Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – An In-depth Review

Today, we’ll be looking at Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40. This comparison is not to find which guitar is good and which is bad because both these guitars are good. That is not a surprise as these guitars are made by Cordoba and Yamaha, respectively. Rather, we are trying to find out which guitar is best for you. With that much said, let’s go!

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Get the Cordoba C5 here Get the Yamaha C40 here

Just before we head into the full article, we have to warn you beforehand that it is quite a lengthy read. However, if you feel you don’t need the full details and would prefer a short and concise summary, we’ve got you covered. Although, reading through the article is sure to fill you in on every single information that would be helpful in the Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 debate.

Here’s the summary:

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Comparison Overview

We know that you might be a very busy person and as such, you might not have the time to go through the full article we have for you today. If that is the case for you, you need not worry, we have a summary of the crux of the matter here for you.

If you have the time to read the full article, you should also read this to so you can get a briefing on the issues which would be expounded upon through the course of this article.

Today, we’re looking at Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40. First of all, both these guitars are great guitars and the argument always comes down to your preference. Second, while these have some difference, they also have a lot of similarities, let’s look at those first.

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Similarities

Both these guitars are full-sized and lightweight. This is due to the fact that both of them are made with the same material in most places. They are both made with mahogany back and sides, a rosewood fretboard/fingerboard, and nylon strings.

This blend of materials not only makes these guitars lightweight, it also adds to the sound created by each guitar, and also the feel. The mahogany back and sides help to improve the bass and treble of the sound, and also helps in tone coloration.

The nylon strings made for a much less coarse sound, which is needed for certain genres of music. Also, the nylon strings produce a problem with humidity and would need to be kept properly.

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Differences

The major difference between these two guitars is the top. The Cordoba C5 is made with a cedar top, while the Yamaha C40 is made with a Spruce top. The argument between these two guitar tops is a strong on that is often settled on sentiments and preference.

Therefore, we suggest that you go through the article to found out details of the difference and also watch videos where these two guitars are played. That way, you can compare the sounds produced by each guitar.

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Brand Comparative Advantage

Finally, what brand is better in the market? Well, this is quite difficult to accurately determine. Cordoba is a Spanish company that strictly creates classical guitars. It makes both acoustic and acoustic electric guitars, making use of various types of quality wood. Cordoba can easily be described as the biggest classical guitar manufacturing company.

On the other hand, Yamaha is a Japanese company that makes all kinds of musical instruments. Yamaha is probably the most respected brand when it comes to making instruments as a whole. However, their main market is keyboards and pianos.

So, while Yamaha is a bigger brand as a whole, their guitar-making section of the main company, cannot be compared to the Cordoba brand. Would you rather have the bigger brand, or the bigger brand in this particular niche? The choice is yours.

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Comparison Table

Cordoba C5

Yamaha C40

Full sized Full sized
Lightweight Lightweight
Cedar top Spruce top
Mahogany back and sides Back and sides made of mahogany
High Gloss PU finish Ultra-Thin Finish (UTF) Natural Finish
Rosewood fretboard/fingerboard Rosewood fretboard/fingerboard
19 frets 18 frets
Pearloid tuners Pearloid tuners
Nylon strings Nylon strings
4mm wide neck The Yamaha C40 has a wide neck
There are two types of the Cordoba C5 guitar: one is acoustic, the other is acoustic electric. There is only one type of the Yamaha C40 available, which is an acoustic guitar.
The two types of this guitar available are sold in one package each. In this package, you receive the guitar of your choice, a gig bag, and other accessories. Accessories will defer based on the guitar type you purchased. It is available for sale in two packages. In the first package, you get the guitar, a gig bag, a tuner, some extra strings, a polishing cloth, and an instructional DVD.
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Get the Cordoba C5 here Get the Yamaha C40 here

So, before we head on to discuss about these guitars in particular, we would like you to check the video below. In the video, you’ll see and hear a general comparison between Cordoba and Yamaha guitars. It will help us to put things into perspective as we look at these individual products, their strengths, weaknesses, and similarities.

