My Review Of The Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar

By: John Sizemore

After taking a look at how acoustic guitars are made over the last year I’ve grown to have a real appreciation for the Luther’s that make this wonderful instrument. I was even more impressed to find out how differently classical guitars are made compared to standard acoustic guitars. They’re really like comparing apples and oranges if you look at the design, shape & construction of the guitars.

What I’m really impressed with is how classical guitars are made. I had no idea that the bracing and everything that has to do with guitar was so different. So, lately I’ve been reviewing classical guitars because that’s what I’ve really been into. When you’ve played guitar as long as I have you need to change things up quite a bit as to not get bored practicing.

After looking at a few classical guitars both in the high price range and low… I came upon the Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar. Let me show you.

“Here’s What I’ve Found To Be The Most Important Things To Look At When Looking At A Classical Guitar”:

  • Is The Top Of The Guitar Solid or Laminate?
  • The Neck Of The Classical Guitar
  • What Is The Finger Board And Bridge Made of?
  • Does It Have A Plastic Or Bone Saddle & Nut?
  • Are The Tuning Machines Good Quality?
  • Have There Been Many Complaints About The Guitar?

What Is The Top Of The Cordoba C5 Made Of?

I would have to say the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years of playing guitars is how important the top of the guitar is. There are two basic types. Solid and Laminate. Solid is just that, a solid cut piece of wood. Not pieced together. A laminate is just a fancy way of saying plywood in my opinion. It’s several different types of woods laminated together with a very thin piece of quality wood at the top. This keeps the costs down for manufactures and makes guitars more affordable for the beginner.

That being said…. SOLID tops are what you want. Any solid in my opinion. In fact, if you go play a guitar and you like the way it sounds and it’s a solid? Buy it! Solid wood last longer and the sound improves over the years. Laminates pretty much are going to sound one way and one way only. The way they sounded when you bought it.

The Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar comes with a SOLID Canadian cedar top. Kudos to Cordoba for having a solid top and keeping it affordable.

What Are The Back & Sides Of The Guitar Made Of?

The back and sides are quite important on a classical guitar. Any guitar for that matter. But, not as important as the top of the guitar. It’s important to have a very strong material since it’s what binds the top and back of the guitar as its foundation. So, the material must be very tough. Over the years guitar manufactures have been able to perfect laminate woods used just for this purpose. Although a solid would be nice. However, the cost of the guitar would shoot way up.

The Cordoba C5 comes with what they call a mahogany laminate wood. It’s very tough and give off a nice look.

What Is The Neck Of The Guitar Made Of?

The strength of the neck of any guitar is vital. If you have a weak neck? You basically have a junk guitar. So, a very strong malleable neck is important. You do want the neck to have some give in it so that the truss rod can be adjusted in case there is a slight bow in the neck of the guitar. So, how do you get this type of wood? Solid wood is important for the neck. Especially strong solid wood.

The C5 comes with a solid mahogany neck. One of the strongest woods known to man.

What Type Of Wood Is On The Fingerboard & Bridge?

This one pretty much goes without saying… But, I’ll say it anyway. Almost every guitar is made with rosewood or ebony on the fingerboard and bridge of a guitar. These two pieces of the guitar get a lot of wear and tear and it’s important to have a strong wood that’s going to hold up and not show any blemishes. This is why rosewood or ebony is used.

The Cordoba C5 comes with a standard rosewood bridge and fingerboard (Fretboard)

What Is The Nut & Saddle Made Of?

The nut and saddle of your guitar is extremely important. It’s basically what the strings lay on at both ends of the guitar. So naturally you would want this material to be extremely strong and to not have any give or your guitar could go out of tune easily. Also, since the strings lay on these two pieces… it affects the sound tremendously.

The nut and saddle of the Cordoba C5 are made of bone which is the most desirable for obvious reasons. Bone is very strong and has no give. Bone will last for many many many years. Manufactures have come up with many different types of material for nuts and saddles. However, bone is my preference.

What Are The Machine Tuners Made Of?

The Machine heads or Tuners must be of high quality to keep the guitar in tune. You don’t want your tuners having any give or you’ll constantly be tuning your guitar and for beginners…. This is a pain!

The Cordoba C5 comes with high quality gold plated machine heads. The guitar stayed in tune the entire time I was playing it and I was bending the strings hard.

What Others Are Saying At The Top Sites….

