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In the early ‘60s, amateur guitarist and aeronautical engineer Charles Kaman had the idea that the potential acoustic properties of new, space-age synthetic materials, combined with the rounded back of the lute, could improve the sonic characteristics of the modern acoustic guitar. And the rest, as they say, is history. Ovation Guitars was born.
Chuck Kaman, the founder of Ovation guitars, also invested a lot of time and energy in developing a new, thinner neck for his modern acoustic guitars. Layering mahogany and maple and reinforcing the neck with a steel truss rod within an aluminum channel resulted in a thin, strong and lighter neck.
A New Sound Achieved
Experimentation with soundboards also led to the trademark sound of Ovations acoustics. Lamination’s of Sitka spruce, birch and carbon fiber resulted in greater volume and less feedback. Together with the trademarked Lyrachord glass-filament-and-resin material for the bowl-shaped back, Ovation began producing guitars that enchanted many with their marvelous tone. In an effort to attract budget-minded buyers, the inexpensive Celebrity series were produced in Korea, and the Applause models were made in China.
The First Signature Model Series
Two early endorsers of this modern acoustic guitar were Glen Campbell and blues man Josh White, for whom Ovation produced the first ever signature guitar model for an African-American. On-board piezo pickups, preamps and equalization were introduced to the Ovation line-up in the early ‘70s and quickly adopted by the likes of Robert Fripp and Alex Lifeson.
The list of professional guitarists who play Ovation acoustics is huge, including everyone from Jimmy Page to Al Di Meola and Paul Simon to Eddie Van Halen.
Listen to Al Di Meola playing Innamorata beautifully on an Ovation