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Ovation 2001-X, Custom Redwood
(15 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2013-01-08)

After my prized 2001 Collectors got knocked from its stand at church and did a face plant on the ceramic tile floor, I sent it to the factory for a complete rebuild with some upgrades. It then somehow got damaged again, but this time I have no idea how! I opened the case one day to find the top had a series of compression cracks; origin unknown!

The original neck had been glossed already. For the new body, I had them use a suspension mount system for the top and inlay a single epaulette. The guitar that returned from New Hartford boasts the same mellow/warm tone of the original but with enhanced volume and astounding sustain! A stellar instrument all around! Many thanks to everyone at the mothership for their efforts!

A Pair Of Books, an Elite 1768-LTD and an MM-68-LTD Mandolin
(3 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2012-02-09)

This is my pair of "books" visiting home in CT. Both are modified. the mandolin has a glossed neck instead of satin and the Elite is rebuilt after UPS did a number on it. The neck is glossed, the top is new as of 2009, and the bridge is carved. Both instruments are a joy to play and hear!

Ovation Pacemaker 1615-X Walnut
(15 Photos, 2 Comments : Last updated 2013-01-08)

I planned this one for over a year, and as usual, the factory knocked it out of the park and into the river! The top is flamed walnut with Custom Legend trim and lighter walnut binding. I haven't had a chance to look inside, but John Budny said it's "some type of A-bracing". I've definitely got to get a mirror in that bowl because it sounds Oh So Good!

Strummed or finger-picked, it has an enthralling shimmer acoustically that beggars the adjective "smooth". It's not as loud as spruce, but the tone is definitely unique in a very, VERY good way. What's most amazing about it though is the playability. It's as easy to play as any six string and the only 12-string ever to rival my old, well-broken-in Custom Balladeer. For the first time since I bought it in 1987, my trusty old standby has a soul mate. I've got some spruce to boom with and this walnut to sweeten the mix.

Ovation Redwood 1537 Elite
(10 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2013-01-15)

I had been waiting to try this for a long time. Last summer I snagged a damaged 1537 off Craig's list and had it sent straight home to mother. John Budny, prescient soul that he is, tells me it needs a new top and bowl...pauses for a second...and asks what am I up to now.

So I ask him, "Got any redwood left?

And the rest is history.

The only minor mistake is the carved ebony bridge. It was supposed to be walnut, which is unusual for me. I don't care though. Instead of picking up the color in the fretboard, it just matches the color on the headstock. So it all flows just fine.

And speaking of fine....

The tone is unlike any other O I have. It doesn't fill the room with volume like a spruce deep bowl. But this redwood deep-bowl surrounds the space with the warmest, almost comfortable feeling, timbre I've ever heard in a guitar. Regular 1537's are acoustic cannons that command attention with their voice. This one just sings to you and you can't help but listen.

All in all, I may have taken a little bit of a gamble with this top, but it's paid off in spades...and kept the hearts, clubs, and diamonds because it can.

What a guitar!

Ovation Bubinga Custom Elite CE768-wbx
(15 Photos, 1 Comment : Last updated 2013-01-29)

This guitar is a stunner and was made for a music store chain several years back. I've contacted the chain, but the store it was made for is closed and they really didn't know much.

The official model number is CE768-wbx. All I got from Kim Keller is "The -X on the end of the model number means "Custom", so it's something we built for someone somewhere. So thusly, it's a Custom deep bowl Custom Elite."

Basically, it's a Waterfall Bubinga-topped, Custom Elite with a little "Book" flair.

The music chain contacted Rick Hall who responded by saying: I don't have much information on that guitar other than what I can remember. It was a proprietary guitar specifically for George's Disney store. We only made a small number. If I had to guess, probably lees than 10 pieces.

So does anyone here know any more? I'd love to get a specific number built if possible, but any other history would be great.

As far as the guitar itself goes, it's obviously a lookker, but I got to sit in front of it while a friend played it. I could no longer deny it, the tone is absolutely lovely. Sitting there, what I heard was smooth and brassy, brighter than spruce, but somehow more balanced, not too trebly with good bass response. My friend, who plays mostly jazz and ensemble style, who owns a custom Tommy Dorsey archtop, commented that it had a very nice jazz tone to it. I could only agree.

