My Review of the Chapman ML3-RC


Well-Known Member
First off...
I was kind of surprised that there is not a more official Youtube demo and video of the ML3-RC signature guitar. There is an unboxing video, which is kind of a fun watch. Also there is a video of Rob on a balcony where Rob talks about the guitar, but the sound is certainly not up to the standard of most of the Anderton vids.

That being said, I was goofing around on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago and found the ML3 Rc listed for a pretty decent price. I already have a black Cap10 which is my favorite guitar, I absolutely love it. I thought it would be kind of silly to buy the RC, and have the Chappers and Captain signature guitars side by side.

Because the price was good and the condition was perfect, I decided I'd grab the guitar and if I didn't like it, I'd just relist it. No real risk, I might lose a couple of bucks on it, or I might make a couple of bucks, who knows.

When I brought it home, I pulled it out and had to admire the look of the guitar. It is the satin red version and the wood grain is really cool looking. The satin feel is really nice and the carved top gives it the look and feel of a really high quality instrument.

I first noted the relatively thin neck. Slightly thinner than the Cap 10, but not overly thin. It was in absolutely perfect condition. No buzzing, and the frets just feel perfect.

The big shock was when I plugged it in. I had my amp set to the rock tone that I last played with my Cap 10 on the Boss Katana Lead Channel. I immediately said: "Whoa!" I had it on the neck pickup and the tone was full and "throaty." Just this incredible grunting tone that I absolutely love. The lil 59 in the bridge is just a brute.It's high enough output that it distorts easily. The high strings were not shrill, especially for a bridge pickup,they sing and sustain, but they don't shriek. It might be the best heavy rhythm tone that I have ever played, with no tweaking at all.

Flipping on to the neck, the tone is less throaty and gives this great round sustain. The low end is SOO huge with this pickup. It distorts and you can play a cool lead tone on it, or a rhythm that is a little more present and less distorted.

The next shock was when you pull the tone knob to get the single coil tone. The neck pickup has one of the best most full fender type neck pickup tones I have ever heard.
And the bridge pickup with the coil split is not wimpy and weak. It is still full throated and fantastic.

I bought this guitar on a whim, but after having it for a few weeks, I can not imagine selling it.

I'm still kind of in shock at how much fun I am having with this guitar.

I'm a little disappointed that I never see Rob playing it online on any of his recent demos or videos only because I'd love to see him goof off with it more and hear the types of sounds he gets from it. All I know is that while I will never get rid of the Cap-10, this guitar seems to be finding a permanent home with me too. It certainly is great that while both guitars are from the same company, both have mahogany bodies and seymour duncan humbuckers, both guitars are capable of such unique and different tones. They are a great compliment to each other, much like Chappers and the Captain.
Nice review. It kinda feels like a dead end product. Despite all the hype and passion Rob uses in that 1 video you talk about he / Chapman seem to have forgotten it exists. I thought it might get a but of an update with current crop and even take it up market like most of the guitars have gone. However, obscurity appears to be the way forward.


long time lurker
To be fair, Rob did use the guitar quite a bit when it first came out (Mr YouTube would attest to that), but the Ghostfret (aka one of the very first RC proto's) has always seemed to be that one guitar that was always going to be his "go to" guitar. Since it's been released, you rarely see him without it now.
Nice review btw, cant beat a bit of throaty. :)
(edit: just re-read that, wasn't meant to be rude. If I was going that direction I'd quote Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstool and his "huge oily nuts" he just mentioned on TV :p)
I purchased the ML3-RC to not only get myself back into playing guitar but to try out different styles. It did a wonderful job, inspiring me to play but the different styles didn’t work out. I’ll always be METAL!!

I recently bought a backup guitar - Jackson Monarkh sc Pro with Seymour Duncan pickups. The quality isn’t on par with the Chapman but the sound is pure meat making the Chapman sound flimsy and weak. I would change pickups but my options are limited due to the single coil set up.

I’m likely to swap the RC for a ML1 Pro Modern sometime later this year. Will I get the same meat as I do with the Jackson?