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Ovation guitars are known for their round backs, which gives them a recognisable shape. The Ovation Roundback Balladeer first caught national attention in 1968 when Glen Campbell was the host of a show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS, and a year later he became one of Ovation's first endorsers.

The Ovation parabolic bowl back is known to dramatically reduce feedback, allowing greater amplification. Improved synthetics techniques control vibrations in the bowl. Ovation developed a thin neck, striving for the feel of an electric guitar's neck, but with additional strength from layers of mahogany and maple reinforced by a steel rod in an aluminium channel. The composite materials and thin necks reduced weight.

For its soundboards, Ovation uses Sitka spruce, in the 1970s, Ovation developed thinner soundboards with carbon-based composites. Although the area of the multiple sound holes is equal to the area of a single-soundhole, the altered position allows a new style of guitar bracing. The design strengthens the soundboard, reducing the traditional design's bracing and hence weight.