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Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer Model K-1127-4

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Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer Model K-1127-4

Post by dee2 » Tue May 22, 2018 6:16 am

In a 1970 Ovation company catalog for their then-current line of acoustic roundbacks, we see a listing for the Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer Model K-1127-4.
Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer_Guitar-gcf.jpg
Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer_Guitar-gcf.jpg (77.22 KiB) Viewed 227 times
Ovation described this guitar as follows:
The Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer is an artistically designed acoustical instrument that is now for '70, and is an exact duplicate of the superb instrument that Glen uses on his "Goodtime Hour".

The Artist Balladeer has a reduced depth Lyrachord bowl that projects the sound with absolute uniform response and projection throughout the playing range.

Along with Ovation's luxury detailed features the Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer also includes specially selected tops of the finest Sitka spruce, gold finished (24 karat) deluxe tuning machinery, distinctive diamond shaped fret marker and Glen Campbell's signature on the peghead.
The Ovation Company explained their excitement for this model: it represented a major advancement in the control of sound vibrations with a new patented "V" bracing, Specifically, they pitched:
This superior method of bracing was achieved through the "Audio Signature System", a machine capable of measuring electronic sound spectrum and documenting the guitar's audio signature.
In the catalog in my personal collection, someone had penciled "375" (as seen in the image above) on the page for the Artist Balladeer. I assume this number was the selling price for this guitar in 1970.
Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer_original scan_Glen.jpg
Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer_original scan_Glen.jpg (86.42 KiB) Viewed 227 times
A drawing of Glen is included on the catalog page for the Artist Balladeer. In fact, each of the guitar models in this 1970 catalog is associated with a well-known artist that was playing a different Ovation guitar model during this time period (Bobby Goldsboro, Buffy St. Marie, Charlie Byrd, Eric Clapton and a few other artists). With Ovation being only three years into development of its new roundback acoustic guitars, the company's marketing plan was to clearly align top artists with high-recognition names with their new, cutting-edge product.

At the buyer level, Ovation did not hold back on their usage of enticing words to describe exceptional components of the roundbacks:

--A soundboard of specially selected, choice wood precisely graduated for maximum acoustic response
--Satin finished lyrachord bowl which is stronger, more resonant and reflects sound much better than wood and is virtually indestructible
--Bridge of selected walnut
--Bonding with aircraft adhesives, stronger than the components they join
--Top quality ebony fingerboard
--Nickel silver frets, precision honed to .001 inch
--Genuine mother-of-pearl inlays
--Hand-rubbed polyester finish, beautiful and highly flexible, yet exceptionally durable

Glen Campbell's name was a major selling "adjective" as well. Or rather, his established brand. Considering Glen's enormous Grammy-winner recognition, his accomplishment as a first-call studio musician (primarily known by his peers and not the general public in 1970), and Goodtime Hour popularity and visibility (his Goodtime Hour was viewed every week by millions of people), his name is referenced seven times on the one catalog page devoted to the Artist Balladeer. Also referenced is his popular "Goodtime Hour" television show. Who better to be spotlighted as an Ovation acoustic roundback guitar player than the Wichita Lineman himself?

Selling a newly-engineered guitar with a new shape and sound made from new materials required a finely-tuned marketing campaign. Ovation, of course, recognized right from the start that they were changing a 100-year tradition in wood-constructed guitars. Ovation was savvy to first market their new line to artists.

They were also savvy to align and blend both the traditional charisma of the guitar (genuine, choice, hand-rubbed, satin, gold, silver, resonant) with its new state-of-the-art technical components that would appeal to younger guitar buyers in the late sixties, 1970 in this case: maximum acoustic response, stronger, more resonant, virtually indestructible, aircraft adhesives stronger than the components they join, precision-honed, highly flexible, and exceptionally durable. All of the alluring buzz words highlighted above.
Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer_1970_Specs-gcf.jpg
Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer_1970_Specs-gcf.jpg (81.14 KiB) Viewed 227 times

Perhaps even more enticing was Ovation's assurance to hip buyers:
The acoustic roundback produced "a sound never before possible."

SOURCE: Ovation Instruments, "Ovation Acoustic Roundbacks" catalog (1970)
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