Cordoba Guitars?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Dave Stott
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Location: Connecticut

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Dave Stott » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:24 pm

another vote for the Cordoba... I've owned my GK Pro for about 4 years now.

I will say that the very early Cordoba's that were made in Spain did have issues with excessive finish coats, but Cordoba has made major strides in their finishing since then.

Dave
MarkInLA wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:58 am
Luuttuaja wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:35 pm
I bought a C 10 Spruce and I absolutely love the sound! Such amazing trebles! Perhaps the poly finish is a bit thick but otherwise I can't really find much to complain about. I'm happy I now bought a spruce top guitar, as the sound is very much the one I want.
As I stated above, the poli finish is probably 1/4 the thickness of cellophane ! How restrictive can that be ?
2015 Cordoba GK Pro Negra
2017 Cordoba C-10 Cedar
2003 Froggy Bottom H-12 Deluxe

Grasshopper
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:54 am
Location: England, West Country

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Grasshopper » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:16 pm

I've got a few Cordoba guitars including one I bought over 50 years ago (for less than £10 new, about $13) - which still plays very well. But I think that the current Cordoba company, which is USA based, bought the name (in 1997) so it's a different company. I'd be interested if anyone knows the full history.

Anyway my more recent Cordobas are from the current USA company. I've got a 2008 Koa CE fusion guitar (hand made in Spain) which is a nice guitar to play but doesn't sound great - too quiet and too bassy, although it looks beautiful. Best avoided I think unless you want to play electro-classical - the amplification is good.

However the best Cordoba I have is a C12 I bought a couple of years ago. I'd read that the C12 was good and I bought it online from the USA because it was so cheap (it was B grade with some cosmetic blemishes which don't bother me). There were a few faults with it - high action and a high nut - but it only took a few hours to sort out with my various files. And I've been absolutely astonished by how good this guitar is - the best guitar I've got by a long way.

The thing about this guitar is that it's almost "alive", probably because it's so light. My Takamines and Yamahas feel like tanks by comparison. The Cordoba has a truss rod but it must be a very light one (carbon fibre maybe) because the guitar isn't unbalanced like many guitars are by a heavy neck. Also it's very loud. Whether this is down to the lattice bracing (as Cordoba claim) or by the light construction I don't know, but the volume is quite something and the tone is superb. I also like the slightly raised fingerboard (definitely something I'll look for in future guitars) and the slightly domed soundboard, which I haven't noticed on any other classical guitar.

Anyway I was so impressed by this guitar I've just bought a GK Pro Negra which is also excellent. It's a pity about the slightly narrower nut string spacing but I'll make a new nut to minimise the problems. I've never understood why manufacturers think "fusion"/flamenco guitars should have a narrower nut.

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Mollbarre
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:10 am
Location: Canada

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:38 pm

The company website, and the Cordoba Music Group (CMG) - and Wikipedia explain it...sorta...lol...
2016 Fender CN320AS
2018 Cordoba C10 crossover
2018 Ibanez GA5TCE
...and miscellaneous bits and pieces.

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Peter Frary
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:40 am
Location: Honolulu

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Peter Frary » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:07 pm

I see a lot of the lower end Cordobas—Chinese made models—in my guitar classes and they're excellent instruments for the money ($200 USD). The C10 is popular with my more serious students and it's surprisingly full voiced: good balance, plenty of volume and a nice tone. I own one of their Mini travel guitars and it's okay for late night hotel room doodling but not great otherwise.
I play a Tiny Tenor 6 so I look taller on stage!

Altophile

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Altophile » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:28 pm

My experience with Cordoba has been mixed.

The good: I purchased a C10 Parlor used and loved it, but then sold it when I got my seven string (I regret selling it now).

The bad: I also auditioned a Dulce in store and loved the sound, but didn't get it due to a blemish. So I resolved to order one. I did so and the new one was blemished as well. So I had the store order yet another one to replace the blemished one and it arrived in even worse condition (unbuffed, so the finish was foggy all over). Strike three you're out.

Conclusion: I wouldn't purchase a Cordoba unless it was used and I was therefore not expecting perfection, or I auditioned it in the store and found no problems.

Cordoba has serious quality control issues, in my experience, and so if I were to order another $1000/$1200 standard six string guitar sight unseen, I'd order a Yamaha.