From Amazon

“I am extremely happy with my Cordoba C5 guitar. Beautiful sound (cedar top), great playability (low action). Esthetically, it’s really beautiful (great combination of woods–cedar top and mahogany back and sides). One more thing: it came with a gig bag. I thought I would probably have to buy a better one but, when I received it, I was happily surprised by the quality of the gig bag”
Rating: ★★★★★
“At the time of this writing I have only owned this guitar for 6 days. It is still brand new, it still needs to be ‘broken in’, heck even the strings have not matured yet and let me tell you, this guitar is just plain wonderful. It is very hard to put down. “
Rating: ★★★★★
“I conducted my guitar search blind to price (double-blind really, the guitars didn’t know how much they cost either). This guitar was the most playable (low action, standard neck dimensions), had no buzz on any string/fret combination, and has an unimaginable tone that projects like no other guitar that I’ve played.”
Rating: ★★★★★

More Reviews From Amazon

From Guitar Center

“I was looking for a good nylon string guitar for both Mariachi and classical styles, and after trying every guitar in my price range at every store within 20 miles, I settled on the Cordoba C-5. I picked the Cordoba because it had the nicest feel, low action, beautiful tone, and best appearance compared to anything I tried even at 2-3 times the price.”
Rating: ★★★★★
“This guitar is very good for anyone looking to play classical guitar. From a beginning guitarist to an experienced non-classical guitarist looking to start playing classical. The BEST guitar for the price.”
Rating: ★★★★★
“I recently purchased a C5 and have been learning classical technique. (I’m branching out from years of playing jazz on my Gibson steel string). The C5 is very easy to play – the action is as good as guitars costing MUCH more. “
Rating: ★★★★★

More Reviews From Guitar Center

From Musicians Friend

“It is what it claims to be and it looks and sounds beautiful, what more could you ask for?”
Rating: ★★★★★
“I bought a used Cordoba C5, and i must say i got a good bargain is the place to shop they are completely honest when it comes to condition 2.i have to say for it being a condition 2 it looked brand spanken new.everything on it is perfect good action clean paint,nice fret thing i notice this classical guitar has a truss rod inside of it, i said “WOW” never seen a nylon string guitar with a truss rod.Anyways the sound on it is remarkable very warm lows and bright highs. good deal for a used product.satisfaction 100% i love this web site”
Rating: ★★★★★
“I bought the Cordoba C5 two years ago, and I have enjoyed it ever since. The tone is great, and it is definitely worth buying. The Cordoba will beat any guitar in its price range, and it looks much better too. The only problem I have is that the inlays are not on the fretboard, but on the side of the fretboard, and I sometimes get mixed up. Another problem is one day, when I walked into my house, the bridge had come off. Luckily I was still on my 1 year warranty. Get a humidifier.”
Rating: ★★★★½

More Reviews From Musicians Friend

What Should You Expect To Pay & What’s Included?

The Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar retails for $380. But, I’ve found most online stores sell the guitar for just under $300. The Guitar comes with a gig bag that I thought was a little flimsy on most websites. However, I found that on Amazon the Cordoba C5 does make a really nice gig bag. I’m not sure why this gig bag isn’t available on the other sites?

“Any Complaints?”

There was one report that the bridge of the guitar popped off for no reason just sitting in his room. He hadn’t even played the guitar in months. This I would say is very rare and I’m not sure if there’s more to the story?

There were a couple more that said they had some string buzz… This could easily be fixed with a truss rod adjustment. This is also rare.

Out of over 85 reviews I could only find a few complaints.

“Here’s My Overall Thoughts of The Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar”


As good as it gets for this price. I have a Guild classical that I paid double the price with a solid cedar top and I couldn’t tell the difference in sound. I’m serious. I couldn’t tell the difference.

The guitar has a very pleasant medium tone with great bass. Just what you’d expect from a solid cedar top.


This is where I think the Cordoba C5 really excels. This guitar has a great action. I can really tell that this guitar has great craftsmanship for such a great action. Although most classical guitars are light to the touch by nature, this one stood out for me. I could really play with speed.


This is a very well made solid top guitar made in Spain. There were some remarks about the bridge. I just really feel this is isolated considering how many people have been pleased with this guitar.


A very nice classical guitar for both a beginner or intermediate. If you’re in the market for a guitar to learn classical? This would be the one I recommend. There are a few cheaper models from other manufacturers for around $200 that are okay. But, for $100 more this one sets itself light years from it’s competitors in this price range.

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