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New Member with Cats Eyes Quries
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Michael Howley
Plucker


Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: New Member with Cats Eyes Quries Reply with quote

Hi,

I?m new to this forum and have recently become the owner of a Cats Eyes CE-150J. Having hassled the Hell out of poor old Bob at Tokai Europe I thought I should address my questions to the forum members.
As a guitar player; I suck. I have played since the late seventies and have never progressed beyond basic chords and very primitive finger picking. If I?m being brutally honest it is misguided finger plonking rather than picking.

I started out with a Hondo 2 that I bought new for ?50 in 1979. It had an unusual feature that allowed it to play exactly the same note on frets 12, 13, 14 and 15 on the high E string, not that I ever take such long haul trips to that end of the fretboard.

In the late eighties I traded my Hondo for a Takamine Jasmine with in-built pick up. This cost about ?275 and was a whole lot better than the Hondo. I played a lot more and improved my standard to the point where I was able to peer up at the foothills of mediocrity. A distinct lack of ability and a matching deficit in time ensured that I never transcended the gap between poor amateur and Open Night Godliness: coupled with the fact that I never had the nerve to sing unless I was solo in a lead lined bunker.

By day, I teach English and maths to building apprentices and unemployed don?twannabees. Obviously, I am not very popular with my students: I blame it on the subject and not on my personality.

Back to guitars, I have bought the Cats Eye CE-150J and have ascertained that the J stands for Jacaranda option meaning the back and sides are solid Brazilian Rosewood and the top is of Sitka spruce. I?m not sure whether the finish is nitro cellulose or lacquer.

With regards to age, the serial number is 060301. I assume (?) that this means the guitar is dated to 30 January 2006. The sound is excellent; I tried it side by side with a Martin D-28 and couldn?t tell the difference. However, I am not an expert and would like to know how these guitars are rated in general.

Below are links to a range of badly taken photographs showing the guitar. I promise to return to this task and produce other, more acceptable images, at a later date.

http://s897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/MichaelHowley/?action=view&current=Back.jpg&newest=1

http://s897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/MichaelHowley/?action=view&current=Front.jpg&newest=1

http://s897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/MichaelHowley/?action=view&current=HeadstockBack.jpg&newest=1

http://s897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/MichaelHowley/?action=view&current=HeadstockFront.jpg&newest=1

http://s897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/MichaelHowley/?action=view&current=Label.jpg&newest=1

http://s897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/MichaelHowley/?action=view&current=Tuner.jpg&newest=1

Many thanks for your time and any advice will be well received.

Michael
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greco_burst
Guitar God


Joined: 17 Apr 2009
Posts: 558
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
Here are the specs, I looked at the back of yours....



and compared it to my CE-400 that has Indian Rosewood back n sides, and yours looks 100% Jacaranda or Brazilian Rosewood to me.....sweet. Jacaranda will have the lovely patterns as is what is displayed on the back of your guitar. The Tokai CE-400 is also based on the D-28 (rosewood (indian) back and sides)
Nice one! IMHO!


TOP: Solid Sitka Spruce

SIDE & BACK: Solid Indian rosewood with Jacaranda option

NECK: Mahogany U Shape

FINGERBOARD: Ebony

SCALE: 650mm

BRIDGE: Ebony (Long Slot Belly)

MACHINEHEADS: Vintage Glover Style

HEADSTOCK INLAY: Flower Pot White Pearl

POSITION MARKS: Sloted Diamond White Pearl

PICKGUARD: Tortoise Shell Pattern

ROSETTE: Black & White

BACK PURFLING: Zig Zag

BINDING: White & Herringbone
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CliffsComicWorld
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 951
Location: U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....... that is one fine backside!!
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: New Member with Cats Eyes Quries Reply with quote

Michael Howley wrote:
I played a lot more and improved my standard to the point where I was able to peer up at the foothills of mediocrity.


Anyone with a lack of ego & a sense of humour like yours is very welcome here! Loved the post, sorry I can't help you with the query.