Grasshopper
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:54 am
Location: England, West Country

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Grasshopper » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:32 am

Altophile wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:28 pm
Cordoba has serious quality control issues, in my experience, and so if I were to order another $1000/$1200 standard six string guitar sight unseen, I'd order a Yamaha.
Yes, Yamahas are pretty bullet-proof really (probably literally :) ) but I haven't seen a Yamaha that sounds anywhere near as good as these Cordoba luthier series. if it's a choice between sound and finish I'll pick the sound every time. Also most Yamahas will last a life time - probably several - but I suspect that these lightly built Cordobas won't. I'd still buy another though. It's just a matter of individual choice really.

Altophile

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Altophile » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:49 am

Grasshopper wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:32 am
Altophile wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:28 pm
Cordoba has serious quality control issues, in my experience, and so if I were to order another $1000/$1200 standard six string guitar sight unseen, I'd order a Yamaha.
Yes, Yamahas are pretty bullet-proof really (probably literally :) ) but I haven't seen a Yamaha that sounds anywhere near as good as these Cordoba luthier series. if it's a choice between sound and finish I'll pick the sound every time. Also most Yamahas will last a life time - probably several - but I suspect that these lightly built Cordobas won't. I'd still buy another though. It's just a matter of individual choice really.
That's definitely a worthy consideration:-) A guitar that is pristine in appearance but mediocre in sound is less attractive in the more important way than a guitar that is mediocre in appearance but superior in sound.

Also, Cordoba probably does a better job with quality control when it comes to their C9s and up, whereas the Dulce is pretty cheap. Really, though, they should be ashamed of themselves for selling a guitar that was never fully buffed out as first quality. I was disgusted, frankly.

Dave Stott
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:24 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Dave Stott » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:59 pm

I used to own one of those Cordoba Koa guitars. It was really nice to look at & I agree didn't sound great. It suffered from the common "excess finish" & also had issues with raised fret ends.

My humble opinion is that the "Made in Spain" Cordoba guitars are where the complaints about excessive finish and quality control issues originated from. I also believe that the big box stores are guilty of not properly maintaining the guitars in their warehouse & stores.

Any of the Luthier level and above guitars from Cordoba are very nice & will meet the majority of the guitar players needs.

I've got the same impression about the Yamaha and Takamine guitars. Theyr'e built like tanks compared to the Cordoba's!

I've had my GK pro for more than 4 years now... it's still a great guitar for me

:D


Grasshopper wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:16 pm
I've got a few Cordoba guitars including one I bought over 50 years ago (for less than £10 new, about $13) - which still plays very well. But I think that the current Cordoba company, which is USA based, bought the name (in 1997) so it's a different company. I'd be interested if anyone knows the full history.

Anyway my more recent Cordobas are from the current USA company. I've got a 2008 Koa CE fusion guitar (hand made in Spain) which is a nice guitar to play but doesn't sound great - too quiet and too bassy, although it looks beautiful. Best avoided I think unless you want to play electro-classical - the amplification is good.

However the best Cordoba I have is a C12 I bought a couple of years ago. I'd read that the C12 was good and I bought it online from the USA because it was so cheap (it was B grade with some cosmetic blemishes which don't bother me). There were a few faults with it - high action and a high nut - but it only took a few hours to sort out with my various files. And I've been absolutely astonished by how good this guitar is - the best guitar I've got by a long way.

The thing about this guitar is that it's almost "alive", probably because it's so light. My Takamines and Yamahas feel like tanks by comparison. The Cordoba has a truss rod but it must be a very light one (carbon fibre maybe) because the guitar isn't unbalanced like many guitars are by a heavy neck. Also it's very loud. Whether this is down to the lattice bracing (as Cordoba claim) or by the light construction I don't know, but the volume is quite something and the tone is superb. I also like the slightly raised fingerboard (definitely something I'll look for in future guitars) and the slightly domed soundboard, which I haven't noticed on any other classical guitar.

