Review of the Ovation 1771AX Acoustic-Electric Guitar
I’ll start off by admitting that historically, I’ve not been a big fan of Ovation guitars or other guitars made from products other than solid wood. Recently, I’ve had a paradigm shift and have become a big fan of Ovation and the Ovation Adamas. Have they really improved that much? Maybe, or perhaps experience has taught me to open up the mind a bit.
All Ovation guitars have a different feel because of the bowl back. Part of the problem is, it does feel different – not bad, but different and that takes a bit of getting used to. The 1771AX sells for around $699 new, $550 – $590 as a factory second and around $400 – $450 used and it’s hard to part with that kind of money on something that feels “different.” People who play and love their Ovation / Adamas guitars all tell me that you get used to the different feel very quickly. In my opinion, they’re right. If you like the guitar, give it a little time and it’ll feel fine to you.
The neck is slender and very well shaped. When this guitar first arrived at our shop, set up was quick, easy and precise. The playability of this guitar is superior, especially at this price range and it’s a very solid instrument.
The sound is impressive too. With a solid AA spruce top and carefully designed mid-depth bowl body, the guitar has a sweet, ringing voice with good sustain. Where this guitar excels is when it’s amplified – the electronics, Ovation OCP-1K, are crystal clear with a lot in the tank to put out impressive volume. The guitar provides you with clean, natural, sustain and the controls are easy to read and operate while you’re working.
Ovations have a unique, and most people think, a beautiful appearance. The one I tested had a really impressive cherry finish that got a lot of positive comments. Does it compare well to other guitars in its price range made of solid wood? First of all, there aren’t many solid wood guitars in the $700 price range. Epiphone Masterbilt guitars are of very few choices. For $700, it’s very hard to do better than the 1771AX. For an acoustic-electric in this price range, it’s a good deal and compares well to guitars costing considerably more.
What’s your opinion? Have you used or owed an Ovation 1771AX? I’d love to hear about that or any guitar or bass buying experience you’ve had. Let me hear from you. Prof. Dave