This news makes me very sad, indeed.
The Ovation guitar factory in New Hartford, Conn. — the only U.S. plant that currently makes the iconic guitars — will close in June, its parent company Fender announced Wednesday.
Forty-six employees will lose their jobs after the company decided to close the plant because of “current market conditions and insufficient volume levels,” the company said in a statement.
Ultimately, this is a result of market changes. When they burst onto the scene over 40 years ago, they were the only game in town if you wanted to plug an acoustic into an amp. And that started a bit of a slow-burning revolution. Now, virtually every manufacturer of acoustic guitars offers electric-acoustic options, allowing players to plug directly into amps or PA systems. Fishman, LR Baggs and others provide some of the most advanced systems out there.
I’ve been playing Ovations for over 40 years now. I’m now on my third (early 2000s Celebrity Deluxe shallow-body). My left hand fits their necks perfectly. My Celebrity is the most intonation-stable guitar I’ve ever owned (I rarely have to retune it after the initial stretching period — unless, of course, I go to an alternate tuning!)
Given Fender’s utterly DISMAL recent record with their budget lines (a few friends who’ve worked music retail have told me endless horror stories about how bad the QC is on the Squier line) , I have very little faith that they’ll maintain a quality legacy.
Times change. And I’m sad, nonetheless.
And a very good buddy of mine, Jon Merriman, with his most recent solo video: