Today we pitch the battle between the Cordoba C10 vs C12. These two guitar series contain some of Cordoba’s finest guitars. So, it’s definitely going to be a real tug of war.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – Comparison Overview
This section gives a sneak peek into the full review we will be going through on the Cordoba C10 vs C12. It’s the TL;DR version.
Overall, the C12 is a much more sophisticated guitar series than the C10. And there are quite a few features that set it apart from the C10.
In the first place, it has an elevated fingerboard which makes it easier for the guitarist to reach the 12th fret and beyond. Only higher-end guitars have this feature which is something that professionals almost always cannot do without.
Also, the C12 comes with the Cordoba Humicase which is an ideal, high-end case for Cordoba guitars. This case does far better than the polyfoam case because it doesn’t just protect from impact, it also protects from weather conditions.
The C10 is also a great guitar series with a tone that belies the fact that it was factory-made. The C10 guitars are not super loud although they do have a reasonable volume. Sometimes, though, the tone might even tend to get a little plasticky, even though, generally, the tone is quite good.
The C12 guitars, on the other hand, have a volume that can match up to a $7000 guitar and a much better tone as well.
The C10, however, trumps the C12 in the variety of options it brings. Unlike the C12, the C10 is more embracing to all kinds of guitarists than the C12. While the C12 has just two options, the C10 has about 6 different versions available.
The C12 has just the spruce top and cedar top guitars. But for the C10, you have the spruce top, cedar top, parlor guitar (cedar top), acoustic-electric (spruce top, no longer available), crossover (spruce top), and the lefty (cedar top).
Our Opinion On The Price/Value Ratio
For their output and performance, these guitar series are very reasonably priced and customers attest to that. The C12 especially sounds so high-end that you might not even be able to tell the difference between a C12 guitar and a high-end guitar except you’re really experienced.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – Comparison Table Of Specs And Features
|Full sized also with 7/8 size parlor guitar||Full sized|
|Cedar and spruce top versions available||Cedar and spruce top versions available|
|Indian rosewood back and sides||Indian rosewood back and sides|
|Ebony fingerboard||Ebony fingerboard|
|Savarez Cristal Corum strings||Savarez Cristal Corum strings|
|Hand inlaid Mother-of-Pearl Esteo Rosette||Hand inlaid Mother-of-Pearl Esteo Rosette|
|Adjustable two-way truss rod||Adjustable two-way truss rod|
|Mahogany neck||Mahogany neck|
|Polyfoam case||Cordoba Humicase|
|Nut width ranges from 48 millimeters to 52 millimeters||52 millimeters|
|Gold tuning machines||Gold tuning machines|
|19 frets||19 frets|
|Fret marker inlays at frets 5, 7, and 9||Pearloid fret markers at frets 5, 7, and 9|
|High Gloss Polyurethane Finish||High Gloss Polyurethane Finish|
Next on our review of the Cordoba C10 vs C12, let’s check out what situation each guitar series is best for.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – What Situation Is Each Best For?
| The Cordoba C10 is an upgrade to the Cordoba C9. The guitars in this series are a lot better than your average factory guitars even though that’s what they are. |
Their tone is exceptional. However, you should expect, of course, that they won’t sound as nice as guitars in the $6000 upward range.
But all the same, these guitars make fantastic, concert-ready guitars for serious classical guitar players. It’s not something we might readily recommend to beginners though for the sake of cost.
It’s also great to know that there is a parlor guitar edition in the 7/8 size. It’s pretty small, but if you have small hands, it would be great
Furthermore, there are even more options to pick from. There’s the cedar top edition, spruce top edition, the Crossover edition (full size with 48-millimeter nut width), as well as an acoustic-electric (which, unfortunately, is no longer available).
We are not quite sure the pros can use C10 guitars. Well, maybe they can, if hard-pressed but the fingerboard will present a problem being that it isn’t raised at all.
|We are impressed by the volume the C12 produces which is quite louder than normal. It actually competes favorably with other guitars about $5000 costlier. |
The tone from the C12 guitars is also quite impressive and just like their C10 counterparts come out better than the regular factory guitar you see.
Of course comparing the C12 vs the Cordoba C10, the C12 is obviously higher end.
That said, we recommend this guitar to the student or intermediate looking to make an upgrade. Again, just like the C10, the average student or intermediate player won’t be able to tell this guitar and a much costlier one apart just yet.
So, because of this highly commendable quality, pros can also use C12 guitars and enjoy playing on them. They’d certainly miss the better balance and more elegant tone higher-end guitars give. Plus, they would probably wish the fingerboard was better raised.
