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Hello everybody.

      I love this forum and I love the whole Acoustic Guitar website.   I want you guys to share your experience and give me advice about strings for an Ovation Celebrity, or maybe Ovation Balladeer.

I am weeks away, or maybe days away from getting a new or used Ovation, I can afford a Celebrity but would like a  balladeer.   I used to have an  Applause guitar with the shallow bowl,  I was not happy with the tinny, jangly sound.    I really want rich , deep sound.  I will buy very soon, and I will go with the mid-size bowl.  I really like Ernie Ball  Earthwood strings,  can this forum help me choose the deeper sounding strings ?     I   need to understand which direction makes a difference, will medium strings 13-to-54  sound deeper than the lighter  10 - 52 strings ?   I am getting a Pignose Hog 20 amp too.  I liike what I've read about that little practice amp, plus the price is right.

I thank you in advance for all answers.

Tags: Ball, Ernie, Ovation, balladeer, celebrity, deeper, sound

Views: 8605

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Eddie - just some thoughts on "deeper sounds"...first, strings can make a difference and, usually, mediums will tend to give you a thicker, more full tone than lights will. The mid-depth bowl will also give you a little fuller sound than a shallow bowl with the full deep bowl (or the new contour bowl) probably giving you the fullest tone. And, if you're looking for a new or used Ovation, make sure you stop by the Ovation Fan Club ( There are always good deals and you might be able to get something nice over there. It's a good time to be a buyer, that's for sure. And you can get all kinds of advice on strings and everything else as well. Good luck!
Weaser, thanks alot. I knew I would get help here ! I'm gonna browse that fan club right now.
Hey,I like Ovation Guitars very well also.The tinny sound you refer to might be the Applause lamanate top instead of solid wood.I have a 12 string ovation with lamanate top and it is very tinny.Hope this helps.
Thanks Jeff. I had already sent an email to the Ovation website, asking to explain to me about the Celebrity CC24S. I wanted to learn what the letters meant. The guy answered that the S stands for "solid top" so the CC24S has a solid Spruce top. He also told me that the CC24S has a mid-depth bowl, for that deeper sound. So I am almost ready right now to buy the sunburst Celebrity CC24S at I am also getting the Pignose Hog 20 amp, because I've read that it has a thick ,gritty setting. I am almost decided with the following:
Celebrity CC24S + Ernie Ball Earthwood mediums + Hog 20 = I got my great guitar and deep sound !

Hey That is good info.Thanks. I will take note of that on next purchase.


Hey Eddie...from one Eddie to another...the deeper the bowl and the older the top, the more bottom or bass you will get. I have a 1978 Ovation Balladeer and I use Martin bronzewound strings and get a good bottom out of it, but it has a solid top and is quite old (32 years old!). Weaser has really great advice for you...please check out the used "stuff" first and consider the full depth bowl, you own't be sorry! Edward

Here is a picture of me with my Ovation a long time ago...that's my daughter in my lap helping me with the chords and she is now 29!

Also, here is another discussion about strings for an Ovation...
Eddie (or Ed) , I appreciate the advice. I think I'm set with buying something new rather than a used guit with unknown condition. You know how much people can lie about the condition of used things on the net. And you can't "try before you buy" , but with something new, at least you know beforehand that the condition will be mint.

Hey, I have a similar pic but with my son. We must be from the same decade, I also have a daughter, she is 31.

BTW , I'm just curious, tell me if you can the differences between the Celebrity model and your Balladeer ?
Hi Eddie,

I have been playing Ovations for a long time, deep bowls, mid bowls, shallow backs, and even a nylon Country Gentleman.
You are simply not going to get the "boomy" sound of a Martin or similar wood box because the body of the guitar is not wood and does not add that resonance to the soundboard character. You get what the soundboard wood gives you--spruce, or cedar, or the carbon tops.
If you want a sound with a bit more body, then Martin Bluegrass strings can give you more "boom" and you can tweak it with the electronics.
I have always found Ovation the best stage guitar and shallow back Legends have been my choice for decades. I use Martin Darco cheapies and change them every gig. I also have a "notch" filter in my later Legend electronics because the "boomier" the sound, the more you are going to get the feedback howl.
Ovation knows how to make performance instruments--even down to something as simple as strap button placement so you can see your frets.
I also find my old Crate CA-60 still the best amp for my Ovation--I prefer the sound over Marshall, Fishman, Fender, Blonde, Kustom, Roland, etc.
The relationship between the guitar, preamp, and amp has a lot to do with your sound.
Strings I don't like on the Ovation are Ernie Ball slinky (too muddy) D'Addario (too mid-rangy--Ovations are mid rangy anyway).
I also find 12's work best, 11's become too tinny, 13's too harsh and not good for the soundboard and bridge in the long run.
Anyhow, I would save up for a Legend or Elite--will last a life time. I still have my first Legend and it plays as good or better than the day I bought it.
You can get a little Martin for less than 700US and even in the OM configuration gets some boom with D'Addario strings.
If you want a really good wood sound, check out Zager Guitars on the web--best playing and sounding all around wood box you can find. I play mine every single day--the setup is phenomenal.
Wow, JB,

