Cordoba Mini II review -- plays like a uke, sounds like a guitar?

clear

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So, after much consideration about the ergos of a small guitar/large uke, I got myself a Cordoba Mini II instead of a baritone uke. (Sorry baritone, I'll get you some day; I promise.)

Overall, the build quality is just OK for the price (nothing too good or bad that stands out). The pickup sound is not good compared to my other guitars (I've recorded a sound sample in the video); the acoustic sound is surprisingly good for such a small guitar. The strings on it are hard tension; but, because of the short scale, they feel soft and slinky and very uke-like.

My main concern was the ease of adjusting to it (from uke and guitar). Turns out, adjustment was quick and painless. Playability, it was pretty good right out of the box, I didn't see any particular need for setup before making the review sound samples. Action is 3.5mm on the low-E string and 3mm on the high-E string at the 12th fret.

I thought about buying the non-electronics version ( https://www.forum.ukuleleundergroun...r-and-interested-in-a-cordoba-mini-ii.154147/ ) but I decided that I really want a built-in tuner. If you don't care for the build-in tuner, I'd go for the non-electronics version because the pickup sounds bad.

So, a quick one liner review? Maybe: Plays like a uke; sounds like a guitar.

 

Pirate Jim

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I have the non-pickup version. Great little instrument, I've tried the all lam mahogany and have the solid spruce top - night and day in terms of difference in sound. I've put normal tension strings on mine and tuned it F# - F#, really sings there for me and I play guitar with capo on 2 fairly often anyway. My mother in law is currently borrowing it as a learner guitar, perfect for that too.
 

Ziret

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I have the non-pickup version. Great little instrument, I've tried the all lam mahogany and have the solid spruce top - night and day in terms of difference in sound. I've put normal tension strings on mine and tuned it F# - F#, really sings there for me and I play guitar with capo on 2 fairly often anyway. My mother in law is currently borrowing it as a learner guitar, perfect for that too.
Sounds great! You’re right, though, that pickup is awful. I’ve been on the fence about one of these for a couple of years. It’s not the instrument I doubt, it’s whether I’d actually play it.
 

clear

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It’s not the instrument I doubt, it’s whether I’d actually play it.

I don't really have UAG or GAS these days, but I'm tired of playing my soprano/concert ukuleles in the car so I started to look for something a bit different (like a small guitar or a baritone uke). However, it's surprisingly easy to play and portable that it might work well as travel guitar.

My mother in law is currently borrowing it as a learner guitar, perfect for that too.

It's definitely a good stepping stone to a regular guitar. For one thing, the strings are soft and gentle and the stretches are much smaller. The only drawback is it might promote bad posture because of its small size (just remember to sit straight); otherwise, it is great and cheap (compared to any out-of-box-playable guitar).
 

clear

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For comparison, here're the 2 songs I played in the review on a Cordoba C9, which is a full-sizes cedar top guitar. (same recording setup as the Mini II).


Later this week, I'll make a recording of a full-sized spruce-top guitar.
 

DownUpDave

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Congratulations I have been looking at these for a while, I am glad you are happy with yours. I was thinking about the spruce and Padua, non-pick up model. But I have a Cordoba Cadete that is a 3/4 size and really sounds good. I also have a Cordoba C10 spruce and rosewood, similar to your C9 cedar and mahogany.
 

clear

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donboody

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It has been some time since I’ve owned a guitar. Do I need to be such a psychopath about humidity with this guy, as I do with for example my Kiwaya KSU1L and every other wood/laminate ukulele I’ve ever heard of? Asking because I will not have a case for a few weeks. It’s summer so the avg humidity in Buffalo is about 68% so now that I type that, I am wondering if I even need to worry at all this summer about my uke. I do not have central air or AC.
 

clear

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Ah, here's a better (hopefully) Volt :)

(All recorded on a Logitech c922 webcam; for another thread's possibly interested person.)

 

clear

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It has been some time since I’ve owned a guitar. Do I need to be such a psychopath about humidity with this guy, as I do with for example my Kiwaya KSU1L and every other wood/laminate ukulele I’ve ever heard of? Asking because I will not have a case for a few weeks. It’s summer so the avg humidity in Buffalo is about 68% so now that I type that, I am wondering if I even need to worry at all this summer about my uke. I do not have central air or AC.

Just like how you take care of uke will be perfectly fine.
After a few months with this Mini II, I still think it's a wonderful little guitar. Thanks to its normal-sized nut, it plays very muich like a regular guitar. I wouldn't mind using it for a guitar class.
 

donboody

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Just like how you take care of uke will be perfectly fine.
After a few months with this Mini II, I still think it's a wonderful little guitar. Thanks to its normal-sized nut, it plays very muich like a regular guitar. I wouldn't mind using it for a guitar class.
I ended up selling this guitar for a mic to use with my uke, as I didn’t really play it after day 1.