What is the best Chapman Guitar?
Chapman Guitars have grown from humble UK beginnings to become a force to be reckoned with in the guitar world. With over 30 models to choose from, you may find yourself presented with a difficult question: what is the best Chapman guitar?
‘Best’ is a strong word - we’re not sure we believe in it here at Andertons Music Co. While some instruments may be better than others, everything we sell offers some kind of benefit and advantage over other products. This same outlook applies to Chapman Guitars! So really, the question you should be asking yourself is:
Which Chapman Guitar is best for me?
We’re glad you asked. It’s totally subjective, and depends entirely on you as a guitarist, as a person. Your playing style, your budget…maybe even your fashion sense. We’ve consulted our many resident experts and come up with a selection of Chapman models that suit every need – without further ado, let’s take a look:
Chapman guitars are, in some ways, naturally inclined towards metal; Rob Chapman himself is a metaller. He's the frontman in Dorje, a progressive metal outfit featuring two other Chapman artists: Rabea Massaad and Dave Hollingworth. With this in mind, there's always going to be something for metalheads in the Chapman catalogue!
ML1 Modern Standard
The first of our selection is the ML1 Modern Standard; the string-through hard-tail bridge will ensure tuning accuracy regardless of how low you want to go. Chapman Sonorous Zero pickups provide a gutsy yet clear response, perfect for anything from classic thrash to djent. Finally, a Mahogany, Maple and Ebony construction with an alluring Flamed Maple veneer top makes for a stealthy aesthetic that'll look dynamite on stage.
Ghost Fret 7 Pro
Next up, the Ghost Fret 7 Pro. This one takes it all up a notch; striking finish, Chapman Primordial pickups and an extended range that'll broaden your tonal horizons. If you want to lay down some thunderous riffs, the Ghost Fret 7 Pro will deliver in style.
ML1-8 RS Rob Scallon
Last but by no means least, the ML1-8 Rob Scallon signature 8-string. We've all been there; sometimes 6 or 7 strings just isn't enough. Ash, Mahogany and Ebony make up the tonewood cocktail for the ML1-8 RS - this makes for a pronounced midrange and clarity in the lows and highs. Add a pair of devastating Chapman Passive Aggressive 8-string humbuckers, and you've got a locked-and-loaded djent machine that simply doesn't take prisoners!
Next stop: Blues. We've all flirted with blues playing at some point in our guitar playing; many see blues as the foundation for the majority of contemporary music we listen to today. Sometimes, you just wanna plug in, crank it up, and fire out some SRV licks - which Chapman will you use?
ML2 Modern Standard
While the ML2 Modern Standard was designed as a rock guitar (a broad term in itself), it has more dynamic legroom than you might think. Singlecut guitars (we're not naming names) have earned a place in blues history; just look at Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and Billy Gibbons. The ML2 Modern boasts a Mahogany and Maple construction, with medium-output Stentorian Zero humbuckers. This combination is perfect for screaming sustain and red hot tube overdrive, both of which lend themselves perfectly to blues styles.
ML3 Pro Traditional
The ML3 Pro Traditional takes it in a different direction, offering T-type twang and gorgeous aesthetics. Bold Ash grain combined with a transparent satin Triton finish combines old-school cool with bold Chapman design. The Ash and Maple tonewood combination provides a barking midrange and sparkling clarity in the top end. This is perfectly complemented by 2 x Chapman Mojo Hand single-coils - scorching blues tones aplenty.
ML1 CAP10 Lee Anderton Signature
The Chapman ML1 CAP10 was designed with our very own Captain Anderton (see what they did there?), so it was always going to be a blues machine. The HSH configuration strikes the perfect balance between the ML2 and the ML3, adding an edge of versatility thanks to a 5-way pickup switch and coil split options. Go from ripping neck humbucker lead tones to out of phase spank with ease!
If you're a funk player, you'll likely want to strike the balance between versatility, playability, and crystal clear tone that slices through any mix. Let's see what Chapman has on offer:
ML1 Traditional Standard
The ML1 Traditional Standard is among Chapman's most popular models; three singlecoils, an Ash body and a Maple neck has proved to be a winning formula. The Classic 5-way pickup switch offers the perfect funk tonal palette; pronounced twang in the bridge, punchy popping tones in the middle and a full-bodied spank in the neck position, as well as everything in between. You can't go wrong.
