NBD - Ovation Magnum IV

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassclef112, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    Finally. I've been wanting one of these for a long time. Once I saw the III and IV body style in gray it was on my list for years.
    This came up on Reverb last week at a ridiculous price.....I've got a houseful of basses and no gigs in the for-seeable future but I knew I could not hesitate. I hit the button.

    FULL FR 2 CROP.jpg

    With conflicting info I don't know for sure what year it is. The serial puts it at 79. Regardless, it's in wonderful condition. Everything works and the neck is laser straight. After I set it up with new strings I noticed 2 things. One side of the bridge didn't adjust, and it really needed a neck shim.
    Today I took it apart. The inset for the bridge adjustment screw came loose from the body. A little glue, done. In my usual heavy handed way I did finally get the shim placed after having to repair it twice...

    Now that I can really play it I truly appreciate how good it sounds. The EQ is sensitive, small adjustments make real changes, but the amount of tones is wide. This is an excellent bass that was ahead of its time, and I feel lucky to have one!!!!
  2. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    sorry you got crickets on this, they are worthy of some attention and respect. love the over-engineered magnums!
    nateh415 and jaysbass2002 like this.
  3. shaggy45

    shaggy45 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    Awesome color on that one. Never seen one like that. I’ve always wanted to try one but have been scared away by the weight of them. Hope you enjoy it and congratulations on scratching one off the list.
  4. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    don't know how I missed this awesome NBD but no crickets allowed! buku congrats!
    want one, or two myself, but really want to try them before plunking down over $500...
    jaysbass2002 likes this.
  5. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    Thanks. It was this grayburst finish that was the tipper for me. If I got one it had to be that finish. I don't find it heavy but it's solid - all old mahogany. It balances a little different than a Fender - needs a touch more reach to first fret. Neck is not slender, but comfortable "chubby", not a bat.

    I've been playing it almost daily and I'm loving the tone(s). Like I said, I certainly don't need it, buy I'm real glad I got it!
    shaggy45 likes this.
  6. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I have a similar 3, and it's not heavy at all. I believe that the 3-4 models are thinner, weigh less than the originals.

    I put a strap button on the end of the horn in the traditional location. Solved all the balance issues immediately.
  7. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp

    Sep 19, 2020
    Congrats on getting a great bass. Part of that longer reach is the 35 inch scale length. My first new guitar was a Magnum IV. Didn't know what I was getting then, wish I hadn't had it made fretless after the frets wore out. Also my last 4 string! I still have it but it doesn't get out much. I love the body shape.
  8. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    It's a 34" scale, not 35".
    cdef likes this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Looks great! Love the color on that one.
  10. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp

    Sep 19, 2020
    They must have come in more than one scale length. I have measured mine. Standard string sets never git right - the 34 inch scale Rotosound swing bass E string always crossed the nut at the thin, silk-covered part and never sat right. I had to buy a special set of strings that fit. I had this problem with other brands as well.
  11. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    That is due to the bridge construction - the stretch from string anchoring slot to saddle is longer than on most basses. Scale, as said, is 34".

    See here: Ovation Magnum String Lengths.

    I use DR Lo Riders, which have no silk windings at all and are a good length.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020