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MF MD HG Ask Our Gearheads 07-08-14

Ovation Acoustic-Electric Guitars

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Sometimes a talented luthier can come from the most surprising places. The craftsmanship of Ovation Acoustic-Electric Guitars is a great example of that, since the company's founder, Charles Kaman, had a successful career as an aeronautical engineer. The experience he gained in developing composite materials for helicopters turned out to benefit his guitar making, forming the basis for the unique rounded backs found on Ovation's instruments. Even the sitka spruce used for most Ovation tops has a connection to Kaman's aerospace roots, where it's used for helicopter blades.  The rounded composite back is just one of the distinguishing characteristics of an Ovation acoustic-electric guitar. A look at the iDea, Adamas, Elite and Celebrity Deluxe models will reveal another feature that sets those guitars apart: a unique pattern of 22 small tone holes instead of the traditional single one. This design is meant to boost the guitar's volume and reduce feedback when it's amplified, which makes it well-suited to an acoustic-electric model.

Ovation uses a similarly unconventional tone hole design in the Limited Edition Koa Elite, which is one of their most outstanding guitars. Its koa top is perfect if you're into exotic woods for your instruments, and it uses the same deep bowl body as all Ovation guitars to give you powerful unamplified volume and enormous low-end sound. If you prefer a traditional tone hole design, Ovation also has plenty of those on offer, including an Al DiMeola signature model that's designed to keep up with Al's fast playing style and features a preamp that he helped to develop.

The pickups and preamps in all of Ovation's acoustic-electric guitars are some of their greatest strengths. You can put any acoustic guitar in front of a microphone, but an acoustic-electric model gives you even more flexibility with its own built-in pickups that allow you to plug directly into effects pedals and amplifiers, an ability otherwise reserved for electric guitars. When you unplug an acoustic-electric, it performs just like a regular acoustic guitar. Having the option of playing them either way makes these the most versatile guitars you can own.

If you're looking for a truly distinctive instrument, an Ovation acoustic-electric guitar will deliver. Their unique composite back not only creates excellent bass tones and a smooth, resonant sound, it also makes them one-of-a-kind in the world of guitars. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that these aerospace-inspired instruments will have your music flying high.

  1. Acoustic-Electric Guitars (23)

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