Ola Englund’s Solar Guitars has launched five new electric guitars for 2022, each equipped with active Fishman pickups and a high-performance spec that makes the brand a good fit for guitar players versed heavy metal’s dark arts.
All share that Solar DNA, with the customary logo at the 12th fret, super jumbo frets, Luminlay side-dot fretmarker’s, super-speedy neck profiles and a reverse headstock that looks inspired by medieval weaponry.
Let’s take a look at the most newsworthy model first – the AB1.6TBS, which is home to Solar’s first ever HSS pickup configuration.
If you are familiar with the Type AB model, you’ll recognise the turbocharged S-style format, and its heavily contoured, solid alder body and three-piece roasted maple bolt-on neck and matching fingerboard.
But in Tri Tone Burst Matte finish, with a Fishman Fluence Modern active humbucker at the bridge position and two Duncan Solar Stacked single-coils at the middle and neck positions, it has the vibe of a classic 80s shred machine, and perhaps positions itself as the fusion/shred choice in the Solar catalogue.
There will be plenty of tones on offer, with a five-way pickup selector switch and the dual-modes of the Fishman humbucker accessed via a push-pull mechanism on the tone knob. And for those who like their tuning unerring, there’s an F-type EverTune bridge to hold the guitar’s tuning in perpetuity – or as close as mechanically possible.
The AB1.6TBS retails for $1,099.
Next up, we have the SB1.6AFRFM, another S-style with a pair of active Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers housed in mahogany body with a flame maple veneer and a Flamed Natural Matte finish that looks a little like vanilla ice cream in the photos, and certainly is complemented nicely by the gold hardware.
Like the new Type AB model, it too has a 25.5” scale, with similarly shreddable dimensions and ergonomics, but here, Solar has plumped for a Floyd Rose 1000 double-locking vibrato, putting divebombs and squeals on the menu, and the neck is a five-piece sandwich of maple and jatoba, topped with an ebony fingerboard.
The SB1.6AFRFM retails for $1,199 and you can watch Englund put it through its paces in the video below.
The GC1.6AFAB, meanwhile, is Solar’s take on a classic solid-body singlecut with a design that falls far from the LP tree, but offers a flame maple topped mahogany body and set three-piece mahogany neck for sustain and all that good stuff.
The shorter 24.75” scale might give it a Gibson-esque dimension but, again, we’ve got a Thin C neck, an EverTune bridge, and super jumbo frets on its ebony fingerboard to give it that super-speedy feel.
There’s a three-way pickup selector mounted on the shoulder, with volume and tone controls for dialling in your sound. The latter has a push-pull feature for accessing the Fishman pickups’ alternate voicing.
The GC1.6AFAB retails for $1,299.
Finally, the we have the six and seven-string T1.6 and T1.7 Vinter models, which boast a vaguely T-style alder body, a bolt-on three-piece maple neck in a Thin C profile, a pair of Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers, ebony fingerboards and 24 super jumbo stainless steel frets, and an EverTune bridge.
Indeed, both Vinter models are nigh-on exact, except the T1.7 Vinter has a longer 26.5” scale, with its six-string counterpart a regular 25.5”.
As with the others in the series, you’ve got high ratio 18:1 Solar tuners, Luminlay glow-in-the-dark side-markers, and altogether a serious metal guitar. Just don’t leave this out in the snow when shooting your necro black metal promo video because this Vinter finish – a Pearl White Matte paintjob – is whiter than white, and liable to disappear into the background.
The T1.6 Vinter is priced $1,299, the T1.7 is $1,399, and these new models are available to order now. See Solar Guitars for more details.