I really appreciate the wonderful advice ! I'll tell you whats happened since I posted last. I found the Ovation CC24S at ebay for $100 less. Because it is a factory refurb. The seller says it doesn't know what the reason was it was refurbed. I got it for $300. And the amp, I couldn't get the amp I wanted (Pignose Hog 20), I settled for a small Fender practice amp, 15 watts. I'm not a performer , I'm a beginner, happy to have any amp at all. I like Ovation, I used to have an Applause years ago, now I will have an Ovation, even if its a korean one. I know the bowl is from USA, but the rest is korean. I don't care, I'm very happy. I am waiting for the guitar, should have it by next monday. I will try Ernie Ball Earthwood strings, 13s. I really want/like that bassy-boomy sound. I am impressed that you are a stage performer. Can you share your opinion about picks ? I have heard that the thicker they are, the more fuller the sound. Thats what I want to shoot for.
Hey Eddie, We may be form the same decade, I was born in '55 and am now 55! My step son is 17, my son is 24 and my daughter is 29.

I am not sure of all or any of the differences between my Balladeer and a Celebrity, other than the USA Made/Korean Made thing. I was surprised that you said the bowl was made here and then they complete them, didn't know that! I think the inlay around the soundhole may be a little different between them too...but I don't know. I do have a Celebrity model as well, but it is a 1993 medium scale acoustic bass.
Here is a pic of me playing it on stage...the mic is there from the guitar I used prior to this song where I play bass, not for the bass itself:

Here is the description of it from my website, and the link to my website Guitar Gallery:

Company: Ovation
Model#: Celebrity - medium scale, acoustic
Year: 1993
Description: This instrument was purchased new from my friend Bill Brooks at Veneman's Music, long since closed. The guitar remains in excellent condition with the original hardshell case. The passive under saddle pickup has a side mounted volume and tone control and needs to be pre-amped to function, and the pad switch on my current amp does the trick! I sold my Yamaha 12 FG160 string guitar to raise cash to purchase this bass after seeing a bass player using one at a coffeehouse. It rendered a warm bottom tone with a slight bite similar to a Rick 4001 I once played and recorded with. It can really growl if you don't watch your touch! I still use this bass on-stage in rotation with my Hofner Beatle Bass and my Sparks FFB-1 Bass. I really love the short scale on this bass, as well as my Hofner. Traditionally, short scale is not a good idea for a bass because it renders "dead spots," but I don't get that with these basses, guess I am just lucky, or not good enough to hear it! I think that technique has a lot to do with it, just knowing your bass and it's strengths and weaknesses. I tried many string sets before I settled on my favorite, D'Addario acoustic bass strings Soft gauge, nickel round wound, .045, .065, .080, and .100.

I love it, although the pickup is passive (no built in preamp) so I run it through an old graphic EQ stompbox to get the gain up to a usable level! Edward
Yes, Eddie, we're both Eddie and we're both 55. I am very proud of my son and daughter, both in their 30's. I just moved to Staten Island and I'm actually staying with my daughter until I find a job and a studio apt. I am single and I like to live small.

Eddie, I've never seen a bass player as a solo act. Am I wrong about that ? are you in front of your bandmates ? Or are you alone on that stage ? If you are then, tell me a little bit how you setup, do you use a jam track onstage ? If not you must be one helluva singer, hahaha.
Hi, no it is just a shot of me to the side, my other two bandmates are with me! Never heard of acoustic solo on bass...that would be a good one! In my trio we trade off on instruments for many of the songs, but my main job is 6 and 12 string acoustics and electric 12. I also play harmonica. But on a few numbers, I play bass and on a few I play mandolin. Edward


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