A lot of things happened at Maxime Jan’s workshop since our last post about the Calander 2. Let’s get back in time on one year of work at Maja Guitars.

Guizmo 1

Since the second Calander (the first one was a prototype), Maxime has at first developed the “Guizmo”, a guitar which is a little more similar to a Tele but with some very characteristic lines than we can expect from a top range Maja. Bevels and other elaborated shapes are visible on the Spalted Maple top and on the contrasted headstock. Ebony bindings remind the fretboard of the same wood, nicely orned with Mother-of-pearl Abalone.

Specs

Body: Swamp Ash
Top: Spalted Maple
Neck: Maple
Cases: 24
Fretboard: Ebony
Fretboard radius: 14
Inlays: Mother of Pearl Abalone
Trussrod: Double action Musicman style
Scale: Fender style 647,7mm (25,5″)
Nut: Graph Tech
Tuners: Schaller Da Vinci
Bridge: Hipshot
Pickups: Engine Pickups VT-0 Kit
Electronics: Petrucci 3 pos Switch, Push Pull 500k lin Volume, 500k lin Tone, 0,022μF Oil Paper Capacitor
Finish: Hard PU – Bright Cellulosic Varnish
Weight: 3,2kg
Price*: 3500€.

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Harmony 1

The first Maja Harmony is directly inspired by the American brand of the same name, and more exactly by the “Rebel” model produced in the end of the 60s. Maxime updated this shape in a more luxurious vintage/modern version thanks to the woods and details always mind blowing. No pickguard here for us to show the beautiful Ovangkol top, stuck on a satin red mahogany body. Among other big visible differences, we distinguish a more futuristic f-holes, a Duesenberg Les Trem, and a head 3+3 (Gibson style).

Specs

Body: Mahogany
Top: Ovangkol
Neck: Mahogany
Cases: 22
Fretboard: Ebony
Fretboard radius: 12
Inlays: Mother of Pearl Abalone
Trussrod: Double action Musicman style
Scale: Fender style 647,7mm (25,5″)
Nut: Graph Tech
Tuners: Schaller
Bridge: Gotoh Roller
Tail piece: Duesenberg Les Trem
Pickups: Engine Pickups Pafosterone Kit
Electronics: Petrucci 3 pos Switch, 500k lin Volume, 500k lin Tone, 0,022μF Oil Paper Capacitor
Finish: Hard PU – Satin Red PU Varnish
Weight: 3,2kg
Price* : 2900€

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A titre de comparaison, voici une Harmony Rebel H81 de 1969

Majacaster 1

This first Majacaster takes back the design of previously presented Guizmo, with a more sober side. No noble wooden top here, but the bright red varnish body is all the same in Swamp Ash. Even if it keeps a chamfer in the top front and in the back, we notice the absence of the other flourishes on the rest of the guitar. Here, no ebony binding nor bevel on the headstock, Maxime chose a “simpler” design, but not less classy. The vintage components are emphasized by these buttons made by Riki Le Plectrier, and the whole well lets guess the “Twang” of this beast.

Specs

Body: Swamp Ash
Neck: Maple
Cases: 22
Fretboard: Ébène
Fretboard radius: 12
Inlays: White Mother of Pearl
Trussrod: Double action Musicman style
Scale: Fender style 647,7mm (25,5″)
Nut: Bone
Tuners: Gotoh SD91
Bridge: Vintage 6 saddles
Pickups : Engine Pickups VT-O Kit
Electronics: Oak Grisby 3 pos Switch, 250k Lin CTS Volume, 250k Lin CTS Tone, 0,047μF Oil Paper Capacitor
Buttons: Riki le Plectrier
Finish: Hard PU – Bright Red PU Varnish
Weight: 3,1kg
Price* : 2270€

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Calander 3 LED

While the Calander 2 was already visually surprising with its exceptional woods and its unique shape, Maja keeps the momentum with the Calander 3. In spite of the very modern white and its colored LED in the f-holes, the vintage side did not completely disappear here if we look at the Duesenberg Radiator tremolo and the Brown Sound (developed to sound like Van Halen) and the Origin 59 (ultimate PAF ’59 replica) pickups. These humbuckers were both created and customized by SP Custom, a French pickups maker working with Maja. But Maxime also use his brother’s expertise, an electronics enthusiast, to design and make the LED system: colors and intensity variators will be a great bonus in your performance on stage.

