Ovation guitars are pretty well regarded by the community as well as the professionals out there. However, one of the least expected places where Ovation really intensified their focus are the affordable acoustic electric guitars. Their AB24-5 Applause Ballader has got to be one of the cheapest amplified acoustic guitars on the market. Well, at least one that is worth getting. If you’re on a tight budget but want that extra versatility, Ovation AB24-5 is something you should check out. We liked it so much that we put it among other acoustic electric guitars we like and recommend. For more info on those models, check out our list.
Body And Neck
Instead of taking the usual dreadnought route, Ovation decided to go for the round back lyrachord body shape. They have also added a cutaway, which has become almost a standard feature on acoustic electric guitars in general. The body is made of a laminated spruce top paired with laminated back and sides. As you’ve probably noticed, this is where most of the cost was cut down. The neck is a simple but effective nato piece with a standard rosewood fretboard on top.
In terms of hardware, we’re looking at a good old fashioned rosewood bridge featuring a compensated saddle made of synthetic materials. Same goes for the nut. The composites they have used for these two pieces are pretty decent. Finally, we have a set of die-cast chrome tuning machines. All in all, the hardware is alright, although this is where you can expect your first problems to arise. Our suggestion is to go get a professional setup done on the guitar, and try to keep the instrument within its comfort zone.
What can a sub $200 acoustic-electric guitar offer in terms of electronics? Nothing extraordinary, but enough to get the job done reliably. That’s right, Ovation AB24-5 Applause Ballader comes with a lightweight preamp system called OP-4BT. It’s an in-house piece of electronics which offer rudimentary controls, but a pretty good quality of sound. A lot of manufacturers are trying to squeeze in all these features which are ultimately useless, at the expense of pure performance. This is where Ovation AB24-5 excels.
For a budget guitar, Ovation AB24-5 has a rather good tone. Sure, it has some drawbacks, but it also has strong suits. For example, its tone is more on the brighter side. Some people will love this, others not so much. However, the point is that you get tone color which can go against just about any of its immediate competition. W e might even go as far as to say that it hits a bit above its price range.
For the most part, Ovation AB24-5 is a great beginner guitar. Those on a budget who want to have an amplified acoustic guitar and get it without spending a fortune will simply love the Ovation AB24-5. Other than that, it’s a great guitar to have around for practice.