And for the variety of sound and tone options, there is the cedar top and spruce top.
Cordoba C10 vs C12 – Which Features Do They Have In Common?
Cedar Top Guitars
Both the Cordoba C10 and the C12 have a cedar top guitar variation. So, just how do these guitars sound?
Well, first off, cedar is one of the major tonewoods used to make guitar tops these days. It became popular in the mid-sixties. And now, nearly every manufacturer used cedar tops on their guitars. Of course, naturally, the sound it produces is unique. But just how unique?
Firstly, cedar has a fuller, all-embracing sound. This means that it can do an excellent job covering a whole lot of notes. It does not have a particularly striking or distinct sound like Spruce.
The truth is that the warm and dark tone of cedar has its uses in some cases. For instance, because of the fullness of a cedar top’s sound, a lot of notes can hide inside all that sound. This also means wrong notes too by default. So, cedar tops are great for beginner guitars.
But then again, C10 and C12 guitars are not exactly beginner guitars even though they aren’t expert guitars either. So, why cedar tops?
Cedar tops have a warmer, fuller sound that is great for playing soothing music to a crowd. It’s also great for intimate performances, say you want to serenade someone or something.
The Cordoba C10 offers its cedar top guitars in the Cordoba C10 CD/IN Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar, the Cordoba Lefty, and the Cordoba C10 Parlor CD Acoustic Nylon String Parlor Size Guitar.
On the other hand, the Cordoba C12 offers its cedar top guitar in the Cordoba C12 CD Acoustic Nylon String Modern Classical Guitar.
Spruce Top Guitars
The C10 and C12 series also offer spruce top guitars as well which is great news. Cedar and spruce top options leave you spoiled for choice because as you know, sound is entirely subjective. So, now you can pick your own sound.
So, what about spruce?
Spruce has been around for longer than cedar in making guitar tops. So, it’s a more traditional choice when making guitar tops. It’s also a really great choice.
This is because spruce is more distinct and focused than cedar. So, you hear every single note as they blend into chords. This is great news for the skilled players who already have wicked skills on the guitar.
Beginners, on the other hand, may get a little discouraged as the spruce will point out every single note, including the wrong ones.
Also, spruce isn’t quite as full as cedar. So, while you feel like the sound is coming at you from all sides of the room while listening to a cedar top guitar, spruce, on the other hand, sounds more “linear”. Like from the guitar straight to the back of the room.
But then again, its sustain is much better than cedar. And for teachers, spruce is a more preferred option as it enables students to hear clearly what it is the teacher is trying to teach them.
So, altogether, spruce is usually the expert’s choice. But then again, there are always those who can’t tell the difference between both guitar tops.
The Cordoba C10 spruce top guitars are available as the Cordoba C10 Solid Wood Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar, Cordoba C10 Crossover Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, and Cordoba C10 SP/IN Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar.
The Cordoba C12 spruce top guitar is available as the Cordoba C12 SP Acoustic Nylon String Modern Classical Guitar.
Indian Rosewood Back And Sides
Expectedly, all guitars both in the C10 and the C12 series come with Indian Rosewood back and sides. Indian rosewood is like the golden child of back and side woods these days since Brazilian rosewood has become quite scarce.
In the first place, its dark, chocolatey coloration is really yummy and pairs nicely with either spruce or cedar. Plus, it complements any top nicely to give a beautiful sound. This versatility is one of the major reasons Indian rosewood is so popular among guitar makers.
Furthermore, Indian rosewood is open-grained so it’s pretty warm and rich in its tone. Plus, it’s also rich in its overtones which is great when you play but might not be great in a recording situation because of feedback.
Ebony fingerboards are more common among electric guitars used by hard rock and metal guitarists. Nonetheless, nothing says that it can’t be used with acoustic, classical guitars. Just like in this case where both C10 and C12 guitar series use an ebony fingerboard.
Ebony is one of the three options usually used for guitar fingerboards including maple and rosewood. Rosewood is the commonest fingerboard material of choice. However, there’s a mid-point, like a bridge between the maple and rosewood which is ebony.
Ebony is a beautiful fingerboard material. It is a dark wood, of course, like you probably already guessed. Some say it resembles rosewood.
Now, just like rosewood, ebony is quite oily. This means that it does not require any additional finishing. And this is great news because it means that you enjoy the natural feel of your fingerboard as you play.
Another great thing about ebony is that it is a hardwood. So, you can count on the fingerboard to last a really long time.
Overall, in performance, ebony sounds somewhat like a midpoint between rosewood and maple, although a bit on the bright side. Plus, it has a crisp attack thanks to its slick feel and an attractive look thanks to its rich grains.
