The Craigslist link to this guitar was posted on the Ovation Fan Club website in May 2010. I always liked the looks of the '83 Collector's Edition but Ihad never actually been in the same room as one. I was drawn to this one due to the fact it is a prototype. That, by itself, really doesn't add anything to the value, I just think prototypes are cool. They can potentially be oddball (which is cool because they're oddball) or they could be very typical of the subsequent production model, which also makes it cool because the prototype could be considered the 'first one'.
Yeah, little things like that excite me.
I contacted the seller in California and he wasn't really prepared to ship; I'm sure he would have preferred to sell it locally. Over the next couple months we exchanged a few emails and ultimately agreed on a price with shipping. It needed a little work. The neck binding was loose in one spot and the little piece of binding at the end of the fingerboard was rolling around inside. Also inside was the label, which I scanned before gluing it back in. The rosette was missing. I have a brand new rosette that I was going to install but it's a newer smaller style and I just couldn't do it. Instead, I found a basket case 1983 and basically bought it for the case and (broken) rosette. The basket case is on another page. There was also a nasty top crack.
This particular prototype does not have the '1983' inlay at the 12th fret which the production models had. It has an under saddle pickup with preamp, pretty standard issue of the day, but this one has a mono and stereo output jacks. According to Jerome at the Ovation Tribute site, the production models only had a mono output.
I emailed John Budny at the Ovation factory and he said they have no records pertaining to the prototypes.
So another cool odd guitar to the collection. Below are photos of it as received.
Apparently the serial number is indicative of the manufacture date (12-15-82). This one was #3. Wonder what the others looked like?
A little glue cleanup needed...
The stereo and mono jacks:
The top crack.
Here's a rosette I removed (in pieces) from another 1983 Collector's Edition basket case. I pieced it back together with a couple donor pieces of abalone from a 1719 rosette.
And here it is being glued in place.
And here it is all back together, with a new bone nut, dressed frets, new strings.... it's nice!