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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 8:49 am
by oddioguy
Jef wrote:no... I mean why on an Ovation (plastic) guitar? Would it make that much of a difference when the acoustic tone of the instrument isn't all that important. From my experience with those type of instruments, they don't sound all that good when unplugged. All their tone comes from being plugged in. Wouldn't it stand to reason that to improve on the tone of it, you would look into the electronics end of it?

It's true...alot of the sound of this guitar comes from the preamp. Having said that, I use it unplugged more than plugged, so the top will have an impact on the way I use it.
Sensitivity is another issue. Solid spruce tops respond so much better to subtleties like fingerpicking, and tend to be more balanced in thier response. Of course this translates whether plugged in or not.
I also think the overall tone when plugged in will improve dramaticly, and think the difference is going to be worth it.
Since you've raised a good point, before I start I'll make a reference recording...both plugged in, and mic'd...for a before/after comparison.

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 9:52 am
by Jef
oddioguy wrote: ...I use it unplugged more than plugged...

So.... why not get a good sounding acoustic guitar to begin with? Even my old Yamaha beater has a better acoustic tone than any Ovation I've ever heard (unplugged). Ovations are meant to be plugged in. They all sound way too thin acoustically and I don't think, even with a solid spruce top, that you can get away from the 'plastic' sound.
Anyway, if you are going to go through the time and effort of changing the top, definitely do a before and after recording for comparison. I would really like to hear if it will be a noticeable difference.

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 10:05 am
by Malcolm Boyce
Once I was mixing a band, known in this region, in a larger live situation. The guitarist was playing an Ovation and requested that it be miced as well as run direct. Not only that but requested an SM57 be used, and shunned the suggestion of a good condenser.

After screwing around for many minutes, trying to get the mic to work in monitors for him... he explained that it was mostly for him... he says that he's trying to get a more "wooden" tone...

I managed to keep it to my inside voice saying... "Maybe you should have brought a wooden guitar with you..." :roll:

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:11 am
by oddioguy
Jef wrote:
oddioguy wrote: ...I use it unplugged more than plugged...

So.... why not get a good sounding acoustic guitar to begin with? Even my old Yamaha beater has a better acoustic tone than any Ovation I've ever heard (unplugged). Ovations are meant to be plugged in. They all sound way too thin acoustically and I don't think, even with a solid spruce top, that you can get away from the 'plastic' sound.
Anyway, if you are going to go through the time and effort of changing the top, definitely do a before and after recording for comparison. I would really like to hear if it will be a noticeable difference.

I agree that a "real" acoustic would provide instant gratification, and I may wind up going that way...but I have the Ovation now, and for all the acoustic that I play....I'm willing to gamble.
I don't expect this to end up being a Taylor or Martin, just better than it is now. I hope "significantly" better...

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:15 am
by oddioguy
Malcolm Boyce wrote:Once I was mixing a band, known in this region, in a larger live situation. The guitarist was playing an Ovation and requested that it be miced as well as run direct. Not only that but requested an SM57 be used, and shunned the suggestion of a good condenser.

After screwing around for many minutes, trying to get the mic to work in monitors for him... he explained that it was mostly for him... he says that he's trying to get a more "wooden" tone...

I managed to keep it to my inside voice saying... "Maybe you should have brought a wooden guitar with you..." :roll:


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You should have said it. How else will they learn?

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:54 pm
by macrae11
There are two or three Ovations I have heard that actually sound like a real guitar. They are much more expensive than your standard Ovation. ($2000-$3000) They have a solid spruce top and a much deeper bowl than the inexpensive guys. I still wouldn't buy one over a Taylor or Larrivee of the same price, but it was a very nice sounding guitar.

I also find even cheap Taylors sound better plugged in than ovations.
YMMV

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:26 pm
by oddioguy
macrae11 wrote:There are two or three Ovations I have heard that actually sound like a real guitar. They are much more expensive than your standard Ovation. ($2000-$3000) They have a solid spruce top and a much deeper bowl than the inexpensive guys. I still wouldn't buy one over a Taylor or Larrivee of the same price, but it was a very nice sounding guitar.

I also find even cheap Taylors sound better plugged in than ovations.
YMMV

Adamas perhaps? Solid spruce tops and if memory serves me, carbon fiber bodies.
I would tend to think that the bowl depth would contribute to volume/projection, but may add to "depth" of sound as well. I still think the biggest change will be effected by the replacement of the plywood top.

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 3:33 pm
by macrae11
No they were Ovations. The one at the top of this link was one of them.

http://ovationguitars.com/?fa=newsletters

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:28 pm
by stosostu
I have an Ovation Josh White acoustic, model 1624 IIRC, from 1980. IMHO it sounds great both acoustically and amplified, but then it is a nylon strung guitar, so that may be the difference.

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 9:11 pm
by oddioguy
stosostu wrote:I have an Ovation Josh White acoustic, model 1624 IIRC, from 1980. IMHO it sounds great both acoustically and amplified, but then it is a nylon strung guitar, so that may be the difference.

Solid spruce top?

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:34 pm
by Redeye Mojo
I purchased a sweet tobacco sunburst Ovation Balladeer Custom, some years ago in Halifax.
Beautiful looking instrument, with both a solid Sitka Spruce top, and a deep bowl...
I got an incredible deal on the guitar. With flight case, in near mint condition for $400. No it wasn't hot.
I took it to Musicstop in HFX to have it appraised, got the paperwork, and summarily parted with it for a tidy profit.
Long story short, I can't stand the damn things... Granted, the deep bowl models are better, but...
In defense of the Ovation line, one of my favorite Jazz Musicians, Al DiMeola, has been playing them for years.

You're a patient man oddioguy. I respect that.

Put your patience to the test, and replace the back as well... :-P

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:45 pm
by stosostu
Solid spruce top?[


Yep, and a deep bowl and wide classical style board. Nylon strings, designed for finger picking.[/quote]

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:22 am
by oddioguy
Redeye Mojo wrote:I purchased a sweet tobacco sunburst Ovation Balladeer Custom, some years ago in Halifax.
Beautiful looking instrument, with both a solid Sitka Spruce top, and a deep bowl...
I got an incredible deal on the guitar. With flight case, in near mint condition for $400. No it wasn't hot.
I took it to Musicstop in HFX to have it appraised, got the paperwork, and summarily parted with it for a tidy profit.
Long story short, I can't stand the damn things... Granted, the deep bowl models are better, but...
In defense of the Ovation line, one of my favorite Jazz Musicians, Al DiMeola, has been playing them for years.

You're a patient man oddioguy. I respect that.

Put your patience to the test, and replace the back as well... :-P

So the general consensus seems to be....
Replace the top with real wood.
Replace the back with real wood.
Replace the sides with real wood.

Looks like y'all want me to build an acoustic from the ground up. :lol:

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:18 am
by oddioguy
I'm also hoping (fuckin' optimist, ain't I? :lol: ) that the new top may help correct a dead spot on the low "E" string, around the 7th fret.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:12 am
by oddioguy
Well I've got some NOS content that I will start adding to this thread....some old repair oriented articles from the '80s. Although I had been working on instruments for a few years by the time I read these articles, they provided insight and ideas that I hadn't necessarily thought of.

All credit to the original author(s)...

...please standby....

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:04 pm
by oddioguy
From Guitar Player, February 1988...
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:08 pm
by oddioguy
March 1985.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:47 am
by oddioguy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:48 am
by oddioguy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:56 am
by oddioguy
Just found the predecessor to the previous article...

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:15 pm
by oddioguy
Bump.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:21 am
by Greg H.
Thanks for the string buzz post! i think it'll help me in the future