Below is a rundown of Trey’s most frequently-used amplifiers over the years. As I have more time, I’ll start to add some of the amps that have only appeared occasionally.
Paul Languedoc Custom 2×12 cabinets.
These cabinets have been with Trey for a long, long time, as you can see from the photos above. According to interviews I’ve conducted, they were built by Trey and Paul as early as 1981. The battered old wooden cabinets were a familiar sight behind Trey for decades and right through the 2013-14 New Year’s Run. Then suddenly during the Summer 2014 tour, they didn’t appear so battered any longer, as Trey had them covered in black tolex.
Komet Trainwreck 60 Heads (manufacturer link).
Trey first introduced these amps to his rig at Madison Square Garden for the 2016-17 New Year’s Run. The Trainwreck 60 is capable of running several different tube configurations, and initially Trey ran one with NOS Phillips 6L6 power tubes as a rhythm guitar amp and a second with NOS Mullard EL34 tubes as a lead guitar amp. He used a Lehle amp switcher to toggle back and forth between them. Ultimately, Trey settled on the EL-34 sound and now just runs two identical amps with one as a backup in case the other fails. In Trey’s preferred EL-34 configuration, this amp leans toward the English / Marshall style sound rather than the American-style sound of Trey’s Deluxe Reverb; it’s tight, tracks well, and has a throaty growl when pushed with his Tubescreamers.
These amps were still the heart of the rig as of Summer Tour 2017. Trey started that tour with the Ross Compressor in line, but dropped it after a few shows (the Victoria Reverberato took the its place in the CAE switcher). During the Baker’s Dozen shows at Madison Square Garden, a source close to the rig (citing a conversation with Trey) said that the Ross was necessary during the Mesa Boogie Mark III era but is less so with the Komet Trainwrecks. The reason has to do with the natural compression delivered by power tubes that are turned up and working hard.
While the Boogie’s pre-amp tubes were cranked (Volume set to 10), the power tubes were staying relatively cool (Master Volume set to 3). That’s because the Boogie has so much power/headroom that higher Master Volume settings would be ear-splitting on stage. In that scenario, the Ross was necessary to compensate for the absence of natural power tube compression and provide the “eternal sustain” sound Trey uses for songs like Divided Sky and YEM. On the lower-wattage Komet, there is only a single Volume knob (no Master) and it controls the power tube output. Because the amp has lower overall power than the Boogie, that Volume knob is set higher, so the Komet power tubes are really cooking. Under those conditions, the power tubes deliver compression and sustain naturally, and once Trey got comfortable that the Komet was doing doing this, he removed the Ross.
Mesa Boogie Mark III Long Head (Reverb link).
The above shots (top, 12-3-14 TAB at 930 Club; bottom 10-29-14 Phish in SF) show the Mark III amps. The Mark III long head has been with Trey since the 80s and has appeared in various configurations, including oftentimes hidden behind the cabs and rack or standing on its side next to one of the cabs. The Mark III is a one-hundred watt amplifier with a half-power switch that shuts off 2 of the 4 6L6 tubes and runs it at 60 watts. The Mark III was also available in Mesa’s patented “Simul-Class” format, which would run at 75 watts or 15 watts. I’m not sure if Trey’s amps were Simul-Class.
The Mark III is a 3-channel amplifier, with a “Rhythm” Channel (aimed at mimicking Blackface Fender), a “Rhythm 2” Channel (light crunch/overdriven purr available), and a “Lead” Channel (searing leads available; think Metallica). It has onboard reverb and EQ. The long head is visually distinguished from other Mark III heads by:
(1) the fourth switch on the front panel. Other Mark III’s only have 3 switches: EQ, Power, Standby. The fourth is the half-power switch.
(2) the 8th knob on the front panel (it controls the reverb; this knob is on the back of other Mark IIIs).
The dual-Mark III setup has been around for quite some time, as you can see from the shot below, from 12-3-94 (also, check out the 2×12’s):
Above, you can see a Boss FS-5U style footswitch labeled “BOOGIE LEAD CH,” indicating that, in addition to the gain stages in his two TS-9 pedals and the Compressor, Trey is also at least occasionally engaging (at least some of) the monster gain built in to the Mark III.
Blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb (Reverb link).
The Blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb is an amplifier with as classic a Rock and Roll pedigree as anything you’ll find. The best production years of this amp were from 1963 until about 1969, when the CBS takeover of Fender lead to changes in design from the coveted “AB763” circuit to a higher headroom version, in addition to making cosmetic changes. The amp’s clear, loose, and bubbly tone at low volumes and beautiful sonic distortion when cranked earned it a place in the finest studios in the world and, as a result, some of the greatest rock albums of all time. It’s low-wattage made it a great choice in the studio, and it’s been called the “most recorded amp in history.” It has built in reverb — also celebrated for it’s 3-dimensionality — and tremolo, as well as bass and treble controls.
This amplifier appeared in Trey’s rig in the 90s and has also been used in a lot of different formats. In the photo above, the DR is unmic’d and being used as a head, with the signal running to the Tony Bruno 2×12 sitting next to it, which is mic’d. This combination of the Bruno and the DR appeared as late as Coventry, in August 2004. Below left, in a shot from the Island Tour (4-3-98), the Deluxe Reverb itself is mic’d and the old Languedoc Cabinets behind appear as if they may be mic’d as well.
In Summer 2016, the DR returned, unmic’d, next to the gear rack, as you can see in the photo above right from Wrigley Field. Some have suggested that it is serving as a monitor, but that seems unlikely as Blackface Fender amplifiers would be fairly uniquely ill-suited to that task. Note: As I noted during LOCKN’ 2016, it appears the Deluxe Reverb was the primary amp for Summer 2016, running as a head with a speaker out to the 2x12s and the internal speaker serving as a monitor. It was the only amp Trey used for LOCKN’ 2016. It continued to appear sporadically during Fall 2016, alternating with the JTM45HW.
Currently, the DR has a 12AT7 in the first of it’s 6 pre-amp tube slots, an additional knob for mid-range boost/cut, and a Tone Tubby Purple Haze Speaker.
Marshall JTM45HW (Reverb link).
This amp first appeared in Fall 2016. It’s a 30 watt head version of the iconic Bluesbreaker combo made famous by Eric Clapton. It’s a re-issue and not a vintage amplifier. Trey has been using them in pairs for Fall 2016. They run on KT-66 tubes.
Bogner Shiva (Reverb link).
These amplifiers started appearing in the Phish 3.0 era (2009-present). They’ve appeared in various formats, including as heads, alone or in pairs, powering the 2x12s, and also as combos, often in conjunction with the Mark III. Note: neither Tubescreamer in this pair has the Analogman sunface logo. Mysteries abound.
Vintage Leslie Rotating Speaker.
For years, Trey used a vintage Leslie rotating speaker that was controlled from the floor by the wedge-shaped Goff Trek II Leslie controller pedal. You can see this pedal in the first of the two pictures above (New Year’s 2013-14 at MSG). The vintage wooden Leslie cabinet is in the bottom right corner of that photo. The next photo is from Telluride 8-9-10 and you can see the vintage Leslie behind Trey’s rack and 2×12. In recent years, the vintage Leslie has been replaced (see below) by the modern Leslie G-37, a rotating speaker designed specifically for guitar. The Goff Trek II controller has disappeared.
Leslie G-37 Rotating Speaker.
The top picture is from Alpharetta 2016 and provides a look at the control panel. The front-facing logo is deliberately obscured, as is often the case with Trey’s gear. The bottom photo, from SF 2014 gives a good view of the “Leslie For Guitar” logo.