ML-1 Review

manufacturer: Chapman Guitars date: 01/19/2016 category: Electric Guitars
Chapman Guitars: ML-1
The Chapman ML-1 is the brainchild of YouTube's guitar guru, Rob "MonkeyLord" Chapman.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (1) 65 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
ML-1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 01, 2011
3 of 8 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 200

Purchased from:

Features: This guitar came with a padded gig bag, trem bar, cable, certificate of authenticity and a trem block. For those of you who do not know or heard of Rob Chappers he is guitarist that has gained high popularity on youtube and was offered his own guitar company due to his success and designed a guitar (3 models now!) with his fans on youtube in a forum and the guitar was designed by his fans on a vote with diffirent body woods/shapes, hardware etc, and is the only collaborative design guitar company in the world and this is not a beginner guitar its made as a blank canvas for you to upgrade top quality woods and hardware just add the pickups!, the Chapman ML1 has a:

- solid mahogany body (2piece)
- shallow "C" maple neck
- ebony fretboard
- reverse "telecaster" style headstock
- Grover rotomatic machine heads (18.1 ratio)
- Wilkinson encased trem Bridge (saddles are compressed together to prevent movement and to enhance sustain)
- shadow kill pot
- coil tap
- 3 way selector switch
- flat black finish with satin neck
- pick-up configuration: H.S.S // 10

Sound: The sound is fantastic considering it comes with cheap factory pickups, Rob Chapman said himself even though there cheap they are full of rich tone, I have kept the stock pickups as I like them alot they really are great, for 200 pounds you van not go wrong at all, I am an experienced guitar luthier and musician and I have never came across anything like this the price is unbelievable for what you get real ebony, real mahogany everything is just fantastic, there only 500 made hence the certificate I have 2 of them one is number 10 and one is 274 there great guitars I have sprayed one flat white and has bareknuckle pickups and ice kept the other one completely stock the tone is fantastic the Bridge is nice and HOT and the neck is warm and full of clarity and tone. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was not set up in the factory and had a fairly high action, the pickup height was spot on and did not need adjustment, the body was perfectly routed and all the cavity's were spot on, in fact other than a basic setup I, e intonation, action, truss rod (which hardly needed thumb pressure to get perfect!) the only thing the guitar seriously needs was a basic fret dress you can do at home with some masking tape and metal polish and maybe a small ceramic stone to touch up any fret buzz, it did not really need it but I'm a metal guitarist I need the strings to glide smoothly and that way the only reason other than the fact it frets look good shiny. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very heavy duty! // 10

Overall Impression: I own Gibson's, PRS's, Fenders all the high end stuff and I always come back to this instrument and I'm a luthier! Take my word for it there fantastic! // 10

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overall: 7.4
ML-1 Reviewed by: lippincott, on june 10, 2011
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 200

Purchased from: Anderton's

Features: Basic Hum/Single/Single Strat clone:

Body Wood: 3 Piece Mahogany
Body Colour/Finish: See-Thru Black Satin
Neck Wood: Maple with Thin Lacquer
Neck Profile: Thin 'C' Contour
Neck Join: Bolt On
Fingerboard: Ebony
Fingerboard Inlays: "Infinity" Logo on 12th Fret
22 Frets
Headstock: Reverse Tele Style
Nut: Bone Scale; 25.5"
Machineheads: Grover Rotomatic - 18:1 Ratio. (black)
Bridge: Wilkinson Trem (silver)
1 volume (Shadow Kill Pot)
1 tone (push/pull coil tap)
1 Scratch plate (uninstalled, in the gig bag)
2 hex keys for truss rod and trem adjustments
1 mahogany trem block with strange symbols on it
1 instrument cable (cheap, but usable in an emergency)
Monkeylord padded gig bag included // 8

