Ovation Elite 1778TX Review

4.9 out of 5 stars

Ovation has been building guitars with their unique design and sound since the mid-1960s, and with the Elite 1778TX, they have produced a model that gives you just about all that Ovation can offer. That’s particularly impressive when you consider the price point; the Ovation Elite 1778TX may be some pretty heavy competition for the other makes and models you’ll find in the under $1,000 range.

Ovation Elite 1778TXBody and Neck

If there’s anything that can be said about an Ovation, it’s pretty easy to know one when you see one – and that’s due to several proprietary features and designs that you will not see anywhere else.

The feature that is the most obvious is the body construction. Their Elite 1778TX follows the same footprint as pretty much all other Ovation guitars, with an AA-grade solid spruce top and their unique Lyrachord composite ‘bowl’ design that eschews the ‘back and sides’ found on a traditional acoustic.

The top has an attractive black finish, with a soundhole (actually, several of them) that are not directly under the strings but placed on the upper bout towards the neck joint. The Lyrachord bowl may take some getting used to, but once you get acclimated, you may find that it’s very comfortable and not ‘boxy’ as some bigger acoustic models can be.

Rock maple is Ovation’s choice for the neck construction on the Elite 1778TX, and it’s covered with a Pau Ferro fingerboard with 22 frets. Another way the Elite screams ‘Ovation’ is by the iconic headstock design that has been a hallmark of Ovation guitars since the beginning.

HardwareOvation Elite 1778TX

The Elite 1778TX may not be the most expensive Ovation model out there, but the hardware certainly could be considered top-shelf.

Most – if not all – Ovation guitars are acoustic/electric, and the Elite features an Ovation OCP1K pickup that’s powered by an Ovation OP Pro Preamp. The OP Pro packs everything you’d need in a good preamp system, with an onboard tuner, a 3-band EQ, and a volume knob. There’s also a neat Pre-EQ push button that gives you additional tone-shaping control, and the battery indicator is always a handy tool to have.

The bridge is similar to the fretboard as it’s made from Pau Ferro as well, and tuning is quick, easy, and accurate thanks to the Ovation-branded die-cast tuning machines.

We always would like to see an instrument purchase include some method for protecting the instrument – even if it’s just a gig bag. Unfortunately, that’s not the case (no pun intended — well, maybe) with the Elite 1778TX. Ovation does offer several excellent hard-shell case options, but they aren’t included with the price of admission.

Sound

A key factor of Ovation guitars has always been their distinctive tone, and the Elite 1778TX is no exception to that rule.

The combination of the solid spruce top (with Ovation’s Scalloped X Bracing), the Lyrachord bowl, and the rock maple neck with Pau Ferro fretboard and bridge all add up to a guitar that sounds bright with a rich bottom end while offering a good level of sustain and volume when playing it unplugged.

Hook up the Elite 1778TX to a good acoustic amp, direct into a PA, or right into a recording interface, and the pickup/preamp combination does a great job of translating the Ovation tone, giving you that legendary tone while having a very responsive EQ system at your fingertips to tweak things to fit your liking.

From the playability standpoint, the Elite 1778TX is extremely smooth and comfortable, with a single line runs feeling just as fast as a good electric guitar, while pulling off those pesky barre chords with ease.

Conclusion

Ovation guitars aren’t for everyone, but if that iconic look and sound are your thing, then it may be hard to go wrong with the Ovation Elite 1778TX. It’s a very capable acoustic/electric that looks good, plays great, sounds amazing, and is at a price that won’t give your bank account a heart attack.

For more info about the Ovation Elite 1778TX, click here.

For more of the best acoustic guitars under $1,000, click here.


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