Maya Guitars

Posted by Bryan on Tue, 05/14/02 - 02:44:45.


Does anyone have any information on Maya Guitars. What I know so far is they were/are a Japanese maker and were apparently based in Kobe from the early 70's until the earthquake in the 90's. They made high-quality knock-offs of major brand instruments in the lates 70's and 80's at least as good as the Ibanez Lawsuit models of the same era. Not quite up to Gibson yet, but learning fast.

I have a really nice copy of a late 70's early 80's Gibson ES 175. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Email me if you want to see pictures.

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Maya N45J

Nice to find a site with so much love for Maya guitars.
I heard an N45J in a local luthiers a few years ago.
I was totally blown away by the tone and the very obvious resemblance to a certain American maker's guitars...
Open book headstock, 2 screw truss rod cover,50's neck profile,2 colour sunburst, etc etc.
John, the luthier was very impressed too... a very hard act.

So I watched ebay every week for over a year and a half until one came up. I was the only bidder... so got it for a song from it's original owner. I had to ship an empty box & packing material to the other end of the UK as the seller was only selling with local pickup. Thankfully she had relented under my pitiful begging pleas and agreed to wrap it up for pickup.
Got it shipped back and it was immaculate, in it's original case.
And the sound is glorious. As my guitar collecting muso friend said " that is the Led Zeppelin III tone that I have been chasing for years..."

Serial is 19770926, so not the same as the two previously mentioned 199770709's.
How about a made date of 26th September 1977? Discuss...

Since then I have picked up several Maya related items.
A lovely aged cream '68 Strat copy (think Hendrix Monterey, big headstock, 'A' width neck, all maple). Sounds lovely too.

I also bought on impulse, a cheap beat up tele copy from a retired local gigging musician. It has a mahogany 1 piece body with a thin deep blue nitro finish & solid brass bridge. He reckoned that it was made in Bristol for Shakin' Stevens guitarist.
If that was true, that would be the legendary Mickey Gee, but I have no provenance, so it's just another guitar tale.

The neck was an all maple bullet truss rod no name that he said was the only neck he ever liked, as he disliked regular Fe*der necks.
When my luthier friend was setting it up with BareKnuckle Yardbirds, he discovered that the neck had the Maya stamp on the butt end... weird, but very pleasing.
This thing has Mojo in spades, several people have tried it and have dubbed it "the best tele that Fe*der never made".

Add in a couple of Teisco style Maya branded tele/strat hybrids with cool garage band style & sound.
Also very nice through(thru) neck Strat,with Korina wings and Korina/rosewood/maple stripe from headstock to butt.
Has original Dimarzio SDS-1's and is a real rock machine. Again, no name to substantiate it's origin, but was advertised as a Maya, so it has a home with me ;-)

Never been lucky enough to get an El Maya yet, supposedly from the same company, but I'm still looking.


Maya guitars

I once had a beautiful,semi accurate Maya Jazzmaster.It was in an aged white finish,and the neck was a flame maple c style.Amazingly beautiful guitar.

Maya Strat Copy

I was lucky enough to buy a Maya Strat copy in Australia for $150 shipped.
Truth is that when I spent some tome setting up and cleaning up this guitar
that was very neglected , it turned out to be a fantastic playing and sounding
guitar that is as good or better than the brand it copied. This strat has aged
beautifully with the neck turning amber. I still have the original pickups but have
swapped them out and put Am standards in for now. Some pics here
My JV Squier and Maya Strats are my favourite guitars of all time.
check them out in action here

Maya F400 12 string guitar

I have a nice Maya F400 12 string which I bought in Dubai for about £100 in 1983. Haven't used it for ages but found it the other night then found this website. It's in excellent condition and I'm off to get new strings for it!

Maya Les Paul

I just purchased a left handed Maya Les Paul Special style today on Trademe, paid $146NZ in auction, drove 2 hours to collect, I had no idea what it was, but the pictures on the auction looked ok, I was hoping it was Japanese maybe 80's, very pleased to find this forum, and good to know that perhaps it is late 70's, it only has 3 strings and a few dents, it looks as though someone has added neck packers to adjust the action (now the last 3 strings rattle on the frets), should be not too difficult to tidy up... the neck is very straight, I am not sure what the fretboard inlay is made of, I am sure is not plastic, feels more like aluminium or something... will try to find out, there is some defect around the edge of the body, noticed it first when arrived home, behind the neck, at first thought it a structural crack and was dismayed, but now see it at other area around the body on the same line, it looks more like a line where the edge trim has been routed in... not concerned at this stage... supposed to be working from home tomorrow, but now think I will take a quick 45 min. drive to the nearest music shop to get some strings and a few bits and bobs for it, not sure whether to string it as right handed or start learning left handed, probably will replace the tuning keys with some I have from an old Epiphone, and keep originals, so far, very happy with purchase...

