Chapman Mod Shop Project 1: ML-1 BEA

This project has been completed. Read about its journey below!

We asked you to help us mod this Chapman legacy ML-1 BEA, by telling us what pickups you think it should have, and if there were any other modifications you would make.

After the suggestion phase, three members of our team came up with their own mods of the ML-1 BEA based on your ideas. We then asked you to vote for your favorite of the three options.

The winning option included Bare Knuckle Warpigs, a clear pickguard with Bea’s ‘Fro logo, and a CTS volume pot with a Switchcraft jack/toggle.

Once the guitar was finished in the shop, we put it up for auction. Our Mod Shop ML-1 BEA has found its new home in the arms of lucky bidder Jim Navarre.

Check out these before and after pics:

Make sure you check out our current Mod Shop Project #2: a legacy ML-2 Classic!

Share This Post

76 thoughts on “Chapman Mod Shop Project 1: ML-1 BEA

  • February 13, 2019 at 9:56 pm
    Permalink

    I’m cool with the warpig, Maybe something more like a seymour duncam phat cat or a p-rails in the neck for all the shreddy goodness.

    Would be cool to see one in a classy black all chrome or distressed hardware config. Or a nice matte blue.

    Reply
  • February 13, 2019 at 8:39 am
    Permalink

    Mod 3, Cuz Bea has a beautiful face.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 9:02 pm
    Permalink

    Tremol-no the bridge.
    JB in the bridge position.
    59 in the neck position.
    Simple wiring. No coil taps.
    Scallop the fretboard.
    Crown, Level, and Polish the frets.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 6:19 pm
    Permalink

    Yes!! Single bridge humbucker, Suhr SSV+, done ✊🏾🤘🏾

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 3:31 pm
    Permalink

    My suggestion would be to install A set of Seymour Duncan Eclairs and maybe a brass block or bigger Trem block. Honestly, I’m sure it’s better off with stock components.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 1:35 am
    Permalink

    Chrome EMG 81 in both the neck and Bridge, chrome locking tuners, 10 – 52 strings, wham!!!

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 5:05 pm
    Permalink

    I already have this combo and it’s very nice, so put a DiMarzio SuperDistortion in the bridge and a Bluesbucker in the neck. Might as well leave the floyd. But, for the finish, switch it out with something abstract with purples and black.

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 4:54 pm
    Permalink

    Put a DiMarzio Andy Timmons humbucker in the bridge, use a DiMarzio Steve Lukather Transition in the neck.
    Five way p/u selector so each can single coil.
    Jumbo 6105 stainless steel frets.
    The Floyd Rose is okay, since it’s already routed for it. Black finish on all hardware, except knobs……black knob with insert tops that accentuate the body finish.
    Gloss finish body, satin finish neck.
    Headstock veneer to match body.
    Then it will be as pretty as it sounds.

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm
    Permalink

    a light scallop to the neck from 12th up….. with some jumbo frets a sustainiac in neck pos…the latest petrucci model p/u for bridge pos… a momentary kill switch … some floyd rose hollow points for intonation, a sustain block for the floyd, some high end pots with the best caps you can get noisless springs for the floyd also. sperzel locking tuners and of course the lowest action possible on set up for some serious speed.

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 3:48 pm
    Permalink

    I would go with a classic. Seymour Duncan jb4 in the bridge position and a Sustainiac system in the neck. Love it. Like having a built in E bow.

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 11:43 am
    Permalink

    First off, DON’T RELIC IT. Those are not easy to come by. Just put some killer pickups ( Bare knuckle Holy Divers come to mind ) and that’s IT ! NO need to mess with it more. It’s a great guitar like it is.

    Reply
  • January 21, 2019 at 2:40 am
    Permalink

    I wasnt fortunate enough to get one of these but I recently played one and I loved it and would not change one single thing , been looking for a used one with no luck so I’d be ok with you just doing a reissue of the original for those of us who missed out on it . Thanks!

    Reply
  • January 19, 2019 at 2:11 am
    Permalink

    Pick ups: bare knuckle war pig in the bridge, VHII in the neck. Wiring: coil split and out of phase option by push-push knobs so you can operate them with 1 finger in stead of grabbing the knob with 2 fingers to pull up. Add a blower switch, by engaging this you go from whatever pickup combination to full humbuckers with bypassing all tone controles or excessive wiring.
    Between the humbuckers engrave the fro logo in the wood
    Get a non locking trem system for easy string changes (Wilkinson, gotoh,…)
    Neck: very rolled of edges

    Reply
  • January 18, 2019 at 1:43 pm
    Permalink

    It would be awesome with some ragnarok pickups and a Refinish in a blue/ green burst, that would be insane

    Reply
  • January 18, 2019 at 9:22 am
    Permalink

    Put a TV Jones Gretsch type pickup at the neck and a quality p90 at the bridge.
    Make it a 12 string. use the Floyd Rose Trem on the 6 original strings, and put a custom Bigsby with the arm on the topside on the 6 new strings. The new strings should be slightly higher, thus making it easier to play slide on those strings. Those strings may have to be heavier gauge so the pickups give them an equal amount of sound. There just are not enough guitars out there with two tremolo bars. Nothing crazy for me either, just these simple mods.

