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".
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
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
Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1972 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Ovation advertisements
Ovation Breadwinner - Breadwinner (1972)
One of the very earliest Ovation Breadwinner advertisements from 1972
Ovation Breadwinner - Ovation keeps on truckin' (1972)
Early Ovation advertisement announcing their first solid-body electric guitar, the Breadwinner
Ovation Breadwinner - 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...
Ovation Breadwinner - Ovation Solid Bodies - They're Worth A Try (1975)
1975 advert highlighting the main features of the Ovation Breadwinner and Deacon solid body electrics
Ovation Breadwinner - Ovation's great guitar giveaway (1976)
Mid seventies advert/competition to win either a sold-body electric Ovation Breadwinner, or an acoustic Balladeer
Ovation Breadwinner - 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.