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From the beginning....

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Pawprint
Posted 2017-03-31 4:01 PM (#533476)
Subject: From the beginning....


Joined:
March 2017
Posts: 3

I’m curious if anyone can add any information about my old Balladeer.
In early 1968 my father went to work for Charlie Kaman as VP Sales (I believe that was his title). He received a number of guitars for samples and giveaways, and was to open an office in Hollywood where he himself would spend little time as he would be on the road. He asked me to hold down the office as a summer job (I was in college at the time), and as part of my compensation he offered me my pick from the guitars he had on hand. They were all hand-made prototypes, he told me, mad before start of production, and they were all the models in the first year’s range: Balladeers, 12 strings, classicals, Josh Whites. I tried them all and chose a Deluxe Balladeer. That was 49 years ago. It has been through various vicissitudes as you might imagine, but it still plays well and sound beautiful.
I first found this site looking for serial number lists, but my guitar is not on any list I have found. It has a white “patent applied for” that says “Deluxe Balladeer” with the number (in red) 1558 (no zero).
If anyone can add any background I would be most grateful. The guitar could use a little work (crack in the top, clouding in the finish around the soundhole). I’d like to think it’s a valuable historic instrument, but whether it is or not it is dear to me. It made me an Ovation loyalist. These days my main acoustic is a much more recent Adams style shallow bowl modal (not one of the really expensive ones!); it’s comfortable, it has a preamp, and it plays and sounds great plugged in or not.




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jay
Posted 2017-03-31 4:31 PM (#533477 - in reply to #533476)
Subject: RE: From the beginning....



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1119

Location: Texas

Very cool story...thanks for sharing it.

I would guess it is going to be a 67/68. Probably 68...but it is just a guess, but if you know it was in his possession for all of 68, then it has to be a 67.

From the serial # list:

Early Series (1966-1981) including solid bodies:
Serial Range | Year

006 - 319 = 1966 Three digits in red ink 
320 - 999 = 1967 (Feb-Nov) New Hartford; three digits in red ink 
1000 - = 1967 (Nov)-1968 (July) Four digits in black ink, no letter prefix 

 

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Pawprint
Posted 2017-03-31 4:45 PM (#533478 - in reply to #533476)
Subject: Re: From the beginning....


Joined:
March 2017
Posts: 3

That sounds about right -- late 67 manufacture date. The serial number is red, not black. Might that mean anything?
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-03-31 5:12 PM (#533481 - in reply to #533476)
Subject: Re: From the beginning....



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Oh, my.
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jay
Posted 2017-03-31 8:20 PM (#533482 - in reply to #533478)
Subject: Re: From the beginning....



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1119

Location: Texas

There is no black and white (or red) guide to the first Ovations. That is what makes owning one so cool. We continue to find exceptions to these early Ovations, each time one appears on the OFC. 

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