Cordoba C9 review: Luthier Series Classical Guitar

Overview of the Product -  

Cordoba C9 is one of the best all solid, Spanish style, Nylon Stringed Classical Guitar available in sub $1000 range. Use of solid wood results in better tone, resonance, sustain and overall sound.

Cordoba was founded in the 1990s by Tim Miklaucic, to revive Classical guitars, which were getting overshadowed by steel string Acoustic and Electric guitars. In a short span of two decades, Cordoba has made a considerable influence in the world of Classical Instruments.

Cordoba instruments range from beginner/entry-level to the professional-grade ones for expert players. The quality of their instruments is widely respected and provides real value for money.

C9 is one of the oldest & lauded models belonging to the Luthier series by the manufacturer. Luthier series is a perfect mix of traditional hand artistry and modern technology. Cordoba manufactures it in China.

Other models in the series are C12, C10 and GK. Although the series has beginner/student level guitars, these instruments are concert ready.

In Cordoba model numbering system, the higher the number associated with any model, more advanced or sophisticated is the model. So C9 is the least expensive in the Luthier series.

Full-size traditional CD / MH version has a solid Canadian cedar top and solid Mahogany back and sides. Some of the variations of C9 include

  1. 1
    Full-Size traditional SP / MH model - This has a solid European Spruce top.
  2. 2
    Parlor guitar with 7/8 size and 50 mm nut width
  3. 3
    Full-size Crossover model with slimmer neck profile, fingerboard with more radius and 48 mm nut width.

cordoba c9 Guitar

PRO's & CON's of Cordoba C9

In our Cordoba C9 review, we'll take you through some of the specifics of this model in order to help you decide whether you want to add it to your collection or choose it as a first guitar. First, though, let's look at some pros and cons.

Pros

  • Use of exceptional all solid tonewoods.
  • The guitars are high quality, concert ready guitars with attractive aesthetics.
  • The guitar is lightweight, easy to handle, great sounding with rich overtones and beginner-friendly.
  • Includes quality strings.

Cons

  • Might be considered expensive for beginners.
  • Does not feature elevated fingerboard.

Things to consider before buying a Nylon String Acoustic guitar

Some of the crucial things to consider are 

  1. 1
    Solid wood top, resulting in the most significant improvement in sound quality over laminates. 
  • Cedar and Spruce for Tops.
  • Back and sides should be harder woods like Indian rosewood or Mahogany. Indian Rosewood is expensive.
  • Fretboards are made from Rosewood or Ebony. Ebony feels better but is more expensive.
  1. 2
    Guitars with binding and purfling sound better.
  2. 3
    Tension and made of nylon strings. 
  3. 4
    Finishes and aesthetic features.

Features & Benefits of Cordoba C9.

Cordoba C9

Construction

  1. 1
    C9 retains the traditional classical guitar style but has many premium and aesthetic features which makes it look gorgeous. These features include 
  • Hand inlaid mother of pearl weave rosette around the soundhole, inspired by Esteso guitar design of the 1920s. 
  • C9 comes with purfling, which adds to the beauty of the guitars. The purfling is a common feature of all Luthier series guitars. C9 has 6-ply painted wood top purfling and 3-ply maple and ebony purfling on back and sides.
  • The guitar has high gloss PolyUrethane (PU) finish. PU finish does not crack easily on impact. C10 and above guitars in Luthier series have Nitrocellulose finish, which is better in terms of appearance but more prone to impacts and rough handling.
  1. 2
    Fan Bracing: In the body of C9, you will find the fan bracing, which is characteristic of most classical guitars. Fan bracing is preferred over Lattice bracing for classical guitars as it allows instruments to vibrate more freely resulting in evenly balanced tone.
  • Spanish manufacturer Antonio Torres had developed the system of seven main fans in the bracing system. This system gets its name from the fact that all braces fan out towards the edges of the soundboard.
  • Fan bracing works well with Nylon strings as the tension is 70 pounds as against 150 pounds in steel strings. Fan bracing in larger body guitars with thinner top produces instruments with a warm sound, more projection and enhanced bass response.
  • Fan bracing allows the guitar to vibrate more freely. Fan braced instruments are lighter and provide sufficient volume for almost all situations.
  1. 3
    Spanish Heel: All the instruments in the series are made with Spanish heel construction. In this system, instead of building body and then adding the neck, the neck is fixed first, and then the guitar is built around it. This method results in more stability and durability of the instrument.
  2. 4
    Woods Used:
  • Cordoba C9 has Indian Rosewood Binding. Fingerboard and strings are anchored to the body with an East Indian Rosewood bridge.
  • C9 has Mahogany neck with 650 mm (25.6 inches) scale length with 19 frets in total and 12 frets up to the body. It has fret marker inlays at fifth, seventh and ninth fret for easier visual identification.
  • Mahogany is frequently used for Guitar necks and looks good in both finished and unfinished form. It is a dense and sturdy wood which ensures durability. Neck has a comfortable C shape with a flat fretboard made of rosewood.

