Solar V1.6R Artist LTD Review & Prices

Solar V1.6R Artist LTD Review
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  • From Solar's 2020 Artist series
  • Ola Englund Signature
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Swamp Ash body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Roasted Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Duncan Solar/Bridge (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Duncan Solar Dual Rail (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Evertune F-Type 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 81
Build quality 70
Value for money 75
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Solar V1.6R 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

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1420, which means that the Solar V1.6R Artist LTD is within the average price asked for this kind of guitar. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Evertune 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!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Solar V1.6R Artist LTD meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. 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 V1.6R Artist LTD
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • 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 V1.6R Artist LTD'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 V1.6R Artist LTD's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Solar V1.6R Artist LTD Scale Length Comparison
Solar V1.6R Artist LTD'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 V1.6R Artist LTD Neck Profile
Solar V1.6R Artist LTD'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 V1.6R Artist LTD'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 V1.6R Artist LTD has a 13.78" fingerboard radius.

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

Solar V1.6R Artist LTD Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Solar V1.6R Artist LTD'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 V1.6R Artist LTD has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Solar V1.6R Artist LTD Nut Width
Solar V1.6R Artist LTD Nut Width

The Solar V1.6R Artist LTD 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 V1.6R Artist LTD 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 V1.6R Artist LTD Fret Size Comparison
Solar V1.6R Artist LTD'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 V1.6R Artist LTD'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

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple Neck, Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Roasted Maple Neck and Fretboard: Similar to simple Maple, but even stronger, darker, and more stable to temperature changes. This is thanks to the treatment process that consists in using high temperatures to drain the water, sugar, and resins from the 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 V1.6R Artist LTD'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

24 Frets
Evertune Bridge
Duncan Solar/Bridge Bridge Pickup
Duncan Solar Dual Rail Neck Pickup
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 Dual Rail Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Duncan Solar/Bridge Bridge Pickup
Duncan Solar Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Parallel Split option. Some pickups will be wired in parallel (the input and output are wired together). This is how the typical Stratocaster pickups are usually connected, so you can expect a very bright sound when activated.

Diagram

Solar V1.6R Artist LTD pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Solar V1.6R Artist LTD'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 75
Versatility 62
Tuning Stability 100
Sound 81

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 V1.6R Artist LTD 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

Evertune F-Type: This type of bridge is designed to keep your guitar in tune and with perfect intonation no matter how much you bend the strings. The disadvantage is that it's not a cheap bridge, and if your playing style involves many subtle vibratos, you might not like that it lacks a bit of sensitivity. But most guitarists are okay with this as long as they don't have to tune a guitar ever again.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Solar V1.6R Artist LTD 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 V1.6R Artist LTD has a Graphite nut. This material is self-lubricating, which allows the strings to slide over the nut without too much friction. This helps to keep the guitar in tune when bending and using the tremolo. It's not as resistant and it doesn't sound as good as bone, but it is much better than a plastic nut.

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 61
Features 75
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 70

All Specs

Solar V1.6R Artist LTD
General
Brand: Solar
Year: 2020
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: Artist
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Swamp Ash
Bridge: Evertune F-Type
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Solar 18:1 Locking Type
Fretboard: Roasted Maple
Neck Material: Roasted 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: Graphite
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Parallel Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Duncan Solar/Bridge (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Duncan Solar Dual Rail (Humbucker / Passive)

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