NGD! Solar V2.6

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by RLG167, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    So I've been wanting to try a Solar for a while and finally talked myself into trying one after hearing all the good things about them. I want to try to be as informative as possible with this NGD thread to help others who were curious about these guitars.
    So last Tuesday after deciding to get one (before I had ordered it) I was doing research because I was concerned about importing it and having to deal with customs and import tax. I called UPS international (who Solar uses) and they said anything under $800 there's no import tax or fees, and since after shipping it came to $784 I was in the clear. I pressed the order button and 6 days later it's here. So anyone concerned about it being held up with customs mine wasn't and I know someone else whose Solars weren't either so you should be okay there. The guitar arrived in perfect condition, I couldn't find a blemish anywhere on the finish and the satin coat they used feels very good. This feels like a very high quality instrument straight out of the box. The guitar came double boxed and inside a soft case, which also feels very high quality (as far as I know only the Vs come in the soft cases). The fretwork is outstanding, not a single dead spot and buffed to a mirror finish. I was actually very surprised by this, the frets feel equal to my ESPs, there's no friction on them at all. Now the neck profile is interesting, I had heard Ola modeled it after a Wizard profile with a more rounded back and very slightly thicker which is exactly what it feels like. Very comfortable, in terms of playability I may actually prefer it to my ESP MK1. The guitar came stock with Grover mini Rotomatic tuners which I was skeptical of at first but they hold tune great and feel very smooth. So after I restrung it with heavier strings (comes stock with 9s) I played it for a bit and I can't decide if I like the pickups or not. These are the "Duncan Solar" pickups, pretty much Duncan Designed pickups made to Ola's specs. They're very clear and have a super tight low end, but they're lower output than I was expecting. Once I dialed in my Engl to a better tone I did start to enjoy them, but in the future I may throw in something else.
    All in all this is an amazing guitar that feels great and is an absolute joy to play. I would absolutely say this could hold it's own against any Japanese or American guitar, and I'm almost mad at myself for spending twice the price of this on an ESP last month. It's still a great guitar, but man does this Solar feel great!
    I'll attach some pictures in the next post down, including profiles of this neck compared to a few others.
     
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  2. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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  3. Wolfos

    Wolfos Guitarded

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    Hey Man, congrats on the Solar. I myself have been tempted to get one of these to tryout. I'm glad it's as good as the hype is suggesting, that's a cool diagram of the neck profiles. How did you manage to draw them out, it's a good way of comparing new necks to familiar ones.
     
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  4. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    Hey man, I have a contour gauge, carpenters use it for stuff like finding the shape of molding but they're also awesome for comparing necks. You put it on the neck and it has lots of very fine pins that form into the shape, then you just trace around it.
     
  5. Tisca

    Tisca Big-tube snob

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    Cool, now I'm GASing for a contour gauge. Wonder if those 7€ Chinese ones are good enough.
     
  6. Power2theMetal

    Power2theMetal The deal was rigged

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    That's a nice looking guitar! I wonder what the customs fees would be on the 1000$ ones... was UPS International informative and easy to deal with when you called? Either way, HNGD!!!! Best of luck with it moving forward.
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Happy NGD!

    So... What is the difference in width all about? It looks quite pronounced.
     
  8. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    I got mine at the hardware store for $10 and it's worked fine for years
     
  9. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    I have a buddy who imported two Solars at the same time (an $800 model and an $1100 model) and he said customs was $26 and he paid the UPS driver when they got to him. If you Google it, the customs agency has a chart that says electric guitars over $800 are up to 6% of the value. And yeah, there was no hold time when I called, someone picked up immediately and was very friendly and informative.
     
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  10. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    You'd think that but it's actually very comfortable. I would honestly say it feels like a slightly thicker and rounder Wizard profile, which is what Ola was going for so I think he nailed it.
     
  11. Tisca

    Tisca Big-tube snob

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    Ordered a gauge but now I'm GASing for a V also. Is this Solar body on the smaller side or does it only appear to be?
     
  12. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    It feels similar to a Jackson King V. In the picture it may look smaller because my ESP (the green one) is gigantic, I'd say bigger than a Double Rhoads. So if you're used to King V's, you should feel plenty comfortable on it.
     
  13. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    So I decided while the Duncans sound decent enough, but they just weren't for me. So I swapped them out for a set of DiMarzios, Crunch Lab bridge and a 36th Anniversary PAF neck. I usually got for the Transition set, but I've been wanting to try a Crunch Lab for a while now and a buddy of mine swears by the 36th Anniversary PAF, claims it's the best neck pickups he's ever heard. It's 1:30am here in NY so I can't turn my amp on now (unless I want the cops called on me lol) but tomorrow I'll try it through my Engl and hopefully get a video or two if I remember.
     
  14. Wolfos

    Wolfos Guitarded

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    I had the crunchlab / liquifire set about 10 years ago (big dream theater fan) really didnt care for them. I did however, switch to the Illuminator set (because of dream theater) and absolutely loved them. Both the neck and bridge pickup were very dynamic covered all the bases for me.

    I realize you already put a new set in your guitar but if you don't get along with them I always enjoy peer pressuring the Illuminator set on anyone who will listen.
     
  15. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks but I'm liking the Crunch Lab, pairs surprisingly well with my Engl Inferno. Here's a video I took today while just noodling a bit, the phone mic absolutely kills the tone (makes it sound more treble-y than it really is) but it should give you an idea

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BgmwS-kBMpk/
     
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  16. Wolfos

    Wolfos Guitarded

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    Sweet man sounds good with your set-up. I had mine with a old S-series 7 string ibanez and didn't get along with it.

    Congrats again with the guitar!
     
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  17. MAJ Meadows SF

    MAJ Meadows SF on a tone quest

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    Sweetness! The world needs more flying V’s. HNGD!
     
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  18. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks! Loving this guitar so far! Nothing beats my ESPs but it does feel great and is tons of fun to play
     
  19. Wolfos

    Wolfos Guitarded

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    Hey so after seeing your sketches of neck profiles I had a look at the new skervesen I just got and was a bit surprised by mine.

    The side of the neck my palm rests on is very flat gradual curve which is very comfortable for my palm, the other side is a more exaggerated 'C' shaped arc that fits the curl of my fingers very well. I'm super impressed with the neck profile. I drew a very crude sketch to help show what I described. I don't think I've seen a guitar with this type of curve before.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. RLG167

    RLG167 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah man, I love those asymmetrical profiles, I know Gibson used to do that and a lot of the higher end builders like Skervasen, Blackmachine, Mayones etc do them sometimes too. Glad the gauge is working out for you, they're a lot of fun
     
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