The Ghost Fret Is A Great Guitar – For Its price
I recently received my Chapman Ghost Fret Standard from one of two Chapman dealers in Canada. I was extremely hesitant of ordering it before playing, but it turned out well. The dealer does inspections and setups on all guitars they sell while the other did not so it came ready to go out of the box. Since it seems people are, lets say, curious about them, I’d thought I’d write about mine.
Overall, this is a fantastic guitar, for its price. I love the sound from it. The only thing is that this is not a bass heavy guitar like some of the others that I have. The Ghost Fret thrives when playing lead but misses some of the chunkiness if playing rhythm. This is not a problem for me, it may be for others. The action is just slightly higher than what I normally have it set at so it is a nonissue. The guitar was setup up very well and all i had to do was tune it and it was ready to go out of the box.
The finish is gorgeous.
The guitar body has no blemishes or issues that I can tell. The headstock is a different story. The body is prone to gathering fingerprints, but not a big deal. The guitar is very light, especially for the explorer style body shape. I was expecting a heavy guitar that wasn’t balanced well. It’s pleasantly surprising that it is about the same weight as my LTD MH-250NT; maybe 8lbs.
The recessed input jack is a nice little touch on the Ghost Fret. The cable will never be in the way like other guitars and cleans up the overall look of the guitar. Normally, a recessed input is only found on guitars that have it on the top of the body. The string saddles have a walled bridge giving a cool black and brushed steel look to the guitar.
I’ve also heard some divisiveness on the Chapman necks. The c-shaped Chapman neck fits my hand comfortably. Even if I am used to thinner necks.
Ghost Fret Finish Issues
Like some of the review videos out, I do have some incredibly minor (to me) quality issues. The fretboard has left over finishing residue/wax or something all over it. It’s more prominent on the higher frets. The wax does come off and the fretboard just needed a cleaning. The factory or dealer should have caught the wax before sending the guitar out. It does not take away from the sound or playability, at least.
The tape around the pickup was not centered properly and a bit of excess tape is hanging over the top of the pickup. I will most likely cut that off. This is not a big deal and I have seen it on Gibson guitars from when their instruments were handmade and build quality was higher.
There are two very small dings/finishing issues on the headstock. There was a scrape next to the truss rod and I can’t say whether it came from the factory or the dealer. I can cover it easily, so I’m not concerned. The second I can’t do anything about. On the tip of the headstock, there was some paint rubbed off. The blemish was then covered with clear coat. I likely never would have seen these marks if it wasn’t pointed out to me. They are needle thin and about a centimeter long, so I don’t have a problem with it. It would be like buying a floor model.
Again, overall, I am very happy with the Ghost Fret, even without trying it before hand. Chapman is doing some minor improvements to their guitars as compared to other brands (such as the recessed input jack and the paint jobs), but there is nothing that really makes these guitars stand out in terms of playability or sound. Even still, this guitar should be a serious contender in its price range.
Oh! It does come with a pretty cool body shaped case, too.
This one gets 5/6 strings.
Surprisingly impressed with the pickups and overall tone from the guitar.
The build quality is well done.
The gig bag matches the shape of the guitar body.
The action is set up very well out of the box. The guitar only needed a tuning for it to be playable.
Recessed input jack was a brilliant touch.
The bridge saddle has a great wrap-around feature.
The finish on the headstock had some minor issues.
The finish was scraped slightly surrounding the truss rod. Unknown if this was from the seller or from the factory.
Wax covered the fretboard. Especially on the higher frets.
A little light on the bass side.