Mike
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togps
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 2046
Location: Bavaria, Germany

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CE-150J
J stands for Jacaranda veneer over solid rosewood
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www.tokaiguitar.de
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surfinbernard
Plucker


Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am looking at these Tokai CE models, does anyone know where they are manufactured? Are they Chinese? Michael how is yours? Any snags with the finish/ quality issues? sorry to be a pest but 'm not made of money and have been burned before with Chinese guitars! If the quality is anything like my Japanese Tokai LP I would be thrilled with one. Cheers!
Zoe
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Michael Howley
Plucker


Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Zoe,

I have nothing but praise for my new guitar. I have no issues with the finish and the tone is excellent. I did try it side by side with a Martin D-28 and could not tell the difference. However, I am not an expert in these matters. At some point I will book it in for a proper set-up, but it is perfectly playable as it arrived.

When I took it down from the wall in the shop it sounded to be in tune and I played it for about half an hour. After I bought it I put it into the boot of my car (in its case) and drove home via a few other places, this took about an hour.

It was very, very cold by UK standards and I know that the boot was not as cosy as my car interior. When I arrived home I opened the case and left the guitar to acclimatise to the temperature of our house, about 22* Celsius. I had a play with the guitar and checked it with my electronic tuner. Not only had it not slipped out of tune but it is still fine now some four weeks later - I have yet to tune this guitar.

I'm unsure whether it was made in Japan or China. I haven't found a stamp. I'm hoping it's Japanese but, if not, I have yet to find any flaws in the finish.

I hope this is of help.

Michael
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surfinbernard
Plucker


Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Michael, that is really helpful. It's not too far for me to get to Sheffield so the best idea is probably to go there and play some. Did you get yours from there? Is it a shop where you can go and look at them? sorry! So many questions haha.
Zoe
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Richtone might be able to let you try a guitar by appointment, but check with them in case I've got that wrong.
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CliffsComicWorld
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 951
Location: U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too Bad there is not a 7okai dealer in the USA...
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BlueThird
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 302
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

surfinbernard wrote:
I am looking at these Tokai CE models, does anyone know where they are manufactured? Are they Chinese? Michael how is yours? Any snags with the finish/ quality issues? sorry to be a pest but 'm not made of money and have been burned before with Chinese guitars! If the quality is anything like my Japanese Tokai LP I would be thrilled with one. Cheers!
Zoe


If the same principles apply to Tokai's acoustic model numbers, the CE-150 would be made in Japan. Suspect they do, but hopefully someone else can confirm that.

There's some useful info over here.
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surfinbernard
Plucker


Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just had a message back from Bob (his seems to be the only shop selling these models that I can find) and he confirmed that they are actually made in China. He says they are made under strict supervision of the Japanese craftsmen and from the best woods, but I'm afraid I would not like to put my trust in them without playing them and just the fact that they come from a Chinese factory immediately makes me want to look for alternatives.
I would still like to play these, he is a couple of hours away from me and I won't have the time for a few weeks, but I do plan on going up there for a proper look. In the meantime I am gonna look at some other options.
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JohnA
Guitar God


Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 4176
Location: Leicester UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some amazing acoustic guitars being built in China, and some very good electrics too
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surfinbernard
Plucker


Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John, I completely agree, I have played some quite nice ones from China, but something sticks in my throat I'm afraid, partly my general dislike of EVERYTHING now being made there and partly because there are a lot of counterfeits being made there like the 'Epiphone' I bought which turned out to be a dubious copy with several snags with the finish and the glue still drying when it arrived. Once burned...

But as I say I agree that some nice guitars are coming out of China now, I have a very nice hand-carved Kentucky mandolin from there (this came highly recommended), but I have to admit to finding the idea somewhat off-putting.
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Michael Howley
Plucker


Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I bought my Cats Eye from Electro Music in Doncaster but I'm not sure that they have any more. Music Ground in Leeds have some Tokai HB80 Hummingbird acoustics in stock but I know even less about them.

As far as Chinese guitars are concened I have no great worries about quality and procedures. I do have doubts about the wages paid to their workers particularly as they are often very skillful.

Western society is driven by greed and their only concern is how cheaply items may be produced and how high a price can they be sold for. I enjoy playing golf. All of my golf equipment is made in China as are our TV sets, kitchen appliances, computers and the majority of items in our house.

Rest assured that once China becomes too expensive then manufacturing will move to other, poorer, parts of the world. If they ever manage to stabilise the African states then they too could become the manufacturing region of the world for a period of time. One day, we may be the depressed area and it will be our turn all over again.

Having said all of that the guitar is very impressive and I would recommend scrutinising one very carefully to reassure yourself of the quality of the instrument that you are considering.

All the best

Michael
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