Ovation 1612-2 1976 Custom Balladeer w/ Cherry Top Reviews
I found the acoustic/electric Balladeer in a pawn shop in Stillwater, Oklahoma in August of 1982 and paid $341.25 for it. I was looking for a six string guitar (my first) and wanted a good one, thinking a good instrument would make learning to play both easier and more enjoyable.
I've always liked the physical beauty of the Ovation guitars, but they are also well engineered and made. I like the simplicitic nature of the acoustic/electric Balladeer, the only electronic control is a volume knob, and the built in pickup works fine. The guitar stays in tune, has a comfortable neck, and fingering is easy. The Ovation was designed to produce a "full base, clean midrange, and crisp treble" and I think it does just that. Plugged in or unplugged the sound is great. My Ovation has held up well over the years and some of the credit has to go to the case, it's the guardian angel that protects it from harm when it's most vulnerable.
My Balladeer has a few forgivable faults. Like all Ovations the rounded back makes it a bit slippery to play sitting down and not all guitar stands will hold it safely. In the area of electronics, a tone control knob might be nice and the 9 volt battery isn't easily accessable.
Ovation guitars have a lot of inovation in there design, the most obvious being the rounded composite back and sides. The neck is engineered to resist warp and twist yet remains light weight and thin. And the basics, like tuners and finish are first class. I've never had to have repairs made on my guitar, but have heard the factory has a very good reputation for standing behind and doing repairs on their guitars.
I'm only an average player at best, and know that I never utilize the full capability of the Balladeer or any of the other guitars I own. And I know that there are some better guitars out there. But, for the price, reliability and versatility the Balladeer acustic/electric is hard to beat. Gary G.
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