Sound: The cheap Chinese humbucker was surprisingly loud and chunky, but the high e and b strings tend to get lost like that end of the pickup is somewhat weaker. The single coils aren't very HOT at all, but they sing well and aren't muddy so they are useful. Not too much noise from the single coils, the humbucker was dead quiet. The coil tap doesn't appear to do anything, there is no noticeable change in tone when it is engaged. The kill switch volume pot is unique and unexpected in a low-price guitar. Has a fairly loud sound when unplugged, I wasn't expecting that since this thing weighs about a metric ton. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Although the finish is super thin, it's just a tad too dark and hides the nice looking mahogany body. Mine had a couple flaws on the back that someone tried to cover up with a black Sharpie. The frets were ok, but some of the ends were exceptionally sharp and the 17th-21st frets seemed a tad tall. After a nice fret job the neck was quite nice. The guitar shipped with action set up for either tight-rope walking or slide playing - but a couple twists of the truss rod sorted that minor issue. The tuners work well, but the string trees needed to be loosened quite a bit to get the strings to stop snagging, I thing a single, long retainer would have worked better than the little tree versions. Like any guitar, a little tweaking and set up was needed, but the guitar was in fairly decent shape for something in it's price range. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Overall this guitar could be a monster of a work horse with a better set of pickups and some minor setup done. It's insane weight is a bit of an issue for long gigs, but the guitar feels solid enough to be used as a weapon during the zombie apocalypse. The finish won't last super long, but neither will the nitro finish on a guitar that costs 10 times as much. The hardware is excellent and well mounted, the strap buttons are firmly attached and heavy duty, the tuners are top notch. The only real downside of the guitar is the pickups - and from what I hear from other owners I likely just got a bad set. // 8

Overall Impression: I play blues, rock, and metal (terribly) and the guitar handles all styles well. She's not a beauty queen, but she isn't ugly either. She's not the most expensive guitar in the shop, but she has some expensive touches. If this guitar had a nice DiMarzio in the Bridge and swapped the money for the kill switch and coil splitter for some better single coils this guitar would be a major contender. Whether or not you like YouTube personality Rob Chapman, you have to admit he delivered a pretty decent guitar for a pretty small price here. I'm stuck between an overall score of 7 or 8, since there's not a 7.5 option I'm going to be generous and give it an 8. // 8

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overall: 8.4
ML-1 Reviewed by: Sleeping in, on october 18, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 369

Purchased from: Andertons

Features: My antique sunburst Chapman ML-1 was made in Korea in 2013, designed by Chapman, made at WIC (the same manufacturer as PRS SE, some Ibanez and I believe also the Gretsch Electromatic guitars). The ML-1 has 22 frets, it has a 25.5" scale length, thin c-shape recessed bolt on satin feel maple neck. It has an ebony fretboard, and a 2 piece mahogany body (fantastic resonance)with a flame maple veneer. The body style is similar to a strat, but noticeably unique. The ML-1 comes equipped with a Wilkinson tremolo for the bridge. It also comes equipped with 2 Extreme Victory (Chapman) single-coil pickups and a single Guitarnivore (Chapman) humbucking pickup in HSS configuration. The ML-1 has coil tapping features along with a 3 way switch for great tonal range and variation. The ML-1 has grover rotomatic tuners and a free (30 pound value) gig bag with the Chapman Guitars logo on it. Really the build quality and the features of the guitar are fantastic, the wood choice for both the body and the neck were a great choice as out of all my 5 guitars, the resonance on this is clearly a step above the rest. My only complaint would be the humbucking pickup, the sound is just not saturated enough for me, but that's personal preference, I know many people prefer the humbucker to the single-coils... which are decent, but not my favourite feature, I would describe the pickups as replaceable. I would say 8 or based on the pickups but due to build quality and the fantastic feel of the neck I'm going to give it a 9. Generous. // 9

Sound: The guitar definitely works for my post-rock type genre, at least for the music I write. Definitely good for a single coil rock sound whether you look at Hendrix or the Pearl Jam type single coil lead... it works for what I play. My only complaint is the humbucker, it's just not warm or dark enough for me, personal preference, that's just me... will be looking for a replacement Seymour Duncan or something. I've used the guitar on Fender Frontman, Twin Reverb amps and on a Marshall MG15CDR, no complaints at all... I'd love to try it on a full stack though, not just combos... they do the job. No complaints with the compliance of the guitar with certain amps, everything has been satisfactory with some tweaking of settings. The single-coils have a rich woody sound, especially the neck, which is an absolute favourite of mine. The humbucker is bright and hot. The variations of tone are great due to switching and tapping, it really is quite versatile. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up very well and with great care, the feel of the neck is great, the frets were put on and rounded well. I was getting a little fret buzz on the bass side but it was shipped to me over the whole of Europe, who knows what could have happened. Nothing a little 5 minute setup couldn't fix. Pickup placement is perfect, no complaints here. The top was well bookmatched, the finish was a little darker than the pictures and even the finish of other Antique Sunburst ML-1's I've seen others play on YouTube. I do not mind though, it looks a bit less flamboyant and a bit more natural, once again a subjective matter. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The ML-1 is weighty beast, I would recommend getting a comfy strap for long gigs but this thing is built like a tank. The neck is well bolted on, no wobbling at all, the flat headstock also ensures less breakage risk like you might have with a Les Paul or any guitar with a break angle. Strap buttons are solid as heck. Tone knob is a bit wobbly, easy fix. I probably wouldn't gig it without a backup if I could help it, not because I don't trust it but because from experience I know that anything can go wrong. One should never gig without a backup. // 8

