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Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Solar A1.6BOP
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Playability
77
Sound
69
Build
64
Value
70
Score
70
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Playability
73
Sound
79
Build
67
Value
73
Score
73
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Solar A1.6BOP

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I over Solar A1.6BOP

Release Year
2024 vs 2018
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs XL Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Graphite
Resistant, good tuning stability and rich tone
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Set
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Pickups
H vs HH
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Bridge
Fixed vs Evertune
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 13.78'' (350mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings

Reasons to Get
Solar A1.6BOP over Epiphone 1963 Firebird I

Country of Manufacturing
Indonesia vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Fret Material
Stainless Steel vs Nickel Silver
Best fret material that will last forever
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
XL Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Switch Positions
5 vs 0
More tone options
Pickups
HH vs H
High output without hum
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Luminescent Sidedots
Yes vs None
Assists you when playing in dark environments
Bridge
Evertune vs Fixed
Fixed bridge that will keep the guitar in tune forever
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Fretboard Radius
13.78'' (350mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
73 vs 70
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Solar A1.6BOP

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnets vs Duncan Solar/Bridge
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Ash
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs R6
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Graphite
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Solar A1.6BOP

Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm)
Same string separation at the nut
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Profile Type
C
Comfortable neck that works for most people

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Frets
  • Top Pickup Brand
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

SET PRICE ALERT

Solar A1.6BOP Prices

    SET PRICE ALERT

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    Which One is Better for Beginners?

    Both meet 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players. If you're looking for your first guitar to learn how to play, you can't go wrong with either of them.

    New Player Friendliness

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
    • Comfortable shape
    • Easy-to-use bridge
    • Tall frets
    • Comfortable neck
    • Comfortable fretboard
    • Narrow nut
    • Short scale
    • Locking tuners

    New Player Friendliness

    Solar A1.6BOP
    • Comfortable shape
    • Locking tuners
    • Tall frets
    • Comfortable neck
    • Comfortable fretboard
    • Narrow nut
    • Short scale
    • Easy-to-use bridge

    Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

    Sound Quality Comparison

    The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

    Woods Used in the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I

    Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
    Mahogany
    Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
    Laurel

    Mahogany is a fairly rare wood nowadays. It's used mostly for bodies due to its relatively lightweight. Gibson popularized it with their Les Paul guitars during their golden years, so this wood has a lot of good reputation behind it. The most expensive type comes from South America and it's still used by Gibson even today. Find out more about Mahogany.

    There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies. Find out more about Laurel.

    Woods Used in the Solar A1.6BOP

    Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
    Maple
    Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
    Ebony
    Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
    Ash

    Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

    Ebony is a high-end wood, so it is not cheap. It's only used for fretboards because it's also very heavy. It does an excellent job as a durable material while looking elegant. Find out more about Ebony.

    Ash is a type of wood that Fender used almost exclusively in the 50s, and it's still used by many brands. It's a dense wood with a light color that works well for a transparent, natural finish because of its beautiful patterns. In terms of sound, it's known for emphasizing the mid and high frequencies, but with strong low end. Find out more about Ash.

    Winner: Solar A1.6BOP.

    Pickup Configuration

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has an H configuration while the Solar A1.6BOP has HH pickups.

    A single H pickup gives you the advantage of having a little longer sustain (all other things being equal) because there will be less magnetic fields from other pickups affecting the strings' vibration. However, they also give you the least versatility because you won't have other pickups at different distances from the bridge to create different tones. A single humbucking pickup is used for noiseless high output, which is used mainly for Hard Rock genres.

    On the other hand, Double Humbucker (HH) is the choice for people who want a fuller, more round sound with tons of mids and lows. Humbuckers also get rid of the hum noise that plague single-coil pickups. They can work out for almost any genre going from Djent to even Jazz.

    Pickups Quality

    Both come with very good pickups from at least one of the specialized brands in the market. With pickups like these, you probably won't need an upgrade anytime soon.

    However, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a slight sound quality advantage when taking into account other factors like the type of pickups, magnet, position, etc.

    Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

    Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird I.

    Versatility Comparison

    Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

    Switch Options

    The Solar A1.6BOP gives you 5 switch options while the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I gives you 0. This means that the Solar A1.6BOP gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

    Neither of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I doesn't come with pickup switching options.

    Solar A1.6BOP pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
    Solar A1.6BOP's switch options

    When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

    Winner: Solar A1.6BOP.

