Very early in his apprentership, Godefroy had an interest for the Selmer-Maccaferry and Selmer guitars. For him they represent the essence of the european guitar through their history and characteristics.
Mario Maccaferry was himself an accomplish classical guitar player and also a master luthier trained in the Italian tradition of the craft. His first invention was a revolutionary classical guitar (guitar incorporating a laminated wood construction for back and sides, a cut away that allowed a better access to the frets situated over the body of the instrument, an internal chamber that was improving the sound projection and also incased tuners mechanism that allowed lubrication … some of the many development that mario brought to the guitars). When the Selmer company asked him to developed a steel strings instrument that could compete with the americans guitars, he looked for inspiration in the Neapolitan mandolins. Instead of copying the already well accepted Martin’s X brace design, Mario designed a guitar with a floating bridge and a tailpiece (like the mandolins). This new steel string guitar was influenced by the attractive shape of his classical model but the soundboard was uniquely braced and had a fold (pliage) across its length right behind the bridge ( again like the mandolins). Because of this unique design hence a unique sound which is still revered today by thousand around the world (with the big big help of a certain Django Reihnardt). To this day, because of their design and the voice they produce, the Selmer-Maccaferry and the Selmer guitars remain the only true european steel string guitar.
To understand this history helps to understand the original idea behind the Selmer-Maccaferry (later Selmer) guitar. This understanding is crucial in Godefroy’s approach when making his interpretation of the Selmer guitar. Every MJS guitars is build with this original concept in mind. Each soundboard is braced following the pattern established at the Selmer factory in the 30′ and each is folded like the original ones were. Moreover, mostly european spruce is used as wood for the soundboard and no other ( mostly because certain models are made in cedar).
But also it is important to understand that the Selmer-Maccaferry guitar evolved to the Selmer guitar. This evolution wasn’t stopped when the Selmer company abandoned production in the 1952 but was continued by makers such as Favino, Busato and many others. In fact thanks the revival of the Gypsy jazz in the 90’s and the constant input from players, the evolution is still happening today. This is where Godefroy love to be, at the cross road between tradition and modernity. The playing is evolving all the time and faster than ever (it would be foolish not recognize it!). Players are getting faster, sharper, more precise and they request instruments that have the playing comfort that allow them to stretch their ability. For these raisons, truss rod are necessary to control the neck stability and to improve playability. In conjunction with the great care that Godefroy put in profiling the fretboard and in installing the frets, MJS guitars are guaranty to be very easy and comfortable to play.