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Thread: Ovation MCS148 info

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    Default Ovation MCS148 info

    Hello: I was recently given an Ovation MCS148 which apparently had been in storage for a very long time. Its nut was broken, and I was asked to make a new one. But I noticed that this mandolin had ball-end strings, which was new to me, since all the mandolins I'd serviced or built all had loop end strings. I find that the D'Addario EJ70 Mandolin set had ball ends, and might be a suitable replacement. Is this so, or do you recommend another brand? (Ovation no longer lists mandolin strings on their website, as far as I could see.)

    Secondly, I don't know if this model uses active or passive electronic components. I do not see a readily accessible batter case. There is a plastic plate held in place with a screw, but when I removed the screw, the plastic plate appeared to be attached to something inside the mandolin, and I did not want to force it, figuring that something might have to be loosened on the pickup end before it is removed through the back hole. Is this plate merely for access to the electronics, and is there another access for the battery?

    Lastly, Ovation appears to have no manual available for this instrument, either paper or on-line. Is there a manual available elsewhere, preferably on-line?
    -- John LaTorre
    Sacramento, California USA
    "Good judgment is the product of experience. Experience is the product of bad judgment" -- old aviation proverb

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    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ovation MCS148 info

    Definitely active. The older Ovations were somewhat counterintuitive for battery replacement. On the bowl thereís a 3Ē disc that is removed by twisting the screw with a large standard screwdriver, although a dime worked better for me. Twist it until it pops out and youíll see how everything is connected. This was 20 years ago and I donít know if newer models are different, as the guitar preamps evolved over the years.

    Another hint about these is donít leave them plugged into the cord as the eat battery when so. I went through a lot of batteries before I figure this out. Click Link
    Ted Eschliman

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

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    Default Re: Ovation MCS148 info

    Thanks, Ted! I tried to remove that disk after removing the screw, but the disk didn't want to come off. I'm fearing that some exploded battery might have gummed up the insides. I'll try to pry it carefully off and see what happens.
    -- John LaTorre
    Sacramento, California USA
    "Good judgment is the product of experience. Experience is the product of bad judgment" -- old aviation proverb

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    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ovation MCS148 info

    Don’t take the screw all the way off, just loosen it and try to slide the internal X-brace out until one or two arms are out. Here’s somebody’s video from a guitar that will give you an idea what’s inside. It’s harder with the mandolin because it’s smaller.

    Ted Eschliman

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

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    Default Re: Ovation MCS148 info

    Thanks! I got the back disk off without any difficulty, but encountered another problem...

    I got the battery case out, slid the cover off, and removed the battery to see if it still had a charge. When I went to replace it, I found that the contacts for the two poles of the battery were identical... you could slip in the battery either way without difficulty. I looked the case over carefully for any polarity markings, but found none. (Maybe there was a sticker there marking the two poles, but it's not there now.)

    As for the strings, it appears that I can't get them from Ovation ... at least, I can't find anything on their web site about replacement strings. I've ordered a couple of extra string sets from Strings by Mail, and they should arrive in a few days. But here's another weird thing: I found a website that described the various Ovation products, and they described the tuning as E-A-D-G, in fourths, from low string to high string. I've never seen this sort of tuning on a mandolin. I was wondering if they had just reversed the standard tuning in the description, but they actually gave the note frequencies.

    Here's the URL for that web site: https://www.americanmusical.com/item...itarmanual.pdf
    -- John LaTorre
    Sacramento, California USA
    "Good judgment is the product of experience. Experience is the product of bad judgment" -- old aviation proverb

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    Default Re: Ovation MCS148 info

    Thatís gotta be a typo, coming right under the bass tuning, for which EADG is correct...or, Iím fixing to learn something
    Chuck

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