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New to me Applause AA14-1

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Bbick
Posted 2018-04-30 9:50 PM (#543470)
Subject: New to me Applause AA14-1


Joined:
April 2018
Posts: 4

So I am going to continue this from the welcome forum.  I recently received a guitar (Applause AA14-1 serial #00145) as a gift that belonged to my wife’s grandfather. It has always been an interesting guitar to me because in the body there is a sticker that says “service test model, not for resale”.  It also had the serial number taped to the body.  I talked to my mother-in-law and her brother and they gave me the rundown on the history of this guitar. 

Grandpa worked at the Kaman Aeronautics factory in Moosup, Connecticut making helicopters.  At that same time another department was developing what would become the Applause AA14-1.  During this developmental phase the company ended up giving employees that enjoyed playing guitar these “service model” guitars for free.  The only catch was that they had to review the guitars and let the developers know what they liked about the guitar and what they didn’t like about the guitar. 

I found this extremely interesting.  R/D from their own employees! ?? Also producing helicopters on one side of the factory and guitars on the other.  

Has anyone here seen anymore of these “service model” guitars or heard of them?  Did anyone work at the factory and remember them doing this?  Is there any way to date it?  My wife’s uncle thought that he got it in the sixties or seventies but was unsure of a year.

Next thing I am going to do is fix the bridge, it is separating from the top, so I can string it up and start playing it.

Here are some pics! Hopefully it works.





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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2018-05-01 8:43 AM (#543471 - in reply to #543470)
Subject: Re: New to me Applause AA14-1


Joined:
May 2008
Posts: 1382

Location: Indy
The O book says the development team was formed in 1973.
Welcome to the forum. Deepest Ovation knowledge base around here including a former gas station owner with a birds-eye seat.
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2018-05-01 10:27 AM (#543473 - in reply to #543470)
Subject: Re: New to me Applause AA14-1


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12650

Location: Boise, Idaho
The headstock is similar to my 1976 Matrix, but the production Applauses for that year had a different shape. My guess would be 1974-75.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2018-05-01 2:24 PM (#543475 - in reply to #543470)
Subject: Re: New to me Applause AA14-1



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1078

Location: What week?
Welcome to the OFC. The guitar and story looks and reads a very cool piece of Applause posterity for sure. I hope you are able to repair the bridge and restore the instrument's historical aspect moving forward. No doubt a rare and closely-era-defined piece with that sticker being in there. Maybe Beal will chime in with further info.
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Bbick
Posted 2018-05-01 5:34 PM (#543480 - in reply to #543470)
Subject: Re: New to me Applause AA14-1


Joined:
April 2018
Posts: 4

I was kind of wondering about the headstock as all the pictures of production models that I have seen seem to have a very different style. Makes me wonder on what kind of feedback the company got from their employees, what changes might have been made. I think early seventies was kind of my thought on the age. I definitely will be fixing the bridge, I only played it a handful of times in the past and would like to hear it with new strings.
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2018-05-01 10:13 PM (#543488 - in reply to #543470)
Subject: Re: New to me Applause AA14-1


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12650

Location: Boise, Idaho
Not much to add after rereading the Ovation book. The Applause and Medallion (the name was changed to Matrix because of trademark issues) were very much alike, but the headstock of the Applause was changed to the dome-shape you probably saw just as it was introduced. The neck and headstock on yours are the same as on my 1976 Matrix except for the logo. I would have saved $100 by buying the Applause, but I didn't like the headstock and thought there was some significant difference between the Applause and the Ovation Matrix. Mine's still sounding good 40 years later.
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