U.K.II Review

manufacturer: Ovation date: 11/14/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Ovation: U.K.II
The guitar featured a hollow body aluminum frame encased in a mold of urelite, which is basically a really dense urethane foam.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 7.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.1 
 Users rating:
 6.1 
 Votes:
 23 
 Views:
 2,395 
reviews (4) pictures (4) 11 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
U.K.II Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 14, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: eBay

Features: Same specs as published, just one of the unique color and inlay options. Mine has a black finish with white bow tie inlays and white binding. Specs.: Urelite (aluminum core with foam filler) 24 fret neck (2 octaves!) hollow brass saddles and brass nut, medium fret wire. You have to play this to appreciate it. Hard to really get it, even from the glowing reviews. Les Paul lovers shouldn't feel threatened, I think the Legend of the UKII being guilt to mimic an LP has taken on an undeserved life of its own. No knock on the Les Paul - it has a very specific sweet spot or 2 in its sound (very characteristic, but the UKII is a different animal. The single cut shape is not strictly an LP mimic. The Viper electric series has the same shape, and as many people correctly note, the upper bout on teh UKII actually hints more of a Telecaster (angled) look than the heavier and rounder LP shape. Likewise, the back of the guitar is not as full as an LP, and closer inspection reveals that there is less to the volume of the UKII body. The dual/tone volume controls do mimic an LP. The pickups are overwound, per Ovation's experimental and leading edge ideas at the time, and are definitely louder than normal pickups - not in a crude way, but in a good way. It's not simply more volume at the same settings, the signal drives your amp setup more quickly and breaks up sooner than other guitars. That's not to say that they are "hotter" than other pickups as I think most people might use the term to hint at distortion, but they certainly have a characteristic Drive that hits at lower volumes. This design also gives it a more versatile sound pallete, that to my ears sounds like some of the in-between sounds that Jimmy Page or other players get out of a non-standard dual humbucker LP with custom wiring, such as in/out phasing. Not all settings are ideal, but you have lots of options with the 3-way toggle and series/parallel switch on each humbuckers, plus separate tone/volume pots for each humbucker. Some tones are muddy (like a Les Paul), particularly the parallel HB setting with the tone rolled back (which I think is fat, loud, undefined). I've never liked this tone on any guitar. However, with the tone knob middle or up on either pickup, the tonal options are very pleasing and versatile. What I can say before departing from the comparison is that the UKII in my opinion actually does have the vibe of a Les Paul for rhythm, but does it better (IMHO), because of the pickup configuration. This guitar was actually stereo (way before it's time). // 10

Sound: The blend of the two pickups in opposite phases gives you great "notch" type tones that even rival the effect of a wah pedal. It does not sing as well in soloing, so I think it's rhythm voice is noticeably better than its solo voice, though part of that is the chops (or lack thereof) of the player, yours truly. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The UKII has blade humbuckers, each with a switch that can be moved from series to parallel. The forward setting on each pickup has a smoother and modestly louder humbucker tone, while the rear setting has more single coil quality to it. I just discovered that the middle position on the parallel/series switch yields a (perhaps unintended) third tone for each pickup. It's actually not a setting, but I still get tone in the middle position, which actually seems to cut either to the two blades being out of phase or maybe even cutting to a single coil. I've researched alot on coils, taps, splits, shunts etc... Lately and I'm convinced that the phase switch gives you the following on each pickup (parallel HB-front; series HB-rear; and the unintended middle position with the two humbucking coils on the same pickup being out of phase). The weaker signal is what suggests to me that the halfway position is the accidental out-of-phase tone. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The blend of the two pickups in opposite phases gives you great "notch" type tones that even rival the effect of a wah pedal. It does not sing as well in soloing, so I think it's rhythm voice is noticeably better than its solo voice, though part of that is the chops (or lack thereof) of the player, yours truly. // 9

Overall Impression: Though you'd expect it to be light from the aluminum/foam body, the electronics and hardware contribute to a weight that rivals a Les Paul, but it doesn't have the same mass of wood. Therefore, you have great sustain, but it does not bloom the way that notes on a Les Paul do (which I attribute mostly to the LP's weight/mass and bridge). // 9

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overall: 10
U.K.II Reviewed by: Sacred Resort, on november 14, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Friend

