Holy Shit. I’m getting a Languedoc Guitar!
This is going to be where I document the entire process. We will start from email contact and go all the way through to delivery of the guitar and a full write up of the entire experience. I will GLADLY take questions and suggestions for what kind of info I should add here.
In case you don’t already know, Paul Languedoc is a luthier, audio technician, and longtime friend of Phish’s Trey Anastasio. He built Trey his first custom hollow body guitar in 1987. Since then, the Languedoc G2 has become the stuff of legend.
Paul has been building guitars professionally since we was 18. From 1986, when he joined Phish as audio engineer, to 2006, he built his guitars exclusively for the band. When the band took a hiatus in 2004, Paul decided to focus on building guitars and began offering his guitars to the “general public.”
Ok…maybe not the general public. More like a small handpicked set of people he deems worthy of possession. Consequently, Languedoc guitars are not something you can just decide to buy – even if you have the money.
Read more about Paul here. Read more about the Languedoc Guitar G2 here.
The Languedoc Guitar
For many guitar players, the Languedoc guitar is iconic. Its unique silhouette and full hollow body design delivers a beautiful esthetic and incredible resonance. Paul models his internal bracing and wood selection after European violin and cello makers.
In the past 20 years, there have been many attempts at replicating Paul’s guitars, but none of them are quite the same. Let’s look at the specs.
- Weight: Approximately 7 pounds (yes – the official spec from Languedoc Guitars is “approximately 7 pounds”)
- Scale Length: 25.5 inches
- Fingerboard Radius: 14 inches
- Electronics: Seymour Duncan sh-1 ’59 Model pickups, master volume, tone, coil drop switch, and series/parallel switch
- Hardware: Schaller M6L mini tuners, carved Ebony tailpiece, fixed intonation Ebony bridge with brass saddles.
There are a variety of wood options to choose from. However, these options appear to change with availability and what Paul likes. For instance, he told me he no longer builds guitars with quilted maple tops because that wood does not provide the resonance he likes.
As of early 2021, this is what Paul says he has for woods.
Currently I have good supplies of Claro Walnut, Padauk, Bubinga, Shedua (an underrated wood in my opinion), Sapele (a type of mahogany), and of course Curly Maple. My stock of Cocobolo and Rosewood is very limited and it’s unlikely that I will find more, so those would add an additional $500
While there are a number of finish color options, like teal and amber, most Languedoc guitars out there have a natural finish. Paul uses “about fourteen coats of traditional nitrocellulose lacquer” on each guitar. Woods with good color like Walnut or Bubinga get a clear finish. Maple guitars, on the other hand, will get a translucent color coat.
The neck inlay options also vary from time to time. The current options include, wedges, small block, large block, small oval, and side bar.
So here’s my story. We’ve all heard of people emailing Paul every day for years and never getting a response. Well, my experience was a bit different…
My brother spent about 15 years trying to get a Languedoc Guitar. He finally did last year. After it was delivered and I had a chance to jam on it, I had to have one. I figured I should reach out to Paul, hoping I’d be able to get on the build list before he retires some time in the next decade or so.
So I send an email.
I hit send and didn’t give it a second thought. In fact, I was so sure I wasn’t getting one any time soon that I went ahead and bought myself a $2400 Larivee acoustic 12 days later.
Later that same day, I’m sitting in the drive-thru line to get a quick dinner and pull up my email on my phone. I read this…