Ovation Preamps

VIP-5 Preamp

Featuring Ovation’s advanced Virtual Image Processing (VIP) technology, the VIP-5 preamp replicates the sound of high-end microphones used in professional recording studios. Using spectrographic analysis, the VIP-5 compares a guitar’s saddle pickup output to stored audio “images” of a guitar recorded with a studio condenser microphone. The pickup signal is then processed using approximately 1,000 filters and shaped to match the recorded sound image. With this compact, rugged, and easy-to-operate digital preamp, guitarists can finally enjoy stellar studio sound on stage. The VIP-5 also offers 3-band EQ, a battery status light, and a chromatic tuner.

How the VIP-5 Works:

  1. GAIN: This large, ergonomic knob allows control of the output level of the preamp. Turn clockwise to increase the output level.
  2. IMAGE SELECT: This five-position rotary switch selects the image used to process the sound from the pickup. Please refer the configuration insert that came with your guitar to see the mics and guitars used to create the images in your guitar.
  3. MODULE RELEASE: Press this button to release the retainer latch. This release allows the preamp module to be removed for battery changes.
  4. TUNE ENABLE: Only after you’ve connected your guitar will pressing this button activate the tuner.While tuning, the output of the preamp is muted. The name of the note you are playing is displayed and arrows pointing up or down let you know whether to raise or lower the pitch to bring it in tune. As you move closer to the correct pitch, the arrow dims until it is completely extinguished, indicating proper tuning. To disable the tuner at any time, simply press the tuner button again and the tuner and mute function will cease.
  5. TUNER WINDOW: The LEDs in this window display tuner information. Please refer to the tune enable instructions above for usage tips.
  6. BATTERY LOW INDICATOR: This red LED will illuminate when the battery voltage drops below the level needed for optimal performance. When this LED lights, please change the battery.
  7. IMAGE MIX: This control is key to obtaining optimal performance from the VIP-5. It controls the blend of the original Ovation pickup sound with the sound of the acoustic image created with the DSP algorithm. Depending upon the acoustic environment, various mixes of direct and processed signals will result appropriate live sounds. Experiment with this control to get the best preamp performance in your personal playing environment.
  8.  LOW FREQUENCY EQ: Like most Ovation models, the VIP-5 offers the user the capability to adjust the tonality of the undersaddle pickup. The detent In the center of slider travel indicates the EQ “flat” position.. Raising this control boosts low frequency (bass) content of the piezo pickup signal in the output mix. Lowering the control decreases the energy in this spectrum.
  9. MID FREQUENCY EQ: Like the low frequency control, this slider controls adjusts the mid-frequency content of the piezo pickup in the output mix.
  10. HI FREQUENCY EQ: As with the low and mid frequency controls, this slider adjusts the high frequency content of the piezo pickup in the output mix.


  • Battery Voltage: 9V DC
  • Typical Current Consumption: 18.5mA
  • Typical 9V Akaline life (in-use): 27 hrs.
  • Normal Ouput Impedance: 1 kOhm
  • Recommended Load Impedance: >10kOhm
  • Input Gain Range: -8 dB to +7.5 dB
  • Nominal Signal Level: -10 dBV
  • THD: .04%
  • Maximum Output Level (onset of clipping): +8 dBV
  • Baseline Noise (A-weighted):
  • Pickup signal path: -87dBV (typical)
  • Digital image signal path: -89dBV (typical)
  • Dynamic Range: 96dB (typical)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz 20kHz
  • Tone Controls::
  • Low (shelving): ±12dB@ 100Hz
  • Mid (resonant): ±12dB@ 620Hz
  • High (shelving): ±12dB@ 4kHz


Model Name: VIP-5 Preamp
Series: Ovation Preamps
Color: Black