Hardware used in Cordoba C9

  1. 1
    C9 features Cordoba’s Premium Etched Gold Tuning Machines, with black ebony-style buttons. Gold tuners have a gear ratio of 14:1. The tuners are easy to turn.
  2. 2
    Savarez Cristal Corum High Tension 500CJ strings : 
  • Savarez nylon guitar strings are preferred worldwide for their quality, feel and reliability for more than two and a half centuries. 
  • These high tension strings have Corum polished, and silver round wound bass strings and Cristal Nylon trebles strings.
  1. 3
    Relief Adjustment :
  • Cordoba C9 comes with lightweight adjustable 4mm, Dual-action truss rod. With the rod, you can adjust the relief or natural bow in your guitar neck. This feature is particularly useful, in areas where climatic fluctuations are over the year are enormous and cause an increase in curvature of the neck. 
  • With the dual-action truss rod, you can add or reduce relief. Some beginners find the tension in the strings of Cordoba C9 high due to Savarez strings and try to adjust it to reduce it. It is advised not to use the truss rod to reduce tension.
  1. 4
    Cordoba Polyfoam Case - Due to polyfoam, the case is light. It has a 600D polyester exterior, which makes it sturdy and suitable for heavy use. It has a plush interior, which makes the guitar well-cushioned and safe.

Sound

Cordoba C9 CD/MH is a versatile, concert ready classical guitar at an affordable price. Canadian Cedar is a very popular tonewood resulting in resonant, warm & full sound with excellent definition and projection. Cedar top guitars are suitable for playing in a variety of conditions, particularly for small, intimate gatherings. 

A Cedar top guitar is particularly preferred for beginners due to their ability to cover up faulty notes. Cedar is equally liked by the experts also. Cedar is a very flexible tonewood that sounds great with whatever wood it is paired with for backs and sides.

A guitar with Mahogany back and sides have a full-bodied frequency response. The Mahogany back and sides allows many playing and music styles. Mahogany is also a better choice for beginners. Another great feature of Mahogany is its ability to work with any top and give a unique sound.

Cedar and Mahogany combine perfectly for a well rounded warm tone. This tone is perfectly balanced from low to high registers with rich bass and treble. 

Cordoba C9, with a solid Spruce top, has an entirely different sound and feel. Against, warm and dark sound of Cedar, Spruce produces its characteristic bell-like sound, which lacks the fullness of Cedar.

With Spruce, it is possible to hear all notes of any chord distinct and clear. Spruce has better sustain than Cedar but is less flexible.

Conclusion From Our Cordoba C9 Review

Cordoba C9 may appear little expensive in comparison to other beginner level classical guitars. However, because it is made from all solid quality tonewoods including back and sides and is concert ready, more than justifies the price tag.

It has gorgeous looks featuring inlays, Indian rosewood binding, premium gold tuners with Ebony buttons, Savarez strings and glossy PolyUrethane (PU) finish.

It has been designed with playability in mind with a rounded, warm and balanced tone. 

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