NGD: Solar A2.6 - Pics and first impression

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by TheBloodstained, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. TheBloodstained

    TheBloodstained SS.org Regular

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    TL;DR - I love it... scroll down for pictures!

    So...

    Guitar and otamatone virtuoso Ola Englund of YouTube fame wanted to take a stab at the guitar market. Sounds good on paper, but what would he be able to offer on a market that already seems saturated with everything from affordable beginner axes to stunning custom instruments?

    It was with this mindset that I checked out the Solar Guitars website shortly after Ola announced the launch of the brand on monday november 27th.
    Being a follower of Ola for some time I knew about his Washburn signature guitars, which I had been tempted to buy earlier, and I guess that was what initially sparked my interest in his new endeavour.

    Anyway, long story short...
    I visited the website, saw the A2.6 and felt that familiar warm and fuzzy feeling bursting through my chest! It was so close to everything I've been looking for in a guitar - spec wise and aesthetically, so after thinking it over once (maybe twice) I put down an order. And couldn't stop giggling like a little girl!

    I received my guitar friday december 8th.

    And with that said... let's see some pics! (first impression and my opinion follows after pictures)

    IMG_4265_edit_small.jpg IMG_4270_edit_small.jpg IMG_4281_edit_small.jpg IMG_4274_edit_small.jpg IMG_4287_edit_small.jpg IMG_4310_edit_small.jpg IMG_4309_edit_small.jpg IMG_4332_edit_small.jpg

    I must admit that I was a bit nervous about putting cash into a brand new company - there's always a risk involved when buying first-run products from newly established companies. I crossed my fingers and hoped for a playable guitar without too many dings and flaws.

    What I received however was - and I'm being completely honest here - a budget guitar on par with high quality Schecter and Ibanez (my frame of reference) guitars!

    The first thing I did after carefully opening the big cardboard box with the huge Solar logo printed on top was to very thoroughly look the guitar over for the first time. I was looking for flaws, dings and scratches. In a weird way I almost wanted to find some kind of flaw, but the guitar was literally flawless out of the box.
    After my inspection I proceeded to tune the guitar and play the first few notes. To my big surprise I found that the guitar had been setup really well from the factory. The action was nice and low. Zero fret buzz. Every note (and I do mean EVERY of the 6x 24 notes - I played every fret on all strings!) sounded crisp and clear. I wasn't expecting this kind of performance from such a cheap guitar, so I was pleasantly surprised. Also, at this point the guitar was still very cold to the touch from shipping. It even stayed in tune after it warmed up.

    To be honest I haven't had that much time to play it since I received it, so I can't really comment too much about the playability just yet. However, I'm getting vibes from this guitar. It just speaks to me when it's in my hands. I tried running it through my dads guitar rig (I have yet to play it on my own), and - besides checking that the electronics worked - I found that it sounds absolutely beastly. I usually play with active pickups, but I really want to get into passives, and these pickups - so far - is the best passives I've heard. They are aggressive but clear and organic in their expression. I look forward to dialling in some good sounds and get recording with my rig.

    What else can I add...
    It's so strange to do a "review" of a product I've barely started using! :lol:

    Positive things:
    - Solid construction.
    - Volume and tone knobs has some resistance to them, and feel like high quality components.
    - Groover tuners.
    - Awesome pickups.

    Negative things:
    - The tone control makes a slight "dragging noise" when turned. Nothing major though. The control works like it should.
    - The satin finish is beautiful, but it's not the best satin finish I've experienced. The finish on my Schecter C7 Jeff Loomis feels a little smother. Nothing major though. The finish is still smooth to the touch and looks and feels good.

    Things I'm going to do to this guitar:
    - It's getting Schaller strap locks. I use them on all my other guitars.
    - At some point I'm going to change the strings, put it in drop C and tweak the setup a little. I prefer when the neck has a slight neck relief, and right now it as straight as an arrow.

    That's it.
    Absolutely solid product.
    I'm really, really impressed with it.

    Would I buy more Solar guitars? Yes... yes I would! And probably will at some point.

    I guess you should just ask in this thread if you have any questions :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  2. mpexus

    mpexus SS.org Regular

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    Happy NGD :)


    How's the weight on her? More important how does the Neck feel? What can you compare it with? Being Ash is she too "bright"?
     
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  3. ZombieLloyd

    ZombieLloyd Not one 7 string

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    I want one so bad right now. Hopefully I'll be able to afford one soon. Probably by the end of January.
     
