Price paid: $ 659
Purchased from: Uncle Ike's Music
Sound — 10
I play acoustic blues and Folk styles and it fits these great. The tone leans more towards the bass because of the sound hole placement and the deep contour body shape, yet it doesn't sound flat. It is more like the low end has even ground with the highs and neither is lost to the other. Plugged in or not the guitar provides a great mellow sound that is expected from a 12 string. I tend to play with extremes and it sounds great with heavy picks and when played finger-style.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a perfect guitar for someone wanting the 12 string sound and the ability to approximate a bass line. I would be very upset if it were lost or stolen. I would buy another one if one could be found. I have been playing for 13 years. I have owned around 20 different guitars ranging from Squiers to Larivees. Of the 12 strings I have owned(Fender and a Ovation Celebrity) this is the best I have ever played. I even prefer the sound to my old Larivee. I wish this would have had a balanced(XLR) output, but that is a minor issue since I do play unplugged most times. Before I bought this guitar I had decided that I would not buy another guitar unless it was the one that I would play until it could take no more. I played this and then played a couple Taylors, a Guild, and another Ovation. Nothing compared to the sound I was getting from this, for my tastes anyway. I love the sound of the low end of this guitar. As a bass player for 6 years, playing solo on the acoustic I really felt that there was a hole in the sound of most acoustic guitars. This guitar gives me the low end I was missing without sacrificing range elsewhere.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played this guitar Live for the past 3 weekends and I see no reason it would not hold up. I feel I can depend on this guitar without reservations of having a backup. Strap buttons are solid. The finish appears that it should last a long time, and with the flat textured finish, no fingerprints show up.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action is great straight from the factory. I have never played a 12 string with action that felt this nice to play. I have found no flaws on in this guitar. Everything is adjusted and set up well as is expected from an American made guitar. The tuners are as tight as necessary. There are no bridge pegs because the strings feed through the bridge.
Features — 9
Made in the USA. By Ovation's website all I can tell is that it was made in 2004 or later according to the serial number. It has Ovation's signature 11 hole sound hole arrangement above the strings. 22 frets, 25 1/4" scale, solid spruce top, deep contour lyrachord body, ebony bridge and fretboard, maple neck, modified quintad bracing. It has an Ovation High Output pickup with an OP-Pro preamp. The preamp controls: 3-band equalizer(high, mid, and low), gain, and a shape/bypass toggle. It also has a built in chromatic tuner. It appears it is only made in black and it has a very flat appearance and texture. Comes with a form fitting hardshell case.