Price paid: $ 1000
Purchased from: Arkansas Musicworks
Sound — 10
This guitar sounds fine acoustically. I didn't buy it to play acoustically, but it sounds very balanced. The selling point for me was the preamp. It has a limiter that works out well when you're playing fingerstyle. It gives the notes a little definition without choking the overall sound. The XLR is great. You can run directly to the house and get a great mix and use the monitor as your amp. The preamp can be adjusted to any circumstance you can think of. It is designed to be played flat, but I add a little highs for a little crispness.
Overall Impression — 9
I play several styles of music and so far it's been a really good guitar for what I need. I've been playing guitar for 35 years, so I've had quite a few guitars since I started playing. The overall attributes of this guitar are really quite nice. It plays better than any guitar in the $1500-$2500 range that I've played. I own 8 other acoustics and this one is one of the nicest. I own a carbon-fiber Adamas and it is an amazing guitar. If this guitar were stolen I would replace it with one just like it. There aren't very many guitars that sound as good plugged-in as this one does. It's isn't the best acoustic I've ever owned. I have a D-35 Martin for that. I think it'll be in my stable of guitars a very long time. As long as the preamps hold out.
Reliability & Durability — 8
As far as being tough this guitar is at the top. They are made very well. It's been a workhorse. I've used it at church and it sounded great with the choir. The preamp has been replaced twice under the one year warranty. I don't know what the problem is, but they send a new one immediately. I like it a lot, but with all the extra effects in the preamp, it uses a 9 volt battery really fast. A lot faster than the OP-Pro (my favorite Ovation preamp). One of the things I really like about this guitar over a lot of others is when you strike a note really hard it doesn't "quack". A lot of cheaper guitar have a tendency to break down under playing at louder volumes. These guitars are perfectly suited for that purpose. Ovation was the first company to electrify acoustics. They still make great sounding electric/acoustics. I would give the guitar a 10, if it hadn't been for the preamp troubles.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar plays as easy as it's solid-body counterparts. The neck is perfect for those fast runs and the ability to solo past the 12th fret. The strings are as close to the neck as my luthier could get them without rattling. There are 2 shims under the bridge to adjust the action to your liking. I took both of them out of mine. The top is beautiful without any flaws and the finish is wonderful. Most of the lower-tier Celebrities are covered with this thick coat of plastic. This guitar has a very thin coat and the top vibrates like it should. Everything on it was perfect at delivery and everyone who's seen it can't believe how nice the guitar looks. It's really nice to be able to hold it without a strap.
Features — 10
This is a 2012 Korean-made wonderful guitar. It has 20 frets, all reachable from the cutaway. It has a AAA spruce top that when it opens up will be amazing. The back is the new contour-back. It is recessed (concave) so you can hold it much easier than it's predecessors. It has a glossy finish that compliments the Cherry Cherryburst top. It has ebony on both the neck and bridge. It also has over 300 hand-laid pieces of abalone in the top. The nice thing is the preamp. It has an OP-Pro Studio preamp with 1/4 inch and XLR outputs. Here's more on the preamp: http://www.ovationguitars.com/electronics/product/op_pro_studio_with_xlr It has pearloid tuners that stand out from the black headstock and the ratio is great for fine tuning.