Chapman guitars have established themselves as genuine contenders in the highly competitive market of electric guitars. They’ve done this by offering a number of different guitars that suit a number of different styles. Most importantly, their core standard range has always remained affordable.
Not only are their guitars affordable, despite using high-quality woods and hardware, but they’re also collaboratively designed.
It all started with the ML-1
The concept of collaborative design was born with the first Chapman ML-1. In a series of videos, Chappers put out a vote to the public for what each individual aspect of the guitar should be. This included body shape, woods used, pickup style and hardware too. This is still the way that Chapman Guitars choose to design their newest releases.
By getting the public to vote, people felt like they’d invested in their own little way to a guitar design that would suit other guitar players like themselves. Rather than a guitar designed by marketing analysts trying to follow the current trend. Ahem *offset guitars* ahem…
Easy To Modify
One of the early unique selling points of the Chapman range was the fact that they were (and still are) so easy to modify. This allowed guitarists to take on the project of turning a blank slate into the guitar of their dreams. The initial run of ML-1 guitars was the perfect starting point. This has been a part of the Chapman ethos ever since however it’s worth noting that they’ve turned up the quality in hardware, wood choice and pickups since inception. This has resulted in some stunning guitars for the money.
They also refuse to go through third-party distribution which means that they’re able to keep the price down.
Chapman Guitars Between 2009 and 2016
The years between 2009 and 2016 are where Chapman Guitars really found their niche and defined themselves. They did it all! From releasing brand new models, body shapes and signature models to limited edition one-off runs. Here’s a timeline of guitars released between 2009 and 2016 in order:
- ML-1 – Stands for Monkey Lord-1. This was the first Chapman Guitar and still exists to this day. It had an HSS pickup configuration in a natural satin finish.
- ML-2 – This was the second Chapman guitar to come out. It’s a singlecut, dual humbucker modern rock and metal guitar.
- ML-3 Modern & ML-3 Traditional – Both of these guitars are T-shaped and had either an SS or HH pickup configuration.
- ML-7S – a 7-string with an ML-1 body shape and a Mahogany body.
- ML-7T – a 7-string with a ML-3 T-style Ash body.
- ML-1 CAP10 – The very first Chapman signature guitar for Lee Anderton – the Captain. It was based on his favourite Mahogany-bodied strat with an HSH pickup configuration.
- ML-1 BEA – The Rabea Massaad signature model with Seymour Duncan humbuckers.
- ML-3 RC – Rob Chapmans signature T-style guitar.
- Rob Chapman Signature Ghost Fret – Incredibly popular metal guitar – For the explorers amongst us…
- ML-1 Natural Ash – A limited edition run of swamp ash ML-1s.
- ML-1 CAP10 Blackout – A limited run of the Captains signature model but with all the white reversed for black.
- ML1 CAP10 America – A limited run of the Captains signature model but with a cherry sunburst finish and Maple fingerboard.
- ML-1 Hot Rod – A limited run ML-1 with a single humbucker and Floyd Rose tremolo system.
- ML-2 Classic – The ML-2 in a gold sparkle finish with 2x Seymour Duncan humbuckers.
- ML-1 Norseman – A special ML-1 designed by Chapman guitars in conjunction with Norwegian retailer, Evenstad Musikk.
- MLB-1 – The first 4-string bass in the line-up.
- ML1-8 RS – The Rob Scallon 8-String guitar.
- ML1 RS – Rob Scallons 6-string signature guitar.
NAMM 2017 : The Pro and Standard Series
It was at the NAMM 2017 show that Chapman made the decision to split their entire range into 2. This is when the Standard series and Pro series were formed.
The Standard Series – The Standard Series guitars are all made in Indonesia and have bolt-on Maple necks (with varying fretboards). They also feature veneers instead of thick Maple caps and have gloss finishes.
The Pro Series – These are made at World Guitars in South Korea with 3-piece Maple through-necks. They’ve also got solid carved tops, stainless steel frets, hipshot open-gear tuners and this is the range that you’ll see signature and satin-finished guitars.