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A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC

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DanSavage
Posted 2018-02-13 4:25 PM (#541183 - in reply to #541180)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1726

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Nope. Won't forget it.
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2018-02-13 5:50 PM (#541184 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12602

Location: Boise, Idaho
I'm happy with the sound of my 1713, which was one of the first Ovations I got after joining this forum. 1713s are cedar topped. 1613s are Spanish Pine, which is basically a cedar. I've never compared them directly to other nylon string guitars, but mine has plenty of volume. There's just no really good way to compare it to a "traditional" cedar-topped, classical guitar. They are generally smaller and lighter and seem to me to have a little less bass. Plus there's the usual difference between a flat backed guitar and an Ovation.
A Country Artist has a smaller body, but I thought it always sounded a little thin. Also, it had a narrower, radiused, neck and 14 frets to the body as I recall. There's a lot of variety out there. Plenty to bore anyone who asks why I have so many Ovations.
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-02-13 7:01 PM (#541185 - in reply to #541184)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1726

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Yep. None of my guitars sound alike, which is why I have as many as I do.
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arumako
Posted 2018-02-14 10:36 AM (#541193 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: RE: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 715

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Hey Everybody! Thanks for chiming-in and giving me some perspective on my nylon string Celebrity.

After some consideration, I figured I'll just leave her as is. Despite being a Celebrity, she is a rare O and sounds fine electronically. Probably won't ever use her for gigging or anything, but kind of a beater/conversation piece for the living room or something...

I did go back to Dan's 1113 Project that he did for mood,p.i. to see if there was some hint to help things along. The only thing was that high tension strings really helped moody, p.i.'s 1113; but of course, THAT was a torrefied Adi top. The CS249s sound board is thick at .118" (3mm including finish) with no taper. Of course, being a spruce (1.5mm) sandwiched between two maple veneers (0.5mm each), and a 0.5mm Poly finish makes for a pretty stiff combination. Although I never intended to compare her to an all wood authentic French polished classical, she responded very strangely to acoustic input...like the sound board was not moving at all...like she was a dead stick or something. I was expecting a bit more than that. The bracing seemed to be the culprit at first, but after reading all of your comments, it was apparent that this guitar had a lot more against it than just bracing. Oh well...

So, the EJ46 high tension strings arrived today. Didn't want to waste perfectly good strings, but decided to put a set on the CS249-4Y for pity's sake, and...WAIT-A-MINUTE! What is this? The sound board feels like it's moving. Tuned her up and played a bit, and as the minutes passed by, the guitar began to resonate more, and more, and more...! Holy cow...she actually sounds half-way-decent acoustically now! WHAT THE ??????

Apparently, the regular gauge medium tension strings previously installed didn't have the strength to drive the sound board, but these high tension Da'ddario's provided the drive needed to get the sound board to respond! Whoa! Cool!

Will try to post a video in a couple of days. I'm so glad I didn't do anything stupid! Thanks for helping me to think through this project everybody! This didn't turn out to be a slo-pho-mo Project after all! Whew, and she is sounding better and better as the sound board loosens up too! Cool!
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-02-14 2:47 PM (#541198 - in reply to #541193)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1726

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Great news, Ken!

FWIW, primeVibes are still only $33 each with $23.99 international shipping costs.

One of these might go a long way to make guitars like this sound better.

http://prime-vibe.com/

Edited by DanSavage 2018-02-14 2:48 PM
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arumako
Posted 2018-02-14 6:44 PM (#541201 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 715

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Hey, thanks for the tip Dan! Just ordered the Prime Vibe and am re-evaluating my project. Frankly, I am so pleased but bewildered! I must say that the wealth of information that you and the other BFLGers provide is a treasure trove of useful data. I found that I made a mistake in my original assessment of this guitar.

