The Ovation Standard Elite 6868AX is a black, electro-acoustic guitar from Ovation Guitars. It features a solid spruce top with a textured enamel finish, a 2-piece mahogany neck and is fitted with an OP-PRO preamp.
Overall: (4.0 / 5)
One of the more striking differences between Ovation acoustic guitars and regular guitars is the lack of a single sound hole. Instead, the Ovation Standard Elite 6868AX has a pattern of multiple, smaller sound holes towards the upper-bout of the body. This is done for stylistic reasons, but also to enhance the performance as an electro-acoustic guitar (one large soundhole tends to increase feedback when amplified).
The Ovation Standard Elite produces a warm, rich tone, thanks to the high output pickups with increased bass response. The super-shallow cutaway bowl is paired with a modified, scalloped X-bracing to further increase the tonal resonance of this guitar.
The OP-PRO series pickups used in this guitar were designed in collaboration with Al Di Meola and Melissa Etheridge and they aim to provide high level studio quality amplification, with guitarist-friendly features and design.
The 6868AX features a 22-fret rosewood fretboard with pearl-dot diamond inlays on a 25 1/4″ scale neck. This is a fairly average length, so the frets wont feel too close together, or too far apart to reach (if you’re used to acoustics).
The Ovation Standard Elite 6868AX comes with a built in, easy-to-use 3 band EQ, a preset tone enhancement circuit, a battery status light and a chromatic tuner.
- Super Shallow Cutaway body
- AA Grade Solid Spruce Top
- Rosette inlaid with Exotic Hardwoods
- Scalloped X-bracing
- 25 1/4″ Scale Length
- Rosewood fretboard and bridge
- Pearl-dot diamond fretboard inlays
- Ovation OCP-1K pickup
- 1 11/16″ wide nut
- Chrome tuning pegs
- OP-Pro preamp
What We liked
One of the first things to notice about this guitar- apart from the stunningly beautiful design- is the playability. The action is fairly low, and the frets are not too far apart, making for an exceptionally easy guitar to play- it may even have the lowest action of any acoustic you’ve ever played. When you combine that with the shallow body design, the Ovation Standard Elite 6868AX really feels more like an electric guitar, than an acoustic!
The other great thing about this guitar is the tuning stability- always the mark of a well-made instrument! This guitar seems oblivious to temperature or humidity changes, and stays in tune wherever you take it, whatever the weather. This guitar really is one for the road.
As for the sound, well…you’re just going to have to hear it for yourself. Let’s just say that you wont be disappointed!
What We didn’t like
Although, having said that, the Standard Elite 6868AX is really designed to sound at its best when plugged in through an amplifier. Unamplified, this guitar can sound a bit thin, so, if you’re looking for a guitar to use entirely acoustically for the most part, there are better sounding instruments out there.
Also, it’s a good thing that this guitar is good at staying in tune! Access to the truss rod for adjustment purposes would seem to be a bit awkward without special equipment. This shouldn’t be a huge problem, unless you’re one to adjust constantly however.
Conclusions on this Ovation Standard Elite 6868AX Review
The 6868AX is a great instrument for live playing on a stage or studio. If you’re looking for a great guitar to gig with, or record- this is for you.
If you’re looking for an acoustic-acoustic- i.e. one that you’ll be playing without plugging into an amp- then there are much better instruments out there. That isn’t to say that the Ovation Standard Elite 6868AX sounds bad as an acoustic, it just isn’t at its best unless plugged in.