Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar Review | Solid Beginner Guitar

A beautiful Cordoba C5, Review of the classical guitar

Although Cordoba is a relatively new guitar maker having been founded in 1997, they have made a huge splash in the classical guitar scene. They have become an excellent option for beginner classical guitarist and veterans alike, and I’ll explain why in this review of the Cordoba C5.

For most people, Cordoba is a just city in south Spain. However, since the origins of the classical guitar, often referred to as the “Spanish Guitar”, are from Spain, it makes logical sense for a guitar company like Cordoba to manufacture many of its guitars there.

The Cordoba C5, an original part of Cordoba’s Iberia collection, has become a go-to classical guitar for many new and amateur guitarist.

Cordoba C5 Review

First, I’ll lay out the specifications for this guitar so you can easily compare it to whatever else you might be looking at:

  • Wood: solid Canadian cedar top with Mahogany back and sides
  • Finish: high gloss so it shines
  • Fretboard: rosewood fretboard with mother-of-pearl dots
  • Rosette: all natural inlaid wood mosaic

The Cordoba C5 is a full-sized classical guitar that uses nylon strings instead of the traditional steel strings you see on most acoustic guitars. For beginner guitarists, nylon strings can be great to learn on because they are much easier on the fingers than steel.

In terms of construction, Cordoba is well-known for their quality. The fact that they use a solid cedarf top for the C5, which is a standard for the classical guitar industry, means that the acoustic sound from the guitar body will be cleaner and more pleasing than the laminate wood used on many other beginner classical guitars. (click to read more on laminate vs solid wood guitar tops)

As beautiful as the C5 is to look at, what I like most is how it plays. The guitar has a sweet tone that carries throughout the entire body of the guitar. It projects well and feels good in the hands. For the price, it’s hard to beat the Cordoba C5.

Like all classical guitars, the neck is wider than what I’m used to with an acoustic guitar but it helps in learning correct finger and hand placement on a guitar.

An added bonus is that Cordoba has produced the C5 with multiple options to suit the various types of guitar players that might want to learn on a classical guitar. These options include:

Cutaways and Electronics

Cordoba C5-CE classical guitar with cutaway and electronicsSimilar to the Takamine EG124C classical guitar (you can read my review here), the Cordoba C5 also comes with the option to add a cutaway and electronics to plug it into a sound system.

The Cordoba C5-CE and Cordoba C5-CEBK are essentially the same guitar as the traditional C5 in terms of construction, but they both sport a cutaway to reach the higher frets (which honestly isn’t necessary on a classical guitar) and electronics. The “C” stands for “cutaway” while the “E” stands for “electronics”. Genius, I know.

One big advantage of the electronics on these particular guitars is the addition of an onboard tuner. This eliminates the need to have to purchase one of the many kinds of guitar tuners out there.

The “BK” version is interesting in that it comes in a jet-black finish as opposed to the high gloss.

Personally it’s not my favorite.  But, for those who want something different than the norm, the C5-CEBK might be right up your alley.

Left-Handed Cordoba C5

For those of you who are left-handed, the Cordoba C5 also has a model for you.

It is manufactured using the same materials and craftsmanship but with the left-handed person in mind.

I’ve known some people who just buy the right-handed guitar and swap the strings. That’s not a good idea.

Go for the dedicated left-handed version of the Cordoba C5 instead.

Kid-Sized / Travel-Sized Option

The Cordoba Requinto 480, a great classical guitar for kidsFor those who want to purchase a beginner classical guitar for their young child, or perhaps for those who want to travel with a smaller guitar, Cordoba produces the C5 in an amazing three other sizes – half, 3/4 and 7/8.

Just like the left-handed option, all of these feature the same wood, craftsmanship and design as the full-sized Cordoba C5 at a smaller size.

  • Requinto 580: a half sized version of the C5 that is perfect for children. This particular guitar won Best in Show at the Winter NAMM 2010 (a major guitar-industry conference each year). If you’re interested to learn more, click here for specs and pricing of the Requinto 580.
  • Cadete: this 3/4 sized version of the C5 is a great option for travelers. It is lightweight and comfortable to play. If you’re interested to learn more, click here for details and reviews of the Cadete.
  • Dolce: the Dolce is a 7/8 version of the Cordoba C5. If you prefer a slightly smaller guitar but not a child-sized guitar, this might be a great option for you. Much more comfortable to play for smaller people. If you’re interested to learn more, click here for pricing and specs on the Dolce.

Final Thoughts on the Cordoba C5

As you research on the internet, you’ll probably find plenty of reviews that talk about the Cordoba C5 being “an excellent value”. I would contradict the popular opinion if I could, but in this case it’s absolutely true.

In conclusion, the Cordoba C5 is hands-down one of the best classical guitars for the price point that you’ll find anywhere. If your budget is limited, however, you’re picky on quality and sound, this might just be the best option for you.

**If this review was helpful, please consider using the affiliate links above to make your purchase! There’s no additional cost to you and it helps keep me running 🙂 Thanks in advance

15 thoughts on “Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar Review | Solid Beginner Guitar

  1. Dude. The C5’s are made in China along with how many more? I called Cordoba today to see if I could by a part and was told that no that it would only be at the factory in China!!!! But they are a nice guitar for the price. Just not Spanish made…

  2. Question: You stated: “Personally, it’s not my favorite”. What is your favorite? I have the beginner Cordoba CP110 and like the sound and feel of it, but have been looking to upgrade and was looking at the C5 because it is, as you noted, nylon string,a cutaway and has electronics. I know guitar preference is a subjective thing, but I am curious as to what similar guitar you prefer. I am assuming you are not paid as to your recommendations, but if you are please let me know so I can factor that into my decision. Thank You.

  3. I am left-handed, and after many years, my classical guitar (Shiro SR-15) popped its bridge, and took so much wood away with it that it could not be re-glued. I am looking at the left-handed Cordoba C-5, which you have reviewed favorably in this article. I went to and read the reviews there. Everyone was impressed with the tone. But a few reviewers had their bridges break either before they even opened the box, after a few days, or after a few months. Do you think these are anomalies, or does these Chinese made guitars have an issue?

  4. 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.

  5. Get use to it. You can get a half yard of clear plastic at good old WalMarts fabric department for a couple bucks to cut out self stick plastic pickguards for your guitars with poly finish.

  6. The fact that you do not know that Cordoba guitars are factory made in China puts all of your other comments about this and other guitars in jeopardy. That is such basic information I’m not sure I will continue to trust your commentary.

    1. I was concerned about this too…but I went and bought it anyway and no regrets at all. I am very happy with the sound look and quality of my guitar.

  7. This guitar is hard to put down when I’m playing it. I run it through a little acoustic amplifier and roll back the treble a tad and it gives me that warmth and tone that makes so many songs sound good. It plays well and sounds great. Where it’s made isn’t as important to me as the way it responds when I play it. I’ve had mine for years now, and I still love it.

  8. I did quite a bit of research before buying. I first bought the Fender CN-60S. Big disappointment. The stock strings were cheap so I tried 2 other brands of strings, La Bella and D’Addario. The sound improved but still quite twangy. Then I went with the Ibanez GA-15. Beautiful guitar with a fantastic and warm sound. The GA-15 features a Purpleheart fretboard and bridge which it unique and stunning. You won’t be disappointed in choosing the Ibanes GA-15

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