Tuesday, July 7th34.4°C
26667
25017

Ovation guitar factory in Connecticut closing this summer after 47 years

HARTFORD, Conn. - An Ovation guitar factory in the western Connecticut hills that produced instruments for music legends from Paul Simon to Cat Stevens to Glen Campbell will be closing in June after 47 years and production of the Ovation line in the United States will stop, the manufacturer's parent company told the shop's 46 workers this week.

One former factory worker called it "the end of an iconic American brand."

Fender Musical Instruments Corp., based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and maker of the iconic Stratocaster electric guitar, said in an announcement Tuesday that it was ceasing domestic production of Ovation guitars and closing the New Hartford factory, citing "current market conditions and insufficient volume levels." The company also said it is consolidating production of U.S.-made acoustic instruments.

Ovations will continue to be manufactured outside the U.S., Fender spokesman Jason Farrell said Wednesday. He said Fender also builds Ovations in China, South Korea and Indonesia.

"We are committed to providing the same high quality musical instruments our artists, consumers and customers expect and demand, and will continue to support the brands that are currently being produced in New Hartford," Richard McDonald, senior vice-president of Fender, said in a statement.

The factory also has been making Fender and Guild guitars since Fender bought Ovation's owner, Bloomfield, Conn.-based Kaman Music Corp., in 2007. The shop opened in 1967 after Charles Kaman, an engineer who founded Bloomfield-based aerospace company Kaman Corp., developed the first Ovation guitar. Kaman died in 2011.

The factory closing was first reported by the Republican-American newspaper of Waterbury, Conn.

Richard Hall of Winsted, who worked for Kaman and Ovation for three decades including 18 years at the New Hartford plant, told the newspaper that Ovation made the first acoustic guitar that could be plugged in to an amplifier and the company had 66 per cent of the acoustic market in the U.S. in the early 1990s.

"It's the end of an iconic American brand," Hall said. "In the 1970s and '80s, just about every big touring band was playing Ovation."

Ovations made in New Hartford have been praised for their craftsmanship and tone. The company's website shows pictures of many music legends playing Ovations, including Simon, Campbell, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Eddie Van Halen, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond and Melissa Etheridge.

A worker at the shop referred questions Wednesday to an official at Fender subsidiary KMC Music Inc., who didn't return a message seeking comment.

Fender officials say the factory closing will affect all 46 workers, who will get severance packages, outplacement services and other assistance.

___

Information from: Republican-American, http://www.rep-am.com

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24947


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14624.50+30.93
S&P CDNX652.83-10.50
DJIA17776.91+93.33
Nasdaq4997.46+5.52
S&P 5002081.34+12.58
CDN Dollar0.7859-0.0004
Gold1153.50+1.10
Oil53.47+0.44
Lumber282.00+0.80
Natural Gas2.731+0.015

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.18+0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.50-0.02
Cantex0.05+0.02
Anavex Life Sciences0.53+0.01
Metalex Ventures0.065-0.010
Russel Metals22.58+0.19
Copper Mountain Mining1.04-0.05
Colorado Resources0.09+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0065+0.0005
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.165+0.005
Decisive Dividend Corporation3.00+0.00

 





FEATURED Property
22890365615 Goudie Road
3 bedrooms 2 baths
$799,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Increase property value

Photo: Thinkstock.comHere are five of the best renovations you can do to your home to increase property value. These five renovations can sometimes have a return on investment five to six times what t...


Active listening

Has this ever happened to you? You had an initial meeting with a prospect. You asked that prospect what seemed to be all the right questions. You had what felt to you like a good conversation, and bas...


The price of money

Money is not a commodity. By definition, a commodity is a generic product that is bought and sold on price alone. Money, Canadian bills for example, look the same, smell somewhat the same, and are ava...

_








Member of BC Press Council


26706