When I moved to China, I left my U.S. made Balladeer with my daughter, and brought a Korean made, solid top Celebrity with me. I play 2 or 3 shows per week, and when my old Celebrity was accidentally damaged, I needed a new guitar immediately. A U.S. made guitar is REALLY expensive here, so I decided to buy a Celebrity, and wait until I returned to the states to buy a Standard Elite. After playing 4 shows with the CC 44, I don't think I will buy the Standard Elite...this guitar sounds that good. Like all round back Ovations, if you play standing up, just move the strap botton to the bottom side of the neck to keep the guitar from rotating belly up, and you are good to go. Really a nice guitar...don't hesitate to buy one!!
I bought my Celebrity CC 44 in Shanghai, where I have lived for 3 years. It has a beautiful sunburst finish that doesn't even appear on the Ovation web-site. My guitar came with an OP30 preamp, which is an ugrade from the standard OP-4BT preamp. Also, I will never buy another center sound hole model...the multi sound hole design just sounds better...more volume, and better sustain.
The action was perfect with the stock EXP light strings - very low, with no fret buzz. The action was so low in fact, that tuned down to D, it started to buzz. Super easy to fix...I just put on some heavier strings, which pulled the neck just right, AND added some nice bottom end. Tuning shifts a little when using a capo, which is annoying but I use the onboard tuner to re-tune with the capo in place. This takes only 10 seconds or so.
Cosmetics aren't 100% perfect, but my CC 44 does not look, feel, play, and most importantly, does not sound like an inexpensive "assembly line" guitar.
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