Chapman Guitars ML-3 Modern review

  • £449
  • €619
  • $569

Suits shredders to a T

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Our Verdict

A serious option in the increasingly dog-eat-dog market for mid-priced electrics.

For

  • Harmonically rich rock/metal voice. Ceramic humbuckers sound great. Coil-split offers surprising flexibility.

Against

  • Not much.
Buying options

With a reverse headstock on a T-style body seating two 'Passive Aggressive' humbuckers, the ML-3 Modern - the latest six-string from Rob Chapman and Anderton's joint brand - is an iconoclastic take on a classic silhouette that's also been appropriated for rock purposes, and clearly built for the modern rock player.

"In no way is the ML-3 your granddaddy's T-style electric"

There are extra-jumbo frets and a bolt-on maple neck that's satin-smooth and super-quick. The Chapman Hard Tail Deluxe bridge has a small footprint, a sleek and clean string-through construction that's perfectly stable and fuss-free.

There are no markers on the ML-3's ebony fretboard save for a lemniscate on the 12th fret that looks uncomfortably like The Devin Townsend Project's logo, as found on Heavy Devy's signature Peavey and Framus models.

The ML-3's stripped-down aesthetic is in sharp contrast to its expansive voice. A coil-split helps you wrench every piece of tone out of it.

So, while it was no surprise that in the bridge position, through a hard-cranked and overdriven Blackstar, the ML-3 has a tight and bright metal tone from ceramic 'buckers rich in midrange bite, when we rolled back the gain, engaged the coil-split and found the ML-3 going all Luther Perkins twang on us, well, you could have pinched us.

And yet, in no way is the ML-3 your granddaddy's T-style electric (the ML-3 Traditional would be more his speed), and it's a guitar that's very much more Download Festival than Grand Ole Opry, but its harmonically rich rock/ metal voice, allied to a versatility that sees it deal in glassy and sharp cleans, helps identify it as a serious option in the increasingly dog-eat-dog market for mid-priced electrics.

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Tech Specs

Circuitry Type1x 3-way pickup selector, 1x master volume, 1x master tone w/ coil-split
Fingerboard MaterialEbony
Scale Length (mm)648
No. of Frets24
Available Finishnatural Mahogany, Satin Black (shown)
Scale Length (Inches)25.5
Guitar Body MaterialMahogany
Pickup Type2x Chapman passive Aggressive humbuckers
Neck MaterialMaple, bolted-on