Categories
Uncategorized

Cordoba Guilele Review and Overview [2021 Guide]

If you’re interested in the Cordoba guilele, this article is for you!

I’ve played guitar since 2003, the ukulele since 2011, and the guitalele since 2019.

When researching guitaleles to purchase in 2019, Cordoba’s instrument definitely came up.

Although I ended up going with Caramel’s guilele, I thought I’d include my Cordoba guilele research here on the blog.

Cordoba Guitars released their guitar/ukulele hybrid back in 2011.

If you’re unfamiliar with the guitalele, it has the size and feel of a tenor ukulele, but with six strings tuned in the same intervals as a guitar but up a fourth as if you were to capo the guitar on the fifth fret: ADGCEA.

You can learn more about the guitalele in my post about it here.

As I’ve noted in other articles, most guitaleles are closer to a baritone uke in size with lengths around 29 or 30 inches.

However, Cordoba’s guilele length is a bit shorter (and closer to the length of a tenor uke) at 27.5 inches.

The two extra strings compared to the uke provide a greater range that allows players to play fuller chords and melodies.

I’ll examine some of the different instrument options for Cordoba guileles in the following sections.

Cordoba GP100 Guilele Pack

Cordoba Guitars released the GP100 as their first guilele model available back in 2011.

The GP100 is a standard model guitalele.

Many compare this instrument to the Yamaha GL1 model in terms of construction, specs, and price-quality ratio.

Cordoba GP100 Specs

Here are some of the specs for this instrument:

  • Spruce top
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Natural satin finish
  • 17-frets rosewood fingerboard
  • Composite nut and saddle
  • Pau Ferro bridge

And here are included accessories:

  • Travel gig bag
  • Digital clip-on tuner
  • Chord & lessons book
  • 2 picks

Pros & Cons

The Cordoba GP100 is an entirely acoustic model that can play in the tonal range of a ukulele with the tuning intervals of a guitar.

As indicated above, one of the strengths of the Cordoba GP100 is that its low price includes some accessories as well.

The result is an acoustic mini-guitar that is great for travel and highly functional for performing a wide range of music thanks to its six-strings and tonal range.

Many report that the sound quality and resonance are good for the size of the instrument.

You can get a sense of its sound in the following video.

The combination of spruce top and mahogany for the body favors the low register.

Thus, some report that the higher strings and notes sound thin.

In light of these qualities, an instrument this size is best for playing in small intimate settings like next to a campfire or in a small room.

Likewise, the Cordoba GP100 will struggle to provide enough volume in larger settings particularly because it doesn’t have a pickup.

Also, the action of the strings may be a little high for most people’s preferences.

And, because Cordoba ukes and guileles do not have truss rods, you cannot make adjustments to the action.

That said, its nylon strings should be easy enough to press down despite higher action and will be gentler on the fingertips than steel strings.

Accessories

The inclusion of the gig bag makes the Cordoba GP100 a good product in terms of price if you want an instrument that is also portable.

The clip-on tuner is a nice addition too.

Plus, according to Cordoba, guitarist Pepe Romero supervised the design of the GP100, ensuring high-quality tone at an affordable price.

And the chord and lessons book of the GP100 is a helpful addition for a beginner especially because there aren’t great learning resources for the guitalele.

Overall, the Cordoba GP100 package offers a fairly comprehensive package for an affordable price.

Cordoba Guilele CE 6 String Acoustic Nylon Guitar/Ukulele Hybrid

The Cordoba Guilele CE is an upgrade of its predecessor, Cordoba’s GP100 model.

Cordoba CE Specs

The CE model’s construction details include:

  • Solid spruce top: Ideal material to increase the resonance of the lower strings
  • Mahogany back and sides: Solid materials to ensure both beauty and reliability, also ideal for percussive effects
  • 17-frets rosewood fingerboard: Frets are wider to allow a broader register, playability and a robust tone
  • Natural satin finish: Beautiful and resistant for percussive effects
  • Two-band EQ undersaddle piezo pickup system: Practical when in need of amplification, the two-band EQ allows you to match your guilele’s tone to the acoustics of the room, getting a good amplification for the natural tone of the instrument.
  • Cutaway: Ideal for easy-access to the highest registers of the guilele

Pros & Cons

The inclusion of the piezo pickup system is a big step up from the GP100 model.

You can get a sense of its sound when amped in the video below.

Aso, natural materials instead of laminated sides and back should provide greater resonance compared to the GP100.

However, the resonance could be enhanced further if you choose to substitute the bridge and the nut with bone alternatives.

(Any local luthier or instrument repair person should be able to make this substitution if you want.)

The rosewood fretboard, on the other hand, has wider frets than those found in the Cordoba GP100, which allows you to play complex fingerings and barre chords with greater comfort.

And the action is apparently a bit lower on this one than the GP100 making it a little easier for beginners on their guitar or guilele journey.

Cordoba Mini O-CE Acoustic/Electric Nylon String Guitar

The Cordoba Mini O-CE is a technical upgrade compared to the previous two instruments given its construction from higher-quality materials.

Also, the Mini O-CE is notably louder than the GP100 and CE models thanks to the greater depth and size of its solid body made out of ovangkol.

You can get a sense of its sound in the following video.

Cordoba Mini O-CE Specs

The Cordoba Mini O-CE specs and construction details are:

  • Ovangkol solid body and sides
  • Cedar U-neck
  • 18-fret rosewood fretboard
  • Natural satin finish
  • Two-band undersaddle piezo pickup system
  • Cutaway

Pros and Cons

The ovangkol solid body is bigger and deeper than that of the Cordoba GP100 or CE, allowing the Mini O-CE to produce louder volume and greater resonance.

Plus, the piezo pickup provides solid amplification for the Mini O-CE, which you may well want with an instrument of its size.

The width of the frets is similar in size to that of the guitar from the 5th fret onwards.

For guitarists expecting a travel guitar, the Mini O-CE is a good companion because of its size, playability, and tone quality.

The tone quality is closer to a guitar rather than a ukulele, because of the strings’ gauge and tension.

But of course, better tone comes with a higher price as instrument is the most expensive of the three.

Conclusion

The ideal Cordoba Guilele for you depends, of course, on your musical needs and aspirations.

The options available at Cordoba Guitars shop are fine for beginners and serious players looking for different possibilities in terms of tone quality and playability.

If you are a beginner set on purchasing a Cordoba instrument, the GP100 model is your go-to, while the CE model extends the acoustic possibilities to the electronic realm thanks to the piezo pickup.

And the Cordoba Mini O-CE is the choice for the more serious musician.

That said, I chose Caramel’s guitalele because it has better reviews, a truss rod (making the neck sturdier and allowing for steel strings if you prefer), and is larger than the Cordoba guileles providing more amplification.

If you have questions about the guitalele, let me know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *