The year was 1966. Guitars had already been around for some time. People expected them to be more or less of a certain type and design. There weren’t any real radical innovations in the manufacture of the guitar. And then came along a company by the name of Ovation. They weren’t going to just make another guitar. They were going to come out with something completely different. So in 1966, when they broke out into the scene, they came out with their very unique round back guitar, thanks to a guy by the name of Charlie Kaman. The pro musicians of the time absolutely loved the guitar. The guitar purists were not quite as enthused. They just didn’t get it.
The odd part of how this guitar actually came to be had nothing to do with guitar manufacture at all. Kaman’s knowledge of helicopters and more specifically, helicopter blades, game him a really good understanding of vibration and applied this principal to the making of his new guitar model.
Kaman said that he didn’t want to just make another guitar. He said that we had the technology to make something truly different and not only different, but better. So Kaman chose a team of engineers and technicians from the aerospace industry to work on his new project. It didn’t hurt that many of these guys had taken up woodworking as a hobby.
What these scientists had come up with was that the common flat body of the guitar was actually not a help but a hindrance to the sound of the guitar. So the first thing they did was break the first rule of making a guitar. They chucked the idea of the flat body completely and made the round body. This design actually gave the guitar a more consistent sound from the bass end to the treble end. They also made the guitar stronger and more sturdy.
Today, Ovation makes a large number of guitar models including the LX Series Standard Balladeer. This guitar is a 6 string acoustic/electric. Its body is a mid depth bowl type. It has a bound rosewood fretboard, rosewood bridge and original patented pickups. The Standard Balladeer is one of Ovations most popular guitar models.
Then of course you have the Custom Legend guitar series. The 1779 USA model has a painted American Flag on the body that is just breathtaking. It also has a mid depth body, bound ebony fretboard and ebony bridge. Even if you don’t play the guitar, this is one show piece that just having around the house is going to bring up lots of discussions.
The Elite series has a mid depth cutaway body type. The fretboard is bound ebony with an ebony bridge. It comes with an Ovation Hi-Output pickup which is really loud. This is one guitar that you won’t have any trouble hearing even in a large hall.
These models only scratch the surface of the Ovation guitar line, all featuring their round body.
Whatever the critics might think, these guitars sound like none other on the planet.