The Ovation Fan Club
The Ovation Fan Club
Forum Search | Statistics | User Listing Forums | Calendars | Albums | Language
Your are viewing as a Guest. ( logon | register )

Random quote: "Ovation Guitars really don't get the respect they deserve!" - Alex Pepiak

Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [25 messages per page]
Sticky FAQ

View previous thread :: View next thread
Frozen    The Ovation Fan Club -> Reference and (F)requently (A)sked (Q)uestionsMessage format
Mr. Ovation
Posted 2012-01-27 1:30 PM (#448749)
Subject: FAQ

December 2001
Posts: 7150

Location: The Great Pacific Northwest

If you don't find an answer to your specific question here, please take advantage of the Search features of this web site. The Ovation Fan Club™ has been going strong since 2002, and there have been many discussions over those years, with tons of useful information archived there. You probably will find answers to any question you have there. Insure you select the correct category when you search.

Also, the above Google™ Custom Search will search the best Ovation resources on the net at once. These include but are not limited to; Ovation FanClub™, OvationFanClub™ Social Network, Ovation Guitars, Ovation Tribute,

Baron Audio Collection, and Lost Art Vintage web sites. If you cant find an answer with any of these resources, don't be afraid to post a question on the General Forum.

Q:I signed up to participate in the forums and have not received my password yet.
A: If you are using America Online (AOL) or other email that has spam blocking filters, the email you were sent may be located in your SPAM folder. This occurs because the message is system generated, and some email packages will interpret it as spam depending on your security settings. If you do not find the message with 24 hours of registering, please email

Q: Are there any rules that must be obeyed? Where are they?
A: Yes. When you signed up to the forums, you agreed to a Terms Of Service. Also, you may scroll to the bottom of any Ovation FanClub™ Forum page and click on the Code of Conduct link to review the Ovation FanClub™ Manifesto. In addition to these terms and rules, users of the Ovation FanClub™ Social Network also agree to the Terms Of Service when you create your Ning ID.

Q: Is there a "membership fee" or any other cost to join the Ovation FanClub™, or for "value added" content?
A: Absolutely not. The Ovation FanClub™ has always been completely free. However, if you enjoy your time here and would like to help support the Ovation FanClub™, you can make a donation through PayPal. Some of the Ovation FanClub™ members who sell a guitar or other piece of gear via the For Sale section of the forum choose to donate 1% of the sale price to the Ovation FanClub™. While this practive is neither required or even encouraged, the additional support is greatly appreciated.

Q: What is my Ovation guitar worth?

A: This is probably the most frequently asked question, and the hardest to answer. Worth is very subjective and changes rapidly with fickle markets. What something ultimately is worth is a combination of what one person is willing to pay versus what another person is willing to accept. Many factors, not the least of which is the actual condition of the guitar, will affect the selling price. There are so many other factors involved in pricing a musical instrument. Is is collectable? Is it rare? Is it popular?

   The best way to get an idea of what your guitar might sell for is to use the "Completed Auctions" feature of eBay Search to see what similar models have sold for recently. Other online resources include and Your best bet, unless you need it appraised for insurance or other reasons, is to try and ask yourself "How much is this instrument worth to me?" More value related resources include the "The Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars" and "The Blue Book of Electric Guitars" both edited by S. P. Fjestad and available in paperback by Gurney Brown. There is also the software version "The S-Book of Guitars" by S. P. Fjestad. Click here to connect to Blue Book Publishing, Inc.

Q: How can I date my Ovation?
A: You could try flowers and candy (rimshot).

US-made Ovations can be dated from the serial number. Older Ovations will have the serial number printed either on the label along with the model number, or a separate sticker up near the neck on the inside of the bowl. Newer US-made Ovations will have the serial number stamped on the back of the headstock. These serial numbers can be used to get an approximate build date using the serial number decoder page on this site's Reference Section. Unfortunately, Pacific Rim-made
Ovations use a different serial number system and cannot be dated.