The Cordoba C10 and C12 guitars all come with mahogany necks in the traditional shape of classical guitar necks. These mahogany necks come in a light brown color which when stained give a reddish-brown hue.
So, paired with a cedar or spruce top, mahogany necks always give a striking appearance.
It’s a fairly dense wood, between medium and heavyweight. And it gives a really beautiful and soft tone that many people love. However, what we really love about a mahogany neck is how it balances the bite with the grind.
Plus, its sound has this really nice depth to it too with a pronounced fullness around the lows.
Savarez Cristal Corum Strings
The Savarez Cristal Corum Strings are nylon strings which are the befitting strings for classical guitars. Among the many things that Cordoba constantly gets right, its strings are among the biggest ones. The Savarez Cristal Corum strings are high end genuine nylon strings that last.
In collaboration with the high-quality tonewoods already present on the guitars in this series, these strings give a rich, warm tone that’s impressive. The bass strings come silver plated and, altogether, the strings sound great.
Now, here’s one thing you want to keep in mind with nylon strings. Nylon strings are not steel strings. Naturally, they are much softer than their steel counterparts. Therefore, you’re going to have to be careful with your storage choices. This is because humidity can affect your nylon strings.
Always ensure that you store your guitar in a place with moderate humidity. And it’s not just about your strings, it’s also about the wood on your guitar as well. So, store at humidity levels between 45% and 65% as Cordoba advises.
Adjustable Two-Way Truss Rod
This two-way truss rod, despite people’s reservations about it, helps to give your guitar some stability around its neck. Plus, it also makes it easier for you to adjust your guitar’s neck, if need be.
Purfling is a decorative strip that manufacturers often use to line the top and back plates of a guitar or any other fretted instrument. Carrying out this process is quite pricey and as such you don’t find purfling on budget guitars.
Now, unlike cheaper guitars that use paint to simulate a purfling, higher-end guitars use more solid materials. In this case, the purfling is made from 8-ply colored wood on the top plate. And on the bottom plate, the purfling is 3-ply ebony and maple.
Now, keep in mind that purfling beautifies your guitar as much as it impacts the pitch and sustain. However, we did not notice that problem with any of the C10 or C12 guitars.
The C10 and C12 are classical guitars which suggest that their nut width is typically supposed to be around 52 millimeters.
Of course, we already know that classical guitars come with wider necks, compared to normal acoustics.
After all, the nylon strings which they favor are typically fatter than steel strings and as such need more room to accommodate them.
See the table below to compare the nut widths of the different guitars in these two series.
| The Cordoba C10 has all kinds of guitars with two different nut width measurements. |
All Cordoba C10 guitars besides the Crossover and Parlor come with a 52-millimeter nut width. This includes the Cedar top, Spruce top, Acoustic-electric, and the Lefty.
The C10 Parlor comes with a 50-millimeter nut width while the C10 Crossover comes with a 48-millimeter nut width. The C10 leaves you spoiled for choice.
|As for the C12, both guitars come with a 52 millimeter nut width.|
When purchasing any guitar either from the C10 or the C12, you also get a carrying case as well to help store and transport your guitar. Note though that none of these guitars come with any additional accessories.
See the Cordoba C10 vs C12 as they compare with their carrying cases.
| The Cordoba C10 guitars come with polyfoam cases which are a step up from regular gig bags. |
Polyfoam cases are harder and plusher in the interior than gig bags. So, they are great at keeping your guitar unscathed during the hustle and bustle of transportation.
Polyfoam cases, however, will not keep your guitar from experiencing extreme humidity conditions. So, keep that in mind. Only the Cordoba Humicase can do that.
| The Cordoba C12 comes with the Cordoba Humicase.|
In this Humicase, Cordoba already has the ideal humidity conditions for your guitar to thrive and thrive well.
The Cordoba Humicase is the best option you can get when it comes to a carrying case for your Cordoba guitar.
High Gloss Polyurethane Finish
The guitars in the C10 and C12 guitar series all come with a high gloss polyurethane finish. With a high gloss finish, these guitars, of course, come out looking really pretty.
Also, because this finish is a polyurethane finish, it’s not as fragile as nitrocellulose. And so by default, it makes the guitar a lot easier to maintain and care for. To know how to care for your guitar’s finish, check out this video.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – What’s Unique To Each Guitar Series
Now here’s where the real Cordoba C10 vs C12 battle begins. Let’s find out the unique features each of these guitar series brings to the table.
