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Ovation US 1712 Custom Balladeer


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  • Ovation US 1712 Custom Balladeer

    I just purchased one of these (picking it up tomorrow). I already have a Taylor 414CE but wanted something that I could drag along to open mics. Something that sounds good plugged in and is not too expensive in case it gets banged up a little. I am also mostly an electric player and use a pick or hybrid picking. I heard the necks are good for this style. It cost me $350 which seems like a fair price.

    My biggest concern with this guitar is the top cracking by the bridge. I have seen some Ovations where the bridge has pulled up away from the top. The guitar I purchased was manufactured in 1986 in the US. I was told the top has no warping or cracking or signs there of. I have not seen it yet in person (only pictures). Is this something I should worry about? The guitar is now over 20 years old. Is it possible for these guitars to develop cracks only after 20 years? Should I put a humidifier in this thing?

  • #2
    I still have my Ovation Balladeer that I received as a gift 27 years ago. It was used when it was purchased for me. So it's possible that the sucker is 30 years old! She has definitely withstood the test of time... I think she would last through a hurricane! She did fall off of her stand, and broke a tuning key. As soon as I get a replacement, she'll be good as new. If you go to the review section of this website and read about Ovations, you'll find a common thread: DURABILITY.
    Today is a gift. That's why they call it "The Present."


    • #3
      Ive got an old balladeer - late 70's i got it. It was fine until about 2 years ago when after moving house it developed two splits in the location you described. The splits don't affect its playability or the sound ( which is great). Id use a humidifier just to be cautious.


      • #4
        I sold a 1712 a 1986 model year about a year ago I owned it for 6 years and never had the first problem with it. The 1712 is a deep bowl and will stay with any other guitar in loudness and also has a good sound unplugged
        Seagull Peppino D Agostino

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        • #5
          up until last year, i was using a '73 Standard Balladeer(#1111) as my beater acoustic and despite all the abuse, it always stood by me with no issues. I never experienced any bridge lifting or anything else except for a small lengthwise crack (along the grain) in the ebony fretboard, probably due to insufficient humidity. Heck, it still had the original frets when i sold it. I let 'er go after i stopped playing 6-string, switched to 7.
          that was one tough guitar!
          GUITARS: Benedetto Custom 7, Benedetto Benny 7, Benedetto Andy 6, Sakashta 7, Palen 7, Carvin CS6 + misc solid bodies...
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          • #6
            My 80's legend has a crack from the bridge all the way down to the bottom. If I remember it was my fault, I may have dropped it one too many times. I hasn't seemed to affect the tone and it's been there for close to 15 years now. I never really heard of any problems with Ovations and cracking as a rule though.