Maya acoustic guitar Model # TF101S

I have an old Maya acoustic guitar that I bought about 4 yrs ago, from a woman who I had gone to High school with back in the '70s. She said she had bought the guitar back in the 70's, not sure what year though. In the sound hole the sticker says: Maya, Made by Takamine, No. TF101S, and then beside that it says Japan. This is a small guitar about a 3/4 size, with a great sound. The bridge needs work and the tuning keys should be replaced also, but it sounds and plays great.

maya guitar CK114

I am trying to sell this guitar. belonged to my deceased wife. any info on price range ???

I bought a used Maya semi

I bought a used Maya semi acoustic guitar in the 80's for 500 pounds. I tried every single guitar in the shop and the Maya by far played the best. To this day I've never found another guitar that comes close and that is selling for less than $20k. Maybe I got a one off. Maybe they're all that good. I can't say for sure. Mine was the first and only Maya guitar I've ever come across.

Maya ES-175 copy

I got a Maya ES-175 copy that has a mahoghany neck that feels even better than my other 5 vintage Gibsons. It has a 3 ply maple top which probably sounds better than Gibson's 5 ply. The Pickups are fantastic and I doubt can be improved. The only major change were I can honestly say the Gibson was better is the tuning machines. I replaced the originals with nickel Grovers, which made the guitar sound better with the extra weight at the headstock. A great guitar most likely made by the master luthier Tahara, even the fingerboard looks Brazillian and high quality. I don't see how an El Maya or Greco or Aria or even a Gibson can be better other than market value. Very unknown and underrated gem!!! Now they made lots of different guitars and the quality varies, El Maya is looked at more positively because they put out the Hollow-bodies and semi-hollow and not the lower end models. Though the Maya and El Maya es-175's and 335's were most likely made by the same guy, Tahara.

maya artist c136s

I am thinking of buying a maya classical guitar made in the 70s. I don't have the opportunity to play it, and am hoping someone out there could give me some imput on this axe, tone / playability / propensity for constant luthier bills, etc. Says that it was designed after a Martin model. Now I know that every guitar has it's own sound, so a little imput would be appreciated, thanks, T.J.

Maya Western Guitar

I have a Maya Jumbo Western Guitar since 1985. Model Nr.: MJ200N Serien Nr.: 00806 .
I think she is from the 70er. It is an very good Instrument as Taylor.

Maya Guitars

Long time ago I read that the Maya - El maya factory was situated in tokyo between 1968 - 198? where an earthquace destroyed it, and never rebuilt it again. Thats wy this guitars are a rare vintage icons. Is it true or not? I don´t know but I love the "taste" of my maya model 330 with tremolo. a rare and unique single coil and total hollowbody sound. regards

Maya Les Paul Custom copy

I have had for a few years a very accurate 1970s(early) LP custom copy in bright solid red with black pu rings and cream humbuckers. This thing is amazing! It must be approximately 1972 according to pot codes. Looks like a Norlin era Les Paul custom and has a volute and two screw bell truss cover,binding with nibs aka Gibson as well as a hefty 10 plus lbs. in weight. The top is arched but not dramatically.Fully bound front and back with 5 ply black,white. The headstock has the diamond inlay as well as a open book shape. Sonically it's really sustain healthy and the neck is a very comfy c/d shape. The top is maple and the body a one piece mohoghany. Only odd feature is a rosewood fretboard instead of the Gibson ebony. The tuners on it are early 70's Schaller black nylon and chrome replacements and it has a nice lightweight plastic hardshell case. I paid around $360 for it from someone in Texas and it has become a fav of mine when I'm want to play any old Bowie Spiders tunes,Mott and anything glam. It expresses itself well both clean and crunched up and so far I've found it shines through nearly any amp I play it through. I've read that the "el Maya" guitars were supposedly superior to these,but I'm so impressed with this Maya that I'm not too concerned with worrying about the comparison. I've have seen some variants of this LP shape with Maya and el Maya guitars but there all been bolt on necks. Not mine.Wow,what a lucky find this guitar has been. It compares well with my neck through Fernandes Monterey and also my Goya Les Paul Deluxe copy,also from Japan in the seventies. If anyone has another like it,please get in touch or at least write a bit of your thoughts on this thread.

Maya semi acoustic

I Have a maya semi acoustic Its sat in the cupboard since 1975 was a birthday pres
no idea whats its worth or where to sell it. its in great cond
any help out there

Maya Acoustic Jumbo

Second hand guitars in the US range prices from 100 - 250 USD$. The high end ones like MArtin and Gibsons sell to the thousands of dollars. Maya guitars are rare items especially the acoustic ones since Maya has stopped production after the KObe quake in 1998(?). You may have noticed that maya guitars going around in the world are mostly electric guitars. Hence, the acoustic ones are rarely being moved. Therefore, we have rare maya acoustic guitars. MIne is a jumbo acoustic (probably an F-339J - silverfish ate the tag inside so I could not read the vital information). Since it is semi-acoustic, younger generations nowadays like guitars that they can play both plugged in and unplugged. It is the in thing now. You can sell your guitar probably below USD$300 but since it is a 1975 model, it can go a little higher since it is already a vintage guitar and aging guitars have prices appreciate rather than depreciate. So, depending on the condition of your guitar and how much the buyer is willing to shell out, I'd say your guitar can be USD$200 to as much as USD$500. MAya is not a known brand but it is rare. Good luck.

