If you are looking for a really good classical guitar, you must read my Cordoba C5 review!
Classical guitars are beautiful to hear and lovely to look at. They never fail to remind us of those romantic Spanish movies where the hero fights the villain with the backdrop of the fluctuating tones of a classical guitar.
Sometimes referred to as a “Spanish guitar,” a classical guitar uses nylon strings instead of the usual steel strings, which give the guitar a mellow tone with a different sound altogether. Although classical guitars can be played with a pick, they are more used for the fingerpicking style of the right hand. This guitar is very useful as a solo instrument and also very heavily used in concerts, all because of its unique design and its distinct sound.
The Cordoba C5 is a classical guitar that stays faithful to the heritage of classical guitars. It is one of the most selling light-weight full-size classical guitars and has been built in the vintage Spanish style. At about a price of around $350, the Cordoba is an excellent package for any guitar enthusiast. Being an original model of the Iberia series, it has exceptional looks and sound. I’ll talk about the C5 in detail and give you an idea of its playability and value for money.
All About The Cordoba C5
Founded in 1997, the Cordoba brand has evolved a reputation of making one of the most affordable and high-quality nylon and steel-stringed guitars available in the market. The Cordoba C5 belongs to their line of Iberia nylon guitars and has always been a highly recommended guitar for beginner to intermediate players.
The C5 is a full-size classical guitar with Canadian Cedar top and Mahogany sides and back with a Rosewood fingerboard. The guitar is claimed to be handmade in the traditional Spanish style, and as I went over the guitar, it certainly felt like it really was. This final review will cover the main features of this guitar and provide you the information you need so that you can decide for yourself whether this classical guitar is right for you or not.
Cordoba C5 Review: How It Looks
All classical guitars are simply amazing to look at. They will no doubt remind you of those musicians who used only one guitar and created music which was more soulful than whole bands combined. The Cordoba C5 is no exception.
The high-gloss finish of the Cordoba gives the guitar a great rich brown shine, which is a charm to look at. I also cannot stress enough on how perfectly the grains of the Cedar top are arranged, which again add to the looks. This guitar really does feel like an old guitar-maker made it in a village of Spain. The Canadian Cedar top is a good choice and is better than the laminates used by many beginner classical guitars regarding both looks and sound. The Cordoba C5 also features an all wood inlaid rosette, which adds some color to the guitar. The headstock of this classical guitar is hand-carved, and surprisingly, comes with great tuners. It is really pleasing to find such a low-priced guitar be paired with a well-made headstock and sturdy tuners.
One thing Cordoba has done smart is to make the C5 in different versions of size and electronics. The C5-CE version features a cutaway with a 2-band pickup system, making the guitar a top choice for playing live and recording. And if you are looking for something different, this particular version comes in jet black too. The other three versions are smaller in size and have the same features as the C5, which is useful if the guitar is for children.
In other words, the C5 is a beauty. You won’t be disappointed with the glossy looks of your first classical guitar, crafted with great wood and coupled with decent tuners. You should also consider the availability of the different versions as an advantage, as it means you need not give up one feature for something else. You can easily choose which option suits you best.
Cordoba C5 Review: How It Builds
The Cordoba C5 is a full-sized guitar, also available in smaller sizes. The Canadian Cedar top gives the guitar a tough feel, and the Mahogany sides, back, and neck match the top perfectly and produce a loud balanced tone. It is certainly better than most of the beginner classical guitars with laminate wood in them.
The headstock of the C5 is another great thing about it. It is handcrafted and fitted with good quality tuners, which do not tend to slip much. The bone nut and saddle are also fitted nicely, with the bridge holding the strings nice and tight. From top to bottom, this guitar feels solid and is comfortable to hold.
As is the rule with classical guitars, the neck is wider than you’d expect from a steel-stringed acoustic. The Rosewood fingerboard feels spaced out and smooth, with the frets not being sharp and uneven in height. The wide neck may feel a little too big for small hands, but this is how classical guitars are made and how they get that unique sound. As I mentioned earlier, there are smaller sizes you can try your hands on and check whether the wide neck suits you or not.
All in all, the guitar is very well crafted. With a combination of Mahogany and Cedar, the body sustains a warm tone, and the fretboard is smooth and easy to play, even though some may find the width of the neck to be a little too wide.
Cordoba C5 Review: How It Sounds
This where the Cordoba C5 outshines many guitars of its category. The build of the guitar promised loud and rich tones, and this is what the guitar delivers too. The C5 comes with nylon strings from Savarez Corum, which is a decent brand, though it will be better if you can spend a little more on the strings and upgrade them after a while. This will surely bring out the true capability of this guitar and even you will want to keep practicing every day.
Straight out of the box, the guitar comes perfectly set up. The action is good and so is the tuning. There is no chance of any buzzing of the strings if you maintain the action properly and keep using the guitar every day. There is a warm tone from the guitar which is simply a delight to listen, and when played directly over the soundhole with a little more power, the sound is loud and full.
Even if the body is made to be light and easy to hold, there is no diminishing of the sound. Even when unplugged, the sound is pretty loud and clear. The pickup is also of a decent quality and produces a more than sufficient output.The balance between the bass and the treble is optimum, with the bass sustaining for a longer time. The sound is perfect for outdoors and indoors, and the sturdy build will give you the confidence to take the guitar wherever you go and play as much as you can. The Cordoba C5 produces excellent tones and is perfect for classical music, jazz, and even contemporary folk and country music.
Cordoba C5 Review: My Personal Opinion
If you are in the market for a classical guitar with a decent budget of around $300-$400, then this guitar is the one to buy. Although you can find a classical guitar for a cheaper price, what’s the point if you are not happy with it?
I have seen players using different brands of classical guitars, and I can say with confidence that the Cordoba is the best for its price. I will not hesitate to recommend this guitar for a player looking for the classical tone in a comfortable and light body. The sound is clear and rich, and the hardware that comes with the guitar is of a surprisingly good quality, which ensures that you won’t be needing an upgrade for many years.
The Cordoba C5 is a great value for money, and though it is a little more pricey than the lesser-known brands, it is more than just worth it. It is durable and comfortable, with different versions available to suit your needs. You can get the C5-CE if you are going to play on-stage, or if you have smaller hands or are planning to get the guitar for a child, there are the smaller sizes of 1/2 (Requinto), 3/4 (Cadet size) and 7/8 (Dolce). The C5 is a great guitar to have, and given its price, it delivers a lot more than the more expensive guitars of other brands.
The Final Verdict
The Cordoba C5 is a classical guitar which matches the build of more expensive guitars. Though it is on the pricier side a bit, it is certainly worth it. I do not recommend trying to save a hundred bucks just to buy a guitar that won’t last and which won’t sound good. The sound of the C5 is excellent and so is the quality of the strings and tuners it comes with. In a nutshell, if you are looking for a classical guitar and don’t wish to keep replacing guitars frequently, you should go with the Cordoba C5.