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Old 04-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
miradautasvras
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Ovation Yamaha and Seagull

Hey forum!

I am not sure whether this is the right section for it but I think being a first time poster I will get some amnesty.

I am basically an electric player and have been playing for almost 8 years now [One Epiphone SG series and one LTD F series]. I now want to invest in a medium range acoustic guitar and I have searched up and down this awesome forum for possible choices in my range (500-600 $). I saw a lot of extreme opinions about Ovations and a lot of love for Yamaha and Seagull guitars. I have narrowed down my choices to the following three.

1. Ovation standard balladeer / 1778x series/FKOA model
2. Yamaha FGX730SC
3. Seagull S6 models

Now the biggest issue is I am not from North America/Europe. I am from a part of the world where I don't have the luxury of a guitar center or a well stocked local store to first go and check out the guitars, which I concur is the best way to get a feel for what you want. A cousin is going to haul up whatever I decide. I have done extensive research on youtube but that is not the ideal way. So erudite opinion on this forum is my last resort. Now let me tell you what I want from an acoustic so you fellas can point better.

1. Good action. I started out playing horrible local acoustic guitars and almost dropped the instrument due to the mile high action! I am a metalhead used to electrics so you get an idea what I want. Also I don't have a reliable local option to help me out if I happen to get a guitar with an uncomfortably high action.

2. Good sound [unplugged]. I have not exactly heard an ovation live but I don't have a real objection to the Ovation sound from what I heard on recordings .

3. Comfort for finger picking. I am a fairly good finger picker for an electric guitarist and love to do it!

4. Durability . I am a fairly careful user but as you can deem I don't have an opportunity to get a guitar from abroad often.

Apologies for the rant but I think I laid out my points and any input is more than welcome! Thank ya all!
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:41 AM   #2
Captaincranky
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When I saw the title to the thread I was expecting a song. Something along the lines of "Abraham, Martin, and John". (You can look for that on YouTube, I didn't want to unnecessarily inflict a video on you).
Quote:
Originally Posted by miradautasvras
1. Good action. I started out playing horrible local acoustic guitars and almost dropped the instrument due to the mile high action! I am a metalhead used to electrics so you get an idea what I want. Also I don't have a reliable local option to help me out if I happen to get a guitar with an uncomfortably high action.
Well then, it's time you learned, isn't it? Learn here: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/...up_page_01.html This might have solved your issues with your other acoustic, ya never know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miradautasvras
2. Good sound [unplugged]. I have not exactly heard an ovation live but I don't have a real objection to the Ovation sound from what I heard on recordings .
Ovations tend to project sound forward, and not conduct as much through their bodies and into the player's ears and body. So, while many are good sounding, the player may never get to fully enjoy it until playback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miradautasvras
3. Comfort for finger picking. I am a fairly good finger picker for an electric guitarist and love to do it!
Since you already finger pick with an electric, neck width won't be much of an issue. Most electrics are about 1 5/8" at the nut. Most full size steel stringacoustics are at least 1 11/16"

Another point is Ovation necks are the most electric like of almost any acoustic guitar. They live to be plugged in, have great electronics, but are only fair to good, (albeit with a sound of their own), in a pure acoustic setting. Your"Balladeer" choice, is a decent, middle of the line offering. Ovation's "Adamas" composite offerings are stellar sounding, but way out of your budget.

I'm far from an expert about recording, but I expect many people would probably consider the best way for recording an "O", would be DI into the board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miradautasvras
4. Durability . I am a fairly careful user but as you can deem I don't have an opportunity to get a guitar from abroad often.
Ovations purportedly wear like iron, and either of your wood guitar choices likely won't be as rugged. The trouble with all (solid) wood instruments, is the better they are, the more delicate they become. That's not to say an S-6 couldn't become a favorite "beater", you just have to be mindful of humidity issues. You could damage a solid top Ovation with too much or too little humidity also, but all around, they're pretty rugged.

Another brand to consider for recording, but even more so for live performance, would be Takamine. These things keep showing up on Nashville stages, where you'd really expect to see Gibsons. They have a fairly wide price range, but their mid line "G" series, usually receives great reviews.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 04-22-2013 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:54 AM   #3
dannyalcatraz
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I own an Ovation and Yamaha, and have been looking at a Seagull S6...and a 12-string. I would recommend any of he three brands.

My perspective:

1) Ovations are polarizing. Most guitarists either love them or hate them, mostly because of the way hey sound. They're brighter and not as "woody" as most guitars.

2) as mentioned above, Ovations have a neck more like an electric than most acoustics. That can make the transition easier for players who primarily play electric.

3) because of their construction, Ovations ARE much more durable than your typical wooden guitar. Only carbon fiber acoustics and metal dobros are tougher. I've had mine since the mid 1980s, and it has not given me a second's trouble.

