Bare Knuckle Triptych review: the most versatile Stratocaster pickup set on the market?

One of the most talked-about pickups of 2023, Rabea Massaad’s new signature set could be just what you need to cover all bases without losing those quintessential Strat sounds

Bare Knuckle Pickups Triptych Set
(Image: © Future / Neil Godwin)

Guitar World Verdict

This is not only a beautifully crafted pickup set but one that tunes those oh-so-classic Strat sounds to a point that whatever style you can imagine is easily achieved: a pickup set for any player who needs more than just a vintage-inspired set.


  • +

    Superbly made.

  • +

    Excellent multi-use voicing.

  • +

    Balanced outputs while retaining definitive Strat character.


  • -

    Not cheap – but premium products usually command premium prices, don’t they?

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Can it really be two decades since Tim Mills kicked off Bare Knuckle Pickups? Since then, it’s not only become the pre-eminent pickup maker in the UK, inspiring many others to follow, but it’s also one of the most respected worldwide, by players and guitar makers from Fender downwards.

I’d struggle to name a Bare Knuckle pickup I haven’t enjoyed. Like many, I use them daily for gigs, recording and as a reference for comparison. 20 years on, the company offers an extensive range of models, but its most recent electric guitar pickups have been signature models such as the Chris Robertson Peacemaker for the Black Stone Cherry guitarist, and Rabea Massaad’s Silo humbuckers. Joining them when it launched earlier this year is Rabea’s ultimate set for Stratocasters, the Triptych.

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.