Up for sale, a 1975 Tokai Cat's Eyes CE-600 dreadnought acoustic guitar in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. A rare guitar virtually unseen outside the Japanese domestic market, the CE-600 is a faithful replica of a Martin D-28.
While the exact nature of the relationship between Martin and Tokai in this era is somewhat opaque, Tokai purportedly signed a contract with Martin in 1972 for the official use of Martin's design elements for their Japan exclusive Cats Eyes line, while also conclusively being Japan's distributor for Martin guitars in the era. Tokai's marketing for the Cats Eyes line, as well as the text on the serialized instrument labels also directly references Martin with some models stating "C.F. Martin & Co. Japanese Counterpart."
The Cats Eyes models are among the finest steel string acoustic instruments to ever come out of Japan, and features of the CE-600 include a gloss finish, ambered spruce top, and Indian rosewood back and sides, with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard and bridge. A guitar befitting the reputation for extremely fine Japanese fit and finish work, this Tokai Cat's Eyes dreadnought offers big, bold dreadnought muscle with a dry percussive cut and sweet, punchy trebles. All strings have equal presence, and the guitar delivers plenty of clarity in every register. Weighing 4lbs 12oz and professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Tokai is dialed in with comfortable action and fresh 12-53 phosphor bronze strings.
The mahogany neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with round shoulders, measuring .855" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 9th. With 14 frets clear of the body, a 25.4" scale, 1 11/16" wide bone nut, and 2 1/8" string spacing at the bridge, this Tokai will feel right at home to the most discerning Martin fan. On the dark rosewood fretboard, the original slender fretwire has its full factory height, with uniform wear on frets 1-3 and decent grooves beneath the B and High E strings, showing just a touch of wear extending to fret 5. The bound headstock features a diamond volute, rosewood veneer, and gold silkscreen Cats Eyes logo. The guitar is also fitted with ostensibly original genuine USA-made Grover Pat. Pending Rotomatic tuning machines with uniform patina on the nickel plating.
The carved rosewood bridge sits flush with the top with no lifting edges, and the original drop-in saddle has modest height. The guitar also boasts an internal pickup with a 1/4" endpin jack and sensor beneath the bridge, delivering a clear, cutting sound. The binding is deeply ambered, particularly on top, and cosmetic war is limited to just a few small nicks and light finish scratches on the body as a whole.
The original black tolex hardshell case is included.