The catalog on the Tribute site under the heading "Strings" says (a bit hard to read), "Adamas Century #4545 High Tension". That means this guitar was engineered to perform with high tension (or tighter) nylon strings, but will not respond to lower tension strings? If that is the case, that means the bracing and top were "designed" to respond at these higher tension levels? I must say, our O engineers are superb designers, and I was remiss to jump to conclusions, and jay was absolutely correct when he said, "I wouldn't blame it on the bracing..."

In addition, the maple used on this top is apparently (like a lot of other figured maples) European Maple or Sycamore Maple, considerably harder than spruce, but a bit softer than the hardwood maples that I was imagining.

Of course, she's still no 'piece de resistance' of resonance; but the high tension strings have given her a sweet acoustic voice and a punchy electric voice. Now, her popularity of years gone by is clearer to me. Hoping that the PrimeVibe will shake things up further.

Thanks for the interest and encouragement OFC/BFLG!
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2018-02-14 9:35 PM (#541204 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15152

Location: SoCal
Try Savarez Corum strings (model # 504J). High tension and the treble strings have a great response. It's what I use on my 1113.
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arumako
Posted 2018-02-14 11:17 PM (#541206 - in reply to #541204)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 715

Location: Yokohama, Japan
moody, p.i. - 2018-02-14 11:35 AM

Try Savarez Corum strings (model # 504J). High tension and the treble strings have a great response. It's what I use on my 1113.

Thanks moody, p.i.! Will most certainly give the Savarez a try. The EJ46s sound really good, but the Savarez's are on sale and less than half the price of the D'addario's! Yes!

Edited by arumako 2018-02-14 11:18 PM
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2018-02-15 3:34 AM (#541208 - in reply to #541206)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 468

Location: Muenster/Germany
It´s good to read that this great looking guitar produces some nice tones;-) you did a great job with the resurrection and I guess the guitar is very easy to play?
But the problem that remains are IMHO the thick transversal braces. No guitar top wil be able to move with a "stabilizer" like this. It´s the same problem with my beloved 12 string custom legend gitar, it´s easy to play, has a great sustain but thin basses and is comparably silent. The guitar has A-braces AND a strong transversal brace under the bridge which is the sound killer. The 1538 with the longitudinal Elite style bracing (and no transverses) sounds like a grand piano and has no issues like warping or bows.
I really have no idea if this is possible but if one could completely remove the second great transverse (that near the bridge) completely the guitar surely would sound much more like a "spanish" style guitar should. And the remaining fan braces are still strong enough for any kind of strings. Look at the tiny braces under the top of a classical guitar.
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arumako
Posted 2018-02-16 10:48 AM (#541240 - in reply to #541208)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 715

Location: Yokohama, Japan

DetlefMichel - 2018-02-14 5:34 PM

It´s good to read that this great looking guitar produces some nice tones;-) you did a great job with the resurrection and I guess the guitar is very easy to play?
But the problem that remains are IMHO the thick transversal braces. No guitar top wil be able to move with a "stabilizer" like this. It´s the same problem with my beloved 12 string custom legend gitar, it´s easy to play, has a great sustain but thin basses and is comparably silent. The guitar has A-braces AND a strong transversal brace under the bridge which is the sound killer. The 1538 with the longitudinal Elite style bracing (and no transverses) sounds like a grand piano and has no issues like warping or bows.
I really have no idea if this is possible but if one could completely remove the second great transverse (that near the bridge) completely the guitar surely would sound much more like a "spanish" style guitar should. And the remaining fan braces are still strong enough for any kind of strings. Look at the tiny braces under the top of a classical guitar.

Thanks for the encouragement and comment DetlefMichel. Yes, like all Os that are assembled properly, my CS249 is now very very easy to play. I've got her setup more like a Flamenco than a Classical (I want a little bit of string buzz when played hard) with string heights set at 2.6mm for the 6th string and 2.0mm for the 1st string at the 12th fret.

