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12 String Custom Balladeer

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bbcoach
Posted 2021-10-13 9:35 PM (#556259)
Subject: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

I have a 12 String Custom Balladeer that I purchased that the intonation is way off. Almost 1/4 to 1/2 step flat. The distance from the nut to the 12th fret and from the 12th fret is almost 3/4 of an inch off. Has anyone experienced this? there is no indication that the bridge has been moved/changed/reattached. It is almost like the neck is the wrong neck for the guitar. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks,
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seesquare
Posted 2021-10-14 9:11 AM (#556269 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3464

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Y'know, I rehabbed a 1515 12-string that was about 3/8" short on the bridge placement. It's listed in the BFLG archives. I was baffled, also. So, I just moved the bridge to the right place for scale & intonation. Whether you want to attempt that relocation, well, it's not for the faint-of-heart.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2021-10-14 10:16 PM (#556290 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1571

Location: When??
3/4"... that far off would seem to be a pretty bizarre factory error if it was anything coming out of stock production and passing QC (unless they were maybe catching glue fumes up in the tower that day) like setting a 14-fret bridge position for a 12-fret neck.. or maybe someone custom ordered it that way. Last week there was a thread here about the same mystery in terms of body not matching neck (almost sounds like a Halloween prank), but that was probably an aftermarket change.. as your might be, too.
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bbcoach
Posted 2021-10-16 12:40 AM (#556297 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: RE: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

I measured it again today and it is 12 5/8” from nut to 12th fret and 26” from nut to saddle which is right at 3/4 “ longefrom 12th to saddle. It’s hard to imagine how it has lasted this long with the intonation being so far off. (Maybe only one or two owners who never played anything up the neck. I purchased it used. The sell acknowledged the intonation being off but I never imagined it would be this far off. Need to figure out what to do, repair or sell as is. It is a pretty custom balladeer. Thanks for others input.



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DanSavage
Posted 2021-10-16 10:04 AM (#556298 - in reply to #556297)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2272

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Scale length on 14-fret to the body guitars is 25.25"

It should measure exactly 25" from the inside of the nut to the inside of the bridge.

FWIW, that's a Custom Legend, not a Custom Balladeer. I can tell by the moustache binding on the fretboard and the carved bridge.
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bbcoach
Posted 2021-10-17 12:38 PM (#556306 - in reply to #556298)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

Thanks Dan, I don't know why I put Balladeer when I knew it was a custom Legend. Is there any way that the bridge could have been installed that far off at the factory? It does not show any signs of ever being replaced or repaired.
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keldon85
Posted 2021-10-18 10:11 AM (#556310 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
July 2019
Posts: 89

Location: northern Georgia
Just out of curiosity, I checked some distances on my 12-fret Folklore from 1971. 12th fret to 14th fret is very close to 1 3/8", and the scale length is also the standard Ovation steel string length of 25.25", so I don't think the factory used the Folklore bridge position by accident on your CL. Another remote possibility is that they used the scale length of some of their classicals, which was 665 mm ( 26.18" ), but from my recollection that was used on some 12-fret to the body nylon string instruments, so even making that mistake would be far-fetched. Anyway, the bridge needs to be repositioned to get it to intonate properly. Since this will require some scraping of the finish to glue the bridge in the proper location, and maybe to cover the area where the bridge is now, I would look into checking to see if the Mothership could do this.

Edited by keldon85 2021-10-18 10:13 AM
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bowlcut
Posted 2021-10-18 9:36 PM (#556311 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: RE: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
September 2021
Posts: 11

Location: Portland, Oregon
For fun, I checked my mostly "custom legend" with the 1618 body. Intonation is right on, as well as scale measurement inside nut to inside of bridge is 25". This is a 12 fret 12 string. At some point the bridge holes on mine were drilled incorrectly for this neck, you can see the 3 extra holes inside. If I had to guess, this placement would have been 1/2" too short.




More pics and info in the "new to me 1618" thread.
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DanSavage
Posted 2021-10-19 2:02 PM (#556314 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: RE: 12 String Custom Balladeer



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2272

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I checked Jerome's site for the 1618. See: 1980 Ovation Award 12 String US Catalog

It's weird because your guitar does not have the same brace pattern as what's shown in the catalog.

The 1118/1618 use Ovation's fan brace pattern, but yours looks like the 14-fret 12-string brace pattern.

The scale length on the 12-fret guitars is the same as the 14-fret guitars: 25.25"

If your guitar measures 25" between the nut and the bridge, then the bridge is in the right spot.

To fix the intonation you might need to swap the factory saddle for one of my fully-compensated saddles.

