ovation

Top Separation Repair on 'Bowl-Back' Ovation

If your acoustic guitar top is starting to separate or lift a little from the guitar sides, it’s usually a reasonably straightforward job to repair.

Basically speaking, it’s a matter of some glue and some good clamping. Good clamping is the secret to all good glue jobs and it’s not too much hassle to clamp most acoustic guitar tops.

However, on a guitar like an Ovation—with a moulded, curved back—things are a little less cut and dry. Applying pressure along the edges of the top is a bit more tricky.

Hence, this monstrosity.

Crazy clamping on an Ovation

Crazy clamping on an Ovation

The guitar’s neck is held in my vice.

I’ve a couple of mats below to cushion it and conform to the shape.

The other side is held in place so it doesn’t start to ‘flip’ when I…

Clamp the top using my workbench as a clamping point.

This way, I can get a decent, downward pressure on the top so it’ll re-glue to the sides. We’re not talking tons of pressure here—this is a fine (if less than graceful) solution. 

Quick Tip: Ovation OP-24 Preamp Removal

If you ever need to remove certain Ovation preamps, you might find yourself scratching your head as you look for the fixings/mountings. The first time I encountered one, it took a little thought so I'll pop this quick tip up in case it helps others. 

The OP-24 preamps actually hide their screws underneath a stuck-on plastic sheet with the control legend printed on it.

Get a sharp knife and run it along the edges of the front panel, inside the bezel.

Mystery mountings - how can I get this OP-24 out?

Mystery mountings - how can I get this OP-24 out?

You're not really cutting, You're just loosening the edges.

You're not really cutting, You're just loosening the edges.

You should be able to pry up the left and right ends to reveal two screws either side. Be careful not the ‘fold’ or kink the plastic as you remove the screws.

Hidden screws on one side

Hidden screws on one side

And the other side

And the other side

Do what you gotta do and, after reinstalling, the panel cover will stick back down itself if you’re lucky, or might need a little contact adhesive if you’re not.

Ovation OP-24 removal - mystery screws located

Ovation OP-24 removal - mystery screws located

Video: Ovation Truss Rod Access

When I wrote Truss Rods Made Easy, I mentioned that Ovation, bowl-back guitars, without a regular sound hole, had to have their truss rods adjusted through an access port around the back. I didn't have a guitar handy for a photo, though, and pretty much forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when I was working on one. 

I took a quick video. 

And, since I'm essentially an excitable child, I felt the journey inside was just crying out for a horror-movie drone over it. 

No, you're a nerd!