Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

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Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

Postby Hendrik » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:20 am

Recently I bought a mint Ovation Country Artist from the early 70's with a Prismatone pickup. It's one of the 100-150 models that Ovation provided with the pickup. It all started during "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour", were Jerry Reed was a regular guest. Jerry picked his Baldwin on the show and Glen was unamplified with his Ovation, cause they didn't had a electrical classical on the market. Glen liked the idea of being amplified so he could actually be heard by the other players. Glen suddenly appeared with a Baldwin (also from Jerry) on his lap and Ovation didn't liked it at all, because Glen endorsed Ovation. The company hereby wanted to bring a amplified Country Artist on the market. They wanted to act quickly, so they contacted the Baldwin Company. They agreed to buy about 100-150 Prismatone pickups and preamps and got permission to put it on their models. There are several clips on YouTube were you can see both Jerry and Glen picking Prismatone fitted Ovations on the show, but they strange enough never played it amplified... There is one clip of Glen playing a amplified Ovation with Prismatone with a orchestra performing "Classical Gas".

The strange thing is that, like the Baldwin guitars, this model doesn't need a separate 22.5v battery-box but runs only on a 9v battery that is inside the guitar. The sounds is equal to the Baldwin guitar, maybe a bit more clean and less fat due the difference in battery. The pickup is the exact same one as on the Baldwins, only it misses the adjustment screws due a Ovation bridge and the sticker with "Baldwin Prismatone Pat. Pend".

Just wanted to share this with the fellow Chetboarders.

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Re: Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

Postby craigdobbins » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:35 pm

Beautiful! I had one of the first CA with the Ovation pickup system, right after these. Sure wish I still had it.

I did do still have the early Roland rackmount digital delay I swapped it for, though.

Craig
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Re: Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

Postby rhirvine » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:36 pm

I also have an ovation electric country artist (I wish I was more of an artist) and it is my main guitar. I still like it a lot. I don't know if mine has the pickup you mentioned. At the time I wanted amplification and the ability to reach beyond the 12th fret. I bought it in the late seventies brand new.

Rich Irvine
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Re: Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

Postby Bluebird_12 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:20 am

Sweet guitar!

How is the pickup attached to the bridge? Is the action still ok with the pickup sitting on top of the bridge?

Mine has the more usual setup with the pup sitting on the top and the intonation screws go through the bridge.

I would be surprised if there were any where near 100 of these built before switching over to their own pup... they only wanted enough of these out there to keep people who really wanted them happy.

Wayne

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Re: Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

Postby Hendrik » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:54 pm

Wayne, your Glen Campbell signature version is great and also very rare. It doesn't have the standard guitar-plug but a XLR-plug right? Is yours also a Country Artist?

The pickup is glued I guess. It's on the top of the bridge but it doesn't move at all. The action is very nice, the previous owner even lowered it a bit. I like the action pretty low but for this instrument it's very decent.

We probably never no for sure if they had these guitars with Baldwin pickups for sale, but I have some scans from a old Ovation brochure from the early 70's were you can see the 1624 and 1621 with the Prismatone pickup. I try to digg them up.
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Re: Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

Postby Hendrik » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:03 pm

Here are the scans from the Ovation brochure. There is some reflection on the pickups but it's definitely not the standard Ovation pickup.

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Re: Ovation Country Artist with Prismatone pickup

Postby Bluebird_12 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:19 am

Well, that brochure blows me away... I've never ever seen one of those before. So they must have been offered to the public at least for awhile.

Yes, mine is a Country Artist 1624 although it just says "Custom" on the tag. It was built in 1970 for Glen. It has the XLR output and no preamp.

Wayne

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