How to date your OVATION ?

(sorry for ze frenchmen, this fichier is complètement en rosbif) (ici by spéciale courtoisie of Bernard Rey (Bernard King), who had recuperated it ailleurs (God knows where) and that I just modified a little, but don't ask me for a translation par exemple... am I clair ? it is déjà pretty that I permit you to find this on the web, because Ovation has enleved it quelques temps ago.

Range Date Comment
006-319 1966 three digits in red ink
320-999 1967 (Feb.-Nov.) New Hartford; three digits in red ink
1000- 1967 (Nov.)-1968 (July) four digits in black ink, no letter prefix
10000- 1970 (Feb.)-1972 (May) five digits, no letter prefix
A + three digits 1968 (July-Nov.)  
B + three digits 1968 (Nov.)-1969 (Feb.)  
B + five digits 1974-1979 Magnum solidbody basses
C + three digits 1969 (Feb.-Sept.)  
D + three digits 1969 (Sept.)-1970 (Feb.)  
E + four digits 1973 (Jan.)-1975 (Feb.) solidbodies
E + five digits 1975 (Feb.)-1980 solidbodies
E + six digits 1980 (late)-1981 some UK IIs (does not reflect production)
F, G prefix 1968 (July)-1970 (Feb.)  
H, I, J, L prefix 1970-1973 Electric Storm series

Six-Digit Series, 1971-Present (Except Adamas)

Range Date Comment
000001-007000 1972 (May-Dec.)  
007001-020000 1973  
020001-039000 1974  
039001-067000 1975  
067001-086000 1976  
086001-103000 1977 (Jan.-Sept.)  
103001-126000 1977 (Sept.)-1978 (Apr.)  
126001-157000 1978 (Apr.-Dec.)  
157001-203000 1979  
211011-214933 1980  
214934-263633 1981  
263634-291456 1982  
291457-302669 1983  
302670-303319 1984 Elites only
315001-339187 1984 (May-Dec.) Balladeers only
303320-356000 1985-1986  
357000-367999 1987  
368000-382106 1988  
382107-392900 1989  
403760-420400 1990  
421000-430680 1990  
400001-403676 1991  
430681-446000 1991  
402700-406000 1992  
446001-457810 1992  
457811-470769 1993  
470770-484400 1994  
484401-501470 1995  

 Adamas Models

Series starts with 0077 in Sept. 1977

Range Year
0077-0099 1977
0100-0608 1978
0609-1058 1979
1059-1670 1980
1671-2668 1981
2669-3242 1982
3243-3859 1983
3860-4109 1984
4110-4251 1985
4252-4283 1986
4284-4427 1987
4428-4696 1988
4697-4974 1989
4975-5541 1990
5542-6278 1991
6279-7088 1992
7089-8159 1993
8160-9778 1994
9779-11213 1995

And maintenant, comment identifier the n° of model ???


Four-Digit Model Numbers


First digit is always 1

Second digit is type of guitar:
1 Acoustic roundbacks (also semi-hollowbody electrics)
2 Solidbody and semi-hollowbody electrics
3 Ultra acoustics
4 Solidbody
5 Acoustic electric cutaway Adamas and II/Elite/Ultra electric
6 Acoustic electric roundbacks
7 Deep
8 Shallow

Third digit denotes bowl depth on acoustic and acoustic electrics:
1 Standard bowl, 5 13/16" deep
2 Artist bowl, 5 1/8" deep
3 Elite/Matrix electric deep bowl
4 Matrix shallow bowl
5 Custom Balladeer, Legend, Legend 12, Custom Legend 12, Anniversary
6 Cutaway electric, deep bowl
7 Cutaway electric, shallow bowl
8 Adamas, 61/16" deep

Fourth digit denotes model, for first eight acoustic models:
1 Balladeer
2 Deluxe Balladeer
3 Classic
4 Josh White
5 12-String
6 Contemporary Folk Classic
7 Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer
8 Glen Campbell 12-String

Color code follows hyphen after model number (but I am not quite sure for all of them):
1 Sunburst
2 Red
4 Natural B Barnwood (gray-to-black sunburst)
5 Black H Honeyburst
6 White
7 LTD Nutmeg/Anniversary Brown/Beige/Tan
8 Blue
9 Brown

Model Chronology


The dates in this chronology reflect actual appearances of models, determined from price lists and the recollections of sales representatives and dealers. They may differ slightly from the first production or official introduction dates in the text.

