This paper examines the production of the English tense-lax contrast in high and mid front vowels by native speakers of Catalan. Despite the absence of temporal contrasts in the L1, Catalans have been found to rely on duration in their perception of English vowels. Some English vowels have been found to be perceived by Catalans as near identical to L1 vowels. This study explores this further by examining English speakers perception of Catalan vowels. In addition, reliance on temporal and spectral cues is assessed in an L2 production experiment. Results indicate that learners implement a temporal contrast but mostly fail to produce a spectral contrast even when perceived similarity data predicted accurate L2 production.