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.
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.