Grouse Guitars, your favourite vintage guitar dealer
Grouse Guitars - your vintage guitar, bass and amp dealer. Click the 'back' plectrum to go back to the previous page, or click the "Grouse Guitars" nameplate above to go directly to the Grouse Guitars homepage.


Now here's a guitar you don't see every day. Ovation, of course, were famous for their resin bowl-back acoustic guitars which were all the rage in the 1970s, but also made these interesting and high-grade solid-body electrics.

The Breadwinner (model 1251-5) has an unusual ergonomic body made of mahogany and shaped something like a hatchet although according to the designer this is partly by accident. The model was produced from 1972 to 1979. The first version ('72-'75) used 2 toroidal single-pole pickups, then subsequent models were fitted with mini-humbucker pickups. They all had 1 volume and 1 tone control, and a three way pickup selector and a mid-range cut switch - these were one of the first (if not THE first) guitars to come equipped with an active FET preamp on board. The active electronics allowed guitarists to get a very wide range of sounds out of the guitar.

The Breadwinners were coated in Kaman Industries' "LyraChord" material and were available in a number of colors including Blue, White, Black, Tan, Gray, and Red. This one is black, and with the textured satin finish looks fantastic! Just check the detailed photographs in the 'more pictures' link below.

Artists of the day who used these guitars included Glenn Campbell, Steve Marriot, Dave Lambert (Strawbs), Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley (Kiss), and of course, David Cassidy in The Partridge Family. Grouse Guitars' biggest fan in Germany, Jeurgen, also advises that none other than Bjorn Christian Ulvaeus of ABBA also used one!

This Breadwinner is in original and near mint condition - in fact most sellers would describe this as 'mint'. The previous owner owned it since 1980 until I purchased it in late 2009. Its serial number is E3623, which would date it to 1975 (according to the Ovation website), making it one of the early 'humbucker' guitars. At the bottom of the 'more pictures' link (below) you can see a page from the 1975 Ovation catalogue showing this actual model (1251-5).

Action and intonation are spot-on, and the previous owner advises that the internal 2x9vdc pre-amp that has been optimised. The two selector switches allow the player to shift tone from bass - mid - treble, as well as phase-switch for the active pick-ups.

Included in the guitar's original case is printed information on notch-switch selection (for types of sounds) and how to adjust the trim controls of the pre-amp, should this be needed. From the photos you can see that the back has no 'buckle rash'. The volume and tone knobs have the slightest of wear to the printed numbers through use, but this has been an incredibly well cared-for guitar.

The guitar weighs 3.6kg (7.9 pounds), and has a Gibson-like 24 3/4 inch scale.

The guitar comes with its original hard shell case (see the bottom photographs in the 'more pictures' link below).

Sold to Steven


backemail currency converter
home