The following is an historical account of a remarkable man by the name of Charles Kaman. Kaman came into this world kicking and screaming in the year 1919 in the District of Columbia, Washington, and 18 years later found his way into the school of Aeronautical Engineering at Catholic University. He earned his bachelors degree and graduated magma cum laude, an honor and truly respectable accomplishment for any man or woman. He was also awarded honorary doctorates from the Universities of Connecticut, Hartford and Colorado respectively.
Kaman took his education, his insight in Aeronautical engineering and with a paltry $2000 and the help of two friends he founded what is now known as the Kaman corporation. Kaman is most renown for his insights concerning the stability and control of helicopters, more specifically his work on the addition of ailerons or flaps that were added to the edges of the rotor blades to improve stability. His brilliant work was well known especially during the Vietnamese and Korean conflicts where Kaman's H-43 Husky flew more rescue missions than all other helicopters combined. But what does all this have to do with guitars you might be asking yourselves? Well, in addition to Charles Kaman's groundbreaking work in aeronautics as well as his monumental contributions to the advancement of helicopter engineering, he is also the inventor of the Ovation guitar. Kaman's understanding of vibration in helicopters compelled him to apply his wisdom to the construction of guitars, and to create a unique design that no one had seen yet: the rounded-back guitar.
They found that the rounded back increased the guitar's projective capability and also helped to create a better balance between bass and treble. In 1966 Charles Kaman brought the first Ovation production model to life known as the Balladeer.
The Ovation CC-245 (or Celebrity Center) HB (or Honey Burst) has a mid-depth Spruce cutaway top with inlaid abalone rosette, Rosewood fretboard speckled with abalone micro-dots and a Walnut bridge. Like most other Ovation guitars the back and sides are composed of the composite plastic material known as lyrachord which is a substance coveted for its resonating characteristics and its durability as well. The lyrachord is treated with an anti-slip treatment to keep the rounded back from sliding around excessively while playing. Scale length of the CC-245 is 25 1/4" and the width at the nut is 1 7/8". The bracing for this twelve-string is termed "modified X" which is a modification of the long-standing "X" bracing pattern. This type of bracing accentuates the low mid-range and bass regions of the sound spectrum which can be especially instrumental on a twelve-string which tends to ring more predominantly in the treble region. Modified X helps to bring out the lower end of the spectrum lending balance and beauty to the sound of the twelver. The Ovation Slimline pickup is also included in the package allowing the entry to mid-level player the option to amplify their sound if so desired.
This lovely twelve-string guitar is currently available for anywhere from $449 to $629 and can be obtained through any of a number of on-line vendors, or right around the corner at Mom-and-Pop's musical mercantile establishment. This is a well-made entry level twelve-string guitar with almost 100 years of Ovation quality and workmanship standing behind it, and at the price offered (especially at the lower end of the spectrum) you can't go wrong.
The Ovation CC-245 HB has a fairly good mix between low's, mids and high's weighing in on the treble side of the spectrum, as most twelve-strings are prone.
Resonation is not the best I've heard from a twelve-string but...considering the price and other features of this guitar it really did pretty well. There was definitely a hint of muddiness and a certain lack of clarity though this seemed to go away once the guitar was plugged in and adjusted properly. This guitar is a cutaway which having less material to resonate and less of a top to vibrate has the tendency to reduce the amount of sound that is coming out of the soundhole, especially when played unplugged as an acoustic instrument. This is something to consider especially when you are considering purchasing a twelve-string as the size of the body is especially important for sound production. As acoustic-electrics go with electronics built-in and at this price level, the CC-245 is a reasonably good value.