View Full Version : Cordoba Requinto 480 - Great Little Guitalele

12-07-2011, 09:04 AM
I recently bought the Cordoba 480 Requinto. Scale length is just under 19 inches, like a baritone uke, but the body is slightly larger than a bari uke.

I am really loving this guitar! It's just the perfect size. Tuned G to G, it has a very resonant tone, much more sustain and more complex than any of the 17 inch scale guitaleles that I have played. It also has a truss rod, which I was surprised to find. It came with a fantastic high end gig bag.

If you're looking for a guitalele, I highly recommend this one. I'm not set up to record so I don't have a sample, but the sound is lovely - somewhere between a bari uke and classical guitar.


Ken of York
12-07-2011, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the info Kim. I'm intirigued enough to do some investigating for myself. My GL6 guitarlele is a marvelous beauty but I'm still looking for either a short scale classical or something 'in between' as full scale classical has always flummoxed my small hands.

Cheers, Ken.

12-07-2011, 01:39 PM
i owned the 480 requinto for less than a year before the finish started checking. i kept it in a humidity-controlled room with the rest of my instruments, so humidity couldn't have been the issue. perhaps i got a dud. i thought it was really cool for a while until i finally got annoyed having to transpose everything down a step. i kept it tuned up to F# because standard guitar tuning was too loose and sloppy. tuning up to A isn't an option. i never did care for the sound either, especially for $250. i traded it in and got practically nothing for it. in retrospect, i should have probably just gone with a yamaha guitalele for 1/3 the price. i'm intrigued by cordobas, but i think i'm done with them for a while.

11-29-2013, 11:00 AM

About transposition--if a guitar-like instrument is tuned standard tuning, but a different key than the original, you really do not have to transpose all the time.

I am a guitar player, and have a Yamaha guitalele. It is tuned as it should be, a fourth higher than a guitar, with strings 1 and 6 tuned to A.

I do not transpose at all when I play it. When I put my fingers in the position I know if on guitar as an E chord, I still think of it as an E chord. (Although I know that it will actually sound like an A chord.)

For playing solo guitar, that makes no difference at all, that it sounds a fourth higher than what you call it. If it is to accompany singing, then of course you may have to play the song in a different key than you would with standard guitar tuning, to fit with your voice. (Which for some, might just mean using a capo.) If playing with other musicians, one will have to take the transposition into effect. (But I still think of that E chord fingering on the guitar as an E chord on the guitalele. I just play the song in a different key to fit with the voice or other musicians.

Think like a saxophone player. The same fingering is called C on all saxophones. However, that note sounds like a Bb on a tenor or soprano saxophone, and like an Eb on an alto or baritone saxophone. The player fingers the notes the same on all sizes, and thinks the same note name. However, unless he is only playing from notation all written out and transposed for him, he has to know how it will actually sound, that on no saxophone (other than the rare "C melody saxophone"), does the note actually sound the way you call it and think of it when you play.

To me the same in playing ukulele. Being a guitar player first, I did not learn ukulele chords. I just play guitar chords, missing the bottom two strings. And I still think of the chord with the guitar name, although I know like with the guitalele, that it sounds a fourth higher. (I would guess that a uke player who later goes to guitar might do the opposite, still think of an E chord as an A chord, think of adding two more strings to the uke chord, etc.)

I'd like to try the Cordoba Requinto 480, although I would not know what strings are best to use, and what is the best tuning. A standard requinto is more like the Cordoba Requinto 580. They are usually tuned a fourth up like a guitalele, but do do so use thinner requinto strings. With the smaller guitalele (or Cordoba guilele), due to the smaller size, one can tune tha thigh with regular classical guitar strings. The Cordoba Requinto 480 is in between those two sizes though, so not sure which tuning and strings would work best on it.

I don't know if the Cordoba Requinto 480 is still made though. It is listed on the Cordoba web site, but no online vendors have it in stock. An interesting in-between size though, between a guitalele size and the normal requinto size.

11-29-2013, 11:32 AM
I just noticed Khals's post and that sounds like a logical way to tune the requinto 480-use regular classical guitar strings, and tune up a minor third, rather than up a fourth like a guitalele. (That is actually a standard kind of tuning, called "terz guitar". ("Terz" is German for "third".)

Or I guess one could use the thinner requinto strings, and tune it up still higher than a fourth, like up to B or even C.

(Hmm. I wonder if one used requinto strings on a guitalele, whether one could then tune it a full octave higher than a regular guitar E-E, an octave guitar? Anyone know if that might work, or would the tension be too tight?) (I have seen strings available for "octave guitar". But they all say for a guitar with a 40cm scale, which is shorter than that of the guitalele, whose scale is in between 43-44 cm, so I think it would likely be too tight to tune a guitalele an octave higher than a guitar using octave guitar strings. I don't know if requinto strings are thinner than octave guitar strings?) (Anyone here good at string tension math who could figure that out? Whether strings that are made to tune an instrument with a 58cm scale a fourth higher than regular guitar tuning, would work to tune an instrument with a 17 1/8 inch scale (such as my Yamaha guitalele) (between 43-44cm scale) an octave higher than a normal guitar?)