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T-Type Chapman vs Fender vs something else
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
Boguz's Avatar
Smile T-Type Chapman vs Fender vs something else

I have been saving some money to buy a t-type guitar.
I am a graphic designer, and as hollow as this sounds, the looks of the guitar are quite important to me.

I really like how the Chapman Guitars ML3 Pro Modern Dark Cherry looks and i have seen some videos, read some reviews and it seems like a really cool guitar.
The thing is it has two humbuckers, instead of the traditional t-type guitars singlecoils.

they do have a ML3 Traditional with Singlecoils, but with a bit less "bells and whistles" (for instance no coil tapping,...).

I have currently an Epiphone LP and i am looking for a guitar that is a step up, that is nice to play and it would be great if it is versatile.

Of course for that price (about 850€) there are lots of other t-type guitar options, for instance from Fender.

I think in the end i will have to go to some shop and just try them out, but before i go i would love to know what you think about it, and i am glad about any advice you might give me.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
 
Boguz's Avatar
As an after-thought, does anyone know if for instance at Thomann it is possible to try out several guitar of the same model and then choose the one we enjoy the best (instead of trying the one they have on display and then get a random one from the warehouse)?
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

For quality, I would personally look at Fender, G&L (American made series) Suhr, or Tom Anderson for a Tele.

Try to get something not made in Indonesia or Korea. Which is where most or all Chapman’s are made.

Although you can find decent quality for the price it usually falls short, long term or maybe even long term. And you’ll squally have to pick through multiple guitars even then, just to find a good one.
The long term values generally don’t hold unless made in Japan. Even Mexico made guitars are usually better quality than Korean and Indonesian made.

And then personal beliefs as to importation of cheap goods made by people making a few dollars a day pumping out product might come into play, if you choose to be a bit conscientious.

No clue about Thomanns policy but I have seen they’ve been selling more cheap stuff lately selling more cheap guitars and speaker cabinets.
These things generally will not hold up over time and will not retain any real value. Not to mention the conditions under which the workers are treated.

Caveat to some of the brands I mentioned:
They may not hold a lot value in your country presently because of popularity.
But this could be a plus for you.
For instance even a lot of people in America still aren’t too familiar with G&L even though Leo Fender found the company as essentially a higher end of fender guitars.
So G&L can tend to not hold as much value as Fender, even in America. This generally isn’t a problem if you don’t have problem buying used.
But buying new it can be a big discrepancy from what you paid to what you might sell it for.
From what I’ve heard this can be even more of a factor in Europe for G&L guitars.

The looks you mention are generally part of the marketing to sell cheap stuff to the masses based on current trends. Timeless classics for guitar or just about any wood creation are natural finishes, tobacco or sunburst, and satin like finishes with colors and designs that aren’t too bright or out there.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
1) it's hard to beat a Fender from a cost/benefit standpoint - all their guitars are good now - even the Squiers. They hold value and are easy to resell if you want to get rid of it down the road. Selling a used Chapman will be tougher.

2) if you already have a dual humbucker guitar you really should go with single coils. The tele is designed with those in mind and you'll get the best tone that way.

3) you may be able to customize your tele - there are companies that make custom pickguards etc.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

As hollow as it sounds? At least 85% of electric guitar choice is about looks. IMHO.

I’ve played some pretty decent Korean and Indonesian guitars. And some pretty meh American. My favorites are Japanese. Though i don’t believe the country of origin automatically means a guitar will or will not be any good, too many variables. But a lot of it is personal preference, definitely try some out.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 
Boguz's Avatar
Thank you for your input guys.
I guess it is a really good point about resealability. I hadn't really considered it...

I am leaning more and more towards a Fender.

I find the Fender ranges/series quite confusing. i am never sure which is what, and then in the name often still come some "letters" that make it even more confusing.
For instance, this guitar would be a possible candidate: "Fender AM Perf. Tele RW Satin SBL"
I guess it means Fender American Performer Telecaster Rosewood Satin Sonic Blue.

Do you know of any good site/video explaining the different fender tele series, where they are made, differences,...?
On the fender website there are 13 Tele ranges and some nice info.