    Final Sound Quality Scores

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
    Pickups 90
    Sustain 75
    Versatility 39
    Tuning Stability 70
    Sound 69
    Solar A1.6BOP
    Pickups 85
    Sustain 75
    Versatility 57
    Tuning Stability 100
    Sound 79

    Build Quality Comparison

    When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I compares to the Solar A1.6BOP.

    Country of Origin

    The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I is built in China while the Solar A1.6BOP is made in Indonesia.

    China has a bad reputation when it comes to building quality. However, times have changed and now respectable brands use China's cheap labor to build good instruments for a lower price. Don't discount a guitar only because it was built in China, but also expect more quality from countries like Korea.

    Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

    Winner: Solar A1.6BOP

    Nut Material

    If you want your guitar to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a Ivory Tusq nut. Ivory used to be considered the best material for guitar nuts due to its beauty, durability, and the rich harmonics and sustain you could get from a guitar with it. However, the way to obtain it is simply unethical. Enter TUSQ ivory nuts, which are made synthetically to imitate ivory. Technically, it's better than ivory because it is consistent piece-to-piece, while natural materials can vary a lot, even if they're made from the same.

    On the other hand, the Solar A1.6BOP comes with a Graphite nut. It's a self-lubricating material that will allow the strings to slide over the nut without a lot of friction. It's a good type of nut if you want to have better tuning stability than with plastic, although it's not as resistant as Bone or Tusq.

    Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird I.

    Fret Material

    Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

    In this comparison, the Solar A1.6BOP is the only one that has stainless steel frets. These frets will basically last for the entire life of the guitar. They will never need polishing nor replacement. And not only that, but some people also notice that bending and vibratos are much easier to perform when they upgrade to stainless steel.

    Winner: Solar A1.6BOP.

    Bridge

    The perfect bridge for you will depend on your playstyle because they all have advantages and disadvantages. However, some bridges are more expensive—like Floyd Roses and Evertunes—and thus add more value to a guitar.

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's brige is a Fixed. It's a simple bridge that is very beginner-friendly since it doesn't require any set-up. You can swap strings easily. It might also give more sustain since it doesn't have complex moving parts that make the strings lose vibration. However, it doesn't have the same versatility as a tremolo bridge.

    On the other hand, the Solar A1.6BOP's is a Evertune. It will keep your guitar in tune and intonated until the next string swap. If you really like extremely subtle vibratos, this might not be the bridge for you because you won't be able to perform them as well. However, the fact that you won't need to tune your guitar is a huge advantage that many people will gladly pay the extra price for.

    Since we need to be objective, the most expensive type of bridge will be the winner of this section. In the end, this doesn't matter if you're not going to use the bridge for its original purpose, so choose the bridge that fits your playing style better.

    Winner: Solar A1.6BOP.

    Tuners

    The Solar A1.6BOP has the best tuners of the two because they are locking tuners. They'll help to keep your guitar in tune because they allow you to tune it without wrapping the strings around the posts. This avoids variations in the tuning due to the strings changing position at the post after a bend. They come at the disadvantage of being slightly heavier than regular tuners. Also, it makes it a lot easier to restring.

    Winner: Solar A1.6BOP.

    Neck Joint

    Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a guitar is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a Neck-Through neck joint. This neck is a lot more resistant and lets builders give the neck joint a more comfortable shape for soloing at the upper frets. The disadvantage is that they're more expensive and that if you damage your neck, you can't simply replace it like with bolt-on necks.

    On the other hand, the Solar A1.6BOP comes with Set neck joint. This neck is tightly glued to the body. They give you the least versatility because you can't swap them for a neck that fits your hand better if you want to, unlike bolt-on necks. Some people think this gives more resonance and sustain, but there's no real difference if the bolt-on joint is well built.

    Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird I.

    Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

    Strengths & Weaknesses
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
    • Expensive Wood
    • Ivory Tusq Nut
    • Top Brand Pickups
    • Neck-Through Build
    • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
    • No Locking Tuners
    • Made in China
    • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
    • No Weight Relief
    • No Luminescent Inlay
    • No Tremolo
    • No Compound Radius Fretboard
    • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
    • No Strap Lock
    Strengths & Weaknesses
    Solar A1.6BOP
    • Stainless Steel Frets
    • Locking Tuners
    • Expensive Wood
    • Top Brand Pickups
    • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
    • Luminescent Inlay
    • Made in Indonesia
    • No High-Quality Nut
    • No Neck-Through Build
    • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
    • No Weight Relief
    • No Tremolo
    • No Compound Radius Fretboard
    • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
    • No Strap Lock

    Final Build Quality Scores

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
    Quality of materials 66
    Features 60
    Quality Control 65
    Build Quality 64
    Solar A1.6BOP
    Quality of materials 61
    Features 65
    Quality Control 75
    Build Quality 67

    Playability Comparison

    Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a guitar might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

    Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a guitar feels in your hands.