4) Yamahas and Seagulls are extremely well-made and pleasant sounding guitars for their price. I've had the opportunity to play both brands alongside much more expensive guitars. No, they did not sound better than the pricier guitars. They DID, however, sound good enough that it made me consider them a much better bargain than I did before doing so.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:30 AM   #4
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as the owner of all the above mentioned brands, i can say but one thing...... Aliens are leaving secret encrypted messages in my bellybutton lint( and i'm very close to deciphering them).
after all of the excellent advice from the first 2 responders, i have very little to add.
the only thing i could ad would be to get the deeper bowled Ovation(2077,2078) if that's your choice. i have shallow,mid and deep bowled O's and unplugged(which is how we usually use them), the deeper ones have a more resonant sound.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #5
miradautasvras
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Thanks for the feedback people! I am attracted to ovation mainly due to good playability. I am not from acoustic world so I don't think the "wood" sound matters that much to me. I heard some clips of Yamaha's other guitars after posting and I am positively inclined. How is the action/playability on Yamaha's models in my range?
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepchildusmc
...[ ]...i can say but one thing...... Aliens are leaving secret encrypted messages in my bellybutton lint( and i'm very close to deciphering them).
...[ ].....
Sadly, I can't help you with that. But, if you want to get in strip clubs for free, and "without fake driver's licenses or passports", I'd suggest perusing Amazon for books on "Jedi Mind Control for Padawan Learners", (or similar). Key words, ("I am not the droid you expect to pay his way into this dump")!

After carefully weighing the pros and cons of divulging my secrets for keeping my belly button lint free of alien encoding, I figure if you can't help a fellow UGer out, who can ya?

So, here it goes. First, melt a lead fishing sinker into the shape and size of a half dollar. Then, tape it over your belly button with aluminum sticky back tape, available in the plumbing , (or possibly roofing) departments of Home Depot, Lowe's, and better hardware stores everywhere.....
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miradautasvras
Thanks for the feedback people! I am attracted to ovation mainly due to good playability. I am not from acoustic world so I don't think the "wood" sound matters that much to me. I heard some clips of Yamaha's other guitars after posting and I am positively inclined. How is the action/playability on Yamaha's models in my range?
I tried to explain this in my first post. Albeit unfortunately, I was unsuccessful.

If you accept the factory setup tolerances on pretty much any steel string acoustic, you're going to be disappointed at minimum, 9 out of 10 times.

If you have no access to a tech, then you have to learn to do it yourself. I linked thorough instructions in my first post

What ever brand of large body acoustic you buy, it will be more difficult to finger than your electric, even when setup properly. Get over it, move on with your life.

Brand is not necessarily a factor in playability. Neck shape, string height, body size, and scale length all are.

I expect with a proper setup in place Yamahas will play at the same ease, (or lack thereof), as any comparable brand and type of well constructed guitar.

Ovations are indeed easy to fret. But, it is not entirely because of the neck itself. They require less input of energy than would a comparably sized all wood instrument.

If you don't need to strike the strings as hard, then you don't have to push down as hard either. Simple as that.

And whoever wishes to can confirm or deny this can, but I believe that the thin bowl Ovation models should be easier to play than a deep bowl model, because of this phenomenon. If fact, the thin bowls models are marketed as "lead instruments", simply because they're brighter, for one thing, and also a bit easier to "shred with".

You can check this page out for the gauges of Pete Townshend's strings over the years. I think you'll be surprised how heavy they have been at times: http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/guitar/strings.html

Jus' sayin', even the famous guys have to work for it.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 04-22-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:03 PM   #8
dannyalcatraz
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IMHO, the only reasons to buy a shallow bowl Ovation- indeed, any thinline acoustic- are portability, comfort and the intent to play them primarily plugged in. Their acoustic tones, as a rule, are not as rich; their volume, not as impressive.

My own Ovation is a deep-bowl. Its volume can fill a room properly. My Yamaha is a standard sized nylon-stringed classical, and alsoprojectsquire well, with a nice tone. I have a Jon Kammerer thinline acoustic which, due to its patented design, projects and sounds better than most thinlines I've played (Ovations included), but it still doesn't hold up to a fuller-bodied guitar.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #9
stepchildusmc
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thanks cranky ! that sure beats shoving Hershey's kisses in my bellybutton to thwart the alien messaging !
Mirada, happy guitar hunting! hopefully you'll come back when you get it and post some pics so that we can all enjoy your new purchase with you.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:34 AM   #10
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Your bro is going to bring from USA? If I may be a tad pushy, their is now phenomenal deal at Hellomusic, a Yamaha AC3R for $649, with great case. I bought one already, and I don't work or have any connection. The pickup system is amazingly good, very articulate, all solid wood build, beautiful. I played up against Martins/Taylors and it was better. Usual online price is $899. I paid $765 and was happy. It may make you forget about electrics. Only downside is the preamp output is lower than most. Go to youtube and check it out.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:53 AM   #11
miradautasvras
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Ha. So back on the forum. It's been some time since I was musing around here about all these guitars and meanwhile I got a good deal on Ovation 2778AX-FKOA guitar. It's listed at around 899$ on Zzounds and I got the offer at around 600 bucks including shipping for an almost unused model on ebay. I played a 2778TX here in India at a pal's place and loved the feel and sound of the guitar [these are deep contour bowls] and was about to order that one and stumbled upon this deal. figured that the same design with KOA wood should be at least have no downgrading in sound quality if not improvement. Thing is this guitar is almost nonexistent on the net! Only one low quality sound sample on the youtube and that's it. No reviews nothing. So just wanted to call out loud if anybody personally experienced this. Not that it would make any difference now that I have accepted the deal but would definitely like to know about the instrument before I get my hands on it, which is couple of months away.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:28 AM   #12
patticake
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the koa model seems to have a laminate top, while the guitar you played at your friend's place has a solid top, so chances are the koa model won't have quite as much clarity and resonance, but hopefully you'll still love it. koa is expensive, and as a result a number of brands, including takamine, charge more for laminate koa than for some solid woods.

