The path to Enlightenment…

Bodhisattva Custom Guitars is the brain child of Allister Firmston, graphic designer turned guitar builder. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, it’s a small, boutique business building customised instruments tailored to the customers wants, whims and needs!  The name Bodhisattva itself is an ancient Buddhist word meaning ‘enlightened being’, hence all the references to the ‘Enlightenment’ throughout the website. Think of Bodhisattva Custom Guitars as a sort of guitar eutopia where the instruments have achieved the highest state of enlightenment, worthy of accompanying even the most enlightened player on their journey.

“I was first introduced to the word through the film Point Break, where Patrick Swayze’s character Bodhi, short for Bodhisattva, was an ‘enlightened’ guru surfer with a penchant for waves, money & adrenaline. The next encounter was the song Bodhisattva by Steely Dan with some killer guitar by Denny Dias & Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. The word has been imprinted on my subconscious ever since.”

Bodhisattva Custom Guitars was an idea born some years ago after a few visits to a local musical instrument store. With a few exceptions, most of the guitars designs were tired and lack luster and anything that was a bit out of the ordinary was, well, too far out of the ordinary. Time to make a change!

One epiphany later (and a good few years experimenting with different designs), the Bodhisattva ORIGIN Series was born. A retro styled range of electric guitars, inspired by and celebrating the origins of the modern day electric. A seamless blend of vintage and modern, utilising the best the world has to offer in hardware and electronics.

Not content to make just solidbodies, the next (and rather large) step was a couple of handmade carved top hollowbody prototypes which are featured on the website. Coined the HEIRLOOM Series, these guitars will form the basis on which customers can create the guitar of their dreams, truly bespoke instruments created solely to enlighten players and those listening from generation to generation.

Let the Journey begin!