Solar A1.6FRFOB Review & Prices

Solar A1.6FRFOB Review
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  • From Solar's 2018 Type A series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Flame Maple Veneer top
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Duncan Solar/Bridge (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Duncan Solar (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose 1000, with 34 mm Block bridge
  • Solar C Shape Set neck
  • 24 XL Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Solar 18:1 Locking Type tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 82
Build quality 71
Value for money 75
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Solar A1.6FRFOB
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Tremolo
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1000, which means that the Solar A1.6FRFOB costs around 21% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Double Locking bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Tuning stability

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Solar A1.6FRFOB meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

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

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Solar A1.6FRFOB's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Solar A1.6FRFOB's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Solar A1.6FRFOB Scale Length Comparison
Solar A1.6FRFOB's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Solar A1.6FRFOB Neck Profile
Solar A1.6FRFOB's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Solar A1.6FRFOB's neck thickness is approximately 0.787'' (20mm) at the first fret, and 0.866'' (22mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Solar website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Solar A1.6FRFOB has a 13.78" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Solar A1.6FRFOB Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Solar A1.6FRFOB's fretboard radius compared to others

This makes it more similar to Gibson guitars (12'') than Fender (9.5''). It's slightly flatter than most modern Gibson fretboards though, which makes it more comfortable for single notes, bendings and vibratos, but less comfortable for chords.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Solar A1.6FRFOB has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Solar A1.6FRFOB
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Solar A1.6FRFOB Nut Width
Solar A1.6FRFOB Nut Width

The Solar A1.6FRFOB has 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.

Frets

The Solar A1.6FRFOB has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your guitar. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

More with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

Solar A1.6FRFOB Fret Size Comparison
Solar A1.6FRFOB's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Solar A1.6FRFOB's frets are XL Jumbo size. These are extra-large frets, which are perfect for people who truly want the least resistance for techniques like vibrato, bending, tapping, and just playing fast in general. You won't be able to feel the fretboard with these frets, so if you press too hard you'll get the notes out of pitch. It might take a while to get used to them because of this.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 50
Solo Playability 90
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Alder Body: This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Duncan Solar. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Solar A1.6FRFOB's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

Solar A1.6FRFOB
This model
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Duncan Solar/Bridge Bridge Pickup
Duncan Solar Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Evertune Bridge
Duncan Solar/Bridge Bridge Pickup
Duncan Solar Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Duncan Solar/Bridge Bridge Pickup
Duncan Solar Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Duncan Solar/Bridge Bridge Pickup
Duncan Solar Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Duncan Solar/Bridge Bridge Pickup
Duncan Solar Dual Rail Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

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

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 67
Tuning Stability 95
Sound 82

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Solar A1.6FRFOB is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

Bridge

Floyd Rose 1000, with 34 mm Block: With this type of tremolo bridge, you'll be able to perform dive bombs and pinch harmonics without getting out of tune. This type of bridge gives you the best versatility, but it also makes it harder to set up your guitar correctly, especially when changing your strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Solar A1.6FRFOB comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

The tuners have a ratio of 18:1. This means you need 18 turns of the tuner knob to make the tuner post go around 1 complete revolution. The more turns it takes, the finer and more precise your tuning is going to be. An 18:1 ratio is what most instruments have nowadays. Some high-end ones come with a ratio of 21:1.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Solar A1.6FRFOB has a Locking nut. Instead of the typical nut, this nut locks the strings in place and will make them stay in tune even after heavy tremolo use. This type of nut provides the best tune stability, but they also make the guitar more expensive.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a retainer bar for the nut, which would be a helpful addition. Without it, the strings will change pitch once you lock down the nut, so you'll have to make more micro-adjustments at the bridge to tune it correctly.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 63
Features 75
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 71

All Specs

Solar A1.6FRFOB
General
Brand: Solar
Year: 2018
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: Type A
Colors: Blue
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Flame Maple Veneer
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: Floyd Rose 1000, with 34 mm Block
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Solar 18:1 Locking Type
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Solar Logo on 12th Fret
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Solar C Shape
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.866'' (22mm)
Frets: 24 XL Jumbo Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 13.78"
Nut: Locking
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Duncan Solar/Bridge (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Duncan Solar (Humbucker / Passive)

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