The Ovation Legend Guitar.

The Ovation Legend Acoustic Guitar.


The Ovation Legend Guitar

Now, there will probably be people who never really accept Ovation guitars for what they are - simply because they defy all traditions for acoustic guitars by being. . .partially plastic. I'm here to tell you that Ovation guitars, especially from the Ovation Legend series on up, are extremely fine instruments. Sure, it's true - the Ovation Legend isn't really something that was meant to compete with acoustic guitars made by companies like C.F. Martin & Co., The Santa Cruz Guitar Company, or Collings Guitars - but it's a fine instrument in it's own right, and has it's own niche carved out for it in this world.

Listen, my beautiful Santa Cruz flat top has a hairline crack in the top side of it's beautiful Brazilian Rosewood body. My guitar is an absolute canon of an instrument that is so loud, so clear, and has such dramatic overtones in it's sound that people mistake it for a pre war Martin D 28 virtually every time I've played it in mixed company somewhere. These Ovation guitars, with the plastic, rounded back - there really are no sides on the things - these guitars will never have such problems.

I do not own, and have never owned an Ovation guitar, but I have spent as much time with an Ovation Legend guitar as I have with some guitars that I have owned. I've probably actually spent MORE time with one particular Ovation Legend guitar, which belonged to a friend, than I have with some of the Martin guitars that I've owned. Now, I could tell you a story about the hows and the whys behind that - but it would probably wind up being a good hundred thousand words or more - so I'll hope that you can just trust me on what I will tell you.

The Rounded Plastic Back Of The Ovation Legend Guitar.

Nice Video Including an Ovation Legend, and some Improvised Led Zeppelin.

The Ovation Legend Guitar - Deep Bowl Back

The only real problem that I've had with an Ovation Legend guitar - is that because of the rounded plastic back, I don't much like the way the thing sits in my lap when I play one sitting down in a chair. Whoop DEEE DOOO.

These guitars come with pre amps, high output pickups, and whatever other electronics needed to plug the things in, and have them amplified. Clearly, these guitars are meant to be stage guitars - they are factory equipped with the ways and means for performance in front of an audience - you would need a cord and an amplifier, and of course, an audience - and that's it.

Now, having good posture while playing such an unforgiving instrument as a steel string acoustic guitar is a must, so my slight discomfort concerning playing an Ovation Legend, or any Ovation guitar - they all have rounded plastic backs - is a serious enough concern. Put a strap on the thing and stand up, however, and that problem is solved.

The Ovation Legend Guitar in black finish

The "Op Pro" on the Ovation Legend.

You Are Such a WONDERFUL Reader, That I've Provided some Music For You To Enjoy!!!

The Ovation Legend Guitar Specifications.

Now, the Ovation Legend, as a title, does not indicate one specific guitar - but rather, three different models of Ovation Legend guitar exist in production: I'm only going to discuss this one, as it's the one that I'm familiar with.

The Custom Legend 1769 ADII A guitar basically designed in cooperation with the Jazz Fusion guitar legend, Al Di Meola.

Legendary jazz guitarist Al Di Meola partnered with Ovation’s R&D team to design every aspect of his signature instrument. Handcrafted in Ovation’s flagship workshop in New Hartford, Connecticut, the Al Di Meola Signature features a premium AAA solid-spruce top with A-bracing. The Deep Bowl composite body delivers rich, powerful tones and maximum acoustic output. A cutaway offers full access to the custom low-profile, 5-piece mahogany/maple neck. The traditional center soundhole has a gorgeous laser-cut oak-leaf and abalone rosette. The Al Di Meola Signature includes Ovation’s high output pickup and its OP-Pro preamp features a special +4 dB volume-boost switch.

While I can personally tell you that a solid spruce soundboard is a highly recommended thing, and without a solid top, a guitar is basically a beginners model guitar, I have to admit here that I know very little about electronics for guitars. I'm an acoustic guitar snob, and this is about as close as I get to an electric guitar. I've spent . . .no telling how many hours playing one of these exact guitars, but I never plugged the thing into anything. I'm positive the electronics on the thing are outstanding - it's an Al Di Meola designed guitar, and Al tours the whole freaking world with one of these guitar.

Obviously to the eye, there is an ebony fretboard and some nice abalone inlay in the neck - this is a very attractive instrument with an attractive sound. It's only not going to be so loud as something like a Martin. . . .unless it's plugged in.

Looking at the Ovation website, you can find this specific Ovation Legend model guitar, the Al Di Meola 1769 ADII for $3,000.00 Keep in mind that you can do things with this guitar that you can't do with a standard Martin HD 28, but also, you can do things with an HD 28 that this guitar just won't do without plugging it in. Below are some bullet point specifications for the Ovation legend:


  • Description: 6-String Acoustic/Electric
  • Body Type: Deep Contour
  • Top: AAA Grade Solid Spruce
  • Bracing: Scalloped LX
  • Scale Length: 25 1/4"
  • Fretboard: Bound Deluxe Ebony
  • Fret Inlay: Abalone Dots/Diamonds
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Rosette: Inlaid Abalone Oakleaf
  • Pickup: Original Patented Pickup
  • Nutwidth: 1 11/16"
  • Machines: Gold w/Pearl Buttons
  • Includes case

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Comments 6 comments

Dan Harley 5 years ago

Hi Wes,

I used to have an ovation Baladeer (roughly 1980). After I bought my Martin, i sold it to a friend, so I still occasionally get to play it. One remarkable thing about it is that there are no cracks in the top. I heard that most Ovations of that vintage did develop top cracks because there was no "give" in the plastic bowl to account for expansion and contraction of the wooden top.

What I liked best about mine was the incredible action. That darned thing played like an electric and never ever buzzed regardless how hard I played. What I didn't like were some of the things that you outlined in the blog. Wimpy sound when unplugged, difficulty playing while in a seated position (my preferred position for playing. All in all a nice guitar though. I would recommend an ovation for beginner players because of the nice low action. I know several beginners that gave up when their fingers went to hurting or bleeding.

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Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas Author

Hey Dan, DEFINITELY good advice!!!! Good action and light gauge strings are GREAT ideas for beginners.

If they graduate to old goat guitar snobs like me - then they can take medium gauge strings, and an old box from a snooty high end manufacturer.

Yeah - I'd imagine that any ovation would sound wimpy compared to any good Martin. . . .but the one I used to play. . . really wasn't that bad, but I know for sure that your D 16 would knock it out in the first round! I've picked one of those in a guitar shop - and it's exactly what I expected it to be.

(note to self, make a hub about the D 16)

Sueswan 5 years ago

Great hub. Wes, I crown you the guitar man. :-)

I don't know anything about guitars except that I enjoy listening to them. Especially bass.

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Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas Author

Hey thanks Sueswan! I think I sorta kinda just decided to be THE guitar man on this website - tough job, but somebody had to do it!


I absolutely NEVER get tired of music, and try to include some in virtually every hub that I do. I've know two persons that, literally, NEVER listened to music. I'm sort of amazed that I ever got along with either of them at all.

Sueswan 5 years ago

Tough job but you are definitely the man for the job Wes.;-)

Can't believe that there are people out there who never listened to music.

Don't they know that music makes the world go around? :-)

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Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas Author

I can't imagine enjoying my life so much without music.

Both of those individuals were persons that have exceedingly high mechanical aptitudes - maybe there is a correlation somewhere?

Thank you! the guitar Hubs actually never stop. I'll probably publish another one tomorrow.

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