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Glen Campbell's Ovation 1537 Elite

A look at the history behind many of the guitars Glen has used throughout his career.
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Glen Campbell's Ovation 1537 Elite

Post by jay » Wed May 20, 2015 10:43 pm

Soon after Ovation introduced the Adamas composite-fiber topped guitar, the obvious question at Ovation was - could the multi-sound hole design and bracing pattern be implemented on a wood topped guitar? The answer, from the engineering department, was the model 1537. Originally called the "Wood Topped Adamas", it went to market, as the first model called the "Elite”. The Elite, Model 1537 had a very mellow and "woody" sound. It was perhaps the closest Ovation had ever come to copying the sound of their wooden-box competitors. The Elite 1537 was only produced for a few short years.

Ovation designed the 1537 in 1982 and offered it to the public in 1983. Glen had the first of the production prototypes. Glen's guitar was the first, of two, built (Bill Kaman has the other), with unique and interesting fret marker inlays and one of a kind epaulets. The design of the fret markers was based on a necklace that Bill's wife had. Glen's fret markers pointed towards the base side, Bill's pointed towards the treble side. When Ovation released the 1537's, they simplified the neck inlays and the epaulets, but the rest of the guitar was unchanged from the prototypes.

It is felt that Glen played 2 different 1537's between the years of 1982-1988. In ’88, Glen transitioned from the 1537 to the Ovation 87C (1987 Collectors). Glen showed off the 1st prototype 1537 on his “It’s Just a Matter of Time” album.
Its Just a Matter of Time.JPG
First Prototype 1537 with unique fret markers and epaulets
Its Just a Matter of Time.JPG (899.42 KiB) Viewed 5971 times
1537 closeup.jpg
1537 closeup.jpg (152.04 KiB) Viewed 5971 times
Glen’s other 1537 had a neck taken from an Adamas II:
Prototype 1537 with Adamas II Neck
1537b.jpg (97.96 KiB) Viewed 5971 times
There are quite a few video’s of Glen playing the 1537, in the mid-80's, on YouTube:

[Cowpoke: original link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSC2l5spF3k" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) not available anymore]

Many thanks to Paul Moody for sharing his expertise on this guitar and to
David Witko for allowing me to use the information on the 1537, which he has documented on his informative Ovation Gallery website.

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