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Ovation Magnum II

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by welsher, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. welsher


    Jun 22, 2006
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I caught an old Journey concert on VH1 Classic the other night. Ross Valory was playing the strangest looking bass. I later found out it was an Ovation Magnum II. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has ever played one of these or even seen anyone else use one?

    What's the deal with that bridge/pickguard thing over the whole body? And that coat-hanger looking piece over the pickup?


    Attached Files:

  2. wujuu


    May 28, 2006
    that's pretty sweet
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If you do a search on Ovation, there have been a few threads about them fairly recently. The "bridge/pickguard thing" is a metal frame for the pickups which doubles as a full-length thumbrest. The "coat-hanger looking piece" is a pull-lever that moves a foam mute up against the strings. Both of those components were awesome ideas IMO.
  4. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    That looks like the "BreadWinner" model, that O did as a Gtr.

    ... Is that a parmetric eq?
  5. Check this out.............

    http://www.ovationtribute.com/Catalogues/Magnum Bass Owner Manual/Magnum Bass Owner Manual.html

    I actually used to play a Magnum II in a punk rock band when I was like 15. It had the Magnum 1 type electronics. I can't find a picture, but if I do I'll post it. My friend actually still owns it but I don't think it works anymore. If I recall it sounded pretty cool, But I was 15, I thought the music sounded cool too but I wouldn't want to hear those recordings today. :D
  6. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    I used to have a Magnum I. That's basically the same instrument, only it's passive and has a stereo output whereas the Magnum II has a (rather noisy) preamp/graphic EQ and is mono.

    Anyone who ever owned one of these is likely to tell you what great basses they are. The shape may be an acquired taste, as they say, but I find it beautiful. The Magnums were really innovative instruments in many ways, and it was a shame they got phased out so soon.
  7. Paul d'mour played one of those in the early tool years, they sound awesome. i want the magnum 4, that thing is awesome
  8. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Wow, great link... Look at the pickups!
  9. Tikirocker


    Jul 1, 2006
    Sydney OZ
    I've been an Ovation solidbody collector and player for years and just scored a Magnum II in a trade yesterday ... this bass is awesome and exactly the same as the one in the picture up top. The Mag 1's were passive and stereo as has been said above - I have the Mag II which has the three band active EQ. I plan to convert mine to the Mag I configuration and buy a replacement pick guard for it.

    One of my fave bass players, Jah Wobble, has been a regular user since his PIL days ... this thing is gorgeous and does serious low end thump.
  10. I used to own (until I returned it to my uncle after about a year) that exact bass, except mine was solid black.

    A great bass. Very heavy, but it had lots and lots of great tones to it. Tons of lowend thanks to that huge humbucker at the neck. That coathanger thing is a switch for a bridge mute, which is a very neat feature. Sorta suprised more companies dont put something like that on their basses these days.

    Only problem I've had with mine was that it ate batteriers (2 ninevolts) like they were candy.

    here is a pretty crappy picture of mine.
  11. I have the Ovation Magnum II, it was my first bass. I bought it new from Tony's Music Box in Fredericton New Brunswick (when I lived there). They came out in 1978 and I recall this bass really getting my attention each time I walked in there. I paid $800 and should have paid less as it was on the wall at Tony's for 2-3 years. Buy I wanted that radical looking bass no matter, and saved up my dough and bought it, and an orange Roland Bass Cube, just out of High School.

    It's a very heavy bass made of a solid piece of mahogany and feels very solid as you might expect. It's a favourite bass of Jah Wobble, and I'll never part with it. I did toy with the idea in the late 80's and took it to Long and McQuade when they had a shop on Broadway; it was going to be used as a trade in(up)... I was getting a Larrivée 6 sting fretless made... with fret lines. The idiot at L&M carved some numbers into the back neck plate before I could stop him... how stupid can you get. Anyway the Larrivée bass arrived with huge GOBS of solder on the pots so it hummed... I couldn't play in first position because the nut was filed to low so the strings sat on the fretboard... there was no fretlines like I asked... and the P J pickup's I requested where changed to P P without my asking... poop quality control... I'll never buy anything Larrivée again.

    Sorry... back to the Ovation... the EQ was very drastic which is not a bad thing, but the open slider pots were noisy when you moved them. I hated that. I had it altered to a fretless by a very fine luther just outside of Vancouver BC when I lived there.

    The ebony fretboard is beautiful and the neck is graphite reinforced, and actually quite nice looking... not that you spend time looking but is an indication of the attention to this basses construction.

    I wish they would have done something about the electronics. I've got all the original parts but have had it made passive by a fellow in Kelowna BC (when I lived there)... and he did a crappy job. I've since bought an Aguilar OBP-3 (3 Band) Onboard Preamp that I'll put in her when some time frees up for me.

    I've always loved how this sounded... acoustically, the pickups are nice when you dial in a good tone but I've always wanted the Aguilar OBP-3 in her and Ovations preamp out... I'm 1/2 way there :)

  12. sgbttm


    Jan 15, 2008
    I just bought a magnum 1. It's beautiful! The neck pickup is big and boomy, but I think I'm more partial to the bridge p/u. Reminds me of the rickenbacker I've been playing for years. I still haven't played it with the band yet so I can't really give my opinion about its performance and sound at volume. I have a feeling though I'll be pretty happy with it.
  13. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    I've always been fascinated by these basses, and I still hold hope that someday a left handed one will miraculously show up. I doubt they ever made left handed ones.

    They seem to have been much more popular in the UK than here, as you often see a lot of British bands employing them around '79-80. If you've ever seen the cool new wave film, Urggh! The Music War, you'll see at least 3 different bands with bassists playing one of these. The bassist in ELO also played one for a while too.
  14. Last time I visited Denmark st ( couple of months back ) one of the shops had one of these basses. Difference was it had EQ sliders on the scratchplate rather than tone knobs.

    It was an incredible bass and I would have snapped it up if only I had £900 at the time.

    My endearing memory of this bass is that the small amp the guy plugged it into was actually breaking up with the mighty bottom of this bass, even on a low volume, so he moved us to a VERY large old Fender bass amp and the tone was just incredible.:hyper:
  15. the one w/the sliders is the Magnum II

    the knobs is the Magnum I
  16. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    Magnum I (knobs) was the model favored by Jah Wobble, btw.

    Also, not all of these are boat anchors. I've got one in natural finish, and it's actually on the light side. Haven't put it on the scale, but it feels about 8 lbs or so.

  17. BillyRay


    Jan 20, 2008
    I played one briefly when I was over at a friend's house years ago. It was beaten up, ugly, with paint chips hanging all over the body, but boy did it sing. His father had bought it new for his studio in '79, sold it to a gigging friend and had rencently bought it back, hence the heavy use. It had the mojo that only fine instruments have, and altough it was noisy and temperemental (the EQ is not a thing of beauty), when you dialed in a tone, it WAS something.

    Deep bass with a lot of punch and, surprisingly, a lot of articulation.


    Aug 22, 2007
    great bass for dub/reggae.really deep thump throb sounding,a bit on the heavy side.but very cool
  19. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    I have my second Magnum 1 now. It's a terrific bass, up in my top five. Seems many people just can't get over the body shape, so the Magnums will never be that coveted, but what an earth-shaking sound they make. All mahogany and ebony. Heavy? Not at all.
  20. cavemansalad


    Jul 19, 2008
    does anyone know how rare the black ovation magnum II are? i'm looking up and down to buy one!