Me and my guitar: Rabea Massaad (Toska, Dorje) - "I’ve done something a bit different"

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Rabea’s latest collaboration with Chapman Guitars results in this Beersmoke beauty...

Signature style

“This is my signature model with Chapman Guitars: a ML3 BEA in Beersmoke finish. This is brand new for 2017 - I’ve been very fortunate to design two guitars with Chapman in the time that I’ve been working with them.”

Tone woods

“It’s got a T-type body - a two-piece alder - which is painted black. There’s a 5mm Canadian flamed maple top, which is really nice. It’s a three-piece padauk neck, an ebony ’board, stainless steel frets and we’ve got hipshot locking tuners. 

“It’s quite a chunky neck. The old guitar [ML1 BEA] had a thinner neck, whereas I wanted something chunkier as I play a lot of riffier stuff on this guitar. It’s nice to have a fat neck to grab hold of.”

Henchman humbuckers

“Pickups-wise I’ve done something a bit different. I used to have a double humbucker setup, whereas now I’ve got a mini humbucker in the neck and it’s voiced quite similarly to my favourite pickup, which is a Seymour Duncan 59. It’s got quite a bluesy bite to it that I really like.

“This pickup set I use is called the Chapman Guitars Henchman humbucker set and the bridge is spec’d and inspired by one of my favourite humbuckers, which I’ve got in most of my other guitars; the PRS HFS. It’s a nice blend between aggressive and warm, which is something I really like now.”

Tremolo

“It’s got a brass block in the trem and I got rid of the Floyd Rose because they’re a nuisance for me nowadays.”

Baritone

“There’s also a baritone version of this new guitar. This is 647mm (25.5") scale and the baritone is 711mm (28"). In Toska and Dorje I use baritone tunings for a lot of the new stuff. You can get the baritone in a nice crimson red colour.”

ML1 BEA

“This ML1 BEA goes on every tour and I’ve played it longer than any of the others. I aged it and beat it up - it’s even got mud on [today], which is definitely important when you’re playing a festival! It’s got a quilt maple veneer and alder body and is heavily inspired by the Nuno Bettencourt Washburn N4 because he’s one of my biggest guitar heroes. It has a Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck and a Bareknuckle Warpig in the bridge. 

“I’ve blocked off the Floyd Rose and put a Fu-Tone brass block in the back with intense strength springs because I don’t use the trem anymore. With these two guitars I have more or less everything I want and I’ve used them on all my recordings and gigs.”

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