Check out the video below:

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – What Situation Is Best For What Guitar?

Cordoba C5

Yamaha C40

The Cordoba C5 is best for beginners who see themselves entering into the intermediate level.  

That’s why Cordoba created two different types, a purely acoustic type, and an acoustic electric type. With the acoustic electric, you can use the Cordoba C5 to play gigs once you’re into your intermediate level.  

This guitar also comes with a cedar top, which is more enjoyable by beginners because the sound produced is fuller and less distinct.  

One hinderance that affects both these guitars is that they both have a wide neck. This would take some getting used to as a person who is new to classical guitars.
The Yamaha C40 is a great guitar for beginners. It is an entry-level guitar and that is why Yamaha decided not to bother with an acoustic electric version.  

One slight hinderance is that this guitar comes with a spruce top which isn’t enjoyed by a large percentage of entry-level guitarists.  

However, if you prefer the more traditional spruce top, for whatever reason, you would love this guitar.  

This, like the Cordoba C5 comes with a wide neck that is not very ideal for beginners. However, all classical guitars are like that. These two made more so by the fact that they come with nylon strings.
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Get the Cordoba C5 here Get the Yamaha C40 here

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – What Features Do They Have In Common?

In this section of the article, we would be pausing the Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 argument. We first want to see how similar the Cordoba C5 and the Yamaha C40 are by looking at all the features that both of them possess.

However, even in some similar features, there would be slight differences that would shed light to the Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 argument. So, don’t overlook this part and skip to the differences. When we see the similarities, we would be able to appreciate the differences.

Full Sized And Lightweight

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Get the Cordoba C5 here Get the Yamaha C40 here

Off the box/gig bags, whichever you purchase either of these guitars in, what you would notice instantly is the weight and the size of the guitars. It is therefore important that this is the first feature we discuss.

Both the Cordoba C5 and the Yamaha C40 are described as full-sized guitars. If you do not know, a full-sized guitar is either 40 inches, or 41 inches. Most classical guitars, including these two we’re looking at today, are full-sized guitars.

Being a full-sized guitar, the Cordoba C5 and the Yamaha C40 obviously provide you with a lot more space for longer scales. Also, with a full-sized guitar, each fret is big enough to fit your fingers really well no matter how big your fingers are.

Although, if you want to pick up a guitar for your young one, we would suggest getting a smaller guitar that’ll be more comfortable for them to hold and play. If it’s for you, then this is good.

While being full-sized, one will expect that these guitars will be heavy to carry, however, that is not the case. The Cordoba C5 and the Yamaha C40 are both considered lightweight guitars.

Although both these guitars are considered lightweight, one is slightly more lightweight than the other. That means that even in similar features the Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40 still exists. And on that note, the Yamaha C40 wins by slight margins. The Yamaha C40 weighs 7.8 pounds, while the Cordoba C5 weighs 11 pounds. Both are still considered lightweight though.

Back And Sides Made Of Mahogany

While there are many woods used in making the back and sides of acoustic classical guitars, both Cordoba and Yamaha decided to go for Mahogany for the C5 and C40, respectively. So, why did these two companies pick Mahogany? Let’s find out.

Well, Mahogany is a really good wood because it just creates a better sounding guitar. It emphasizes on both the bass sounds, and the treble sounds. Aside from just bass and treble, Mahogany creates overtone coloration, creating beautiful melodies and harmonies.

When compared to another wood like the rosewood, the guitar with Mahogany back and sides produces a much more preferred woody sound. If you are getting an acoustic guitar, we’re sure you want something that sounds a lot more woody than metallic.

So, overall, the Mahogany back and sides makes emphasis on the bass and treble sounds, the tone coloration, and a really nice acoustic sound and feel.