Features: I have a black Ovation UKII, which stands for Ultra Kamen 2. It was hand made in the U.S.A. In 1979. It has 24 normal frets made from abalone. It has a ebony fretboard that is perfect, along with a creme fretboard liner. This is a very interesting guitar because it is made of urelite foam, and a aluminium frame. It is fairly light, and is very easy and comfortable to play for long periods of time. It is more of a PRS body, combined with a telecaster. It is extremely comfortable, and is very easy to adjust to. It has a Schaller bridge, and it has passive electronics. It has 2 tone and 2 volume knobs that each have a gold cap on the top. The bridge, and all the hardware is gold plated. It has a 3 way toggle, and it has 2 tone switches on the top of the pickups. The pickups are wrapped 10, 000 times, and are among the best pickups of ANY guitar that I have ever heard, of played. It has 2 Ovation designed humbucking Blade pickups. It a; so has Schaller sealed tuners. // 10

Sound: I play a variety of music from jazz to blues to metal, rock, and almost everything. It is honestly the best with Jazz, but that is the one that I play most. It sounds terrific with the style along with all the other styles that I play. It's the universal guitar! I'm running it through a Epiphone Valve Standard, and a Fender Mustang III. I'm not using any pedals other than a compressor, and a the effects that the amp has built in. It is a very nice warm tone on both amps, and it is very relaxing to listen to. It is a very rich tone, and it has a lot of energy to it. It is very good for tapping, bends, and slides along with regular playing. It sounds excellent on the very high and low frets. Also it makes a wonderful sound when it's unplugged in the form of a acoustic. NO, it's not a hollow or semi-hollow body, but the way it's shaped, it can be transformed into an acoustic in a very quiet room with a pick. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I got this guitar from a friend, and it was already setup properly. Very sadly, it was dropped twice because someone knocked it down for me. I took it to a man who fixes guitars privately both times, and it was fixed, and fixed properly. The pickups, action, neck was checked both times I took it down there, and they were perfect.It doesn't have any flaws from the manufacturer, but the cracks are from me, and the previous owner. I was lucky with this guitar, and the fretboard not reworked was perfectly new, however the body was cracked. Some probably bought it as a show piece and didn't know how to play it of take care of it. It is a wonderful guitar other than those issues. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The reliability of this guitar is amazing. As I said, it had some dings and it held up with those dings fairly good, and is fixed properly. It is not as durable as it was a while ago, but it has a lot of life, and muscle in it if you treat it right. I would, and have used in a gig with-ought backup. It holds in the strap well, and I don't have to worry about it. The finish is wonderful, and will never wear off because it is a solid jacket of coating. The gold on the hardware is coming off, only on the pickups, but I will have it re-plated and I take care of it so that no more comes off. // 10

Overall Impression: It is a wonderful match for anyones music style. I have been playing for 4 years now, and have progressed very rapidly. I have 4 guitars, and it is my most favorite among all of them. It came with a hard case, and is very good in traveling, weather in the car or the plane. If it was stolen, or lost I would be very mad, and would hunt down the person who stole it, and buy a new on if I couldn't find it. But I would look till I found it. I love everything about it. It has 2 inputs, nice bridge, wonderful shape, amazing pickups, and gold plating. I dislike nothing about it, and if you find one no matter how much it is, buy it. You will never regret that purchase. I would compare it to any other Ovation solid body, however each one has it's own tone. So pretty much it is in it's own class. // 10

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overall: 8.8
U.K.II Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 03, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This is a Vintage, out-of-production solidbody guitar. It was made by Ovation during the 1970s and 1980s; it ceased production during the latter. There were other guitars that, unfortunately, vanished with it: the ergonomically shaped Deacon/Breadwinner, the first guitar with active electronics; the Singlecut, single-coiled Viper II and Viper III, with numbers indicating the number of pickups; the double-cut, dual mini-humbucker Preacher; the wondrous double-cut Les Paul wannabe, the GP; the Thunderhead/Tornado/Hurricane series of holllow/semi-hollows; and the Magnum bass series. All of these guitars featured bolt-on, 24-fret necks (save the Magnum). This one in particular has a 24 3/4" scale length, 1 11/16" nut width, ebony fretboard, gold hardware, and Ovation's curious bridge design. Even more curious than this, however is it's urelite-on-aluminum body. I know: wtf, right? I'll elaborate later. This being an original Ovation design, it might feel unfamiliar to some; think Telecaster meets Les Paul. It has 2 split-coil humbuckers, Gibson-esque controls, and 3-to-a-side non-locking tuners, like a Paul, but it's shape and size are more like a Tele, producing something like a bizarre, single cut SG. // 9

