NAMM 2018 - Chapman Guitars
Chapman Guitars completely revamped their entire guitar line at last years NAMM show. This year they are expanding on it with some amazing new guitars, some old favourites, and even an entirely new series - read on for the full lowdown!
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Jed Van Wyngaardt
Rob Chapman has added some highly requested models to the ever growing Chapman guitar lineup. These important announcements at NAMM 2018 include Left-Handed models, new Basses and the return of the CAP10 and Norseman models.
Undoubtedly however, the biggest news seems to be the unveiling of the brand new British Standard Series - boasting incredible specifications and attention to detail, these boutique instruments are handcrafted in the UK to exceptional standards, resulting in a playing experience like no other!
So without further ado, let's see what each range has in store for us.
The British Standard Series!
This is the culmination of years of ambition, hard work, and an open-minded approach on Chapman Guitars' part; the British Standard series is a range of lovingly handcrafted boutique instruments that deliver the ultimate Chapman playing experience, the likes of which no one has experienced before.
"Flying the flag for Chapman and England this new line will be made one at a time, by hand in extremely limited numbers. These are premium priced guitars that will look, sound & play as good as anything you could imagine." - Rob Chapman
Employing premium parts, beautiful choices of wood, nitro finishes and meticulous attention to detail, these instruments will be made in extremely limited numbers and to whatever specifications are required. Although they'll be rooted in some of Chapman's primary designs, we think there's going to be plenty of flexibility when placing orders.
This looks set to elevate Chapman Guitars to a new level of international acclaim and popularity. So far, we know that there are four models in the works as follows:
- ML1 Modern - the extremely popular S-type body shape with carved top and Chapman humbucking pickups (pictured in Vadar finish)
- ML2 Modern - the singlecut designed with a carved top & stop-bar tailpiece and Chapman humbucking pickups (pictured in Sapphire finish)
- ML3 Traditional - the Tele-style shape with an ashtray-style bridge, carved top and two single-coil pickups
- Ghost Fret - the boldest of the bunch, an Explorer-style shape with two humbuckers and a hard-tail fixed bridge
New Models at NAMM!
A few years ago Chapman released the ML7 and ML7-T 7 string guitars. These were great but required a bit more thinking through before launching them with the new standard and pro ranges.
At NAMM 2018 they have announced the ML1-7 and Ghost Fret 7 will be hitting shelves later this year as part of the Pro series.
Good news for bass players. Chapman have now got their widest range of bass guitars available include a new Dave Hollingworth signature model which is available in both straight-fret and fanned fret variations.
The Dave Hollingworth features a multi-piece neck for incredible stability and a stunning burl top that’ll catch the eye of any passerby. Then when you combine this with the powerful tones from the Chapman pickups, you’ve got a bass that can easily handle any style of music at your fingertips.
Along with that, the MLB1 makes a return with its walnut body and slick satin vibe in both 4-string and 5-string versions.
Both the Dave Hollingworth & MLB1 are part of the Signature and pro range respectively which means they come with a hard case to protect your precious new instrument.
Chapman Left-Handed Models
Lefties around the world will rejoice because they’ll finally be able to get in on the Chapman guitar revolution. A few key models have been made available to left-handed players featuring the exact same specs as their right-handed counterparts.
There’s a choice between both the Standard and Pro series which you’ll be familiar with from the NAMM 2017 show.
The Pro series are still built at the same factory in South Korea with a higher spec than before taking these instruments to new heights. And the Standard series guitars are built in Indonesia retaining the same ethos of the current Chapman range, though more affordable.
An easy way to tell the difference between the ranges is by simply looking at the fretboard. The Standard range has got fretboard marker inlays along the fretboard, while the Pro series does not.
The collaboration between Evenstad Musikk and Chapman Guitars started when the Evenstad crew met Lee and Rob at the NAMM show in 2013. Later it was decided that Evenstad Musikk would be the first official Chapman Guitars retailer outside the UK. From the very start, Chapman planned on making a guitar to honor the Scandinavian contribution to music. This lead to the birth of the Norseman guitars.
The Norseman is a beefy, fat sounding and awesome guitar based on the ML1. It has now been upgraded in many ways to fit the new range of Chapman Guitars better. The upgrades include a spoon cut, a solid maple top, weight relieved Mahogany, open gear tuners and new control knobs placement.
Chapman CAP10 in White
The CAP10 was one of the first Chapman guitars in the lineup and is Lee Andertons signature guitar based on an old HSH Fender Strat. Interestingly, his Strat has a Mahogany body (opposed to Alder or Ash) and so when designing his Chapman sig model, he made sure that they stayed true to his original guitar. Here’s what the Captain himself says about his signature model.
“The first 'proper' guitar I ever owned was a second hand ’86 Fender American Standard Strat that I bought with no pickups and no machine heads. It had been heavily altered by its previous owner as was modified to take an HSH configuration of pickups. I still have that guitar and when I first started making videos with Chappers it was my go-to guitar.
When the Chapman Guitars project started to take off, Rob suggested that I design my own Chapman model, so I took the basic Chapman ML1 design, changed the fret board, pickups, scratch plate and colour so that it looked a bit more like my Strat. The CAP10 was born and I still have (and use!) serial number 1 of that guitar. In 2018 we decided to give the CAP10 a face lift and altered the body to be even more like my old Fender. The results are insane – the guitar looks so fresh, plays great and sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it too!” Lee Anderton