Cordoba Ukulele

Cordoba are mainly a guitar company – specialising in nylon string acoustic guitars. Even though they have only been going since 1997, they have built a good reputation and have some very impressive supporters including Bon Iver, Leonard Cohen, Jose Gonzalez and The Decemberists.

They are based in California and their ukes are made in China. Their ukes are well reviewed – as you can see below.

On Video

ukesun plays Isa Lei on his soprano Cordoba ukulele.

Demonstration of a Cordoba 20-CM concert ukulele.

On eBay


On Amazon UK


43 Comments

  1. Evan June 22nd, 2010 8:40 pm

    Great Uke! I have a 24CK concert uke, and i’m having a great time with it! It is a great uke for the price! Overall AWESOME uke.

  2. Revy August 2nd, 2010 2:50 am

    I’m cradling my new 25CK. I would have to say that this is the best ukulele in existence.

    I’m in lovel

  3. jarek August 14th, 2010 10:31 am

    I found 10c not kepping tune… sound is fine and look too…

  4. Drocka October 24th, 2010 3:38 am

    Am considering the 20BM baritone. All mahogany construction, with a great sound that less bassy than thinner-skinned ukes like Makala’s MK-B (if that’s your taste). It comes with Aquila strings, but after trying three different 20BM’s I can confirm that this uke gets a pronounced buzz on the nylgut 2nd-B string, and to a lesser extent, on the 1st-E string. I’m up in the air as to whether I want to change out the strings or buy a different bari than can handle Aquilas.

  5. Luke November 6th, 2010 2:33 am

    Great uke!!!! Very good projection, intonation, and it is just gorgeous. Better than any uke i have played! Get it!!!!

  6. Scooterchick December 19th, 2010 5:30 am

    I have recently acquired a Cordoba Concert model 10MB. It seems to be fairly popular around here. I love the way it feels in my hands, it seems perfect for a woman, and it is so loud! It’s easy to play, and stays in tune pretty well. It sounds really good for a ukulele that only cost me a little over $100. I think I’ll stick with it for a long time.

  7. CW January 9th, 2011 1:55 am

    I bought a 15-CM concert ukulele and it looks and sounds really good. It seems to keep tune pretty well even if i play it really loud and hard. I compared it to a 20-CM in the store. Both were solid mahogany and had rosewood fretboards, but the 15 had a Satin finish while the 20 had a Matte finish and came with a gigbag. the 15 seemed louder and had a fuller tone and had a cool abalone inlay around the sound hole and was cheaper, but it did not include a case as did the 20-CM. The first 15-CM i played had some kind of crack in the back and a very small one in the front, even though it sounded great (better than the uncracked 20-CM i thought), but i had the clerk grab a new one from the back and it was flawless. I red online that Cordobas seem to have problems cracking and are pretty inconsistent, but it seemed like they were mostly talking about older models, and i guess you just have to inspect them closely before you buy them. I’m very happy with mine however! Great Uke!

  8. Abbey January 16th, 2011 10:36 pm

    I have been playing my sunny yellow Mahalo uke for about 6 months now, and feel it may be time to move up to a nicer sounding uke.

    I have been intrigued by a Cordoba bamboo soprano uke (model 25SB I think) I played with at guitar center. It’s a little plain looking but I really like the bright sound and its curved, back (great for a woman–as someone mentioned already). I’m a little wary of a bamboo instrument, seeing as how there aren’t many out there. Part of my reservation is that the price tag–$220–seems a little high for an instrument made of “fast-growing, highly renewable” bamboo. Seems to me part of the expense of high-end ukes is they are made of exotic/expensive woods. Has anyone had any experience with any bamboo stringed instruments (guitar, uke, or otherwise)? or any opinion on whether it is worth the price?

  9. Chris February 16th, 2011 6:11 am

    I own a Cordoba 25TK acoustic/electric tenor. Cordoba’s gears are of superior quality, very smooth turning. The finish is thin satin open-pore (the finish was a bit rough in places along the waist on the sides, so I used superfine 0000 steel wool to smooth out those rough (grainy) spots a bit (first covering the tone hole and using a small magnet to sweep up any and all steel wool dust). Not much of an arch on the back (almost flat). Saddle has a straight slot design. Came with a very nice, near perfect, not too high, factory set-up. A somewhat quiet tone with nice rich upper harmonics!

