|Body And Neck:|
The longstanding Spanish brand Cordoba makes some of the best – and most expensive – classical guitars on the market today, and their C9 is their finest sub-$1000 model, which thoroughly deserves its time in the spotlight. Be aware that a couple of C9 variations exist, including a parlor guitar and a crossover, but this is the full-size traditional version. Let’s see how it compares to the others on our list of classical guitars under $1000.
Part of Cordoba’s Luthier collection, the C9 is one attractive instrument. It retains the timeless style of a traditional classical guitar with a few premium appointments that offer an extra touch of class, including a pearloid/ebony rosette and wooden purfling around the top, back and sides. As you may expect from the price tag, the C9 is an all-solid-wood guitar, with a Spanish fan-braced top made from solid Canadian cedar (a solid European spruce version is also available), while solid mahogany is used for the back and sides – all finished in high gloss.
The glossy mahogany neck features a comfortable C shape, with a flat rosewood fretboard, a nut width of 2.04” and 19 total frets. The C9 joins the rest of the Luthier collection being handmade in China, although the craftsmanship is excellent – it’s flawless, looks elegant, and feels very comfortable in the hands.
Matching the simple but elegant style of the C9 is the hardware, boasting a set of Cordoba's Premium Gold tuning machines, with black ebony-style buttons and a gear-ratio of 14:1. There’s also a bone saddle on the rosewood bridge, with a matching bone nut, while the guitar is strung with quality Savarez Cristal Corum High Tension 500CJ strings – Savarez and Cordoba are a great match! Another welcome Cordoba addition is the dual-action truss rod in the neck. Finally, the C9 comes shipped with an excellent Cordoba Polyfoam Case, which has the protection of a hardshell case, with the maneuverability of a soft bag.
This is undoubtedly a concert-level guitar, with a beautiful tone, and – being made entirely from solid wood – it really can sing! The cedar and mahogany combine for a well-rounded warm tone, that’s quite even among the registers (perhaps we could ask for a tad more low-end). It’s mellow but remains articulate, and is a great match for most styles of nylon-stringed playing.
Some may snub the fact that this high-end guitar isn’t built in Spain or America, but Cordoba’s Chinese workshop produces some fabulous models and the C9 is one of them. Whether jazz, classical, fingerstyle or flamenco, the C9 is built to perform and is more than ready for the stage. Smooth in both sound and feel, it’s hard to fault for under $1000.