Chapman ML-2 Modern vintage 2017

Grey_Goose

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Greetings All,
In the aftermath of a deal falling through on a MIK Epiphone, I went a somewhat different route and purchased another Chapman, this one being an ML-2 Modern produced in Indo in 2017 (if I'm reading the SN correctly). For those unfamiliar with the ML-2, this is Chapman's foray into the Les Paul-style solid body. This particular instrument is pre-owned, purchased from a local GC. I have a few questions that I'm hoping some of you might be able to assist with.
  • The pickups are not rock solid in the body, and securing them in place by tightening the mounting screws moves them quite a distance from the strings; even then, there's some slight wobble if I apply pressure, which is not what I have seen in my 2022 ML-1 or any of my other guitars. Additionally, the neck and bridge pups are at different distances from the strings, noticeably, and (again) comparing the distance to that of other guitars shows a pretty large difference. Do I need to insert a piece behind the pickups to move them higher in the body (e.g. towards the strings), or do I replace the mounting screws with something more along the lines of a post-type screw with a sleeve that gives me the necessary room for adjustment, or is there a different solution that I should consider?
  • In the middle position of the three-way switch, I'm only getting sound out of my amp when both volume knobs (for the neck and bridge) are past the 50% point, more or less; is that normal?
Best,

Chris
 

Miki Dord MJ

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Greetings All,
In the aftermath of a deal falling through on a MIK Epiphone, I went a somewhat different route and purchased another Chapman, this one being an ML-2 Modern produced in Indo in 2017 (if I'm reading the SN correctly). For those unfamiliar with the ML-2, this is Chapman's foray into the Les Paul-style solid body. This particular instrument is pre-owned, purchased from a local GC. I have a few questions that I'm hoping some of you might be able to assist with.
  • The pickups are not rock solid in the body, and securing them in place by tightening the mounting screws moves them quite a distance from the strings; even then, there's some slight wobble if I apply pressure, which is not what I have seen in my 2022 ML-1 or any of my other guitars. Additionally, the neck and bridge pups are at different distances from the strings, noticeably, and (again) comparing the distance to that of other guitars shows a pretty large difference. Do I need to insert a piece behind the pickups to move them higher in the body (e.g. towards the strings), or do I replace the mounting screws with something more along the lines of a post-type screw with a sleeve that gives me the necessary room for adjustment, or is there a different solution that I should consider?
  • In the middle position of the three-way switch, I'm only getting sound out of my amp when both volume knobs (for the neck and bridge) are past the 50% point, more or less; is that normal?
Best,

Chris
Without pictures is hard to say, but i would put something under the pickup in the case as you've described it of course if you can.
Regarding 2nd question guitar behaves OK in 1st and 3rd position, meaning you get better results aka sound when pot is under 50%?
in essence it's normal due to people use logarithmic pots . Due to some mythical reason that is accepted as '' best guitar pots''. i personally dislike them and use linear pots because i need reaction from 0 up to 100%.
In some situation log pots are good, because people like to roll of tone faster and volume to keep it let's say at 80-90% and when they need an extra boost to dial it last 10-20%.

To be clear it's hard to diagnose guitars on net, so the best would be that you buy the cheapest multimetar you can find, they are like 5 pounds. With them you can test your electronic easy. I'm saying that in case you don't have one, it's great gadget and it will serve you for life time when ever you wish to measure pots, change parts and so on.

linear-and-log-potentiometer.jpg

If i may ask what are impression with Chapman guitar? From what i saw they nice, factory in Korea is good, and parts are good as well. That is based on 2 i ''worked'' on so there are different impressions and situations. So i'm curious.
 

Grey_Goose

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Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed response. I do have a multimeter but will need to do a bit of research to determine how I'm supposed to use it in this instance to diagnose whether an issue exists or not.

I've attached a few photos of the pickups. Not sure if they show the sort of detail required or if the angle of the photos tells you anything. I will probably look at modifying the mounting of the neck pickup (if necessary) over the Christmas Holiday break. My work schedule between now and then is too congested to fit this in.

My sample size for Chapman guitars is 2; as mentioned in the OP, I've got one of their ML-1 baritones from this year's special run, and this ML-2 (built in 2017). Both were built in Indonesia, but in different manufacturing facilities. I think that they're both beautiful, though there's quite a difference in build quality around the pickups. In the ML-1, they're solidly-mounted and (because they're Seymour Duncan) have a much different appearance. I'm not a gear collector, and this ML-2 will be my last guitar and the only solid body Les Paul-type that I intend to own, and I'm not disappointed at all in this decision despite the questionable pickup mounting; I've seen enough YouTube demos of this model to know that it, combined with my amp effects, will produce all of the sounds that I would ask for, even with the stock pickups (I admit that I may wind up replacing them at some point simply to get the experience in doing this). The screw hole for the truss rod access cover in the head wasn't drilled properly at the factory; rather than deepen it, I have simply removed the cover, as I can't see a reason to have it in place anyway. I suspect that the screw holes for the bridge pickup are, similarly, not as they ought to be. For what I paid for this this guitar ($350), though, I don't care. I'll gladly work on this one, which is not something that I'm inclined to do on my other guitars or my bass. I greatly enjoy learning about these things, so the ML-2 gives me a good way to do it.

I should mention that I'm an expat who has been living in the States for 43 years, but nonetheless I am a staunch supporter of British and Irish brands, and am pleased to own a pair of guitars produced by an English company, even if they were made elsewhere. So - this is one reason that I own a pair of Chapmans (my other guitar is a Taylor T5z, and my bass is a Sire M7, also made in Indonesia). Be that as it may, however, both of my Chapmans are gorgeous and I really couldn't be happier with them, so it all works out.
 

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