Nylon Strings

Many modern classical guitars come with nylon strings, as opposed to steel strings that were more prevalent in times past. These modern classical guitars include both the Cordoba C5 and the Yamaha C40. Nylon strings have their good sides and their bad sides. Whether nylon strings are good for what you want as a guitarist is left for you to decide.

The first we see concerning nylon strings is a certain misconception people carry. This is usually the reason why a lot of people pick nylon strings over steel strings. The misconception is that with nylon strings, as a beginner, your fingers won’t hurt, even after playing for a long time. It is a misconception because it is false.

While nylon strings are a lot softer, therefore, less coarse on the fingers, the thought that it won’t eventually sting your fingers is a myth. It will hurt your fingers while you’re learning. However, it doesn’t hurt as much as steel and would definitely take a longer time before it begins to hurt.

What we’ve just explained should never be the determining factor when you want to pick a guitar. There is hardly ever anything you want to learn that won’t hurt at first. However, with time, you would get used to it. As is often said, “no pain, no gain”.

What you should be more concerned about is the type of music you want to play so you can pick the type of strings that are better suited to that style of music.

On one hand, nylon strings are better suited to classical and folk music. On the other hand, steel strings are more suited to rock, country and other similar genres. You know, more metallic sounds.

Rosewood Fingerboard/Fretboard

As a guitarist, your fretboard is the part of your guitar you interact with the most. Because of that fact, it is therefore necessary that that part of the guitar is made with the best possible material. That way, your interaction with the fretboard, which is the longest, would be hassle free.

For this part of the guitar, both Cordoba and Yamaha decided to go with rosewood. Was this a good idea? Was it not? Let’s look at the features and what rosewood brings to the table, compared to the other options available, you be the judge.

For fretboard woods, there aren’t a load of choices out there. Actually, to rephrase, there aren’t a load of good choices out there. We’re sure you don’t want any cheap, sub-standard fretboards. Once it comes to the talk on quality, there are three options mentioned: ebony, maple, and rosewood.

However, many luthiers still consider maple to be inferior, which knocks it right out of the competition. We’re left with maple and rosewood.

Well, both maple and rosewood are considered pretty equal and either one can be used. However, both Cordoba and Yamaha decided to go for rosewood for the C5 and C40, respectively. Does that make rosewood edge slightly over maple? You decide.

Indian Rosewood Or Brazilian Rosewood?

It doesn’t end there. For rosewood, there are still two different types. There’s the Brazilian rosewood, and there’s the Indian rosewood. Both these guitars also come with the same, the Indian rosewood.

This was where it came down to price. Brazilian rosewood would have been the better option as it is more exotic and has a better feel. However, it costs a lot more than Indian rosewood, which would have made this guitar cost a lot more. For an entry-level guitar, we’re sure you don’t want it to be above $500.

However, because they are both rosewoods, Indian rosewood is a worthy more affordable option to pick that also provides similar quality. With rosewood you get a really softer, warmer sound than maple, which is probably why Cordoba and Yamaha chose this instead.

Also, Indian rosewood has a more natural feel, and a more acoustic consistency. If you’re a guitarist who loves his fretboard to feel as natural as possible, you want either of these guitars. Not a very good line for the Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40 argument, right? Well, we’re getting there, let’s go.

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Get the Cordoba C5 here Get the Yamaha C40 here

Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40 – What’s Unique To Each Product?

Features Unique To The Cordoba C5

Cedar Top

The Cordoba C5 features a cedar top in contrast to the Yamaha C40 that features a spruce top. This is probably the biggest argument you would encounter when comparing any two guitars.

Whether it’s the Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40, or any other two comparisons, most times, the argument always ends up being majorly, cedar vs spruce. Another example of this argument is the Cordoba C7 spruce vs cedar top we did, you should check that out.

Cedar top as an option for guitar tops only became very popular from the mid-1960s. Before then, Spruce top was used for almost all acoustic guitars. There are other woods used to make guitar tops like Mahogany, rosewood, and so on. However, those do not compare to quality with spruce and cedar. Because of that, they are usually not mentioned in the argument.