Acoustic and Acoustic Electric

1966 Balladeer introduced. All with natural top, Grover Rotomatic tuners, dot fret markers, white-black-white binding, small or thin rosette with figure-8 chain link motif and grape bunch at 4 o'clock position. Less than 100 made before February 1967 move to New Hartford factory. Variations: very early with no rosette; some with extra diamond fret markers at twelfth fret.
1967 (Feb.) Deluxe Balladeer introduced. Essentially a Balladeer with diamonds at twelfth fret, Grover Rotomatics (Balladeer now has Kluson tuners), five-ply top binding.
1967 (Sept.) Classic introduced. No fret markers, twelve frets clear of body, flat fingerboard. Josh White model introduced. Twelve frets clear of body, wider neck, steel strings, dot markers with diamonds at twelfth fret. Model numbers introduced:
Model #1 Balladeer
Model #2 Deluxe Balladeer
Model #3 Classic
Model #4 Josh White
Shaded brown sunburst top introduced
Larger floral leaf rosette appears
1968 (Jan.) Model #5 12-String introduced
1968 (July) Semi-hollowbody Electric Storm series introduced (see separate listing)
Model #6 Contemporary Folk Classic appears in the catalog, but is only produced as a prototype (probably during development of Glen Campbell model), with red, green, or blue bowl color option
1968 (Nov.) Glen Campbell models and shallow "Artist" bowl introduced:
Model #7 Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer
Model #8 Glen Campbell 12-String

Four-digit model numbers with K prefix introduced:
K-1111 Balladeer
K-1112 Custom Balladeer
K-1113 Classic
K-1114 Josh White
K-1115 12-String
K-1116 Contemporary Folk Classic (prototypes only)
K-1117 Deluxe Balladeer
K-1118 Glen Campbell 12-String
K-1121 Artist Balladeer
K-1123 Artist Classic
K-1127 Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer

1970 Josh White model deleted after his death
1971 (May) K-1124 Country Artist introduced. Similar to the Josh White but with shallow bowl, fourteen-fret neck, flat fingerboard, and nylon strings, replaces Josh White as the #4 model.

Acoustic electric models introduced:
K-1621 Electric Artist Balladeer
K-1624 Electric Country Artist

1972 (June) K prefix deleted from model names
1114 Folklore introduced (reintroduction of Josh White model)
1115 12-String renamed Pacemaker
1117 Deluxe Balladeer renamed Legend
1122 Classic Balladeer introduced
1614 Electric Folklore introduced
1615 Electric Pacemaker introduced
1617 Electric Legend introduced

Solidbody electrics introduced (see separate listing)

1974 1116 Concert Classic introduced
1616 Electric Concert Classic introduced
1119 Custom Legend introduced
1619 Electric Custom Legend introduced
1976 New top finishes introduced: Red, White, or Blue Patriot Bicentennial introduced. Limited run of 1776 guitars, fancy version of Custom Legend with drum-and-flag decal and "1776*1976" on lower treble bout.
1976 (Sept.) Adamas introduced in prototype form for artists and select dealers. The first 26 are prototypes; #27-#61 are a non-tooling production run; #62-#76 have a new headstock design and the Kaman bar neck reinforcement. Wooden epaulettes around soundholes change to a photographic Mylar material. Extensive tooling begins Sept. 1977. Dealers receive first production models in Dec. 1977. First production Adamas sold is a Model 1687, #0077-95. Suffix is guitar's natural frequency resonance. The first Adamas 12-String is #213. Charles H. Kaman signs the labels up to #600. At #600 C.W. (Bill) Kaman II begins signing labels.
1187 Acoustic Adamas
1188 Acoustic Adamas 12-String
1687 Adamas (acoustic electric)
1688 Adamas 12-String (acoustic electric)
1978 1157 Anniversary introduced
1657 Electric Anniversary introduced
1979 1587 Adamas cutaway introduced
1651 Legend Limited (electric only) introduced
1981 Adamas II models introduced. Standard Ovation neck and bridge, available as acoustic electric only.
1681 Adamas II
1685 Adamas II 12-String
1581 Adamas II cutaway
1982 Collectors' Series inaugurated (see separate listing)
1155 Custom Balladeer 12 introduced
1655 Electric Custom Balladeer 12 introduced
1156 Legend 12 introduced
1656 Electric Legend 12 introduced
1159 Custom Legend 12 introduced
1659 Electric Custom Legend 12 introduced

Cutaway models introduced:
1661 Balladeer Cutaway
1667 Legend Cutaway
1677 Legend Shallow Cutaway
1669 Custom Legend Cutaway
1674 Country Artist cutaway
1663 Classic Cutaway

Adamas cutaways
Wood-top Adamas prototype produced. Number on label is N-19-82WTSL (WTSL for Wood Top Super Legend). Production model will be named Elite.

1982 (Oct.) Elite appears on price list; production begins shortly thereafter. First catalog appearance is late 1983.
1983 Super-shallowbodies introduced
1988 Abalone trim added to Custom Legend and Electric Custom Legend

Collectors' Series


Model number is the year (except for twelve-strings and two 199S models in 1990), followed by finish code.

