If you’re on the hunt for a fantastic new classical guitar then you may just have found it. Check our comprehensive article for the Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar Review.
Maybe you’re looking for a great upgrade or maybe you’re looking for your very first guitar.
Either way, the Cordoba C5 could be the perfect model for under $500 for you!
Let’s find out.
At a Glance…
✔️ What we like: Well-crafted with a good balance of warmth and clarity
❌ What we don’t like: Doesn’t have enough volume to be concert-ready
- Solid cedar top
- Two-way truss rod
- Real bone nut and saddle
- Comes with a gig bag and clip-on tuner
- Hand-carved headstock
Our Verdict: The Cordoba C5 is a gorgeous student classical guitar. It has been really well crafted with great attention to detail (and we all know I love a bit of attention to detail). If you’re working with a budget of under $500, I’d say the Cordoba C5 is definitely a great option!
Who is the Cordoba C5 Best Suited To?
The Cordoba C5 would be the perfect classical guitar for any student. It would make a lovely first model for a beginner or a significant intermediate upgrade. I struggled to find any limitations with this guy, to be honest!
The C5 would make the perfect gift for any budding guitarist! In terms of style, the Cordoba C5 is pretty versatile. It has traditional Spanish construction (with fan bracing) and a classically crafted neck, so you’d love this model whether you’re a flamenco player or a classical student!
Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar Review: Features & Benefits
Body & Neck
For a relatively affordable guitar, the Cordoba C5 is pretty impressive. I love its rustic feel, thanks to its gorgeous exposed grain. We all know how much I love wood grain (please tell me I’m not the only one who gets excited over these things)!
Also, let’s talk about this beautiful rosette. When a classical guitar under $500 has a hand-inlaid rosette, you know it must be pretty special. Usually, in this price range, you wouldn’t see the attention to detail like this (but that’s Cordoba for you – I’m a big fan).
Of course, we’ve got a solid cedar top, which is also lovely. When it comes to classical guitars (even if you’re a beginner), a solid top isn’t something you should pass up on. Solid wood’s response will help you feel the music – as corny as that may sound!
We’ve also got traditional Spanish fan bracing, which is excellent at this price point. If you like playing a bit of flamenco, it will give you a great growl! Even if you just want to stick to classical or folk music, you’ll love the response and sustained fan bracing provides you!
The Cordoba C5 also comes with an adjustable truss rod, which is pretty exciting in this price range. Classical beginners use a lower action to get the hang of operating pressure on the strings. However, as you progress, you will probably have to heighten the move, so it’s ideal that you can adjust it without upgrading or taking a trip to the luthiers!
In this price range, the hardware is usually the first to go. By that, companies don’t tend to put much thought into the tuners, nuts, or saddles because they aren’t really on students’ radars. However, they’re definitely on mine! So, don’t worry; I’ve taken a pretty in-depth look.
First, the Cordoba C5 has a natural bone nut and saddle, which is pretty impressive. You don’t see that often on more affordable guitars! They work wonders for your sustain and overall tone. This may not be something you’re thinking about right now, but as you progress to a more advanced level, you’ll notice the quality of craftsmanship!
Second, the tuners are Cordoba’s standard gold thunders, and if you’ve read my blogs before, you’ll know I think they’re pretty good. They hold intonation very well and look instead (and that’s pretty important to me, too)!
As you’d probably imagine, the Cordoba C5 is a gorgeous, mellow-sounding guitar. Although, if you’ve read any of my student classical guitar reviews before, you’ll know I never recommend too warm-sounding models.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a soulful guitar, but when it comes to students, I think it’s essential to balance warmth and clarity. Luckily, the Cordoba C5 has precisely that (I hope I built some suspense there)!
The solid cedar top gives this model beautiful warmth, but I think the natural bone nut and saddle allow you to punch out the notes. All in all, this is a lovely-sounding classical guitar. I’m impressed by the Cordoba C5!
- Body Material: Solid cedar top, mahogany back and sides
- Neck Material: Mahogany
- Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
- Pickups: None
- Bridge: Rosewood
Unfortunately, the Cordoba C5 does have a few limitations. I’m nitpicking a bit here, but the model would have a little more volume in a perfect world. It doesn’t sound stifled, but it hasn’t got the best projection.
To be honest, the one thing I don’t mind compromising on when it comes to student models is volume. You will need your classical guitar mostly for practicing and use in lessons, so loads of volume isn’t strictly necessary.
That’s the only fundamental limitation I can think of regarding this guitar. I wouldn’t say the C5 is a concert-ready guitar, but you might have to up your budget slightly if that’s what you’re looking for. Check out my roundup of the best classical guitars under $1000 for something with a little more oomph!
Popular Questions about the Cordoba C5
The Cordoba C5 has a glossy finish. Although it’s finished with a lacquer, the guitar doesn’t sound tinny or stifled at all! If you’re not a fan of the glossy finish, you can always get the Cordoba C5 SP instead, which has a natural (semi-matte) finish!
The Cordoba C5 is a part-solid classical guitar, meaning it has a solid top and laminate back and sides. This is pretty standard for guitars under $500 and is a great alternative to pricey solid wood guitars!
Yes! All classical guitars have nylon strings. If you’re looking for a steel-string guitar, you can check out our reviews of the best acoustic guitars here.
A Beautifully Crafted Student Guitar
Whether you were looking for your first classical guitar or a brilliant new upgrade, I hope I’ve helped you to decide whether this model is the right one for you.
The Cordoba C5 is a surprisingly well-crafted model considering its price tag so I’m sure it would make the right learner very happy.
Thanks to brands like Cordoba, anyone can bag themselves a beautiful new classical guitar!
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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.