Founder Charles Kaman (1919–2011) developed the first Ovation guitar in 1965–1966. Kaman, an amateur guitarist from an early age, worked on helicopter design as an aerodynamic engineer at United. Eventually he founded a helicopter design company – Kaman Aircraft in 1945.
In the 1960s the Kaman Corporation diversified into new markets such as entertainment and leisure. From 1966 to 2007 Ovation guitars, and later on Adamas guitars, were a brand of KMC Musicorp, which itself was a subsidiary of Kaman Aircraft.
Ovation guitars replaced the instrument’s conventional back and sides with composite synthetic bowls. Kaman felt there were structural weaknesses in the orthogonal joining of the sides and that a composite material could provide a smooth body. Ovation claimed the parabolic bowls dramatically reduced feedback allowing greater amplification.
Ovation developed a thin neck striving for the feel of an electric guitar’s neck but with additional strength from layers of mahogany and maple reinforced by a steel rod in an aluminium channel. The composite materials and thin necks reduced weight.
Ovation guitars’ synthetic bowl-shaped back and early use (1971) of pre-amplifiers onboard equalisation and piezo pickups were particularly attractive to live acoustic musicians who constantly battled feedback problems from the high volumes needed in live venues.
Ovations have been prominently played by some of the best — notably John McLaughlin, Glenn Campbell, and Al DiMeola, and many others. It testifies to their fundamental build quality, big tone and especially their playability.
This one is loud acoustically, plays well, and sounds great through an amp. It has the early, better-sounding, all-discrete FET preamp and six under-saddle piezos, one for each string. The preamp uses a fixed EQ curve that is just right, using well-placed passive notch filters at 500 and 800Hz. After all these years, we think it is still one of the best sounding under-saddle systems, and has great string-to-string balance and excellent feedback resistance.
This Ovation 1616 nylon string guitar is in very good condition overall. There are two cracks in the lacquer on top, almost impossible to photograph. They are in the lacquer only, and not into the wood. The back is unmarked, as are both sides of the neck. Original tuners are strong, fingerboard clean and unpitted. Neck is straight and there’s no bellying or raising at the bridge. Frets are unmarked – the beauty of nylon strings!
It has a very nice, shallow-C neck profile that is comfortable to play in all positions. Ebony fingerboard is 1 15/16″ at the nut and 25″ scale length.
These original era Ovations are known for their build quality & attention to detail, easy playability, big acoustic projection and excellent pickup systems. This is a fine example of a well built USA guitar in sound condition with lots of years left in her.
Comes in its original Ovation form fitted moulded case in good condition.