Updated: Jul 18, 2020
The Ovation ExoticWoods Collection ExoticWood Elite® Dark Burst On Exotic Poplar-burl (man that is a long name for a guitar) is a real beauty. While I know that guitars and their appeal are almost always a matter of taste, this one sure does it for me. One thing I like about these guitars and all of those in this particular collection is that no two are exactly alike. Each is an individual work of art.
The guitar features a sound board made of layered exotic poplar with a dark burst finish. This is one of the "Deep Contour" Ovations, meaning it's the larger size and that translates to plenty of volume when you play it as an acoustic. It features a maple neck, Pau Ferro fretboard, 22 frets and die-cast, black satin nickel tuning machines with back buttons.
The ExoticWoods collection (Ovation does not put a space between the word "exotic" and the word "woods" so I don't either) also has a deep contour cutaway, and Ovation's OP Pro Studio Preamp with OCP1K Pickup.
Enough with the specs, it plays like a dream and looks like a million bucks. One of the things I like about Ovation guitars is that they spend time designing beautiful instruments. There's something about a beautiful guitar that makes me respect it more. Its beauty also makes me want to play it more. The ExoticWoods guitars feature hand-selected woods. The Roundback has been modified to make playing a large guitar more comfortable. I enjoy it seated or standing.
The deep, rich, low-end response and projection from the poplar wood is noticeable. But like all Ovations, it sounds best when plugged in. The clear and clean tone of Ovation cuts through thanks to the Ovation preamp and pickup installed in these models.
The preamp features include:
Gain - Low EQ - MID EQ - High EQ - PRE EQ - Tune - Tuner Display
Tuner without mute function
Phantom power and/or battery operation
The preamp is super quiet and super clean.
The neck, like most Ovation necks is a satin finished maple neck which is narrow. It's extremely playable and great for someone like me who has some arthritis that sometimes slows my fretting hand.
The overall sound is fantastic and the guitar feels good in the hand. When you look at the value this guitar brings, at under $1000 - it's a real bargain.
This Ovation holds tune. It sounds great no matter what you throw at it. It's easy to play and is solidly built. Did I mention it's easy to play? Yes. Am I gonna say it again? Yes. It's one of the easiest to play acoustic/electric guitars I've tested. The wood selection here is unlike anything I have ever seen before and it adds to the guitar's natural beauty. The tuners even look great. The guitars in this class from Ovation really have no peer. They are special and I plan to treat mine as if it cost 10 times more.