Specs

Body: Swamp Ash
Top: French Spruce
Neck: Khaya Mahogany
Cases: 22
Fretboard: Ebony
Fretboard radius: 14
Inlays: Mother of Pearl Abalone
Trussrod: Double action Musicman style with carbon reinforcement
Scale: Type Fender 647,7mm (25,5″)
Nut: Graphit
Tuners: Schaller GrandTune
Bridge: TonePro Roller
Tail piece: Duesenberg Radiator
Pickups: SP Custom Brown Sound & Origin 59
Electronics: Petrucci 3 pos Toggle Switch, 500k Lin CTS Volume, 500k Lin CTS Tone, 0,022μF Oil Paper Capacitor, LED system with colors variator, light variator, and ON/OFF Switch
Buttons: Duesenberg
Finish: Off-white Satin PU
Weight : 3,2kg
Price* : 4100€

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Harmony 2

Although it is in the same style as the first one, we can notice many differences on this second Harmony. The first one is of course the fact that it has a solid body, without original f-holes. The body is in a black satin Sapele, decorated with an aluminium and leather pickguard and another small positioned over the string thru part. This version reminds a little what the Majacaster is for the Guizmo, a simplified version and less pricey than its top range sister. We find same SP Custom we saw on the Calander 3 but in an audacious red finish which gives a boost to this beautiful guitar.

Specs

Body: Sapele Mahogany
Neck: Khaya Mahogany
Cases: 22
Fretboard: Indian Rosewood
Fretboard radius: 12
Inlays: Mother of pearl
Trussrod: Double action Musicman style with carbon reinforcement
Scale: Fender style 647,7mm (25,5″)
Nut: Graph Tech
Tuners: Schaller GrandTune
Bridge: TonePro
Pickguard: Aluminium / Cuir
Pickups: SP Custom Brown Sound & Origin 59
Electronics: Petrucci 3 pos Switch, 500k Lin Volume, 500k Lin Tone, 0,022μF Oil Paper Capacitor
Buttons: Duesenberg
Finish: Black on hard PU – Satin PU Varnish
Weight: 3,8kg
Price*: 2500€

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Guizmo 2

Let us finish in a blaze of glory with this quite new Guizmo 2, freshly delivered to his owner. The Spalted Maple top, clearer than the first version, highlights the lights of the LEDs, hidden behind a metallic plate surrounding the buttons and the selector. The volume and the tone offer not less than nine pickups positions thanks to the push/pull splits, if we count the phase-inversion. These phases are managed by a split on the third potentiometer, which also manages the color of the LEDs. Above the 3 way toggle switch, a killswitch was installed to momentary kill the signal. Because Maxime cares about the details, the straps are not directly screwed on the body, but a little inlaid inside. In the back, three metallic plates are mixed with the wood to hide all the electronics, the LED system, and the string thru Hipshot Tremolo part. Then, move your eyes to the right and admire the Birdseye Maple set neck contrasting with the Swamp Ash. We continue to arrive finally at the headstock. Separated in two parts connected by some aluminum, it is well decorated with an anodized aluminum “Maja” logo, for the viewing pleasure.

Specs

Body: Swamp Ash
Top: Spalted Maple
Neck: Birdseye Maple
Cases : 24
Fretboard: Ebony
Fretboard radius : 14/15
Inlays: Mother of pearl Abalone
Side inlays : Dots Lumi
Trussrod : Double action Musicman style
Scale: Fender style 647,7mm (25,5″)
Nut: Graphit
Tuners: Schaller Da Vinci
Bridge: Hipshot Tremolo
Pickups: SP Custom Smokey Club 69 & Trinity
Electronics: Petrucci 3 pos Switch, Push Pull 500k lin Volume, Push Pull 500k lin Tone, 0,022μF Oil Paper Capacitor, Killswitch, LED system with colors variator, light variator, and ON/OFF Switch
Buttons: Riki le Plectrier
Finish: Natural PU
Weight: 3,3kg
Price*: 3685€

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maja-guitars-guizmo2-spalted-maple-buttons

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French famous artists had the pleasure to try Maja guitars, like Sinclair who played on a Calander, and Sébastien Chouard on an Harmony 2.

Over time, the luthier does not stop realizing exploits and while I am writing these lines, Maxime already prepares the evolution of few models. The next Calander, for example, will have a new LED system powered by Arduino. In parallel, a part of the Dulcie Pocket Guitars manufacturing is also made by Maja, but I will tell you more in detail soon in a next dedicated post.

*The displayed prices are “on-request” prices, the available guitars get a reduced cost.