Cordoba C10 vs C12 – Features Unique To The Cordoba C10
Parlor Size Guitar
Now all the other guitars in the C10 series are full-sized guitars. However, there is a particular variation that comes in a 7/8 size just like a parlor guitar.
This guitar is great for smaller-sized people who might find the full-sized guitar a little too cumbersome.
The Cordoba C10 Parlor CD Acoustic Nylon String Parlor Size Guitar is of the cedar top variant of the Cordoba C10. It shares similar features with other C10 cedar top guitars, except for size.
Besides that, this guitar has a smaller nut width of about 50 millimeters rather than 52 millimeters. This is great news for customers with smaller hands as the neck is narrower, thereby making it easier for them to play.
Narrow Neck Classical Guitar – The C10 Crossover
The Cordoba C10 also has another variety, this time, it’s just a narrower neck. This guitar is known as the Cordoba C10 Crossover Acoustic Nylon String Guitar.
Just like the C10 Parlor, the C10 Crossover shares similar features with other C10 guitars.
In a bid to ensure that all guitarists get a piece of the C10, the manufacturers reduced the nut width here to 48 millimeters. It’s still not as slim as the regular acoustic guitar nut width which is pegged at 44 millimeters. But then again, a 4-millimeter reduction from the regular classical guitar nut width is appreciable.
This guitar is great for small-sized people as well as people with smaller hands who might feel intimidated by the 52-millimeter nut width.
This acoustic-electric version is known as the Cordoba C10 Solid Wood Acoustic/Electric Classical Guitar.
It comes with a European spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, two-way adjustable truss rod, and Savarez Cristal Corum strings. So, it’s just the same as the Cordoba spruce top guitar except that it also features electronics.
Sadly, this version is currently unavailable in the market.
Lefty Guitar Version
The Cordoba C10 comes with a lefty version which is great for left-handed people.
The C12, which is more sophisticated, does not offer this variation, unfortunately. So, if you’re a lefty and you had to choose between the Cordoba C10 vs C12, there is only one option.
The Cordoba C10 CD Lefty Guitar comes with a Canadian cedar top, Indian rosewood back and sides as well as an Ebony fretboard. So, it basically shares the same features as the Cordoba C10 cedar top guitar except that it comes in a left-handed orientation.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – Features Unique To The Cordoba C12
The Cordoba C12 has just a single unique feature which is the fact that it comes with a raised fingerboard. But what exactly is a raised fingerboard?
Now, while the term “raised fingerboard” might bring a certain picture to mind, that might not be the correct image you should be thinking of when you hear the term “raised fingerboard”. Actually, an elevated or raised fingerboard has the top part of the guitar sloping downward.
Now, why would a luthier do this? Well, there are several reasons.
An elevated fingerboard makes it easier for a player to reach beyond the 12th fret which is a big benefit for your left hand. Plus, with the increased mass it brings to the table, a raised fingerboard also helps to give a more superior sustain than a guitar without one.
And that’s not all. By increasing the distance between the strings of the guitar and the soundboard, the raised fingerboard also gives your right hand some playing advantage.
Does the raised fingerboard affect sound? Well, some people say yes and others say no. What do we think? If there is indeed any difference at all, the difference is so subtle it’s hardly noticeable.
The huge and obvious impact of this feature is in the playability of the instrument.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – Unique Pros
Cordoba C10 Unique Pros
- There are many variations to the C10 guitars. This makes them available to a wider range of guitar players. These variations include cedar top guitars, spruce top guitars, the slim neck classical guitar, parlor guitar, and the lefty guitar. The acoustic-electric version, sadly, is no longer available in the market.
- More affordable than the C12.
Cordoba C12 Unique Pros
- The two guitars in the C12 come with elevated/raised fingerboards. This is great news as it increases the playability of both guitars.
- Closer to pro-level guitars than the C10 guitars. Really impressive for its price tag.
- Also comes with the Cordoba Humicase which is like the ultimate best carrying case you can use for your Cordoba guitars. It already has the ideal humidity conditions best for your guitar set. So, once your guitar is in this, you can go to sleep with your two eyes closed knowing that your guitar is in a good place.
- Pretty nice lattice bracing with a fancy trim as well.
Cordoba C10 Vs Cordoba C12 – Unique Cons
Cordoba C10 Unique Cons
- The acoustic-electric version of this guitar is sadly unavailable right now. Plus its electronics are just there.
- It does not feature a raised fingerboard which might be a problem for any guitarist who has ever used a guitar with a raised fingerboard before.
- Compared to the C12, the polyfoam case isn’t quite as good a carrying case as the Cordoba Humicase.
