NAMM 2024: “Not only is it really comfortable but it looks awesome” – Ernie Ball Music Man officially unveils Rabea Massaad’s much anticipated (and heavily customised) signature Sabre

Ernie Ball Music Man Rabea Massaad Sabre
(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man / YouTube)

NAMM 2024: NAMM 2024: A year on from adding Rabea Massaad to its venerable artist roster, Ernie Ball Music Man has officially unveiled his first signature guitar for the popular YouTuber, a heavily customised Sabre that is a bold take on the EBMM S-style stalwart.

The Rabea Massaad Sabre is instantly recognisable as a Sabre. It has the high-rolling Superstrat vibe, the type of high-end electric guitar you’d sell organs for on the dark web and it’d be worth it. But Massaad and the R&D team at Ernie Ball Music Man went through a raft of changes – some of them quite radical – to reimagine the six-string. 

It looks very much the acme of high-performance guitar making, with Massaad requesting an arm bevel for enhanced comfort, a scoop-cut lower horn to better access the upper registers, and a recessed heel. 

The vibrato has a smaller footprint too, and as with these top-tier signature models Massaad has his own custom-profile neck – and you can bet it’s finished with gun-stock oil, hand-rubbed in wax, or whatever it is that EBMM does to make those necks as tactile and speedy as they come

“I felt like the Sabre was the most ‘me-shaped’ guitar, and I just really wanted to adapt it to my own tastes,” says Massaad. “It reminds me a lot of guitars I have played over the years, and if feels familiar, the shape. I like the little offset that it has. It is an enjoyable guitar to look at.

“Designing the guitar was awesome. Because we took the Sabre, and what we liked about the Sabre, and the things that I would have personally wanted to change in terms of playability, upper-fret access, a couple of the hardware options and the colour.”

Those colours are pretty cool, classy but fresh, letting that figured maple really pop, and of course they have a totally brutal designation. There’s Vileblood Burst, which is available from retailers worldwide, and Frenzied Flame Burst, a more classic amber ‘burst that is exclusively available direct from the Music Man Vault.

These guitars are loaded with Massaad’s signature Bare Knuckle Silo humbuckers, and are fitted with push-push coil-splits for some single-coil fun. There are glow in the dark side dot markers because this is 2024. Prices TBC. It’s not even on the EBMM site just yet, but is in the blog. 

But we do know that it will ship in Spring 2024. Head over to the Ernie Ball Music Man site for more on the brand’s NAMM 2024 releases, with fresh finishes for the John Petrucci range, hot new Stingray bass guitars, and more.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.