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|60% of the staff were terminated yesterday |
I feel for these guys many of whom I’ve known for years
One in particular has worked there 45 years his entire working career
I’m not going to publicly speculate but I’m sure some sort of announcement of change is forthcoming
|Oh wow, this is some sad and gloomy news. And there I thought it was going well with new and almost affordable US models coming out. I can only guess that the market response was not so overwhelming.|
|Really sorry to hear that.|
Location: Steeler Nation, Hudson Valley Contingent
I admit that I have been worried. That doesn't make it sting any less though. I hate it when the only truthful thing to be said is "We can only hope for the best...."
Edited by Patch 2018-04-13 11:07 AM
Uhm...they couldn't have employed that many to begin with....10? I read an article that a year and a half after they re-opened their doors, they only had 5 employees.
My guess...Overseas will continue to produce guitars. Hopefully, the MS will remain open for repairs, warranty and special orders...once you get to the "hope" stage, there is not much left.
Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
|Love O Fair|
Location: What week?
|The traditional American dream just keeps chip-chip-chipping away. I'm so glad I was born when I was.|
Location: New Britain, Ct
|Glad I picked up my 3 American made O's when I did, What a shame the guitar consumers let the best U.S.A. guitars go away.|
Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
|The largest production center may become the BFLG. :-)|
Location: Fort Worth, TX
|I've thought all along Ovations primarily only held a fascination with most of us old enough to remember their heyday when they first came out and were being played in concerts by our favorite rock stars, or in my case as well, by Glenn Campbell. I remember well my frantic search to learn what that roundback guitar was. I haven't seen much of a marketing effort to try and reestablish much awareness of them in way too many years. I was very hopeful, as I'm certain most here were, that the new owners would revitalize the brand. I guess they haven't seen enough ROI to keep trying? It's too bad. Ovations remain a very innovative guitar with a unique sound that graced many classic recordings.|
Location: Nashville TN.
|Sad I most likely know them|
Location: Midland, MI
|Haven't been around these parts in a looooooooooong time, but this is sad news, Al. Heritage just went through a similar exercise. If Bandlab ends up owning Ovation/Hamer, I think I'm just going to puke. |
I'll keep dinking away on my 1768-4 and Adamas II, reminisicing about the OFC gathering at the factory I was fortunate enough to attend (with two other Michiganders kind enough to haul me out there) way back when.
The times they are a-changin'...but -4 is still the best finish, you know.
|-1 ones sound better....or so I am told|
|Love O Fair|
Location: What week?
|Nothing new in this theory, but I think it's a generational thing simply because they are different... and being different in things like guitars and cars and fashion most often leads to an era-association-- "your dad's type of guitar". Very few young people want that image, no matter how good they sound or how well they're built, so therein and therefore began the decline in the mid 90's. If they were flat wood back like other guitars they would probably still be popular on the new and young market like other brands. I came to terms with this around 10 years ago when I saw a video an Ovation smashing party by a bunch of 20-somethings. They violently destroyed 5 of them on stage simple to make a point about Ovations being for old people. Turned my stomach. But it is what it is.|
|Old Man Arthur|
Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
|Since this conversation has drifted to the "nobody likes Ovations" syndrome... |
I always have to add that in 10+ years of playing Ovations on the street very few people have told me that "Ovations suck". And nobody whose opinion mattered. I have had a few guitarists tell me that they do not like the bowl, or that they do not like the sound (to much Mid-range), but that is not the same as saying that Ovations are crappy guitars. And those same guitarists still like to Play my Ovations.
There are lots of guitars that I "don't like" and wouldn't buy, that does not make them bad guitars.
Conversely, I have had waaaay more people compliment my Ovations.
People stand in awe of my Adamas.
I have 3 CArgo guitars that I play all winter in crappy weather. So, in the Winter and Spring you are more likely to see me with a CArgo out on my corner. People still call me the Ovation Guy.
People still compliment my Ovations, and that include 20-something kids, as well as older people who still wish that they had that Ovation that they owned in the 70's or 80's.
Don't blame the guitar for "business decisions".
BTW-- This **** started with F****r.
Or maybe Ovation just hit a point of saturation where there is not enough demand to support the cost to make the supply.
The secondary market provides a lot of access to comparable Ovations for less than 1/2 the cost of a new one. That has to be a mitigating factor working against DW's effort to re-establish the brand, combined with the Asain O's...which really look good...again for at least 1/2 the price.
Times change. That worked in Ovations favor for a long time.