    Reply
  • January 18, 2019 at 9:18 am
    Permalink

    I’d put Bare Knuckle Rags, make little coil split toggles so you can split only one pup and use second full humbucker, give the Floyd a brass block if it doesn’t have one already, piezo and aging the finish could be cool too

    Reply
  • January 17, 2019 at 2:23 pm
    Permalink

    Add an out of phase switch or reverse the neck pickup ala peter green/Gary Moore

    Reply
  • January 17, 2019 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    Fender Shawbucker 2 in bridge, Fender Shawbucker 1 in neck, Bourns Potentiometers, Sperzel inline locking machines, Graph Teck TUSQ nut, Floyd Rose 1000 Series Pro Tremolo System Bridge, Fu – Tone Brass Spring Claw, Fu – Tone Brass Spring Claw Screws.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 11:20 pm
    Permalink

    Entwistle hdn pickups. Love the company and neodymium pickups. Then locking tuners and a trem lock. Nothing overly crazy for me

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 11:01 pm
    Permalink

    Put a Floyd rose original, Fishman fluence pickups, sperzal locking tuners, and relic it

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm
    Permalink

    Add A D-Tuna and the routing it would need to be pulled backwards, Fishman Fluence Devin Townsend pick ups, upgrade the block on the trem to carbon steel and Grover Locking tuners. And a Killswitch!

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 7:39 pm
    Permalink

    Add A D-Tuna and the routing it would need to be pulled backwards, Fishman Fluence Devin Townsend pick ups, upgrade the block on the trem to carbon steel and Grover Locking tuners.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 6:46 pm
    Permalink

    Put a set of modern PAFs in it, add a mini humbucker or single-coil sized humbucker in the middle, put in a 5-way switch, master tone control, independent coil taps for all 3 pickups, and a push-pull or another switch to change between the middle pickup or neck+bridge when in position 3.
    Yes, I am suggesting turning this thing into a bastardized modern eagle.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 5:46 pm
    Permalink

    I know BEA loves Bareknuckle pickups, but his hero Nuno plays a Bill Lawrence XL-500. Put one of those, or it’s Seymour Duncan copy the Dimebucker, in the bridge. Love the idea of throwing a Sustainer in the neck. Add piezo saddles to the bridge; he seemed to like that on the Music Man John Petrucci guitar he’s used in some videos. I’m pretty sure Graphtech makes a piezo system for Floyd’s.

    I’m not generally a fan of relicing, but on his videos it looks like he always rubs a spot at the top of the guitar between the pickups. I’m going to call that the “Rabbea beauty mark”. Add one of those to the guitar. Graphtech ratio locking tuners to go with the Graphtech piezo system. I like black hardware to contrast with the amber paint.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 5:46 pm
    Permalink

    dimarzio super distortion in the bridge and dimarzio air norton in the neck. EVH drop D tuna. Don’t do the relic thing please lol to hipster and fake.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 5:37 pm
    Permalink

    Set of Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckers. Coil split wiring. Brass toneblock and claw for the Floyd.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 4:32 pm
    Permalink

    I like lots of tonal options, in one guitar…
    Bridge: one of the new “tortoise” P90’s from ProtoGuitars
    Neck: lower output ~8k (vintage gold cover) humbucker from Lollar
    Push-pull on Vol knob for single coil Humbucker
    Add a Stellartone tone control
    Vintage gold color on hardware…
    locking tuners, for sure…
    no relic’ing please…

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 4:08 pm
    Permalink

    I would want to try a more vintage style pickups in her

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 3:37 pm
    Permalink

    Barenuckle Nailbomb in the bridge
    Barenuckle Mule in the neck
    Push Pull coil split on the volume pot.
    Floyd with D-Tuna
    Relic’d similar to Bea’s ML-1

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 3:27 pm
    Permalink

    Sophia tremolo, Fishman open core fluences, worn down to natural and reliced like Bea’s N4. Hardware all blacked out! 🙂

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 3:17 pm
    Permalink

    Fishman Fluence Pick-ups for sure. Then if you can get a Drop D “D-Tuna” bridge?… Your done.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 3:12 pm
    Permalink

