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.