Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – Which Is Better For You?

Today, we’ll be putting one of their guitars each head to head – Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40.

Alright! Just before we head into the full review, here’s a brief overview of the things in this article. This brief overview also includes a short, power-packed version of the crux of the information which is well-detailed in the remaining parts of the article.

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – Comparison Overview

Both these guitars are classical acoustic guitars. The Cordoba C3M is made with a cedar top while the Yamaha C40 is made with a spruce top. Cedar top produces a warmer, fuller sound, while spruce top produces a clearer, sharper sound.

If we were to rate both products, we would rate the Yamaha C40 slightly above the Cordoba C3M, mainly because the Yamaha C40 is available for sale in two different packages. One package comes as just the guitar, while the other comes as the guitar and all the necessary accessories.

In terms of price, both these guitars cost around the same. However, getting the Yamaha C40 that doesn’t come with any accessories is significantly cheaper than getting any other package (Yamaha C40 or Cordoba C3M).

For the value they provide, both these guitars are reasonably priced.

Brand Comparison

When comparing their strengths in the market, the Cordoba and the Yamaha are quite unique competitors. On a larger scale, Yamaha is the bigger company. In fact, it is the largest piano manufacturing company in the world.

However, Cordoba has a smaller niche, focusing on making only classical guitars. This gives Cordoba the advantage in terms of depth of knowledge and skill, while Yamaha holds the advantage when you talk about their wealth of experience and brand trust.

So, which brand do you prefer? The big brand in making instruments as a whole, but not necessarily the bigger at making guitars? Or the one that only makes guitars and stands as the biggest in that niche? The choice is yours.

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – Comparison Table

Cordoba C3M

Yamaha C40

Cedar top Spruce top
Mahogany back and sidesMahogany back and sides
Satin finishUltra-thin Finish (UTF) natural finish
NATO wood for the neckNATO wood for the neck
Rosewood fingerboard/fretboardRosewood fingerboard/fretboard
19 frets18 frets
It’s available in two packages. One is just the guitar, while the other includes the guitar, a gig bag, a tuner, extra strings, instructional DVD, and a polishing cloth.It’s available in two packages. One is just the guitar, while the other includes the guitar, a gig bag, a tuner, extra strings, instructional DVD, and a polishing cloth.
Pearloid tunersPearloid tuners
Nylon stringsNylon strings
Wide classical neckWide classical neck

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – What Situation Suits What Guitar Better?

Cordoba C3M

Yamaha C40

The Cordoba C3M is a classical guitar that is well-suited to beginners and students who are still learning to play the guitar.

It’s well-built with proper sound, so, it will serve you well even as you enter the intermediate stage of your career.

Also, it’s very affordable, which is great when you’re not yet getting all that money from paid gigs.

However, once you begin to make a few bucks from playing, you might want to get a better guitar and make this your practice guitar.
The Yamaha C40, like the Cordoba C3M is also a beginners’ guitar. Generally, all classical guitars within this price range are for beginners, some maybe for intermediates.

We have been wondering why this guitar has a spruce top instead of a cedar top. Most beginners love the feel and sound of the cedar top better than that of the spruce top.

However, we know there are a few teachers who would prefer that their students use spruce-topped guitars instead.

One thing about this guitar is that it is significantly more affordable than the Cordoba C3M which is better on the pockets of newbies.

What Features Do The Cordoba C3M And Yamaha C40 Have In Common?

Nylon Strings

Rosewood fingerboard

Wide neck

Mahogany tonewood

Nylon Strings

Both the Cordoba C3M and the Yamaha C40 are made with nylon strings, as opposed to steel strings.

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Typically, more people prefer acoustic guitars with nylon strings than acoustic guitars with steel strings. This is because of the common misconception that the nylon string is a lot easier and softer on your fingertips than the steel strings.

While this might be true to a certain extent, don’t be deceived. Even with nylon strings, your fingertips will begin to get sore after playing for a while, especially when you’re just starting out.

To pick a nylon- or a steel-stringed guitar, rather than depending on a misconception, you would need to check which one is better for the style of music you want to play and stick to it.

Nylon strings are typically used for classical and folk music, while steel strings are used for rock, country, and other similar styles.

