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ovation bowl materials

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musicamex
Posted 2002-03-14 7:25 AM (#198783)
Subject: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 873

Location: puerto vallarta, mexico
i notice allot of difference between the materials used for and the appearance of the ovation bowls. my old workhorse balladeer made in 76 looks like a grp layup, and the 82 collectors edition and many others are shiny inside more resembling a vac moulded plastic. can anyone shed light on the evolution of bowl composition and the reasons for changing, ie economic, structural or better sound. and are there opinions on which are the best.

russ
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musicamex
Posted 2002-03-14 10:03 AM (#198784 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 873

Location: puerto vallarta, mexico
it occurred to me that yesterday, my first day as a member, i referred to ovations as tupperware because they hold up so well im my climate. you know, right from the fridge to the microwave and you cant kill em. i used it in an affectionate way like i used to call my harley a hog, my international pickups cornbinders and my wife sweet pea. i have heard ovations referred to as tupperware, in a positive manner, to distinguish them from traditional wood guitars and perhaps that tupperware also was a revolutionary thing in its own way. they took food storage to an elevated level of quality and are still the name associated with quality that lasts. i hope the term isn't offensive as it wasn't meant to be. i know there is allot of engineering and r&d behind the ovation bowl. i wouldn't be such an avid fan and player if i didn't love em.

and i promise to never refer to them as plastic, as that carries a different conotation. actually, now that i' living on the coast in the tropics, plastic be cool mon.
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Mr. Ovation
Posted 2002-03-14 10:22 AM (#198785 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 7039

Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
Which reminds me... of yet another "incident" with my poor Matrix that actually happened TWICE... once in Pensacola Florida and once at Bellows Falls in Hawaii. I'll just skip to the short story...

THEY FLOAT!!!!!

Let's just leave it at that.

I know I'm going to guitar-hell for this...
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musicamex
Posted 2002-03-14 1:07 PM (#198786 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 873

Location: puerto vallarta, mexico
sorry miles,

guitar hell filled up to capacity in the late 60's. but i understand they are retrying the cases and might give em harp lessons and a pardon.

i lived on a sailboat for about 5 years and the wood axes hated the marine climate. had to tune them every time the boat rocked. you could probably slalom ski to a gig on an ovation and it would still be in tune when you hit the beach! how something can be rugged and sound so good is an engineering marvel. maybe someday i might find a deal on a player's adamas that i could take scuba diving with me. lol. russ
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Beal
Posted 2002-03-14 4:39 PM (#198787 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials



Joined:
January 2002
Posts: 13942

Location: 6 String Ranch
In the beginning.......

There were two layers of fiberglass cloth that had a perscribed amount of resign poured on it in a heated press

And it was called lyrachord

And in 1974 there was the coming of the applause. And its bowl was made in a compression heated mould from a mixture of polyester resign and chopped glass fibres

And it was called SMC

but the New hartford Ovations stayed with the cloth

In 1982 there was an experiment of making guitars in North Carolina and all the bowls were made there from the SMC

And in 1985 the experiment ended and all the bowls went to Astabula Ohio. Reifnements were made in the material

And it was called HMC

And that's where it is today

Now as a further note the cloth bowls were about 35%glass when all was said and done. The SMC(sheet molding compound)is a layer of resign that looks like taffy and had 1" chopped fibers inbedded in it. Those bowls are also about 35% glass. The HMC is made with fibers 1.5" long and are also the same percentage. We found that the longer fibers sounded better, more like the cloth bowls that were a PITA to make. Material costs werren't a real factor but mfg and scrap rates were. HMC was better on both.
There was a phase over from cloth the SMC/HMC. The Adamas 2 were all SMC from the beginning. the Adamas 1 was the last to switch from cloth.

All things being equal the cloth probably sounds better. But things are never equal are they? The finish, top thickness, grain, brace patterns, neck material, how it's joined to the bowl, type of rosette, bridge material all affect the sound.
So Sam I've heard cloth bowls that were last in the bow-wow 500 and HMCs that were in the top 10.

There you have it.
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Beal
Posted 2002-03-14 6:28 PM (#198788 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials



Joined:
January 2002
Posts: 13942

Location: 6 String Ranch
The next step to be taken is to have the HMC made with micro-baloons in it. This has been available for several years and will reduce the weight of the bowl about 30%. Why was it not done?
Because of the aluminum K-bar in the neck. The cloth bowls, tension rod neck guitars were about 2 pounds lighter than the current guitars. Switching to the lighter bowl will make the guitar neck heavy so until a new grafite K-bar or some other system gets developed you've got the heavy bowls.

