Ovation CS-255 Doubleneck Acoustic Guitar Reviews
I actually bought this baby off E-Bay for $610. Not the most pragmatic avenue, I know. But at least this time I got lucky in that the gamble was definitely worth it for the quality, features and condition of the axe. Especially when the list was $1700 (with case) and street price for this baby is $1200-$1300 - if you can find one! Guitar Gallery in Nashua, NH. ( great bunch of guys - who also incidentally carry one of the most awesome quality guitar inventories in new England) located a case for it for me - also at a great price.
The palatte of sounds availbable to me with this axe is pretty intense. My main project right now (wastingdaze.com) has a repertoire requiring both electric and acoustic sounds, which is easily handled on a normal full night gig by any combination of 2-3 acoustic and electric guitars in my collection. We do also however regularly perform at open-mic nights in the area. These we tend to do just straight acoustic. With the CS-255, I can do the normal 6-string sounds in the quiet parts of songs, then instantly switch to 12-string for a much fuller, powerful, but still pure acoustic sound, for the heavier parts. This eliminates the need to throw an acoustic through an overdrive pedal (which lends itself to potential for feedback, and really doesn't sound right overall anyway to me).
The tone of the guitar unelectrified is beautiful - typical Ovation warmth and brightness, but with the additional low-end generated by the larger body. The sound is also enhanced by the natural reverb generated by the sympathetic harmonic vibrations that occur on the neck not be played at the time.
I use the EQ button where I set the 3-band eq out of the guitar. This provides great flexibility for getting a good sound regardless of the system I'm running through (amp, PA, etc.). The Pre-Shape button sounds thin on it's own, but works great when I'm going through my Zoom 504 acoustic processor. The volume control is great, especially when I want the 12-string to not sound 3db louder than the 6-string. Quiet electronis overall, and feedback issues are minimal at loud volumes.
Although the action was a bit high when I received the guitar, replacing the strings with my standard Adamas 1616 and 1717 sets, minor tweaks to the truss rod tensions, minor fretwork from the 13th - 21st frets on the 6-string and a small shim under the high side of the 6-string saddle took care of it all. In defense of the guitar and the manufacturer, after all, I did buy this used. But I usually do my own work on all my guitars, so even this was only a minor inconvenience. Regardless, now both necks play like a dream.
This guitar is a little neck-heavy when playing standing - understandable due to the weight of 2 necks.
Placement of the 6-both-12 neck selector shoud be relocated - right now it makes it easy to accidentally switch neck elctronics to the 12 when jamming out standing up. Not a problem when sitting on a stool, though.
The input jack is presently coming out of the lower back of the guitar which puts it in a precarious position for potentially breaking it and/or the surrounding back if accidentally bumped using a straight-line plug. I've been sticking to right-angled ones for this axe.
It could use some more underlying support for the strap button on the upper bout. I can see some wekening of the composite there which could turn into more of an issue in the near future.
This guitar is a Black Cherry to black burst. The necks are "Natural" finished and the top is spruce with an even, beautifully applied paint job. The guitar has gold hardware, and nice fret markers. I installed a Hipshot GT2 Guitar Xtender Key on the 6-string for open-D tunings. I'm very picky about the tuning of all my guitars, and the stock cast tuners on the CS225 hold their tuning quite well, even after a 3-hour performance.
This guitar takes care of all of my acoustic needs lately - replacing my other Ferrington, Guilds, Charvel acoustic 6 and 12-strings. I would highly recommend getting one if you can find one (I think this model has been dicontinued by Ovation)Cobra G
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