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Dec 9, 2019 - 7:06:03 PM
3 posts since 12/9/2019

Okay, so I'm a newbie and was interested in taking a rather inexpensive Ovation guitar and making it into a resophonic. It's a mid-late '70s Balladeer whose top is in bad shape. (Cracks, bridge pulled up, shallows and rises around the bridge and sound hole. The bowl is good.)

I think I can get it playable again without too much cost or work (mine), but I was really looking to make a guitar into reso a conversion and at $30 for the guitar, I thought this would be reasonable.

Any suggestions, comments, haters?

No photos yet, but I can provide them if needed.

Dec 9, 2019 - 7:42:11 PM

502 posts since 8/29/2013

From one Bill to your time, work and money. It ain't gonna' work.

As far as I know , this would be the first Ovation conversion to resophonic ever attempted. There's not a lot to work with here; parabolic plastic body, weak bridge, questionable strength round neck, probably too much overhang on a nut converter.

If it was me, I'd be shopping around for a beater reso to see if I had further interest in pursuing this avocation, then take it from there.

Dec 10, 2019 - 1:43:13 PM



580 posts since 9/2/2008

In the Musical Instrument Makers Forum, about 10 or 15 years back, someone completed just the transformation you are talking about. I don't know if it's in their archives. He left the guitar neck at 14 frets, and located the resonator accordingly. I don't remember any details of construction, but I recall he was happy with the results. YMMV, but at least I can confirm it's been done at least once.  Your challenge will be mostly in how to adapt and reinforce the guitar top to support not only the cone but 200 + pounds of string tension with a 10-1/2" hole, and then how to cosmetically deal with the existing soundhole.  If you intend to play "spanish" (i.e., not lap style with slide), you'll have to carefully set neck angle and cone location for the strings to be properly compensated.  Challenging goal at best.  Good luck and let us know your progress.

Edited by - daver on 12/10/2019 13:48:27

Dec 10, 2019 - 4:17:53 PM

3 posts since 12/9/2019

One idea I had is to totally remove the top and replace it with a thicker a piece of plywood. I suspect big box store plywood would suffice, although I understand aircraft plywood would be better for an actual guitar top.

I would make the necessary braces that fit the bowl, etc.

A alternate project for this guitar is to just try to repair it and either use it or sell it.

DB and Daver, thank you for your insights!

Dec 12, 2019 - 10:00:49 AM

352 posts since 1/14/2012

When you get done you can call it a Copper Mountain copy.

Dec 13, 2019 - 3:00:24 AM

3 posts since 12/9/2019

Yes I could I suppose, although the Beard has a more friendly bowl shape for laptop playing.
That is one of the downfalls with the Ovation bowl shape.... it wants to slide around unless hanging from a strap against a person's body.

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