Sound: A descibed my musical style in my review of the Epiphone Alleykat, which I will summarize here as "retro-rock." A Vintage, double-humbucker, single cut guitar does this very well, obviously. It produce plenty of bass and midrange, with the treble is generally taking a backseat. Using it's split-coil positions, you can change this, but don't expect to get that Fender twang, this is closer to Gibson or maybe PRS, which is perfect for me. I'm playing this through a Vox Tonelab into a Fender Deluxe 90. I'm not really a big effects guy; aside from distortion and reverb, the only thing I regularly use is the wah-wah function. It handles the Strokes, Heart, Skid Row, all the way up to Alice in Chains without faltering. It gets all the good noise, with none of the bad. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This is Vintage axe, so Ovation's factory standards are immaterial here. As it is, however: oh God. The neck is faster than a Lear jet. Play this for a while, and a Carvin V220 will feel as fat as a B.C. Rich Mockingbird. The action is low, and the frets are practically nonexistant. It allows for a huge, exaggerated vibrato, smooth slides, and enormous bends. At an estimated 20-25 years of age, the hardware is obviously a lttle rusted. Given the odd construction materials, I'm asssuming that the wood grains visible in the tobacco-burst finish, while fetching, are fake. I'm pretty sure aluminum isn't grainy. Tacky, but not truly detracting. These materials also give it strange weight: about the size of an SG, but it feels much too heavy for it's size. Again, not a bad thing, per se: my main guitar is a PRS Singlecut, so I'm used to a little weight. The only thing robbing it of a 10 here is a slight imbalance; it feels constanly neck-heavy. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Durable, certainly, but it won't take any of that Angus Young crap. Don't smash it against your knee or anything. No hardcore dancing, metalheads. Straps don't fall off (unlike my PRS), buttons don't fall OUT, nor does the neck. I wouldn't play it Live unless I had to (I'd sooner go to my PRS Singlecut, Gibson SG Special, or Epiphone Alleykat) not for some failure on the U.K. II's part, but I can't risk breaking it. It's a collector's guitar, that just happens to be an absolute beast. // 9

Overall Impression: If it were stolen or something, I wouldn't replace it, I'd probably go find a different Ovation soldibody (the Deacon absolutely destroys it's siblings). None of my guitars are truly bad, but this doesn; t typically feel quite up to the PRS's Standard. But measuring up to that is a tall order for anything, and I think most people would find this more than satisfactory, so I give it an eight overall. // 8

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overall: 8.4
U.K.II Reviewed by: jrk_beast, on february 08, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Pyramid Guitars

Features: Ok, I'm reviewing the Ovation UKII. My dad gave it to me as my first guitar. Mine is very well playing, its an extended neck, black painted just great. Mine in particular happens to have speed knobs like a les paul instead of the Ovation knobs. But its a really great piece. It has a hard shell case, it has 2 "lipstick" pickups. It is all bronze hardware. The body is that of a Les Paul. It was suppose to be a Ovation trying to improve the less paul. I really like how I can switch the pickups, ther is a switch next to the pickups that if I put them back they sound like a Strat, And forward they sound like a paul. It was made in 1980. It has a black finish that looks great on stage. // 8

Sound: I play alot of metal, But I also play older things like Hendrix, AC/DC, And Cooper. For the older stuff this guitar is great. But for the metal it sounds like a bunch of feedback and stuff that you don't want. It can have a bright sound or a deeper sound depending if you have the pickups on the front or back. It can do most things that don't involve alot of grundge. I play mine through a 150 Watt Line 6 Spider. I use it through clean, and distortion the most. With palm muting its great. The sound is best for the year it was made. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I never played this factory set up, when I got it it was already set up. The pickups are adjusted very well. There are not very many flaws if any at all. One thing I don't like is the top strap holder does not hold the strap very well. But past that there is no other flaws. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar defintaly can take live playing. My dad has played it live for years and I have once or twice. The hardware has lasted 20 years and I defintaly think it can last 20 more. The starp top button is not the best but past that. I can definatly can depend on this instrument, no back up needed. And unless I'm changing the tuning I can leave the tuner at home. // 9

Overall Impression: This is a great piece overall, it does me good most of the time except when I get real grundgy. I would most likely replace it if I could find one, It is worth about $800, but my dad got it at a pawn shop for $300. Its a great piece and don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. // 9

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