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  #1  
Old 08-17-2017, 12:18 AM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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Default NGD: 2017 Cordoba GK Pro Negra

A long, strange journey...

Not too long ago I went through a lengthy process of trying to choose a nylon acoustic. Because I've played almost nothing but electrics my entire life, I thought I wanted a Yamaha NXR1200, or maybe a Cordoba Fusion. I quickly came to discover, however, that none of the guitars I really wanted to try were ever going to be available for me to test drive in any local stores, which only carry the lower-end Yamahas, Cordobas, and the like.

Relegated to trying those guitars, I soon learned that I preferred the Cordobas, because they had the fullest, most lively unplugged tone. The Yamahas had no acoustic volume at all, and I also discovered that I prefer more of a classical-style flat fretboard with a 50mm nut, as opposed to a fusion-style radiused fretboard with a narrower nut.

The problem there was that I still couldn't try any of the guitars I really wanted; namely, the Cordoba GK Pro Negra, the all-solid-woods upgrade from the GK Studios I kept playing at the various shops.

Long story short, I ended up buying a very nice, Spanish-built, all-solid-woods Cordoba thinline flamenco, the FCWE Reissue, which I really enjoyed. Eventually, however, its relative lack of low-end thump had me GAS-ing for something with a fuller tone, so I sold the thinline and ordered up a custom spec'd, all-solid-woods Pavan TP-30 with a cutaway, rosewood back and sides, and a cedar top.

Three months later the guitar arrived...with a six-inch crack right down the center of the cedar top. Apparently the drastic climate change during the trip from upstate New York to blazing-hot California was too much for that poor top to handle, and I sent the guitar back to Tom for a full refund. Using that refund money, I decided to go back to the one guitar I'd been wanting to try all along, the Cordoba GK Pro Negra, which I ordered up new from Sweetwater at a decent discount, considering it's not an open-box, blem, or some other type of discounted item.

Nope, this one is as new and flawless as can be...



























Right off the bat, I noticed two things about its tone. One, it has all the bottom-end that was missing from the thinline Cordoba. Two, it sounds a lot more lively than the Pavan, and it has just as much low-end thump and sheer volume as the larger-bodied Pavan.

So, tonally, I'm thoroughly satisfied.

In terms of the build quality, I'm equally satisfied. I can't find a single flaw anywhere, inside or out. The Pavan had a blemish beneath the clearcoat on the body binding, in addition to the six-inch crack. This Cordoba is flawless. The neck had too much relief, but that was easily remedied with the truss rod adjuster.

Once I'd removed the relief, the action at the twelfth fret on the treble side was 6/64" (2.38 mm), and 7/64" (2.78mm) on the bass side. These are the same numbers I achieved with the FCWE Reissue, but with that guitar I'd needed to file down the saddle to get the action that low. Odd, because on this new guitar the saddle again looks like it can come down quite a bit, even though the string heights at the twelfth fret are already about where I'd want them. They're just really high further up the neck.

I will likely sand down this saddle too, which will result in very low action overall, and that ought to make what is already a great guitar even better for me. Other than that, there is nothing else to fix, alter, swap out, or anything else.

dkstott and Red_Label have long sung the praises for these Cordobas, and I think I will certainly have to agree. Every time I A/B a Cordoba against a similarly priced competitor, the Cordoba easily wins for me. Somehow, it always sounds and feels more lively, and I just can't find anything in the build about which to complain. Sure, I'd prefer Spain or California to China, in terms of where this GK Pro was built, but there really isn't any evidence of shoddy workmanship or inferior materials. If anything, I might say this GK Pro has slightly superior fit and finish to that FCWE Reissue, and I know the tuners work significantly better.

That's it, really, the China thing. That's my only nit to pick, and the overall quality of this instrument really does render moot any such complaints. I'd feel better about it had it been built in Spain or California, but it wouldn't have been built any better. That's the bottom line, so I just need to get over it and take solace in the fact that this guitar cost me a lot less than it would have had it been built elsewhere.

It may have taken forever before I was able to try a GK Pro, but I'm glad that I finally made it happen. It sounds a bit fuller and punchier to me than the GK Studio Negra, and the electronics are supposedly a lot better, plus it comes with a nicer rosette and the hardshell Humicase, so I'm glad I waited for the all-solid-woods version.

This time, this one really is a keeper.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2017, 12:27 AM
atbear atbear is offline
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Congrats! Great looking guitar!

