The Ovation Electric Guitar Is An Acoustical Innovation
The Ovation electric guitar has been an acoustical innovation from the start. Now manufactured by the Ovation Guitar Company, they were the brainchild of Charles Kaman. Kaman was an amateur guitarist and engineer. He attended the Catholic University of America, located in Washington. There, he studied aeronautical engineering. After leaving university, he became an engineer for United, where he worked on helicopter design. In 1945, he started his own company called Kaman Aircraft.
At the start of the 1960s, Kaman Aircraft ran into financial problems because their line of commercial helicopters was failing. The company decided to branch off into the entertainment market when Charles Kaman got an interest in making guitars.
Kaman’s guitars were designed with a rounded bowl back that he hoped would enhance the flow of sound. The sides and back of the guitar were constructed of composite, while holding onto wood for the soundboard. This construction is the distinguishing feature of the Ovation electric guitar, right up to present times.
Ovation introduced a production made electric guitar featuring a solid body in 1977. They called it the Ovation Breadwinner. It really never caught on and production of the Breadwinner and the Deacon, another solid bodied electric guitar stopped in 1980.
Ovation strove to find a market for their solid bodied guitars up to the middle 1980s. Only a couple of thousand of these guitars were made in each model. Because of the low production, they are collector’s items.
Ovation’s electric acoustic guitars were most popular in the 1980s when acoustic performers who were having problems with feedback because of the high sound volumes at live shows used the Ovation electric guitar. Many renowned performers favored Ovation’s on board equalizers, preamps, and piezo pickups.
In fact, the Ovation electric guitar has been used by John Lennon, Jim Croce, Glenn Campbell, Shania Twain, Melissa Etheridge, Cyndi Lauper, Richie Sambora, Ziggy Marley, Vince Neil, David Gilmour, Nikki Sixx, Roger Waters, Kevin Cronin, Nancy Wilson, Brian May, and lots more.
The hybrid VXT was introduced in 2007. It has the looks of a classic electric guitar and comes in black, sunburst, cherry trans, cinnamon burst, and flame finishes.
These are solid bodied guitars and are also available in a low-end model featuring titanium silver or black finishes. The less expensive model, called the Standard VXT, costs around $2100. It comes with a poplar wood body, maple neck, Seymour Duncan pickups, and microphone imagining acoustic output.
The Ovation Guitar Company has seen a lot of innovation and a lot of change. While not as visible on the touring circuit as it once was, it still remains a favorite of studio musicians. The guitar has not been without controversy, as several celebrities and expert players seem unable to adapt to what they consider the awkwardness of its round back body styling. Still, this very style is what others find most attractive about the guitars.
The guitar’s shape is certainly the most prominent feature of the instrument. Almost any music enthusiast, guitar player or not, recognizes the signature roundness of the Ovation electric guitar.