Ovation Breadwinner

Solid body electric guitar

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Ovation 1975 solid-body catalogue
Ovation Deacon

The Ovation Breadwinner was launched towards the end of 1972 at a price of $349 - a few months before the launch of the Ovation Deacon. To put this into context, in 1972, a sunburst Stratocaster cost $367, and an SG Special $365.

Both the Breadwinner and Deacon had the same body shape - designed to resemble an axe, and to be comfortable to use seated, for studio use. Both had 2 octave 24 fret mahogany necks. Initially it was available in , and was fitted with large single coil pickups. An upgraded version was displayed at the autumn 1974 NAMM show - and from then it featured double-coil 12-pole pickups, "20dB quieter than Humbuckings".

Model: Breadwinner 1251
Available: 1972-79
Pickups: Single coil until 1975, 12-pole double coil thereafter
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: Mahogany body, length 39 1/2", width 14 1/2", depth 1 5/8"
Neck: Bolt-on two-piece Honduras mahogany neck, with ebony, dot inlaid fingerboard. 2 octaves (24 frets)
Width at nut:1 11/16"
Electrics and controls: FET preamp, 1 volume and tone control, mid-range switch, pickup selector switch
Hardware: 12:1 machineheads, brass bridge. Chrome plated throughout.
Finishes: Textured finish - 1251-5 Black, 1251-6 White, 1251-7 Tan, Red and Blue (until 1976)

The Deacon was very much a deluxe version of the Breadwinner nicer appointments, but functionally the same guitar. Differences include: gloss finish (rather than 'textured') and neck binding on the Deacon, dot (rather than diamond) neck markers on the Breadwinner. Both shared the same mahogany body, neck, ebony fretboard and active electronics.

The pickups and active circuitry of the Breadwinner are designed to give a very wide tonal range. The series II pickups are described as follows

These pickups are not just another copy of the Humbucking pickups, but instead were designed by Ovation engineers to give you the quietest full-range pickups to date. These sensitive pickups have bright, sustaining treble and full, clean, rich bass that will deliver some real raunchy sounds

The controls consist of a volume and tone potentiometer, pickup selector switch and band rejection filter to cut midrange. This is how the circuitry is descibed in the 1975 solid-bodies catalogue

This is where we have it all together - we've built in FET preamplifier that has simplified controls and delivers the fullest, widest range of sound - and all right where it belongs - at your fingertips. The circuitry also has a band rejection filter and is volume compensated on all controls. All controls are isolated in th circuitry so that changes in vilume or amplifier impedance have no effect on the tone control.

Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1972 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Ovation advertisements

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Breadwinner

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Breadwinner (1972)
One of the very earliest Ovation Breadwinner advertisements from 1972
[more]

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation keeps on truckin

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation keeps on truckin' (1972)
Early Ovation advertisement announcing their first solid-body electric guitar, the Breadwinner
[more]

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation Rock

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation Rock (1974)
Psychedelic imagery and a short poem combine to create this early seventies Breadwinner advert

In the center of the world of rock,
Ovation's carved its name,

Our solid body r...
[more]

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation Solid Bodies - They

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation Solid Bodies - They're Worth A Try (1975)
1975 advert highlighting the main features of the Ovation Breadwinner and Deacon solid body electrics
[more]

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation's great guitar giveaway (1976)
Mid seventies advert/competition to win either a sold-body electric Ovation Breadwinner, or an acoustic Balladeer
[more]

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation Solid Bodies - They

Ovation Breadwinner 1251 - Ovation Solid Bodies - They're Worth a Try (1976)
This advert details the Ovation solid body electrics, the Breadwinner and Deacon, with the Deacon pictured.
[more]

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US ebay listings

1972 OVATION Breadwinner Electric Guitar w/ Hard Case #26389

Current price: $1100.00
buy it now
Time left: 10d 7h 15m
70's Black Ovation 1251 Breadwinner Electric Guitar with Gig Bag

Current price: $1295.00
buy it now
Time left: 14d 14h 2m
Ovation Breadwinner -Tan- 1973 - made 1975 Used w/ Hard case

Current price: $2583.54
buy it now
Time left: 3d 13h 29m

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Kerry Bourgeois Comment left 25th March 2014 23:11:15 reply
I am looking to buy one contact me==kbourge1@bellsouth.net
custom53 Comment left 10th February 2014 06:06:04 reply
I still have mine.. Bought it new in 1975..