Dating a guitar can be a difficult experience, but knowing the date can be the most important step in selling or trading your guitar. Maybe you are just curious about the date of your Ovation Celebrity. After all, according to Ovation.com (reference 1), they've been making their signature curved-back guitars since 1966.
The serial number will be a set of numbers and letters separated by dashes. It is typically found inside the body underneath the strings. But sometimes they put it on the back of the neck. For some Ovation guitars, only the first few numbers of the serial will tell you the date. But for those special Ovations, if you record the entire serial, you can find out tons of neat information about your guitar. For instance, you can find the original bowl depth, type, mode and color of the guitar. You will not know if your Ovation is one of these special ones until you are looking up the serial number. Note that you will only be able to date your Ovation guitar if it was built in the U.S.
Ovation web site FAQ's
The charts on OvationGuitars.com will help you identify when your guitar was made, from when the company began in 1966 to the present. Navigate to the FAQs (frequently asked questions) section of the web site. Make sure you don't accidentally go to Ovation.com.
Finding the FAQs button can be a little tricky. Hover your mouse over the "support" button, then click on the FAQs button once the drop-down box appears. Click on the second orange link that says "Click Here" once you are on the FAQs page.
"Cracking the Code" charts
You should be looking at a series of number ranges. These are the serial numbers. If you look up at the widget in the top right of the page, you should notice that there are separate charts for three-, four- and six-digit serial numbers. Make sure you are looking at the chart with the correct number of serial number digits or you could improperly date your instrument. There are also separate charts for Adamas and Collector's series guitars. Find where your serial number fits into the range in the left column, then match it up with the year in the right column. You've now found the year your guitar was made.