Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

tataocb
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Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by tataocb » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:02 pm

Hello,

I am looking for advice on buying a classical guitar. I have been playing the guitar as a hobby for over 10 years now. It is mostly latin american music from the trova genre. I have mostly owned Yamaha C40 guitars and Marshal guitar in the past, so nothing really special. I recently bought a CG102 with a Spruce top, but returned it as the fret board felt too narrow for my hand/fingers. So I returned that guitar and tried a C5 with a Cedar top at a local guitar center. I really liked the way it sounded as compared to my previous guitars.

I also remember playing an Alhambra once in the past and was really impressed by the sound. I do not know which model it was, but I thought it was a really good guitar. I have found a guy that sells an Almansa 402 (which I understand is very similar to the Alhambra brand) in a similar price range to a new Cordoba C5. It would probably be an extra US $50-$70. There is no way for me to play and try the Alsambra guitar until I buy it as none of the local stores carry the Almansa or Alhambra brand. I really like the sound and finish of the C5. The finish on the 402 seems a bit more "natural". Even though I haven't tried the 402, I remember the good sound from the Alhambra and expect a similar sound from Alsambra.

So I have a couple of questions.

1. What is the "equivalent" Alhambra model to the Alsambra 402? I know the Alhambra 1OP is similar to the Alsambra 400 Nature, but have no idea about the 402.
2. Which one would you recommend? Should I take the risk and buy the Alsambra without trying it first? Or go with the Cordoba C5, which I have tried, heard, and like the sound? The Cordoba C5 would not be the one I tried as I would order a new one online. So in a sense, I will not have played the actual guitar until I get it delivered.

Thanks,

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George Crocket
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by George Crocket » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:39 pm

Hello tataoch. Welcome to the Forum. Doubtless help will soon arrive. Meantime, we need you to introduce yourself here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
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Laudiesdad69
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:09 pm

I haven't tried the Alhambra guitars. From what I understand, Guit Center sells them now, but I have yet to see one in my local store. Some member of this forum, who is in the know, told me that I am playing one right now. Apparently, they make some of the student models for Ramirez. That is what I am playing now.

I have owned a Córdoba C5, and for the money, it was an excellent guitar. Solid cedar top, and laminate mahogany back and sides. The fly in the ointment on these guitars is that the frets may be a little "pokey" on the sides of the fret board. This happened with my C5 and with my Córdoba C9. Both of these were fixed under the warranty, by the warranty repair luthier, at my local dealer.

I regret trading in the C5, as it would have made a lovely guitar for camping and lessons. I will probably buy another one used, as it has a truss rod and I can adjust it when changes in temperature/ humidity occur. The C9 was a great guitar in its own right, but as I have better guitars, I gvve that one to my son for X-mas.

It's my understanding that when the back and sides are made of laminates, it really doesn't matter what type of wood is used, and that most of the sound comes from the top. So just use your ears, and try not to be seduced by pretty rosewood if the guitars are made of laminates.

If it were me, I would hold out until I found the right guitar used, at the right price as you can get a better guitar this way for less cost. I prefer the sound of solid rosewood back and sides, but the C9 had solid mahogany back and sides and it still sounded wonderful. If it wasn't a wonderful guitar, I wouldn't have given it to my son. You can pick one of those up used for cheap.

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souldier
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by souldier » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:27 pm

tataocb wrote:2. Which one would you recommend? Should I take the risk and buy the Alsambra without trying it first? Or go with the Cordoba C5, which I have tried, heard, and like the sound? The Cordoba C5 would not be the one I tried as I would order a new one online. So in a sense, I will not have played the actual guitar until I get it delivered.

Thanks,
Definitely go with the C5. You tried this one and you liked it. No risks involved. I've played a few almansa guitars and was very underwhelmed with them. The C5 you'll find is more responsive, better volume, better playability, better clarity, better tone. They are mode widely available and easier to return if you're not happy with it in the end.
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Norman2
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by Norman2 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:04 pm

Hi, I hate to differ with souldier on his advice to you. Thae Almansa 402 is equivalent to the Alhambra 3C and is far superior to the Cordoba C5 both
in quality of build and in sound. The Cordoba C5 is made in china and a very simple guitar. The Almansa 402 is made in Spain at the Alhambra factory
by a team of skilled builders. I have owned a Cordoba C5, C7 then upgraded to an Almasa 457 concert model which i presently play. I would not part with it for any reason. The only Cordoba that could compare to the Almansa 402 would be the C7. Play a C5 and a C7 and you will see the difference. I will
never buy another guitar built in chine. The sound is not the same. Good luck, Regards
Norman2
Cordoba C9

tataocb
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by tataocb » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:08 pm

Thanks guys. I went by Guitar Center again yesterday an played the C5 and C9. I did not hear much of a difference to be honest, but then again, my ear might not be as well trained as other more skilled players in this forum. I will get the Cordoba C5. Like others have said, if I end up not liking it, it will be easier to return.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:40 pm

Did you get the C5 yet? Just wondering what you think of it so far.

Norman2
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by Norman2 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:16 am

Hi Tatoocb, Have you taken a good look at the C5, The bridge doesn't even have a finish. And if you pass your fingers beside the fingerboard you
will notice all the frets that stick out. You will be returning this soon and getting a C7, Good luck and regards
Norman2
Cordoba C9

hesson11
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by hesson11 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:39 am

Norman2 wrote:Hi Tatoocb, Have you taken a good look at the C5, The bridge doesn't even have a finish. And if you pass your fingers beside the fingerboard you
will notice all the frets that stick out. You will be returning this soon and getting a C7, Good luck and regards
Norman2
On the other hand, it IS an inexpensive guitar, one that I find to be an exceptional value in all other respects. I've played several of them and never noticed fret ends sticking out, although that can happen to any guitar under conditions of improper humidification. The fret ends are not as luxuriously finished as on more expensive guitars, but a few minutes with a file can fix that.
-Bob

gharazz
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by gharazz » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:17 am

The C5 can be very hit or miss, but it's decent for what you're paying

Asa Guitar
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by Asa Guitar » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:27 pm

In my country, Almansa is popular, but everyones who play guitar that i know all their use Cordoba. Somethings about standard and sound make their got choose.
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by guitarseller345645 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:47 pm

I would imagine the best C5s are pretty decent - one guy who upgraded to a Spanish all-solid guitar could not hear any difference between it and his old C5.
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MessyTendon
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:51 pm

The C5 is laminated with veneer over cheap wood...It's not hardwood veneered to hardwood veneer. The C5 is an okay guitar if it's what you can afford and only have access to. If you up the budget to the 500$ range, you can find a vintage guitar made with all wood construction, real laminated hardwoods and lighter bracings/kerfing etc.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Cordoba C5 or Almansa recommendation.

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:23 am

Don't worry about frets sticking out. I can assure you that those are an issue of the guitar drying out after it has been built. Córdoba has paid to have the fret ends filed by my local luthier on a guitar that I bought new with that same problem. They assure me that they aren't like that when they leave the factory. It is the result of being exposed to low humidity under certain temperature conditions. If it gets too dry, the wood shrinks and the fret ends then extend beyond the finger board. I had a C5 and C9 that had this issue and Córdoba fixed them under the warranty. It doesn't help when they are wharehoused for God knows how long in places like Las Vegas or Kansas City.

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