phred instruments

A fully hollow, offset model aims at the jam crowd and beyond.

Too-cool-for-school players may be reluctant to admit it, but we love to play the guitars our heroes play. That gets a whole lot harder when the instruments in question are specialized or one-of-a-kind custom instruments like Trey Anastasio’s hard-to-find Paul Languedoc creations. But Los Angeles-based PHRED Instruments, which has a strong affinity for the music and instruments of the Grateful Dead and Phish, builds guitars inspired by rarities like Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger” and Anastasio’s own Languedoc, which is the primary influence on the DockStar Flame Maple reviewed here.

Birds of a Feather
The design elements that PHRED takes from Languedoc and other offset models flow together like a raging “Scarlet Begonias” from ’77. It’s easy to forget how smooth and welcoming a set-neck design can feel when heading into the upper frets, but the DockStar’s feels great. The DockStar is also a potential lifesaver if you dread the notion of slinging a Les Paul through yet another four-hour gig. It’s incredibly light and can almost feel like a toy at times. The hollow mahogany body is covered by flame maple veneer on both the top and back that gives the guitar an expensive vibe and look. Overall, the body shape is a bit more offset than say, a Fender Starcaster, which it resembles to a degree. But that little extra little bit of forward lean in the body profile gives the guitar more balance when wearing it. In general, the build quality, look, and feel of the DockStar was in line with other similarly priced semi-hollow models.

Read More Show less