Q: What kind of strings come with/should I use on my Ovation
or Adamas guitar? What is everybody's favorite strings?

A: A brand new Ovation or Adamas will come from the factory
with either Adamas 1818 or D'Addario EXP16. The choice of strings
is very personal and highly subjective. Much of it depends on your
experience, playing style, and personal taste. Ask 10 people what
their favorite is and you'll get 10 different answers. Thicker
strings will give you more volume and sustain, but are harder to
press. Thinner strings are easier to play, but don't have as much
volume. Don't be afraid to try several brands and sizes and find
what is right for you.

Q: How do I clean and polish the top? What about the fret
board? What other maintenance should I perform?

A: Always wipe down the top, strings and neck after each use
with a microfiber cloth or old worn-out cotton shirt that's been
laundered many times. You can keep the top looking shiny with a
quality guitar polish such as Dunlop 65 or other similar product.
Avoid using any polish that contains silicone oils. Minor scratches
and pick swirls can be buffed out with a very fine jeweler's polish
and polishing cloths. Apply pure mineral oil to the fret board at
least once or twice a year, more often if you live in a dry
climate. Do this when you change strings. Let the oil sit on the
fret board for a few minutes, applying more if it all soaks in.
When no more is absorbed, wipe off all the excess before putting on
the new strings. To clean dirt and grunge from the fret board, and
to polish the frets at the same time, dampen a piece of 0000 steel
wool with some naptha (both available at hardware and home
improvement stores) and scrub the board and frets. Don't worry,
0000 steel wool is very fine and is used to polish many finishes;
it won't hurt your fret board. Afterward, you can wrap a
refrigerator magnet in a paper towel or thin cloth and rub it over
your fret board to pick up any tiny pieces of steel wool that were
left behind, then oil the fret board.

Q: I'm having trouble with my Adamas/Ovation that has an XLR
output in addition to the standard 1/4" jack. I can't get the
tuner to turn on half the time, and I don't get any sound out of
the XLR jack at all. Do I need to replace the pre-amp?

A: Pre-amps with an XLR jack work a little differently.
The tuner will work anytime you're plugged into the standard
1/4" output jack. If you bought the guitar new, you'll have a
"dummy" 1/4" plug that you can use if you just want the tuner
function, or just plug in a regular guitar cable. Make sure you
remove the dummy plug or cable when not using the pre-amp
or you'll drain the battery.

If you want to use the XLR out and you're using a standard
microphone XLR cable, you'll need to insert the dummy
plug into its jack to turn on the pre-amp and activate the XLR output.
Alternatively, you can use a special XLR cable
(Ovation P/N 9658-0)* that has pin 1 connected to the shell. With
that type of cable, you won't need the dummy plug at
all if you connect to phantom power (just like a condensor microphone),
with the added advantage that the pre-amp will run from phantom power
and not the battery as long as the dummy plug or other cable isn't in
that jack.

*Contact any Authorized Ovation Dealer, inclding Al (alpep) Pepiak.

Q: The sound coming from my pre-amp just started getting very
scratchy. What is causing that?

A: The most common reason for a sudden change in sound
quality from the pre-amp is a dying battery. The next question
talks about how to change the battery for different pre-amp styles.
Another, less likely, possibility is a loose connection on the
output jack. If the jack is loose try tightening the nut, or check
to see that the wires connecting to the jack aren't loose or

Q: How do I change the battery on my pre-amp?

A: A lot depends on the model pre-amp. The older pre-amps
with just one or two knobs (stacked or separate) on the side or top
of the guitar will have a separate screw, usually in or near the
waist, that holds a metal battery compartment. On round-hole
Ovations, you'll need to loosen or completely remove the strings,
reach inside the guitar, grab the battery compartment, and with the
other hand turn the screw about 1/4 to 1/2 turn to the left. The
battery compartment should then come loose, and you can pull it out
of the sound hole far enough to slide the top open and replace the
battery. Make careful note of the battery pole orientation before
you take out the old battery, and make sure the new battery goes in
the same way with respect to positive and negative terminals. Just
follow the removal procedure in reverse to reinstall the battery


Elite/Adamas-style guitars with the multiple
sound hole pattern and older pre-amps will have a "manhole cover"
or access hatch in the bowl. Undo the screw in the center of the
access hatch until the hatch is loose and slides easily. Slide it
to one side then angle it off. You can now access the battery
compartment as you would for a round hole Ovation, replace the
battery, secure the battery compartment, then replace the access
hatch and tighten the screw just enough so that the hatch doesn't
shift around.

