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Is this an 80's Elite?

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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-23 11:09 AM (#537831)
Subject: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
The story behind this is was brought to Brazil in the 80's by an American musician. There are no labels I could find although there were two silica desiccant packages with English text inside. The pre-amp does not work although I removed it and could find nothing obvious like loose or broken wires. The epaulets are not flush mounted like later models.
The saddle as shown has been modified by cutting the string slots deeper to lower the action. While the string height is good the tone and tuning are not. With most other Ovations I have the tuning of an open string and at the 12th fret are nearly identical. That is not the case with this one. Using a capo at fret makes the string go sharp quite a lot. More than is usual on other guitars of different brands I have owned.
Does anyone have any idea what year or model this may be? Any suggestions at all? If this is truly an 80s model I would like to restore it to a playable condition.
Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Edited by James Smith 2017-10-23 11:17 AM




(Ovation Elite Old1.jpg)



(Ovation Elite Old2.jpg)



(Ovation Elite Old3.jpg)



(Ovation Elite Old4.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Ovation Elite Old1.jpg (33KB - 2 downloads)
Attachments Ovation Elite Old2.jpg (63KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Ovation Elite Old3.jpg (33KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Ovation Elite Old4.jpg (51KB - 1 downloads)
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2017-10-23 1:29 PM (#537833 - in reply to #537831)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12534

Location: Boise, Idaho
The low end of the fretboard, the preamp and the saddle don't look like Elites. The headstock logo also looks funny, but I couldn't get a close look.
Someone really butchered the saddle. Have you checked to see if there are still shims under there?
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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-10-23 1:36 PM (#537834 - in reply to #537831)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
September 2006
Posts: 9987

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
Wow! That is a good copy.
But that is NOT an Ovation.
What is the name on the Headstock?
The preamp is wrong, the epaulets are wrong, the fret markers are wrong, and the texture on the bowl is wrong, the neck heel is wrong for an Ovation or a Celebrity.
It is just wrong.
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jay
Posted 2017-10-23 1:38 PM (#537835 - in reply to #537834)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1118

Location: Texas

You can get a replacement on the pre-amp...not from Ovation, but from HERE

Shipping is probably more than the preamp.

 

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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-23 3:01 PM (#537836 - in reply to #537833)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
The head stock, now that I checked, is convex. On my other two Ovations, it is concave. But that might have been a style change as this is is reported as being from the 80s or older. I sent photos to the Ovation help desk and they didn't mention any of those being abnormalities, but I am not sure that is significant. They did say they would not have another pre-amp from that time, though.

Yes, the saddle is butchered for sure. There are no shims under it so I am going to try to have it replaced. As I mentioned, the epaulets are not flush with the top but are on top of it. I think this is how most older models were done before the laser-cut openings were available.

The strings seem to be light-weight electric guitar strings as the G string is not wound. That could be something the non-musician, by his admission, did or had done. It also came with a tail stock which I removed as it is certainly not original (again per the help desk). I am going to take it to a local luthier and ask if he can do anything about the pre-amp. The volume is very good for a shallow body as this seems to me.

If this is as old as claimed, it could be something unusual. I did notice that it seems shorter than the other models I have. neither of them would fit into the gig bag that came with it.
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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-23 3:06 PM (#537837 - in reply to #537835)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
Thanks to you, I discovered the problem with the pre-amp. The replacement shows a black cable leasing from the end of the pre-amp that is missing on mine. I don't hear anything rattling around on the inside, so will remove it again and take a closer look. 'whether I can access much through the pre-amp hole might be another problem. But I can take it to the pro and allow him to worry about it.

Thanks for your input.
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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-23 3:18 PM (#537838 - in reply to #537834)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
Hmm. If is it so old as claimed, we might be looking at some factory changes. When I sent pictures to the factory help desk, they did not mention a copy which would have been an easy out for them. But maybe they were only being kind.

The name on the headstock is Ovation although it is in black instead of the gold or silver of my other Ovations.

The fret markers are similar but a little more ornate than on the Elite. The Celebrity has no markers on the fretboard at all.

