Canadian Manufacturing

Ovation guitar factory set to reopen [WATCH]

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. closed the New Hartford, Conn. facility in June 2014

HARTFORD, Conn.—A Connecticut factory that produced Ovation guitars for nearly a half century before closing last year will be making the renowned instruments once again, thanks to factory employees’ efforts.

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. closed the New Hartford facility in June 2014, citing market conditions, while continuing to make them in Asia. More than 40 workers lost their jobs.

Darren Wallace was among a few workers who were retained by Ovation. He kept up part of the plant on his own time with the hope it would reopen someday. Fender sold Ovation in December to Drum Workshop of Oxnard, Calif.

The new owners have decided to resume production at the plant with Wallace and five other workers, who will be turning out new instruments in a few weeks.

Here’s a fascinating video of a 2013 tour of the Ovation plant by Premier Guitar.

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