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1537 Rebirth

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-17 7:40 PM (#532073)
Subject: 1537 Rebirth


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15094

Location: SoCal
Everybody who's been around here for a while knows that I love my 1537 and believe it's one of the best acoustic ever built by Ovation. But for the past 4-5 years, mine has pretty well stayed in it's case. For some reason it lost tone and sounded "tinny" for lack of a better word.

When I loaned it to Dan Savage (rebuilder of wonderful instruments), I asked him to take a look at the braces (I knew he would anyway). He found that 3 of the long braces were cracked along the length of the braces. This cause them to not support the top resulting in a loss of tone, and of the top pulling up under the pull of the strings.

Dan reglued the braces. Long story short, the top is now down where it should be, the action on the guitar is now great, and the tone..... well, it's the canon that it used to be. Maybe better. It's no longer in it's case but out on a stand.

Comparing the sound of the 1537 and my 87C, they are very similar, but the 1537 is much more open and responsive. Both sound great. The 1537 is just more. After all, the top of the 1537 is 34 years old and the top of the 87C is about 10 years old (don't ask, don't tell -- it's a long story).

I'm happy to have my old friend back, looking and sounding like the top dog it is. I've said it privately to him but here I'll say it publicly,

Thanks Dan.

Edited by moody, p.i. 2017-01-17 7:42 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-17 9:04 PM (#532079 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: RE: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1578

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Thanks for the kind words, Paul. I appreciate your loaning me these guitars. I always read about what they sound like and it's really nice to be able to have one at my disposal to play at leisure.

Here's a couple of pics that show the splits in the braces. I inspected the braces right after I got it from you, but didn't see any problems. Then, while moving the light around inside the guitar while taking measurements of the braces, I saw these splits. The red arrows show the beginning and end of the splits.

Before gluing the braces the action at the 12th fret was .100". Afterward the action was .085" -- almost electric guitar low.

Naturally, the top sounded a little stiff, so I put the guitar on the primeVibe for 48 hours. That really helped wake up the top. As I said when you picked it up, it'll continue to wake up as you continue to play it.

Enjpy!

Dan

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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2017-01-17 9:05 PM (#532080 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 339

Location: moline,illinois
I'm glad he brought your old friend back to life for you,every job i've ever seen dan post about is top notch.
Kudos to dan for amazing work on ovations.

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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-01-17 9:19 PM (#532081 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
September 2006
Posts: 9939

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
Wow! That is educational.

I will remember to look to the side of the braces if I am ever looking.
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d'ovation
Posted 2017-01-17 9:58 PM (#532084 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth


Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 669

Location: Canada
Thanks for the story. So what could have caused this damage to the braces?
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-17 11:37 PM (#532085 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15094

Location: SoCal
Don't know. Dan thought it might have been a jolt to the face. There is a crease where one of the braces is. I was talking to Temp about it today and he suggested that it might have been the lack of humidity. I don't know. I do know that both Dan and Temp know much more about this subject than I do.
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arumako
Posted 2017-01-18 6:07 AM (#532091 - in reply to #532079)
Subject: RE: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 644

Location: Yokohama, Japan
DanSavage - 2017-01-17 11:04 AM

Before gluing the braces the action at the 12th fret was .100". Afterward the action was .085" -- almost electric guitar low.



WOW! Congratulations moody, p.i.! You source Dan with some of the coolest projects! And Dan makes it look, "Oh, so easy!" However, the phrase..."gluing the braces" begs the question, "What kind of glue did he use?"

The thin hairline cracks suggest CA glue, but when working with wood on wood joints maybe there is a better choice? Can you please enlighten us Dan? As OMA says, this is super educational! Again, thanks for sharing your projects!

Edited by arumako 2017-01-18 6:10 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-18 9:06 AM (#532093 - in reply to #532091)
Subject: RE: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1578

Location: Lake Forest, CA
arumako - 2017-01-18 4:07 AM

WOW! Congratulations moody, p.i.! You source Dan with some of the coolest projects! And Dan makes it look, "Oh, so easy!" However, the phrase..."gluing the braces" begs the question, "What kind of glue did he use?"

The thin hairline cracks suggest CA glue, but when working with wood on wood joints maybe there is a better choice? Can you please enlighten us Dan? As OMA says, this is super educational! Again, thanks for sharing your projects!


The pics were taken when the guitar was tuned to concert pitch. At this point the guitar still had the medium strings on it. What the pics don't show was that the top was pretty deformed below the bridge. (pulled up below the bridge and sunken between the neck and bridge)

I used CA because it dries hard. Hard is good because it transmits vibrations. Rubbery glue deadens vibrations.

