Trey Anastasio is one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time, especially within the jam-band genre. But while other guitar icons played instruments you can find in your local guitar shop, Trey's handmade Languedoc guitars are practically unobtainable.
Fortunately, Phred Instruments brings us the DockStar—a hollowbody electric guitar inspired by Trey's unique axes. Freddy Rose founded Phred Instruments to deliver affordable, high-quality guitars that are rich in features and inspired by the rare instruments played by Freddy's heroes. Because of the combination of the right features, the right style, and low price tags, now Phred has an extensive wait. On the DockStar, new orders are pushed out greater than 12 months.
This DockStar Koa was made in 2021, and it finds in nice, gently-used condition. The playability is excellent, and this guitar has impressive features and great tone for the price point. But to be fair, the workmanship is nowhere near on par with a genuine Languedoc. In particular, the polyurethane finish is thick and inconsistent with clouding in spots, especially over the binding. The f-holes are a little rough, and that makes sense because getting those just right requires high-level of precision. Also, the ebony tailpiece—which is critical to Trey tone—isn't the most awe-inspiring piece of woodworking. But when you consider the value and what the DockStar brings to the table, the cosmetic imperfections are easy to overlook.
This DockStar Koa is fully hollow, and it has a 24-fret neck. Both humbuckers can be coil-tapped for single coil tone, and the floating bridge has a Tune-o-Matic saddle so you can set the intonation precisely. This style of guitar is very different from what's readily available from big brands. It's hollow, but it's a small, manageable electric guitar that fits comfortably on your lap and balances well on a strap. It's lightweight, too! This one weighs in at 6 lbs 1.1 oz. And did we mention it has a 24 fret neck?
This 2021 DockStar Koa includes a Phred-branded hardshell case. It has extra plush bumpers so that it's a good fit, but heads up the bumpers are not glued in. The dynamic, hollowbody response gives you a board range of sound, especially when you coil tap the humbuckers. While this would be a formidable guitar for a Phish cover band, it is capable of so much more and would shine in any setting.