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Ovation guitars - Alternative pre amp units for lefty?
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portervance
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#1
18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
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Ovation guitars - Alternative pre amp units for lefty?

A few months back I bought an Ovation Celebrity acoustic/electric hoping to record my sound into my rig. First thing when I received the guitar was to plug it into my guitar amp to hear what the sound was like. Unfortunately, no amplified sound was produced when plugged in.

The acoustic side of things still works obviously, but I really want to be able to plug this guitar into an amp. I figure the preamp must be busted in some way (the unit seems to work otherwise, fresh batteries didn't make a difference), so I went onto Ebay and bought a different preamp (the OP-1 if I remember correctly). Turned out that the OP-1 doesn't fit the cavity on the left handed Ovations, so I had to return.

Currently I have the OP-11 installed (very basic preamp) but I was wondering what other options might exist for me on a left handed Ovation.

Also any advice on what else could be malfunctioning on the Ovation that would cause it to not output from the mic would be appreciated too. Thanks!
#2
18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
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Most A/E guitars have an output jack with switching for power to the preamp built in--these often have problems. See if some contact cleaner on the jack helps before you go to the trouble of changing it.

At least an ovation is easy to work on.
portervance
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#3
21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
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Ok I'll have to give this a try next time I get motivated. I sent an email to Ovation support and they just told me to drop the guitar off at an authoized dealer. No thanks!.

I thought the mic inside the guitar might be the culprit too, but I literally hear no line noise when amped. Preamp seems to function normally otherwise.

Thanks
#4
21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
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You could always have someone retrofit a new pre.
#5
23rd November 2012
Old 23rd November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portervance View Post
Ok I'll have to give this a try next time I get motivated. I sent an email to Ovation support and they just told me to drop the guitar off at an authoized dealer. No thanks!.

I thought the mic inside the guitar might be the culprit too, but I literally hear no line noise when amped. Preamp seems to function normally otherwise.

Thanks
You're not making sense. How do you know that the "Preamp seems to function normally otherwise" if it's not putting out any signal? Do you mean that the battery light comes on? If so that means it's highly likely you have a bad pickup.

Which model is it, the LCC047? (Which is the only lefty I find on their site in the Celebrityseries.)

I also don't get your beef with the preamp's features - what else do you need? That preamp has a compensation circuit in it matched to the pickup's output response - switching to another preamp might not sound as good. About the only feature I can see that the preamp lacks is a built in tuner and frankly, the built-in tuners in such preamps are rudimentary at best. Get yourself a Peterson Stomp Classic pedal tuner or a Strobo-clip clip-on (probably the latter) and be happy.

Your best bet is to drop the guitar off at an authorized dealer or service facility. Attempting to work on it yourself will almost certainly void the warranty.

A bit of information - this guitar has no mic inside. What it has is a piezoelectric pickup built into the bridge. You cannot service this yourself. With the symptoms you're describing the odds are that either the pickup is bad or the preamp is bad. Have the guitar serviced.
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#6
23rd November 2012
Old 23rd November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlanestoner View Post
You could always have someone retrofit a new pre.
Bad idea. The stock preamp is EQ-matched to the pickup.

Plus it's an odd shape, not like the rectangular preamps in other brands.
portervance
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#7
24th November 2012
Old 24th November 2012
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Yeah I don't think retrofitting would be a good idea. The current pres are sort of tear drop shaped, but the socket on the lefty Ovations is the reverse of that shape.

In terms of features I'd hope to gain by upgrading the preamp, I would like the tuner feature, but I also was hoping I could use the new OPi-1 Idea preamp which has built in recording and playback functionality. It's a little above and beyond for a simple acoustic guitar, but I decided to go with an Ovation because of the sound, shape, and the thought that I could easily upgrade the electronics down the road (but I'm a bit disappointed they don't make it more universal for lefties).

What I mentioned above with the "preamp working otherwise" was that the battery light comes on (as you mentioned), so clearly the inner workings of the pre seem to be alive and well.

I was hoping to avoid any extra costs of having to take the guitar in and get it looked at, but if it is the pickup (which it now sounds like might be the case) then I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet since this is a tricky piece to service myself. I bought the guitar second hand online (never again now that I know the guitar was never described properly) so I wouldn't need to worry about any warranty voiding, but I'll take it down to my local shop regardless since the fix goes beyond dropping in a new preamp.

Thank you for the help and info John!
#8
24th November 2012
Old 24th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portervance View Post
In terms of features I'd hope to gain by upgrading the preamp, I would like the tuner feature, but I also was hoping I could use the new OPi-1 Idea preamp which has built in recording and playback functionality.
Ouch! At $429 list/ $200 street you could get a nice little Tascam or similar pocket recorder that would actually have much more functionality - you wouldn't need to haul your guitar around any time you wanted to play something back!
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