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
Similar 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
For 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.
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