REVIEW: Ovation Standard Elite 2778AX


I’ve been a fan of Ovation guitars ever since my guitar teacher brought one to one of my very first lessons way back in 1989. I was ten at the time, and even then I’d already been aware of the brand through Denny Laine’s Guitar Book. Laine was the guitarist in Paul McCartney & Wings, and his book featured a photo of Laine and Macca hanging out while Laine strummed a gorgeous Ovation Adamas (it’s on page 85 if you manage to track this rare 1979 book down). The company makes visually striking and sonically gorgeous instruments that are like nothing else out there.

The Standard Elite series is Ovation’s mid-priced line. The 2778AX features a hand-selected, deluxe AA solid spruce top with scalloped bracing and Ovation’s famous Contour Bowl composite body, which unites the back and sides as one single unit designed to maximise acoustic output while placing the guitar in the optimum position for ergonomic comfort. This is Ovation’s Deep Contour bowl, although other depths are available on various models. The bowl is made of Lyrachord composite, impregnated with glass microspheres. Cool, huh? Like the Adamas in Laine’s book, this model features a series of different sized sound holes surrounded by a rosette of various inlaid hardwoods. It’s an incredible look that feels like it has an authentic design pedigree, rather than the often more practical visuals of most guitars.

CLICK HERE to pick one up from Musician’s Friend.


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Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus

We’ve probably all tried to power a slew of pedals with a tangle of wall warts. The problem with this is that you leave yourself open to all sorts of grounding issues which reveal themselves as ungodly hum running all through your rig. And I’ve also tripped over those damn things a couple dozen times. So what then? Batteries? Batteries are free of any grounding issues and obviously immune to tangles, but depending on what type of pedal you’re running, you might only get a couple of hours worth of use before they run down. Ever try powering a digital delay with a battery? Yeah. Voodoo Lab has released various iterations of its Pedal Power solution, and the latest, Pedal Power 2 Plus, is ideally suited for those who need to power certain specialised pedals as well as the standard nine-volters you’d expect and require.

CLICK HERE to buy the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus Universal Power Supply from Zzounds.


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Knot something I’ve seen before…

So the other day I unboxed a guitar to review for a mag. I noticed some funny overtones happening on the high E string that I couldn’t quite explain via any structural means. The neck looked straight. The nut, although a little rough-looking around the edges, didn’t seem to be interfering with the string’s vibration. The frets were good. The bridge saddle was fine. Let’s check the tuners…

Aha!

Wow! Someone’s actually tied a knot in a broken string! Very clever indeed! I’m not sure where along the line this happened – at the factory, at the distributor, etc. But whoever did it is a genius and they should share their knowledge with the rest of us. I did a little digging and I found this link which explains a similar technique for tying piano wire back together.

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Ultra last minute DIY Christmas gifts for guitarists

“Oh crap! It’s Christmas day and I haven’t got anything for XXXX… and we have to leave for their house in 10 minutes!” We’ve all been there, right? You plan and plot but you can’t possibly remember to get gifts for everyone, can you? Well that’s where I Heart Guitar comes to the rescue. Did you know that with a little clever recontextualisation, ordinary items around the house can become the ultimate last-minute gift idea for the guitarist in your life? It’s true! Obsoive:

Personalised picks

Everyone loves personalised guitar picks (I have some killer custom picks from Grover Allman). But if it’s Christmas morning you obviously don’t have time to get the fine folks at Grover Allman to whip up a batch of picks and send them off to you, so what do you do? Here’s what: rummage around in the breadbox to look for bread tags (or ‘Toast Tickets’ as they’re called in my house, at least by me, at least when nobody is around). You’re bound to find at least a couple that had somehow dropped off their associated bread baggie and escaped your view for the last six months or so. Then you just need a magic marker (or a Dymo tape labeller if your guitarist buddy prefers the textured vibe) and a steady hand. Christmas saved! You’re welcome.

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