You’ve just bought a new Chapman Guitar. Well done! Kudos on a really smart guitar purchase.

These guitars already come with amazing Chapman “Guitarnivore” humbuckers and “Extreme Victory” single coils installed. Building on the original stock pickups in the first generation of Chapman guitars, these pickups have been specifically voiced for these instruments. They sound fantastic no matter what style of music you’re going to play. So there’s no real need to change them at all..... Still reading? OK, so you want to upgrade the pickups in your Chapman Guitar. There’s a few things you’ll need to get your head round before you start throwing money about.

I’ll break this down per guitar, that way you can just read up of the guitar that you’ve got. Both the ML-1 and ML-2 have been designed so that if you had an overwhelming desire to upgrade to a Floyd Rose, the guitar would be capable of doing so without having to make major modifications or swapping out the neck. It also means, from a playing point of view that the string spacing is going to be pretty much the same ( give or take fractions of a millimetre).

A word on pickup size.....
Straight from Seymour Duncan

“Humbuckers and Trembuckers are very similar to each other, and most humbucker models also come in Trembucker versions. The Trembucker-spaced JB, for example, is a TB-4 and the humbucker-spaced version in an SH-4. The only difference is the wider spacing of the pole pieces on the Trembucker versions. This spacing issue only applies to the bridge position pickup, which is why Trembuckers are recommended for the bridge position. Trembuckers are designed for wider string most commonly associated with Floyd Rose or vintage vibrato bridges (often called Tremolos) with a string spacing of 2.070" or 52.6mm, measured center of high string to center of low string over the bridge pickup. Humbuckers are designed for bridges with traditional Gibson humbucker string spacing of 1.930" or 49mm, measured center of high string to center of low string over the bridge pickup. Humbucker spaced pickups work in both bridge and neck positions, even with a Trembucker-spaced bridge pickup. A quick and easy way to tell which you need is to measure from the middle of the high string to the middle of the low string, directly over the pickup.If the distance is greater than two inches or 50mm, go for a Trembucker. If it's less than two inches or 50mm, go for a humbucker.”

Got it? Good.

Chapman Guitars ML-1
The bridge humbucker will need to be a model with a wider string spacing. These are called various things; F-spaced, Trembuckers, Whatever! The important this is that most companies will offer their pickups in two string widths. The model that you need for any Chapman Guitar is the wider version. The single coils will be standard spacing, and if you’re buying single coils with staggered pole pieces, Yes Lefties, they make left handed pickups just for you ;-)

Scale Length ; 25.5” 42mm TUSQ Nut Bridge Wilkinson WVPCR Tremolo String Spacing - 54mm

If you’re buying rail coil single coil pickups (Seymour Duncan Hotrails for example) or you’re buying active pickups like EMGs, then you don’t need to worry about the pickup width. Although Seymour Duncan Blackouts do come in Trembucker versions.

Chapman Guitars ML-2
Now this is where things get a little tricky. The E to e string spacing of this Nashville-style bridge means that you are going to need a wider spaced bridge pickup. But this all changes when you get to the neck pickup. This pickup will have to be a standard spaced, run-of-the-mill pickup. Then is gets even more tricky. Humbuckers come in two leg lengths. Short 1/4” and Long 1/2”. The way that the ML-2 pickup cavities have been routed means that you will need a short legged pickup for the neck position and a long legged pickup for the bridge position.

Scale Length: 25” 43mm TUSQ Nut TonePros Bridge String Spacing - 52mm

So, in summary: For all Chapman Guitars ML-2s you will need: Neck position - Short legged (1/4”) standard spaced humbucker. Bridge position - Long legged (1/2”) wider spaced (F-Spaced; Trembucker; etc etc) humbucker.

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