  10. Joel Jr. February 23rd, 2011 3:45 am

    I have a 20TM-CE and it’s awesome! It have a great sound plugged or unplugged. I love it.

  11. Jeremy Daniel March 23rd, 2011 2:50 am

    I just got a Cordoba Ukulele and I love it! It sounds amazing and is wonderful to play. I highly recommend them. Cordoba makes great, affordable products. Perfect for beginners or experienced players.

  12. Jack April 25th, 2011 2:18 am

    I have purchased a Cordoba 20CM Ukulele about a week ago. I really like the sound and portability. I have already learned a lot of cords now I just have to practice. I feel confident in this brand and am already looking forward to purchasing a baritone in a few months.

  13. P.J. June 9th, 2011 5:24 pm

    They now just call them Koa because the wood is actually from “hawaiian” koa trees that grow in Portugal. These trees do not suddenly become “acacia” just because they grow in Portugal any more than a Hawaiian Mango would stop being a Hawaiian Mango just because the seed was planted in the Philippines.

  14. M C Hesus June 27th, 2011 5:00 am

    Of all the Guitar makers that turned their hand to Uke Production (cashing in on the craze?) Cordoba do it the best.

    Producing a fine loud classical guitar is an art, and that knowledge and skill is transferred at Cordoba into a fine loud ukulele.

    Ukuleles are not just little guitars, something many Makers do not take enough notice off. (Fender, Ibanez, Cole Clark I am talking to you)

    For instance I am Aussie but can say the Aussie Cole Clark ukes fall into that exact trap, necks feel like their guitar necks, but trimmed down to take 4 strings. Tops are as thick as their acoustic guitars. Way too thick for the little nylon uke strings to get the top vibrating.

    Electrically Cole Clark’s are great though, very feedback resistant.

    Acoustically I’ll take my Cordoba anyday of the week.

  15. Moon August 13th, 2011 3:25 am

    CW,

    Thanks for posting! I am so happy to hear you’re so happy with your purchase. I just bought the same exact 15CM model (made in Italy, not China like I had read somewhere) and was concerned at first because I was not familiar with Cordoba, but I loved the sound too.

    Moon

  16. Wes September 2nd, 2011 7:58 pm

    I recently bought a Cordoba 25CK from Guitar Center. The uke came strung backwards, but it was so beautiful looking I had to get it. Switched the strings with some new Aquilas, and found that I had to fix one of the tuners because it was way over tightened. Once I finally got it playable I found that it was extremely buzzy if you tried playing loud because of how low the action was. It produced a quieter and less beautiful sound than the Makala soprano it was supposed to be replacing. I had had it, and returned it. I then took a trip out to Elderly Instruments and found a beautiful concert koa uke that was cheaper than the Cordoba. Moral of the story: test a uke before you buy it, don’t buy guitar center, and don’t trust a girl just because she’s pretty. I have also played a baritone mahogany uke by them and it also had a crappy sound.

  17. Robert Bailey October 9th, 2011 4:30 am

    I am a rank armature. I have two ukuleles, both Cordobas, both loved.

    The 15CM was my first ukulele. I was impressed with the quality of the instrument, made of mahogany plywood. Intonation was great. Sound is good. There was a piece of Chinese newspaper soaked with finish rattling around inside, so I am guessing that is where is was made. Machine heads have a lot of slop in the gear play. I just have to learn to tune up to the note. I bought this from Musicians’ Friend.

    Then purchased a 20SM. It sounds great though small compared to the 15DM, but somehow richer, really nice. I guess because of the solid mahogany top. Intonation was a little less perfect compared to the 15CM. Finish had a few blemishes, especially behind the headstock. Machine heads gear play tighter compared to 15CM, less slop. Bought this one off Ebay.

    Both beautiful things.

  18. Kaxahdan October 31st, 2011 7:26 am

    I have a 20TM tenor Cordoba. It is just great! The make is excellent; the sound beautiful; the feel smooth & nice. I tend to think that if one is to have only one uke, a tenor Cordoba it should be.