    I would drop in Lace Bill Kelliher’s Dissonant Aggressors Guitar Pickup Set with push pull pots . Add in some open geared locking tuners

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 3:01 pm
    Permalink

    Throw some Kirk Hammett Bone Breaker EMGs in there, velcro a mini-wah under the bridge… profit

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    Permalink

    I would put Suhr aldrich pickups in there, locking tuning keys, and add the drop D to the Floyd.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    Permalink

    P-rails with another switch for coil selection and a tone knob.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:35 pm
    Permalink

    The guitar already looks pretty cool as it is. For the humbuckers, I would add a set of Seymour Duncan TB4 & SH2, which is a bulletproof combination, very versatile for the rock styles the guitar seems to be designed for. For even more versatility, I would make the volume pot a push-pull for coil-split. If you make a left-handed version of it, I would buy it…

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:34 pm
    Permalink

    Throw some DiMarzio Dark Matter 2 pickups in there.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:27 pm
    Permalink

    I would put hipshot locking tuners, fishman modern fluency pickups in it. But please what ever you do…. DO NOT relic the guitar. Why beat up a great looking guitar.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    Permalink

    The only thing Robea’s guitar needs is a volume and tone knob.It also needs a Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck and a Seymour Duncan JB model in the bridge and this guitar is complete. Enough said😉

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:19 pm
    Permalink

    Duncan jb trembucker in Bridge and jazz in neck. The trem needs a fu-tone big block. The saddles need stainless intonation screws titanium string clamping blocks and stainless string clamping screws all can be had from fu-tone.com or the floyd rose site (see the hot rod section) noiseless springs. Volume knob and tremble know with push pull coil tap.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:19 pm
    Permalink

    Seymour Duncan SLUG in the bridge (48k), El Diablo in the neck (22k).
    5 Way rotary switch for coil splitting (2 Humbuckers/5-Way Rotary Switch/1 Volume/1. Bridge Series 2. Outer Coils (parallel) 3. Outer Coils Series 4. Inner Coils (parallel) 5. Neck Series)
    1meg pots
    Keep the Floyd, install a tremel-no in back

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm
    Permalink

    You need to throw a couple of DiMarzio Dark Matter 2 pickups in there. I’ll gladly accept a demo model if you do haha

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:10 pm
    Permalink

    I would love to see some Railhammer pickups, possibly the Kyle Shutt set with the P90 type in the neck. Chrome pickups, throw an EVH drop D on the Floyd. Schaller straplocks. Open gear locking tuners.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:10 pm
    Permalink

    Lollar Charlie Christian in the neck position, Fender Wide Range in the bridge. Electrosocket for the jack cup. Add a treble cut tone knob.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:09 pm
    Permalink

    Duncan P-Rails, and Graphtec piezo. That would rock.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm
    Permalink

    Seymour Duncan SH-13 Dimebuckers or Lace Alumitone Deathbuckers!

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    Permalink

    Rabea is such an amazing ambient player, it would be really cool to put a fluence pickup in the bridge, a sustainer in the neck and just get after it.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    Permalink

    Get rid of the Floyd.
    Install Sheptone’s Heartbreaker humbuckers with chrome covers.
    Replace machine heads with Graph tech ratio locking machine heads in chrome.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:56 pm
    Permalink

    Emg Retroactive Hot 77 pick up set

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm
    Permalink

    I would go old-school power rock: Keep the Floyd bridge and add in hot ceramic humbuckers like DiMarzio Super Distortion or Gibson Dirty Fingers. Also I’m dying to see you make it look like it has been on a thousand gigs world wide by doing something to that fancy-pants burst top. Perhaps add a punk-ish cheap black spray paint home made graphic with loads of attitude for a proper Rock and Roll machine. Give it scars!

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm
    Permalink

    Copy his relic, then put an EVH drop tune w/an uproute

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm
    Permalink

    DiMarzio Pandemonium set, keep the Floyd. Godd set of locking tuners Strap locks. Use all swirchcraft jacks and tone/volume knobs . Cloth wiring. Let them sing.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Permalink

    Dump the Floyd. Install Sheptone’s Heartbreaker humbuckers with covers to match the machine heads.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:44 pm
    Permalink

    Evertune Bridge, SD Alternative 8 in the bridge, SD ’59 in the neck, Rabea’s relic job, ACTIVE EQ!!

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm
    Permalink

    Bareknuckle Warpig in the bridge, Seymour Duncan ’59 in the neck, just like Bea’s. And of course, relic it the Bea relic’d his.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm
    Permalink

    Add a black German made Floyd & Locking Nut. Fishman vintage pickups. CTS pot and Switchcraft output jack. Then, let me purchase it. I have his sig ML3, but always wanted this one. Any more of these lying around????