It is very important to note that guitar strings are not interchangeable. If you buy any of these two guitars we’re looking at today, you cannot replace their strings with steel strings. If you put in steel strings, it will destroy the guitar because it is not braced for strings with such high tension.

Another thing you have to note with nylon strings is where to store the guitar. Because they are made of a softer material, nylon strings are easily affected by humidity, whether too high or too low. Therefore, they should be kept in areas with average humidity. Cordoba recommends 45% to 60%.

Check out this video that compares nylon and steel strings:

Rosewood Fingerboard

The fingerboard, otherwise known as a fretboard, should really have some great hardware as it is the part of your guitar that you interact with the most.

When it comes to this part of your guitar, there aren’t a wide range of choices available. In fact, there are typically three types of wood used – ebony, maple, and rosewood.

But then again, a lot of people do not like maple and do not consider it a superior material for fretboards. This cuts the options down to ebony and rosewood.

Well, both Cordoba and Yamaha decided that rosewood was a better option because that is what they both used for the C3M and C40, respectively.

Speaking of rosewood, there are two types that could’ve been used. One is the Indian rosewood, the other is the Brazilian rosewood. To make them even more similar, both these guitars used the Indian rosewood.

Well, that’s simply because the Brazilian rosewood is a lot more expensive than the Indian rosewood, also a lot more exotic. So, because Cordoba and Yamaha were looking to make these guitars as affordable as possible for beginners, they chose the Indian rosewood instead.

The Indian rosewood gives a softer, warmer sound than maple or ebony woods as it is much softer than both maple and ebony.

Also, rosewood produces a more natural feel than the other two woods. Therefore, if you’re a guitarist who loves to feel the naturalness of your fretboard while you play, then it’s not really a question of the Cordoba C3M vs Yamaha C40. You would love both guitars.

Wide Neck

Most classical guitars come with a wide neck and both the Cordoba C3M and the Yamaha C40 are no exceptions. Spread wide at 52 millimeters, the width of the neck of these guitars can be quite wide, especially those who are not used to playing classical guitars.

This wide neck is even made more so as the two guitars we’re talking about have nylon strings. Generally, guitars with nylon strings have wider necks than guitars with steel strings.

Since nylon strings are a bit fatter than steel strings, they naturally require a little extra room which is why nylon-stringed guitars end up with wide necks.

If you want to learn to play classical guitar, this is probably one feature you cannot run from. However, we can assure you that with time, you’ll get used to the width of the neck. You’ll even have your index finger playing the last string in no time.

Mahogany Back and sides

While the top of the two guitars are made with different woods, the back and sides of the two guitars are made with Mahogany.

Mahogany has gained a lot of popularity as being the wood of choice for many guitars. It is mostly used to design the back and the sides of the guitar.

This wood has grown popular because it emphasizes both bass and treble sounds. It creates a better overtone coloration, as well as a “woody” sound. To put it into perspective, a guitar with rosewood back and sides, on the other hand, would produce a more metallic sound than a woody sound.

The woody sound produced by mahogany adds flair to these classical guitars, making them sound all the more acoustic and traditional. If that’s the sound you would love to hear with your classical guitar, you’re in luck.

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – What’s Unique To Each Product?

Features Unique To The Cordoba C3M

Cedar Top

19 Frets

Satin Finish

Cedar Top

The top of the Cordoba C3M is made with cedar wood. When it comes to wood used in making guitar tops, there are a lot of options, including mahogany, ebony, rosewood, cedar, spruce, etc.

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However, the two most used of the host of options available are the cedar top, and the spruce top. Just so the Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 is a more heated argument, both Cordoba and Yamaha decided on using different tops, Cordoba choosing the cedar top.

Luthiers only began using the cedar top often in the mid-1960s, which is when the top began gaining popularity.

While a lot of people are of the argument that there is no difference between guitars with these two tops, we do not agree. We believe that they are indeed different, although, varying only slightly.

Classical guitars with the cedar top produce warmer sounds, sounds that always feel fuller than sounds produced by the spruce top guitars. This full, warm sound is also very mellow and calm.

Why do beginners prefer cedar tops?

The cedar top is often preferred over the spruce top when a beginner is about picking his first guitar because, for beginners and learners, the cedar top hides certain minor errors when playing. This is because the cedar makes a fuller sound that is more focused on producing the general chord, rather than the individual notes.

