NAMM 2024: “The target was as soon as to be as tonally versatile as imaginable”: Rabea Massaad on the origins of his long-awaited Ernie Ball Tune Man Sabre fabricate – and the mandatory refinement that took basically the most tweaking

NAMM 2024: In truth one of many final be conscious releases at this year’s NAMM jabber came from the Ernie Sales space Tune Man booth, where the long-awaited Rabea Massaad Sabre signature guitar was as soon as in the waste debuted after months of anticipation.

The guitar is supposed to lift the traditional Strat-style Sabre template to contemporary ergonomic and tonal heights and in the waste arrived after the Andertons alumni and Stormzy collaborator printed a signature was as soon as in the works again in December.

However despite the incontrovertible truth that it’s been one in all basically the most talked-about collaborations of the past few months, it appears to be like the long-established Sabre prototype came to Massaad as something of a shock.

“At April NAMM ultimate, I obtained provided, by my shock, with a prototype,” Massaad explains to Guitar World in a brand contemporary interview. “And it was as soon as in total a stock Sabre with a customized attain, customized neck carve, and it had the spoon minimize carved in all by hand. 

“It was as soon as the first strive at what it could well perchance presumably presumably also presumably grow to be,” he continues. “And they’d obtained a pair of my Bare Knuckles and put them in. It was as soon as very representative of what it was as soon as going to be, but of course being a stock physique, it didn’t win the contouring that ended up being on the final model.”

As Massaad goes on to level to, it was as soon as in fact the ergonomics of the accurate guitar that took basically the most time to supreme – and, particularly, the neck heel that proved to be the mandatory appointment that took basically the most refinement.

“I’ve obtained in actuality expansive beefy hands, and I admire 22 be troubled guitars, and when it’s about getting up to the head [of the fretboard], here’s why I constantly figured out this very precious,” Massaad says. 

“On the stock Sabres, I’d figured out that for me it was as soon as relatively hundreds of wood there. It ended up being relatively cumbersome for me to lift a belief at and play licks up here. We did a first revision, and then a 2nd revision, and then it was as soon as at that level where I acknowledged to [Ernie Ball engineer] Drew, ‘Fabricate you reckon we could presumably presumably also get it any thinner?’ 

“And he was as soon as like, being that traditional engineer, pondering in his head, ‘Structural integrity, structural integrity… I don’t know about that.’”

Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre Rabea Massaad signature

(Image credit: Tune Man)

Though his demands to get the neck heel as thin as imaginable gave Drew nightmares over compromising acknowledged structural integrity, Massaad was as soon as in the waste given a guitar that match his demands completely.

“He acknowledged it was as soon as minor, what he in actuality took away, but I realized it correct now,” explains the guitarist.

“The day earlier than right this moment after I was as soon as performing… there was as soon as a lick that, on the previous iteration, I saved messing up. However I did it first time the day past, in advise that exiguous shrimp adjustment made a broad difference.”

That’s now not the final be conscious standout appointment to be figured out on the Sabre’s spec sheet. A pair of Massaad’s signature Bare Knuckle Silo pickups, wired to an expansive 5-design swap and push/pull coil-splits, also feature. 

“The target,” summarizes Massaad. “Used to be to be as tonally versatile as imaginable”.

To search out out more about each contemporary Sabre mannequin – that will be on hand this Spring – head over to Ernie Ball Tune Man.

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