- Lefty version does not come in the spruce top guitar version which limits the lefty’s option. What if they prefer spruce top guitars?
Cordoba C12 Unique Cons
- It is considerably more expensive than the C10 although totally worth the price.
- The C12 does not give as many options for the different kinds of guitarists there are. There are only two selections which are the cedar top and the spruce top guitars.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – Pros Common To Both Guitar Series
The Cordoba C10 vs C12 also share similar pros. check them out.
|The Cordoba C10 guitars have a really nice tone and volume especially for their price, plus considering the fact that they are factory-made.|
They might tend to sound a bit plastic once in a while and their volume isn’t the best especially in larger venues but you can’t really complain. It is, after all, just a couple of dollars above $1000 in price.
|The Cordoba C12 guitars, on the other hand, have a much better volume. In fact, you could even say they sort of hold their own when placed side by side with way pricier guitars. |
The tone of these guitars is also really nice but much more superior to the tone of the C10 guitars. Granted, it won’t sound anything like say a $4000 to $7000 guitar. But unlike the C10, a pro can play this guitar if hard pressed. Plus a raised fingerboard is never a bad thing.
| All C10 guitars come with a good quality carrying case called the polyfoam case. This case is tough on the outside and plush on the inside to give your guitar the ultimate protection. |
The only problem is that it will only protect your guitar from impact and not from prevailing weather conditions.
| The C12 guitars come with the Cordoba Humicase which does the double job of protecting from impact and from harsh weather conditions as well. |
It’s quite expensive if purchased on its own, but now you get it for free once you purchase any C12 guitar.
|Both cedar top and spruce top guitars available in the series||The same goes for the C12.|
|All guitars in the C10 series feature purfling which adds to the beauty of the instrument||Also features prufling as well.|
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – Cons Common To Both Guitar Series
| The major challenge with Cordoba guitars and they say so themselves is humidity. You’d have to guard your guitar jealously from too low or too high humidity if you want it to last. |
This is even more important with the C10 guitars which do not come with the Cordoba Humicase. You might want to consider adding soundhole humidifiers to your purchase.
|Same goes for the C12. Luckily it comes with the Humicase but you have to ensure that you always store your guitar in there.|
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – General Feeling Among Users
| Overall, we think customers had a pretty good experience with the C10 guitars. It was mostly positive reviews on all the guitars in this series. And by positive, we mean mostly 5-star reviews. |
Some of the guitars that had a specially good run were the parlor guitar and the cedar top guitar.
Especially with the parlor guitar, a lot of people seemed to be grateful for the opportunity to enjoy a classical guitar in a size that’s a perfect match for their body size and type.
Of course, there were a few complaints from one or two customers about some of the guitars. However, most of these complaints bordered around small issues like sharp frets and all.
There was another complaint about buzzing which was due to low humidity. But we’ve already shown you how to handle that, haven’t we?
| We’d say the Cordoba C12 surpassed many people’s expectations. What Cordoba pulled off with this guitar, especially at this price point was not lost on customers. In fact, many people couldn’t find anything sincerely negative to say about either of the guitars. Customers all seemed to agree that they got way more than they paid for when getting this guitar. It was nearly a consensus! |
Vs the Cordoba C10, the C12 also got positive reviews as well. However, more customers seemed to be on the same page when they praised these guitars.
Now, to be completely honest, there was appreciably less praise for the cedar top variation of the C12 but nonetheless, the majority still gave it a 5-star rating.
All the same, there seemed to have been a little less attention paid to the quality control of the C12 cedar top because customers had a thing or two to say about frets and high action.
Cordoba C10 Vs C12 – A Final Word
| We love how the Cordoba C10 gives you way more options than the C12. There seems to be something for everyone in this package. |
It’s also great that these guitars do not disappoint in the performance department. They may not have all the bells and whistles of more sophisticated guitars but they are amazing all the same.
You can get the spruce top version here if you prefer the distinct sound of spruce.
Or if you prefer the warmth and fullness of cedar, you could get the cedar version here.
Get the parlor version here if you are smaller in size and need something more your size.
Or if you’re left handed, then get the lefty version here.
If you’re okay with the full size but want a slimmer neck, then you should go for the C10 Crossover. Get that here.
Unfortunately, the acoustic-electric version is currently unavailable.
| For guitars that give you the closest tone to the real thing, you can count on the C12 guitars. These guitars are sufficiently loud and also boast an incredible tone. And let’s not forget the Humicase of course. |
Now, if you want the cedar top version, you can get the C12 cedar top guitar here.
Or if spruce top is more your thing, then you can get the C12 spruce top guitar here.