The next generation of pre-amps have a separate
battery access door in the side near the pre-amp.Simply slide the
push tab on the battery door to loosen and remove it. Again, make
note of proper battery orientation with respect to terminal

The newest generation of pre-amps fit inside a
"can" in the waist, and can be removed by pressing a small button,
usually on the upper left, that pops that side of the pre-amp up.
Simply grab the pre-amp at that point and pull it up out of the
can. If it doesn't pop up all the way at first, slide the edge of a
butterknife or something similar underneath it and gently
pry it up a bit. It'll then pop up freely. The battery compartment
is built into this type of pre-amp and the battery is accessible by
a sliding hatch. After replacing the battery just pop the pre-amp
back into its can. It should snap into place without excessive

Q: I bought/inherited/found an old Ovation with what
everybody says is a "typical" crack in the top finish. Are Ovations
especially prone to such cracks, and is there anything I can do
about it?

A: As far as finish cracks being "typical" for Ovations,
that's not necessarily true. You'll hear speculation from people
who've never so much as picked up an Ovation, much less owned one,
that the synthetic bowl material doesn't let the wood top expand
and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. That is,
pardon the expression, a crock of doo-doo. With a traditional
all-wood guitar, the sides are almost always made from a completely
different wood than the top, and so the top and sides will expand
and contract at greatly different rates, without any excessive
cracking problems. In fact, all-wood guitars of the same age as a
given Ovation may be just as likely to have a finish

Ovation uses a catalyzed polyester for a thick
and hard top finish. Note that in the last 10-15 years the factory
started using a thinner finish. Regardless of how old your Ovation
is, you can seal a finish crack and in some cases eliminate the
crack completely with the following procedure. This doesn't apply
to Ovation solid body guitars, though, nor should you try this on a
guitar with a lacquer finish. Before you attempt a finish repair,
examine the crack carefully and make sure it is only in the finish,
and not a "through" crack into the wood itself. A wood crack
requires more skill to repair and may involve fixing or replacing
the braces. Unless you have experience in luthiery such repairs are
probably best left to a pro (unless you have a "project" guitar
that you want to learn on).

The following technique is
provided for informational purposes only and likely voids the
warrantee of your guitar. It is always best to take a damaged
instrument to an Authorized Ovation dealer.

Old cracks will have dirt and other matrial in
the crack - use a needle or an old dental pick to scribe out the
crack and remove the gunk.You can use CyA (cyanoacrylate) or water
soluble glue to fill the crack and build up to the surface. The
process is to fill, build up, sand, fill, sand, and buff. You can
use sanding pads from Stewart-MacDonald (available in 1,500-12,000 grit -
although start with 3,000), CyA (StewMac has 4 types), and Swirl
Remover #4. Swirl Remover #4 also removes any pick scratches, etc.
Use a foam buffer that attaches to a standard drill for final
buffing. CyA spillage can be wiped off of the guitar's surface with
CyA thinner - it won't damage the finish or dull the surface. You
can use acrylic paint to try to match the top finish - especially
on a darker finish. The nice part about this is you can mix the
paint on the top next to the crack until you have a good match;
then wipe the excess off. Even if you can't eliminate the crack,
you might simulate the grain and help hide the crack. Again, older
cracks are harder to completely eliminate but you can make them
hard to see.

(Thanks to Ovation FanClub™ member Tony

Q:How do I adjust the action on my Ovation?

