Ovation Guitars Reshores Production to U.S. after Buyout by Drum Workshop
September 9, 2015 | 3:05 pm CDT
Ovation Guitar
Toto guitarist Steve Lukather with an Adamas model Ovation acoustic guitar.

Photo By Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

HARTFORD, CT - Ovation Guitars will once again be made in the United States following its purchase earlier this year by Oxnard, CA-based Drum Workshop. Production is expected to start up this month following an August announcement by Drum Workshop it would reopen in the original Hartford, CT plant and reshore production. Glenn Campbell and Melissa Etheridge are among the many notable performers associated with Ovation Guitar. 

Drum Workshop purchased Ovation Guitar along with a number of percussion brands earlier this year from Fender Musical Instruments Corp. Fender had shuttered the plant in June 2014 and moved production to Asia, leaving only a small skeleton crew for repair and restoration work.


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Media sources say DW President and CEO Chris Lombardi decided to reopen the plant and reshore manufacturing after touring the facility and seeing the crew's determined efforts to maintain the facility and remaining equipment.

Headed by plant manager Darren Wallace, the facility is slowly hiring back some workers as it ramps up, according to an AP report. The American-made Ovations cost $3,500 to $5,000, and have ebony or walnut fretboards, decorative inlays and sometimes wood with elaborate grain patterns, such as figured maple.

Founded in 1966 by Charles Kamen, Ovation produces steel-string acoustic guitars and nylon-string acoustic guitars. The Ovation and Adamas model guitars have been used by a number of celebrities including: Melissa Etheridge, Steve Lukather; Marcel Tom T Hall, Cyndi Lauper, John Lennon, Bob Marley and Ziggy Marley, Lindsey Buckingham, Vince Neil, Jimmy Page, Harry Chapin, Shania Twain, Boz Scaggs, Van Morrison and Mick Jagger. 


In addition to Ovation Guitars, DW purchased from Fender owned and licensed percussion brands including: Latin Percussion, Toca Percussion, Gretsch Drums, Gibraltar Hardware and KAT Percussion. Founded in 1972, the family-owned and operated manufacturing company also produces the award-winning DW Drums brand, as well as Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP). DW Drums are manufactured in California, while Gretsch drums are produced in South Carolina and LP's offices are in New Jersey.

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Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]