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  4. DredFul

    DredFul chunga-chunga

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    :wub: very cool! Happy NGD!

    Looks like it's a one piece body? That's impressive!
     
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  5. Bdtunn

    Bdtunn SS.org Regular

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    Awesome too hear it turned out well!!
     
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  6. TheBloodstained

    TheBloodstained SS.org Regular

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    Thanks :cheers:

    She feels light to me. I'm guessing somewhere close to 4 kilos. According to UPS the whole package weighed something like 5.4 kilos.
    I'm just guessing, though :)

    I've been spending the last couple of hours playing her through my own rig. The neck feels awesome! Very fast and smooth! Don't really know what I should compare it to. Maybe a Washburn X50-Pro, but better?

    Soundwise she's a little bright compared to my other guitars, but she sounds awesome and aggressive :)

    I recorded myself doing a somewhat half assed attempt at covering a solo from a Trans-Siberian Orchestra song. I will try to make a video of that :)

    I hope you get one! The more I play and look at mine, the more I love it! :wub:
    I actually think it's a 3 piece body. I'm pretty sure I can see the joints on both the front and back. Beautifully matched pieces though. It's very subtle :)
    Generally som gorgeous craftsmanship. It's hard not to be impressed! :wub:
     
  7. TheBloodstained

    TheBloodstained SS.org Regular

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    Thanks man! :) The gamble most certainly paid off :hbang:
     
  8. ZombieLloyd

    ZombieLloyd Not one 7 string

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    I will. I plan on getting a Powered Kemper and 2 or 3 Solar Guitars in 2018. That or a Powered Kemper with the foot controller and 2 Solar guitars. Either way, that red one and one of the Vs will be mine.
     
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  9. mpexus

    mpexus SS.org Regular

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    and this one is already Sold out.
     
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  10. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Looks fantastic! Really liking that headstock in the red too.
    Congrats on what seems like a great buy!
     
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  11. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Well most everything on his site is sold out, looks like a good start.
     
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  12. TheBloodstained

    TheBloodstained SS.org Regular

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    I tried recording myself while I played a bit this afternoon. I kinda butchered "Faith Noel" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I hacked together the best bits in iMovie.

    I'm so damn rusty on the guitar right now. I've just started breaking out of a "playing hiatus", and my fingers got sore pretty quick (excuses, I know...), and I had my best runs before I turned on the camera, but... yeah...

    The guitar is awesome :)
    Please note: Recorded with camera mic at bedroom volume.
     
  13. AlexCorriveau

    AlexCorriveau I am the liquor

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    Congrats! It looks beautuful. Looks like Ola did a good job with the quality control with the reviews I'm reading so far.

    I'm reassured mine will turn out good. I just got an email that my guitar has shipped. Can't wait to have it in my hands!
     
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  14. manu80

    manu80 Jackson for life !

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    happy NGD. Looks like he really took care of everything and this color is killer.
    Funny i read that the first batch are sometimes not the right ones to get but i feel the opposite. if you wanna impress peopleyou do it at the begniing, like restaurant etc...the first two months are great, you get your customers and then after, you start cutting cost etc (that's what happens in the area where i'm working at for example)
    So you can be sure that first batch are good. Like chapman duncan at the begniing and then just chapman pups for more expensive than at the beginning. Maybe the craftmanship is as good bit still, specs often changes after a certain period. Hope he'll keep the line up !
     
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  15. TheBloodstained

    TheBloodstained SS.org Regular

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    I think Solar Guitars is a passion project for Ola. At least I hope it is! :)
    I hope the quality/price balance will remain unchanged throughout the next batches of guitars, because if he can hold on to his current level, then he will become a serious competitor on the guitar market.
     
  16. StrmRidr

    StrmRidr Hide your Jacksons

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    Which model did you get?
     
  17. AlexCorriveau

    AlexCorriveau I am the liquor

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    I bought the type E 2.6
     
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  18. Kyle-Vick

    Kyle-Vick Also likes Jeeps and Motocross.

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    My Favorite color in these, love it! Happy NGD!
     
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  19. Joeliosis

    Joeliosis SS.org Regular

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    I am really kicking myself for not ordering the Baritone and this at the same time. I should get the Baritone in a few days. Those pictures are amazing. I will definitely order the red when they are done in March
     
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  20. Matsunaga3

    Matsunaga3 SS.org Regular

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