For Sale! Maya acoustic guitar model# F7460S

If anyone is interested in this guitar make an offer. Email me at grayone40@

Maya guitar

I have a Maya guitar serial nr MJ200N - I bought it from a friend in the early nineties - in mint condition and I always get complimented on the guitar. Do have a Yamaha 12 string as well. I actually did not know about the history of the Maya guitar until recently when I did some research. Very impressed with the fact that I am the proud owner of such a rare guitar!!!

My Maya

Hi, I Bought A Maya Les Paul 1969 Black Beauty Copy In About 1977 For Around $139 AUD. I Don't Play So It's Spent It's Life In The Case It Came In Only For Me To Take It Out Once In A Blue Moon To LOOK At It & Play WITH IT Until Next Time. I've Often Wondered About The Brand & Have Become Obsessed Trying To Get Information On It. I Have A Book By Tony Bacon On Ibanez & One By Frank Meyers On The History Of Japanese Guitars (1950's & 60's) Yet There Is No Mention Of Maya In Either Book. Over The Many Years I've Had It I've Thought Of It As ''Just A Cheap Japanese Copy'' (Bolt On Neck etc.) But Now I Just Don't Know Due To Sites Like This. I'm No Expert On The Quality Of Guitars & Would Happily Accept It's Exactly What I Think It Is. The Body Construction Seems To Be Layered or Made Of A Plywood As There Seems To Be Slight Indentations In The Surface Of The Edges Of The Guitar. The Fingerbord Block Markings Are A Silver Paint. As A Display Piece It Does A Good Job & It Has Motivated Me To Recently Purchase The REAL ITEM. I Have Tried To Compare Them But They Both Sound O.K. To Me & They Both Seem To Have A Low Action. I'm Sure If A Player Was To Test Them Out In A Blind Test The Gibson Would Come Out In Front But As Far As Value Goes I Don't Know That The Real One Would Come Out 20-30 Times Better Which Is The Range Of Their Price Differences. (If You Can Even Compare The Prices 40 Years Apart. )They Will Both Be Kept For Different Reasons As Really They Represent Different Things At Different Times Of My Life. Meanwhile The Search For Information On Maya Continues.

Maya F335 acoustic guitar

I bought a Maya F335 guitar from a kind of junk shop that sold all kinds of everything.
In the shop window was a guitar once owned by by David Bowie which caught my attention.
I couldn't resist a look at this guitar. It turns out the guitar was a real heap of junk.
The shop owner asked me if I was looking to buy a guitar hero had another one in the back of the shop he was selling for someone.
He presented me with the Maya F335. As soon as I picked it up and started to play I was impressed thinking it must be quite expensive. I asked the price he told me the owner was looking for £60. I told him I wasn't looking to spend that much. He said to make an offer.
I said I'd give £30. He went and phoned the owner, came back and said my offer was accepted. I paid the £30 waited for a receipt he then came back with the receipt and a hard case to go with the guitar!
That all happened in 1988.
I still play the guitar to this day!

maya classical/Spanish model 0128 circa1964

I bought this Maya classical guitar model 0128at the Len Williams Spanish Guitar Studio in Leicester Square London in either 1964 or 1965.
It cost around £120 which was a lot of money in those days. It has travelled around the world with me although I gave up playing long ago, I couldn't part with it.
Any info on this guitar?

Maya for sale

Hi. I have a Maya bass guitar for sale. For anyone who may be interested please get in touch and I can send photos and details.

Maya f340 artist model

Hi I just purchased a this guitar and it seems to be an exact copy of a martin d-18, they used laminate top, back and sides but the tuners are great and it appears to have a really nice mahogany neck and rosewood fret board. The thing is a cannon and has a incredibly straight neck and great low action. Anyone know anything about the maya f340


who wants to buy my maya guitar made in 1970's?, just email me if you are interested.

Maya s400

Is it misrepresented that "real maya s400 for sale at this website?

Ive got a Maya SG copy,

Ive got a Maya SG copy, found it in a pawn shop in Geelong Victoria Australia 25 years ago. I have no idea what it is worth but love playing it to this day.

I have one

I have a maya semi hollow. I dont know what model is it though, it also has the made in japan sticker at the back of the head. I just finished repairing its neck as it was neglected in my grandparent's house. It has all the stock parts which is suprisingly still working.

maya c119 classical guitar

I bought a maya c119 classical guitar for $49.00aus at a pawn shop Melbourne Australia on21st june 2019 I have to restring the guitar and was surprised by the quality of workmanship on the label has maya we made this guitar for people who love guitar music and japan it has a two piece back and it beautiful timber it looks almost identical to the hiroshi tamura c30 guitar on ebay for $3000.00 aus from japan the timber is the same can anyone help me as to who sold it

Maya Saddles and bridge

Looking for original saddles and bridge plate for a Maya Strat. Please contact me if you have available.

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