Also, the cedar top works well for guitarists who prefer to play a calmer style of music, say blues, R&B, or folk styles. Obviously, because these genres of music require warmer sounds than others.

19 Frets

Although the difference between this and the Yamaha C40 is not much, we cannot fail to mention it. The Cordoba C3M contains 19 frets on the fretboard.

Satin Finish

The back and sides of the Cordoba C3M are finished with satin. Satin has a very glossy feel, which would make your guitar look really good. Also, it’s really easy to take care of and maintain.

Available In Just One Package

Finally, the Cordoba C3M is only available in one package. This package includes the guitar, the gig bag (or hard case), a Cordoba clip-on tuner, an Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and a polishing cloth. All these, for the price of one.

Speaking of prices, this particular guitar is sold by different vendors at different prices. Be sure to check across different vendors to get the most affordable one. Also, make sure that the vendor you’re buying from is trusted and possibly has a return policy and warranty.

Alright! That’s about all the unique features that Cordoba C3M has when compared to the Yamaha C40. Do you want to hear what the Cordoba C3m sound like? Check out this video below:

Features Unique To The Yamaha C40

Spruce Top

18 Frets

Ultra-thin Natural Finish

Spruce Top

The top of the Yamaha C40 is made with European Spruce wood. Spruce is the more traditional guitar top when compared to the cedar wood. It was being used long before cedar tops started becoming popular. However, is old always better? Let’s see.

Well, the spruce top might be better for you, it might be worse. When it comes to the issue of guitars tops, there’s no bad and good, there’s only what’s good for you.

The guitars made with spruce tops produce a sharper sound than the guitars made with cedar tops. The sounds produced by the spruce tops are a lot sharper, a lot clearer, and a lot more distinct.

With this guitar, you will hear every individual note played, even as they form a chord. The sound produced is more striking, kinda like the sound of a bell. Also, aside from the tone, the sounds produced by spruce top guitars sustain longer than the sounds produced by cedar tops.

Generally, you would want this guitar if you play a musical genre where notes need to be heard individually and properly. For example, rock, jazz, or classical music.

18 Frets

The Yamaha C40 is one fret short when compared side-by-side with the Cordoba C3M. To us, we do not think that this one fret would make a world of difference. However, it might be different for you.

Ultra-Thin Finish (UTF) Natural Finish

Unlike the Cordoba C3M, this guitar uses a UTF. UTF is an acronym that stands for “Ultra-Thin Finish”.

Just like the name implies, this finish is very slim, almost unnoticeable. This is really great because it makes your guitar look good, without changing its feel.

The UTF finish is also natural and gives your guitar a more natural feel as well. So, if you are into guitars with a natural finish, then this is definitely something you would love.

Available In Two Packages

The Yamaha C40 is available for sale in two different packages, both of which are sold by different vendors.

The first package comes as just the guitar, no bag, no accessories. The second package includes the guitar, extra strings, tuner, gig bag, polishing cloth, and an instructional DVD from the vendor.

Just like you would expect, the latter is more expensive than the former because of the additional accessories it comes with. So, check out the two from the two vendors, weigh out your options and see which one is more economical for you at this time before making a purchase.

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That’s about all the unique features the Yamaha C40 has. Want to hear what the guitar sounds like? Check this video out:

Why Some People Prefer The Cordoba C3M More Than The Yamaha C40

The Cordoba C3m comes with a cedar top which has a fuller and warmer sound which quite a number of people love. We understand that not everybody might love this. But if this is the sound you’re aiming for, then you would love this guitar. 

Another reason why a lot of people prefer the Cordoba C3m over the Yamaha C40 is the one extra fret that it comes with.

Why Some People Prefer The Yamaha C40 More Than The C3M

The Yamaha C40 comes with a spruce top that produces a sharper, clearer, more distinct sound. If this is the specific sound you’re looking for, then great for you!

Another erason why people love this guitar is the fact that it’s available in two packages, which gives you flexible budget options.

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – Unique Cons

Cordoba C3M

  • Only available in one package.

Yamaha C40

  • It has one fret less when compared to the Cordoba C3m.

