This guitar was made for the Great Guitar Buildoff 2021, and features a purpleheart top and back, with ash core. Sandwiched in between is a layer of purpleheart to accent the bevels of the modern body lines. The neck is composed of a 5-piece combination of flamed purpleheart and flamed maple, with a flamed-maple bound 24-fret ebony fretboard.
The pickups are GM 59’er Alnico 5 in the neck position, and GM 57 Special Alnico 2 in the bridge. Electronics feature a 3-way toggle for pickup selection, and a volume/tone/tone setup for controls, with push/pull on the tone knobs for single-coil selection on each humbucker. Gold locking 21:1 ratio tuners and a Hipshot hardtail bridge round out the hardware features.
The body features a spiraling engraved “Om Mani Padme Hum” mantra, centered with a lotus flower and “Om” symbol. This is the buddhist “jewel/lotus” mantra. In many places in the Himalayas and beyond, you will find this mantra either engraved on or encased within prayer wheels, whose spinning motions are a physical analogue to oral recitations of the prayer.
On the meaning of the “om mani padme hum” mantra, there are various interpretations, but in general this is a prayer to Avalokitesvara, the manifestation of compassion. Prayers to Avalokitesvara are meritorious offerings to ease the suffering of this world, and grant enlightenment to the beings that dwell here.
The proceeds from the sale of this guitar were donated to the Kilu Music School in Thimpu, Bhutan.