ML1 Traditional Pro
The ML1 Traditional Pro takes it up a notch, as you might expect. A higher-quality Ash body with ergonomic contours ensures a wholesome, pronounced sound that'll cut through the funkiest of mixes. It'll also provide a comfortable playing experience, allowing you to really get into the groove without a care in the world. The ML1 Traditional has won numerous awards for its playability and modern tones - it must be doing something right!
ML3 Bea Baritone
While Rabea Massaad is known for his incredible shred techniques and prog riffage, he's also a professed funk fan. Taking heavy influence from Nuno Bettencourt, Bea's playing has unmistakable funk flavours, so it's only fitting to feature his signature. We know what you're thinking though; a baritone for funk? We'd advise you check out the likes of Mark Lettieri, the Fearless Flyers and Vulfpeck. That low string adds a whole new dimension of cool to your funk tunes - trust us.
For you, it's all about speed. You need comfort, accessiblity and clear tones - nothing can stand in your way. But you've gotta shred in style, right? Say no more:
ML2 Modern Standard
The ML2 Modern Standard is armed with two Stentorian Zero humbuckers for full-fat, powerful tone; combine it with a Mahogany body and Maple neck and you've got the ultimate tonal palette for shred. Expect sparkling high-end clarity and soaring sustain. The neck features a rolled Ebony fretboard, C-shape profile and a deep cutaway, ensuring lightning fast fretboard navigation and excellent upper-fret access!
MLV Pro Modern
Remember we mentioned shredding in style? That's where the MLV Pro Modern comes in. If the striking body shape and stunning finish isn't enough, the specs will have you hooked. Stentorian humbuckers, Mahogany body and neck, 24-fret Ebony fingerboard and a Floyd Rose tremolo to top it off. You'll be wailing in no time.
As mentioned earlier, Rabea Massaad's style is equal parts choppy funk, prog riffage and blistering shred. That's why we've decided to feature his signature ML3 Bea; this T-style monster leans slightly towards tradition without compromising cutting-edge Chapman design. Standout features include the Chapman Henchman ceramic pickup in the bridge position, smooth satin finish and a classic Wilkinson 2-point tremolo. Savage.
We're firm believers that every guitarist, somewhere deep down, wants the perfect all-rounder. Even the committed metalheads among us sometimes just want to lay down some Clapton licks. Here's a selection of versatile Chapman axes for your jamming pleasure.
ML3 Modern Standard
While the ML3 Modern Standard may come across as an all-out rock machine at first glance, it boasts a surprisingly broad tonal palette. A simple 22-fret design with Mahogany, Ebony and Maple construction provides a balanced tone, but the pickups are where the magic happens. Sonorous Zero humbuckers sound full-bodied, but the 3-way switch with coil tap ensures that you've got all the legroom you need.
ML1 Pro Traditional
The ML1 Pro Traditional is an award-winning guitar, hailed for its versatility and positive playability. The classic 5-way switch & 3 single-coil configuration has been tried and tested to infinity and beyond - you can't go wrong with this workhorse. Its carved Swamp Ash body and Maple neck also finish it off with a beautiful organic aesthetic that'll look the part, whatever your style.
ML2 Pro Modern
As with the ML3 Pro we mentioned earlier, this ML2 Pro Modern offers more diversity than you might think. 3-way switch and coil-tap options open up access to all the tones you'll ever need. Everything from ripping lead tones to silky smooth cleans will allow you to fit right in to any playing situation. As long as you're willing to stand out from the crowd - check out the Satin Fireburst finish!
Catering for everyone's needs has always been at the centre of the Chapman ethos. That's why they offer a handful of budget-friendly models; they aren't the cheapest thing on the market, but they'll provide you with all of the things that put Chapman on the map without breaking the bank!
ML1 Modern Standard
For rock and metal tones, the ML1 Modern Standard is a pretty safe bet. Firmly rooted in classic S-type guitars but with that modern Chapman edge, you'll look and sound the part - whether it's trash metal, classic rock - or even a little bit of blues!
ML3 Traditional Standard
The ML3 Traditional Standard is undoubtedly a striking instrument; the T-style design without a scratchplate goes well with the gorgeous Gloss Honey finish. Looks aside, the classic 2 x singlecoil configuration and deep cutaway provides sparkling sounds and a thoroughly enjoyable playing experience - what's not to love?
Ghost Fret Standard
We couldn't resist featuring the Ghost Fret Standard. Originally designed as a Rob Chapman signature model, the Ghost Fret eventually turned into one of the brand's most popular models. Totally lethal looks, chunky sound and a simple construction result in a striking & proficient instrument with playability that far outweighs its sub-£500 price point.