Ovation Guitar Repair London

This Ovation LX was in serious trouble when its bridge lifted off.

It is only a couple of years old and was shipped over from Germany. It had had intensive repair in the past and the bridge had been refitted (twice) by guitar techs in Germany.

Normally when gluing a bridge in place, bridge clamps are used.
The bridge clamps reach into the guitar’s sound-hole and firmly locate on the internal bridge plate


Since the Ovation LX does not have a sound-hole in the traditional sense, a different gluing method must be used.

It was decided that the bridge should be glued back in place using very strong wood glue and also bolted down through its wings. This would ensure that the wings of the bridge are tightly clamped whilst the glue was drying. The heads of the bolts would be covered with 6mm Mother of Pearl dot inlays to disguise their heads (a common solution).

When gluing a bridge to its soundboard appropriate down-baring from the clamps to the bridge is vital if it is to remain permanently stuck. I suspect that this was not the case with the past two attempts.
I decided to use a purpose made bar clamp. This clamp is used to “sandwich” the bridge, soundboard and back together. Care must be taken that the soundboard and the back of the guitar is not deformed in any way when using his clamp. To eliminate this, dowel posts were made and used to support and oppose the downward baring of the bar clamp on the soundboard and distortional forces on the back.
Also just as added insurance a cam clamp was used. The pre-amp of an Ovation is set into its side. This entire system was removed thus creating an opening in the side where the cam clamp can be inserted and used to reach the bridge and bridge-plate.

The soundboard and bridge were cleaned up. On the underside of the bridge ply-wood patches were inlayed to stiffen up this area and prevent the bolts from pulling through the bottom of the bridge.

The glue was applied and left to set for 12 hours.

The Bar and Cam Clamp in use

Dowel Posts for support

Bolts through the Bridge Plate viewed from the inside

Portal on the back

The guitar was strung up with 12 – 54 strings and tested for several days.

More about bridges here

8 Responses to “Ovation Guitar Repair London”

  1. Dave Nicklin Says:

    Top class work mate.

  2. Graham Parker Luthier Says:

    Thanks Dave, all in a day’s work.
    I’m guessing that during manufacture Ovation glue the bridge to the soundboard before they are attached to the body on the LX (?) discuss.

  3. John O'Connell Says:

    I have two ovation folklore guitars. The pick up on one is fine and the other is spectalular. I’ve had both for 25 years and just recently the one that is spectalular the tone changed completely and now sounds like a regular cheap pick up. I’m absolutely devastated. Can you think of a reason why this may have happened? Or any suggestions in terms of repairs?

  4. Graham Parker Luthier Says:

    Hi John,
    It’s probably best to call me on the workshop number to discuss the possible issues.

  5. bill whittaker Says:

    hi , I’ve got an old ovation matrix 1132-4 with the metal neck . The frets are worn and need replacing . Is it possible to do this repair on this model or does it require a new neck ?.

  6. Graham Parker Luthier Says:

    I believe that the frets on this neck, on this particular model , are all part of the fingerboard. Therefore any re-fret is impossible.
    Talk to Ovation (Fender UK) via your local music shop as to the likelihood of acquiring a replacement neck.
    Good luck.

  7. Rob Boulton Says:

    Hi Steve. I have a really old Ovation Pacemaker 12 string which needs some extensive work doing on it. Maybe even a new bowl!!

    I bought it second hand about 20 years ago. It played really great and the neck perfect. The top of the guitar really let it down as it was scratched a little and had a couple of dents. I decided it would be nice to have it brought back to its former glory and left it in the hands of a guy of a guy who promised to rub the top down and varnish it!. This was about 3 years ago. I arrived home one day to find the guitar in my porch. I excitedly opened the case only to find that the top was completely ruined. he had rubbed it down to the point whereby there were wide channels of score marks, the bridge and saddle still detached And the Rosette broken! I was too. I had no recourse as I couldn’t track to guy down.
    The guitar has been in its case ever since. I couldn’t bear to look at it. It there a chance that you could do something with it?

    Could send you photos if it helps.
    look forward to hearing from you
    Kind Regards.

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