    Reply
    • January 16, 2019 at 1:40 pm
      Permalink

      This very one will be up for grabs when it’s all finished! 😉

      Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm
    Permalink

    Install a Tremel-no on the Floyd (for easy string changes). Then drop a Gibson 500t in the bridge and a DiMarzio Illuminator in the neck.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:29 pm
    Permalink

    Drop that Floyd rose bs …..but doesn’t look easily done now…
    Cover it and slap on a bigsby
    TV Jones at neck
    Some alnico 2 rig at bridge…

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:26 pm
    Permalink

    Well .. since Rebea already has his sigs I say something other than his builds. I say roll some Blackouts or maybe the new Holt set from EMG and somehow the mid boost push/pull that Synyster Gates runs in his sig’s. I think it would be cool to have a 3 way switch that also could push button or turn somehow for that extra control without a tone pot. If it was a bolt on I’d swap the neck for a lefty so its conventional which as far as I know is pretty unique for a Chapman. (which I would love to see a non-reverse on a ghostfret someday Chappers, not spotted one yet) Is it me or does the Chapman headstock look like Rob’s handwritten signature? Would that be why they are all reversed? That’s a beautiful finish so I think I would leave it alone. Other than that if it doesn’t have yet I would go with switchcraft electronics and dunlop straplocks. Totally not a guitar that will exist but it would be fun to build.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm
    Permalink

    I actually bought one of these from you. There’s not much I’d change! Maybe an EVH D-Tuna on the Floyd if it would fit. I also like the Bare Knuckle pickups suggestion, as well as stainless steel frets. Straplocks would be cool. And “fro” it! Must have a more visible fro!

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm
    Permalink

    Monty’s Guitars PAF pickups, split coil, aged covers. Will make it sound like a quarter million bucks. 😀

    Totally agree with doing a relic job on it.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm
    Permalink

    I’m the bridge position put a lace alumitone deathbucker and in the neck position put a lace alumitone humbucker. I would leave Floyd Rose. Also relic the body and it’s hardware. And of course any other upgrades to the Fr or pots.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:18 pm
    Permalink

    Lose the Floyd and add an Evertune bridge. Stainless steel frets, graphtech nut, Sperzel Locking tuners and for the finale, a set of MojoTone Black Magic pickups with CTS pop up split coil pots. I’m not into relic’ing a guitar BUT this thing is too pretty. It’d be way better if it were at least a matte finish. Personally I like Ash tops with heavy grain showing through the finish. That’s my two cents.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    Evertune Bridge
    Rio Grande Texas BBQ set of pickups.. Chrome covered.. Graph tech ratio tuners. Paper and oil caps, cloth wiring.. Could also go with Kiesel Berylium pickups.

    Reply
    • January 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm
      Permalink

      I just installed the Rio Grande Texas/BBQ in an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. Great upgrade.
      Good call on the Chapman for an upgrade.

      Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:10 pm
    Permalink

    Throw some bare Knuckles in it( Warpigs or cold sweats). Some kind of custom wiring would be really cool. Maybe like a phase switch? Put a 5 way sliding switch in, and remove the 3 way( replace it with a tone pot or maybe a killswitch)
    A relic job would be cool too. But not to the point where it gets discolored like rabea’s relic. Something where you can still see the original colors. Maybe sanding the back to a natural finish would be cool, too

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:09 pm
    Permalink

    Arcane2 Mr. Scary in the bridge and a Suhr Thornbucker in the neck – Both brush nickel style. Leave the floyd, but add some open gear hipshot locking tuners – I hate re-stringing guitars 😉

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Permalink

    Seymour Duncan black winter in bridge. Sustainiac in neck. Locking tuners. Stone tone Black granite tone block for floyd. Noisless springs.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    Permalink

    Some Bareknuckle Cold Sweats for sure. 250K Pots and an evertune bridge.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 12:54 pm
    Permalink

    Lace Hammerclaws, coil split. Paint racing stripes!

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm
    Permalink

    Fishman fluence pickups, with a coil split on both. Keep the Floyd rose, stainless steel frets, and relic the hell out of it

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm
    Permalink

    Leave the floyd, put rabea pickups that are in his ML3 in this. Proceed to relic it, like in the Catalyst music video, i believe hes playing his sig ml1 that he reliced, i always wanted to buy amd relic one just for that reason. Or change the finnish a little to wear the top doesnt have the burst and put the secondary color on the back and sides of the guitar. Oh one last thing put rabea afro logo where the pocket for the floyd ends so in between the strap button and the floyd rose

    Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm
    Permalink

    Brige with sophie tremolo, pickups bareknuckle rebel yell with gold cover engraved with bea’s afro logo

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *