Rabea Massaad's Rig
Rabea Massaad is an incredibly accomplished guitar player. His heavy, percussive and versatile style has taken him a very long way; establishing a unique sound that has made him one of the world's most well-known online guitarists.
His popular video demos have garnered millions of views, but Rabea isn't just another "YouTube guitarist". He's an experienced touring musician too, with his bands Toska, Dorje and Frog Leap frequently hitting the road and playing to huge adoring audiences.
Rabea therefore knows exactly what matters when it comes to gear, and we've put together a dedicated page that documents all of his guitars, pedals, amps, accessories and more!
Rabea has a vast guitar collection, but unlike some players who use only a couple of their favourites while the others gather dust - he actually uses all of his instruments! Massaad is known for his versatile style, and he uses specific electric guitars to suit certain genres and attain unique tones when recording.
Of course, Rabea's signature Chapman ML3 guitars are always in heavy rotation as they're designed to his exact specifications. Massaad's ML3 Bea Pro models are used extensively for touring and feature frequently in his videos, which come sporting his signature Bare Knuckle Silo pickup, high-quality Hipshot hardware and stunning Burl tops. Rabea's more affordable artist models from the Chapman Standard Series are incredible too, especially the monstrous Paleblood Baritone!
Rabea's Chapman Signature Guitars
If you're into your guitar pedals, then you might already be aware of Rabea's ridiculous pedalboard! Using an elegant Schmidt Array platform with its unique double-tiered design maximising space, Rabea's current setup makes use of the ingenious The GigRig G2 pedal switcher in order to efficiently manage his stompboxes without resorting to tap-dancing!
Highlights from Rabea's powerhouse pedalboard include his trusted trifecta of Strymon effects (Big Sky, Mobius and Timeline), while also recently adding the much-adored Volante echo machine for some old-school ambient bliss. Some niche additions include the Keeley Synth-1 and Gamechanger Audio Plasma Coil, which enable Rabea to craft huge fuzzy organ soundscapes. The Lehle P-Split III is another key ingredient, which allows Massaad to make use of his stereo amp rig for an engulfing, three-dimensional live sound.
However, if you want to sound like Rabea without breaking the bank, you could always try his Tone City Wild Fro pedal! While not strictly a signature stompbox, this collaboratively-designed distortion pedal provides max aggression with a sizzling saturated sound that can turn almost any amplifier into a fire-breather!
Rabea's Tone City 'Wild Fro' Pedal
Just like his enviable guitar collection - Rabea owns a bunch of high-end amps too! He's always seeking the ultimate tone, and Massaad currently has an impressive selection of guitar amplifiers from the likes of Marshall, Peavey and Kemper, while also using the Line 6 Helix floorboard when performing with Frog Leap. Rabea's a proponent of guitar amp plugins like Neural DSP too, which provide ultra-realistic tones all from just your computer. Rabea loves valve amps, but he's more than happy to embrace digital solutions too!
Despite his impressive selection of amplifiers, Rabea is most synonymous with UK amp company Victory. A longtime user of their gear, Massaad has even helped to develop some of Victory's products - notably the Kraken. A high-gain beast packed into a compact lunchbox-sized enclosure, the Kraken has become a best-selling Victory amplifier; popular with hard-rockers and metalheads for its tight distorted sound. The VX100 'Super Kraken' is a step up from the standard model, pumping out more volume and equipped with some extra functions that enhance its versatility.
Rabea's Victory VX100 Demo
Rabea has had a long-standing relationship with Bare Knuckle. It was therefore no surprise that the British brand teamed up with Massaad to create a signature pickup, fully meeting his demands as an extremely proficient and complete guitarist. Featuring Alnico V magnets, the Bare Knuckle Silo offers incredible dynamic range, immense depth and plenty of output; available uncovered, with covers and even with an engraved "Bea" logo casing!
Here's Rabea's thoughts on his signature Bare Knuckle Silo pickups: "I need a pickup with the ability to create glassy, ambient leads and warm, clear chord tones. Equally I need it to sound crushingly heavy and aggressive. The Silo humbuckers give me everything I need and more. I couldn’t be happier."
Rabea's Bare Knuckle 'Silo' Pickups
Rabea Massaad is an accomplished guitarist, and his talent all comes down to years of practice, hard work and experience. However, even he'll admit that there are some particular guitar accessories which are key in assisting his style, to ensure that he's always playing at his absolute best!