The Q solves all these problems by the way, grafite bowl top and neck and sounds killer and weighs 4 pounds. So come on guys at the Big O, get the finger out and bring a better guitar to market. Oh and while you're at it, offer it in a straight acoustic version or electric with the bridge pickup only, ie outboard preamp. Those things add alot of weight too. Lighter is better.
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musicamex
Posted 2002-03-14 6:56 PM (#198789 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 873

Location: puerto vallarta, mexico
bill,

once again, an answer i could put steak sauce on---all meat! sounds allot like boatwork and ive done a bit of that. the glass reinforced nylon fittings they have for boats these days are chopped glass cast into nylon and are reducing weight, cost and maintenence.

the newer methods for chopped glass bowls certainly would give a much more consistant product at better cost.

i'm ready to try one of those 4 lb ovations too!

i guess when i get to the states in may i am going to get the book you mentioned on the history of ovation so you don't have to write it bit by bit answering al of my questions. i have plenty, and each answer seeds a few more.

thanks russ
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E.Sherman
Posted 2004-12-25 4:51 AM (#198790 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
October 2004
Posts: 180

Location: Chicagoland
4 Pounds? Thats gotta be weird.

I tend to like my Ovations when I can feel teh weight a bit, but then I am young.
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Beal
Posted 2004-12-25 7:50 AM (#198791 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials



Joined:
January 2002
Posts: 13942

Location: 6 String Ranch
4 pounds is wonderful. You'll appreciate it as you get older but I do understand your comment about wanting some heft to the instrument.
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Bailey
Posted 2004-12-26 2:16 AM (#198792 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
Great post

Thanks for bringing it back, cwk2 has to be a national treasure for his knowledge of Ovations. I think Al and Miles should go down to Florida and put him in protective custody so he don't hurt himself with fast cars.

Bailey ;)
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sixfingers
Posted 2004-12-29 11:31 AM (#198793 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
November 2004
Posts: 100

Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Damn I love this tech talk! I was wondering about the new LX models...it seems to be several pounds lighter than my friend Balladeer. Which I am really enjoying. I think I read that the bowl is different on the LX's? Also did I read somewhere that the LX series had ebony strips in the neck somewhere and an aluminum truss rod?
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MWoody
Posted 2004-12-29 12:01 PM (#198794 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials



Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 13906

Location: Upper Left USA
"HMC made with micro-baloons in it" equals the GLS bowls of the LXs I believe. The Advance neck System (ANS - now what do you call the next one?) is a dualaction truss with I think, an aluminum outer.

Sounds like a Technical explosion over the last 5-7 years with the results making it to market about now.

Cool!
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2004-12-29 2:58 PM (#198795 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15297

Location: SoCal
There are no ebony strips in the neck. I believe that there are two strips of graphite that run thru the neck where the neck joins the body at the 14th fret. This gives this area strength.
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Beal
Posted 2004-12-29 3:02 PM (#198796 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials



Joined:
January 2002
Posts: 13942

Location: 6 String Ranch
They run from about the 9th fret to the 18th.
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MWoody
Posted 2004-12-29 3:03 PM (#198797 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials



Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 13906

Location: Upper Left USA
Take a look in the LX Tour on the Ovation site.

There are some Adamas necks with the ebony sandwiched in there - looks great. Like Paul says there are carbon stiffeners built into the neck internals.

Rumors of Mithril inlays and Pheonix feathers put into the Adamas Slotheads are most likely not true
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Bailey
Posted 2004-12-30 2:49 AM (#198798 - in reply to #198783)
Subject: Re: ovation bowl materials


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
AHAH

I knew it!!! MWoody has spilled the magic beans. (circa Jack and the Beanstalk). Elven and ancient Indian technology combined in one guitar. That denial just confirms it, strings made by Dwarves in the depth of the ancient mountains, and a pick from Mordor to play heaviest of metal as played by the Nine Ringwraiths of Doom, a metal band with no equal who would gallop on to the stage on terrifying steeds and bite the heads off of Hobbits as part of their act.

Bailey
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