If you have read Walter Carter's book on Ovation history, then you know about the early Ovation Balladeer guitar. We continue the tale with this guitar. This is another early-period Ovation, the second period, still having 3 digit serial numbers in red ink but the location of manufacture moved to New Hartford, CT. For their third label, initiated November 1967 with approximate serial number 1000, you find four digits in black ink on a small rectangular internal label which has the Ovation Lute-O in blue and the rest of the letters in the name on a gray background, still has "Pat. Applied For" in the lower right corner, and still has the hand-typed model "DELUXE BALLADEER" and "12string" (sic).
Many changes had occurred -- now we find the inlaid (not in relief above the face as in modern Ovations) black and pearl floral rosette bordered in black-white-black-white, a 7-ply bound top, an unbound rosewood fretboard with four dots and four pearl triangles, a much smaller pointed white-bound truss rod cover, a slotted peghead bearing twin six-on-a-side ivoroid button tuner sets, the paddle shaped peghead with Ovation decal, a modern "wave" shape pinless rosewood bridge with three pearl dots at bottom side.
The guitar retains the five-piece mahogany and maple neck, and the shiny black back. We wonder if this guitar may once have had a pickguard since it has what appears to be four filled screw holes in the pickguard position, but no discoloration of the top. Was this top refinished nearly 30 years ago? Perhaps it was. The carrying case is a newer brown Ovation modern standard replacement hard shell. At this time the guitar is strung with twelve-strings. The action is somewhat elevated due to a neck bow - not to worst neck bow we've ever seen - but it's there.
This very early Ovation guitar, with its shiny black back, is a collectible in a market that is still in its infancy. Ovation Guitar Collectors of the World -- where and when do you meet?
WAS $1541 AND NOW ON SALE FOR: