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The Cordoba “Mini”

When we were at NAMM this year me and Corey went around to booths in the morning before the show technically started so that we could actually hear the instruments. When we came to the Cordoba booth we were both floored by their new “Mini”. What we really like about this instrument is the feel and the sound. They are promoting it as a mini guitar, but from the factory they are tuned A to A, or C tuning like ukulele, so it’s more of a “guilele” or as some around here are calling these instruments, a “kiku”, not really a mini guitar.

This new instrument is the size of a baritone ukulele and fits into the baritone cases we carry perfectly. (For now, case companies tend to change their sizes on us). Cordoba’s current guilele is a 17″ scale and has a thinner nut width like a lot of guilele’s on the market. These are cramping to play and don’t sound nearly as good as the new Mini in my opinion.

The Mini is a 20″ scale, just under 2 inches at the nut, and it feels perfect. The size of the body and shape of the neck are just right. The tone is great, actually amazing for this price. They start at $199 and go up to $279. After a little setup from us it will truly be a great value for a quality musical instrument. Even I will be taking one home at these prices. Now which one should I get?

Look out for these to hit our online store The Ukulele Site this week!Our sound samples are recorded for true reference and have no alteration or enhancement. Use quality playback for the most accurate listening.

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  2. I am really surprised to hear a value like this . It is a great way just to try a new to me size , OH by the way Zach good job I didn’t know of your talent

  3. Did Pepe Romero have anything to do with the design of these . I believe he has worked with them in the past ,right?

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      Not that I know of. I actually think Cordoba set out to just make an ultra mini guitar. What they really provided is the best value guilele to date. IMO.
      We carried Cordoba guitars for years before we went ukulele only. They are just now matching their amazing guitar quality in our uke market. A continued work in progress.

  4. I cannot decide between the mahogany or the ovangkol. I love the look of the ovangkol but my local GC store only has mahogany for demo. How does the sound compare? Would it be possible for you to post a video recording of all 3 models playing the same tunes for side to side comparison, so to speak? Also do you know when the Standard E tuning strings will be available? Cordoba website says Summer 2015 but doesn’t say exactly when. Thank you, love the site!

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      Hey, Yeah they say summer so maybe by fall, more likely winter for those strings. If you don’t care about optimal setup and experienced quality control from your dedicated friends at http://theukulelesite.com then just go for mahogany from GC. But if you want to really get the best musical experience and joy/cost you go through us and end up with a custom shop feel. Don’t get me wrong, out of box, they usually are descent. It’s a factory line instrument and a great value. But I will be totally straight. We improve the quality and bring instruments like this to another level.

      I’m not to say we are the only qualified techs doing this work, but I know what we offer. I know the experience and dedication we bring to the table. So go ahead with GC if you want, they allow returns, but I feel much more confident that you will get a great instrument through us. All business and sales aside, that just the truth. After the time put in these, thay are a labor of love, but we want you to experience them anyway, it’s an affordable kiku/ guilele/ guitalele/ small body short scale guitar, or whatever you want to name it. Your new musical inspiration I predict, never any guarantee.

      But to your question, I will be putting up much more videos comparing these models. They are all very similar, the spruce tops, either one, has a little more articulation and volume. But it’s a subtle difference and I would choose what you are drawn toward.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I only mentioned GC because it is the only place near me where I can try and have a listen to the actual instrument in hand.

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          Ok, I see. I think the mahogany at least sounds as good as the others. What did you think of it?

  5. I love it. I was really surprised how good it sounds. I actually came in to check out the Cordoba guilele since I wanted a small guitar with small neck and good action, which I hope to play with my toddler son, hoping one day he will be interested in learning to play the guitar. The guy at GC showed me the Mini M which I initially thought was the guilele, and I was really taken aback at how good it sounds and feels. I went home to check out reviews and found out about the rosette and ovangkol models, which I’m most interested in seeing how the ovangkol compares to the mahogany since I really like the look of it. Also a bonus is the promise of standard E tuning strings, which I look forward to.

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  6. A question on the Ovangkol model. Ovangkol is typically used as a rosewood substitute for back and sides – I can’t recall seeing it used as a top. Given it must be a harder wood than Spruce or Cedar, I’m not sure how this works as a top. Does projection and/or volume suffer? It does sound a bit mellower as would be expected from a harder wood.

    Thanks!

    PS – Looks like these are flying in and out of stock! I’ve got a Mini-M on the way, can’t wait!

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      Hey Bo, The Ovangkol is a bit more mellow with a little less in the lowest and highest frequencies. They made them well though and it still sounds great. The Mini-M is great. Let us know how you like it when it comes in.

  7. I’m a lefty. Do you know if they come in lefty models? It looks like the saddle is not canted, so would one be able to just flip the saddle and nut to make it lefty–I’m assuming the bracing is the same top/bottom on these…also, how does the sound of these compare to the guillele?
    Thanks, your videos are awesome.
    Jay

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      Yeah they are made symmetrical and can be changed to left handed at no extra charge. Thanks Jay.

  8. Just taken delivery of a mini o and immediately down-tuned it to standard guitar tuning. Sounds pretty good despite not being recommended for the strings supplied. Have ordered 2 sets of Es, which I’m sure will be a big improvement, but I only intend to use it as a travel guitar so I wanted to get used to that scenario straight away. I’m tempted to try with an all steel string setup. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t give it a go with the lightest gauge strings?

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  9. Your review(s) helped me make my choice and I bought a Mini M about a year ago. As a retired person me and my wife are traveling with our motor home a lot every year, mostly to the south of Europe (France, Spain). I should explain that I’m Dutch…. but at any rate, I bought the Mini M and boy, do I like that little guitar, I should say LOVE! Seriously, this is such a great travel companion, such an easy to play little lady and with such a great sound!

    BUT: I didn’t want the A-tuning, I wanted to be able to play along with others and have the same tuning as my other, full size nylon string guitars. So I started searching for decent E tuning strings and, to make a long story short, finally found the (my) ideal setup (with help/advise from Matt at Stringsbymail.com). So I am using the following, very satisfying, setup now (and have been for a long time):
    Bass (EAD) strings from Cordoba (Aquila) Mini String Set E Tuning, I didn’t like the treble strings of this set (sound horrible, in my view) so for these I ended up stringing trebles from Oasis GPX+ Carbon High Tension. You can buy just the Oasis treble strings as a set and use the ball ends of the Aguila trebles you don’t use, just tie a double knot and slip the ball end on, it will hold. Try and let it grow on you…. Hope this helps!

  10. Hi Andrew,

    I just can’t decide between the Rosewood and Mahogany versions of the Cordoba Mini after hearing the audios. So can I ask which one you like best for sound quality (esp for fingerpicking)?

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  11. Holy cow, so glad I stumbled across this page! I fiddled around with the guitar for a while before I got my uke from you guys, and I decided to switch largely because I have really small hands and certain chords were just impossible. Love the uke and got a low-G put on it, but I still miss the greater range of the guitar. This thing seems to check all the boxes– size, portability, nylon strings, wider nut. Definitely ordering one when I get the chance.

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