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Ovation are well-known for their distinctive acoustic guitars that utilize creative shapes, soundholes and electronics to craft a model that performs. From the American brand’s Elite series, the Standard 2778 AX makes use of all Ovation’s trademark appointments, resulting in a pretty great instrument. But does it offer good value for money when compared to others in the under $1000 acoustic market?
As we mentioned in the introduction, the Standard Elite 2778 AX is unmistakably Ovation in its design, with its 25.25” scale length deep contoured body shape and famous multi soundhole, delightfully inlaid with exotic hardwoods. The top is made from AA Solid Spruce with quarter sawn scalloped X bracing, and finished in a classy black gloss (although you can also find both white and sunburst models on some marketplaces). As for the back and sides, the Elite Standard sports Ovation’s ergonomically designed Lyrachord mid-depth bowl – what you lack in traditional wood you make up for in comfort and output. This body features a generous cutaway to allow good access to all 22 frets of the rosewood fretboard, which slants from the 17th fret on the bass side. Binding this all together is the five-piece mahogany neck, that is satin-finished to provide a beautiful feel in the hands.
Ovation are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to electro-acoustics, and this Standard Elite is loaded with a very good system – an OP-Pro preamp and an OCP-1K pickup. This system features plenty of controls including master volume dial, individual bass, middle and treble sliders, as well as a preset tone enhancement circuit and an on-board chromatic tuner. Elsewhere, sitting on the familiar elaborate Ovation carved headstock, are a set of chrome die-cast tuners which keep tunings very stable, aided by a rosewood bridge and an ABS nut. The only negative, for a guitar in this price range, is that it doesn’t come with a case. Otherwise, the Standard Elite impresses.
You don’t have to plug this acoustic in to hear the deep, smooth tone, which is naturally very resonant and projects very well thanks to both the composite bowl and multi soundhole. Plugged in, the Standard Elite excels and is geared towards stage performances – with a pickup system that’s strong and versatile enough to allow you to dial in whatever tone you want, while feedback is kept to a minimum due to the bowl.
If you’re after a traditional acoustic, you’re better off looking elsewhere because Ovation’s Standard Elite 2778 AX is anything but! While it’s a beautiful home performer, it really does cry out to be played on stage, with superb sound amplification and feedback control – not to mention the eye-catching design and ease of play. For around $800, it shows good value for money.
For more info about the Ovation Standard Elite 2778 AX, click here.
For more acoustic guitar under $1000 you might like, click here.
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