    Nut Width

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Nut Width
    Both Guitars Have The Same Nut Width

    The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, both have a nut width of 43mm (1.693'').

    This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

    Scale Length

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Scale Length
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Scale Length
    Solar A1.6BOP's Scale Length
    Solar A1.6BOP's Scale Length

    The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

    The Solar A1.6BOP has the longest scale: 25.5". The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I is only 24.75" long. This is a 0.75'' (19.1mm) scale length difference.

    This longer scale means that the strings need more tension to get in tune. This is good if you want to avoid fret buzz, which can happen when the strings are too loose and touch the frets while vibrating. This is especially important when playing in lower tunings. This will also let you reduce the gap between fretboard and strings (low action) to make them easier to press down. However, this higher tension will also make it harder to perform bends and vibratos as the strings will feel stiffer.

    This also means that the frets have a longer separation between each other, so this will make it harder for people with smaller hands when playing some chord positions.

    Another characteristic of a longer scale is that it makes the guitar sound 'snappier' or brighter. This is due to the extra separation between harmonics and overtones produced by the tension. This influences tone more than any other factor (except the pickups).

    Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

    Neck Profile

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Neck Profile
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's neck profile
    Solar A1.6BOP Neck Profile
    Solar A1.6BOP's neck profile

    No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

    Both the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I and the Solar A1.6BOP have a C-shaped neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

    Fretboard Radius

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Fingerboard Radius
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Fingerboard radius
    Solar A1.6BOP Fingerboard Radius
    Solar A1.6BOP's Fingerboard radius

    Most guitar fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

    In this case, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Solar A1.6BOP's. This extra arc will make playing chords easier in this model. You won't be as likely to mute the strings, especially if you have big hands. However, playing single notes and bending will be easier on the Solar A1.6BOP.

    Still, both tend to favor soloing over chords, so if you're looking for a guitar for playing rhythm, you might want something else with a radius closer to a Stratocaster's 9.5''.

    Hand Size Comfortability

    Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a guitar before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a guitar favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

    After taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that both in this comparison favor small hands .

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands
    Solar A1.6BOP:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands

    Fret Size

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Frets Size
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Frets Size
    Solar A1.6BOP Frets Size
    Solar A1.6BOP's Frets Size

    The Solar A1.6BOP has XL Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Medium Jumbo frets.

    Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

    Final Playability Scores

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
    Chord Playability 65
    Solo Playability 80
    Playability 77
    Solar A1.6BOP
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
    Chord Playability 50
    Solo Playability 90
    Playability 73

    Specs Side-by-Side

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Solar A1.6BOP
    General Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Solar A1.6BOP
    Brand: Epiphone Solar
    Year: 2024 2018
    Configuration: H HH
    Strings: 6 6
    Made in: China Indonesia
    Series: 1963 Firebird I Type A
    Colors: Green, Pink, Silver Black
    Left-Handed Version: No Yes
    Body
    Type: Solid Body Solid Body
    Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Swamp Ash
    Bridge: Wraparound Lightning Bar Evertune F-Type
    Neck
    Neck Joint: Neck-Through Set
    Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Solar 18:1 Locking Type
    Fretboard: Indian Laurel Ebony
    Neck Material: Mahogany Maple
    Decoration: Mother of Pearl dot Solar Logo on 12th Fret
    Scale Size: 24.75" 25.5"
    Shape: 1963 Firebird Solar C Shape
    Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 XL Jumbo Stainless Steel
    Fretboard Radius: 12" 13.78"
    Nut: Ivory Tusq Graphite
    Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 43mm (1.693'')
    Electronics
    Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnets (Humbucker / Passive) Duncan Solar/Bridge (Humbucker / Passive)
    Middle Pickup:
    Neck Pickup: Duncan Solar (Humbucker / Passive)
    Switch: 0 Way 5 Way
    Knobs: Bell Dome
    Pickup Mods: None None
    Volume Controls: 1 1
    Tone Controls: 1 1