|Body And Neck:|
We couldn’t write an article highlighting the best acoustic and classical guitars under $2000 without including a flamenco-dedicated model, and this 55FCE electro-acoustic from Cordoba is a real winner – especially as it comes in at the lower end of our premium price range.
This model is the one favored by the iconic flamenco and salsa group, the Gipsy Kings, due to its body design, slim neck, and performance capabilities. Love the Gipsy Kings? Love Flamenco? Love Cordoba? Read on!
The 55FCE Thinbody Limited is a good-looking instrument, which oozes flamenco essence.As the name suggests, it features a thin flamenco body, with a generous cutaway and a scale length of 25.6”. The top is made of solid European spruce, with Spanish fan bracing, and a high gloss polyurethane finish. The back and sides are a visual highlight – made from ziricote, which is very striking, with a beautiful unique pattern and a tone similar to rosewood.
There’s a U-shaped Spanish cedar neck with a high-gloss finish and a two-way truss rod, which is joined to the body at the 12th fret. This neck features an ebony fretboard and 19 frets, all easily accessible thanks to the cutaway. The nut width of the neck is slightly smaller than you may expect – 1.96” – as preferred by the Gipsy Kings. The overall build quality is fantastic – instantly recognizable as a high-end Cordoba!
This electro-acoustic guitar is loaded with some impressive components – most notably the Fishman Prefix ProBlend electronics with 3-band EQ and undersaddle piezo pickup. The controls are versatile, and offer a feedback filter, although no onboard tuner.
At the top of the guitar, you’ll find six of Cordoba’s Premium Gold tuning machines, with black ebony-style buttons and a smooth 14:1 gear ratio. The 55FCE also features a clear flamenco-style tap plate, an Indian rosewood bridge, and bone nut and saddle.
Finally, the guitar comes shipped with Savarez’s excellent Cristal Corum strings, and a case – not just any case, but a custom HumiCase Thinbody Protege hardshell case, with a built-in humidifier system to keep the guitar stored at the optimal conditions.
If you’re looking for a superb stage-ready flamenco sound you won’t go far wrong with the 55FCE – there’s a reason the Gipsy Kings favor this model.
The guitar is full of tone – the zircote provides a rich and smooth sound, and matches the sweet sound of the spruce to give a well-balanced tone that gets better with age. It’s acoustically very resonant, but the Fishman electronics amplifies the tones perfectly, adding to the natural versatility with good controls. The ability to control feedback at higher volumes is a welcome bonus.
You don’t have to be a die-hard fan of the Gipsy Kings to appreciate the quality and performance on offer with this Cordoba 55FCE Thinbody Limited. Even though the price creeps into the higher-end of affordable, it actually proves very good value and will appeal to all levels of flamenco players who appreciate the sound and style as much as the heritage.