btw, solid koa sounds great but is expensive. the price for an all solid non-koa taylor GC (about the same price across the higher end of the GC line) is around $2300 where the same GC with koa back and sides is about a thousand dollars higher. and the solid koa top, back and sides model?
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/K22E/

check out this taylor with laminate b&s price, $250 more than the same model with laminate rosewood
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/214ceKoa/

a good rule of thumb - if the word "solid" isn't ahead of the top, back or sides woods, they're laminate about 99% of the time.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake
...[ ].....check out this taylor with laminate b&s price, $250 more than the same model with laminate rosewood...[ ]....
The best place I can think of to see the pricing structure of different woods and options, is Carvin.com. http://www.carvinguitars.com/

Carvin offers a wide variety of woods and grain patterns. Since virtually every guitar they sell is a custom build, all you have to do is fumble through the building process of a guitar of your choice, and check out the various extra charges. A koa top is something on the order of $400.00, against what might be a cost included maple standard feature in certain builds.

They do have semi acoustic A/E guitars, and some beautiful carved top semi-hollow electrics that won't offend the sensibilities of an acoustic player, as would their solid body electrics.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:46 AM   #14
miradautasvras
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Hmm. As I said before I am an electric player primarily and thus might be less discerning of the fine points of acoustic tops, I just took a, leap of faith here and ordered the koa version which I got for reasonably cheaper than market price. I most probably will be a happy little boy when I actually get my hands on it still for the discussion's sake I will try to deduce what top I am getting into.

I explored the carvin website and agree with you that a koa top is around 500 bucks. Now there are gradings for koa I think with AAAAA or something like that topping the hierarchy with less As bottoming out. I presume that a guitar like 2778AX-FKOA which had an introductory tag of around 1200$ and still retails for around 900 could have a solid koa,albeit low to mid grade,top costing say 600 to 700 $ and still have half the retail price of guitar left to build the rest,which I presume,is a standard Lyrachord contoured bowl. This I think is profitable to them. Now there are two more koas in Ovation range with the cc44 being cheaper retailing around 445$ off the shelf and the limited edition oval sound hole version with a hellish price tag of 3999$. The hellspawn I presume to be a 5A Koa of the most endangered subspecies cured on a sacrificial altar while the cheaper one might be a fedex box masquerading under a Koa spray. That puts my baby at around understandable margin of error at being at least a low grade Koa solid top! With that thought experiment out of the way I really second Captain's post about Ovation shooting themselves in the foot not mentioning solid tops in koa models as the official listing previous mentioned hellspawn also does not mention word SOLID though it obviously is.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:29 AM   #15
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i believe the FKOA model to be a figured Koa top. it's solid koa with "bird's eye" blisters in it. still solid, having al the sound of beautiful koa but with imperfections in the wood grain. it'll be a great sounding guitar...be sure to post a New Guitar Day with plenty of pics when it comes in. i'm sure it'll be a stunner ! i love playing harder stuff( A7X,5FDP) stuff on my Ovation. it's attitude fits the music style well.
Enjoy and play the hell out of it !!!!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:27 AM   #16
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here's where a lot of instrument makers get their woods
http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-wood

they don't have koa tops right now, but they do have b&s in
http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly...backs-sides/koa
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:49 AM   #17
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i just heard back from support at zzounds, their tech said he had to do some research, but it appears that the guitar DOES have a solid top. it is weird that it's the only solid top guitar from ovation that doesn't SAY it's a solid top.

so, miradautasvras, sounds like you got a great deal. i love the sound of solid koa, which has a very unique voice. be sure and let us know what you think of your guitar when it arrives and don't forget some pics
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:27 AM   #18
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Whoa! Thanks patticake for solving the difficult question and raising my spirits meanwhile! I will let this thread have pics and sound samples when it arrives in my beloved third world home. Thank you all for being so helpful
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake
i just heard back from support at zzounds, their tech said he had to do some research, but it appears that the guitar DOES have a solid top. it is weird that it's the only solid top guitar from ovation that doesn't SAY it's a solid top....[ ]....
This came up once before with dannyalcatraz pointing out that model does indeed, have a solid top. Any Yes, it's inexplicable why Ovation doesn't tout the solid top in the specs....
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:05 PM   #20
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i just heard back from ovation, and they disagree with zzounds regarding the top:

" The 2778AX-FKOA has a laminate Koa top. Let us know if you have more questions.
Regards
Ovation Guitars"
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