Advice on Purchase

So, I'm looking to buy my second guitar after a long while (sold my very first for an engagement ring... poor life choices) and I'm really excited by the Chapman line-up. I'm looking to spend between $500 and $800 which opens up the ML1/2 Modern V2 Standards, ML3 Standard, and ML3 BEA Standard. I'd say my level is still beginner as it's been 12 years and I never got much further then 3-4 songs prior. I'm really tempted to wait for the BEA standard, but that's 3 months out locally (US).

For other gear, I"m looking at the katana 2 100 to start as it seems good enough for anything I'd want to do. Might play with pedals and such, but that's for later on.

The question is, should I wait for the BEA standard, go with one of the currently available options, or look at another brand? I want to play between the punk rock to metal range, and might mess around with some blues here and there. I like the tones I've heard from Chapman's so far as they seem warmer overall and they feel really nice to mess around with.

As a side note, I'm taking some luthier electives this fall in my wood fine arts program with a focus on electric guitars and would like to have something in hand that I feel comfortable with by then, so waiting till late April (ship date for my area) means I'd only have 4 months with the BEA prior to the courses. This wouldn't be huge, but they suggest you bring in your own instrument during the course.

Anyway, I guess the TL:DR version is would you suggest Chapman for basically a beginner, would you wait for 3 months for a model that you think you will like, and if either of these is a no, would there be good/better options for other brands with punk, hard rock, and heavy metal in mind (and a bit of soul)?


Subtly not giving a F*ck
I don't believe in a specific guitar as a beginner's guitar. Yes you have started packs that are inexpensive and yes you have entry level guitars. If you are going to try guitar as a new hobby and are not sure if you will continue with it, I understand that you wouldn't want to spend too much. BUT...

When I worked in a guitar store I used to tell this to customers. If you buy a cheap and shitty guitar (don't get me wrong, cheap guitar can be good) it may not play as you expected and demotivate you to continue. If you buy a good guitar, it will make playing a bit easier and enjoyable. If you have the budget, try to get that good guitar. That does not have to be thousands of dollars/euros/pounds. Those Chapmans you mentions are right in the price range where you can get a whole lot of guitar for a decent price.

As for which Chapman to get. I think you need either figure out which one makes you happiest. If it's the Bea that sparks joy for you, wait for it. You will regret settling otherwise.

As for the Katana, it's a solid choice, but do you really need 100 Watts? For home use the Katana 50 should be enough.


Well-Known Member
As for the Katana, it's a solid choice, but do you really need 100 Watts? For home use the Katana 50 should be enough.
The 100 supports the GA-FC footswitch. Making it possible to do 8 presets and switch specific effects on and off within the preset. That makes the amp a much more complete thing and will probably make sure you'll never need to buy a pedal for it except a looper. The 100 also has an fx loop the 50 doesn't. On a tight budget I'd go 50 but if you can spare the difference..

Guitars wise.. @Kuroda, I'd suggest you go to a store and try everything they have in your pricerange. Just find out what feels good. At that budget there's some great stuff of brands like Fender and PRS within reach. If at all possible I wouldn't buy a guitar you haven't played unless you REALLY know what you like. For instance, I know the kind of neck I love.. And I'd order a guitar with that type of neck without much doubt. But a guitar with a different neck I'd need to play first. So just try out a whole lot and see what clicks for you.
Mirage is right about the amp choice. I mainly picked the 100 for the foot switch as it feels like a better starting point.

I need to make another trip down to the shop, but while looking last time I started having a lot of fun with a jackson soloist. I'm still holding out for the bea but I think the Jackson beats the ml1 and 2 Chapman's for me. I like the thinner neck on the ml2 but I dislike the setup on the body and the shape. Lp style just might not be for me.
If you have the motivation now, don't wait months for a specific guitar. At the end of the day, they all do more or less the same job and the right guitar for you at this stage is just one that feels comfortable and motivates you to play. There's nothing magical about Chapman guitars - they have some nice designs and Rob Chapman managed to ride the wave of YouTube / social media very successfully (and I'm not denigrating him - more power to him, and I have 3 Chapman guitars myself), but that's about it.

I'd go back to the shop and try out as many guitars as you can. You could then look for something you liked on the secondhand market if you want to save some money (or you like one that's out of your price range new), or just buy what you like. If you end up getting hooked, then you'll probably buy more guitars in the future, so - like your ill-fated engagement* (reading into your post) - you won't be mated to your first guitar for life!

Not that I'm an expert, but I'd suggest getting a fixed bridge guitar as your first one - the Soloist models generally have a tremolo arm (unless you're going for one of the 7-string multiscales, which might be challenging for a beginner!). Guitars with a trem / floating bridge / whammy bar (however you want to call it) are more expensive, harder to keep in tune, harder to change strings and past the initial excitement of doing deep dives, the tremolo bar isn't going to do a lot for you as a beginner. Look at the guitarists that you admire - even in metal and the other genres you mentioned, a lot of them play fixed bridges.

Another consideration for you is that a fixed bridge guitar is simpler to make, and so if you will be using your guitar as a model for your luthiery courses, that would be a better one for your first projects. I can speak from experience here! :)

I'd highly recommend looking at some of the PRS SE guitars, which should be in your price range. For your luthiery course, though, again they present a challenge because they have carved tops which are more difficult to make. If you want a guitar to use as a template for a first build, the best choice would be a strat or a tele, which were designed to be simple and cheap to manufacture - lots of punk was played on teles.

Whatever you decide, have fun and let us know what you buy!

* Not taking the piss....been there, done that, have every sympathy for you!