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Happy Jack

The Joy Of The Refin

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Posted (edited)

I'm rather fond of Ovation Magnum basses. I particularly like the outrageous styling of the Mk.II but there's nowt wrong with the Mk.IV either ... they share pretty much everything except body shape so they sound and play the same.

I have one of each, but while my Mk.II is in a varnished natural finish my Mk.IV came to me in a rather unattractive translucent lilac 'wash', for want of a better word. It was neither transparent nor a solid colour, and the tint was unappealing. 

1429385941_Ovation_whole(1).thumb.jpg.42ac1beab8f59d4138e9fc52db2311a5.jpg

Apparently this was a popular finish at the time, although Ronnie Lane had the good taste to prefer a black one on Maggie May and Stay With Me.

1328260558_Ovation_body(1).thumb.jpg.fab8bdaf57987f1f0216ba7d5cc657ae.jpg

Apart from being unappealing, the finish had also developed a 'bloom' over the last 40 years. That stronger lilac tint that you can see on the upper horn and the upper bout is not a trick of the light or a reflection ... it was actually there. Not visible under stage lights, of course, but very obvious in daylight. It wasn't a surface problem either, that could be polished out, and I found it really, really irritating.

142695909_Ovation_body(5).thumb.jpg.09808708f27c782ed0f466be3d793cc5.jpg

I actually listed it for sale here on Basschat for a knockdown £800 because I was so irritated. Then @Beedster recommended Chris Bowling of Bow Finishing (near Godstone, Surrey) so I took the bass down to him. He agreed that the finish was way past its sell-by and also pointed out that the piece of wood being spoiled was an absolute cracker.

So I bit the bullet and asked him to do a refin to match my Mk.II. This was NOT cheap, but By God what a job he did!

349788216_Ovations(1).thumb.jpg.029177385bac1489924b1751fdee76c7.jpg

Isn't she lovely? Isn't she beautiful?

387329809_Ovations(2).thumb.jpg.9a9d038220a04468beb82f45ec95a7e4.jpg

Ooh ... I've come over all Stevie Wonder ...

 

Edited by Happy Jack
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Fantastic!

Is that the original mute mechanism on the MkII?

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53 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Is that the original mute mechanism on the MkII?

It is - close-up below:

 

Ovation Magnum II.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Here is the promised MKIII photoshoot after the refinishing job. :)

1633508245_Ovation_whole(1).thumb.jpg.1063fc794c8f34f907853841443bcfe2.jpg

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1835520170_Ovation_body(2).thumb.jpg.348af2808cff0c883fe25a9a923a9abf.jpg

1082672854_Ovation_body(1).thumb.jpg.6daf7eb5535a128944f96f2610819ba8.jpg

The front of the headstock appears to have been left untouched, except for the rounded top bit, which is the same colour as the body.

1211552806_Ovation_headstock(2).thumb.jpg.b1e0f93004fd0f18b89e4be5fae6e766.jpg

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Two more of the near-twins together: :)

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1723491792_Ovations(2).thumb.jpg.84e9073c009245208c946416d47b0dfc.jpg

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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6 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

Ooh ... I've come over all Stevie Wonder ...

Hmmm, sorry to be totally un-PC but if you had, I don't think the colour would have bothered you in the first place....😎

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Posted (edited)

Super stuff, Jack. Congrats. 
But just to be pedantic wasn’t it Ron Wood’s all over the place bass on Maggie May?😷

Edited by Mickeyboro
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He was probably miming.

Badly.

🤣

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Posted (edited)

Chris and John at Bow are, for me, absolutely the best in the business.  This came back last week - it needed a really high-quality polyester polish job.  The work (again) was staggering. Really easy to work with, communicative, obsessive attention to detail, and skilled beyond belief.  Not the least expensive but the results are phenomenal

72871522-F361-4BE9-96F6-8F70FE9A1E54.jpeg

Edited by three
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About how much is "not the least expensive"? 

Electric wood quoted me £600 to refin a Wal Custom.  I wouldn't subject it to the least expensive job, but £600 was a bit much for something that wouldn't change the sound.  I passed, I'm sticking with the "gigged" look for now ...but y'know, shiny things.

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1 hour ago, NickA said:

About how much is "not the least expensive"? 

Electric wood quoted me £600 to refin a Wal Custom.  I wouldn't subject it to the least expensive job, but £600 was a bit much for something that wouldn't change the sound.  I passed, I'm sticking with the "gigged" look for now ...but y'know, shiny things.

PMd

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Must admit I’d be interested to know too. Finding a good refinisher can be a bit of a crapshoot so when you do find one, getting an idea of how much they charge is useful. 

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Bow quoted me £300-350 for a J bass refin in burst / poly, incl strip and rebuild. 

Some great examples have been on their site for years - always wondered if the pink Status is known to anyone here. 

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Mine was a bit more than that, but still ballpark.

And that pink Status very nearly convinced me to have the Ovation done in the same colour. Working seperately, Chris Bowling and @Silvia Bluejay persuaded me not to. 9_9

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Bow finishing did this for me many moons ago, it was amazing as was the whole bass but sadly it was way too heavy for me.

P1010903 low.jpg

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17 hours ago, three said:

Chris and John at Bow are, for me, absolutely the best in the business.  This came back last week - it needed a really high-quality polyester polish job.  The work (again) was staggering. Really easy to work with, communicative, obsessive attention to detail, and skilled beyond belief.  Not the least expensive but the results are phenomenal

72871522-F361-4BE9-96F6-8F70FE9A1E54.jpeg

Need a front pic for that bit of bass porn please......:$

Back to the OP - refin looks stunningly good, and Chris Bowling was quite right about the body wood being an absolute cracker :i-m_so_happy: Ovation always used great tonewoods and the Magnums were made from 1 piece Honduras mahogany (NOT in fact chocolate coated ice cream.....) - I have a fretless Magnum 1, also in natural.

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4 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

Ovation always used great tonewoods and the Magnums were made from 1 piece Honduras mahogany (NOT in fact chocolate coated ice cream.....)

😂👏👏👏

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