1992 Ovation Collector's Series Shallow Bowl Tamo Ash Guitar

This one is a US-made Ovation from the New Hartford, CT factory. While the import Ovation Celebrity line (and Applause line) were gaining traction in the market in the '80s and '90s due to their price points, the US-made Ovations were still the "real deal" as far as being good instruments. They're always nicer in build quality, sound, fit, and finish compared to the import models and they have a sturdier build, for sure.

The Collector's Series instruments changed year to year and were "one-offs" in style each year. This 1992 model features solid, figured Japanese tamo ash for its top. It gives the guitar an interesting sound -- almost "mahogany-like" in tone but warmer and more scooped in the highs, perhaps. Even though this has a shallow-depth bowl (with a cool brown finish vs. the more-normal black), it has the volume and presence of a full 000-size instrument and a real focus on the lower-mids compared to the brightier, shinier, chimier sound I associate with most shallow-depth Ovations. It's got a nice punchy "grunt," almost.

Its sunburst finish appears to be a little rarer than the usual ruddy-tinged medium brown for this year's model, too, and it features the usual OP-28 preamp and in-saddle piezo element that one finds on most acoustic/electric Ovations from the time. It also has neat red-lined trim in the top binding and "Adamas"-style oak leaf shoulder soundhole decorations. It has good-quality Schaller sealed tuners as well.

The fretboard and bridge are both walnut and the board has maple inlay and medium-taller frets. It has an interesting, almost '60s-Martin-like, V-profile neck and the neck itself is multi-piece mahogany/maple in build for added strength and stability.

I remember when I was first taking guitar seriously -- and playing all sorts of stuff in shops in the late '90s/early '00s -- that I was fond of the shallow-depth Ovations of all sorts because they're so extremely comfortable and sound good while providing that ease of use. I actually took this guitar down to Connecticut over the weekend to visit family and it reminded me just how cozy these can be -- you can be in basically any position and enjoy playing it. I was cramped into corners with nieces and nephew, laying prone on a couch with this tucked into me, lazing half-upside-down with the guitar laying horizontal in my lap, practically, and finding it useful and functional for all of these odd positions.

Plus... they're built tough... so you don't have to be squeamish about popping it in a gigbag and going.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, additional bridge compensation, restring, and setup.

Weight: 5 lbs 6 oz

Scale length: 25 1/4"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

Neck shape: medium V

Board radius: 10"

Body width: 15 7/8"

Body depth: 3 1/2" in center

Top wood: solid tamo ash

Back & sides wood: synthetic bowl thin depth

Bracing type: multi-tonebar

Bridge: walnut

Fretboard: walnut with maple inlays

Neck wood: mahogany/maple multi-piece

Action height at 12th fret:
3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 52w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium

Condition notes: it's fairly clean and all-original. There's one finish crack on the lower bout in the clearcoat (pictured) but you only see it when viewing at an angle. There's minor usewear and light scuffs and scratching here and there on the body's rear and light wear/discoloration to the fretboard's surface. It's definitely been played some in its time but it's aged elegantly and looks great.

It comes with: sorry, no case.