Below is a rundown of Trey’s most frequently-used Paul Languedoc guitars, with a brief description accompanying each picture. There are a few others that have made occasional appearances that are not (yet) included here; Trey’s acoustic guitars are at the bottom of this page.
Languedocs are unique for many reasons, one of which is that they have a 25.5″ neck scale like a Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster but dual humbuckers like a Gibson Les Paul, 335, or SG. Strats and Teles usually have single coils and Gibsons generally have a 24.75″ neck scale, so the Languedoc doesn’t fit neatly in either category. Furthermore, so many of the mass production guitars made today are variations on the basic Fender/Gibson ideas that there are hardly any mass production guitars out there with the 25.5″ + dual humbucker combo (notably, several of Jerry Garcia’s guitars featured this rare combination). The scale length gives the guitars a twangy Fender-ish bite and vocal quality while the pickups give them that high-output, compressed, mid-range-heavy hard rock sound. Trey describes it as having “the bite of a Strat and … the meat of a hollowbody.” All while the superior tonewoods and hollow chamber lend a woody, natural tone and unparalleled sustain. Paul’s hollowbody guitars are fully braced and completely hollow, like a violin.
Later iterations have featured coil-tapped humbuckers for single-coil tone variations. The mini-switches under the bottom F-hole control pickup selection, coil-dropping, and series/parallel options.
In 2019, as Trey moved toward high-gain oriented amplifiers, some changes were made to the guitars. There is no longer a series/parallel mini-toggle selector switch on any of Trey’s guitars. There remains a mini-toggle to control pickup selection. On that toggle, the middle position selects the humbuckers, while the outer positions provide inner single coil and outer single coil options. There is also a push-pull to control a Tip/Ring/Sleeve (“TRS”) output on the guitars. TRS is effectively a stereo output. Koa 1 still has a second mini-toggle rather than push-pull to control the TRS output. The advantage of this is that Trey can go direct to amp with one side of the stereo outputs, bypassing all effects, a/b boxes, etc. So he can get that magical interaction between the guitars’ pickups and that first preamp tube (V1) in his high gain amplifiers. Many tone-hounds believe that there is a particular magic in that interaction. Meanwhile the second side of the stereo output goes to the RST-24 effects, so he still has access to his wide palette of sounds.
#1: Old Reliable (“Mar Mar”).
Aka “Blonde No. 1.” Built in 1987. Single coil reinstalled for Fare Thee Well. “Who’s the Mar-Mar?” thought bubble over Marley headstock inlay. This guitar has a different headstock than Paul’s later guitars, which have a headstock inspired by the shape of the state of Vermont.
#2: Spruce “I’m the Mar-Mar” (Refurbished 2014 with sunburst refinish).
Marley chasing a cat on the headstock. “I’m the Mar-Mar!” thought bubble over Marley. During the 2014 TAB Tour, Trey explained the provenance of this guitar to the crowd. He said it was built in August of 1991 and had a spruce top and maple back. He explained that the neck started to “twist” shortly after Paul built it and it fell into disuse, but that Paul “stole it back… sawed the neck off, put a new neck on it… put the sunburst on it” and returned it to Trey.
#3: Koa 1, 1996.
Rectangle inlays. White plastic binding. Less prominent flame. Paul’s signature inlaid on the headstock. The first Languedoc Guitar I fell for. This guitar has been in very heavy rotation in 3.0; particularly over the last few years. It was used almost exclusively during the fabled Baker’s Dozen run at Madison Square Garden, with Koa 2 used sparingly for alternate tunings.
#4: Koa 2, 2002.
More prominent flame than Koa 1. White plastic binding. “Bracket” inlay at 12th and 24th frets. Paul’s signature inlaid on the headstock. I had initially pegged the build date of this guitar as 1999, but according to Paul it is 2002. As of 2019, this guitar has a TRS output and the series/parallel switch is replaced by a tip/ring switch for effectively a stereo output. That allows one output direct to amp and a second to the effects rig.
#5: Ocelot (Koa 3), 2010.
Ocelot inlaid on the headstock. Very prominent flame and darker color. Redwood binding (some sources say Cocobolo). Introduced by Trey at the Greek Theater in Berkeley on 8-5-10. “Bracket”-style inlays at 12 and 24. Mr. Miner penned some thoughts about the fan-dubbed “Ocedoc” here. On Nov. 20, 2020, Trey had this guitar had this guitar drilled for a second output. The series/parallel switch was replaced by a channel switch for effectively a dual output. That allows one output direct to amp and a second to the effects rig.
#6: Blonde No. 2.
Wood binding, Paul’s signature on the headstock. Introduced Summer Tour 2016. Trey talked about it with Jambase. Diamond inlays, with double-diamonds at 12 and 24. Folks who have spoken to Paul about this guitar have emailed me to say that the topwood on this guitar is not spruce, as Trey said in his Jambase interview, but is actually maple, with mahogany back and sides and curly maple binding. That’s consistent with its appearance, which shows a nicely flamed maple look. During Summer 2019 tour, this guitar was used for “Pebbles and Marbles” tuned to EAEGBD. Before The Beacon Jams, Trey had this guitar had this guitar drilled for a second output. The series/parallel switch was replaced by a channel switch for effectively a dual output. That allows one output direct to amp and a second to the effects rig.
1. 1943 Martin D-28 (sunburst).
Trey seems to be favoring this almost-pre-war Martin D-28 these days. The D-28 is Martin’s flagship guitar, favored by some of the most famous players in acoustic music history. The sunburst is original, according to an ad from Gruhn guitars that’s still up and appears to be for this guitar before Trey bought it. Until about 1969, these guitars were built using Brazilian Rosewood for the back and sides. Around that time, Martin started using Indian Rosewood instead. Brazilian Rosewood is endangered and importation to the US is banned. It is probably the most highly prized guitar tonewood in the world.
2. 1968 Martin D-35.
The D-35 is a dreadnaught guitar, like the D-28. While the D-28 has a 2-piece back, the D-35 has a 3-piece. Given the era, this guitar is likely made of Brazilian Rosewood, as well.
3. 1933 Martin 000-28
Trey is holding the 000-28 in the above photo, with the D-28 on the stand behind him. This guitar has been favored for alternate tunings, including open G and DADGAD, and is frequently used on fingerpicking songs.
4. Martin Trey Anastasio Signature Model
This guitar features a cutaway for easy access above the 14th fret. It has rosewood sides and a 3-piece back, like a D-35, with koa in the center and rosewood on either side.
5. 1939 Martin D-18 Authentic.
This is a reproduction and not a vintage original guitar. More from Martin here. Trey used this for the first time publicly in December 2018 on the Trey solo acoustic tour. The above photo is from the October 2019 Trey solo acoustic tour.