Electric Guitar Overview
The Cat’s Eye hollow body electric guitar series is Portland Guitar’s twist on an electric guitar. The goal is to build an electric guitar with an acoustic guitar aesthetic. The result is a clear and loud unplugged tone with the classic electric guitar sound when plugged in.
The body is roughly two inches thick with most of that a hollow chamber. This provides an excellent pocket to create an acoustic sound. Instead of a standard sound hole, there is a half moon cat’s eye sound hole on the side of the body. This allows for the acoustic sound to project outwards and for the magnetic pickups to be set into the body underneath the strings.
Unlike many other electric guitars, this one is unique in that it has a wood bridge. This substantially alters the tone from the bridge and provides a warmer tone than a metal bridge. Although the bridge is wood, there is no compensation lost due to the patented split saddle compensation bridge. Each string has its own nut that can be adjusted to home in on the perfect amount of compensation. There is no intonation lost from this guitar to another electric.
The action of a guitar changes how the guitar is interacted with. At the nut, the strings are set up to be as low as possible without buzzing. While traveling up the fretboard this guitar provides adjustable action. It can be set low for a soft playing style or it can be set high for a strong style. This is possible due to the cantilever neck which changes the angle of the neck to the body, thus changing the action. A hex key can be inserted into the heel block and then turned to adjust the action. It’s an adjustment that takes only seconds to complete.
Long lasting hardware is used for the electronics. CTS potentiometers are used in combination with a Switchcraft 3-way switch and a Fishman output jack. These hardware components are high quality and made to withstand wear and tear. A variety of pickups are used, but they always use alnico magnets for the best possible tone. The tuners used are Gotoh 510. These are an industry standard as they provide a smooth turn, an excellent gear ratio that will never need replacing.
Quality woods are used throughout and only solid woods. The bridge, fretboard and headstock are generally made with ebony or rosewood, these both sound and look great, and are a classic for any guitar. The body is made from four pieces of solid maple that is sourced locally from Washington.
The body cavity is easily accessible from the back. A back plate is held in by a few screws and eight magnets. This makes it easy to access the electronics or to stuff foam into the cavity to prevent feedback if you’re playing very loud.