Year Model-Production Description Color
1982 1982-81908 Deep bowl non-cutaway, round soundhole Blueburst
1983 1983-B2754 Super-shallow cutaway, round soundhole Barnboard  
1984 1984-52637 Super-shallow cutaway, Elite style Ebony stain  
1985 1985-12198 Super-shallow cutaway, Elite style Autumnburst  
  2985-1715 Twelve-string super-shallow cutaway,Elite style Autumnburst  
1986 1986-61858 Super-shallow cutaway, round soundhole Pearl White  
  2986-6392 Twelve-string super-shallow cutaway, round soundhole Pearl White  
1987 1987-7820 Deep bowl cutaway, Elite style Nutmeg stain  
  1987-5108 Deep bowl cutaway, Elite style Black  
1988 1988-P1177 Super-shallow cutaway, Elite style Pewter  
1989 1989-8981 Super-shallow cutaway, round soundhole Blue Pearl  
1990 1990-7500 Deep bowl cutaway, bird's-eye maple, Elite style Nutmeg  
  199S-7750 Super-shallow cutaway, bird's-eye maple, Elite style Nutmeg  
  1990-150 Deep bowl cutaway, bird's-eye maple, Elite style Sunburst  
  199S-100 Super-shallow cutaway, bird's-eye maple, Elite style Sunburst  
1991 1991-41464 Deep bowl cutaway, round soundhole Natural  
  1991-5292 Deep bowl cutaway, round soundhole Black metallic  
1992 1992-H1995 Super-shallow cutaway, quilted ash, Elite style Honeyburst  
1993 1993-41537 Mid-depth cutaway, Elite style Natural  
1994 1994-71763 Mid-depth cutaway, round soundhole Nutmeg  
1995 1995-71502 Mid-depth cutaway, round soundhole Nutmeg  
1996 1996-TPB1280 Mid-depth cutaway, round soundhole Burgundy  

Electric Storm Semi-Hollowbodies Series


1968 (July) Electric Storm series introduced: Thunderhead. Top of the line, gold-plated metal parts, two humbucker pickups, phase switch on upper bass bout, master volume, separate tone controls, pickup balance/blend control on lower treble bout; Natural, Nutmeg, or Walnut Green finish.
K-1360 Thunderhead without vibrato
K-1460 Thunderhead with vibrato
Tornado. Same as Thunderhead except separate volume controls for each pickup, chrome-plated metal parts, and no phase switch.
K-1160 Tornado without vibrato
K-1260 Tornado with vibrato
K-1120 Hurricane. Twelve-string.
K-1140 Typhoon I Bass
K-1240 Typhoon II Bass (catalogued as Williwaw [means Mountain Wind], but never sold under that name). Examples through mid 1969 have smaller body than other Electric Storms, with shorter cutaway horns. Same bodies as other Electric Storms from mid 1969 onward.
1969 (Aug.) Typhoon III fretless added; few sold
Typhoon I discontinued
Hurricane discontinued
1970 (Mar.) K-1216 Typhoon IV fretless introduced

Model numbers change:
K-1211 Tornado without vibrato
K-1212 Tornado with vibrato
K-1213 Thunderhead without vibrato
K-1214 Thunderhead with vibrato
K-1222 Typhoon II

1971 (May) Electric Storm colors: 2 = Red, 4 = Natural Nutmeg, 5 = Black
K-1217 Typhoon V introduced
K-1235 Eclipse introduced. Six-string economy model, Black finish only.

Model numbers change:
K-1231 Tornado without vibrato
K-1232 Tornado with vibrato
K-1233 Thunderhead without vibrato
K-1234 Thunderhead with vibrato

1972 (June) All deleted except Tornado and Eclipse
1973 (Jan.) Tornado and Eclipse deleted




1972 (June) 1251 Breadwinner introduced. Mahogany back and neck, two very large single-coil pickups, dot fret markers, textured finish (like fiberglass bowls). Colors: 5 = Black, 6 = White, 7 = Tan, 8 = Blue.
1252 Deacon introduced. Listed but not available until Jan.
1973 Diamond fret markers, Sunburst finish only.
1974 1261 Magnum I bass introduced
1262 Magnum II bass introduced. Three-band EQ.
1975 1253 Deacon 12-String introduced; a few made
1281 Preacher introduced. Mahogany body, double cutaway, two humbuckers, 241/2" scale.
1285 Preacher 12-String introduced
1271 Viper introduced. Single cutaway, two single-coil pickups, 25" scale. Most are ash, some maple or mahogany.
1273 Viper III introduced. Three single-coil pickups.
Breadwinners and Deacons get humbucking pickup
1975 (later) 1282 Preacher Deluxe introduced. Series/parallel pickup switch and midrange control.
1978 1263 Magnum III introduced
1264 Magnum IV introduced. Both Magnum III and Magnum IV have two pickups but less radical body than Magnum I. Split-coil humbucking bridge pickup with string grooves in polepieces, four separate pickups in neck position with access holes in pickup cover to balance volumes of individual strings.
1980 1291 UK II introduced. Body of Urelite (urethane) on aluminum frame.
1983 Solidbody production discontinued