We believe that there is no better option between cedar and spruce. However, there are definitely slight differences in the sounds produced by the different guitar tops. Now, the better option for you would be based entirely on your preference.

Guitars with cedar top produce a warmer, fuller sound than guitars with spruce tops. The sounds are also a lot more mellow, calmer, and not as clear. Musical genres like blues, classical, R&B, require the subtle sounds produced by the Cedar top guitar.

For absolute beginners, guitars with cedar top are often more preferred. Well, for one, most of them are not enlightened about the difference and just go with the crowd (the crowd, in recent years, have been edging towards the cedar top).

Those who know the differences, prefer the cedar top because of the fullness of the sounds it produces. This fullness is able to hide subtle mistakes in notes by drowning it in the overall sound.

There Are Two Types Of The Cordoba C5 Guitar

Unlike the Yamaha C40, the Cordoba C5 is available in two different types. The first is a purely acoustic guitar. This one doesn’t come with any electronics and is not able to connect to speakers.

People who pick up the acoustic version are usually beginners who do not see playing a gig in their nearest future. Or people who already play gigs, have a guitar for those, and just need something to practice with in the house.

The second type is an acoustic electric version. The acoustic electric version comes with Fishman Isys + pick up. It also comes with an onboard tuner. The Fishman Isys + comes with different controls that are able to control tone-shaping, volume, as well as, different phase controls.

The phase controls feature a pre-wired pick up, and also a few low-profile control knobs. The pick up that comes with this guitar includes a battery box which has an indicator that tells you when its battery is low.

If you already play a few gigs, or you can see yourself doing one in the near future, you might want to get this instead of the acoustic version. However, you must note that this is significantly more expensive than the acoustic type, because of the obvious extra features.

Although, in the long run, this might prove to be the more economic option as you won’t need to buy another guitar when you start playing gigs.

The C5-CE (acoustic electric) and the regular C5 (acoustic) have all the same features, except the obvious one which we’ve explained above.

Packaging

Although this guitar is available in two different types, both of these types are only available in one package. In that package, you have the guitar, a gig bag, an instructional DVD, as well as other basic accessories every beginner would need.

The packaging for the acoustic electric includes everything in the acoustic package, plus all the needed electronics to power the acoustic electric guitar. Although this is available in one package, it is sold by different vendors, each vendor having its own price.

To ensure you’re getting the best value, check the vendors price, credibility, and return policy.

While all the unique features of the Cordoba C5 are great, choosing a good guitar often comes to the sound it produces and whether it resonates with you, the guitarist. Here is a video of a Cordoba C5 being played. Here, you can hear enough to enable make the right decision:

Features Unique To The Yamaha C40

Spruce Top

Quiet the biggest difference between these two guitars, the deciding factor for the Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40, most times, the Yamaha C40 comes with a spruce top. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Cordoba C5 is made with a cedar top.

The spruce top is the more traditional of the two options. While the cedar top only became popular in the mid-1960s, Spruce top guitars have been in existence for as long as classical guitars have been in existence.

Cedar and spruce are considered to be of equal quality. However, one would be more equal than the other for you. The sound produced by the spruce guitar can be likened in sharpness, to the sound produced by a bell.

The spruce top produces a more distinct sound, as opposed to the fuller sound produced by the cedar. Every note played on the spruce top is individually heard, rather than the cedar top that is heard as a whole.

Also, the sound produced by the spruce top has been known to have a longer sustain time than that of the cedar. The musical genres that prefer this type of guitar include: rock, jazz, and sometimes, classical music.

These are musical genres that focus more on the individuality and technicality of each note, rather than the mellowness and fullness of the whole sound. What type of guitar top you should get should be determined by the type of music you want to play.

Packaging

While the Cordoba C5 comes in two types that come in one package each, the Yamaha C40 is only available in one type. However, that one type is available in two different packages.

