Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Review & Prices

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Review
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  • From Chapman's 2021 Pro series
  • Made in South Korea
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Basswood body
  • Roasted Maple – Dark Colour neck
  • Roasted Maple – Dark Colour fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Pegasus (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Sentient (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Chapman String Through hardtail bridge
  • C Shape Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Hipshot Grip-Lock Open (18:1 Gearing) tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 82
Sound 77
Build quality 79
Value for money 79
Overall Score 79
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Black Tusq XL Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Strap Lock
  • Made in South Korea
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1300, which means that the Chapman ML3 Pro Modern is around 6% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in South Korea.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Scale Length Comparison
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Neck Profile
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's neck thickness is approximately 0.905'' (23mm) at the first fret, and 0.944'' (24mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Chapman website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern has a 13.78" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's fretboard radius compared to others

This makes it more similar to Gibson guitars (12'') than Fender (9.5''). It's slightly flatter than most modern Gibson fretboards though, which makes it more comfortable for single notes, bendings and vibratos, but less comfortable for chords.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Chapman ML3 Pro Modern has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Nut Width
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Nut Width

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your guitar. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

More with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Fret Size Comparison
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 100
Playability 82

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Basswood wood pattern used for guitar building
Basswood Body
Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple Neck, Fretboard

Basswood Body: This is a soft type of wood that is very light and easy to work with. It's cheaper than many other kinds of wood used for guitar building, but it doesn't mean it's low quality. In terms of sound, it accentuates the mid-range, which matches the frequencies that a Humbucker produces.

Roasted Maple Neck and Fretboard: Similar to simple Maple, but even stronger, darker, and more stable to temperature changes. This is thanks to the treatment process that consists in using high temperatures to drain the water, sugar, and resins from the wood.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Seymour Duncan. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Seymour Duncan Pegasus Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Sentient Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Seymour Duncan Pegasus Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Sentient Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Seymour Duncan Nazgul Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Sentient Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Seymour Duncan Nazgul Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Sentient Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Evertune Bridge
Seymour Duncan Pegasus Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Sentient Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 85
Versatility 57
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 77

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern is made in South Korea. Guitars made here are well-built and tend to have good quality control, even though they focus on mass production. This used to be the most premium option just below Japan or the US, but other countries like Indonesia are becoming great competitors because of even cheaper labor without sacrificing quality.

Bridge

Chapman String Through hardtail: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

The tuners have a ratio of 18:1. This means you need 18 turns of the tuner knob to make the tuner post go around 1 complete revolution. The more turns it takes, the finer and more precise your tuning is going to be. An 18:1 ratio is what most instruments have nowadays. Some high-end ones come with a ratio of 21:1.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Chapman ML3 Pro Modern has a Black Tusq XL nut. It's not made of plastic or low-quality materials. They're made to resemble the sound you get from bone and ivory nuts, but with slippery materials so the intonation and tuning are stable. Also, each nut is carefully cut to ensure you won't have tune stabilization problems.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Neck-Through neck joint. Many people believe a neck-through build delivers the best sustain because some of the vibrations from the neck aren't lost like with other neck joints. However, no one has been able to prove this. What we know is that a neck-through build is usually the most comfortable when playing the upper frets because there's nothing on your way at the neck-body joint.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 81
Features 80
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 79

All Specs

Chapman ML3 Pro Modern
General
Brand: Chapman
Year: 2021
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: South Korea
Series: Pro
Colors: White, Black, Blue
Left-Handed Version: Yes
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Basswood
Bridge: Chapman String Through hardtail
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through
Tuners: Hipshot Grip-Lock Open (18:1 Gearing)
Fretboard: Roasted Maple – Dark Colour
Neck Material: Roasted Maple – Dark Colour
Decoration: Glow-in-the-Dark Side Dots with Black Infinity
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: C Shape
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.905'' (23mm) - 12th Fret: 0.944'' (24mm)
Frets: 24 Jumbo Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 13.78"
Nut: Black Tusq XL
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan Pegasus (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Sentient (Humbucker / Passive)

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