Ovation Labels

The label inside the Ovation guitar carries with it quite some history.  The design and information contained on the label has changed considerably over the years.  Below are some examples of Ovation labels from the various production periods.  Click on the links for additional photos.



Bloomfield Labels 
The very first rectangular Ovation labels were printed on a porous off white paper.  The label carried the Bloomfield CT address (headquarters of Kaman), even though the first guitars were built in Hartford and then after a year moved to New Hartford.  The model of the guitar was pre-printed in a kind of calligraphy font.  The Ovation logo had a red background (see left photo above).  The serial numbers were either hand written or typed in black or red ink.  These labels appeared on all the original series acoustics; Balladeer, Deluxe Balladeer, Josh White, Classical and 12-String during approximately the first 1.5 years of production.  Interestingly, the 12-String carried the Balladeer label with the words '12-String' typed below it.  Serial numbers were usually also stamped into the neck block of the guitar.

Rectangular New Hartford Labels 
Sometime in 1968, Ovation changed to a new paper label, this one with the Ovation logo background in blue and the New Hartford CT location on it.  The model names were type written.  The serial number had now gone to the letter prefix.  The 12-srring still carried the name of 'Balladeer'.  The introduction of the Glen Campbell models in late 1968 was followed closely with the introduction in 1969 of actual model numbers.  The rectangular New Hartford labels remained in use until approximately 1971.  Due to an improved and slightly glossy paper, these labels usually have stood the test of time much better than the Bloomfield labels.

Electric Storm Rectangular Labels 
The Electric Storm series of semi-hollow body guitars used the same rectangular New Hartford labels as the acoustic guitar (see above).  However, the model names of Thunderhead, Tornado, Hurricane and Typhoon were stamped onto the label using an ink pad and rubber stamper.  The very earliest Storms had hand written serial numbers, but most instruments still in existence had the letter pre-fix serial numbers typed onto the label.  Later, and also with the introduction of the Eclipse model, the Storms went to model numbers which were typed onto the labels.  Serial numbers were usually hand written under the neck block, as well.

Oval Metal Labels 
The oval metal label is perhaps one of the most recognizable Ovation labels.  First appearing around 1972, these three dimensional stamped labels contained the model number, but no serial number.  Serial numbers were printed on small rectangular white labels and affixed on the inside of the bowl close to the neck joint.  By this time serial numbers were no longer stamped into the neck block.

Blue & White Paper Oval Labels 
These Blue and White labels appeared from approximately 1980 to the mid 1990's and existed in several different variations.  The size and shape of the logo and guitar differed as well as the color shading.  All labels carried the model number and most also carried the model name.  No serial number information was on these labels.  Serial numbers were either on separate small white rectangular labels, carried over from the previous generation Oval Metal label days, or stamped into the back of the headstock.  The Celebrity and Applause labels were variations of the Blue & White paper oval label.

Adamas Labels 
The Adamas line of guitars, starting in 1976, had a unique series of labels (see center photo above).  These were Ovations first multi-soundhole guitars and thus needed a label that could be seen inside the smaller holes.  The original Adamas labels were printed on parchment paper and contained the model number and fundamental frequency.  The first 600 Adamas guitars were hand signed by Charles Kaman.   From serial number 601 to approximately 4000, Bill Kaman signed them.  Adamas II labels were hand numbered, but not signed. 

Grey Background Factory Labels 
The latest version of the Ovation label (see right picture above) is a very classy and simple design which features a sketch of the New Hartford factory building.  This is instantly recognizable to anyone who has visited there.  The label contains both the name of the guitar as well as the model number.  Serial numbers are imprinted on the back of the headstock.

Collectors Edition Labels 
Starting in 1982, Ovation began to produce a special annual guitar in limited numbers.  These guitars featured some of the R&D departments latest ideas and were often the prelude to new commercial volume models.  Items such as the supershallow cutaway bowl, the Tru-balance pickup, the OP-24C and Optima pre-amps, new wood materials, new binding and inlay materials and multi-ply tops.  The Collectors Series guitars also featured unique labels and Certificates of Authenticity.  Shown here are labels from the 1996, 1997 and 2004 guitars.

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