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Old 07-15-2009, 07:46 PM
BigRed51 BigRed51 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Plano, Tx
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The early Applause guitars did not say Ovation on them, because the plan was to sell them through a distributor rather than the Ovation sales force. The concept was to make cheaper copies of their own guitars before someone else did, and the goal was to build them with only one man-hour of labor involved. I don't think they ever reached that goal, but I believe that they were able to build them in less than 2 1/2 hours of man-hours. They used the same back as the Ovations, but had a laminated top (Ovations were solid), and as someone mentioned, the necks were aluminum, and the fretboard, support rod, headstock, and frets were one piece. Then they molded the back of the neck out of a plastic material, and finished it to feel "just like mahogany!"

They were introduced in 1976 or 1977, and were built in Connecticut. There was one big difficulty ... the aluminum frets tended to wear quickly, and could not be replaced. The original plan had been that the necks would be easily interchangeable, and that you could have the entire neck replaced for less than it would cost to replace frets on a wooden fretboard. That never became a popular selling point. The next step was to cover the aluminum frets with nickel plating, which helped a little, but they still seemed to wear quickly.

Around 1982 or 1983, they moved production of the Applause guitars to Korea, and at some point after that, they did away with the aluminum necks. About that same time, they introduced the Celebrity series priced to be between the Applause and Ovation brands. I can't recollect when Applause added "by Ovation" to their logo.

Chances are that if next time you change strings you remove the saddle, there will be at least one shim underneath. This is how Ovations shipped. By removing a shim, you lowered the action at the 12th fret by 1/64 ... if you wanted to raise the action, Ovation and their dealers would give them to you at no charge.

This brochure should be very close to the time frame that your AA15 was built ... Applause Brochure
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