Anyone else having problems with Chapman guitars?

#1
So I got an ML3 Bea for Christmas, but honesty, I’m a little dissapointed by it. The guitar is fun, and it sounds and feels good, but there have been some flaws that a guitar at this price shouldn’t have. The first one I got had bad fret sprout, the tone knob was either on or off and nothing in between, the sanding job was awful, and the neck pickup was picking up ever sound around it, like my hand moving up and down the neck. So I returned the guitar and purchased a new one, the new one still had the same tone knob issue, and it still had some fret sprout, and now BOTH pickups were picking up sounds around them, and after having it for a couple of days, I noticed that it had a wiring problem, where on the 4th and 2nd positions instead of Full neck and split bridge on 4th and full bridge and split neck on 2nd, they both seemed to just be the split neck pickup. Anyone else having issues with these guitars?
 
#3
I bought it from Guitar center both times. They had to order it from another store because they don’t carry them in the store that I’m near. I don’t plan on returning it, I’m gonna go in and see if they can do anything about it, they were super great when I went to return the first guitar. I think I might change he pickups to some name brand ones, but I’ve heard that the neck pickup slot is weird and doesn’t work with the little 59’. What do you want a picture of?
 

ten-foot-tryptych

half rock, half gas
#4
No pictures are necessary but a picture speaks a 1000 words. The issues you describe are pretty bad -- from electronics to fret ends and finishing. Although customer support from CG is pretty much zero via this forum, seeing is believing and so if Chapman Guitars staff saw exactly what you are talking about, it might help in the steps towards preventing this kind of thing.

Actually, I enjoy seeing a trainwreck.
 
#5
Haha! I like seeing train wrecks too honestly!

Everything looks fine to me, but I don’t know a ton about guitar electronics. All I know is that I’m getting a single coil sound and buzz on the 2nd and 4th position (when it should be running a full humbucker and a split single coil). The fret sprout isn’t too bad really, you can’t really see it, and it’s not bad, it’s just that it’s there at all. Also, after looking at the back plate I noticed it said ML-1 on it... even though this is an ML3 Bea...

I hope this helps!
 

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ShredRex5150

Well-Known Member
#6
Pretty hard to tell looking at the wiring pics and being able to see if it is wired incorrectly. Honestly I doubt that is possible. I did notice the ML1 on the cavity plate too....odd.

This is gonna sound dumb, but bear with me. Try spraying the 5 way switch with some contact cleaner. Work it through all the positions, and spray it again. Maybe even a few times.

I had a similar issue with one of my ML1 Norseman when switching back to the bridge pup, sounded as if it was half power. Didn't happen all the time but was pretty annoying. Wiring looked fine and after a few shots of cleaner it is fine.
 
#7
Thank you! I will try it as soon as I am able to. Also, should the neck pickup be really sensitive to sound from the guitar body? Whenever I move my hand across the body or tap the guitar the pickup picks it up almost as loud as the strings, could this be because it’s so high output? Or maybe it’s just a trash pickup?
 

ShredRex5150

Well-Known Member
#8
That neck pup is likely fairly hot to compliment the bridge. But shouldn't be any noisier than the bridge pup. Not really sure since I can hear what the noise is that troubling you, but I doubt that the pickup is crap. If you can post a sound sample of vid maybe I could tell...but it is a humbucker so what you describe doesn't sound bizarre. I mean any pickup is going to pick up noise or tapping on the body when the volume is opened up and the guitar is amplified right?
 

Brad_A

Active Member
#9
I have an ML3-Bea Baritone and I have only noticed the pickup being sensitive when I had a ton of reverb on the amp. I do get a bit of single-coil type hum on the neck pickup when there is a lot of gain. (I’m using a boss katana 50. I don’t notice the noise when going into an Interface with BiasFX)
 

Lonestar

SC Relics Guitars
#10
Fret sprout happens with wood shrinkage so that indicates a change in temperature and or humidity levels. It’s my understanding that GC don’t check the guitars in the same way they Andertons do prior to shipping and unfortunately this seems to prove it.

It’s always wise to remember that at a price point there will be component compromises. This is where the electrical issues are cropping up.
 
#14
That neck pup is likely fairly hot to compliment the bridge. But shouldn't be any noisier than the bridge pup. Not really sure since I can hear what the noise is that troubling you, but I doubt that the pickup is crap. If you can post a sound sample of vid maybe I could tell...but it is a humbucker so what you describe doesn't sound bizarre. I mean any pickup is going to pick up noise or tapping on the body when the volume is opened up and the guitar is amplified right?
I made a video, but I had to put it on YouTube, I hope this helps!

 
#15
Pretty hard to tell looking at the wiring pics and being able to see if it is wired incorrectly. Honestly I doubt that is possible. I did notice the ML1 on the cavity plate too....odd.

This is gonna sound dumb, but bear with me. Try spraying the 5 way switch with some contact cleaner. Work it through all the positions, and spray it again. Maybe even a few times.

I had a similar issue with one of my ML1 Norseman when switching back to the bridge pup, sounded as if it was half power. Didn't happen all the time but was pretty annoying. Wiring looked fine and after a few shots of cleaner it is fine.
I just sprayed it with some switch cleaner a few times, still getting hum and it still doesn’t sound like it’s been wired correctly. Thanks for the suggestion though, I really appreciate the help.
 
#16
Pretty hard to tell looking at the wiring pics and being able to see if it is wired incorrectly. Honestly I doubt that is possible. I did notice the ML1 on the cavity plate too....odd.

This is gonna sound dumb, but bear with me. Try spraying the 5 way switch with some contact cleaner. Work it through all the positions, and spray it again. Maybe even a few times.

I had a similar issue with one of my ML1 Norseman when switching back to the bridge pup, sounded as if it was half power. Didn't happen all the time but was pretty annoying. Wiring looked fine and after a few shots of cleaner it is fine.
Okay so after waiting a while it seems to have worked. After tapping the pickups with a screwdriver in various positions it seems to be working right (although it still is using the inner coils instead of the outer coils on the 2 and 4 positions.) However, there is now crackling in the switch, but it seems to be going away a little bit more each time I furiously switch it through the positions to try and fix it. Also, there is still hum on the 2 and 4 positions, oddly enough, and the neck pickup is still picking up a lot of noise.

Because it’s using the inner coils instead of the outer coils, I’m starting to think they just wired the pickups the wrong way, like they just got flipped and they wired them like that. Is that possibly the reason I’m having so many problems? Or do I just not know what I’m talking about?
 

everfreetree

I... I like trees.
#17
Okay so after waiting a while it seems to have worked. After tapping the pickups with a screwdriver in various positions it seems to be working right (although it still is using the inner coils instead of the outer coils on the 2 and 4 positions.) However, there is now crackling in the switch, but it seems to be going away a little bit more each time I furiously switch it through the positions to try and fix it. Also, there is still hum on the 2 and 4 positions, oddly enough, and the neck pickup is still picking up a lot of noise.

Because it’s using the inner coils instead of the outer coils, I’m starting to think they just wired the pickups the wrong way, like they just got flipped and they wired them like that. Is that possibly the reason I’m having so many problems? Or do I just not know what I’m talking about?
Alternatively... the pickups could be installed upside down :p.
See if the writing on the back of them is facing the right way (not even kidding, heh).
 

Soap Distant

The Big Kahuna (again!)
#18
Out of interest, how much is an ML-3? Just to give me an idea of the competition they're up against, and the sort of flaws one could expect.
 
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