The new Chapman Guitars ML3 Pro Traditional is Rob Chapman’s latest version of his popular Telecaster-style guitar and features a few handy tweaks for the new 2017 edition.
ML3 Pro Traditional
Available in either Triton or Shadow finishes, the ML3 Pro Traditional is essentially a Tele-type guitar with modern styling. The real differences are all quite subtle when compared with last year’s version of the same guitar.
The Swamp Ash carved top body is paired with a satin finished maple neck, which is fitted out with 22 jumbo stainless steel frets and luminous side dots. Both the dots and the frets are part of the ‘upgrades’ over last year’s edition. The aim here is to let play more easily, with no worn fret issues creeping in over time. You can also see where you are going when playing on a dark stage. The maple neck has a dual action truss rod for stability and rolled fretboard edges for comfort, so this should feel like a played in neck from day one.
I like that Rob has chosen to use Hipshot 18:1 ration open-backed Grip Lock tuners, as they hold tuning really well. The guitar features a quality Graph Tech Tusq nut as well, so tuning should be solid on any gauge of string you throw at it. Rob has also added a set of brass saddles to the bridge to add to the ring of the open strings, something sometimes associated with a good Tele tone.
No, I’m not talking about Chappers. This year’s model has a slimmer body and to get the overall weight of the ML3 Pro Traditional down. Rob is keen to stress in his promo video, however, that the guitar has not suffered in any way tonally for doing so.
The pickups used here are a set of Chapman Mojo Hand single coils, with a traditional 3-way blade switch combined with a Volume and Tone control layout. The guitar’s contouring, heel cutaway and carved top all look nicely done, giving the ML3 Pro Traditional a clean, modern appearance without making it look sterile or soulless.
This instrument looks like it’s offering a lot of guitar for the money. It comes with a hard case, too. Looks like Rob and his team are listening to customer feedback, refining their instruments with every release.
RRP – GBP 769
Chapman Guitars ML 3 Pro Traditional product page