Adamas 1681-X, Custom Quilted Maple
(12 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2012-02-09)

This magnificent guitar resulted from shipping damage to an Elite 1768 and a SNAFU at the factory.

When I first discussed it with John Budny, we agreed to use the original neck from the Elite and build a body with a deep, hand-laid fiber-glass bowl, AAAAA-grade Quilted Maple top, inlaid epaulettes, and a pentagon, rosewood bridge. The guitar was all but finished when John discovered a mistake: the hand-laid bowl would not fit to the original neck without substantial modifications. So he offered to put a new Adamas neck on instead and we could use the other neck later on something else. The upshot is, a re-build accidentally turned into a complete custom build.....and what a build it was!

OFC Calendar 2014
(13 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2015-01-22)

125 of these were printed for 2014. They are now preserved here for posterity.......or whatever.

Ovation 1713-X Nylon and Redwood
(19 Photos, 1 Comment : Last updated 2013-01-08)

Mothership comes through yet again! The pictures tell the aesthetics story, but the actual specs will give you an idea of the tone.

It's a figured Redwood topped, non-cutaway, 12-fret, 1 3/4 inch nut, OP-pro studio, deep-bowl of tone goodness. Absolutely nourishing to the soul! Acoustically, just try to imagine a cedar nylon string with a little more bass and a LOT more sustain. It's well balanced throughout the tonal spectrum and, with the tortoise binding and abalone purfling, just dares you not to look while you listen.

OFC Calendar 2016
(1 Photo, 0 Comments : Last updated 2016-01-20)

110 copies were made.

OFC Calendar 2018
(1 Photo, 0 Comments : Last updated 2017-11-15)

Only 100 copies made.

(6 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2018-08-03)

OFC Calendar 2019
(1 Photo, 0 Comments : Last updated 2018-11-17)

OFC Calendar 2017
(2 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2016-12-15)

11 years
(2 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2019-08-05)

Ovation Custom Mandocello
(15 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2013-01-07)

Originally an Elite 1868, the factory replaced the neck and bridge to create the only mandocello I know of with a burst finish and the white-red binding. (Basically a Custom Mandocello.) They of course lived entirely up to their stellar reputation! This instrument has an incredible tone and is a joy to play despite the finger-break capabilities of the piano cables they use for strings, in pairs no less!

Ovation FD-14-X Folklore Deluxe Sinker Redwood
(10 Photos, 2 Comments : Last updated 2013-09-19)

And now for something truly special!

I planned this guitar out for almost two years. I knew what I was looking for, but had a hard time figuring out the details. Last fall, the design finally gelled in my head, but had to wait a while to come together for real in new Hartford.

And ladies and gentlemen, it was worth every second of the wait!

Visually, it's a stunner without compare!, But sonically.....MAN, O MAN, O MAN............

People mention that certain guitars have certain tones, but this guitar has a voice, and it absolutely sings! When John Budny first handed it to me I just kept staring at it until he told me to strum it. I gave it a light brush with my thumb and sound just enveloped the space I was in. (Which, by the way, was in a corner of the workshop with plenty of noise all around.)

The sound is as fine and as firm as silk. There is something that's just comfortable about it. Then I noted that the chord was still ringing....and ringing....and ringing. I'm big on sustain, but this guitar just holds its notes forever! But then I noticed something I've never felt before in ANY guitar. Note the word "felt".

I have occasionally felt that "rumble in the belly" having owned a 1537, an 87 Collector's, and other similar guitars known for their low end punch. But this one was different. The whole instrument was vibrating! Lightly touch it anywhere; bowl, top, neck, headstock; and you could distinctly feel the movement. It's like the whole bloody guitar is harmonically balanced!

About this time, John told me that Mike wanted to see me before the guitar left. Mike built my instrument, and I'm given to understand was devoutly hoping I would never pick it up. So we went to his workbench and, among other things, he informed me that he has lost count of how many guitars he has made, but occasionally, a new guitar has....IT. And this guitar has "IT" in spades. Honestly, you could see the pride in his face as he looked it over again.

Even by custom standards, this guitar is a standout in every way!

OFC Calendar 2015
(13 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2015-12-16)

100 Copies were made.

OFC Calendar 2013
(13 Photos, 0 Comments : Last updated 2014-10-08)

100 of these were printed for 2013. They are now preserved here for posterity.......or whatever.

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