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Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...

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dvd
Posted 2003-12-07 12:01 PM (#199812)
Subject: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...



Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 1889

Location: Central Massachusetts
Greetings, Ovation experts!

I'm new here, new to Ovation, and I've only been playing guitar for a few short months.

I've basically decided to purchase a new 1861 Balladeer but I have a couple of questions that hopefully somebody here can answer. This will be my first acoustic, so my apologies for the newbie string questions! :-)

1) If I buy now, I'll get a 2003 model with the OP30 preamp. Anybody know about how the 2004 model may be different from the 2003? When would I likely be able to get a 2004 model?

2) What type and guage of strings comes on the Balladeer?

3) What brand, guage, etc, of strings are recommended for this guitar?

I've done some searches of the forums and found some recommendations re: strings for the adamas guitars. Would those recommendations apply here? I guess I'm also interested in the "why" re: heavy vs. light, bronze vs. ??? etc.

By way of background, I've been learning on an electric with Ernie Ball pure nickel super slinky 9-42's, which I've found very comfortable. I'm tempted to go with as light of strings as I can find, but if the "sweet spot" for the balladeer is with heavier strings, I'd rather learn to adapt to them than have crappy tone.

Thanks for your time, and RTFM is a great answer, just point me to the FM! :-)
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Standingovation
Posted 2003-12-07 1:09 PM (#199813 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...



Joined:
June 2002
Posts: 5905

Location: Phoenix AZ
Not sure what the 04 Balladeer will be like. Maybe identical to the 03, maybe not. My recommendation would be to look for a good deal from an honest dealer on an 03 and grab it. The OP30 is a great preamp and could always be upgraded later if you desired. I think the guitars come with Adamas or Daddario stings. I personally use the Daddario EXP's in light ga. on all my acoustic ovations. Electrics get Ernie's. Dave
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Slipkid
Posted 2003-12-07 6:36 PM (#199814 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...



Joined:
September 2003
Posts: 9301

Location: south east Michigan
Unless you will be playing through an amp the majority of the time, my suggestion is......go deep! Deep bowl that is. I use very light acustic strings on my Balladeer and it has plenty of umph. I like the bright sound light strings give and since you are just starting they will be easier on the fingertips.
Welcome aboard.
Brad
.
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Old Applause Owner
Posted 2003-12-08 5:30 AM (#199815 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...


Joined:
July 2003
Posts: 1922

Location: Canton (Detroit), MI
Answers:

1) I don't know....I think there are people on the board who could answer that question, but then they'd have to be killed.... :) It appears it will be a month or two before we know. I'd buy the 2003 if you like the sound.

2)D'Addario EXP .012".....this is answered in the FAQs on Ovation's website, which I recommend.

3)I think the EXP .012" is what would be Ovation's recommendation, otherwise why would they be on the guitar to start with(to sell a guitar, you don't want crummy strings on it)?

My personal recommendation would be for Martin SP Phosphor Bronze .010" or .011" or the same in D'Addario Phosphor Bronze .010" or .011". The .011"s give a .052" low E string for more bass, as opposed to a .047" with the .010"s. Phosphor Bronze gives you slightly more bass sound and lasts longer.

After the experience I just had with Elixirs, I've sworn off coated strings like them and the EXPs. Personal taste. Your mileage may vary.

I agree with Slipkid....go DEEP (bowl). The only shallow bowl Ovation I've heard that I've liked was a Legend 12-string.
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Bailey
Posted 2003-12-09 1:31 AM (#199816 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
Just a dumb opinion

Don't worry about what is coming out of the factory next, guitars aren't like cars. I love my ancient Viper solid body and I am sure many new model solid bodies have been produced since I bought it. If you see (and hear) a guitar you like, buy it, it is unlikely that the next year's models will change the sound of a good guitar. You are more likely to be impressed by some artist playing something older than you are, most desirable guitars have been around a while, except for "Q".

Bailey
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Old Applause Owner
Posted 2003-12-09 4:59 AM (#199817 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...


Joined:
July 2003
Posts: 1922

Location: Canton (Detroit), MI
Bailey, you are absolutely right about sound...the only thing I might slightly disagree about is that it appears that at least some of the 2004 Os will go back to truss rod covers....if one prefers that look, it might be worth the wait. But for sound....nah, wouldn't bother. The 2003 U.S.-made guitars sound great already.

