Reviewing the Virtues of 7 Ovation Guitars

closeup of a reddish wood grain acoustic electric guitar being played by a man

Want a new guitar? Great! But keep in mind that you can’t just go and buy a cheap guitar and expect it to give you a beautiful sound. After all, the sound it emits is part your skill and part the instrument itself. Learning to play on a poorly made instrument can affect your motivation and learning curve.

Nothing is worse than spending hours learning a song only to find that it still sounds terrible. The simple solution is to buy a guitar priced in the $300 to $500 range. A guitar in this price range will give you the quality sound you want at a fairly reasonable price.

One of the nicer guitar brands in this price range is the Ovation guitar. 

Quick Guide to Buying a Guitar

Sandy Music Lab founder David Sandy believes there are a few things to consider when buying a new acoustic guitar.

“You should consider the type of string, the price, the material, the size, the brand, and the sound,” he said. “Other factors to think about include the shape of the body, the electronics, and the kind of pickups.”

The guitar pickup is a small device attached to the guitar that allows you to plug it into an amplifier so you can hear the acoustic guitar even above the sound of louder instruments like the drums. The Ovation models are all equipped with these devices. 

General Considerations

When buying a guitar, there are many things to think about, no matter what brand you get. You really must consider the types of strings, price, the type of guitar playing, style, build, and sound. That’s a lot! Dig into the details next. 

Types of Guitar Strings

Most players prefer steel stringed instruments, but there are also good reasons to want a nylon stringed guitar. This is a matter of the musician’s sound preferences. The best way to determine your preferences is to try both and see which you prefer.

Here are a few of the main differences players cite as the benefits of each type:

Steel Stringed

This is the guitar sound you hear on most popular songs played with an acoustic guitar. It has a bright, twangy sound that’s ideal for pop, country, folk, or ballads. 

Nylon Stringed

This string is the choice for classical or flamenco guitar players. However, they can also be ideal for beginners or children as nylon strings are lighter and easier on the fingers. They do not hurt the tips of your fingers as steel strings can.


Whatever strings come with a new guitar, you can replace them with the type of strings you prefer using.


What you pay for a guitar will depend on your experience level. It really doesn’t pay to buy a cheap guitar—especially if you’ve been playing for years. 

As a beginner, you’ll probably want to spend somewhere between $300 to $500. Choose something near the middle of the price range to avoid spending too much money if playing the guitar is only a hobby, and you will also have a good guitar that will last you for many years. 

There are guitars out there that cost less than $200, but this price point may be a bad idea; in fact, it may make you give up playing even before you really start! Usually, cheap guitars won’t stay tuned, are difficult to tune, and don’t offer good sound quality. It can be very discouraging to spend hours practicing and still have terrible sound. 

The Ovation acoustic guitar is a mid-range acoustic/electric guitar, ideal for practice and for playing in live presentations.  

What Type of Guitar Playing Do You Prefer? 

Ovation guitars are the practical option when you have live performances and move from gig to gig. The current sound design projects sound best over longer distances, and the electric amp gives it a richer sound quality that projects over the audience.

These guitar models have a lightweight construction and a nice sound quality, making them the perfect choice for practice, performances, and general fun. 

You will also find they are reasonably priced for their sound quality and purpose. However, for players who want a guitar best suited to studio recordings, the Ovation acoustic tone is not as rich and full as it should be. Even so, you can compensate for this lack of sound quality with a good equalizer and microphone.

The Ovation Design Is Unique

Because acoustic guitars are not electric (although they can be amplified), the sound has to resonate through the wood base and out into the air. For this reason, Ovation focuses on design.

Charles Karman, an aeronautical engineer who made a name for himself as a helicopter designer, turned to guitar design and built the first Ovation guitar in 1966. Today, the brand has several guitar models for beginner to mid-range level players. 

Karman applied engineering principles to his guitar design and created an instrument with a modern yet very organic look. The guitar was more curved and had a unique soundhole design that projected sound better. He opted to make the guitar with a synthetic back, making it lightweight with curved sides and a solid wood top so the sound resonated better.

It was a design that eliminated many of the sound flaws of other guitars of the period. Today, Ovation still retains many of these design elements as they create the sound quality the brand is best known for delivering. 

Although Ovation began as an American manufacturer, they were eventually acquired by Fender who moved all production facilities overseas. 

Musicians have mixed feelings about the Ovation because the back of the guitar is still synthetic. Some musicians love that it is lightweight, ergonomic, and projects sound so well. Others enjoy the classical style of other guitar brands and believe the entire construction should be of wood.

Materials and Build Quality

Ovation is the first guitar maker to use a synthetic back for their guitars. It is a thin Lyrachord synthetic material made with a fiberglass blend that comes in different thicknesses to attain that needed vibration. The combination of the Lyrachord and the front tonewood top gives the Ovation its unique acoustic tone.

Aside from the sound, there are other advantages to the Ovations synthetic back. First, unlike the traditional guitar, it has fewer problems with humidity and warping. Another upside to the use of synthetic materials is that they are eco-friendly and do not need much in the way of maintenance. 

Two Basic Ovation Models

Although there are many different colors, styles, and finishes for Ovation guitars, there are only two sound hole designs: the Center Soundhole and the Elite Multi-Port Soundhole.  

Center Soundhole: These soundholes are more traditional—similar to every other acoustic guitar. 

Elite Multi-Port Soundhole: These holes are smaller and are located off to one side, or on some models, they are found both sides of the neck where it joins the guitar’s body. These holes give the guitar a more modern look and electric sound. 

The Ovation Neck

The Ovation guitar neck design is a blending of the design of both the acoustic and electric guitar necks, made for both lead and rhythm playing. It has a very thin style that merges with the body cut away  —where the upper body cuts in an inverted oval to allow the player faster and easier access to the higher frets, reaching up to 22 frets instead of the standard 20. 

The most common tonewood Ovation uses for the neck design is mahogany. It is important to remember that Ovation is an entry-to-mid-range guitar builder, so the neck build is inexpensive and has a lower-quality fret design. A new model may also come equipped with cheap tuning strings and will need to be changed out fairly quickly. 

Colored Headstock

As a brand trademark, Ovation often uses a different color headstock on its guitars. The style is the same on all models, and the color harmonizes well with the overall color of the body. 

Mid-Body Cutaway

All modern Ovation guitars have a cutaway, meaning part of the guitar’s upper body is cut away—usually where it fits the neck. This is to allow the player’s fretting hand to more easily access the higher frets.

Wood Tops

Acoustic guitars are defined by the type of wood top the craftsman uses to make the guitar. Ovation typically uses spruce and cedar. Typically, softer woods cured for at least two years make for a better guitar because they offer more resonance. 

Guitar tops vibrate when the player plucks a spring, and the sound is amplified with the natural vibration of the wood top. Because the wood must vibrate, hardwoods make poor tops for guitars. Spruce is flexible but also hard, so Ovation chooses it for many of its guitar models. 

The OnBoard Tuner

All Ovation models come with an onboard tuner for the guitar player, giving them easier playability, better sound quality, and great tone throughout the entire session. 

The 7 Best Ovation Guitars to Consider Buying

Want to know what Ovation guitar to buy? Here’s a list of top guitars chosen for their design, sound quality, and price. 

1. Ovation CE44-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Black

The black Ovation Celebrity Elite has a classic mid-depth lyrachord body and a solid spruce wood top. The mid-depth of the body and spruce wood top gives the guitar a nice tone depth, and the multi-soundhole design offers clear highs and a balanced bass sound. 

The new design takes elements of the classical guitar and blends it with a modern, ergonomic design offering a great natural tone and impressive sound response. Together, these features give this guitar the clear note clarity and resonation Ovation Elite models are known to have.  

The visual details are very nice, with multi-wood epaulets around the small upper soundholes, a glossy finish, and a black binding encircling the body.  

The CE44-5 model offers rich, full sound, which is nice for your live performance sound and is somewhat reminiscent of the old Gibson guitars. The model comes with a slim line pickup and an OP-4BT preamp system with a three-band EQ and volume/gain control for better sound control. It also comes with an onboard tuner for easier tuning. You can find this Ovation guitar on Amazon for $539.

Ovation CE44-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Black

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12/05/2023 11:01 pm GMT

2. Ovation Applause Balladeer AB24CII-CED Mid-Depth Classical Guitar, Natural Cedar

The Applause guitars showcase Ovation design elements while keeping all of the performance needs of a spectacular live performance guitar. This Balladeer model AB2CII-CED comes with the lyrachord back and a cured spruce top. The center soundhole has an inlaid abalone rosette, and the Ovation headstock design is sleek and modern. 

The AB24CII-CED comes with the standard Ovangkol fingerboard and a slim neck bridge for easier finger fretting. The mid-depth bowl offers a deep tone with an amplified sound, so anyone who plays it can sound like Paul McCartney (with a little practice, of course).

The Applause design is a mid-depth cutaway body for easier access to the neck and frets. It comes with a built-in tuner, making it more convenient to tune, even if you are playing in a gig. Find this guitar on Amazon for $487.00.

Ovation Applause Balladeer AB24CII-CED Mid Depth Classical Guitar, Natural Cedar

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12/05/2023 10:46 pm GMT

3. Ovation 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Right-Handed, 2-Color Sunburst

This Ovation is a six-string acoustic-electric guitar with a solid Sitka spruce wood top. It has a center soundhole design and the standard lyrachord fiberglass composite back. 