One of the most important accessories for any guitarist is a plectrum. Not only affecting your picking efficiency, a plectrum also alters your guitar tone to a fairly significant degree - unbeknownst to some. Rabea has experimented with all sorts of plectrums in the past, but his Jim Dunlop signature 'Flow' pick offers the precision and attack he needs to play complex riffs and searing solos without hindrance, while flexible enough for fast funky chord progressions with its medium 1.0mm thickness.
Massaad has been associated with D'Addario for many years, and has relied on their premium NYXL guitar strings for more than half a decade. Bright, long-lasting and providing an expressive feel; D'Addario NYXL strings have now become a favourite among professionals. Rabea currently uses their 10-46 and 10-52 gauges most often, with his GHS Fast Fret string cleaner a crucial ingredient in keeping them fresh and slippery.
Rabea's Signature Plectrum Demo
Massaad is more than just a guitar player - he's an astounding producer too. Mixing all of the audio for his video demos and heavily involved in the recording and mixing processes when working on his band's material; Rabea is a well-rounded and self-sufficient musician.
Working closely with Universal Audio on a number of projects, Massaad uses their Apollo series of audio interfaces exclusively when tracking guitar and other instruments. He also relies on their high-quality plug-ins during the mixing stage - which ensure that his recordings sound polished and simply sublime.
Other essential studio gear includes Rabea's Two Notes and BOSS load boxes/attenuators, which allow him to crank his amplifiers' output stages for gorgeous saturated valve tone - without actually blowing his ears off! With built-in cab emulation, these units also enable Rabea to record his amplifiers without the need for microphones as they use impulse responses instead.
Rabea's Studio Tour
Rabea Massaad - Biography
Rabea Massaad has quickly become one of the world's most renowned online guitarists. A familiar face on the YouTube video platform, Rabea has fans from all over the world who tune into his detailed demos for essential product info and to hear his spellbinding, enigmatic playing.
Originally a drummer, Rabea's focus changed to guitar after sustaining a skateboarding injury as a teenager, soon falling in love with the prospect of becoming a professional guitar player - following in his father's footsteps. Strongly inspired by Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, Rabea is admired for his heavy and percussive style; combining his drumming experience with the funky, hard rock playing of his guitar hero.
Graduating from the Academy of Contemporary Music in 2013 alongside his long-time friends Dave Hollingworth (bassist) and Ben Minal (drummer), the trio got their first break as the rhythm section for rock band Toseland. Fronted by two-time World Superbike Champion James Toseland, Rabea and his bandmates experienced touring for the first time with the famed sportsman, but soon teamed up with established YouTube personality Rob Chapman to form a new group - Dorje. Touring heavily across the UK and Europe, Dorje's chart-topping EP "Catalyst" (2015) remains their crowning achievement.
Looking to branch out and stick closer to their roots, Massaad, Hollingworth and Minal also split their time in Dorje with their side project - Toska. As a three-piece instrumental band, Toska's super-heavy progressive metal style incorporates technical drop-tuned riffs with odd time signatures and dramatic dynamic changes; reminiscent of Australian band Karnivool - a strong influence for all three musicians. Rabea also recently joined Frog Leap as lead guitarist, fronted by YouTube all-star Leo Moracchioli.
Chapman & Victory Endorsee
Outside of his musical projects, Rabea is involved with guitar brand Chapman Guitars. Owned by Dorje bandmate Rob Chapman, Rabea works as a demonstrator for the brand's YouTube channel and also host various clinics. Graced with his very own signature models, Rabea uses his custom-spec instruments frequently in his bands and his own online demos.
Also an advisor for Victory Amplification, company founder Martin Kidd relied heavily on Massaad to collaboratively design the 'Kraken' series of amplifiers; high-gain heads packed full of features that meet the demands of modern metal players. Rabea uses these amplifiers exclusively on tour with Dorje and Toska.
Work with Andertons
Working with music retailer Andertons Music Co. over the last few years, Rabea currently presents their 'Sound Like' YouTube series alongside friend and Chapman Guitars Managing Director, Matt Hornby. Tackling the sounds of famous bands/artists both past and present, in this series the pair find equipment from the store that can closely imitate the tones from original recordings. This is usually attempted within a tight budget of £1500, however, some episodes exceed this - with no limit whatsoever!