With the high tension EJ46s, she even sounds halfway decent - that means I enjoy playing the instrument. and would even play her as a gigging guitar. As far as nylon electric acoustics go, she's got a decent voice. But "halfway decent" is a far cry from good or excellent. Although I don't think the braces are the only problem, I think your assessment regarding the transversal brace being a "sound killer" is right on. All of the Celebrity models that use a K-3 bracing pattern have that transversal brace. Surely if the bracing pattern was effective for producing better acoustic resonance, the K-3 bracing would be used on Os made in the USA, but I'm pretty sure that is not the case.

I also agree that removing the transversal brace would improve the overall resonance of the guitar. I am seriously contemplating removal of one of them eventually. The CS249-4Y is a rare item, and so I think I'll try the removal on a more common model. No doubt the removal will make the top more resonant, but my concern would be more in the area of balanced dynamics. If I ever get the courage up to do it, I'll certainly post the results here. Meanwhile, here's a nice shot of my bolt-on conversions that are on hand at the moment...

Bolt-on Celebrities

The Celebrity Bolt-On Trio! Actually, the CC257-YB SSB Celebrity Deluxe on the left is a repair for a friend (same neck joint failure issue). He dared me to make his CC257 sound like an 1868. Of course, that is not possible, but we discussed taking the transversal bracing off to see how close we can get the guitar to sound like a USA O! Unfortunately, his Celebrity never sounded so good after the repair/bolt-on neck conversion, and he chickened out on his own dare! Lol. I think my CC247-GS (on the right) might be worth a shot though...

Perhaps another project; perhaps another post...



Edited by arumako 2018-02-16 10:50 AM
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arumako
Posted 2018-02-23 10:34 AM (#541358 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: RE: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 715

Location: Yokohama, Japan

Well, here's the video demo of my CS249-4Y. Hope you all don't mind my sharing. Despite the aggressive bracing, this nylon O resonates quite well...surprisingly so. She's got a very crisp/clean acoustic voice, and she's a joy to play. 

All 3 of my Classicals are shorter in scale with 12th fret neck joints. It took quite a while to get used to holding this 14th fret neck jointed O like a classical guitar. In the typical classical position (resting on the left thigh) the bowl really begins to slip, and she requires an additional reach to play open chords. Held in the standard acoustic position (resting on the right thigh), there's no bowl slippage, but I have difficulty getting the right attack angle with my picking hands. Got comfortable enough to record a basic E minor exercise after some fiddling around. I think you can here my dog, Chocola...

Chocola

licking her fur in the background (hope it's okay to post an introductory pic). I've been pleasantly surprised by this oddly configured Ovation nylon. I'm hoping for some additional resonance via Prime Vibe which should arrive fairly soon. At this point, I dare say, I'm having a lot of fun playing this nylon O, and am looking to increase my nylon song repertoire! Thanks for letting me share OFC/BFLG!



Edited by arumako 2018-02-23 10:44 AM
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d'ovation
Posted 2018-02-23 11:34 AM (#541360 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC


Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 691

Location: Canada
Congratulations on completion of this project. Thank you for the video I quite enjoyed it and your playing. I don't have much appreciation of nylon strung guitars, but the CS249 sounds nicely crisp and clear to me.
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-02-23 12:34 PM (#541365 - in reply to #541360)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1726

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Wow! It sounds pretty good and looks even cooler.

Nice job.
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2018-02-23 12:48 PM (#541366 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: Re: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 468

Location: Muenster/Germany
Super video! The music and the pictures of all the work you had with it. And you did a really great job with this guitar, she sounds a bit like an old 1900´s small spanish guitar, I would say, charming.
I have a 14-fret classical guitar with radiused fingerboard, you´ll get accustomed to the additional frets pretty soon.
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Patch
Posted 2018-02-23 2:51 PM (#541367 - in reply to #540927)
Subject: RE: A Rare Elite Style Nylon in Need of TLC



Joined:
May 2006
Posts: 4077

Location: Steeler Nation, Hudson Valley Contingent

Well done! You should be every bit as proud as that guitar sounds!

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