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  #16  
Old 06-21-2010, 07:59 AM
Weird Snake Joe Weird Snake Joe is offline
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Originally Posted by ksdaddy View Post
Joe, the AA15 was made in Moosup CT. Next time you change strings, take the two bolts out holding the neck in. You may (or may not) find small smudgy rubber stamped dates, both on the hidden part of the neck heel and on the unfinished part of the top. It's a 50/50 shot, I've found. I've begun amassing Applause serial numbers but I can't find any pattern whatsoever. Seems like they just took them stickers off a roll in the factory.

I asked John Budny at Ovation "whatever hapened to all the Applause surplus and tooling?" and he said he hadn't seen any of that stuff in decades.
Thank you for all of this. I'm really glad to learn more about the history of the instrument and what went on during its construction. I still get a kick out of the distribution/marketing decision that kept Ovation's name off the labeling, despite looking so obviously like one in a proprietary way.
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:31 AM
jayelcee jayelcee is offline
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Originally Posted by Weird Snake Joe View Post
I still get a kick out of the distribution/marketing decision that kept Ovation's name off the labeling, despite looking so obviously like one in a proprietary way.
As Bill Kaman tells it, the company mindset at the time was "let's copy ourselves before someone else does."
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  #18  
Old 06-21-2010, 07:57 PM
franchelB franchelB is offline
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I really didn't mind playing my Applause A/E 12-string guitar. I even wore the aluminum frets down from playing it too much. The problem was more of me...and my belly.

Roundbacks and fat-bellied guitar players just don't mix well....
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  #19  
Old 06-21-2010, 08:42 PM
SMan SMan is offline
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I have an AA24-4 that actually plays pretty good for what it is. Back in 1977 when I bought it I couldn't afford much. It indeed has an aluminum neck. I had it looked at by my builder buddy back in the 90's and he put a compensated saddle on it. Plays good and sounds good. I hope to donate it to a local school in the near future.
Since this thread started I donated this guitar, and a couple others, guitar to a local high school. They were very happy with it and figured it was a perfect guitar for their program. Plays well and very durable.
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  #20  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:47 PM
jayelcee jayelcee is offline
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Just adding to the thread by posting a few pics of my non-roundback '98 Applause AA-10 Voyager.




Last edited by jayelcee; 06-21-2010 at 10:53 PM.
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  #21  
Old 06-22-2010, 12:03 PM
Weird Snake Joe Weird Snake Joe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayelcee View Post
As Bill Kaman tells it, the company mindset at the time was "let's copy ourselves before someone else does."
That's partly why I get a kick out of it. Creating your own lower tier competition...with some pretty innovative builds to say the least.

Nice Voyager!
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  #22  
Old 09-05-2011, 04:18 AM
ksdaddy ksdaddy is offline
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Default Added a page to my site

I think I'm up to ten Applauses now (lost count).

Because they do explode, I've decided to add pages to my site showing ways to repair them. Sometimes radical steps must be taken because of the way they're built.

This is the first of (hopefully) several pages I will add:

Applause bridge repair
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  #23  
Old 09-05-2011, 07:00 AM
zabdart zabdart is offline
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Originally Posted by jmat View Post
Now this was a helpful response!
Just to second the motion here. Big Red 51's post was most informative and I thank him for it.
My introduction to Applause guitars dates from the period of the original run, and, man, those guitars were indestructible! They were the perfect guitars for busking in the subway stations or outdoors. Punishment just rolled off them like water down a duck's back! Eventually, they just wore out because of the aluminum frets... but they were like my old '51 Chevy, whose floorboards rusted out before the engine gave out. They just kept going and going! Great cheap guitars!
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  #24  
Old 09-05-2011, 01:24 PM
MjBobolink MjBobolink is offline
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Greetings... I have a Matrix 1737 model, which to my understanding is a "first cousin" of the Applause guitars. I've read different accounts of how the Applause and Matrix lines relate to each other, but build-wise, the Matrix sounds an awful lot like the Applause, though the headstock on the Matrix is Ovation-like. Mine has an aluminum neck with faux wood finish, but a wooden fretboard. The bridge is glued tight and has held up nicely. It's thirty years old, hasn't had any finish checking, and following a set up over the winter, plays very smoothly up and down the neck. The label says it's a Kaman music product and made in Connecticut. The electonics still work, too.

The frets are about worn to death, there is no saddle left under the G to low E strings, and I plan to replace the guitar this fall, but nearly thirty years of playing life isn't bad--I think my parents got their money's worth on this 1982 Christmas present.

Does anyone know how to date these guitars by their serial numbers? Mine is 015228. I've searched online, but figuring out the year it was made eludes me. I assume sometime around 1980 to '82. Perhaps Applause and Matrix guitars used similar numbering systems?

Take care,
---Mike
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  #25  
Old 09-05-2011, 01:55 PM
ksdaddy ksdaddy is offline
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I think the Matrix models used the same random nonsequential roll (or junk drawer) of stickers as the Applause models. Sometimes the serial numbers happens to 'work' with the Ovation serial number dating and people think they know the date. Not so. I was in contact with a guy who supposedly had an Applause serial number list but after about 3 or 4 years of him not supplying it, I've given up.

The only way I know to definitively date them is to remove the neck and look for rubber stamped dates on the heel of the neck and/or the part of the top that the fingerboard extension covers. And even then, it's been my experience that you have a 50/50 shot of finding a date.

I don't see where they changed at all in 6 years of production so there are no other clues.

I believe the 1737 was only made in 81 and 82 so that should narrow it down fairly well.
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  #26  
Old 09-05-2011, 03:12 PM
MjBobolink MjBobolink is offline
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Thanks for the information. That's helpful to know.

Take care,
---Mike
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  #27  
Old 06-12-2012, 10:11 AM
ksdaddy ksdaddy is offline
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I'm now up to 18 Applauses and 2 Academys. It's a sickness.

I got in an oddball yesterday. It's an Applause model AA12, stamped March 29, 1982. It was made in Moosup right with the rest of the Applause line (at the time) but has a plastic top like an Academy KA-14. I'm thinking it might be akin to the last ditch Arisaka rifles in WW2....

Wonderful tone BTW. Big and thick and hollow and boomy. The Vaughn Monroe of guitars.

Still hoping someone will have a completely trashed AA-14 I can perform surgery and experiments on. I say completely trashed because otherwise I wouldn't have the heart to junk it.
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  #28  
Old 06-12-2012, 10:15 AM
ksdaddy ksdaddy is offline
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This isn't all of them.

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  #29  
Old 06-12-2012, 10:20 AM
Andromeda Andromeda is offline
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I used to have an Applause that had a sunburst top. I had it in the early 80s. It was a nice guitar.
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  #30  
Old 06-12-2012, 11:09 AM
mjz mjz is offline
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My wife purchased one in 1980 at Zeswitz Music with her high school graduation gift money. I played that guitar for many years until I could afford my Martin.

We still have it and it's in great shape -- aluminum fret board and all. Think I'll have to dig it out of the closet and give it a whirl.

max
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