Wednesday, October 1st14.6°C
22738
22746

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




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14805.44-155.069
S&P CDNX896.35-12.94
DJIA16804.71-238.19
Nasdaq4422.085-71.305
S&P 5001946.16-26.13
CDN Dollar0.9010+0.0054
Gold1216.40+0.90
Oil89.10-0.01
Lumber344.10+6.30
Natural Gas4.036+0.013

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.135+0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.22-0.04
Cantex0.075+0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.1804-0.0036
Metalex Ventures0.0550.00
Russel Metals34.68+0.11
Copper Mountain Mining2.29-0.13
Colorado Resources0.16-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.019-0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.065+0.045
Mission Ready Services0.31-0.01

 





FEATURED Property
17689885615 Goudie Road
1 bedrooms 1 baths
$899,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Power-save your way to a down payment

Part 2 of 2 to read Part 1, click here. 5. Dial down your vacations. New York is out. Maybe Buffalo. For West coast, maybe Seattle instead of Hawaii. Use sites like Airbnb (aribnb.ca) to find ch...


A wildly successful manufacturer

Niche food producer “Sweets from the Earth” thrives using innovation, uniqueness and an unwavering focus on quality. A neighbour’s stew turned Ilana Kadonoff off meat at the age of s...


Finding the smart money

Recently I had the privilege of working alongside André Voskuil, a local guru in the world of Alternative Financing. André has quite the reputation in the world of direct investments as ...

_








Member of BC Press Council


23391