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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
VS
Playability
75
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
66
Score
71
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Playability
73
Sound
82
Build
72
Value
71
Score
76
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V over Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD

Release Year
2024 vs 2020
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 Bolt-On
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Strings
6 vs 7
Narrower neck and fewer strings to change
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 0
More tone control
Pickups
HH vs HS
High output without hum
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.89'' (48mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Bridge
Tremolo vs Evertune
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
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 15.75'' (400.1mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings

Reasons to Get
Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD over Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

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
Pickup Mods
Parallel Split vs None
Connects pickups in parallel to brighten tone
Strings
7 vs 6
Allows you to play lower notes
Pickups
HS vs HH
High output with bright neck cleans
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Nut Width
1.89'' (48mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Luminescent Sidedots
Yes vs None
Assists you when playing in dark environments
Strap Lock
Yes vs None
Protects your guitar from dropping by locking the strap
Bridge
Evertune vs Tremolo
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
15.75'' (400.1mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
71 vs 66
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Duncan Solar/Bridge
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Duncan Solar Stacked Single Coil
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Ash
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Roasted Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Roasted Maple
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs R7
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Graphite
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD

Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Switch Positions
3
Same pickups versatility
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

  • Weight Relief
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

SET PRICE ALERT

Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD 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 V
    • Comfortable shape
    • Easy-to-use bridge
    • Tall frets
    • Comfortable neck
    • Comfortable fretboard
    • Narrow nut
    • Short scale
    • Locking tuners

    New Player Friendliness

    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
    • 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 V

    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 AB1.7 Artist LTD

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

    Roasted Maple is just maple without a finish. It's technically cheaper than regular maple, but it doesn't have any extra disadvantages because of this. The color is darker, and it's lighter weight and very stable even when there's a lot of humidity.

    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: Tie.

    Pickup Configuration

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has an HH configuration while the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD has HS pickups.

    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.

    On the other hand, An HS configuration gives you a bridge pickup with a lot of output for playing distortion parts, but you'll also have the bright sound of a Tele or Strat neck pickup for your clean tones.

    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 V 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 V.

    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

    Both are equal when it comes to the pickup switching option.

    Only the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD comes with some kind of pickup modification: Parallel Split.

    The Parallel Split feature allows it to split and connect some of the pickups in parallel. When wired in parallel, the result is a very bright tone. This is the wire technique used in most Stratocaster guitars, and it's what gives them their signature transparent and clear sound. This is because the pickups' inputs and outputs are wired together, which reduces the signal's travel distance to the output jack.

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V pickups switch and push knobs diagram
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's switch options
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD pickups switch and push knobs diagram
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD'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 AB1.7 Artist LTD.

    Final Sound Quality Scores

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
    Pickups 90
    Sustain 70
    Versatility 63
    Tuning Stability 65
    Sound 72
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
    Pickups 85
    Sustain 75
    Versatility 67
    Tuning Stability 100
    Sound 82

    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 V compares to the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD.

    Country of Origin

    The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V is built in China while the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD 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 AB1.7 Artist LTD

    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 V 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 AB1.7 Artist LTD 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 V.

    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 AB1.7 Artist LTD 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 AB1.7 Artist LTD.

    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 V's brige is a Tremolo. Tremolo bridges give you more versatility than fixed bridges. They let you perform the intense vibrato effects that would be impossible with a fixed bridge. However, since the bridge floats and there's less contact with the body, the strings lose sustain slightly faster. They can also be a bit harder to restring and set up correctly than fixed bridges.

    On the other hand, the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD'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 AB1.7 Artist LTD.

    Tuners

    The Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD 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 AB1.7 Artist LTD.

    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 V 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 AB1.7 Artist LTD comes with Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

    Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

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

    Strengths & Weaknesses
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
    • Expensive Wood
    • Ivory Tusq Nut
    • Top Brand Pickups
    • Neck-Through Build
    • Tremolo
    • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
    • No Locking Tuners
    • Made in China
    • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
    • No Weight Relief
    • No Luminescent Inlay
    • No Compound Radius Fretboard
    • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
    • No Strap Lock
    Strengths & Weaknesses
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
    • Stainless Steel Frets
    • Locking Tuners
    • Expensive Wood
    • Top Brand Pickups
    • Parallel Split Pickups
    • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
    • Luminescent Inlay
    • Strap Lock
    • Made in Indonesia
    • No High-Quality Nut
    • No Neck-Through Build
    • No Weight Relief
    • No Tremolo
    • No Compound Radius Fretboard
    • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio

    Final Build Quality Scores

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
    Quality of materials 66
    Features 65
    Quality Control 70
    Build Quality 67
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
    Quality of materials 61
    Features 75
    Quality Control 80
    Build Quality 72

    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 V Nut Width
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Nut Width
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD Nut Width
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD Nut Width

    The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD has the wider nut with 48mm (1.89'') vs 43mm (1.693''). This is a 5mm (0.197'') difference

    This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

    Scale Length

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Scale Length
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Scale Length
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD's Scale Length
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD'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 AB1.7 Artist LTD has the longest scale: 25.5". The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V 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 V Neck Profile
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's neck profile
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD Neck Profile
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD'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 V and the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD 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 V Fingerboard Radius
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Fingerboard radius
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD Fingerboard Radius
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD'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 V's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD'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 AB1.7 Artist LTD.

    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.

    And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD favors large hands more than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands

    Fret Size

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Frets Size
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Frets Size
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD Frets Size
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD's Frets Size

    The Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD has XL Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V'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 V
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
    Chord Playability 65
    Solo Playability 80
    Playability 75
    Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
    Chord Playability 50
    Solo Playability 90
    Playability 73

    Specs Side-by-Side

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
    General Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Solar AB1.7 Artist LTD
    Brand: Epiphone Solar
    Year: 2024 2020
    Configuration: HH HS
    Strings: 6 7
    Made in: China Indonesia
    Series: 1963 Firebird V Artist
    Colors: Blue, Red Black
    Left-Handed Version: No No
    Body
    Type: Solid Body Solid Body
    Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Swamp Ash
    Bridge: Maestro Vibrola Evertune F-Type
    Neck
    Neck Joint: Neck-Through Bolt-On
    Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Solar 18:1 Locking Type
    Fretboard: Indian Laurel Roasted Maple
    Neck Material: Mahogany Roasted Maple
    Decoration: Mother of Pearl Trapezoid 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" 15.75"
    Nut: Ivory Tusq Graphite
    Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 48mm (1.89'')
    Electronics
    Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Duncan Solar/Bridge (Humbucker / Passive)
    Middle Pickup:
    Neck Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Duncan Solar Stacked Single Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
    Switch: 3 Way 3 Way
    Knobs: Bell Dome
    Pickup Mods: None Parallel Split
    Volume Controls: 2 1
    Tone Controls: 2 0