Cordoba C7 Review
Verdict and Review Summary
The Cordoba C7 is a great fit for an upper level beginner or an early intermediate player, and saves you money if you don't need a preamp system. It sounds the part of more expensive acoustics and is comfortable to play. You can't ask for much more out of this price range.
I tested the Cordoba C7 for a few days before writing this review, even though I'm not at all a formal classical guitar player. Maybe that taints my opinion for some of you, but I can at least say that this is an easy guitar to play, with a form that makes it particularly accessible for formal study and long hours of practice. It sounds really full and warm in open air, giving off a tone quality similar to the GK Pro Negra which I've also reviewed.
Read the full review: Cordoba GK Pro Negra
No, it's not nearly as nice as the Pro Negra, but Cordoba does a good job of maintaining the feel and sound of their brand, while giving you a cheaper alternative.
This is my full Cordoba C7 review, based on in-house testing.
Note that we partner with Sweetwater to test and review gear. As such, we use affiliate links (the orange buttons) to support our site, but at no extra cost to you. If you decide to buy gear, consider supporting us by shopping through these links. Also note that this review is opinion and subjective. You might disagree with or hate it, which makes sense because we are goofballs and probably wrong. Take it with a grain of salt.
Compare to Other Cordoba Acoustics
This section is a simple comparison table that includes price and basic acoustic guitar specs. Use the compare buttons to add products to the bar below, and the plus sign on said bar to add other products.
Cordoba GK Pro Negra
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Pricing updated Mon, May 29th, 2023.
Price Alert Tool
IDEAL FOR: In-home practice, lessons, formal study, mic'd performances, comfortable playing, smaller players, school, those who want to save money with no preamp.
Natural Tone Quality
Without a cutaway you're getting a little more warmth than you would otherwise for a small body design. There's not a ton of sustain, but that's not unusual for a classical acoustic and nylon strings. Single note runs and arpeggios sounded good, and even the higher register had plenty of projection. Note that I tested the guitar entirely with finger picking and not a guitar pick.
Open Air Resonance
There's no preamp in the C7 so you're focusing primarily on resonance, projection, natural EQ, and sustain. Keep in mind there's a version of the C7 - the C7-CE - that includes a Fishman Presys system for about $150 more.
The C7's EQ is warm and captures the smoothness you'd expect from the nylon strings. It has a jazz quality and vibe, particularly on quicker chord progressions. Longer, more drawn-out chords sort of bring you back to classical tones.
Cutaway Magazine does a good job of capturing these tones in their demo:
I'm not sure what the microphone setup is in this video, but I'd add that in my experience the C7 wasn't quite this bright. It has some shine to it on the higher register, but not to this extent.
Lower strings are soft with some emphasis on finger scraping, and more forgiving with right hand movement. It's definitely made for you to hear movement and not just notes.
I never want to fault a guitar for not including a preamp, but it does present a few limitations. That said, the context for this acoustic probably isn't performance or professional recording. Mic'ing the C7 is always an option.
We did not test a microphone with this amp, primarily because we don't have a great instrument mic available. Mics that are specifically made for this kind of acoustic are going to do a much better job of capturing the natural tone of the guitar. In most cases, a properly mic'd acoustic - near the sound hole - should sound pretty much the same as it does in open air.
I've already covered some of the playing feel but I'll summarize here.
Body Size and Feel
The small body size is easy to hold, and probably a good fit for a pre-teen or teenage player. Normally my elbow has a fair amount of pain if I play sitting down, but that was not the case with this guitar.
Neck Design and Feel
For a non-classical guitar player like myself, I had to get used to the feel of the neck, as it just felt big. The fretboard is also a bit gritty if you try to add bends or vibrato. Though it's worth noting that bends aren't as common in classical guitar styles.
Price Point and Overall Value
The C7 is not a high-end acoustic like the Pro Negra, though you still have a solid Cedar top with a glossed polyurethane finish. Rosewood (not solid) back and sides are also expected in this price range. Within the right context - non-professional/formal/practice scenarios - the C7 is at a reasonable price point without going over or under what we'd expect from a market perspective.
You should also keep in mind that you're saving money without electronics. This usually adds at least $100 - $150 to the cost of any acoustic. Again, note that the electronic version of this guitar is a $150 price increase.
As a consequence, if you don't need or want the electronics, the value of this guitar goes up considerably.
Ideal Fit and Context
We've established context several times so I'll just summarize here:
- Indoor practice/formal study
- School or music classes
- Upper-level beginner and lower level intermediates
- Smaller players
Cordoba C7 Review Conclusion
Perhaps what I liked most about the C7 was simply that it was relaxing to play. The smaller size, soft tone, warmth, and easy feel all made it a very living-room friendly type of guitar. With the aesthetics and sound quality of more expensive instruments, it's a good option in the the lower/mid price ranges.
If you have questions about our Cordoba C7 review, hit me up in the comments section below.
I'm happy to share more about my experience, or aspects of our review process.
I'll see you there.
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