A: First, check the action as recommended in the Ovation Owner's
Manual. Many people mistakenly think that action should be adjusted
by tweaking the truss rod. Actually, the action on Ovation and
Adamas guitars can be easily adjusted by adding or removing shims
underneath the saddle/pickup assembly. The saddle is the piece the
strings rest on before securing to the bridge. On electrified
Ovations the saddle and pickup are an integrated unit.

Most Ovations come with 3 shims installed from
the factory. To lower the action you remove one or more shims.
Likewise, add shims to raise the action. To access the shims,
loosen or completely remove the strings. Reach inside the guitar
and push up on small pins on either side of the saddle. On
electrified guitars be careful not to break the wire that's
attached to the saddle/pickup assembly. Gently pull the saddle up
out of its bridge slot and you'll see the shims there. Add or
remove as needed, then replace the saddle assembly, re-string, and
try the action. Repeat as needed. Shims can be cut from old credit
cards or from printed circuit board.

Q: What direction do I need to turn the truss rod screw to
tighten/loosen the relief on the neck?

A: There's a diagram here that shows what happens to the
peghead relative to the guitar body when you turn the truss rod
screw either right or left. Note that the same effect happens
whether you access the truss rod from inside the guitar body or
from the peghead itself. Make adjustments in small increments (1/8
to 1/4 turn) and let the neck stabilize overnight before making any
more adjustments.

Q: How do I get rid of fret buzz?

A: Depends on where the buzz is occurring. Try raising the
action a tiny amount with the shims. Heavier gauge strings will
also reduce or eliminate fret buzz in most cases. Otherwise, the
neck relief may need adjustment.

Q: I've heard about problems with proper humidity. What's the
proper humidity for my Ovation, and how do I make sure it stays at
that humidity?

A: Rapid changes in humidity are more damaging to a guitar,
but prolonged exposure to either too high or too low a humidity
level can also harm your guitar. Guitars are best kept in at least
45% relative humidity, but not more than about 65%. You can buy a
good hygrometer (a gauge for measuring relative humidity) from most
large music supply retailers. If you live in an especially dry
climate, or have forced air heat in the winter, the humidity in
your house can drop to as low as 20%. You can either keep your
guitar in its case with an in-case or in-guitar humidifier (like
one from Planet Waves), or use a room humidifier to keep the entire
room at the proper humidity level. Excessive heat is another enemy
of your guitar: NEVER leave your guitar locked inside your car or
trunk on a warm day.

Q: Where can I get my Ovation serviced?

A: Ovations made in the Pacific Rim (Korea and China) should
be taken to the store you bought them from. US-made Ovations and
Adamas guitars are serviced by the factory in New Hartford, CT.
Service and repair questions can be directed to any Ovation
Authorized Ovation Dealer** If you search through the archives,
you'll see many testimonials about the fantastic work the factory
(often called the Mothership) performs on every level of repair,
from minor polishing and setup to full blown reconstruction. By the
way, Ovation is the only large guitar maker that repairs and
services their guitars at the same place they're built. For any
other brand you'd have to find a local guitar tech.

**FYI Al (Alpep) Pepiak is an Authorized Ovation and Hamer dealer.
He can be reached via

Q: Everyone wants to see photos of my Ovation(s). How can I
upload photos in my posts?

A: Sign up on our companion social networking
where you can set up your own page and upload pictures,
sound and video clips. Once you've uploaded your picture(s) there
or at any picture or file hosting service such as flickr or photobucket:

1. Right click on the image you wish to post (if it's in your
gallery, make sure you click on the full size picture, not the
thumbnail), choose 'copy image location'.

If using the Reply Box on the Ovation FanClub™.ning site:

2, Click on the Insert Image icon , paste in the URL and click OK.

If using the "Full Reply" form on the Ovation FanClub™ Forum board:

2. In the position in your post where you wish to place the image,
click on the button, paste the URL and click ok.

If using the "Quick Reply" form on the Ovation FanClub™ Forum board:

2. In the position in your post where you wish to place the image,
type A correctly entered image link might read:">

Please limit images on the Forum boards to 800
pixels wide, otherwise they force the page to reformat, forcing a
horizontal scroll, and make it hard to read posts in that thread
and even harder to navigate.