See: Ovation OCP-1K Fully Compensated Saddle

I've swapped out all of my OCP-1K saddles including on my 1655.



Edited by DanSavage 2021-10-19 2:09 PM
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bbcoach
Posted 2021-10-19 9:03 PM (#556317 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: RE: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

Here is a pic of the inside of my 1159 custom legend. Bridge Definitely doesn’t show signs of having been moved.

In addition to changing the bridge location it has on crack that needs a cleat to pre ent it from spreading and a couple of surface cracks. Opinions on repair vs guitars value?

Is there any chance it is the wrong neck for this model? Thanks

Edited by bbcoach 2021-10-19 9:11 PM




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DetlefMichel
Posted 2021-10-25 11:37 AM (#556328 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 705

Location: Muenster/Germany
The custom legend has a bolt-on neck. Wouldn´t it be easier to correct the measures by a neckreset instead of removing the bridge? ? Some very tiny shims should do the job.
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DanSavage
Posted 2021-10-26 10:35 AM (#556331 - in reply to #556317)
Subject: RE: 12 String Custom Balladeer



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2272

Location: Lake Forest, CA
bbcoach - 2021-10-19 7:03 PM

Is there any chance it is the wrong neck for this model? Thanks


What is the measurement between the inside of the nut and the front of the bridge?

It should be exactly 25".
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bbcoach
Posted 2021-11-03 10:48 PM (#556372 - in reply to #556328)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

It is too long now. The neck would have to be shorter.
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bbcoach
Posted 2021-11-03 10:53 PM (#556373 - in reply to #556331)
Subject: RE: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

It is 25 3/4 inches. I found someone near me that is going to move the bridge and refinish the top. It also had a crack that he is repairing before refinishing. I got a pretty good deal on the guitar and he is new to the area and is doing the repairs and finish for a very fair price. He is trying to get established in the area. I’ll let everyone know how it works out when I get it back. May be a while. I told him there was no rush and I will be leaving for a three week trip next week.
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bbcoach
Posted 2022-04-01 8:12 PM (#557234 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: RE: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

Finally following up on my original post concerning a 12 String Custom Legend that was 1/4 to 1/2 step flat due to the bridge being attached 3/4 of an inch off. There was no indication that the bridge was ever moved or changed. I did find someone local to take on the task of repositioning the bridge. The only problem was when the bridge was removed and he went to refinish the top he ran into problems with not enough material to refinish properly. We made the decision to go for a new top. Originally was looking at Spruce refinished in the Sunburst pattern but then decided to go with some Koa that he had. He was able to save and reuse the braces, custom trim etc. Really happy with how it came out and it is now One of A Kind.

Here is a link to some pictures of the repair. https://butchowensphotography.passgallery.com/-OvationCustomLegend

The Luthier is in Murrieta, CA - Michael Anthony Can't say enough about his work. He has also done work on a couple of my other guitars.

Edited by bbcoach 2022-04-01 8:18 PM




(IMG_4940 (2).jpg)



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Love O Fair
Posted 2022-04-01 9:40 PM (#557235 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1571

Location: When??
Very nice!
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seesquare
Posted 2022-04-02 5:58 AM (#557236 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3464

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Yes, a very nice denouement to your mystery. Beautiful top & excellent craftsmanship, per review of the photo file. Looked up your luthier's location. Is dry climate going to be a problem for you? Gets pretty warm down there, too.
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2022-04-02 9:52 AM (#557237 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15592

Location: SoCal
That guitar is beautiful! How does it sound and play?
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Love O Fair
Posted 2022-04-02 9:34 PM (#557238 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1571

Location: When??
@seesquare - >>>Looked up your luthier's location.<<<

Just a short distance over the hills from Dan. Maybe it's something in the water that is causing these remarkable skills.
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BCam
Posted 2022-04-03 9:00 AM (#557239 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 256

Damn, I wish he was in Rancho Murieta. Beautiful job.
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bbcoach
Posted 2022-04-04 8:50 PM (#557242 - in reply to #556259)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

It plays as well as it looks. Michael also replaced the first few frets before doing the setup. The climate is not really a problem. As a crow flies I'm only about 20 miles from the ocean and at an elevation of 2000 feet. I've had my first Ovation since 1975 and no problems. Michael has built many guitars and is great at refinishing guitars, acoustic and electric.
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bbcoach
Posted 2022-04-04 8:51 PM (#557243 - in reply to #557238)
Subject: Re: 12 String Custom Balladeer


Joined:
May 2021
Posts: 17

Yes, Dan is just over the hill about 35 miles from here.
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