  19. jon December 18th, 2011 11:45 pm

    I ordered a new 15CM after reading reviews at Amazon and Musicians Friend. The reviews were great. It is said to have a solid top, bone nut and bridge, decent tuners, etc. It’ll be my first ukulele. I’m a guitar player and will have to learn to play this new addition to my stringed instruments.

  20. HK December 26th, 2011 8:31 pm

    I was given a 20TM-CE as a gift. I was surprised at the warm yet crisp sound that was coming out of this bugga.The electronics seem to me, stable and consistent.The “feel” of this ukulele is extremely comfortable throw on some aquilla or d’addario strings and this thing comes to life without having to constantly tune.

  21. CarrieH January 22nd, 2012 3:06 am

    Just got a Cordoba 20SM today! I had been looking for about a month for something to upgrade from my $30 Makala.. tested out a couple different brands here and there. When i tested this one i was completely shocked by how loud and crisp it is. It was one of three in this particular shop with the other two being all shiney and brands i’ve heard of. Cordoba was not as familiar to me. But they sounded muffled and tinny compared to the full sound of this little guy. And, even better, it came with aquila strings and a case!

    Got it home and tuned it up. Seems to hold the tune even in the higger chords which my poor little makala didnt. Im also able to make more dramatic changes in songs based on just the sheer volume this thing can pull off. Though, the louder i go, the more buzzing shows up on some chords. All in all though, it has a great sound. Looks great too and feel solid. Just seems like a well made, well thought out little uke for the amount of money i was looking to spend (sale at the store got me a price of $150 total).

    I totally recommend!

  22. MarkB February 4th, 2012 5:17 pm

    After much shopping I decided on the Cordoba 20CM for my first ukulele and I couldn’t be happier.

    It is solid mahogany, so it sounds far better than the laminates. It was $150 at Guitar Center with a really nice padded bag, but with a coupon the price was knocked down to $132 (always look for Guitar Center coupons before buying).

    It definitely pays to spend a little more and get solid wood — in addition to the sound, it just looks and feels nicer.

    The 15CM ($100, no bag) has a solid top, but the quality of the wood is much better on the 20CM.

    Also, I read that ukuleles commonly lose tuning while you play. Well, I played this all day yesterday and except for a couple of tweaks, I never lost tuning.

    After just one day I know a dozen chords and a couple of songs. I may never pick up my guitar again!

  23. MarkB February 4th, 2012 7:58 pm

    Correction to my comment above:

    The 15CM might not have a solid top. Upon further review, it doesn’t say “solid” in the manufacturer’s description, so it might be a laminate. The wording on that is often (deliberately?!) confusing.

    But the 20CM does indeed have a solid top.

    Sorry.

  24. Naomi K February 5th, 2012 10:04 pm

    I have the 20TM-CE. I bought it as an upgrade from my Oscar Scmidt OU2 (that I bought to see if I enjoyed playing the uke). Like the other commenters mine has a lovely warm sound, looks pretty and plays well. Mine came with really high action however. From what I’ve read on various reviews it seems to be a common issue with Cordoba. It’s not really a big deal though. Just make sure that you buy your uke through a dealer that can do a set up for you. Most places will do it for free. I found it to be kind of a bonus for me because my guy asked me how I played before doing the work and it came back perfect.

  25. John Bianchi March 30th, 2012 9:24 pm

    I have the UP-110 concert uke with the abalone roseate. Honestly wasn’t expecting a whole lot from it as I’ve played several Cordobas and found them inconsistently built and on the heavy build side, but was pleasantly surprised with mine.

    First – it looks good. Good rich tone; no bark or bite to it, but pleasant enough. Heavy build as expected, top doesn’t ring, but overall a good sounding instrument.

    Quality can be inconsistent from instrument to instrument, but no problems with mine there.

  26. Leah M May 13th, 2012 3:04 am

    I love my new Cordoba 10cm ukulele. I am just learning and bought it on a whim today, and I can’t put it down. The solid mahogany is sexy and the sound is incredible; it really projects a clear, rich sound. I can’t wait until I get half good at it. I named mine Dante because it means endure.. and I want to endure the frustration of teaching myself from scratch so that I can do this quality instrument some justice!

