For sale we have a vintage Ovation Viper solid body guitar. This 44yr old instrument show play-wear, but was obviously well cared for based on its condition. All original with the exception of the Ping sealed tuners.
The 2-piece solid maple body is finished in a clear semigloss satin, with some minor scratches and small dings. The finish has held up nicely over time, with no wear-through, flaking, or buckle rash. There is a slight center seam separation showing on the back down at the lower strap pin and up the back about 2 inches, perhaps the result of the original strap pin screw in the seam. You can't get a .001" feeler gauge into it, and there is no evidence of the separation on the top. The seam is also showing a slight center seam separation at the top of the body under the neck heal, too small to get a feeler gauge into.
The rock maple neck is in very nice condition with no dents or imperfections on the back or sides. The headstock is very good, with a couple of minor marks in the face by the low e tuner. The replacement Ping tuners work properly and fit well, albeit they have a single mounting tab. The screws from the second tab are still there (see pics.) A set of Ovation tuners from the day would reinstall easily if you could come up with one. The 24 fret ebony fretboard is clean with no gouges, dents or sharp fret ends. The original frets play fine, and have no gouges or channels. The next time the instrument needs a fret level, it will likely need to have some frets replaced. Scale length is 25-1/2".
The original 2 ply B/W pickguard has light pick/fingernail scratches. There is no warping or shrinkage evident. There are a couple of hairline cracks, both approximately 1" long next to the output jack and the pick guard screw next to it.
The cast bridge with solid brass saddles functions properly and has quality chrome plating that is still bright and shiny after 4+ decades.
The original electronics work and function properly. A look under the pickguard shows no mods or any other foolishness. The 2 CTS pots are dated 1978 and 1979. Ovation literature from the period says the alnico magnet single coil pickups were overwound by 30% and and are 6db hotter than other single coils. A patented split casing, surrounded with vibration-dampening material combined with the overwinding resulted in more highs and less noise according to them. The pickup cavity is also shielded, and this specific instrument is indeed very quiet for a single coil guitar. Controls are simple, 1 Volume, 1 Tone, and a 3 way switch. Pots were cleaned and are quiet.
Any of the previously mentioned imperfections do not affect performance or playability. All in, this is a unique vintage piece of Ovation history that still performs and functions well.