Elite TX DS778TX D-Scale review by Ovation

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.7 (21 votes)
Ovation: Elite TX DS778TX D-Scale

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 10
The D-Scale suits me perfectly in every way. I would love to model my style after Michael Hedges. I play most styles, however I prefer finger picking, and I love tapping, essentially using the guitar in every way it can be used to make a unique sound. I use a Boss GT-10 running to a Randall RG200 (2x12, let's the guitars lows shine) and to a Randall 12" practice amp, I have dual BBE Sonic Maximizers before the amps (stellar). I prefer tubed amps, til then I use the BBE's and they give the solid state amps a rich full sound, they are amazing. The D-Scale so far can handle any Acoustic challenges, the one thing that stands out is the deep (wow) full sound of this guitar, the bonus is that the lows do not intrude on mids and highs, great separation and clarity, and this is only the mid depth bowl! So far this is the best Acoustic guitar I've played.

Overall Impression — 10
I am overwhelmed by this guitar, actually I'm in love. I've played all "the best", and with respect, Ovation, in particular the D-Scale is easily my favorite overall guitar... Ever, not just because it's a baritone. I almost stopped playing acoustics entirely because of comfort issues (boxy, etc), and I was playing electrics primarily. I have several professional Acoustic friends, and was missing playing Acoustic guitars bad, not wanting to be far behind I checked out Ovation because of the bowl design, the D-Scale fits like a glove. Since I've had my Ovations suffice to say that the acoustics have occupied most of my playing time, and have been writing again! One of the stereotypical issues I've always run into, especially from old schoolers is the "non-wood" body, I actually had a sales person say to me per Ovations... When I asked what he thought per Ovations, he states "people mature and learn to appreciate wood bodied guitars" in an arrogant tone, I then asked if he'd ever played an Ovation before, he arrogantly said he wouldn't touch one. Suffice to say I couldn't believe he was a salesman, and that he had no idea of what he was talking about... That being said, if that's the reason for not trying an Ovation (composite body), fear not, if you try the Ovation (especially the D-Scale) you will be impressed... And maybe upset that you waited.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Since I just got the D-Scale, I couldn't say anything per the reliability and/or durability, I can say that I have other Ovation guitars (I will submit reviews in those soon) and every one of them is rock solid, so I would expect nothing less with the D-Scale. The hardware is great, strap buttons fine. I would definitely gig with the D-Scale by itself, but I always bring a standard tuned guitar anywho (as the D-Scale is tuned a whole step down). The finish is bulletproof (maybe literally, lol), I love the textured finish, it seems like it will easily stand the test of time.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was in tune when received, the overall setup was fine except that the action was a little high. That's where Ovation shines again, Ovation guitars have shims under their saddles, you don't have to remove the strings, just loosen, remove saddle, and mess with the shims. 5 minutes and the action was where I prefer.

Features — 10
Made in Korea in 2011. - Description: 6 String Acoustic / Electric. - Body Type: Mid-Depth Cutaway. - Top: A Grade Solid Spruce. - Bracing: Scalloped X. - Scale Length: 28 1/3". - Fretboard: Rosewood w/Black Stain - Fret Inlay: None. - Bridge: Rosewood w/Black Stain. - Soundhole: Mutli Bass Side Only. - Preamp: OP Pro. - Pickup: Ovation OCP-1K. - Machines: Black Ovation