Anyway I was so impressed by this guitar I've just bought a GK Pro Negra which is also excellent. It's a pity about the slightly narrower nut string spacing but I'll make a new nut to minimise the problems. I've never understood why manufacturers think "fusion"/flamenco guitars should have a narrower nut.
2015 Cordoba GK Pro Negra
2017 Cordoba C-10 Cedar
2003 Froggy Bottom H-12 Deluxe

Grasshopper
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:54 am
Location: England, West Country

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Grasshopper » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:21 am

Dave Stott wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:59 pm
I've got the same impression about the Yamaha and Takamine guitars. Theyr'e built like tanks compared to the Cordoba's!
I remember Colin Chapman (founder of Lotus Cars) was always keen on his sports/racing cars being very light so that they performed better. He once said that any fool could build a bridge that doesn't fall down but that it took an engineer to build a bridge that just doesn't fall down. Of course he sometimes went too far and a wheel would fall off. :)

I think it's the same with guitars. Anybody can build a guitar that retains its geometry whatever the climate and whatever the abuse, but it doesn't always sound very good. In particular heavily built guitars tend to lose volume (because it takes more energy to make them vibrate). It takes a luthier to build a guitar that only just retains its geometry while still sounding great - and of course every now and then they cut the margins too fine.

I have noticed that older guitars tend to be lighter and more flimsily built than modern ones, which may be why the older guitars sound better. Cordoba seems to be the exception - the first thing I noticed when I picked up the C12 was how light it is.

Altophile

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Altophile » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:36 am

Grasshopper wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:21 am
Dave Stott wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:59 pm
I've got the same impression about the Yamaha and Takamine guitars. Theyr'e built like tanks compared to the Cordoba's!
I remember Colin Chapman (founder of Lotus Cars) was always keen on his sports/racing cars being very light so that they performed better. He once said that any fool could build a bridge that doesn't fall down but that it took an engineer to build a bridge that just doesn't fall down. Of course he sometimes went too far and a wheel would fall off. :)

I think it's the same with guitars. Anybody can build a guitar that retains its geometry whatever the climate and whatever the abuse, but it doesn't always sound very good. In particular heavily built guitars tend to lose volume (because it takes more energy to make them vibrate). It takes a luthier to build a guitar that only just retains its geometry while still sounding great - and of course every now and then they cut the margins too fine.

I have noticed that older guitars tend to be lighter and more flimsily built than modern ones, which may be why the older guitars sound better. Cordoba seems to be the exception - the first thing I noticed when I picked up the C12 was how light it is.
My problem isn't with how light Cordoba guitars are, as I too appreciate the enhanced quality/quantity of sound that can be achieved with a lighter guitar. But, IMO, there's simply no excuse for the shoddy quality control at Cordoba. If Yamaha can make a $99 Gigmaster without blemishes then Cordoba can make an unblemished Dulce. Apparently they feel that their shoddy quality control is good enough. Well, they've lost at least one customer as a result of it.

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Regulus
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:39 pm

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Regulus » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:55 am

They don't seem to have skimped on their research. They say:
An original 1937 Hauser model was acquired by Cordoba.
To create this model, three authentic Torres guitars were acquired by Cordoba.
Cordoba obtained a 1960s Reyes model in order to study it inside and out.
I wonder what became of them?
I note that they also have affiliated artists promoting their guitars, as every maker does,, and I know that one of them has a guitar by Aaron Green. So I wonder, how often do these artists take the Cordoba on stage during their tours and concerts. Something I will perhaps never know, but I am curious about that.

MarkInLA
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:43 am

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by MarkInLA » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:08 am

Luuttuaja wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:35 pm
I bought a C 10 Spruce and I absolutely love the sound! Such amazing trebles! Perhaps the poly finish is a bit thick but otherwise I can't really find much to complain about. I'm happy I now bought a spruce top guitar, as the sound is very much the one I want.
I play a C10 ceder. So...Just wish to say: The poli finish is not thick at all. It's very thin; probably 1/4 the thickness of cellophane ! How can it be a hindrance when box has lots of volume, punchy mids, very bright highs, and deep bass ?!

sleeper2
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:54 pm

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by sleeper2 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:03 pm

My Cordoba c12 is a pleasure to play. It sounds better than many more expensive guitars that I have played. The action was perfect direct from the store.

sleeper2
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:54 pm

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by sleeper2 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:05 pm

I agree that the c12 is very light.

Dirck Nagy
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:47 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Cordoba Guitars?

Post by Dirck Nagy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:22 pm

Several of my students play Cordoba guitars, from the C3 to the C7; one even had a cutaway (but i dont remember which model that was. It was slightly thinner than standard). All of them worked. They were consistant and well-intonated.

There is a definite difference between the C3 and higher numbered models!...but the C3 were perfectly adequate for a beginner guitar.

The cutaway model was quite a bit quieter than their standard models.

The other good thing about Cordoba is their popularity...this means that music stores often have several in stock, so the customer can play them first.

cheers!
dirck

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