The neck heel does seem to match my Elite 2778AX and Celebrity CC24. That would be an easy thing to copy, though. The bowl texture is more course than the others but that also might be a factory change. I am going to bring these issues up with the help desk and get their opinion.

Thanks for your input. It has been very helpful.
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jay
Posted 2017-10-23 4:23 PM (#537840 - in reply to #537837)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1118

Location: Texas

Good gosh...for less than a movie ticket, you can have an exact new replacement. Leave out the middleman and plug and play. Of course, my dad always said, you get what you pay for.  

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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-23 4:36 PM (#537841 - in reply to #537837)
Subject: Update


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
I thought I discovered the problem with the pre-amp. The replacement shows a black cable leading from the end of the pre-amp that seemed to be missing on mine. I don't hear anything rattling around on the inside, so I removed it again and take a closer look. I found that, on my example, it leads from the back and everything seemed to be connected OK. The light I used also revealed that the springs in the battery case were in fact corroded. Now I need something small enough to reach into the case and that will abrade them enough to restore contact. I hope I can find a pencil with an eraser on the end. They have worked fine in the distant past.

Thanks again for your help.


Edited by James Smith 2017-10-23 4:48 PM
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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-23 4:44 PM (#537842 - in reply to #537840)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
The cost of the replacement is trivial. The shipping to Brazil will take a month and cost way more than the part.

I thought I discovered the problem with the pre-amp. The replacement shows a black cable leading from the end of the pre-amp that seemed to be missing on mine. I don't hear anything rattling around on the inside, so I removed it again and take a closer look. I found that, on my example, it leads from the back and everything seemed to be connected OK. The light also revealed that the springs in the battery case were in fact corroded. Now I need something small enough to read into the case that will abrade them enough to restore contact. I hope I can find a pencil with an eraser on the end. They have worked fine in the distant past.

Edited by James Smith 2017-10-23 4:47 PM
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2017-10-23 5:41 PM (#537843 - in reply to #537831)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12534

Location: Boise, Idaho
As OMA said, it's not an Ovation. I also noticed the fretmarkers, bowl and epaulets looked fake, but I wasn't as confident as OMA is. To pick up on your tag line about freedom, you might listen to what you don't want to hear. The best explanation for why all those parts don't match Ovations is that it's a fake. My best explanation is that someone made a poor copy and someone tried to explain the issues by making up a story.
Look in the soundhole and see if the grain of inside of the top matches the grain on the outside. If not, it's a plywood top, which probably means its a Celebrity or Applause at best, but the preamp still doesn't match. A plywood top on a shallow bowl with a preamp that doesn't work won't sound like much even if you fix the saddle and can get the string height down to a reasonable level.
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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-10-23 8:30 PM (#537845 - in reply to #537831)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
September 2006
Posts: 9987

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
One more time...
That is not an Ovation.
It is also not an Applause, Celebrity, Ultra, Pinnacle, Ocean Acoustics, Academy, Montana, or any other Kaman product.
Nothing about that guitar was made by Ovation.
It might be a Ktone, Windaroo, Maestro, or some other "Clone" manufacturer.
I hope that you did not pay very much for it.
If it does not play correctly, just return it.

If it does say "Ovation" on the Headstock, that still doesn't make it an Ovation.
HERE is why.

Here is a USA Made Elite made for Japan.



Here is a Celebrity CS257


Here is your guitar



Edited by Old Man Arthur 2017-10-23 8:56 PM
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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-24 5:39 AM (#537846 - in reply to #537843)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
I do listen to things I may not want to hear. I also prefer to see more proof than opinions. I have sent the same pictures to the Ovation help desk and they never mentioned copy although they did not have an opinion on the exact model or year. Nor did they say the pre-amp was wrong.

I am becoming more convinced it is a copy because of the "grain" of the bowl, the convex tip of the head stock, and total lack of any sign of a label. Granted on a an instrument this old, a label might have fallen off. Usually, there will be a sign of it by glue marks or even shreds of a label on the inside. The Ovation name/logo on the head stock looks original although I have never personally seen one done in black. I looked at as many pictures of different models as I could find and didn't see that. Nor could I find one with a convex top to the head stock.

