Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I love this guitar. I play mainly Indie stuff (Death Cab, Jack Johnson, Bright Eyes, etc.) and it suits it perfectly. This guitar sounds a little twangy unplugged, but plugged in this guitar really shines. I'm using a 30w Crate acoustic amp and it sounds amazing through it. I love being able to adjust the eq straight from the guitar so I don't have to walk over to my amp to get a different sound. You can get a lot of feedback if you are facing the amp while playing. I just bought a loot hole and it has cleared that up. I played a gig not long ago and we experienced no problems with noise. You can get all sorts of sounds from this guitar. I can get everything from a bright, twangy sound to a really warm, rich sound. Again, unplugged it does sound some what twangy (especially with the stock strings) but I put some Martin sps on it and it solved that. The pickups also pick up all sorts of different sounds whether you're playing at the bridge for the twang or closer to the sound hole.
Overall Impression — 10
I had almost bought a Martin at guitar center right before I got this guitar. The Martin was over twice the price and while it sounded a bit better, you cannot beat the playability of this guitar. My favorite feature of this guitar is easily the built in tuner. It stays in tune fairly well, but it's nice to just be able to press that little tune button when you want to change the tuning (it accepts more than just the standard tuning). I would No Doubt buy this guitar again if it were ever stolen. I've yet to play a guitar that plays as well as this one does (don't think it doesn't sound good either though). A word to the wise: Ovation seems to like to change around their model names and slightly change the models. If you are buying a new one it will probably be listed as a CC24. It's the same electronics but they changed the tuners to gold. Also, the '02 version has more frets than does mine.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have and would use this guitar Live without a backup. The guitar, the hardware, everything has stood up to my abuse (and I've been known to be a little rough with my guitars). The strap buttons seem fine, but I'd still recommend getting strap locks so you don't drop it on stage. I'm sure it'll handle being dropped, but you'll still look like a buffoon. The finish isn't bad considering the price of the guitar. It has worn down with my playing and I would have liked it had they put on a pick guard.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was a bit high for my taste out of the factory. I've taken it to two different places to get it set-up and neither have gotten it exactly the way I want it. This, to me, is the only real flaw. It isn't perfect, but it's close. Despite the action, the neck is still silky smooth. I have absolutely no qualms with the pickups. For the price, they've given me all the sound I've wanted and then some. Other than the action, the guitar came flawless.