The Music's Over: Iconic Connecticut Ovation Guitar Factory Closes After 47 Years

An Ovation guitar factory in the western Connecticut hills that has produced instruments for music legends from Paul Simon to Cat Stevens and Glen Campbell will be closing after 47 years.

The New Hartford factory's owner, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. of Scottsdale, Ariz., is ceasing U.S. production of Ovation guitars and notified employees on Tuesday that production at the factory will end by June. The news was first reported by the Republican-American of Waterbury.

"Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is proud of the products that are built in our New Hartford, Conn. manufacturing facility and appreciates the talented group of people that hand craft them. However, due to current market conditions and insufficient volume levels, the company has made the decision to cease production there within June 2014," the company said in a statement to NBC Connecticut.

The closing will affect 46 employees based in New Hartford, who will be given severance packages, outplacement services and other related assistance, according to the company.

The company said they are consolidating production of U.S.-made acoustic instruments.

“We are committed to providing the same high quality musical instruments our artists, consumers and customers expect and demand, and will continue to support the brands that are currently being produced in New Hartford,” Richard McDonald, senior vice president of Fender, said in a statement.

U.S. production of Fender acoustic and Guild instruments will move other facilities, while domestic production of U.S.-made Ovation musical instruments will cease.

Premier Guitar took a tour of the factory last summer. You can see it here.
Factory workers are calling it the end of an iconic American brand.

Ovation guitars were created by the late Charles Kaman, a helicopter engineer and founder of Bloomfield, Conn.-based aerospace company Kaman Corp. Fender bought Bloomfield-based Kaman Music Corp. in 2007.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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