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Showing posts from February 7, 2021

Mid-1970s Ovation 1251 Breadwinner Solidbody Guitar

Ovation made a big splash in the 1970s with their round-back acoustic-electric guitars. They also produced a line of solidbody electric guitars named Deacon and Breadwinner. These guitars were oddballs in almost every way, but they were an extraordinarily high quality instrument, if you could figure out how to use it. Let's start with the body, which the line's most identifiable feature. The asymmetrical design was driven by ergonomics primarily. If you play a Les Paul seated for any length of time, you know how it likes to slide off your lap. The Breadwinner/Deacon body shape allowed you to hold the guitar comfortably in two seated positions. You could play it on your right leg or you could balance it comfortably on your left leg, the way a classical guitarist might hold a guitar. The strap buttons were placed where the guitar balanced nicely for playing while standing. The long "fin" on the upper side of the guitar gave you a comfortable place to rest your picking a

Roland GR-700/G-707 Guitar Synthesizer

In  the 1980s, guitarists longed to get into the act with keyboard players with all the great synthesizer sounds. Today Roland makes guitar synths that are modules that connect to a special pickup you mount to your guitar. For a few years, Roland made the guitars, too. It was said that Roland had the guitars made by Ibanez in Japan. There were several different models, at varying price points, with different finishes and configurations. A couple were sort of Stratocaster-style bodies with maple, bolt-on necks. Others were a sort of Les Paul shape. Then there was the G-707, a mutant-bodied, asymmetrical oddity with a composite stabilizer bar that ran from the body to the weird-looking headstock.  The guitar had two humbucking pickups, a hex-pickup, a three-way pickup selector for the humbuckers, and a three way toggle to switch between the standard guitar and the synth sounds. A guitar synth needs to separate out the pitches of the six strings. The hex pickup was really six pickups in o