Guitar bodied octave mandolin – Parlour King OM-SS


A guitar bodied octave mandolin

This was a really interesting commission from a chap who lives not so far from me. This guitar was ordered by the Reverend Heng Sure, a Buddhist monk who spends much of his time at a lovely monastery just down the road from us in Bonogin. The Reverend is an American, who ordained as a monk in the Chinese tradition many years ago. Nice chap and a great musician.

The reverend wanted something small and comfortable to play, something with clarity but that could cope with the extreme weather living in Queensland brings.

What we came up with was a variation on my Parlour King tenor guitar. We added a torrefied Sitka spruce top, and built the instrument with a SS (Sobell style) arched soundboard. The back, sides and neck are all mahogany, the fretboard is ancient bog oak. The head veneers are ebony, the bridge and bindings are rocklite.

The scale is 22″, OM scale and is easy to play, no long stretches. Perfect for GDAE, GDAD or similar.

Parlour king OM-3
Parlour king OM-6
Parlour king OM-4


It’s a really special instrument – simple, with the sober appointments and satin finish, but really nice to play. Hopefully, the Reverend will make a video demonstrating the OM for us. In the meantime, enjoy the photos.