Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

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Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby neoclassical » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:48 am

I'm looking into an upgrade in the next 9-12 months and so far these are and maybe the Solista are the ones that interest me the most. I know the Pavans and Solistas are well loved and made in Spain. There is a C12 to try within 45 min of me and it could probably be shipped to the sister store to try 10 minutes from my house if I ask my friend in the acoustic room. The only thing holding me back on the C12 is that it is made in China at Spanish guitar prices. My last 2 guitars have been Chinese (Ibanez and Takamine) solid tops. They have been serviceable, but they are not tone machines. I've been looking at reviews and sound clips for a couple of weeks.

If you have played or owned a TP30 or C12 please let me know your opinions.


btw I'm looking at a cedar top.

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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby oski79 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:05 am

Neoclassical, welcome to the forum. Please head over to the "Introduce Yourself" forum and tell us a bit about yourself...


"Before Elvis, there was nothing." --John Lennon

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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby MrSteve » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:32 pm

I have previously owned a Cedar TP30 and have played a Cordoba C12.

The Pavan was my first major upgrade and I enjoyed it.
The TP30 is his top of the import line and I thought at least in cedar it was a nice guitar. Not particularly loud, but it
had nice tone, was balanced and was easy to play.
The downside (at least in Cedar) was that there was not a clear note separation. Something you commonly find in factory guitars. The bass was slightly muddled. It did have a nice deep base that sometimes you could feel in your chest.

I played a Spruce C12 and have to be honest, if I was going to pursue a Cordoba, I would probably buy a C10. I didn't think the C12 justified a slight premium. Plus there is an odd feature to it. They put a slightly elevated fret board. Not what you find in many modern guitars but perhaps much shorter. Not sure what advantage this serves as you don't really gain any better access to the upper frets as a result of this slight raise.

I think if you are looking at the under 2K price range, I would suggest first off checking the for sale section of this forum. There are some terrific guitars and great values. The guitars are being sold usually because most CG have this incurable disease where we constantly need to purchase yet another "forever" guitar. This coupled with the fact that many of us need to "thin the herd" creates more supply than demand.

Also, I would suggest you check out Francisco Navarro guitars. I think they are better than either the Pavans or Cordobas at similar pricing.
I also played a really nice Juan Hernandez at a similar price that I thought was great.

You should try and play as many as you can, and don't rush the purchase as you will find the more you play the more you understand what you like best in the sound.

Good Luck

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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby hatalap » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:43 pm

I own both a Pavan TP-30 and a C12 Limited both in spruce. I would recommend the Pavan hands down. The Pavan is a guitar I consistently reach for and that provides great music without a lot of effort. Overall Cordoba makes good guitars and the C12s are very nice. Some have noted quality issues with Cordoba, but I have not seen any in the C12 or the C9 that I own.

Most posts here end up with alternative advice to the question asked, so I won't disappoint. I would also recommend an Alvarez Yairi CYM75 or a Marlon Navarro student guitar. You should be able to find both in the same price range, but the Yairi maybe a bit more, they all have solid woods. I think the Yairi is only available in cedar. Preferences would be the Pavan and the Yairi both very close, followed by the Navarro and last the C12. Both the Pavan and the Yairi have pretty good separation between the notes and are reasonably consistent from base to treble. The Navarro is a great guitar but in my experience and set-up is not as dynamic, but still leaps and bounds above the C12 except in looks.

Hope that helps and have fun!


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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby neoclassical » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:13 pm

Thank you for the responses. Part of what intrigues me about the c12 is the raised fret board. After I try the local one I may not like it, I know I do not want a cutaway (one of my previous guitars had one) since I feel that taking that chunk out of the guitar negatively effects the tone.

It looks like Yairi series is still made in Japan so they could be back on the list. Though one of the Yairis I played (again a cutaway and slim body) didn't sound that great.

I will look at the other recommendation as well.

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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby hatalap » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:36 pm

The C12 fingerboard is not raised all that much. While a unique feature, I'd still get one of the other guitars over the C12.

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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby Sharkbait » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:54 pm

I haven't seen much mention of the Pavan TP-20's or TP-30's these recent few years, whereas about 10-12 years ago, they were very highly spoken of as good-quality and excellent-value factory guitars. Has there been a deterioration of the quality, or has the price risen too much (exchange rate fluctuations?), or has nothing really changed except for the fact that it's just not the newest flavour-of-the-season anymore?

What are forum members' views on the Pavans now? Are they still seen as good quality and good/excellent value if purchased new?

Unfortunately I have almost no chance to go Tom Prisloe's shop to try them out (I'm halfway round the world, and Trump's haphazardly strict enforcement of immigration controls scare me). If I want to get one, I'd have to chance a "blind" purchase, probably a TP-30/64 (and that assumes I manage to reach Mr Prisloe).

Would appreciate it if fellow members could let me have their views, particularly if their purchases of their new Pavans are in the recent few years, on their price-vs-quality.

Thanks! :)

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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby tednovak » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:50 pm

I've played a tp 30 spruce. Fantastic guitar for the price . Friend of mine performs with it. Plenty of volume. I would recommend spruce as it comes from prisloe own stock. Really nice. I can't comment on the others.
Greg Byers spruce/Indian
Richard Reynoso cedar/Indian

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Re: Pavan TP30 vs Cordoba C12

Postby hesson11 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:48 am

For a very informative and thorough review of the C12, search that big video site for "Cordoba C12 review" and look for the one posted by "This is classical guitar." In it, he shows very clear shots of the raised fingerboard, echoing what many here have said about how small the raised portion is.

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