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-   -   Ovation MCS148 info (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607757)

JLT 02-20-2021 09:09 PM

Ovation MCS148 info
 
(And, yes, I've posted this on the Mandolin Cafe site, too, but I wanted to cast my net a little wider.)

I was recently given an Ovation MCS148 mandolin which apparently had been in storage for a very long time. Its nut was broken, and I was asked to make a new one. But I noticed that this mandolin had ball-end strings, which was new to me, since all the mandolins I'd serviced or built all had loop end strings. I find that the D'Addario EJ70 Mandolin set had ball ends, and might be a suitable replacement. Is this so, or do you recommend another brand? (Ovation no longer lists mandolin strings on their website, as far as I could see.)

Secondly, I don't know if this model uses active or passive electronic components. I do not see a readily accessible battery case. There is a plastic plate held in place with a screw, but when I removed the screw, the plastic plate appeared to be attached to something inside the mandolin, and I did not want to force it, figuring that something might have to be loosened on the pickup end before it is removed through the back hole. Is this plate merely for access to the electronics, and is there another access for the battery, if there indeed is one?

Lastly, Ovation appears to have no manual available for this instrument, either paper or on-line. Is there a manual available elsewhere, preferably on-line?

I should add that, as far as information on models is concerned, Ovation's web site sucks the big one. All hat and no cattle, as the saying goes in Texas.

DungBeatle 02-22-2021 10:43 AM

Seems the mandolin info is within a standard manual for both guitars and mandolins.

https://www.americanmusical.com/item...itarmanual.pdf

~Bob

JLT 02-22-2021 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DungBeatle (Post 6643698)
Seems the mandolin info is within a standard manual for both guitars and mandolins.

https://www.americanmusical.com/item...itarmanual.pdf

~Bob

Thanks very much for the link. As you say, this is a pretty generic manual, and probably worth keeping, but there are two thing I note:

First, the tuning of this mandolin is stated to be E-A-D-G, apparently tuned in fourths, ike the four bottom strings of a guitar. This goes counter to every standard-size mandolin I've ever seen, which uses a G-D-A--E, tuned in fifths. (I checked the string frequencies to make sure that it wasn't a simple case of them labeling the strings in reverse.) So is this really the right tuning? Was this mandolin offered to those who were already acquainted with chord configurations on the guitar bass?

Second, I was able to get the battery out of the case to test it to see if it was still good. But when I went to replace the battery, I found that the positive and negative terminals on the case weren't labeled at all, and looked identical. You could insert the battery either way! Maybe there was once a sticker there that identified which pole is which. My only clue is that the wire going to one contact is white, and the other one is black. I know that white usually means (-) but I've seen so many exceptions to that rule, particularly on Asian products, that I can't trust that. But maybe a guy with an Ovation guitar can tell me if there's an "Ovation protocol" that dictates that the positive side of the battery goes either to the left or to the right.

The more I look at this instrument, the queerer it gets.

JohnW63 02-28-2021 11:56 PM

Reach out to Patchmcg in these forums. He owns lots of Ovations and I know he owns an Ovation mandolin. I can't recall the model, but I doubt anything would be different but quality of materials and bling. His is more top end.

JLT 03-01-2021 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnW63 (Post 6650026)
Reach out to Patchmcg in these forums. He owns lots of Ovations and I know he owns an Ovation mandolin. I can't recall the model, but I doubt anything would be different but quality of materials and bling. His is more top end.

Thanks! I've PMed him.

patchmcg 03-03-2021 01:18 PM

Hiya JLT.

I got your PM/ I've also seen your post on the Ovation Fan Club. You are getting some good info there as well.

The D'Addario ball ends are the strings Ovation mandos shipped with. (So did their guitars for that matter, but with ownership passing along earlier this year, I'm not sure if that's still the case now.) As it is, you string up the MCS-148 like any other mandolin.

As far as getting the back plate off goes, take a look at this video. Old Man Arthur is a long-time member of the OFC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=DvPB6vih3pw

Finally, regarding the battery box. I admit that it's pretty close, but if you look carefully, you can see that the receptacles are slightly different in size. Just match the big terminal to the big receptacle. Even with that, you would not be the first to drop a battery in backwards. Speaking from experience, it shouldn't hurt anything. Just take it out and reverse it if.

If you still can't get any sound, then you likely have a different issue, and that's a whole new trouble-shooting task. Electronics can break, and some of those pre-amps are getting pretty old. Likewise, the saddle/pickup assembly can die as well, but at least they are easy to replace.

Good luck to you. The Celebrity mandos are a nice gigging instrument to have handy.


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