Hello there, welcome back to another cool guitar review for you! This time, we will be looking at a cutaway classical guitar, Cordoba C7-CE! In this, Cordoba C7-CE review, I will be introducing the Cordoba brand and telling you about my experience with their instruments.
For those who have never heard of the Cordoba Guitars brand, here’s a quick introduction. Cordoba Guitars was founded by Tim Miklaucic back in 1997 in California, USA. Cordoba Guitars’ vision was all about making nylon string guitars rule again!
They achieve this by manufacturing hand-made instruments with an expressive and beautiful interpretation of nylon string guitars (the mother of all guitars). Surprisingly, as their mission is to spread the love for classical guitars, they keep their prices very competitive, making them one of the best nylon string guitars on the market.
Their models are designed by master builders such as Kenny Hill, Edmond Blöchinger, and Pepe Romero Jr. Now, this really sets them apart from most nylon string manufacturers who offer similarly priced classical guitars as they don’t usually put this much effort into designing and making instruments.
From my personal experience, I can confidently say that their price/value ratio is extremely high! You always have pretty good consistency in each guitar and really appreciate the attention to detail and high-quality tones.
Check out their Cordoba story video below!
Cordoba C7-CE features a Canadian Red Cedar solid top with rosewood back and sides. It has a cutaway design that allows easier access to higher registers. Cordoba CE-7 comes with an industry-standard Fishman Presys Blend preamp and tuner, making this instrument a perfect choice for live performances as well as recording.
The bracing used in C7-CE is a fan bracing that allows maximum resonance and sustain with a warm and balanced tone both acoustically or amplified. Surprisingly, this guitar also comes with a two-way adjustable truss rod which is rare among nylon string guitars.
While I was working in the musical instrument industry, I used to play a lot of nylon string guitars including Cordoba guitars. There was actually a Cordoba C5 model that was ordered by a customer. Unfortunately, the customer cancelled the order and we had to keep the guitar in our stock for some time. Luckily, I had the chance to play it for a long time and even used it in my Chicken Picks review video.
Check out my Chicken Picks review here
Even though I started on a classical guitar, I had never really spent so much time on it. To be honest, as an electric guitar player, I find it more challenging to play. But with Cordoba C5 cutaway nylon string, I was able to enjoy it so much!
During my service in the musical instruments industry, I had the chance to play and test Cordoba C5-CE and C5-CET (thin body), Cordoba C7-CE, Cordoba Protege C1M-CE and Cordoba GK Studio Negra Gypsy Kings Signature models.
Cordoba guitars definitely cost more than your very entry-level, affordable nylon strings, but they definitely are worth every penny. Based on my experience with testing and playing them, I never came across a faulty model at all. Always perfect and playable out of the box. Let’s quickly have a look at the tech specs table below.
Cordoba C7-CE Tech Specs
|Tuning Machine Ratio||14:1|
|Back and Sides Wood||Rosewood|
|Back Center Strip||Rosewood|
|Back Purfling Inlay||3-Ply Maple and Black|
|Body Top||Solid Western Red Cedar|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Electronics||Fishman Presys Blend|
|Electronics Vendor & Model||Fishman OEM-PSY-B03|
|Included Case||Not Included|
|Neck Shape||C Shape|
|Neck Thickness 1st Fret||21mm|
|Neck Thickness 9th Fret||24mm|
|Nut String Spacing||43mm|
|Nut Width||50mm (2")|
|Pickup Type||Undersaddle Piezo + Microphone, Onboard Tuner|
|Rosette||All Wood Traditional|
|Scale Length||650mm (25.6")|
|Side Purfling Inlay||3-ply Maple and Black|
|Soundhole Diameter||84mm (3.3")|
|Strings||Savarez Cristal Corum High Tension 500CJ|
|Top Bracing Pattern||Fan|
|Truss Rod||Dual Action|
|Truss Rod Wrench||4mm Allen Key|
|Tuning Machines||Cordoba Gold and Black with Black Buttons|
|Tuning Machines Vendor & Model||Der Jung DJCB1GK-A1B (S3)|
As you can see from the tech specs table, Cordoba uses real tonewoods on every major component of this instrument. The back and sides, strips, bridge, headplate and fretboard are all made of rosewood! They also use solid cedar for the top. Cedar is usually used for mid to high-segmented guitars and it’s rare that you can find this great wood combination on such a relatively affordable guitar.
