I just got a new Old Wave A oval. I was really looking for that classic oval sound and it did not dissappoint. I got to do a "tasting" this evening at my lesson with Curtis Buckhannon. Using a Sony mike that has proven to be incredibly good, I did a mini-disc recording of him playing the great A modal fiddle tune, "Pretty Little Dog," first on his well-seasoned 1920 Gibson A2. Then with the same set up, right down to the pick, he played the tune again on my OW. I just listened to the two cuts side-by-side.
My first impression was that the two instruments sounded more similar than different. Bill Bussman really did capture the classic oval sound. The Gibson seemed more focused on that heavy mid-range, "tubby" sound, although they both had a lot of that. Also, the Gibson seemed a little louder, but not by much. But the Old Wave had a much crisper, clearer tone, like the notes were more distinct, instead of "muddled together." It sounded more "bell-like." Also the Old Wave had the Gibson beat hands down in the bass range and I think overall it was more even across the whole range.
All in all, it was an interesting exercise!