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Solo II - mid 80's soviet electric guitar from Belorussia
Specifications
- taken from the original guitar's manual
________________________
Scale: 650 mm
Frets: 20
Strings: 6
Pickups: three
Output voltage level: not less than 15
Built-in effects: phaser, fuzz
Weight: not more than 4 kg

Package includes:
Guitar - 1
Guitar cord - 1
Strap - 1
Bag - 1
Manual - 1


The Manual




Click above to check out the full detailed manual!
It's in russian, but you can still enjoy awesome pictures.


here are some closeups of this beautiful guitar









You might also want to read this:
Glasnost Correspondence with a Russian Guitarmaker
Solo II

My friend's wife brought me this guitar because she knew I like this kind of garbage (it was broken, the neck fell off). This is a Soviet guitar called "Solo2", and it was manifactured in Belorussia.

One of the coolest things about Solo2 was that it came with a little manual book. If you can read Russian you can enjoy numerous stupid things written there. The second cool thing is that it has built-in effects and all covered with knobs and switches. It almost looks like a keyboard. I fixed the neck and stringed it with some heavy-gauge strings. Tuned to drop G it sounded thin clean, but with distortion produced some distinctive twang. The output is very low, and it instantly goes out of tune.

Body: Unidentified wood, not heavy, all the insides are carved to allow the big metal chassis with pickups and effects to fit in. Meallic-blue finish looks very nice on this monster. Other finishes included black and more metallic colors.
Neck: Very thick, with a very small radius. I can hardly grab it. Wood is also undefined but very heavy. Thick glossy black finish. Frets are uneven, with signs of something heavy (a hammer) on crowns. Looks like the worker who inserted them into the neck used some big and nasty tool. There's a truss rod inside with acsess via gibson-like "bell" cover on the headstock. The cover is made of steel. One of the strange things about the neck is its shape at the first frets - it's rectangular! It becomes round only somewhere at the 3d fret. I guess this is a part of the guitar's concept: it's "solo", not " rhythm", and you're not supposed to play chords in first position. The back of the neck is covered with a very thick layer of black laquer - typical to Soviet guitars.
all the hardware is made of naked steel and covered with rust. There's no chrome/nickel/gold plating. wow.
Tuners: these look handmade! Not stamped/diecast as you could expect, but each tuner looks different and there are signs of hard handwork on every part. It also looks like they used some brutal machines or files. The tuners rotate freely in both directions, no matter if there's a string or not.
Bridge: two-piece construction, sort of tune-o-matic style. Adjustable string saddles in early Telecaster style and a stop-bar. There's also a metal cover for the saddles' part, so you won't get hurt scratching your hands. Unfortunately, on my guitar the bridge cover is missing and it is really dangerous to rest your palm on the bridge.
Pickups: three single-coils, middle pickup is much closer to the bridge than to the neck (why the hell?!). [I've seen this arrangement on Yamahas, but I had no chance to play that guitar.] These are the same Soviet pickups used on all Russian guitars. Pickups are screwed to the pickguard so you cannot move them up and down. The only way to put the magnets closer to the strings is to unscrew the bolts that's under the strings.
As already mentioned, the output jack is 5-pin, and the instruction says the guitar comes with the cable (and a soft case and a manual).
Controls: This is where it really shines. Effects are powered with one 9-volt battery, and the cavity for the battery is right under the neck joint on the back of the guitar. On my guitar the cavity cover is missing. Each effect has two control knobs and an on/off switch. On the upper part of the body there are two fuzz knobs (gain and volume) and an on/off switch. The lower part carries two phazer knobs with on/off switch and master volume knob plus three on/off rocker switches for each pickup. As I was fixing the neck I disassembled the guitar. The cool part about all the electronics is that it looks bulletproof, the wiring is perfect. There's no shielding in the cavity of the guitar, all the electronics mounted on a thick metal plate - including the pickups. This plate takes almost all the insides of the guitar's body - the cavity is huge - and it weights at least 2kg. I mean it - half of the guitar's weight is its' electronics.
Effects: The onboard FX's include fuzz and phazer. Both FX's are IC-based, the phaser utilizes four IC's - something like MXR Phase 45 - style. You can see the schematics in the manual. I fixed the effects and powered them via external 9V adapter. The fuzz boosts the volume and sounds more like a one-transistor EHX LPB-style booster. It also scoops mids and adds just a little bit of bite to the clean sound. I wonder how such a complex scheme produces such a weak change in tone, but I'm afraid the reason is weak pickups' output that simply cannot drive the fuzz into distortion. The overall effect of the fuzz is pleasing and I tend to leave it on all the time. The phaser is not that good; it makes no phasing effect at all. The only thing it does is boosting highs (and cutting lows) in a very unnatural way. It produces a nasty ear-piercing sound with lots of background noise. The knobs on both effects are good to adjust the effects' level but do not make any significant change in the sound character. I do not advise to build FX's with these schematics since they're over-complicated and non effective. The one thing I haven't tried is plugging Les Paul into these effects - this might sound different and probably better.





Credits:
Guy and Vika Kazz (seafoam blue one)- Israel
Lordbizzare (pink one) - Belgium
Tom (black w/green pickguard) - Estonia

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