First thing I did was to slacken the strings to close the gaps. I ran a bead of medium CA (Zap-a-Gap) along the side of each crack, then let it seep down into the crack. After a minute or so, I ran another bead along each crack. I let it seep for about 10-15 seconds then sprayed ZIP Kicker (accelerant)

Since the glue takes a few minutes to completely harden, even when using the kicker, I set the guitar aside. After a while I tuned it up again and it sounded pretty stiff. I wasn't sure if the cause was excess glue along the sides of the braces, so I sanded these as smooth as I could. This helped a little bit, but the guitar still didn't sound as good as I thought it should, given its reputation.

It turns out I made the mistake of playing the guitar with the manhole cover off, which makes the guitar sound pretty cheap. I guess a lot of sound leaks out the back instead of the front. Once I put the manhole cover on, it sounded pretty good, but it still sounded muted.

Knowing that the guitar had been sitting unplayed in its case for a long time, and that the braces had been split for a long time and were unaccustomed to vibrating, I decided to put it on the primeVibe for 48 hours.

Once it came off the primeVibe, I tuned it up and it sounded a lot more free. So, I put the new strings on it, adding a shim under the saddle to bring the action up to .093" at the 12th fret.

Edited by DanSavage 2017-01-18 9:08 AM
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-18 10:37 AM (#532094 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15094

Location: SoCal
The guitar sounds better every time I pick it. It's now living up to it's reputation. It sounds better than I ever remember it sounding.

I remember about 12 years ago playing Beal's prototype at the factory and thinking that mine didn't sound that good.

It does now......

Edited by moody, p.i. 2017-01-18 10:40 AM
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arumako
Posted 2017-01-18 9:39 PM (#532113 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 644

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Thanks for the update moody, p.i., and for the detailed description, Dan. I've never seen braces splintered like that before! These awesome luthier tips are filed away just-in-case I ever counter anything similar on my or my friends guitars...so, very very helpful stuff. BTW, did you need to clamp these braces at all during curing?
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jay
Posted 2017-01-18 10:33 PM (#532114 - in reply to #532093)
Subject: RE: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1101

Location: Texas

Dan, I am digging this thread! New territory and very interesting. I am curious though…why wouldn’t you have applied the glue when the guitar was strung at pitch and then let off the tension, so they would close? Wouldn’t that offer a better shot at full coverage inside the void?

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DetlefMichel
Posted 2017-01-19 9:08 AM (#532116 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 370

Location: Muenster/Germany
On my new red Adamas I had a 2cm split in on of the thick braces near the neck joint. I took wood-glue because I had enough space for a small clamp through one of the soundholes so I could give plenty of pressure on the glued joint. It´s invisible and feels solid now.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-19 2:55 PM (#532130 - in reply to #532113)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1578

Location: Lake Forest, CA
arumako - 2017-01-18 7:39 PM
BTW, did you need to clamp these braces at all during curing?


Although I probably could have clamped it, I did not.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-19 2:59 PM (#532131 - in reply to #532114)
Subject: RE: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1578

Location: Lake Forest, CA
jay - 2017-01-18 8:33 PM

Dan, I am digging this thread! New territory and very interesting. I am curious though…why wouldn’t you have applied the glue when the guitar was strung at pitch and then let off the tension, so they would close? Wouldn’t that offer a better shot at full coverage inside the void?



I could have done this, but CA, even at medium viscosity, has great wicking due to capillary action. It tends to run into all the nooks and crannies.

That's why I didn't kick it immediately after the first bead. I wanted to make sure it wicked down into the crack.

The second bead filled the void at the surface of the brace that was left behind as the CA wicked down into the crack.
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-19 3:55 PM (#532132 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15094

Location: SoCal
What does that say in English?
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-19 4:13 PM (#532133 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1578

Location: Lake Forest, CA
It means, "It worked real good."
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-19 4:15 PM (#532134 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: RE: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1578

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Here you go, Paul.

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-19 4:30 PM (#532136 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15094

Location: SoCal
Almost 35 years old with a new lease on life. One of the most beautiful and best sounding models Ovation ever built!

Thanks very much Dan.

Edited by moody, p.i. 2017-01-19 4:31 PM
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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2017-01-19 11:18 PM (#532151 - in reply to #532136)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth


Joined:
May 2008
Posts: 1212

Location: Gnashville
Purdy.
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stonebobbo
Posted 2017-02-02 7:47 PM (#532494 - in reply to #532073)
Subject: Re: 1537 Rebirth



Joined:
August 2002
Posts: 8210

Location: California
She's a beauty.
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