Hey all, I've decided to purchase another guitar again and I'm pretty set on an Ovation 12 string. A friend of mine is selling an old Celebrity Ovation of his made in the 90s.

It has this crack on it:

The price is right but is the guitar worth it? Are there any significant effects it'll have on my playability and sound?

Last edited by mielieHobo at Sep 5, 2014,
IMHO, that crack was caused by either low humidity, and/or, keeping the guitar tuned too high.

If that's the only damage, we could fix that fairly easily

However, with 12 strings you need to be certain there's enough saddle left to lower the action enough to make it easily playable. It looks like it's not very far above the bridge on the e-1 side.

12 strings need to have very low action, as they have a ton, (well not really a ton), of string tension, and it takes quite a bit ot getting used to.

Also make certain the neck is not separating from the body, and the soundboard is not too caved in front of the sound hole.

I'm hoping this thing comes with a case. Yes? No?

Anyway you should humidify the guitar. Sound hole humidifiers are available at music stores, but only work their best, when used inside a hard shell case.

Tune it no higher than D-d standard, measure the action, and get back to us.

If the crack is fairly well closed, you can wick crazy glue, (any decent thin CyA adhesive), into the crack, to close and stop it from spreading.

Unfortunately, it would be best if the guitar were repaired, before you decide to buy it. That way, it would be easier to hear any buzzes and such from loose braces which could exist.

But, if its not buzzing or rattling now, you'll probably be OK. The super glue is going to leave a trail across the top. There's not much you can do to prevent that, save using the very skinny wicking nozzle that comes with some brands.

In the end, I'd say the top isn't worth refinishing, so suffer with the streak and play on.

Here's a setup guide you can use to get your action measurements


Let us know how you make out with your second look.
Thanks man, the crack seems to be adjoining below the bridge but I'm not sure. I really like the guitar though
From the pic it looks to me more like a crack in the varnish rather than the wood. If so it's not a problem.
Quote by mielieHobo
Thanks man, the crack seems to be adjoining below the bridge but I'm not sure. I really like the guitar though
I had an Ovation, "Matrix" 12 string. It developed cracks along every one of its soundboard braces.

Now, I either tuned it too high, E-e standard, or it didn't get enough humidity, or both.

All the cracks didn't happen at once. If you check inside that 12 string, you may find the crack is running along the brace from bridge to bowl. It was kind of weird, you looked at the top of my guitar, and you could see how the soundboard was braced.

Now, it may be just a varnish crack or not, but you should still treat it to attempt to prevent its spread. Where any paint splits, in means there could be too much expansion or contraction in the specific wood grain directly under it.

As I said before, first humidify the guitar, replace the strings, and keep it tuned no higher than D-d standard.

BTW, your photo link stopped working. (At least on the browser I'm using).
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 6, 2014,