The first package comes as just the guitar, no accessories. The second package includes the guitar, a gig bag, as well as other necessary entry-level accessories. Yeah, you guessed right, the second package is more expensive than the first.

We think the idea behind this is basically to make the same product available in different prices. This allows more people to be able to purchase the product, though they might have a significantly lower budget.

At the end of the day, the package with all the accessories is more economical if you intend buying the accessories separately. However, if you can do with the accessories and don’t have enough money, the package with just the guitar will serve you very well.

The final frontier, what exactly does the guitar sound like? We’re sure that for some people, this is all that matters to them. So, here’s a video of the Yamaha C40:

Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40 – Unique Pros

Cordoba C5

  • It has two types: an acoustic version, and an acoustic electric version.
  • Comes with a cedar top which might be a pro for you, based on preference.

Yamaha C40

  • It’s available in two packages, one of which is considerably more affordable than even the Cordoba C5.
  • Comes with a spruce top which produces a distinct, clear, and sharp sound.

Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40 – Unique Cons

Cordoba C5

  • Each type comes in only one package. This doesn’t give room for people who don’t have enough to get something without the accessories but with the same guitar quality.

Yamaha C40

  • Doesn’t have an acoustic electric version which means you can’t plug this to a speaker.

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Pros Common To Both

Cordoba C5

Yamaha C40

The guitar is very affordable for the quality it gives. However, the acoustic electric version is more expensive than the purely acoustic version. The guitar is slightly more affordable than the Cordoba C5. One of the packages it comes with (the one with just the guitar) is a lot more affordable than the Cordoba C5.
It is full-sized and lightweight The Yamaha C40 is also full-sized and lightweight.
It’s a great guitar for beginners because of its price and the accessories it comes with. The price, functionality, and packages, also make this a good entry-level guitar.
The fretboard is made with rosewood, which has a really great feel. The fretboard is also made with rosewood.
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Get the Cordoba C5 here Get the Yamaha C40 here

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Cons Common To Both

Cordoba C5

Yamaha C40

This guitar has a wide neck, which can pose a problem for beginners. This guitar also has a wide neck. However, this problem is something that a little practice can help you overcome.
Because of the wood used to make the guitar, as well as its nylon strings, this guitar needs to be kept in a place with average humidity.   Too high, or too low humidity can destroy this guitar. This guitar is also affected by increase or decrease in humidity because of its hardware.   Be sure to keep it in a place where the humidity around can be monitored and controlled.

Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40 – General Feeling Among Users

Cordoba C5

Yamaha C40

Well, people who purchased this guitar really liked it. These are people who prefer the sound from a cedar top guitar, to the sound from a spruce top guitar.  

Also, because of the two types available, this guitar was able to reach and serve a wide range of people. It worked well for entry-level beginners, and also for intermediate players who had started playing gigs.  

For beginners, the one package this guitar comes in was able
People who bought this guitar really loved the guitar mainly because of its price.  

People whose budget couldn’t afford the full package opted to just the guitar. They loved it because they got the same quality and could afford to add needed accessories as time went on.  

Apart from the price, people bought this guitar because they love the sound the spruce top makes.  

The distinct, clear, sharp sound of the traditional spruce top is loved by a lot of guitarists.
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40
Get the Cordoba C5 here Get the Yamaha C40 here

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Our Verdict

Cordoba C5

Yamaha C40

You’ve seen the features of the Cordoba C5, it’s similarities with the Yamaha C40, their differences, what we think, feeling amongst users.  

We’ve also shown you what this guitar sounds like. We think it’s a really great guitar for its price range, from a very respectable company.  

If you think so too: Get the Cordoba C5 here
You’ve seen the features of the Yamaha C5, it’s similarities with the Cordoba C5, their differences, what we think, feeling amongst users.  

We’ve also shown you what this guitar sounds like. We think it’s a really great guitar for its price range, from a very respectable company.  

If you think so too: Get the Yamaha C40 here

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