8/06/2015

2000s Applause AE-28 Acoustic/Electric Guitar




I picked this guitar up in-shop from a friend of mine and I'm not sure why -- for fun? -- to hand to a student guitarist? -- for camping? I do have a soft spot for Ovation products and the Korean Applause and Ovation products have been just fine when I've had them in for service. They're nothing special -- and this certainly isn't -- but they're practical, inexpensive guitars and (once setup) are perfect for taking outside and on trips.

This model has a laminate, x-braced top, passive undersaddle pickup, and a shallow-depth "Lyrachord" (read: plastic) bowl-back. The neck is (supposedly) some sort of mahogany and the board and bridge are both rosewood. Work included regluing the endblock-area/top seam, taping down the loose electronic cables inside (typical on acou/elecs -- they rattle around annoyingly unless taped), adjusting the saddle, a very light fret level/dress, cleaning, new strings, new bone nut, and a good setup. It plays easy and has that midrangey tone you'd expect from a thin-depth body -- but it's perfectly pleasant to pick on and sing some songs with.



The black finish does let some of the laminate spruce grain show through... which is a plus.


The glued-on soundhole rosettes often fall off -- I had to glue this one back on as it'd come up.


No doubt the two original bolts installed at the edge of this bridge have kept it from needing to be reglued...


Bound board, medium frets, pearl dots. Not bad.



I used to play a 1969 Ovation for shows some years back and loved the thing -- but didn't like that "slipping out of the lap" feeling of the big bowl. The thin body and slightly flattened curves on this bowlback certainly fit this better in the lap.


The enclosed tuners aren't my favorite but they do work just fine.


The stock undersaddle pickup is passive and so the "gain" control really = "volume." It sounds thin and icky unless you turn the tone all the way "warm." Frankly -- I can't stand undersaddle pickups, myself, but they do fight feedback fairly well and sound "good enough" for most jobs if you EQ out most of the mids and add a tiny bit of reverb. I actually like the sound of this passive, plain-Jane unit better than Taylor pups. It's way less "springy" sounding and preserves a fairly good tone fingerpicked.


Here's a bit of glue-trail from a twice-reglued endblock/top seam repair area.


As far as I can tell, these were $200-300 guitars marketed in the early 2000s.

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