The CS24 is a model of the Celebrity Ovation guitars. The scalloped X-bracing design—one of Ovation’s trademarks—gives it a rich, full sound. The combination of the slimline pickup accessory and the sound gives the deep, rich tone Ovation is known to have, which works especially well during a live performance. 

The looks are comparable to any Gibson guitar. You can find this guitar on Amazon for $429.

Ovation 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Right Handed, 2-Color Sunburst

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12/05/2023 10:31 pm GMT

4. Ovation CS28P-RG Celebrity Standard Exotic Super Shallow Depth, Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Caribbean Blue Burst 

This Ovation Celebrity is a Caribbean Blue Burst color design. However, beauty is not all this guitar offers. It also houses notable sound quality and is an ideal option for live performances. 

This model is one any player would love. The top is made of spruce and the back is made of standard composite material.

A differentiating feature of the CS28P model is the neck material, which is made of solid rosewood—one of the nicest materials for guitar builds. This is a guitar that even Eric Clapton would love. It is the stuff of the Ovation custom legend builds. 

The Celebrity collection follows the traditional Ovation build for acoustic-electric guitars, pleasing both the acoustic and the electric players. The CS28P model has a satin finish, a slim-profile guitar build, and a big body sound. 

The Celebrity models have a mahogany neck, a satin finish in a soft V shape, and a narrow neck width. This style follows along with its slim line look and gives the player better control of the fretboard’s radius. 

The CS28P has a small body, but the integrated slimline pickup gives it a robust sound. The scalloped X-bracing design seems to flow into its center hole design, giving it a unique beauty. The preamp system allows the player to find that perfect tone at any time, even while on stage. You can find this guitar on Amazon for $489. 

Ovation CS28P-RG Celebrity Standard Exotic Super Shallow Depth, Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Caribbean Blue Burst

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12/05/2023 10:11 pm GMT

5. Ovation Celebrity Elite Plus Quilted Maple Top Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Tiger Eye

This Tiger Eye Brown Ovation with a wood maple top and a nato wood top is a slim-body acoustic electric guitar with a shallow cutaway body and a somewhat shallow center bowl. Its quilted maple top, transparent tiger eye finish, and excellent sound design make this Ovation Celebrity one that players enjoy. The rosewood fingerboard allows for the easy reach of those higher frets. 

The Elite Multi-Port Soundhole is a classic Ovation design decorated with beautiful abalone around each of the holes. You can find this guitar for $539 on Amazon.

Ovation Celebrity Elite Plus Quilted Maple Top Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Tiger Eye

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12/05/2023 06:50 pm GMT

6. Ovation CS28P-KOAB Celebrity Standard Exotic Super Shallow Depth, Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Koa Burst

The CS28P-KOAB Ovation Celebrity has a layered koa wood body, a standard lyrachord back, a shallow cutaway, and a center-hole design. It is equipped with an OP-4BT preamp system and die-cast tuning machine. 

This model is a part of the Celebrity Collection and has a fast satin finish neck and a shallow slim profile. It has a surprisingly large voice for its small body. The scalloped X-bracing and the lyrachord rounded back are Ovation’s trademarks and features of this model. You can find this Koa Burst guitar on Amazon for $559.

Ovation CS28P-KOAB Celebrity Standard Exotic Super Shallow Depth, Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Koa Burst

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12/05/2023 06:30 pm GMT

7. Ovation CE44P-8TQ Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Trans Blue Quilt Maple 

The Ovation CE44P-8TQ model is a mid-depth guitar with a cutaway body, a quilt maple top, and a multi-sound hole design. It offers clear high sounds and a balanced bass sound. The scalloped X design borrows from the past, but the futuristic balanced holes give it a modern look and a more balanced sound. The natural tone comes with optimal response times and power that blows the sound out into the audience, resonating with its full projection. 

The wood top is decorated with elegant wood epaulets, black binding, and abalone paired with a glossy blue finish. The CE44P has a slim line pickup and an integrated preamp system with equalizer and volume gain control and a full onboard tuner. You can find this guitar on Amazon for $411.

Ovation CE44P-8TQ Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Trans Blue Quilt Maple

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12/05/2023 06:10 pm GMT

Final Thoughts

If you are thinking of buying a guitar—either for the first time or as a more experienced player—Ovation offers myriad options within a mid-range guitar category. The models are modern and beautiful. The design is made to emphasize the guitar’s vibration and tone.

All Ovation guitars come with an on-board tuner making it easy to tune the instrument anywhere, even while on stage. They also come with an integrated pickup and are ready to play either solo or plugged in.

These guitars are ideal for beginner to intermediate guitar players.

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