Electro-acoustic pioneer Ovation has announced it’s reviving its Ultra series, equipping the overhauled acoustic-electric guitar design with a German spruce top and new electronics in the process.
The original Ultras were produced across a nine-year period in the late-’80s (’83-’94, to be specific) and included the firm’s famous composite bowl back and sides, in various depths and shapes.
In reviving the Ultras, Ovation has decided to focus on a single build with a standardised mid-depth, non-cutaway construction. Given Ovation’s reputation as a progressive force in the electro-acoustic world, it’s no surprise that the new electronics are probably the headline feature here.
As such, the Ultra comes equipped with a brand new pairing of a K-21CT preamp, which offers a simple two-band tone control and a built-in chromatic tuner, and OCP-2000 piezo pickup.
The latter, says Ovations, offers an “improved mix of materials for the piezo, a more precise placement of the piezo elements, as well as a new material mixture with increased glass content for the string saddles”.
Essentially, this all means it’s capable of generating a much larger output volume, meaning the preamp does not have to work so hard and the overall noise level is reduced, with Ovation promising a “crystal-clear sound image”.
Ovation has also long experimented with tone woods and materials and the new Ultra is no exception, featuring a two-piece Kahya neck (with Indian laurel fretboard), alongside a thermo-treated spruce top.
The A-grade spruce is sourced in Germany and, much like similar procedures from Martin and Taylor, is essentially artificially aged by a heating and cooling process that the brand says simulates 15 years of seasonal change, creating a more stable and mature-sounding tonewood.
It’s all finished off with a lacquer paint job that’s applied to a level of 6-7 microns, which is reportedly the optimal thickness, but we’ll let you off the hook if that was news to you…
There’s a range of finishes available, including Yukon Spray, Vampira Red, Silver Shadow, Dusk Til Dawn and Pitch Black – alongside the obligatory 2023 pastel paint job. Though it’s all a little less in-your-face than the new Applause by Ovation Jump range.
There's no word on US prices yet, but UK distributors are listing prices in the region of £723 (approx. $872).
For more information, head to Ovation Guitars.