I'm sure that I could find a guitar I like better for a whole lot more money, but I don't know that I would. I really like this one. It's pretty, sounds great and priced right.
I've played 3 Gibson Hummingbirds recently priced at almost $3000 and every one of them has a terrible buzz when played at the 14th fret. Didn't have this problem with the Ovation.
This is one that other people always ask to play.
Last year this guitar was only available through Musicians Friend and Guitar Center (thats where the GC in the model number comes in). For 2000 Ovation is offering the Special Elite in their line-up with the only change I can find to be changing to chrome tuners instead of gold.
Would I buy another? Well, I'm thinkin of a 12 string to match!
Model Year: 1999
Price: $750.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Musicians Friend
This U.S. made 6 string guitar has a shallow lyrachord (Ovation's trademark name) roundback body with a solid sitka spruce top. The top is Ovation's standard grade wood and not their AAA grade, but you would never know that just by the look or sound. The top is a multi soundhole Adamas type design with some very pretty koa and walnut epulets around the sound holes and a very low key hand rubbed satin finish.
The neck is two piece mahogony with a rosewood fingerboard and gold Ping tuners and meets the body at the 14th fret. The body is a single cutaway.
Ovation's OP-24 Plus pre-amp with under saddle peizo pickups supply the electronics.
The guitar as shipped had a very high action. It took about $85 at the local Ovation authorized repair to bring the action down to an acceptable condition. I figure this is the cost of buying over the internet without being able to play a particluar instrument before buying. The identical instuments I played in stores did not have a poor action, but may have been set up properly prior to display. Anyway, it was money well spent as it is now a dream to play.
Unamplified it has a strong bass but falls off a little in mids. Highs are clear and bright. I am now using D'Addario EJ15 Extra Light strings and don't get quite the volume or sustain as the original Light strings but playability is a little better and the sound still surpising for a shallow body.
Plugged in this guitar really show it's stuff. The sound is shapable through a three range EQ. Even played through an inexpensive acoustic amp the sound quality is great.
After 8 months I've found no problems. Through all the seasonal temperature and humidity changes everything has remained constant. Tuning holds almost forever. The finish takes very little care. Just some light cleaning and paste waxing.