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toonbobo

Ovation 1127... major crack :(

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Hello everyone,

 

First post at Harmony-Central in years! Over the weekend my uncle gave me this beautiful Ovation 1127 acoustic guitar, which he had no use for. It sounded great, despite the old strings and the huge crack. It runs all the way from the base of the guitar to the sound hole.

 

This is my first acoustic guitar. I don't really know where to start, or how to take care of it. I have several electric guitars and basses, but I've never had an issue like this, haha.

 

I did some light research before posting here. I've read that a cleat might do the trick, but I'm also looking for other opinions/tricks. I removed the strings in hope that it stop the crack from expanding, is that a good move? Taking it to a luthier is something I want to avoid because I'm broke. I'm not looking to make it look perfect, I just want to be comfortable while playing it.

 

Any tips or advice? Here are a few pictures.

 

IMG_9088.jpg

 

IMG_9071.jpg

 

IMG_9077.jpg

 

Thanks!

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That's a big crack.

 

A luthier should be able to repair it though.

The Ovations with the small soundholes are Hell to work

on, I've heard. But that one should be fixable.

 

I hope it doesn't require a new 1/2 top.

I don't know how much it would cost.

I'm not a luthier.

 

In Vietnam, they'll put a brand new Spruce top on it for

$150.

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Dang! Somebody had the dropsies. I'm betting it can be cleated and the top to body joint reglued and the binding can probably be patched. To do it right though I'm sure would entail a top and new binding.

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Ive got an Ovation just like that -it does look like its ben dropped but I believe that splits like that are common in Ovations - running from the bottom to the bridge - mine has two that just appeared over the years as the wood dried out. Looks repairable though.

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Yes that can be fixed. I would use an approx 1" wide strip of very thin plywood glued to the inside of the top beneath the crack then wick some superglue into the crack itself. Similarly use superglue to fill the cracks in the varnish. The repair will not be invisible but it should stabilize the damage and the guitar will play OK.

 

If you want a posh job you will need to take it to a luthier but it will be expensive.

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Wow, thank you for the tips everyone! I'll repost pictures in the future when I find some time to repair it.

 

@ outdoorgb

I haven't played many acoustic guitars in my time (mainly electric guitars) but it sounded great to me!

 

@ garthman

I'm going to do what you said when some time rolls around.. thank you again!

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If you're inclined toward doing a repair yourself I'll suggest one good acoustic guitar repair book.

 

"Complete Guitar Repair" by Hideo Kamimoto (US ISBN 0.8256.0156.8)

 

It covers virtually everything you'll need to know and includes a good amount of detail in relation to the repair you're considering. Another good acoustic guitar repair and set-up resource is;

 

www.frets.com

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Just fill it with concrete to the top and it won't move. Just kiddin'. I have a beautiful 1985 Collector, that I would cry over if that happened. Good luck!

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Looks like a job for the neo magnets. A couple inside to hold the joint level, then wick in some CA and apply a little pressure on the edges of the bout - not a lot. I probably wouldn't worry about fixing the finish.

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Ive got an Ovation just like that -it does look like its ben dropped but I believe that splits like that are common in Ovations - running from the bottom to the bridge - mine has two that just appeared over the years as the wood dried out. Looks repairable though.

 

Yep! My '76 Ovation has the same thing. Supposedly, because wood expands and contracts, but the synthetic bowl doesn't, Ovations develop those cracks from the bridge to the bottom. I still love it, though.

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The guitar was left in the sun, the back expanded and the top split from the tranverse pull. Better have the internal glue joints checked.

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i would say dont worry about it to much. adds a personalty i have a 1955 harmony arch top cracks running all the way up the back. side is pulling away from the top and bottom. and i put the neck back on using a wood screw and 5/32nd bit. (didnt come off just loosened up some) i figure play em till they fall apart. o boi i got a nother 15 years with this one! :eek:

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Fixing the crack is pretty routine. But where the top meets the bowl is another story. The tops are installed in a vacum mold type procedure. The bowls are heated & the tops are set into place with glue. The bowl shrinks down around the top. The guitar has a limited lifetime warranty. Ovation covers the labor. It usually runs the customer about $300. The entire guitar comes back looking like new. Call them.

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If it sounds good, and you can live with it, Id practice my luthrie repairs on something a bit cheaper that you can afford to screw up on. If you can live with it and it sounds OK then I might just put some gaffer's tape on the edge so nothing catches and splinters off. It may have been dropped or maybe a thermal or humidity issue made it crack and fail. I just bought one for likely too much money. ($500) and hope it arrives Saturday or Monday-Wednesday. It is 100 degrees when the mail comes, and time to stop ordering acoustic guitars and vinyl records through the mail, UPS or Fed Ex. I prefer my cobalt samarium magnets for this type of crack. They are way stronger then neodymiums and larger too. These have kind of smallish sound holes, but my hands are not overly large anyway. I am doing repairs on may items now, including a Framus Figaro that is 50 years old. It was cheap, and the Juke picks were worth way more than the $80 I spent. The name is pronounced Yuke guitar picks and there was a slip of 11 tortoise picks. Real tortoise from Juke importers of Germany. Multiply that by $50 per pick, and add $50 for a nice German capo. The guitar is solid except the bridge is a stingy dry old piece of rosewood with cracks and chunks missing. That one I might rather fix the ovation over. I am a luthier from an apprenticeship, not a school, but the books are good if you have wood working skills. I'd opt to let Ovation do the work, after having fixed the crack. They thermally expand the top glue it and let it settle back around the top's kerfing. I have reattached them myself, but they are way better equipped to do the work than my traditional wood shop. They may also do the crack too. See what they say. Be persistent.

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There were some Samarium Cobalt coffin shaped magnets that hit the surplus market 6 years ago. Those are excellent. They have more pull than the neos, and a neat shape that is good for longer cracks. I even have used them with cauls to re glue braces they are so strong. I do not know if anyone has any left or not. I think you would like them a lot. The finish comes off and they are rough ceramic so I use some leather or tolex to protect finishes. They are maybe .18" thick 2.75"x1.25" and magnetized on the faces. They are dangerous strong and will stick through my hand or even wrist. Pinch some skin and it will give blood blisters, and chips may fly off if they strike each other form 6" away. Yeah they will jump from your hands and do that too. Even 1 and a metal plate works, or 2 and a larger plate on acoustic tops. Thought I'd add the warnings. I've had Neodymiums and some are strong but these are extreme. One of my techs broke a pair claiming, I don't see that they are that strong as they ripped out of his hands and collided from 6" - 8" apart.

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The sound hole on these Balladeers is not too bad, but the shallow bowl depth is. An 1127 should be The Glen Campbell type with a slightly deeper bowl. I am stuffing a DIY Varitone that uses all old tone caps and toroidal coil into an ES 335 so this looks huge.LOL I even added more wire clips toward the back. Its an Epi Elitist. Those are great for the $$$. New tops? Wow these were AAA tops and back then I do not remember 4A or 5A tops. That 4A 5A is some new marketing thing to avoid B, C and D tops. Besides a C top painted a solid black on a J 45 type I built sounded awesome. Blond it would have been streaky and so so looking, but its the sound that counts.

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