If you’ve seen Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio onstage, you may have noticed an unusual archtop in his mitts – a custom six-string by builder Paul Languedoc. Its design has been distilled into the Eastwood Classic 6 TA PH, a unique, fully hollow double-cutaway with a Fender-length scale of 25.5″.
The Classic 6 boasts stellar looks, with a flamed-maple top in natural or tobacco-sunburst finish. There are maple back and veneer sides, along with a bound neck, ornate body, and soundhole binding. There’s a small block under the bridge to help control feedback, an unusual six-on-a-side headstock (slightly tilted back for tuning stability), and gold hardware. For electronics, look for two Custom ’59 humbuckers, each with mini-switches for splitting coils and series/parallel operation. One unusual feature for an archtop is a full complement of 24 frets, all fairly accessible, and that scale, of course, gives this Korean-made axe more top-end snap than a Gibson-scaled instrument.
Aside from its elegant appearance, the real show starts when you plug it in. For starters, the maple neck on the Classic 6 TA PH is impressive. Right out of the box, the slim, even-taper D neck and ebony fretboard make for a ridiculously fast playing experience – this Eastwood may look “jazz,” but its neck will make you yearn to burn. The setup offers low action on a relatively flat ’board with large frets, allowing for near-effortless playability. In jams and rehearsals, the maple-topped box cut through the mix and provided numerous avenues for creative expression. At about 7.5 pounds, it’s also reasonably lightweight, adding to its allure.
The combination of its upper-midrange price and superb construction makes the Classic 6 an extraordinary value. While many other Eastwoods are replicas of vintage guitars, basses, and electric mandolins, this Anastasio-inspired axe breaks new ground for the company in terms of build and dazzling performance. Try one.
This article originally appeared in VG’s December 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.