Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – An In-depth Review

Today, we’ll be looking at Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40.

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.

Here’s the summary:

Table of Contents

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Comparison Overview

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 make 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.

Which Is Better – Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40?

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.

So, before we head on to discuss about these guitars in particular, we would like you to check the video below. It will help us to put things into perspective as we look at these individual products, their strengths, weaknesses, and similarities.

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.

What Features Do Cordoba C5 And Yamaha C40 Have In Common?

Full-sized and lightweight

Made with Mahogany tonewood

Nylon strings

Rosewood fretboard

Full Sized And Lightweight

Off the box, what you would notice instantly is the weight and the size of these guitars.

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.

See also  Cordoba C7 vs C9 – Which Should You Choose?

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. 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

Mahogany is a really good wood because it just creates a good sounding guitar. It emphasizes on both the bass sounds, and the treble sounds. It also 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.

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.

Is it true that nylon string fingers don’t hurt?

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 long 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.

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.

What type of rosewood is the fretboard of the Cordoba C5 made of?

Cordoba C5 and Yamaha C40 are made with 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.

See also  Cordoba C7 Vs C10 – Which Should You Get?

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 – What’s Unique To Each Product?

What Features Are Unique To The Cordoba C5?

Cedar Top

Acoustic and acoustic-electric versions are available


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.

Another example of this argument is the Cordoba C7 spruce vs cedar top we did, you should check that out.

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.


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:

What Features Are Unique To The Yamaha C40?

Spruce Top


Spruce 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, 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.


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.

See also  Cordoba C10 Cedar Vs Spruce - Which Is The Better Option?

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:

Unique Pros – Cordoba C5 vs Yamaha C40

Why Some People Prefer The Cordoba C5 Over The Yamaha C40

A lot of people prefer the Cordoba C5 because of the variety it offers with a purely acoustic version and an acoustic-electric version. With these two options, you’re free to pick the guitar that fits yours needs best. 

Another reason why a lot of people like the Cordoba C5 is the Cedar top it comes with. But because this feature splits so many opinions, it can either be a pro or con for you, based on your preference.

Why Some People Prefer The Yamaha C40 Over The Cordoba C5

A lot of people opt for the Yamaha C40 because of its price. This guitar is available in two packages, one of which is considerably more affordable than even the Cordoba C5.

The second reason why people prefer this guitar to the Cordoba C5 is its spruce top. This top produces a distinct, clear, and sharp sound that some people like.

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.

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.

Check Out These Articles

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 – 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

Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Yamaha C40 a good guitar?

The Yamaha C40 is one of the cheapest full-sized classical guitars on the market which makes it great for beginners who want to get started with classical music. 

One thing to mention, though, is that the wood used to make the guitar is laminate, meaning that the projection of the guitar won’t be as good as a solid wood guitar.

However, in the package, you also get a guitar stand, a string winder, guitar polish, guitar rag, and extra strings if you buy this guitar as a bundle. So, yeah, the Yamaha C40 is a pretty good guitar, especially for beginners.

What is the best classical guitar for the money?

The Yamaha NCX1200R Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar. This guitar is the perfect mix of classical and modern design. It comes with a solid Sitka spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, an African mahogany neck, an ebony fingerboard, and an excellent, natural finish. 

This guitar has a thinner body and a more narrow neck compared to other traditional classical guitars which makes it great for people transitioning from regular guitars. 

The Yamaha NCX1200R comes with a reinforced case, guitar stand, and the Yamaha guitar care kit. Want more? It also comes with an instructional DVD to help you get started.

Where are Cordoba C5s made?

Cordoba is a city in southern Spain which might confuse a lot of people since these guitars actually aren’t made in Spain. Most of Cordoba’s guitars, including the Cordoba C5 are made in Spain. 

In fact, research shows that about 80% of the guitars sold in the USA today are made in China.

Is Cordoba a good guitar brand?

The Cordoba guitar brand aims at a gradual development of the nylon string guitar combining the master Luthiers craftsmanship of the old with new technology and innovation. This brand introduces guitars that represent the future of guitar making. 

Every Cordoba guitar is somewhat lightweight and quite responsive with different sizes, varying from ¼ to full capacity. They are quite good, either for regular playing in the house or at an event.

What is a good price for a classical guitar?

The price of classical guitars varies from as little as $40 to as high as $5000. So, you have to first narrow down your search to your particular use case before you can determine what price is fair for a classical guitar that will work for you. 

For instance, left-handed guitars are very rare and therefore more expensive than right-handed guitars. And guitars made for professional concert guitarists are way more expensive than classical guitars that are made for beginners and hobbyists.

Can I put steel strings on my nylon-stringed guitar?

Putting steel strings on a nylon-stringed guitar can cause irreparable damage to your guitar’s bridge, neck, soundboard, and tuning machines. This is because the tension from steel strings are heavier than the tension from nylon strings. As a result, nylon-stringed guitars aren’t built strong enough to withstand the tension from steel strings. 

On the flip side, however, it is completely fine to put nylon strings on a steel-stringed guitar. Nylon strings don’t produce as much tension as steel strings. As a result, steel-string guitars are well-equipped to handle the tension produced by nylon string guitars. 

1 thought on “Cordoba C5 Vs Yamaha C40 – An In-depth Review”

  1. A very informative article indeed. But the basic difference between the Yamaha C40 and Cordoba C5 seems to have been totally missed out.
    Yamaha C-40 is a laminated Spruce top guitar and costs about US$ 150
    Cordoba C-5 is a solid top Cedar guitar and costs about US$ 350.

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