The string height is currently fine as is the tone. The saddle is a disaster but that can be changed and the string height adjusted by sanding off the bottom of a new saddle, I have done this on various guitars with good results. I am currently doing it on an Epiphone with each string change. I take off very little each time as it is easy to sand some off but impossible to put it back on. I prefer this to shims as they can alter the tone and the Epi tone is great.

Again, thanks to all who replied. I will probably make this as good as I can then sell it. Luckily, I negotiated a good price so I can't lose much if any when it goes to market.

Edited by James Smith 2017-10-24 5:46 AM
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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-24 6:30 AM (#537847 - in reply to #537845)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
BTW, all my other Ovation logos are also decals, so that really proves nothing. The color, though does point to fake. I have yet to see an Ovation with a black logo. That also doesn't mean much because I have certainly not seen all models and years.

Thanks for the input, though.
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jay
Posted 2017-10-24 7:40 AM (#537848 - in reply to #537831)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1118

Location: Texas
To my knowledge, USA Ovations never put an under the saddle piezo on their guitars. And James, that certainly is not a pre-amp that I have seen on any other Ovation. Really the sum of the parts indicates a poser. From a distance, it screams Ovation, but upon examination, in almost every area, it is tough to find commonality. Hey, if it plays well and sounds good...what else could you ask for?

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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-24 12:13 PM (#537854 - in reply to #537848)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
Resale value.
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jay
Posted 2017-10-24 1:13 PM (#537857 - in reply to #537854)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1118

Location: Texas

Touche!

 

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James Smith
Posted 2017-10-25 7:14 AM (#537872 - in reply to #537847)
Subject: Speaking of logos...


Joined:
September 2017
Posts: 31

Location: João Pessoa, Brazil
Has anyone ever seen one like this? Obviously, I am a novice with Ovations.



(Ovation-celebrity Logo.jpg)



(Ovation-celebrity Label.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments Ovation-celebrity Logo.jpg (24KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Ovation-celebrity Label.jpg (60KB - 0 downloads)
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jay
Posted 2017-10-25 8:21 AM (#537873 - in reply to #537872)
Subject: RE: Speaking of logos...



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1118

Location: Texas

Celebrity  standard plus I think ? A fairly popular model that came in a lot of tops, some  pretty exotic.  Not sure about

the decal...maybe Fender era? 



Edited by jay 2017-10-25 8:24 AM
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marenostrum
Posted 2017-10-25 12:13 PM (#537878 - in reply to #537831)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
August 2007
Posts: 978

Location: Tuscany, Italy
Fender product
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-10-25 3:52 PM (#537884 - in reply to #537831)
Subject: Re: Is this an 80's Elite?



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 476

Location: Spin axis of a California map
James.. you can sue me if I'm wrong.. but pretty much anything (if not everything) with the logo in lower case "ovation" and the little lines over and under the "o" and "v" are products from the dank and dreary days of Ovation's corporate ownership by Fender. Yeah, they're officially Ovations.. but that's also kind of like saying that a chuck steak and a t-bone are both officially beef when comparing Fender-era Ovations with anything that came before or after them. And further, to quote Beal's words from another thread a couple of months ago.. "If it smells of Fender, it must go."

Edited by Love O Fair 2017-10-25 4:02 PM
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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-10-25 4:17 PM (#537885 - in reply to #537872)
Subject: RE: Speaking of logos...



Joined:
September 2006
Posts: 9987

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
James Smith - 2017-10-25 5:14 AM

Has anyone ever seen one like this? Obviously, I am a novice with Ovations.

That is a mid-depth Celebrity made in China in 2013.
If the color matches the code, it would be Nutmeg Burl. Probably very pretty.
Since it is a Celebrity, quality control may have been less than perfect.
If the string height and action are good, it might be a nice guitar.
The first fret doesn't show a lot of wear.
You would want the Saddle to be kind of High, meaning the it still has "shims" under the saddle.
If it plays well and the price is nice, I would buy it.
But it is not a USA-made Ovation. But it still could be a nice guitar.
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