  27. mic May 13th, 2012 9:01 pm

    This is my third UKE and what a difference. I picked it up at the store and it never left my hands until I got home. I have a 2007 concert and not only is it gorgeous and easy to fondle, but the voice sings like no other. I too find the tuning a bit constant but not a reason to leave this one on the stand…it’s worth the price.

  28. Rod Iffinger June 22nd, 2012 3:15 pm

    I have the 20TM-E tenor. Nice warm sound and exceptionally well made. Sounds great unplugged or through my little 10 watt Peavey guitar amp. I buy most of my ukes through Hawaii Music Supply as they do a proper setup of the action on every uke they sell. Prices are pretty competitive as well. Would happily buy Cordoba again.

  29. LoveRulesHate August 4th, 2012 1:09 am

    Have had my Cordoba 25SK Soprano for about a month. It quickly became a favorite. Beautiful craftsmanship. Excellent setup on intonation, action and finish (edges on frets were clean). This one came with the Portuguese Black & White checkerboard binding (reminiscent of Moors Archways) which I was having a hard time finding. I usually rate most instruments only three stars on value, but the one rates a 5 at any price. Gave it a 4 on Playability only because its a Soprano.

  30. Jeremaine Yeo August 21st, 2012 4:47 pm

    I’m holding a Cordoba 25TK-CE for almost a month. Excellent tone especially when it is plugged in. Definitely a worthy purchase.

    I’ve also done some plugged in audio recordings using this marvelous instrument for sharing at Youtube. You may find them using the following keywords to search via Youtube – Jeremaine Yeo Ukuele Cordoba 25TK-CE.

    Enjoy Music Enjoy Life…

  31. DukeNukem September 1st, 2012 5:06 am

    I have two Cordobas and wanted to make a comparison. First the CM15 which has a surprisingly loud and resonant tone, very mellow and also beauiful to look at.

    I also have a Cordoba 20TM-CE which is a nice tenor, plays smoothly and I like it a lot because of the on board electronics. I actually prefer tenors in general but here is my 2 cents.

    The concert size CM-15 just sounds so much richer and the resonance is amazing. It sounds so sweet. So I like them both – both decent enough Ukuleles – but the CM15 is definatly my desert island Uke!

  32. Armen September 5th, 2012 5:07 pm

    I bought a ukulele Cordoba 25TK online store Strings By Mail.
    Beautiful ukulele. Would recommend. Reasonable price, excellent quality. The sound depends on the quality of the strings. Put strings Worth and Addario. Everyone has their own flavor of sound.

  33. Jake September 23rd, 2012 12:24 am

    I have the cordoba 15cm concert sized ukulele, that I bought from giutar center for $99.99. It is such a nice uke. It plays really good and has great sound I would definately recommend it to anyone interested in buying a ukulele!

  34. Lisa November 7th, 2012 11:52 pm

    So, I have a 10CM concert uke, and I’m simply in love. It’s my first uke, so there’s not much I can compare it to, but still. All in all, awesome. I can’t put it down, and it’s pretty much always somewhere near me, in case I want to strum a couple chords. I definitely recommend it, AND it was a little less than $100 at Sam Ash. Just in my price range. :) It’s really nice and loud, and compared to my best friend’s uke, her’s sounds really muffled and tinny.

  35. Mark November 8th, 2012 2:05 am

    After having bought a new 20SM (soprano, and loving it) I found a 20CM used at a local shop. It had clear nylon strings, (Martin I believe) and a bit of a hump in the fingerboard where the body meets the neck. Within 2 hours I had the little feller fixed, and a set of non re entry Aguila strings on it. It plays flawlessly now, Powers through the mix, even with Banjos and Mandolins. It didn’t come with a case, but fit well in an old full size Violin case, with very little modification. Now I only need to decide if the concert, or soprano voice sounds best on the song..

