Chapman Guitars Ghost Fret Review

Ghostfret-Natural-7

Chapman Guitars
Ghost Fret – $899

PROS: Plays great, excellent tones, well thought-out version of a classic. True beef machine.
CONS: None.

It’s hard to believe the Gibson Explorer body shape came out in 1958. It’s been a shape adopted by players as varied as James Hetfield, The Edge, and Rick Nielsen. Chapman Guitars (brainchild by guitarist Rob Chapman) now has their turn at this classic, yet modern shape.

Construction wise, its neck-thru design lends to its stability. A three-piece maple neck runs the length of the instrument, while the “wings” are Sapele Mahogany. A nice thick book-matched maple top caps things off. With a 24.75” scale, it still has plenty of tension to really dig into the ebony fretboard. The 22 jumbo frets are nicely finished, and glow-in-the-dark side dots make seeing your position a breeze on-stage. With no inlays or markers on the fingerboard, save for the infinity symbol on the 12th fret, it has a modern aesthetic to it.

READ OUR DECEMBER 2014 COVER STORY ON ROB CHAPMAN.

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Hipshot locking tuners reside on the reverse headstock, and the hardtail bridge is a Strat-like design that’s easy to adjust for height and intonation. Pickups in our model are real Seymour Duncans (an upgrade option over the stock Chapman pups). A 3-way toggle sits on the lower bout, and the only controls are a volume and tone knob – complete with push/pull for the split/tap fans out there. One of the cooler features is the input jack; it’s an inverted Stratocaster version, positioned on the end of the axe to prevent any mishaps with the cable getting pulled out or snagged.

Slightly smaller than a “standard” Explorer, it balances well even sitting down. The neck has an excellent response overall with a fairly wide and flat feel, with no lumpy neck joint to inhibit any playing in the upper registers. The pickups sit very nicely in the “classic” range when used clean or with a touch of grit. Apply more distortion and they can certainly go into metal territory. Classic rock riffs and chords can get chunky and big. The tonal balance is excellent between both pickups and the Ghost Fret cuts through the mix nicely. The tone knob is a push pull (as mentioned), so the coils of the humbuckers can be split yielding very usable single coil tones that don’t get lost sonically. The response is spot on across the entire fingerboard, and everything stays in tune, even after a lot of heavy use.

It’s made in Korea and the overall fit and finish was excellent on our test guitar. Guitarists looking for a unique, modern look, while being able to cover clean, classic, and heavy tones, the Ghost Fret is well worth checking out!

The Chapman Ghost Fret is available at Riff City Guitars.

FEATURES
Top: Book Matched Flame Maple 
Body Finish: Satin Natural
Neck Wood: Maple
Neck Profile: Thin C 
Fingerboard: Light Satin Ebony 
Frets: 22 Extra Jumbo
Tuners: Hipshot Locking Tuners
Scale Length: 24-3/4″
Bridge: Hardtail Bridge

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