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  #46  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:22 PM
gitnoob gitnoob is offline
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Originally Posted by ewalling View Post
I wonder if one of the reasons for possible poor sales (if they were poor) was appearance. Ovation still seems to be afloat despite the derision that they're not 'proper' guitars; they have always made very distinctive-looking instruments, which may have served them well.
How deep are the pockets at Kaman?

Polls at this forum have indicated that the interest in carbon fiber guitars is very high, and a lot of us (myself included) have made a purchase.

Rather than poor sales, my guess would be high expenses during a period of poor cash flow. Undercapitalization has killed many good companies. You need deep pockets to make it through the rough patches.
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  #47  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:24 PM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewalling View Post
I wonder if one of the reasons for possible poor sales (if they were poor) was appearance. Ovation still seems to be afloat despite the derision that they're not 'proper' guitars; they have always made very distinctive-looking instruments, which may have served them well.
Strangely enough, right before I read this post, I was remembering a little known bit of Ovation Lore. Many years back (mid 90's I think), Adamas took it's best shot at a true Carbon fiber guitar called the "Q" (not to be confused with one called the Q597 which isn't even remotely the same guitar). I don't know all of the reasons, but they could not make it fly at an affordable price. (I read somewhere that if they sold them for 5K they would be taking a loss.) There was something about the production that simply made distribution too pricey.

In the end, something like 5 prototypes were made. I'm given to understand that their tone is impeccable, though I've never heard one. I think Bill Kaman has two of them, but have no idea where the others are. Maybe someday I'll lay my hands on one for a few minutes, who knows?

Though the aesthetics of CA guitars never clicked my gears, I was tempted more than once to pull the trigger just because they were innovative, and I wondered how they could make these things at a reasonable price when a large company like Kaman (pre-Fender) couldn't.

I hate to hear that a truly innovative company has been forced to pack it in. I wish the best of luck to their employees. And I seriously doubt we've seen the end of carbon fiber instruments.
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  #48  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:25 PM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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The warranty to me was just a safety net if you bought online and the guitar was not as it was supposed to be. Many of these guitars had to be bought sight unseen through online vendors, very few retail stores carried them. Their warranty really was only 2 years, from then on you paid for labor and they supplied the parts. Once I bought my guitar online and got it and found it was perfect, the value of the warranty to me was not much. It may be harder for online stones to sell without this backup it gave them credibility for a product unseen
Steve
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  #49  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:25 PM
mtnByker mtnByker is offline
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A CA has been on my 'would love to have' list for quite a while, as my lifestyle (camping, travel, storage lockers, etc.) is rough on a wood guitar. I had hoped to buy one during the coming year. Bummer. I hope they (or someone) figures out a way to make these happen again.
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  #50  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle View Post
Agreed, there is definitely a market for a high quality instrument that isn't so fragile. Here's hoping we haven't seen the last of them.

Apparently, it is a small market.
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  #51  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:39 PM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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If Kaman couldn't make the all carbon Q for a reasonable cost maybe CA just couldn't price their product high enough in a competitive market. It seems their last several years was spent creating finishes that would lower costs and give them better pricing power. I was looking at the prices of carbon violins and cellos. They are way up there.
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  #52  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:43 PM
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That's truly awful news. I have a Legacy and was thinking of getting a Cargo. I really like what CA offers in terms of sound and durability. I really need a good travel guitar. I may be looking for a Cargo this weekend.
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  #53  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:44 PM
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Bloody shame. It really hits home how bad this economy is when a novel company like this goes down.
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  #54  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:44 PM
leeasam leeasam is offline
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possibly bit off too much trying to introduce an electric so early instead of staying acoustic for a longer period. a Carbon acoustic makes more sense in alot of ways than a need for an electric one.

Could be they grew too fast and sales did not match growth. I do hope somene picks them up. I believe it is a product for the future.
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  #55  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:45 PM
jwsamuel jwsamuel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitnoob View Post
How deep are the pockets at Kaman?
Kaman is part of Fender.

Jim
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  #56  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:58 PM
Dr. Spivey Dr. Spivey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitnoob View Post
How deep are the pockets at Kaman?
The pockets at Kaman are owned by Fender.

Dealers I've questioned, tell me Ovation sales have been in a steady decline for over a decade. They are now building more Ovations in China than the U.S.

Ovation, Guild and Hamer guitars are all being built at the same facility in New Hartford CT. I'd doubt there is room or time for any more.

It is a shame that CA shut down. Hopefully someone will revive them.
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  #57  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:58 PM
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Well, it's a shame, but I'm really glad I have my Cargo.
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  #58  
Old 03-02-2010, 06:10 PM
FingerPlucked FingerPlucked is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
I would call the CA product a medium-quality instrument, but I guess that's all in one's perspective.
I own three CA's. In terms of tone, playability, comfort and volume, I think they can hold their own with wood guitars in the same price range. Then there's the added peace of mind knowing that they're not overly sensitive to changes in temperature & humidity.

If anyone's interested, MacNichol is clearing their inventory:

http://carbonguitar.com/smf/index.php/topic,1654.0.html

If I didn't already own one too many CA's I'd be thinking about buying one of these -- their prices are discounted pretty heavily.

I'm sorry to see CA go out of business. I'm also sorry to see that some dealers are dropping prices to move inventory. (Although it's understandable with 18 guitars in stock and an uncertain market.)

From a selfish perspective, if dealers cut their costs like this, then the value of my guitars drops, at least in the near future. I had one of my guitars listed on craigslist last week. In light of everything that's happened in the last few days, I think I'll just hold onto it and then re-evaluate things in a few years.
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  #59  
Old 03-02-2010, 06:14 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitnoob View Post
...Rather than poor sales, my guess would be high expenses during a period of poor cash flow. Undercapitalization has killed many good companies. You need deep pockets to make it through the rough patches.
This was my guess, as well... But of course, just a guess. I hope we will know more...

- Glenn
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  #60  
Old 03-02-2010, 06:27 PM
volsr1 volsr1 is offline
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It's too bad for us that CA closed but it's the former CA employees that I feel for. I hope they fare well.
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