Ovation Balladeer

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Ovation Balladeer

Post  Scottpro1969 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:38 am

This is very off topic but I thought I'd share a problem that I had with my Ovation Balladeer acoustic guitar, and the solution I came up with to fix it.

I received this guitar in a partial trade with a person that I've dealt with in the past. Nice guy, never a problem with him. I received this guitar and changed the strings right away with Elixir nanoweb light gauge strings, my string of choice. Well, 24 hrs later when I opened up the case, I found this:



As you can see, the cedar separated, thankfully it was a clean separation. The glue didn't give out, the cedar did. This was my first dealings with an acoustic guitar that had the strings loaded through the bridge like an electric. Every other acoustic I've owned had the pegs that you put the string into and pushed it down into place. I was at a complete loss. I called Ovation and told them. They wanted me to ship the guitar to them and they'd look at it. I got so frustrated that I put the guitar back in the case and it sat there for 6 months ( I loosened the truss rod so that the neck wouldn't warp since necks are supposed to be under tension).

After much research and reading others opinions on how to go about fixing this, I decided to do the fix myself and hope for the best. I ended up buying three large-mouth clamps, good old Elmer's Carpenter's glue and clamped it down.





24 hrs later I took the clamps off, trimmed away some of the excess glue, drilled a couple of holes and bolted down the bridge and I'm happy to report that she's as good as new. It's an amazing sounding acoustic. The methods that I used might not have been the most sound but I decided that I wanted to try it for myself, and it worked out even if the bolts on the bridge look tacky...I don't care, I fixed it myself. I'm sure others could have done a much better job but the end result is that the guitar sounds amazing and I'm proud of myself, and happy that it turned out great!!! Moral of the story here is, don't be afraid to do some repairs yourself if you have some skills and do some homework!

I haven't taken pictures of the end result yet but I gladly will if anyone is interested to see.

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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  Frank N. Peavey on Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:07 am

I'm glad to see you got that fixed Scott. Two thumbs up for jumping in and tackling it yourself. I most likely would have seen it beyond my abilities and paid somebody else way too much to fix it.
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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  Scottpro1969 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:06 am

Thanks Tony. Like I said, it took me 6 months to get up the nerve to do the fix. I really have to thank the folks over at the Ovation Fan Forum for all of the advice and encouragement. I'm going to post a pic of the results when I can find the dang usb cable for my digital camera Razz

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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  Frank N. Peavey on Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:14 am

I can do electronic and wiring work but stay away fromneck adjustments and something major like this. I have thought about adopting some basket case guitars to practice on.
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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  audiomitch on Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:04 pm

Looks like you did a more thorough job than Ovation or a luthier would have done. I repaired an Epiphone SG with glue and clamps. The neck had been completely broken off the body, and was in two pieces. I glued and clamped it, now it plays as good as new. A lot of the "mystery" surrounding this kind of work is just paying attention to detail.

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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  Frank N. Peavey on Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:57 pm

See that is part of my problem. I like instant results. It's hard for me to do a long term project 'cause I want it over so I can start playing with it.
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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  Scottpro1969 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:37 pm

Thanks guys. Here are a couple pictures of the finished product. There's still some glue that I couldn't scrape away. I thought I had it taped pretty tight but...oh well. The bolts do look a little tacky and I'm sure a luthier could have done this 100 times better but I guarantee my fix and theirs "sound" exactly the same, and I save god knows how much money. The biggest worry I had was positioning where I drilled for the bolts.....not to mention whether or not the thin bridge would crack!!! I had to make sure I didn't drill into an existing brace or into the pickup wire. Plus I get the experience of doing my own fix. This bridge ain't goin' nowhere!




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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  Frank N. Peavey on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:31 am

I think it looks fine Scott. I have purchased brand new guitars that have had a more noticeable glue flow than that. And the bolts/screws in the bridge don't look bad either. It gives it character and Derek Smalls (Spinal Tap bassist) would say it metals up your wood. Very Happy
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Re: Ovation Balladeer

Post  Scottpro1969 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:43 pm

Thanks Tony, I really am proud of it Razz


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