nothing to warp. Use it as a fucking canoe paddle, change the strings, and back to normal. OTOH, doesn't burn for shit, and sometimes that's the only way to get rid of folksingers (an abomination and a stench unto the nostrils of the LORD).
Here's the real skinny. The Connecticut line was making just the custom shop Adamas line, which sells for average about $3k. Not worth it. If you're dropping that kind of green on a new axe you can get a better instrument at a better price, with your name in mother of pearl (or at least mother of toilet seat) inlaid into the fretboard. (BTW, a fret job on an Ovation essentially means REPLACING THE FRETBOARD, cause man-made materials).
I wish the company the best of luck. You'll still be able to get the same fiberglas boxes, the same durability, as you have becomed accustomed to because those makers haven't changed. You just don't have Ovation Custom Shop anymore. If you want a real custom, you already know Neal, you know Michael, you know Randy, and these are just off the top of my head in Texas.

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