Edited by jay 2018-04-15 6:56 PM
|Or maybe this goes to the broader discussion of Americans who want to bring jobs back home who haven't yet grappled with the expanded out-of-pocket cost that will require...?|
lets look at the shape of a traditional martin.....
how long have they been making that shape???????
so how is it that an Ovation is an old people's guitar when the traditionally shaped guitar has a much longer lineage?
the problem lies in the product manager who took it over with DW and went for a market that was no an emerging one but one that was just stagnant.
the focus was not on great sounding instruments or unique qualities but on trying to become like all the other brands.
when we see import Adamas guitars.....game totally over.
|Love O Fair|
Location: What week?
|@Alpep - >>>so how is it that an Ovation is an old people's guitar when the traditionally shaped guitar has a much longer lineage? <<< |
I would think it's because Ovations DON'T have a long history. "Old people" is a relative meaning. Many among younger consumer ranks consider them a.. for lack of a better term.. "fad" of the 60d-80s.. and that image never went away for them.. at all. Ovations came and went in their minds. And now, since they're in their 30s+40s, and represent a sizable portion of the buyer's market, I think they influence a margin that has significant impact on bottom line at New Hartford. It's certainly not the only reason.. but it's definitely a contributing element.
You (Al) didn't specify in the original post if the 60% was system-wide, but since you mentioned that you know them I assume it was limited to New Hartford. If that is indeed the case, I think that Ovation, as a brand, is probably on pretty safe ground. Youngsters of today are clearly coming back to Ovation. Online videos are full of them. They, neither, want their dad's guitar.. but certainly aren't ready yet to purchase the expensive ones. I'd suspect that Ovation's Asian producers are probably looking forward to hiring people, not laying them off. Since the Fender debacle ended, the Asian quality has gone up substantially.
And it's not like "people" don't like Ovations. In a general sense they do, and the broad range warm sentiment will always be there. A total Coke-Pepsi balance as always. My reasoning on the layoff is about current market demand vs. American wage math vs. model types produced.
Edited by Love O Fair 2018-04-15 9:54 PM
I guess I am in the minority, but probably the biggest reason why I became a lifelong Ovation enthusiast was from playing "my dad's guitar" when I was young.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA
|Hey, Everyone, |
Does this mean that the OVATION brand is done like dinner, as in Larson Bros., Ditson, Stromberg guitars, or cars such as Rambler, Studebaker, Hummer, etc., etc? I can't seem to find the Ovation.com website now, but we did have a real freaky ice storm here today, so maybe the technology/ power is also wonky in the YOOESSOVEH?
Edited by Mike S. 2018-04-15 11:33 PM
Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
|To piggyback on what Alpep posted, I just don't think NOW is the time to sell high-end Acoustic guitars to the masses. I'm probably gonna get some flack for this, but there are two elements that are at the core of a USA made Ovation that while desired by many, are NOT desired by most. Oh sure, if you play at home for yourself, or groups of friends, then yes, the sound is really important. However, it's 2018. If you are LIKE MOST guitar players, you are playing to sound and look good on a YouTube video, or you are actually playing live in anything from a coffee house to a stadium. But the MAJORITY of guitar players TODAY are playing to SOUND and to LOOK good on Video. With technology, even the most basic technology the way it is... You don't need a $3000 guitar for that. In fact, as long as the damn thing stays in tune and LOOKS COOL, that's all you need. |
Now the other part of the coin (excuse the pun). Where a guitar is made is of little interest to MOST guitar players. Yes, MANY guitar players prefer a guitar made in the USA, but MOST could care less. There are FINE guitars being made all over the globe, especially in the electric world.
Now I'm going to contradict all of that. A currently BOOMING industry is that of Boutique acoustic guitars. We're talking $10,000 and up in price, from private luthiers. The Acoustic Guitar Festival here in Washington is amazing. It nearly doubled in size in as many years, they essentially take over a small town, and I'm guessing they are going to have to expand to multiple venues in the next couple of years. Most of these guitars that you don't ask the price because if that is a concern, they are not for you. They are amazing, and they sell. But you won't see Taylor, or Martin or Ovation or Gibson or even Collings at this event.
Finally, let us talk Connecticut for a moment. DW got a lot of really good free press to re-open the factory. It was great PR, not for reopening the Factory as such, but for doing that in Connecticut. There has been a mass exodus from the Nutmeg state for many years. It is NOT an industry-friendly state anymore. Honestly, that in itself could be reason enough to ramp back the facility and staff. It might just not be sustainable to have a facility in Connecticut. Many MANY MANY have left. Thriving companies moved to remain thriving, and starving companies moved and are now thriving. Either way... it was a plain shock to see a company move TO Connecticut. In the long run, the layoffs and whatever happens next, the more I think about it... may have little or NOTHING to do with guitars.
|Love O Fair|
Location: What week?
|@Mr. Ovation - >>>It might just not be sustainable to have a facility in Connecticut.<<< |
Interesting statistic. Perhaps hello Oxnard? Build all USA DW products under the same California roof now that their Connecticut PR value has run its course? Much less facility cost. Complete speculation, of course. I guess that one would have to be a fly on the wall in the head office to be privy to the next step(s) involving USA-made guitar stock.. be it forward or backward.
Mr. Ovation - 2018-04-16 10:43 AM
A currently BOOMING industry is that of Boutique acoustic guitars. We're talking $10,000 and up in price, from private luthiers.
That is the problem, there is only a market for cheaper or very expensive products, because there are more poor and more rich people. We are loosing what were calling middle class.
Business economists are the new plague of mankind.
Mike S. - I can't seem to find the Ovation.com website now
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