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I just don't find any sadness in the blues... I get a happy feeling when I hear a guitar tuning up. - Etta Baker, quoted in Woman With Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues by Paul and Beth Garon

Author Topic: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?  (Read 2018 times)

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Offline frailer24

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2014, 03:20:49 AM »
I have played 2 that weren't too awful. One a mid-90's deep bowl Custom Balladeer, the other, a 1981 limited edition 12 string. Admittedly, they did sound sorta wimpy unplugged, but a good amplifier can reduce the quack of a piezo. For the record, I use a K&K Pure Western Mini.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Big River

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2014, 09:40:49 AM »
I never got what the appeal was with Ovation guitars. Goofy looks, bad tone, etc. The fact that rock stars could bring an acoustic on stage in a big arena with built in electronics had a lot to do with their popularity in the seventies and early eighties.
As far as pickups go for acoustics I think the K & K pickups that mount under the bridge plate sound really good. I use their Pure Western pickups and like them a lot. They have a warm, woody tone and when used with a good DI box it gives you a pretty authentic acoustic sound (unlike those quacky under the saddle pickups that so many players use). Microphones can be a real pain at times in a live environment but with a great sound system and a good sound man they are ideal.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2014, 11:19:27 AM »
I didn't ever get an Ovation in my hands, but I was impressed by the fact that Mahavishnu John McLaughlin played one on his acoustic album, My Goal's Beyond, around 1970, including his memorable performance of Mingus' Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, which is still a fav. I think he may have convinced a lot of people of their viability with that album.

As for amplification, I have discovered a small company, Miniflex http://www.miniflexmic.com, that makes a product called the 2 Mic. This is actually not a pick-up but two internal mics. Because the two mics, on small goosenecks, are positioned in different places inside the guitar they are mechanically out of phase and this overcomes the usual problem with internal mics and gives quite ample gain before feedback. So, with a wee bit of EQ here or there, my little Stella sounds just like my little Stella, not like a generic "acoustic guitar"

I first started with the model 2, which is mounted externally with the gooseneck entering through the sound hole. This model can be swapped from one guitar to another relatively quickly. I also have a model 10 that I attach to the neck stick in my guitjo and, again, that natural goatskin head tone comes through.

I have since installed a model 5, which is phantom powered, in my Stella and use the model 2 for other guitars. I use phantom power for my head mic so I always have it for the 2 mic as well. I really think being entirely free of mic stands, yet still having a fully mic-ed sound is really a plus, and replicates the visual ambience of pre amplified performances for the audience. It certainly is freeing from the performer's point of view.

When using the battery powered models it is necessary to go through a simple passive DI box to isolate from phantom power that may be running in the PA system. It's a good idea anyway.

I don't really play arenas (and they make a product that combines the 2 mic with a p-up for that), but I sometimes front a song or two for a 7 member jug band in outdoor settings to crowds up to about 1000, and in crowded clubs that would certainly be challenging for a mic, internal or otherwise, and have no problem being heard. And pro sound guys love them, usually after an initial raised eyebrow over an internal mic, as they also do the DPA head mic I use.

Sorry for the plug, but I think these really are the answer if you have a guitar with a very particular sound that you think should be part of the audience's experience. I have also had several helpful emails from the inventor, Ken Donnell, who is a luthier in northern California who was dissatisfied with the sound of the pick-ups people were asking him to put in their guitars, so he spent over a decade developing this product. I've noticed recently that the concept is being copied by the larger pick-up manufacturers.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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Offline frailer24

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2014, 05:07:06 PM »
Wax, I have used the system you describe. Excellent system, just out of my budget.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2014, 03:33:18 PM »

As for amplification, I have discovered a small company, Miniflex http://www.miniflexmic.com, that makes a product called the 2 Mic.

I first started with the model 2, which is mounted externally with the gooseneck entering through the sound hole. This model can be swapped from one guitar to another relatively quickly. I also have a model 10 that I attach to the neck stick in my guitjo and, again, that natural goatskin head tone comes through.

 I use phantom power for my head mic so I always have it for the 2 mic as well. I really think being entirely free of mic stands, yet still having a fully mic-ed sound is really a plus, and replicates the visual ambience of pre amplified performances for the audience. It certainly is freeing from the performer's point of view.

Sorry for the plug

Thanks for the plug :) This is nice - i just got a model 2 delivered ( the offer is still on btw) What kind of headset do you use?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 03:36:04 PM by Gumbo »

Offline waxwing

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2014, 10:22:14 PM »
Hey Gumbo, sure.

This one: DPA 4066

Since I play jug I wanted something with pretty good dynamic range and my friend, Tim, who is a sound engineer (did my CD) pointed me to this. On Tim's recommendation I watched ebay for about a year and eventually one came up new for about $300 (which was less then half price then, but I see prices have dropped a bit). The seller even had DPA USA put a new microdot connector on it because he had listed it wrong. I run it through a cable 'cause I really can't afford to go wireless, but that works fine (the microdot to XLR adapter was pretty pricey, tho').

The mic is on a wire and the earpiece is separate so you can run it left or right. I did get an omni pattern as the jug moves around a bit, but it came with a swappable high collar screen which makes it more like cardioid and gets rid of the ambience. Sound guys love it once they dial it in. A touch of compression, when available, and maybe roll off the highs a bit when I'm just playing jug and it sounds great. Really helpful in the rather large jug band I'm in now.

I perform standing up, whether on jug or vocals with guitar, and I have to say, even tho' I'm on a tether, I really, really enjoy not being stuck to a couple mics on sticks. And I think it's a more dynamic experience for the audience as well.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline RobBob

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2014, 05:02:26 AM »
If you look at the sign by the door in the article referenced at the beginning of the thread you see three names.  Fender has sold Guild and production is moving to California.  Hamer may stay around, who knows?  Ovation's time has come and gone.  I flipped one in the early 70's but they never were my thing.  I like Guilds though and have owned a bunch over the past 50 years.  We'll have to see how that works out.

Offline pete1951

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Re: Ovation Guitars...so many whys?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2014, 09:51:17 AM »
There are things you can do to get a good sound...........I call this my Resovation

PT

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