(Thanks to Ovation FanClub™ member The Wabbit Formerly Known
As Waskel)

Q: How do I post a link to another site or page?

A: 1. Find the page you want to link to. Highlight the
entire address in the address bar, right click and choose "copy"
(or {CTRL} C). If copying from an existing link, right click on the
link and choose "Copy link location".

If using the Reply Box on the Ovation FanClub™.ning site:

2. Position the cursor in your post where you want the link to
appear. Click on the insert hyperlink icon , paste the URL in the box and click OK.

If using the "Full Reply" page on the Ovation FanClub™ Forum board:

2. Position the cursor in your post where you want the link to
appear. Click the button, right click where you see "http://" and choose "paste"
(or {CTRL} V), click ok. Enter a description for the link and click
ok. The link should be inserted in your post.

If using the "Quick Reply" box on the Ovation FanClub™ Forum board:

2. Position the cursor in your post where you want the link to
appear. Enter the link using this form (note the locations of the
brackets): (your
description or title of the link
When entered correctly,
the line should look like this:" target="_new">Check
out the Ovation Fan Club! and should appear in your post like
this: Check out the Ovation Fan Club!

(Thanks to Ovation FanClub™ member The Wabbit Formerly Known
As Waskel)

Q: I keep seeing people write SWMBO, GAS and Mothership in
their posts. What do those mean?

A: SWMBO stands for for She Who Must
Be Obeyed, a term of endearment from our male
participants for their significant others, who often can't
understand why we could possibly need yet another guitar.
Our female participants often refer to their significant others as

HWMBC (or P), for He Who Must Be Coddled (or

GAS is Guitar (or Gear) Acquisition
Syndrome, a disease that's very easy to catch, and almost
impossible to get rid of.

The Mothership (or MS) is the Kaman Music factory in New Hartford, CT, where Ovation, Adamas, Hamer, and now Guild guitars are made.

Q: How can I include emoticons in my posts?
A: If you don't already see a group of 11 animated emoticons below left of the text field where you type your post, then press the "Full Reply Form" and wait for the page to re-load. Place your cursor where you want to insert an emoticon and double-click the emoticon you want. The appropriate UBB code for that emoticon will be inserted. If you wish to use an emoticon from some other site, the process for adding one is the same as for adding a picture to your post, described above. Here are several emoticon sites:
SITE 1   SITE 2   SITE 3 Please use them judiciously!
(Thanks to Ovation FanClub™ member 2ifbyC)

Q: Are there any books about Ovation guitars?
A: Yes, "The History of the Ovation Guitar" by Walter Carter, is an excellent book, available in paperback and hardcover published by Hal Leonard. If you have difficulty locating a copy, I suggest posting your request on the Bulletin Board. There are several vendors and collectors that have extra copies they may be willing to part with.

Q: How can I quickly navigate to "Today's Active Topics?"
Q: What is the difference between clicking on "Bulletin Board" or the "Get Plugged In" logo in the navigation pane?
A: Clicking "Bulletin Board" will take you to the main menu of the system and allow you to select which main topic you wish to read or post. Clicking the "Get Plugged In" logo brings you directly to "Today's Active Topics."

Q: Is there a way to BOOKMARK the Bulletin Board portion of this site so I don't have to click the menu and navigation all of
the time just to read the latest messages?

A: Yes. If you right-click on either the "Bulletin Board" or the "Get Plugged In" logo (read previous Q/A for details) on the
navigation pane, your browser will provide a list of options. Choose "open in new window." Once the new page is open you can
bookmark it or add it to your "favorites."

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [25 messages per page]
Jump to forum :
Search this forum
Printer friendly version
E-mail a link to this thread

This message board and website is not sponsored or affiliated with Ovation® Guitars in any way.
Registered to: The Ovation Fanclubâ„¢ Copyright (c) 2001
free counters
(Delete all cookies set by this site)