Chapman's take on the classic T-style reaches new heights with this iteration of the ML3 Pro Traditional! Loaded with Seymour Duncan Hot Tele single-coils, the ML3 Pro Traditional offers fatter, yet still versatile T-style tones. While the tone may be traditional, the roasted maple neck and rolled fingerboard edges give it a smooth, modern-feel and it comes in a classy Metallic Black finish with gold hardware that's sure to turn heads. Sam Bell tells us more.
It’s a Sunny day at G.I HQ, I hear there are a bunch of Chapman Guitars in for review. I go to the boxes, I open up the first one. There before me is a beautiful gold top Tele Style Guitar with a Roasted Maple Neck. It's super simple, no fuss. I pick it up, it's lightweight and unlike classic T Style guitars, it has a slightly arched, thin-ish alder body with contours around the single cut and a belly cut as well. It's very ergonomic. Chapman Guitars is a company started by Rob Chapman of Andertons and YouTube fame. It seems he wanted to bring well-rounded instruments to more people in the rock world.
I’ve been teaching at WaterBear college of music for a while now; I’d argue that most students turn up with Chapman guitars. Maybe it's because of YouTube; however, the Guitars speak for themselves. They seem to have a lot of bases covered, great hardware, electronics, cool looks, and they feel superb to play. Plus, as a student, they aren’t the most expensive guitar on the market if you’re wanting something formidable that covers a lot of bases. They offer a great option for the performing rock guitar player.
This is why I wasn’t surprised when I picked up the ML3P TRD. It ticked a lot of boxes for me. First of all, it’s a T-Type; there’s no extra fuss. It has a set of Seymore Duncan ‘Hot Tele’ Pickups, a three way switch, and a brass hipshot6 saddle tele bridge without the classic ash tray corners that dig into your hand. It takes all the aspects of the classic designs and modernises them just enough without taking away the simplicity that we all love about Teles. The headstock is reversed with the Chapman logo on it, and some locking hipshot tuners are super sturdy. I could imagine someone like Richie Kotzen or Nuno Bettencourt playing this kind of guitar. That is to say, it's very cool.
Plugging it in, it sounds like a tele. However, it plays like a dream; the C C-shaped maple neck, with a satin finish and rolled fret edges, allows for lots of contemporary playing approaches. It feels super smooth to play; notes pop out and have a nice snap to them. Cleans sound nice and twangy. With the high gain, the guitar comes into its own, however. I can understand why Chapman’s guitar appeals to many Metal Players. The T Style guitar can go into Djent Territory, but it can also do the high/low gain Plini thing really well, especially in position 2.
Out of the box, the guitar felt great; it looked great and felt quality. A serious contender, I’d say, if you’re looking for a contemporary Tele without any extra bells and whistles to get in the way. It might be in the upper price bracket of the Chapman guitars series, however, and you may see other T styles with other brands with tempting offers. I’d suggest definitely giving this a go, however, if you see one in a shop. I’d happily have one in my collection!
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