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Ovattion acoustic ABG for home unamped

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by audiotom, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. audiotom


    May 31, 2005
    new orleans
    A friend of a friend out of town was selling an Ovation Celebrity acoustic bass. I don't gig yet and was looking for something I could occasionally play hanging outside with no amp. It's a beautiful top with those fancy inlays around the holes. Is this reasonable sounding unmic'd

    I've search on ovation, comes up in a few ABG physics and projection threads but hoping for some more details

  2. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Plugged into an amp....great sounding bass. Hanging out with my friends with their acoustic guitars......not very good.

    I found the bowl shape of the Ovations do not project bass well at all. Think of it this way, plug your bass into an amp, turn the bass all the way down....that is how it sounded. Very thin. They are very nice basses, but for unplugged playing you would be better with a traditional built acoustic bass. I had a five string Celebrity for a while, but got rid of it for the lack of a good un-plugged sound.
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I've got a Tanglewood Odyssey, which I suspect is a cheaper clone of the Ovation you're talking about, that works very well for that kind of application. Head over to your friend's place and give it a try - I find having an ABG around a real boon.

  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    For a cheap AGB that projects pretty well (but not so good plugged in, due to feedback, which seems to plague all ABGs that project well), look for a Olympia, which is a Korean version of the Tacoma Thunderchief. They sell for under $400 and can sometimes be found used on the 'bay for a lot less.

    The large body size is key to projecting well; however, no ABG will project as well as a double bass or guitarron, and if you're trying to match volume with a couple of aggressive acoustic g*itar players, it will disappoint you.

    That being said, a decent ABG is the ultimate lounging around/couch potato toy. They're pretty fun, though not terribly useful for playing in front of an audience.
  5. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    I picked up a cheapo off ebay for just under $100 so I could play while sitting in front of the tv or outside while bbqin' or when I can't plug in and it's ok. it's not very loud but it sounds like a bass. it gets more playing time than I imagined it would. my son likes to play it, too. though I don't know if I'd want it to be my only (or main) axe. if you can get the Ovation for a good price, I'd say go for it.
  6. audiotom


    May 31, 2005
    new orleans

    thanks for the heads up. I had a chance to play a Thunderchief at Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan 12 miles form my folks place while on vacation this summer.
    Really liked it's projection and it's the only abg that I felt had enough projection

    I didn't want to spend too much and snagged this Olympia on ebay - I'll report out when I get it - this place is great and I appreciate all your input - Tom

  7. I love mine. Fine for noodling around / practising, but not great projection (as already mentioned). However it does sound great plugged in with Thomastik Acousticore strings. Before buying though check it out unplugged and plugged in. Check string to string volume and tone. Is it consistent? If not then some work may be needed to the saddle. Also check intonation. If it's way dodgy then think twice, if it's a little bit off then perhaps the lighter gauge Acousticore strings help.

    ALSO, how to put this delicately? If you have a convex front then the deep bowl of the Ovation may not be best for you... ;)
  8. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Good job! For the money you spent, you won't be disappointed. The Olympia I played wasn't quite as loud as the Tacoma, but for one-fourth the price of a Tacoma, it more than holds its own. That's going to be a favorite toy for a long time to come. :)

    You might look to get some Thomatik-Infeld Acousticore or La Bella Tapewound strings for it someday. I'm debating as to which of these will be the next set to go on the Tacoma.

    My wife scored me a used Godin A4 fretless semi-acoustic this weekend as an early Xmas gift. I'll start a new thread with pics when I have a chance to break out the camera. :hyper: