Ovation Applause Roundback Electro-Acoustic Tenor Ukulele

My Mahogany Top

Ovation Applause Tenor Ukulele
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applause Ukulele Composite bowl back ovation
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Ovation applause uae148 mahogany top ukulele
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Ovation Applause Spruce Tenor at Lardy's Ukulele Database

Publicity Photo
of a Spruce Top

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House (finger pick)

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Waltzin'

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12 bar



Mine has D'Addario strings on and is tuned g~C~E~A

Applause UAE148

I wasn't expecting to get one of these as they are a fairly expensive American Import usually. However one came up on ebay so I bid for it and won, getting it plus a good case for a LOT less than the import price of a new one.

It is quite a big bodied, (isn't that a euphemism for fat?), Tenor, though has a 43cm (17in) scale so it a standard tenor not a Jumbo one. It is also heavier than I was expecting, (fat again).

Before getting this, I was in a, (not very big), quandary as to what to get. This Tenor comes in three finished, Natural Mahogany, (this one), Natural Spruce and Black, (like my Ovation Soprano). Of the three I liked the Black finish best but wouldn't want to have two Ovations with black finishes. The Soprano model I have seen with a red finish which I quite liked, but I have a black one? Anyhow mahogany for the Tenor was my next favourite finish and as that was the one that came up on ebay, end of problem

The Ukulele itself; well I've already said that it is big and heavy, the plastic round back makes it awkward to hold without a strap too - there are strap pins already fitted though, to overcome this. Another fault is the design of the headstock can get in the way when making some open chord shapes, it comes out too far at too steep an angle. Another issue with it, though it doesn't affect playing, is changing the battery. It has an active pickup so needs a 9v battery to work and the battery housing in tucked away inside the back in a, (not so), secret panel that is very fiddly to get into or out of - I don't like leaving batteries in when not in use and taking it out or putting it in can be a 20 minute job!.

Sound wise, it is quite quiet acoustically and good without being outstanding. In Europe particularly where they are quite expensive, there are better sounding and playing Ukuleles for the money. It does have a nice tone though, very balanced

With all these grips makes it sound like I have a real downer on it but it is on the whole beautifully made. The compensated saddle is quite complicated but is good quality and does the job giving almost perfect intonation right down the fretboard. The tuners are precise the gloss mahogany top is very pretty and combined with Ovations signature epaulette sound hole design it makes for a striking looker. The Composite back makes it less susceptible to humidity and overall it feels very solidly built, (back to euphemisms for fat again). It would be an excellent gigging Ukulele so long as you made sure the battery was fresh before going on stage and I don't doubt it could take the rigours of the road. Being heavy and quiet acoustically its not so good for a more intimate gathering; or for noodling on your own but thats not to say it would let you down in either situation, it just feels like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut for them somehow?

Would I buy one again if I lost this one? Probably - for all its faults there is something about the Ovation range that I like. I don't think this would work well as the only Ukulele but as part of a collection with a few others it looks and feels the part, (even if I'm not sure what the part is).