Founded in 1997 Cordoba builds quality guitars and ukes. In fact Cordoba has a couple new models called the Mini and Mini II that are basically tiny guitars and a little larger than baritone ukuleles. Their instruments do not have amazing artwork or designs, they are just simply built for great tones. Being in the business of both nylon guitars and ukuleles show they know their way around acoustic instruments! They mostly use the woods mahogany and acacia, solid wood on the more expensive brands and laminated woods for cheaper models. Of course the best Cordoba ukulele is going to have solid wood for the most pleasant sound. Cordoba has a very classic style with basic wood grain colors, nothing too out of the ordinary. While they do carry the lower budget models to compete with other brands, many of their ukes are a little pricier (see Cordoba 20CM in our Best Ukuleles Under $200 article).
Cordoba ukes come in all four sizes. As a reminder there is the soprano, concert, tenor, and the baritone. The soprano is the smallest and traditional uke size while the baritone is the largest and even has a different tuning. The second largest is the concert ukulele and the tenor is a few more inches taller than that. Most beginning uke students prefer the concerts and tenors as they are a little larger and project sound better. In some of these models they offer acoustic-electric and alternative cutaway body styles. As mentioned above Cordoba also makes classical and nylon string guitars, there may be a chance you are a guitar player wanting to learn ukulele. If so, a baritone is going to be the slightest change as the four strings are the same bottom four strings of a guitar. However if you still want that unique uke sound perhaps a tenor is the one to start on.
We have included Cordoba ukulele reviews in past articles (Best Ukuleles Under $200, Best Ukulele Brands for Intermediate and Advanced Players) so the examples below are completely new models that may be of interest. We included a basic beginner series for those not wishing to spend much and a next level solid wood series. If you have already played a ukulele and know you love it, then it is worth spending more to get a great sounding instrument. There is of course way more Cordoba ukes than we have listed now or in the past. If their classic style suits your needs than head over to their website and look at a few different models. Otherwise if you are new student the following styles below are fine to start on.
|Cordoba 20TM Vault Package||Solid mahogany tenor|
Deluxe gig bag and tuner
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|Protégé by Cordoba Series||Laminated mahogany|
Matte finish and gig bag included
Protégé series offered in soprano, concert, and tenor
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Cordoba 20TM Vault Package
As far as Cordoba tenor ukulele reviews go, the 20TM is going to be at the top of many lists. It is a very gorgeous instrument and it is made with solid mahogany for the sound board. The back, sides, and neck are all also mahogany while the fretboard is rosewood with pearl inlay. It has a natural satin finish and a wood rosette with a herringbone pattern around the sound hole. If you want to play on stage this ukulele would be one you could proudly show off. This 20TM is sold as a bundle including a padded gig bag and tuner. In this Cordoba series they also have a soprano, concert, baritone, and acoustic-electric. There are even a couple other tenor cutaways if you prefer that style. All models are made of the same solid mahogany and have the same design additions (except the soprano is a lighter finish).
The only con to this particular Cordoba ukulele is likely a budget or design issue. If you are a beginner and don’t have this much to spend than you will need to find another uke. Of course if you also need a flashy and artistic brand than the classic style of Cordoba likely won’t be your first pick. If you can’t afford the acoustic-electric now you can always have a pickup added to your uke later. All in all if you like how the Cordoba 20 models look than they will be happy purchases!
“This Cordoba ukulele has such beautiful wood and sturdy construction. It has a warm and rich tone; this was my first ukulele purchase after lots of research. I made the right choice.”Shanon
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“I’ve owned a few ukes all from different makers, and my favorite is this solid mahogany Cordoba. It just seems like it has been built better and to last longer. This tenor ukulele doesn’t just sound great, it looks like it sounds great. A professional instrument for a low price.”Robert K.
Protégé by Cordoba Series
While this may not be the best Cordoba ukulele, it is a very popular line for beginners. The U100CM concert has laminated mahogany for the top, sides, and back. It also has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge along with a matte finish and mother of pearl rosette. The soprano size, the U100SM, is made of the same materials but also comes with extras like the gig bag, tuner, strap, spare strings, and picks. The tenor, the U100TM, similarly has the same laminated mahogany build and comes with a gig bag. It seems they once made baritones in this line, but they are no longer sold new, only on used sites.
This Protégé series takes after its name, the word implies a student guided by a more experienced teacher. Here Cordoba has made a very simple line of ukes, the bare necessities for the lowest price. They are the experienced acoustic luthiers, and first time ukulele players are going to be fine with their instruments. So yeah, as far as Cordoba ukulele reviews go, this Protégé line isn’t the best out there. However it is like most entry level ukuleles and perfect for a beginner to get their feet wet. If they fit your budget than pick a size, order it, and get playing!
“After a lot of research I’ve noticed that Cordoba ukulele prices are usually higher than others. I assumed with this lower priced concert model that I would be getting a better quality instrument than other companies. After playing the U100CM for a couple weeks, I think I was right. Cordoba simply makes great instruments!”James
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“I was looking for the cheapest small ukulele to buy for my son. I felt guilty for not spending more, but I didn’t have high expectations. The Cordoba ukuleles were just slightly a little more than most beginner bundles, so I bought it. I was prepared for it to need tuning a lot, but it wasn’t too bad. It simply sounds amazing and I think that helped get my son truly hooked on playing. I will be upgrading from his beginner soprano to another Cordoba.”Bradley L.
Considering Cordoba has been making great nylon instruments for years, they seem the logical place to go for a ukulele. No doubt they are very simple instruments suited for the musician who wants quality sound and isn’t too concerned with looks. Undoubtedly Cordoba ukuleles have the same classic and high quality look as their guitars, but no one would ever call them flashy. Some players like it when a company only focuses on one item, but when a builder knows their way around multiple instruments? That’s usually a good sign that you will get quality even at the lower model prices.
Quality ukuleles can be found among most companies out there. Any instrument you buy from places like Kala, Oscar Schmidt, Luna, Enya, and many more will have the same quality and sound depending on your price range. That’s not to say each brand doesn’t have a unique sound, if you live near a music store you can personally go and play a few different brands. Perhaps one might catch your ear and your eye, especially at the right budget. Just remember that lower prices get you laminated woods and higher get you solid. Regardless of what brand you want, if you can hold out until a higher budget (like $200 or $500) you will find a much better and longer lasting ukulele.
So if you happen to be wondering, are Cordoba ukuleles good? Yes, especially if their classic looking ukes suit your tastes. As an established company they will have a variety of low and high end models in all sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. If you want the best Cordoba ukulele than you will have to buy one of the solid wood models. Otherwise buy the entry ones if you are not expecting perfection. Either way they have plenty of great reviews and customers who have issues are immediately helped. Whether you are looking for a new instrument for a beginner or another size uke with a more advanced sound, give Cordoba ukuleles a try, they may just end up being your favorite brand! ?