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – Pros Common To Both

Cordoba C3M

Yamaha C40

This guitar is a very affordable, great price for beginners.This guitar is even more affordable than the Cordoba C3M.
This guitar is good for beginners as it comes with everything you’ll need to care for your guitar, including an instructional DVD.Although this comes in two different packages, one of those packages includes everything you’ll need as a beginner, also including an instructional DVD.
It is a full-sized guitar.It is also a full-sized guitar.
This is made with a rosewood fretboard, which has a beautiful feel.Also made with a rosewood fretboard/fingerboard.

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – Cons Common To Both

Cordoba C3M

Yamaha C40

The neck of this guitar is wide, which is normal for classical guitars but made even more so because this guitar comes with nylon strings.

This would cause a problem for beginners. However, it’s nothing you cannot get used to.
Also features a wide neck.
Humidity is a major problem for many guitars as many fail to realize that their guitars are still living and breathing.

It’s also made worse because this is a nylon string guitar. Hence, ensure that you keep your guitar between 45% and 65% humidity to ensure longer shelf life.
Humidity also poses a problem for the Yamaha C40. You would have to keep the guitar in an area that has average humidity.

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Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – General Feeling Among Users

Cordoba C3M

Yamaha C40

People who purchased this product were mainly beginners.

They loved the warm sound the cedar top produced. They also loved the fact that the package available comes with everything they would need as beginners, even a DVD for learning.

Most importantly, they loved the price.
The people who bought this guitar are also mostly beginners.

The first thing they loved was the fact that there are two packages available. The first which allows you to buy just the guitar if that’s what you can afford, or if you already have the other accessories.

Cordoba C3m Vs Yamaha C40 – Final Word

Cordoba C3M

Yamaha C40

The Cordoba C3M is definitely a great beginner guitar. Plus, it sells at a budget price that is quite affordable for the average beginner.

Get the Cordoba C3M here
The Yamaha C40 is even more affordable and also gives a pretty great performance. If you’re all for the sophistication and wide tonal palette of spruce top guitars, this is a guitar to try.

Get the Yamaha C40 here

Cordoba C3M Vs Yamaha C40 – Frequently Asked Questions

Is Valencia a good guitar brand?

Valencia is a good guitar brand. They are excellent at creating affordable guitars for intermediate and beginner level guitar players. Their guitars are well constructed and nicely designed. They offer a well-balanced sound and a great depth of tone. 

Where are Valencia guitars made?

Initially, Valencia guitars were made in manufacturing factories situated in South Korea. By 1997, Valencia production was moved to Southern China as world-wide sales increased, reaching 3 million by 2013. In 2015, Valencia moved production to a company-owned purpose-built guitar manufacturing plant in Surabaya, Indonesia. 

Are Rocket guitars any good?

Rocket guitars are very good classical guitars. Like Valencia Student Series guitars, Rocket’s XF series guitars are popular within the educational sector. They are an excellent choice for beginners. Rocket guitars are well constructed and are extremely durable. They are also reputed to be good at holding their tunes for a long time. And best of all, they offer great value for money. 

Is classical guitar easier than acoustic?

Generally, the acoustic guitar is considered harder to play than classical guitars, for beginners. However, more experienced players won’t see much difference in difficulty between the two. 

The acoustic guitar is larger than the classical guitar and has a different body shape. The classical guitar allows you to play different types of music and appears to make learning easier. 

It is a better fit if you like traditional music without sound effects. On the other hand, the acoustic guitar has a more modern feel to it and gives you the opportunity to experiment and try new things that might be more beneficial in the long run. 

Why do classical guitars have high action?

Classical guitars need to have higher action to inhibit any buzz from the string vibrating against the fretboard. This is because classical guitars with nylon guitar strings are designed with a lower tension and therefore vibrate in a wider oscillatory arc. High action also helps to make the guitar louder. 

Can I use a pick on a classical guitar?

The overwhelming culture is to play a classical guitar without using a pick. In fact, many classical guitarists consider it to be a very bad practice to use a pick. This is possibly due to the fact that classical guitar playing involves finger-plucking and robust manual actions of the fingers. 

However, two popular guitarists, the legendary Willie Nelson and Jerry Reed were known to use a flat pick to play their classical guitars. So, yes, it is possible to use a pick to play a classical guitar if it gives you what you want. However, it’s not the norm and you might get some funny stares as a result. 

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