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have an ovation electric acoustic. The acoustic sound by itself sounds pretty standard for a mid level acoustic guitar, the action is good, no fret buzz, etc. Ironically it's the pickup that really shines. It has this extremely nice warm jazzy sound. So yeah Ovations, in my experience, aren't just good looks. I recommend acoustic players try one, because I really like mine.
    There's a company called Composite Acoustics... you can play them in high humidity, freezing cold, etc., and nothing changes... no wood in the body (including the neck) and they sound great!!!!!
    By the way, I also own an Ovation... traded in my Martin. The Martin had a more full-bodied sound, but I got one of those skinny-bodied Ovations and the sound is 'good enough' and far more relaxing to play (you can lay back without having the edges of a full body guitar driving into your ribs).
    I have one of these and love it. I tune further down to C tuning, and it sounds great, albeit you should use either medium strings or get the baritone strings from D'Addario. It is awesome guitar and really works well on certain songs.
    i have tuned down to B and it sounds pretty good, I had a slight buzzingfrom strings but my bridge is set for low action and I bet a shim would take care of that since these elite ovations make it easy to do so. I really like how playing songs in the same manor as a normal tuned guitar holds true to the sound and singing is easier with a deeper or limited range. I run mine through a set of studio monitor speakers and a subwoofer and get radio quality sound, songs sound the way that you hear them on the radio with superb pitch and tone. I will say it took a little getting used to the thicker neck and wider spread for some chords but not enough to worry about. I have an ovation idea as well and I love the sound of that guitar and couldnt believe the sound was even better on the elite Baritone. If your an ovation fan at all you will love this guitar. I would bet this dscale would pull in a lot of new fans too if they just had the chance to play on it.
    Yes this guitar is versatile and amazing all around, picked one up for 444.00 free ship on eBay. If feel good about paying twice as much for a new one
    Miles Allen
    I was wondering the same thing. This has a 28 1/3" scale length whereas most B tuned baritones have a 27" scale length. Has anyone tried tuning down to B or A?
    locorogue, cheers for the review. I've been thinking about getting a baritone acoustic, and this is at the top of my list at the moment. However, I'm concerned that it's advertised as "D-Scale", because I was originally set on B tuning. Could you tell me, have you ever tried tuning it down below D, and how did it hold up? edit: this question is for anyone else that's reading this and has tried one of these too obviously Thanks
    For what it's worth...i installed D'Addario EJ18, heavy, and this great guitar just ouot did itself. The brightness is substantially better, warmer, etc...i'm blown away
    64Azi wrote: Why isn't Ovation promoting this guitar? You'd think there'd be one video of somebody playing this guitar so people can at least hear how it sounds. Instead, there's a guy at '11 NAMM holding the guitar, as if the very sight of it will get people to buy it. Tis review is about as close to that as I can get, so kudos to locorogue for taking the time to do so.
    Thanks, and you're welcome, hope it helps a little if you're interested in grabbing one, they're great. And I haven't quite figured out Ovation yet either, and especially the D-scale being a Baritone(unique, great sustain and stays in tune like no other), and being able to capo the 2nd fret to be in standard tuning quickly, would be at the least nice selling points. I'd love to do a video with this and my 2078TX together, i probably will soon(i've been doing something unique with both guitars at the same time). I did use the D-scale and the 2078TX in two generic short songs(loops #2 & #5) on reverbnation under locorogue(testing a new looping pedal), i mostly tapped and some fingerstyle. I will say that if you're looking for booming low ends check out the 2078TX, right up there with high end Martins that i've tried(there are some vids on the 2078TX).
    I love the low user ratings, the D-Scale just came out, and not available at most large music stores, if it ever will, & hardly any reviews on the net, yet most have to troll this review and give low ratings, because this guitar got a 10? If those of you who rate low aren't trolling, let's see the pics of your D-Scale(or you trying it). I was going to do a review on another Ovation guitar that only select individuals were able to try, and it just hit their website this week, i should do it just to see the negative trolls who obviously haven't tried that guitar either(and that guitar prob gets an 8 from me). quesadilla1118 wrote:"I don't think any guitar sound get a 10/10. if there's something you don't like, its not perfect", did i state any negatives?, anywho, i wish i could give it an 11 because just capo the second fret and you have standard tuning, two guitars for the price of one. I used to have respect for this site...
    Why isn't Ovation promoting this guitar? You'd think there'd be one video of somebody playing this guitar so people can at least hear how it sounds. Instead, there's a guy at '11 NAMM holding the guitar, as if the very sight of it will get people to buy it. Tis review is about as close to that as I can get, so kudos to locorogue for taking the time to do so.
    i gave it a 10 out of 10 until i find a baritone that changes that rating...fair enough? until you've tried this guitar, don't berate my opinion, just be cool and honest. i do appreciate those who opine per Ovation guitars in general, they are perhaps the best overlooked guitars around. i honestly am blown away by all 3 of mine, all differing bowl depths, all incredible...give em a try
    That's interesting, usually the pickups on acoustics are quite terrible. Not sure if I'm looking for a warm jazzy sound in an acoustic though.
    quesadilla1118 wrote: I don't think any guitar sound get a 10/10. if there's something you don't like, its not perfect
    I don't think any guitar sound get a 10/10. if there's something you don't like, its not perfect
    I've always kinda thought Ovation guitars are only popular because they look good, but I have to admit I haven't really looked into them all that carefully.
    This guitar comes to my apartment a led down with almost dead sound. After a while, before I decide to sell it, I change my strings to a martin phosphor and it started to wake up, and sounds AMAZING, with or without amp. The point is, when you buy it, go and change the string as fast as possible. Also, you can't go wrong with 600e for this guitar.