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Showing posts with the label 1977

1977 Gibson RD Artist

As we have discussed previously, in the 1970s, the big guitar manufacturers were pretty much taken over by large corporations. In the late 60s, CBS took over Fender. Gibson was acquired by a huge conglomerate named Norlin. (Along with Gibson, Norlin also took over Moog synthesizers). These corporations tried to apply large-scale manufacturing techniques and efficiencies to guitar construction. After all, as they figured, a guitar is just a piece of wood, like furniture. It should be easy to be able to increase production and profitability.  During the Norlin era of Gibson, quality control generally took a dive because of cost-cutting measures. These guitars are collectible today because they were made a half-century ago, but at the time, guitar players didn't particularly think these guitars were as good as those from the 1950s and 1960s. At the time, a Les Paul Custom would set you back about $600 plus another $95 for the case. That's almost unimaginable today, but at a time w

Ovation Applause AF-15 12-string guitar

  Every now and then, a famous guitar manufacturer has an idea that is just godawful. Welcome to the 1977 Ovation Applause. One of Ovation's selling points in the 1970s was durability. Artists could take an Ovation on tour and they didn't have to worry about busting up their favorite Martin. The pickup system in them made them easy to amplify without mics and feedback. The Lyrachord back, which was adapted from materials used to make helicopter radomes, could take a big hit and not even scratch, much less crack. So somebody at Ovation got the idea to make a cheap version of their popular round-back instruments and make it even more durable and affordable. The Applause took Ovation's round back, added a laminated top, and an aluminum neck with the headstock, tuners, and frets all integrated into one piece. The result was a nearly indestructible guitar that sounded like crap. It also just looked cheap and silly. The neck on these things felt weird, like a hollow aluminum tube