  36. Blaine November 9th, 2012 8:04 pm

    I purchased a Cordoba 20TM-CE in February of this year as a temporary instrument to allow me to perform a gig while the Lanikai CK-TEK I wanted was shipped and fully intended on returning the Cordoba once the Lanikai arrived that next week. Well I fell in love with the Cordoba and when the Lanikai finally arrived I played them side by side for about two weeks but always kept coming back to the Cordoba and eventually stopped playing the Lanakai altogether and returned it to the store. I was strictly a guitar player for the past 35 years and only picked up the ukulele in late December of 2011 as a whim when I bought a Lanikai saprano for my wife who teaches early childhood music and I couldn’t put it down and she told me if your not going to let me play it, go buy your own; so I did! I was working on a studio project at the time and ended up working the uke into that body of work which opened some eyes when I walked into the studio that night with the saprano tucked under my arm and turned some heaeds ~ I did the recordings on the Cordoba though at a later date). What the uke has opened up for me from a songwriting perspective was unbelievable and has been my main tool for writing since January of this year. Not knocking the Lanikai any one bit as it was a very nice instrument and very beautiul piece to look at, but to me an instrument is a personal preference and although neither are high end instruments, even though the Lanikai was slightly higher in cost, did not equate to my liking any better as the Cordoba just fit like a glove and I can’t stop playing it (my guitars have gotten very lonely). Ukes rock!!!!!!

  37. Adrian January 18th, 2013 3:06 pm

    I have had my Cordoba 15cm uke now for just on 12 months.

    Have played it continuously at uke groups all that time and am very happy with it.
    The best rap I can give it, it STAYS IN TUNE. Rarely do I need to tune it in & out of it’s bag. Even in our extreme summer here it might only need a slight tweek on the G string once a week.

    Has a nice mellow sound when all strings played and you can get a real “Hawaiian” soprano sound playing higher up.

    Nice looking also. Had many admirers at gigs.

    Have a couple of other expensive uke’s but somehow always seem to pick up my Cordoba!
    Recommended.

  38. Steve April 24th, 2013 7:04 am

    I bought my girlfriend a Cordoba 25SK Solid Koa (Acacia?) soprano uke.

    I bought it on EBAY, so I had no opportunity to try it out. Whilst the tone is very nice, the intonation was woeful. I took it to a well known ukulele tech and he said it would take quite a bit of work to get it right. He fixed it so that first position chords weren’t too bad but I ended up getting it back off my girlfriend and buying her an A Nue Nue Papa Concert. I’ve still got the Cordoba but it’s a muck around instrument for the beach. Another poor finish item was that the back overlaps the side on one section and sticks out about 3mm. Overall having paid about $240 Australian I’m not impressed at all.

  39. Big Bill July 20th, 2013 1:55 am

    I bought my Cordoba 10CM Uke at Best Buy for 25.00 on the closeout shelf.it came with a case ,a pitch pipe and ukulele basics book. fit and finish is great. She sounds great and She is easy to play. I have played guitar for over 30 years and picked up my uke on a chance encounter with the closeout shelf. I CAN’T put her down. She is a 10 in my book.

  40. Phil September 18th, 2013 8:56 pm

    That 20TM-CE is a super uke with solid mahogany top. Gave to my grand daughter. Sounded good plugged in or unplugged and sounded even better with low g tuning. Except perhaps for the newer high-end models, Cordoba ukes have a “composite” (read plastic) nut and saddle. I had intended in installing bone ones….would imagine they sound even better than good. It was light and I wouldn’t call it “overbuilt.” Great sustain and tone.

  41. Nolan October 7th, 2013 5:04 pm

    I bought a 20TM-CE for $200 last January and fell in love with it. I have no complaints other than a slight buzzing with the C string however it is likely that it is user error. Very solid construction, gorgeous ukulele made from solid mahogany. The under saddle pick up works and sounds great. Stays in tune well. Again, overall just a gorgeous instrument.

  42. Fred Messerly September 4th, 2014 3:48 am

    My 20TM CE is doing really well. I changed to a low G and like the sound. This uke really has volume. I find that I use my Loud Box just for voice most of the time. My other uke is a Cordoba 25 Concert. It plays and looks wonderful. My wife liked the tone after I played several other brands at the shop.

  43. Donna Besser Stone September 18th, 2014 6:07 pm

    20TM CE smooth as glass, eye candy!
    Delightful to hold, even More Fun to play.

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