If you think the Cordoba C10 could be your dream upgrade, you’ve come to the right place.
Maybe you’re new to classical guitars or you’re looking for your first upgrade.
Either way, I’m going to help you get to the bottom of it!
Don’t worry if you’re working with a smaller budget of under $2000, you can still get your hands on a brilliant model.
So, let’s find out if the Cordoba C10 is the one for you!
At a Glance…
- Solid Canadian cedar top
- Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
- Hand inlaid Mother-of-Pearl "Esteso" Rosette
✔️ What we like: The C10 has a fantastic tone and great personalization options.
❌ What we don’t like: Its playability may not be quite good enough for advanced students or pros.
- Choose from spruce or cedar top
- Crossover option (smaller nut-width)
- Adjustable two-way truss rod
Our Verdict: Considering its price, the C10 is one of the best choices for serious beginners to intermediate students. You may be able to get your hands on a more advanced model if you pump up your budget slightly but the Cordoba C10 is a gorgeous guitar nonetheless. Plus, it’s great value for money!
Who is the Cordoba C10 Best Suited To?
The Cordoba C10 would be the perfect first upgrade for most students. It’s a lovely intermediate guitar but it hasn’t quite got the specs for advanced players. I would usually recommend waiting until kids are about 12 years old before spending over $1000 on a good quality classical guitar.
However, it really comes down to the individual; you’ll be able to tell if your kid’s serious or not! If they’re practicing consistently, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t upgrade to a mid-range model like this one.
Features & Benefits
Body & Neck
We all know I love a good chat about aesthetics so I’m just going to jump into that first. The Cordoba C10 is a beautiful guitar with a bit of a vintage look about it. First of all, the inlaid mother-of-pearl rosette is a sign of the luthier’s attention to detail. However, I have to say my favorite thing about this guitar is its back. I mean, the grain-pattern of the rosewood is to die for.
To round up the aesthetics, I think the C10 looks way more expensive than it actually is which is always a winner in my books. Now, let’s talk about tonewoods (oh god, I sound like such a geek). I love that you have the choice between cedar or spruce for the top but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably have trouble choosing between the two!
In a nutshell, spruce-top guitars give you a very balanced, true tone and tend to have better sustain whereas cedar-top guitars are generally much warmer, more mellow sounding. Just go with whatever option best suits your taste and playing style! Oh, I almost forgot about the Crossover option. Listen up my small-handed friends, this might just save your life.
Crossover guitars are full-sized but with a shorter nut-width (48mm) so this option is ideal if you need to volume and tone of a full-sized guitar but with a little bit of leeway where the fingering is concerned (those bar chords can kill)!
The Cordoba C10 comes fitted with the same hardware as the C12 so I’ve got no complaints in this department. I mentioned in my review of the Cordoba C12 that the Savarez Cristal Corum Hard Tension 500CJ strings might not be suitable for everyone. Personally, I love them but the difference in tension between these and most beginner strings will be very noticeable. I mean, the strings aren’t a big issue but “new string sores” are real, let me tell ya!
Beginners generally won’t be used to playing with hard-tension strings but don’t let that put you off. You can always throw on some D’Addario EJ27N’s until you’re ready for harder strings (that’s what I’d do anyway)!
Cordoba’s Luthier series of guitars all sound pretty awesome considering their humble price tags. They’re all built with Spanish heel construction (when the top is added to the neck, then the sides, then the back) which I think gives them a much fuller sound. Of course, the tonal qualities of the Cordoba C10 will be completely different depending on which tonewood you choose for the top.
The majority of players would choose cedar over spruce when it comes to models in this price range to boost the tone of their guitar. Generally speaking though, this guitar has a beautifully rounded sound with pretty good projection no matter the variation.
- Body Material: Choice of spruce or cedar top, Indian rosewood back and sides.
- Neck Material: Mahogany
- Fingerboard Material: Ebony
- Pickups: None
- Bridge: Hardtail
I’d say the Cordoba C10 is a fantastic student guitar. It’s great value for money, beautifully handmade, and has a lovely sound. However, there are a few reasons why I don’t think it would be suitable for more advanced students or professionals.
First of all, it doesn’t have a raised fingerboard. This makes it a little bit difficult for the player to reach for the higher register (past the 12th fret) and so I’ve taken off points for playability. The only other limitation the C10 has in my eyes is its fan bracing. I mean, the use of fan-bracing is pretty typical for this price range and it does make the guitar a little lighter at the expense of volume.
That being said, I still think the Cordoba C10 is the perfect guitar for serious students as these limitations won’t be an issue until you’re much more advanced!
Popular Questions About the Cordoba C10
If you order straight from their Amazon store, the Cordoba C10 should be all set up and ready to go. Once you’ve tuned up you should be able to get playing straight away. You can always adjust the guitar’s action with the two-way truss rod to suit your playing style as well.
I’ve ordered a lot (and I mean a lot) of instruments online and I’ve never had an issue with damage during shipping (which is pretty surprising, to be honest). Remember, new strings always slip so give them a good few days to settle in!
The Cordoba C10 is made in China. However, it’s a model from Cordoba’s Luthier series, so it’s completely hand-made.
Crossover classical guitars are full-length guitars with a smaller nut-width. They have the same scale-length (around 26 inches) as full-sized guitars but they have the same nut width (48mm) as an acoustic guitar. The crossover model is ideal for anyone (like me) who’s used to playing an acoustic guitar but wants to make the transition to classical or anyone with small hands!
Parlors are 7/8 size classical guitars with the same nut-width of a full-sized model. Sometimes younger students will use parlor guitars before progressing to full-sized guitars but they’re most popular amongst folk and blues players!
One of The Best Student Classical Guitars Under $2000
I have to admit, I think the Cordoba C10 is still one of the best classical guitars for under $2000. Its slightly more expensive sister (the C12) takes the medal for the best model in this price range, though.
So, if you’ve got a little bit of leeway with your budget you should check it out!
If you’re not ready to splash the cash yet, Cordoba C10 is still a perfectly good student guitar. It’s got a gorgeous rounded tone, great sustain, and good playability for the price.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for an affordable upgrade from your beginner guitar, the C10 could be your new best friend!
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Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.