I was actually looking at buying a different guitar when I bought this one. That was a few years ago and I don't remember the make or model, but it was a very nice accoustic with good sound. I didn't get to buy that one as somebody had the cash in hand when I had none. The salesman talked me into the Ovation and I am glad he did. The only improvement I would like to see, is to move the cord jack to a different location.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $0.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Courtenay, BC, Canada
Ovation CS-257, multi-soundhole design acoustic/electric with an OP24+ preamp sysem. It's blue, I guess.
I had played an Ovation about 30 years ago and did not like it. It kept rolling out of my lap because the back was too rounded. This newer model does not have that problem. I like the narrow neck and the shape as it allows me to finger the board, easier although the bridge is set a bit to high.
Another reason I did not like the older model is because of the sound. It was great amplified as well as for studio work, but accoustially, it sucked. The CS_257 has a far superior accoustic quality.
I don't know if it is because of the strings that I have on it, or just because it is a great guitar but this thing doesn't seem to get out of tune. I have moved to many different climates and altitudes and only ever needed to make minor adjustments. First guitar I have owned that didn't need constant tuning.
Overall, I'm going to give this guitar a full 5! It is a decent pro-level instrument for a working musician. The fact that I got a virtually new guitar for half price is simply an added plus. Again, this is an Ovation and truly embodies that Ovation sound...if you don't dig that sound to begin with, then you will not apreciate this guitar for what it is, however, in this reviewer's humble opinion (yea...right!) folks like Nancy Wilson of Heart and Al DiMeola can't be wrong :-) If you dig Ovation, then you have to groove with one of these babies...the newer model's include an onboard tuner and the pre's sound really great thru a good acoustic amp! The Ovation CS-257 is a keeper :-)
Model Year: 2002
Where Obtained: Ron Zehal's Guitar's
It's an oversea's model, but it has very excellent craftsmanship. It's your typical Ovation design with the multi-hole soundboard design and synthetic "bowl". I believe it's rated as a super-shallow, but its quite comfortable to play for a round back guitar. The preamp is the OP-24+ and does the job very well. It does tend to be a rather "agressive" pre and you do have to watch your levels otherwise distortion is kinda easy to obtain. Mine is the natural finish, although they do come in a variety and all of the hardware is solid thru and thru.
Lastly, and I do consider this a feature...being an Ovation and having the rounded bowl design, she is very resistant to feedback. You really have to push her to get her to squeel...great guitar for live/stage gigs.
It plays like a charm! I will admit that the neck is a little more slender then I'm used to (my other main acoustic is a Seagull C6...very wide fretboard) and it did take me a little while to get used to, but it really is a simply wonderful guitar to play. Again I found the rounded body to be no hinderance at all either sitting or using a strap. The fretwork and setup are very well done and the guitar is truly a joy to play.
Ok, I've tried this thru a variety of amps. Thru a good acoustic amp, the sound is quite lovely indeed, thru a small cheapy amp, such as my Peavy Backstage...what can be said...the Fender Acoustisonic 30 sounded -much- better. The acoustic sound properties fall under the "Ovation" sound...most people either love it or hate it. If your in the first catagory, then you would definatly apreciate this guitar :-) If your looking for the sound of a $1500 Martin or Taylor acoutic, then your better off seeking elsewhere. It should also be mentioned that most Ovation acoustics are designed for live sound...this -is- their strong point, and thru a good acoustic amp, this beauty really shines. If your playing acoutic guitar with a live rock band, it's really hard to beat Ovation for sound, quality, playability, etc., for acoustic rock styles of music.
Ok...I should probably mention at this point that while the guitar was purchased as "used" it was in simply flawless condition. I was told that the person who brought it in had purchased it new so he could "learn" how to play and after a few months he got bored and frustrated and simply took the first offer the store gave him for the guitar. The guitar was around a year old by my estimate at the time of purchase, but it was simply in flawless condition...there wasn't even any fretware!
Now, with all of that said, I've been playing the guitar for a couple of months now in the studio, at jams and have used it at one gig, and it has simply been a remarkable instrument. The tuning has been phenominally stable, the action has been reliable and the only real problem I have is that I tend to leave it plugged in when I'm done playing and the battery for the preamp goes dead....basically just like an effects pedal. Ovation's do have a good reputation for building quality instruments and I have full faith that this guitar will serve me very well over the years.