“The same detailed craftwork and design that is at the heart of Solar Guitars”: Ola Englund changes the metal guitar game with ultra-affordable 'S by Solar' brand – and prices start from just $219

Solar Guitars founder Ola Englund has announced his latest electric guitar venture, which could have a game-changing effect on the budget metal guitar and cheap electric guitar markets.

In a rather significant move in the world of metal, the YouTuber and entrepreneur has lifted the curtain on “S by Solar” – an entirely new offshoot guitar brand that looks to provide ultra-affordable instruments to beginner and intermediate players.

In hindsight, it seems like the natural next step for Solar. Indeed, in Englund’s own words, the concept of Solar itself was devised with professional and advanced players in mind, and its resulting catalog of guitars were spec’d – and priced – accordingly.

This meant that, until now, aspiring metallers and younger players would most likely have been priced out of a move for the Solar of their dreams, with the majority of the company’s models lingering around the $1,000 mark.

Now, it’s worth noting that the most affordable Solar Guitar, the AB2.6GM, currently weighs in at $529. Pricey, sure, but not entirely out of the question for some potential purchasers. It begs the question: just how affordable are these S by Solar instruments, then?

Well, the answer is ‘very’ – these new guitars are very affordable indeed, and there are an absolute boatload of them to choose from.

Specifically, there are 17 variations of S by Solar guitars spread across six body shapes from the regular Solar lookbook, with prices all ranging from $219 to $349. For a full-sized, fully spec’d metal guitar, that is quite something.

Discussing the new brand, Englund said in a statement, “I started Solar Guitars with the advanced and pro player in mind. Now, I am revisiting a younger time, thinking about what beginner instruments were available when I was starting out versus what is possible to design and manufacture today. 

S by Solar TB4.61C

(Image credit: S by Solar)

“With everything we have learned at Solar Guitars, we knew we could create an opportunity for lower priced guitars that young people and beginners would appreciate, with the goal to put the right tools in your hands from day one.”

As mentioned, the announcement has been accompanied with 17 guitars, which are tailored to beginner and intermediate players and promise “the same detailed craftwork and design that is at the heart of Solar Guitars.”

S by Solar EB4.6C

(Image credit: S by Solar)

The 17 are divided into six categories: the T-type ‘TB’, V-style ‘VB’, Explorer-esque ‘EB’, and SuperStrat-inspired ‘AB’ and ‘SB’. There is also the ‘AB’ bass model. To break those down even further, the majority of model types are available in an array of pickup configurations, finish options, and string orientations.

Across the board, poplar wood is used for the bodies, maple is used for the bolt-on necks, and each instrument comes equipped with 24- or 22-nickel fret Black Techwood fingerboards. Finishes include the no-nonsense Carbon Matte Black and White Matte, with the SB guitars offering a Flame Blue or Flame Red flame maple top.

Those latter models also notably come equipped with genuine Floyd Rose tremolos (the other models have hardtail and thru-body designs), with own-brand high output pickups used across the range to deliver “punch and midrange to cut through any mix.”

S by Solar VB4.6C

(Image credit: S by Solar)

Like we say, it’s a savvy move from Englund, who clearly has set his sights on catering to younger instrumentalists after wooing a host of high-profile shredders and metallers to his Solar Guitar ranks. This is only a good thing, in our eyes, especially given the current economic climate: the more guitars that can make their way into the hands of aspiring players, the better.

To find out more about each model, head over to S by Solar.

S by Solar AB4.4C

(Image credit: S by Solar)

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.