Ovation Officially Resumes U.S. Guitar Production
...gathered at the factory building on October 26, to attend a private acoustic performance by Kevin Cronin and members of the multiplatinum-selling rock band REO Speedwagon. Cronin, a long-time endorser of Ovation guitars, officially marked the reopening of the previously shuttered factory by strumming the first-off-the-line, Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Commemorative Custom Elite Guitar, which will be produced exclusively in New Hartford. Connecticut State Representative Bill Semanski was also in attendance to award Ovation Guitars with an official citation in honor of the occasion.
“The Ovation USA factory is the foundation of the brand, and the craftsmen working there have nearly 200 years of combined knowledge of the brand,” said Drum Workshop president/CEO Chris Lombardi. “Our ‘Made in America’ philosophy is what helped build the DW brand and we firmly believe the same philosophy will help define Ovation moving forward. The fact that Ovation Guitars will celebrate its 50th anniversary in its longtime home and under the stewardship of the same artisans who have contributed so much to its legacy means a great deal to us—as well as the artists and fans who have loved Ovation for half a century.”
With the reopening of its USA factory, Ovation plans a rollout of new guitar models that will retain many of the brand’s classic features, including: the distinctive parabolic-shaped body, Sitka spruce soundboards, and innovative onboard electronics.
A number of signature models for Ovation artists are planned for production including REO Speedwagon lead singer Kevin Cronin’s gloss-black Ovation Viper featuring an ebony fret board and tortoise shell-inspired, custom wood epaulets – as well as signature model guitars for guitarist/composer Kaki King and GRAMMY and Academy Award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge.
In addition, the factory has begun production on a limited run of 250 commemorative guitars celebrating Ovation Guitars’ 50th Anniversary in 2016. The series of black Custom Elite models adorned with gold leaf epaulets and gold purfling will also feature custom markings unique to 50th Anniversary edition guitars.
The first Ovation guitar made its debut in November 1966 and with its patented, Lyrachord body, which gave the instrument unprecedented projection and ringing sustain, Ovation guitars immediately garnered favor among musicians. Later, innovative onboard electronics were added to the instruments to create an “acoustic/electric” hybrid guitar that allowed guitarists to move about the stage rather than stay in front of a microphone.
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