Chapman guitars - any good, nowadays?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Wolfhorsky, May 5, 2021.

  1. Wolfhorsky

    Wolfhorsky Regular idiot

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    Hi,
    The title says it all. I am wondering about Your opinions and experience with this brand of the guitars. Beeing just curious what You think. I don’t plan to buy one. I just struggle to accept Rob Chapman persona in the positive way. There was some YT-soap opera drama some time ago. But IIRC it ended quite badly for the man himself. So, if You wish You could write down Your opinions about the instruments.
    Thx
     
  2. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    I tried keeping up with the drama, but i got lost somewhere between he said, she said, they said, and i never really got an understanding over the whole thing.

    for what its worth, his tele shaped arched top guitars look brilliant! if they had 24 frets bolt on neck, i would strongly consider them. stainless steel frets, roasted maple, great features and price.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
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  3. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    I have no idea what any sort of drama is about, but I have played a bunch of Chapman pros over the last 2 years so I can at least comment on that (I have way less experience with the non-pro ones). Main takeaway from me is that there is a lot of variation in the quality of the guitars. Not in terms of fit and finish, but more so in general feel and sound. For example, there were a couple of Norseman I tried that looked great and were objectively well finished, but sounded dull, felt heavy, and were difficult to setup well.

    It does vary though, and some pros can go into amazing territory as well. I talked about it in my NGD here, but the one-off Ghostfret I have is one of the best playing guitar I have. Top 3, and I paid way less $$ for it than the others it compares to. You just cannot put it down. Plays like a million bucks and even the stock OEM pickups in it are awesome.

    So like a lot of imports these days...if you can try and/or return, definitely worth a try.
    If you have to buy sight unseen, it's a bit of a dice roll.
     
  4. feilong29

    feilong29 SS.org Regular

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    I believe it was a 2010 Chapman ML that I owned, and it was an ok guitar. It was super heavy but played well-enough. I didn't keep it long lol. I got better utility and fulfilment out of my Schecter Hellraiser to be honest. Haven't had a chance to try any of the Pro series or anything beyond 2010.
     
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  5. gunch

    gunch Riff Chugman

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    Fuck that smarmbucket. Just let him and his guitars slough off into the trash heap of history.
     
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  6. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    Sounds like there's a lot of YT drama I'm not up to date with :lol:
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    They're hit or miss ime. I wouldn't bother unless you can try them in person. I tried a bunch of more recent indo offerings and they weren't any better than the older korean made stuff tbh.
     
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  8. Wucan

    Wucan SS.org Regular

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    Only ever saw a handful at a Guitar Center a few years ago. Tried them out and they didn't keep up with similarly-priced stuff from other WMI brands.
     
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  9. Wuuthrad

    Wuuthrad SS.org Regular

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    Ahh the voice of experience- nothing quite like it! :agreed::lol:

    Haven't played one myself, but it’s probably fair to say they’re not going to be any better or worse than any other import based on the name.

    That being said this looks really nice!

    “Irithyll Burst” Baritone- Come On!

    https://www.chapmanguitars.co.uk/guitars/ml3bp-bea/
     
  10. josh1

    josh1 SS.org Regular

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    He has some decent looking guitars but the guy is such an asshat that I can't support his brand.
     
  11. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    I had the 7string archtop tele model - it was pretty damn awesome. Very round radius though, didn’t care for that but the fretwork was nice and the original pickups were great
     
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  12. FromTheMausoleum

    FromTheMausoleum That one guy

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    Sadly it was more than Youtube drama. Rob Chapman took advantage of my favorite guitar shop in my state(Riff City Guitar) and lied to them about the exclusivity of his product. He had them order mass quantities of his product, many of which were B-stock or C-stock at best. Once they had filled their inventory with what they thought would be the only Chapman Guitars available in america he moved his guitars into Guitar Center. This left Riff City with a bunch of first run borderline trash guitars(I tried out the entire first run personally in store, they were very shoddy in comparison to the Schecter and Jackson at the same location) and this forced Riff City to close and sell everything off as fast as possible to account for the losses.

    TLDR Rob Chapman is a lying turd that put all of his risk of starting a business on the shoulders of another small business whilst lying to them and killed them in the process.
     
  13. Wolfhorsky

    Wolfhorsky Regular idiot

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    Thx for the replies, mates.
    Anyone more?
     
  14. _MonSTeR_

    _MonSTeR_ SS.org Regular

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    Rob Chapman seems to be a competent pub band guitarist who had a rich friend that could bankroll his YouTube guitar hero fantasies. They both then leveraged their ‘Top Gear for guitars’ YouTube channel to make a label to stick on guitars from the same Far Eastern factories as everyone else.

    As a result the guitars (which isn’t many) I’ve tried have been of comparable quality to the other stuff coming out in the same sort of price range. Just less inspiring and tainted with both the Chapman drama and the fact that you’re buying a guitar from a YouTuber rather than a ‘real’ guitar company ;)

    Plus, I’m jealous of his success to talent ratio ;)
     
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  15. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I haven't tried any Chapman guitars but I have been curious to try some. Not sure if there are any stores in N.Ireland that stocks them but I would not really want to buy blind.

    I remember when this company started their kind of mission was to sell barebones, solid guitars that could be good mod platforms. Some of their offerings initially seemed to do just that. Current models though and specs are just similar to most guitar companies in that price range. Solar started the same but now they're also in the same ballpark as their competitors in terms of prices, maybe slightly cheaper. Then it's just a matter of aesthetics and feel rather than price and value for money.

    I had seen the drama that ensued initially but didn't follow it further down so not sure what's the deal. I'd say the only thing I'd be jealous of Rob Chapman is that his success has made it possible to migrate to Malta, where I think his wife is from, and will be conducting his bussiness from a place with a great climate. I wish I had my current job in a better climate, I'm getting sick of the rain and greyness...
     
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  16. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    Yikitey yikes
     
  17. axil

    axil SS.org Regular

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    Hung out with a guy with a ghost fret, having purchased it not even knowing who chapman was. He said he liked it quite alot even compared to his other 1000$ ibbys and other big brands. I could've tried it myself but i didn't care. Fuck chapman. I wouldn't be caught rocking one just like i wouldn't be caught rocking a bernie rico.
     
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  18. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    I wonder if the hate that Chapman is getting is the same as the hate Cort guitars got a few years back. Lots of backlash and boycott. About ten years later, it's popping up on YouTube and forums where people are more appreciative of em.

    Maybe Chapman's reputation will bounce up eventually
     
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  19. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    Chapman ML7T was the model name, just came to me.
     
  20. Señor Voorhees

    Señor Voorhees SS.org Regular

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    I always liked his music, the blue ghost fret was always cool looking (can't speak for quality, but I'd imagine not far off from other guitars from the same factory,) but I never liked his personality. The guy's a big ol' bucket of smarmite.

    I do like the looks of the ML3 Bea, though. A baritone, reverse headstock, modest looking tele is just appealing to me. Can't say I'd buy one however, just because of the name.
     
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