Also, yesterday while looking for video reviews on youtube i stumbled upon a couple of videos talking about chapman and some weird cr*p they have been doing. Somehow this really bummed me out and decreased my interested in getting a chapman.

Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 
sniff's Avatar
 

how about this - will happily buy it from you if you hate it
Had one in Andertons UK I think but seems to have gone already..

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender/...tric-Guitar.gc


PS if anyone knows where to source this pale moon ebony fretboard at a sensible price would be grateful for a link - will get my neck guy to build me one
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boguz View Post
Thank you for your input guys.
...
Do you know of any good site/video explaining the different fender tele series, where they are made, differences,...?
On the fender website there are 13 Tele ranges and some nice info.
...

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Not only do you need to play a guitar to know if you want to buy it, in your case, you'll need to see it in person to know.

So, go play some guitars at your local music stores. Don't forget used instruments.....



-tINY

Old 1 week ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
grannis's Avatar
I have a Chapman ML1 Pro-Modern, and an ML-3 RC Signature. Excellent guitars, and fantastic value. For me where they shine is their versatility - loads of different tones from one guitar - perfect if you play a lot of styles live.

However, if you are looking for a classic Tele sound, get a Tele
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

As someone else mentioned. Play them first.
If you can get one and return it if you don’t like it, go that route.
I wouldn’t listen to me or anyone else over playing the actual instrument.
The thing about that Chapman is that they may have a slimmer neck/more ergonomic design, be easier to play for some or most and they are probably more versatile than any other Tele im that price range.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Head
 
Boguz's Avatar
I was this week at a little (but very nice) guitar shop here in Nuremberg (the BTM Guitars, maybe someone knows it) and i had a change to try several guitars.
They don't have any Chapman, but that's ok.

I ended up trying 5 Fender Teles, some from Mexico and a couple from USA.
The one i liked the most was the American Performer. I even loved the color (i think it was the Satin Sonic Blue).
I even liked it more that some of the other more expensive guitars.

I can't really explain what i liked about it. All 5 of them sounded great to my not very experienced ears (some just a bit brighter than others). I think the thin neck, the mate color and the dark fretboard had something to do with it.
What i wasn't sure about was the switches position (about the same in all guitars), which i sometimes found a bit in my way, but i guess i would get used to that quickly. I think i would also prefer if it would come with a case, instead of the bag.
And i also found it very strange that the head stock is straight with the neck. I have a Les Paul and it is on an angle, so that kind of freaked me out a bit. But i know that is something i would quickly get used to.

From what i understood, if i want to buy a guitar there, i can't actually buy the guitar i try. I can try the one they have on the shop, but then they would order a new guitar for me.

I think if i would order the guitar from them, when i go to pick it up i would ask them to try it there on the shop. this way if there is something we can talk about it.

How do you guys try a guitar before buying it?
Do you have some good tips?

I would go through all pickups, pots and switches and see if everything is working ok. Look for scratches, maybe see if the tuners are working ok and play a little bit to see if there is some buzzing, or if something stands out.
Is it Fender / or the shop's responsibility to deliver a guitar that is well setup and intonated? Is it ok to ask the shop to setup the guitar the way i like it (i don't like high setups)? Or would that be something separate to pay extra?

I am happy to read all your tips! Thanks!
Old 6 days ago
  #12
1) Play every note and check for dead notes or buzzing.

2)Bend a high E string every fret - eapecially the higher frets to check for dead spots.

3) check intonation- play an open D chord and then play the shape way up at the 15th fret etc. Same thing with E major.

4) tune the guitar and then play it for like 5 minutes - check if it stays in tune.


5)check for any obvious physical defects.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Gear Head
 
Boguz's Avatar
Thanks, that sounds like good advice. I will look up how to check for dead spots!
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Gear Head
 
Boguz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clash View Post
Wishlist for 2021: Trump & Johnson in prison


Yes, i also think that is the way to go. Close your eyes and try the guitar.

