NAMM 2023: Bare Knuckle unveils the Triptych single coil set, achieving Rabea Massaad’s vision of “the perfect Strat tone”

Bare Knuckle Rabea Massaad Triptych single coil Strat set
(Image credit: Bare Knuckle Pickups)

NAMM 2023: Rabea Massaad sure has been busy this year. Besides signing with Ernie Ball to develop new guitar designs, he has been beavering away with Bare Knuckle on a new set of electric guitar pickups built to achieve his vision of “the perfect Strat tone”.

The Triptych single coils follow Massaad’s previous signature pickups, the Silo humbuckers, and were finalized after a year of R&D and beta testing across the guitarist’s various projects.

Massaad wanted a set of single coils that could handle classic Mayer/SRV tones as well as heavier riffs, so Bare Knuckle responded with its own unique pickup concoction.

The Triptychs feature original vintage-spec Alnico III magnets in the bridge, with Alnico V in the middle and neck, using coils of 42 AWG plan enamel wire, which are scatter-wound by hand. Zinc-plated steel baseplates were also chosen for the bridge and neck to add further depth and output.

“For me, the perfect Strat tone has been an ongoing journey for the last few years, and I’m happy to say that the journey has ended with the Triptych single coils!” Massaad says.

“I wanted to create a set of pickups that would satisfy my love for early to mid-’60s Strat tones, referencing guys like SRV, John Mayer and Philip Sayce, but also provide enough depth, power and clarity for me to play heavier music and chunky riffs. The Triptychs do this with ease and I couldn’t be happier!”

Rabea ain’t kidding – his face-melting demo of the designs is pretty convincing, lending distorted riffs a remarkable clarity and spank as well as a dynamic touch and feel in cleaner passages.

The Triptych single coil Strat set is available now, starting at £306 (approx $375), while individual pickups start at £106.80 (approx $130). Head over to Bare Knuckle Pickups for more info.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.