The neck is made of mahogany with a C profile featuring 21mm to 24mm from the 1st to the 9th fret. I must say it is one of the easiest to play nylon strings. Pretty lightweight and so comfortable!
Cordoba C7-CE, as its model name suggests, features a Fishman Presys Blend preamp and tuner system. Fishman Presys Blend system consists of a set of under-saddle piezo pickups as well as a microphone to capture the complete characteristics of the instrument.
Fishman preamp systems usually come with mid to high-segmented acoustic/classical guitars. This feature is also something you need to consider as it dramatically increases the value/money ratio!
Another cool thing about Cordoba C7-CE is that it comes with Savarez Cristal Corum High Tension 500CJ strings. This is also something you wouldn’t get with many classical guitars on the market. Savarez strings are one of the most popular classical guitar strings around and again rarely come as factory strings. 🙂
Last but not least, Cordoba C7-CE features a double-action truss rod! This is also very rare, and can’t be seen on most nylon string guitars. The truss rod is a very powerful adjustment on guitar design that allows players to adjust the bow on the neck so it can better fit their playing style.
Cordoba C7-CE Review
Cordoba C7-CE features an excellent combination of tonewoods and materials in its design, making this model an outstanding instrument for those who seek a serious, step-up nylon string guitar. Their expertise and focus in making nylon string guitars have been definitely projected in C7 models as in any other Cordoba models.
Even though I’m an electric guitar player, I had the chance to test and play hundreds of classical guitars while I was serving in the MI industry. On a daily basis, we would open all the guitar boxes and test each one of them before we ship. To be brutally honest with you, testing classical, nylon string and acoustic guitars is way more difficult than electric guitars as adjusting the setup on these instruments is not easy.
For instance, if you spot some fret buzz on a nylon string, chances are you need to remove the bridge and file it down to a level where it stops buzzing. The same goes for anomalies in the neck. Especially for nylon string guitars, if you spot a twisted neck and need to adjust the neck, most of the time you will not be able to do that as they don’t feature truss rods.
Cordoba C7-CE offers you great build quality, and parts as well as the ease of adjustments with its modern touch such as featuring a truss rod. There was never a single Cordoba nylon string guitar that had issues out of the box.
Always well set up, solid build instruments right out of the box. Even though it’s an American brand, they are made in China. But I bet you will have a hard time spotting that without knowing this information upfront!
They sound, feel and play extremely well for the money. As I had very little experience in playing nylon strings, I was always looking for comfort whenever I was about to test a nylon string guitar. Unlike many nylon string guitars from entry-level to high-segmented instruments, I never felt comfortable playing a traditional nylon string guitar. However, Cordoba Guitars always felt easy on my mid-sized fingers and I was able to play stuff exceeding my skills. 🙂
Check out me playing a Cordoba C5 nylon string guitar below
If you are after a proper nylon string guitar, I can definitely recommend the Cordoba C7-CE model nylon string guitar. Note that, there are multiple versions of this Cordoba C7 Iberia series such as Cordoba C7-CE Iberia which is the cutaway, electric version followed by the Cordoba C7-SP Iberia which features a solid spruce top without a cutaway and a preamp, also last but not least Cordoba C7 CD Iberia which features a solid cedar top without a cutaway and a preamp.
Cordoba Guitars usually releases alternative versions of the same series with different top woods or design differences so anyone with any special requirements in a solid-built classical guitar can fulfil their needs.
I hope you find this article helpful! Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!