I myself prefer the look of the older Os with deep-bowl, no cutaway and truss-rod covers, but since I got my 12-string, I now "need" (read really really WANT) the built-in tuner, so I may wait for the 2004s to get the U.S.-made 6-string I intend to get.

Roger

1976 Applause AA14-4 6-String
2001 Adamas 1598-MERB Melissa Etheridge 12-String
2003 Celebrity CC01 Spruce Top 6-String
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Tim in Yucaipa
Posted 2003-12-09 8:22 AM (#199818 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...


Joined:
August 2003
Posts: 2246

Location: Yucaipa, California
When I was looking for a 12-string, I was focused on the 1861... but the local G.C. didn't have one... I went down to see what they did have and saw a Balladeer 6751 (Op30)WAY UP ON THE WALL that the sales dude didn't know was there!

I played it and that was it for me! It is a Med. Deep bowl and has gorgeous tone/playability! (see my pics on the Members area)....

as for strings, I tried the Elixir Polyweb coated LIGHTS and they are very nice, but very slippery. I also find, that with my style of playing, I inadvertantly bend the first 3-strings when I chord and light strings go out of tune... I have switched to Medium Phosphor Bronze strings on all my 6-strings and it has solved that annoying problem... next week I will change the 12-string to mediums also.

Balladeers are wonderful guitars, but then, they are Ovations! Go for the one (you WILL buy more later) that strikes your fancy both in appearance and tone. You will never regret it! Any Ovation 12-string is a perfect place to start your "collection"!

tim
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Bailey
Posted 2003-12-10 1:08 AM (#199819 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
Tim

Medium phosphor bronze or heavier has always been my favorite acoustic guitar strings. I think the acoustic sound begins with mediums, anything lighter sounds thin. The Balladeers always appealed to me with their round hole and "country" look and sound.

Bailey
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Englishplayer
Posted 2003-12-10 6:48 AM (#199820 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...


Joined:
August 2003
Posts: 390

I own an 1861 balladeer and I love it. I already had a Martin d15, so I was looking for an acoustic electric with an entirely different feel and tone. Obviously the plug in quality is great, but I find myself playing it more and more unplugged. It is about as comfortable a guitar as I've ever played, the fit and finish on the cherryburst is fantastic. Someday I'll probably add a mid-depth and a deep bowl to my collection, but I do recommend the 1861. I would agree to test it out and see what you like. I had sworn off the shallow bowls after playing seceral of the Korean made models, but when I played an 1861 I said this is more like it. In fact, here is a review of the 1861 from acousticguitar.com :

www.acousticguitar.com/issues/ag97/feature97.shtml

I don't agree with the sometimes stated philosophy that the only good Ovation is a Deep Ovation.
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Tim in Yucaipa
Posted 2003-12-10 8:04 AM (#199821 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...


Joined:
August 2003
Posts: 2246

Location: Yucaipa, California
Bailey,

I couldn't agree more! I seem to "crunch" my 1st position "D" chord and actually pull the strings just enough to "sour" the notes... I switched to Mediums and that solved the problem! And added a better acoustic sound as well!

I've experimented with many different string brands and find the Elixirs just too "slippery" for me... my calluses slide right off the strings!

I have found a site on the web where they sell good Phosphor Bronze strings VERY cheaply and I have tried quite a few of their sets and find them quite good.

I bought 6-sets for less than the cost of 1-set of Elixirs! I can finally change my strings as often as I WANT without taking out a secound mortgage! :D

The site is: www.webstrings.com

and they ship for free if you spend over $12.00 (I think that's right)... and they ship Overnight!

Check 'em out

tim
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dvd
Posted 2003-12-10 9:51 AM (#199822 - in reply to #199812)
Subject: Re: Considering 1861 Balladeer purchase.. Questions...



Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 1889

Location: Central Massachusetts
Thanks to everybody for the great input!

I've decided to pull the trigger on the 1861. I found that even with the shallow bowl, it projects well enough for my needs. I can always plug it in if I need to, but it will mostly be unplugged -- lessons, noodling on the couch, etc. I played everything on the wall (in my price range) and the Balladeer was the best combination of tone and comfort.

I think I may try the webstrings.com option once I settle into a string weight that I'm comfortable with. I'll start out with the 12's that come on it and try something lighter down the road.

Thanks again, all. I look forward to hanging around here and absorbing the knowledge.
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