Ovation souindboard cracks - solved?

Posted by Dwight Listmayer on Wed, 10/06/04 - 13:56:13.

I'm about to take a break and appreciate what ALL the rest of you have to say, but here's an unanswered issue, possibly incorrectly answered issue from a month ago.

Question was like why did the top of my 70's Ovation crack right down the middle, and somebody said "because the case shrunk". Also, another owner said, hey my Ovation cracked in the same place and I hardly ever brought it out or the case, or the closet.

I had experience, and did some research on this many years ago, as an owner of one of the first 1967 USA Ovations, around the thousandth one made; followed by a 69, then an 87, and as they got better ... a whole bunch in the 90's.

My first 2 cracked right down the centre, as others have found, as did every one which I encountered.

The reason is that their solid spruce top expanded and contracted like all woods do, while the carbon fibre composite body did not. At least, the composite responded to changes in temp and humidity differently than the wooden top, if at all. The cases were not at fault. I still have the original 1967 case and it's like new. And it would not shrink, I think.

Kaman who owns Ovation, responded positively to the issue of these cracks at least by 1980 and was bracing the tops differently, while using some cedar and laminates also. In addition, changed the fortification or thickness of brace under the bridge a bit. After that, I never saw another crack down the centre of an Ovation guitar.

Strat Man Dwight



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