Rapier 22 and Saffire review

Rapier launched in 2022 with the well-received 33 model. Can the ’60s stylists hit the target again with these two new additions for 2023?

Rapier Saffire
(Image: © Future / Neil Godwin)

Guitar World Verdict

The character is the trump card of these two designs and perhaps a reminder that there’s a rich seam to be mined in terms of lesser-known – in some cases forgotten – pickup designs and passive tone circuits.


  • +

    Tidy builds.

  • +

    Excellent playability.

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    Good neck, good weight.

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    Simple, stable vibrato.

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    22 has excellent mini-humbuckers.

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    The Saffire has characterful ‘big’ single-coil sounds.

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    And you can expand them with the ATN control.


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    We’d prefer a standard nut, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

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    A less extreme bass-cut might be more useful on the 22.

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.

The new Chinese-made Rapier Guitar Company is the brainchild of veteran guitar designer Alan Entwistle, whom many will know from his own retro‑informed Revelation brand. 

The first Rapier electric guitar was a rather tidy re-run of a Brit-classic, the Watkins Rapier. While Watkins is still a going concern, Alan had noticed that the rights to the name Rapier had lapsed, so he acquired them and it became the brand name.

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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.