My friend dropped off a Korean Ovation Celebrity for me to set-up.  He's really into it (I know)  and I would like to help him out.  It needs a neck reset.  No bolts visible.  What is the best way to get the neck off?  I already know that whacking it against a dumpster is the most common suggestion.  Any serious suggestions?  

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I use these... ;)

Seriously though these guitars, Ovation Celebrities were so very inexpensive that they are kind of sort of considered "disposable" in the sense that a neck reset may cost far more than the guitar did when new....  I just had one in the shop last weekend for a set-up with a need for a neck reset AND a lifting bridge too.  When pointed out to the client what this might cost if I took it on, and I wouldn't.... because of the costs and effort to only restore it to it's former glory.... they declined on any work being done.  I would have too.  They do make excellent long handled bed pans though once the top is removed.... ;)  Please note smiley faces....

On a completely serious note my understanding is that they are held together with copious amounts of a tenacious epoxy...

"On a completely serious note my understanding is that they are held together with copious amounts of a tenacious epoxy."

This is true; I will reset all manner of oddball guitars, but will pass on Ovations.  It's not so much that the cost of a reset would be more than the guitar is worth, but that the joint is well-nigh unfixable.  I did one, once; that was enough--and I do Yamahas all the time!

I wouldn't take that job : too much ignorance of the glue and neck joint.

Matt, I am not 100% sure, but think that there is not anyone on this Forum that deals with Ovations under almost any circumstances. There is good reason for it to. Just pass on this job and find another project maybe? 

I passed up an Ovation at a thrift store for $20 a couple years ago. I wish I had it now - I would disassemble that sucker and post the pictures so that we could know what the hell is in there!

Ovation sacrifice!


I've done this a few times with good success.

Strap the body down to a "neck jig'   ( a little hint here; if no jig, and you must use a flat board....go to a craft store and get a masonite ring, used to make a wreath.... cover it with foam. I use the tubing that is used to cover 1/2" water pipes   Placing the board inbetween the foam tubing.Rest the rounded body into this device)

Make sure the soundboard has good humidity in it !

After strapping the body firmly.  Use a firm support under the neck...nearest the body... next strap down, a bit, the neck at approx.  fret 1 or 2. Apply just enough tension to 'bend the neck down a wee bit.   Use a straight edge and measure the angle.  Let sit a day or two.

Next, leaving the guitar in the tension position...take a heat gun on for a minute or two, the heat towards to "plastic" body at the heat  Sit a day.... then perform the heat 'treatment' process.  Increase the neck strap tension a slight bit now..  Let sit several hrs.    Using a straight edge, see if you have "made any progress with the process.  If you feel you have...release the neck strap...and measure again with a straight edge...does it lightly touch the top of the bridge now?  If so... you are done.  If not...repeat process again.   Hint',  after neck strap is release...the neck WILL spring back upward a bit.  Compensate for this action.

Very interesting Chris, thank you. Do you know if the angle stays correct after some month/years?


Thanks for your sincere reply.  I may try it.  I totally get the Ovations suck and all the jokes but my friend really likes the idea of the guitar and I may be able to help him out.  Do you have a picture of the set-up?


 What area of the guitar are you directing the heat - neck block area?



Neck block area...just enough to 'weaken' the 'plastic' area.  Go easy for your first time.  Works great !

Hi Chris, Thanks for the tips.:)   I'm going to try it.


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