So here’s one from my own guitar vault that ended up never officially existing. A Chapman ML3 Pro FR. During the time I worked at Chapman Guitars, we worked on an idea for the ML3 Pro FR Hotrod model. Due to some kind of communication error, the wrong woods were used for the first body blank prototypes we were sent from the factory.
Instead of wasting the wood, the blank became one of my “workshop series’ experiments. After testing out some new techniques I ended up putting together something I’m really happy with.
This highly textured black finish along with Cosmo black hardware really makes the Chapman ML3 Pro FR stand out. The Seymour Duncan P90 Stack in the neck matches with a vintage 500XL Bill Lawrence bridge pickup giving this guitar everything from warm clean to screaming highs are there at the flick of a switch. For a failed project and something that was never supposed to exist, it turned into a hell of a guitar!
Chambered Swamp Ash body. Hand-worked to remove wood fibres, allowing the grain to stand out. The entire body was then sprayed matte black to give a flat look when first seen but then every grain line catches your eye as you look closer.
Oil-finished Roasted Maple bolt-on neck and Roasted Maple fretboard with pearled Infinity logo at 12th fret.
Glow in the dark side dots.
22 Stainless Steel Jumbo frets.
C-shaped neck profile
648mm (25.5″) scale length.
350mm (13.5″) fretboard radius.
Dual action truss rod, access at the headstock.
14-degree tint headstock with matte black headstock face and a silver embossed Chapman Guitars logo.
The pickup choice for the Chapman ML3 Pro FR is unique but well-balanced. In the neck is a Seymour Duncan P90 Stack. This pickup has been wired to the volume pot’s push/pull control to give both Series and Parallel wire options. While playing, this gives us both a traditional P90 sound (hum-cancelling) as well as a more classic PAF humbucker sound. When you add gain, it turns into a surprising heavyweight in terms of its tonal push.
In the bridge, I dug into one of my many parts drawers. Many years ago I managed to buy two Bill Lawrence 500XL humbuckers. These humbuckers would be of the same vintage as the pickups used by Dimebag Darrel in his Razorback guitars and Nuno Bettencourt in his Washburn N4.
The pickups are selected via a 3-way Switchcraft toggle switch with a black toggle switch tip.
The master volume control is also a push/pull, allowing for series/parallel wiring options on the neck.
Switchcraft open jack socket with a Cosmo black jack plate.
To stand out against the matte black of the body of the Chapman ML3 Pro FR, we’ve used Cosmo black hardware wherever possible. The open-backed Hipshot Grip-Lock tuners work really nicely with the Maple of the neck and the black finish of the headstock face. The headstock face also works really well with the Floyd Locking nut, again in Cosmo black. The Schaller Strap-locks, jack plate and control knob are also Cosmo black to keep the finish aesthetic throughout the rest of the guitar.
Genuine Floyd Rose
This Chapman ML3 Pro FR is fitted with a 1000 series Floyd Rose system in Cosmo black. In my option, these look nicer than the stock matt black versions and complement the body finish while standing out in its own right. The guitar has a front route access allowing for the Floyd to both dive and pull up.
The Chapman ML3 Pro FR comes with a genuine Chapman Guitars ML3 Hard Case.
Strung with Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46 strings (.010 / .013 / .017 / .026 / .036 / .046)
Allen keys, Chapman Guitars Polishing cloth.
|Bridge – Neck (series)
|Bridge – Neck (parallel)
If you have any questions about this guitar, please feel free to contact us.
This is not an official Chapman Guitar and as such does not come with any Warranty. This guitar has no association with Chapman Guitars as it started life as a blank body. The closest instruments it could be linked to are the unfinished blanks that Chapman Guitars sold during 2022 through their Reverb page. All work and design choices were done independently of Chapman Guitars.
UK delivery only due to shipping costs.