Overall Impression: The guitar is near perfect for me, only the pickups could really be improved upon. I've been playing guitar for about 11 years or so, this is definitely up there as the best or second best guitar I own. If the guitar were stolen, I would probably buy another one of the same model, maybe a different finish, just because I like variety. I'm not really into buying the same guitar over and over but this is definitely great value for money and it wouldn't break my bank to get another. This guitar really is a fantastic guitar, despite the lack of heritage. You don't really get the feel of "Oh gosh I have a Fender/Gibson" as Chapman is a newer company, but let me tell you, give it a while and Chapman will be giving those companies a run for their money. Definitely a great guitar... not just great for its pricetag, but a truly great guitar. // 9

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overall: 9.6
ML-1 Reviewed by: Yatush, on january 19, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 505

Purchased from: world of music,

Features: The ML-1 is an amazing piece of gear. It's made of mahagony with a maple top for the body, and a maply neck with an Ebony fretboard. It has 22 jumbo frets, and mine is a flamed maple top with the antique sunburst finish. It's a Superstrat design, with a Wilkinson trem. It's electronics are passive, and it has 1 volume knob, one tone knob and a 3-way switch. It's also coil-tap able, by pulling up the tone knob. The tuners are grovers, which is always nice. It comes with a standard Chapman case, a whammy bar and a spare spring, and an allen wrench and some wiping cloth. // 9

Sound: I play mostly rock, metal, blues and jazz, and it absolutely rocks each and every one of these styles. I think it suits my perfectly, and I wouldn't have any other guitar I can think of for this price. The pick ups are very loud, which might be the only downside to this guitar, and it's not a very big downside. The tone is rich and the selection of pickups create a lot of variety with the sounds, this guitar feels very versatile. The humbucker is very warm sounding, the middle position has a very earthy, chunky sound to it, which is awesome. The neck pickup is bright as well, and will probably suit your jazz/blues styles good. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I got mine set up before i bought it, but the guy that was setting it up had told me it was pretty much good straight from the factory. the action after the set-up was a tinnie tiny bit high for me, but i think i like it this way, and i won't change it myself or let someone else change it for me. the finish is amazing, and i have yet to find a single flaw in it. warning: this guitar isn't very photogenic, and it's beauty is better once you see it with your own eyes. would have been alot nice if this guitar came with some different colors. don't get me wrong, finish is great, but if it had a few exotic finishes i would've been the happiest man alive. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I am pretty sure this guitar will survive a live playing, but I wouldn't ever play a live gig without my backup. I have yet to play it live but I'm 100% positive I will take it with me. The hardware seems very heavy duty, so does the strap buttons, and I'm pretty much sure it wouldn't let me down. The finish is a little thin, so it might wear off in a few years at the places where I'm mostly likely to brush it off. Still, it gives the guitar personality and I wouldn't refinish my guitar ever. The hardware looks fine and I've only heard good things about this Wilkinson bridge and the grover tuners, so I'm pretty sure, over-all, yeah this guitar is a BEAST. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is AMAZING. I love it alot and I giggle everytime I remember I actualy bought it. I own a few electric guitars, and have played many, and this one definitly shines. This guitar suits me perfectly, and if it ever broke or was stolen I am sure I'll buy another Chapman. For the price, it's nearly perfect, and is much better than alot of high-end guitars I have played in my life. Chappers sure did a fine job with this one. Giving ya a heads up, this guitar is HEAVY, like, REALLY heavy, and if you're a woodle doodle like me, you'll probably wanna sit down during a very long gig or have some breaks once in a while. // 10

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