Cordoba R50 Reviews 5

My experience in guitars is mainly playing acoustics. Over the last 25 years I've played steel string guitars and never once played a classical guitar until a friend offered me one of his. I bought it thinking my son could start playing. But after I started playing it, it became me. Now my obsession has moved to classical guitars. I like all kinds of guitar but focus on spanish, flamenco and classical with rock my first inspiration. I have five guitars, a BCRich, a PRS, a Yamaha acoustic steel string that I've had for 25 years, Yamaha classical, (from my friend) and now the Cordoba.

My search for a new acoustic started with a good flamenco guitar. The more I looked, the higher the prices went as my search for a sound that would satisfy me eliminated the lower priced guitars. The lower price guitars didn't have enough balance, tone, sustain or that intangeable sound that drives someone to a guitar. I didn't want to spend a few hundred on a guitar in which I didn't like the sound and so I kept increasing my purchase price until I found a sound that I could live with. I bought the Cordoba at GC for $739 with humicase. Retail is $1100.

After my search for a flamenco guitar that would satisfy my need for tone, I played around 20 guitars. The local GC here had a good selection of guitars to play and I started from around $500 to see what I could get. New classical guitars around $500 pretty much have the same sound and quality wherever you go and that was my conclusion. But above that, there were exceptions and I started to find them. Purchases to me is a cost/benefit experience. I have to know that I got the best I could get for the money. I do that in all my bigger purchases. This guitar's sound is very well balanced. The Ramirez R2 was a bit better in sound and feel but was $400 more and that amount didn't buy the difference between the guitars. The Cordoba has a low action and the neck feels solid in the left hand. The strings are a bit on the soft side and will be replaced with a tad stiffer ones soon. The neck is very straight and the fret ends are radiused well. The finish is very good with only slight flaws in very close inspection. But I bought it for the sound. The warmth and brightness of the cedar top and laminated rosewood back and sides made me buy this unit. This one had good sound in the high end as well as good low end and nice sustain. Intonation is spot on except for the G being a tad sharp. But it's very small. They had two of this guitar. Both seemed very similar. I picked the one that was the best between them but it was difficult.

There are a few minor flaws in the finish but they are small. A couple of glue drops squeezing out between braces inside the box are the other flaws. The fretboard finish is a bit on the rough side and could have used a final buff during the finishing process. The rosett's wood inlay is almost perfect as well as the back of the neck. A small imperfection on the neck is annoying since it's felt on every run but there are none.

Cedar top with laminated rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck and headstock with rosewood laminated to the face of the headstock. Beautiful wood mosaic rosette and ebony fingerboard (I think, rosewood is often used and dyed black). Gold-plated tuners that seem to work fine. The quality is very good.

I'm very happy with this purchase. I've walked away from bigger purchases without the feeling of getting a good deal but I'm satisfied that my research paid off. The brightness of the sound gave this guitar my attention. But it was the very nice balance and good sustain that put it at the top of my list of potential purchases. The Ramirez was also up there but I couldn't justify the additional price for my cost-effective purchasing style. I would suggest this guitar be tested when given the chance.

Best for the price - Big D rated this unit 5 on 2005-09-18.

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