Jim Messina Deacon

The Breadwinner was the first solid body electric guitar made by the Ovation. It was also the first mass-produced guitar to have active electronics. Shaped a battle axe, , the designer also used considerations of balance and ergonomics. Initially it came with 2 toroidal single-pole pickups then later 2 mini-humbucker pickups, volume and tone knobs, and a three way pickup selector and a phase switch.

About a year later, Ovation released a more deluxe model, the Deacon. The difference between the Breadwinner and the Deacon was in the finish and bling. The Breadwinners were painted with "LyraChord” in various colors, the Deacon was available in either Burst, Natural, or a Red finish (all glossy). The Deacon had Mother of Pearl diamond-shaped inlays and an ivory binding around the fretboard, whereas the Breadwinner had an unbound board with dots.

These guitars both came equipped with an active FET preamp on board.

Fast forward to 1975: 

Excerpts quoted from previous owner….

'The work order came down and a few of the usual suspects were asked to make an electric Solidbody Deacon that would be set apart from the rest so as to secure the loyalty and favor of Jim Messina. Mr. Gene Hall was the lead and Jim Rickard, Dave Boone and others were part of the Team. 

The Body with a width of no less than 16", no lamination, solid and high quality Honduras Mahogany features the only "Sandwich" cut process I've seen on any Ovation solidbody. The insides are chambered to cut down on the weight and to add to the axes unique sound. 

The neck, Two piece Mahogany as well, finished in Poly and supporting the only Maple fretboard found on a Deacon to date. Very Flamy Maple at that with Abalone Dot Inlays in Breadwinner form. 

The pickgaurd is Walnut veneered and Poly gloss finished. 

Note the Tuner buttons which were taken from the slothead acoustics, remember there were no online parts depots in 1975... 

Why it came back after being sent to Jim Messina is a mystery. 

I do know that it was a "Best Effort" on the part of the Ovation Craftspeople and that it is a historical piece amongst the under appreciated works that we all too well know.’