I think i will look around the shop, see what nice teles (fender and not fender) in my budget they have.
Try them all and check for any problems.
Then i guess i will play the ones remaining for a little bit until one of them stands out from the others...
Old 6 days ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boguz View Post
Thanks, that sounds like good advice. I will look up how to check for dead spots!
You'll hear it - the note will audibly cut out. Sometimes it's a fret issue.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Papanate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boguz View Post
I have been saving some money to buy a t-type guitar.
Do you mean Telecaster type guitars?

Quote:
I really like how the Chapman Guitars ML3 Pro Modern Dark Cherry they do have a ML3 Traditional with Singlecoils, but with a bit less "bells and whistles" I have currently an Epiphone LP and i am looking for a guitar that is a step up, that is nice to play and it would be great if it is versatile.
Go Here and design your Telecaster to your taste. Or get a Gibson ES-345 in Dark Cherry. Or just get the Chapman and be done with it.

Quote:
Of course for that price (about 850€) there are lots of other t-type guitar options, for instance from Fender.

I think in the end i will have to go to some shop and just try them out, but before i go i would love to know what you think about it, and i am glad about any advice you might give me
I am a brand sort of guy - I wouldn't buy a Telecaster from anyone except Fender. Everything is in place and should you want to resell you'll be in a better position than any other Telecaster type guitar.
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clash View Post
....Funnily enough this rule doesn't extend to Squier. Wtf did they pick that name? My inability to get past my Squierism pisses me off because they make some great guitars and if they had a marginally less ugly name/logo I'd be all over them. Wishlist for 2021: Trump & Johnson in prison and Fender rebranding Squier as "Bumper"

Maybe you just hate the western tradition. That would explain your affinity for the Malaysian Squire instruments.....

Maybe now that the UK is free of the EU, prices on US and Mexican made instruments will drop in the isles.




-tINY

Old 6 days ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boguz View Post
Then i guess i will play the ones remaining for a little bit until one of them stands out from the others...


Find another shop. There's no way I'd spend new-guitar money without playing the actual instrument I was buying first.

Maybe they can order the guitar you think you like. Then, if you don't like the one that shows up, they can apply your deposit to another guitar that they order for you.

Basically, guitars are not appliances or vehicles where the factory is that consistent. They're made out of wood, which varies a lot. Perhaps there's a carbon fiber or plywood model you like? Those should be consistent.




-tINY

Old 4 days ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boguz View Post

I can't really explain what i liked about it. All 5 of them sounded great to my not very experienced ears (some just a bit brighter than others). I think the thin neck, the mate color and the dark fretboard had something to do with it.
What i wasn't sure about was the switches position (about the same in all guitars), which i sometimes found a bit in my way, but i guess i would get used to that quickly. I think i would also prefer if it would come with a case, instead of the bag.
You can buy a case.

As far as the switch position goes, you could have the "Bill Kirchen mod" done on it. the control plate is reversed, moving the switch to the other end. The position of the tone and volume knobs are swapped so you can do volume fades with your little finger while playing (takes a bit of practice but sounds great.)
Old 4 days ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clash View Post

Re budget guitars vs marque brands: I couldn't give two ****s about the name on the headstock. I've got a wonderful Epiphone '56 Goldtop which is the equal of of any Gibson' 56 Goldtop I've come across - plus it's 5 grand cheaper. Funnily enough this rule doesn't extend to Squier. Wtf did they pick that name? My inability to get past my Squierism pisses me off because they make some great guitars and if they had a marginally less ugly name/logo I'd be all over them. Wishlist for 2021: Trump & Johnson in prison and Fender rebranding Squier as "Bumper"

If you're less Squierist than I am, and I hope you are (it's not anything I'm proud of), you can get an awesome tele for a hundred quid or so.
I have one of those Epi Goldtops. Great guitar for the price.

As far as "Squier" is concerned, here's a bit of history.

V.C. Squier started out many, many years ago as a string company. Around the late '50s/early '60s the V.C Squier company was bought out by Fender, who continued producing Squier strings until they changed the name to Fender strings some time in the mid '60s and retired the name. When they decided to start a line of budget import guitars the resurrected the Squier name, which they already owned, rather than coming up with a new name with no history behind it.
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