Highly successful in the USA, Cordoba offers an impressive range of classical and flamenco guitars which are now winning friends in Europe, too. Giorgio Serci assess the very appealing C9 Dolce.
Cordoba started producing guitars in 1997, its top-end models coming from factories in Spain and the bulk of its production emanating from China. Its range includes a wide variety of classical and flamenco guitars, with prices and specifications right across the board. Apparently, one of the company's objectives is to generate lightweight and resonant guitars combining traditional methods with contemporary ones and it seems to have been successful in this because its instruments are now among the best selling of their kind across the USA.
So, let's have a look at the C9 Dolce we were sent for review. Straight from a semi-rigid Cordoba polyfoam case (we're glad to note, included in the price), this 7/8 size classical guitar has a beautiful natural look, with contrasting wood colours and unique features: from the Canadian solid cedar top, to the Indian rosewood headstock, bridge, bindings, back and sides. One key feature is the mother of pearl and ebony "Esteso" weave, which looks really elegant.
Its mahogany neck meets the upper bout in a fluid and ergonomic manner. The elegant ebony fingerboard makes this a very resonant guitar. The maple and ebony back and sides purfling are also elegant and contrasting in colour.
Both the 50mm nut and the saddle are made of cow bone for an improved sustain. Electric guitarists would find this 7/8 guitar easy to play thanks to its narrow and comfortable neck. Classical guitarists, on the other hand, may need a few minutes to adjust their fretting hand technique to this really comfortable but slightly narrower neck.
The first noticeable qualities are its sweet tone and impressive sustain and it's hard not to fall in love with its petite body size, which is comfortable to play as well as being very light and resonant, just as the maker says.
As you will hear on our video, the C9 Dolce, is a versatile guitar, ideal to play and record Folk, Brazilian music such as Bossa Nova, Samba, and fingerstyle in general, particularly as the sound, although resonant, is not as bass-rich as a 4/4 classical guitar. For those of you who prefer a full size classical, by the way, Cordoba also makes the C9 full size (4/4).
It took me no time to tune it and to feel at ease with its action, with a very good set-up straight from the factory. Tuning was made easier also thanks to its accurate classical style Cordoba premium gold machine heads, which look and feel great.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend finding a Cordoba dealer near you and trying the Dolce and its full size equivalent. If you are looking for a really good quality classical guitar at an excellent price, I'm sure you will be very impressed.