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  #3  
Old 08-17-2017, 12:34 AM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atbear View Post
Congrats! Great looking guitar! But you shoulda bought a Victory Baron instead!

What you really meant to say.

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  #4  
Old 08-17-2017, 11:25 AM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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Congrats, I'm another satisfied GK Pro Negra owner and I found the advice of dkstott and Red Label to also be very helpful and like you I used Sweeetwater as my source. The only change I made was replacing the stock Savarez strings with John Pearse and I think the tone got sweeter and more balanced. Also agree with you on build quality, extremely good.

Enjoy!
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2017, 01:59 PM
47gene 47gene is offline
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Default + 1 on Cordoba Guitars

Glad you found what you were looking for.... that's always sweet...

I have several Cordoba's and my favorite is the GK Studio limited... and it's very, very nice.... one of these day's I'm going to try a GK Pro Negra.... I had better take my wallet with me....

Enjoy your new baby...
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:12 PM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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I owned my GK Studio Cypress for about 6 months... It's a great guitar, but I wanted something with a little bit darker tone. The GK Pro Negra is the perfect guitar for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 47gene View Post
Glad you found what you were looking for.... that's always sweet...

I have several Cordoba's and my favorite is the GK Studio limited... and it's very, very nice.... one of these day's I'm going to try a GK Pro Negra.... I had better take my wallet with me....

Enjoy your new baby...
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:22 PM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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Hey VLJ.... I'm sorry to hear about your issues with that Pavan. From your earlier description, it sounded like it was a great guitar

Congrats on your GK Pro!!! I've been playing mine for a little over 2 years now... its become my everyday guitar!! It handles jazz, pop, semi classical fingerstyle tunes for me...

I got mine via GC.. I traded in my GK Studio Cypress to upgrade to the GK Pro Negra.

My modifications to my GK Pro were; I added relief to the neck via the truss rod to minimize any string buzz during aggressive fingerstyle playing. I sanded the saddle down to improve the action. I also took a very fine piece of sandpaper to the nut slots to eliminate any possible string friction.. I traded comfort for my left hand for any improvement that high tension strings might have provided me...

I'm using Savarez 510AR normal tension strings on my GK Pro... I absolutely love the Cantiga basses in the set... Tried all the various D'Addario classical sets and nothing thrilled me like the 510AR.

Just a word of caution since you live in the Northeast area.... Keep a close watch on your homes humidity during the winter. The GK Pro is lightly built with a thin top. It can be susceptible to too dry conditions in the winter. I use 2 Oasis humidifiers for mine. I put one in the soundhole and one near the headstock..

Enjoy your new guitar!!!
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1989 Takamine E-30 Classical
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Last edited by dkstott; 08-17-2017 at 02:40 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2017, 02:55 PM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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Nope, I live in northern California, near Sacramento. Hotter than hell summers, gloomy cold winters, two weeks each of spring and fall.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2017, 08:58 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Congratulations on a great looking guitar. I checked out the specs on the Cordoba website and yours has a deeper body than the FWCE reissue, which is the only Cordoba like this I have tried. It was lacking in bass but it was only 2.5" wide. This one seems to have a much better bass response. Sweet axe enjoy!
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2017, 03:49 PM
Timothy Lawler Timothy Lawler is offline
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A beautiful guitar. You've got some photographer skill there, VLJ.
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2017, 05:23 PM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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I too was enamored with the fwce line but wasn't impressed with the bass side of the guitars.

The GK pro meets every single one of my needs in a nylon string guitar. It may not be a true classical, but it can handle a wide variety of music genres.

I stopped being concerned about having a guitar made in China years ago, when I looked around my house and saw my cell phone and tons of other things that are also made in China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkoehler1 View Post
Congratulations on a great looking guitar. I checked out the specs on the Cordoba website and yours has a deeper body than the FWCE reissue, which is the only Cordoba like this I have tried. It was lacking in bass but it was only 2.5" wide. This one seems to have a much better bass response. Sweet axe enjoy!
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2015 Cordoba GK Pro
Kala Archtop Tenor Ukulele
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:54 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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The more I check this guitar out the more intrigued I am by it.

Here's a wild video from the Cordoba site:

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  #13  
Old 08-19-2017, 09:10 AM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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And another...

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Old 09-15-2017, 09:51 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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I have the GK Studio Negra and love it. It's got the wider 50mm electric style neck and bassier tone. Really impressed for the money.
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2017, 09:43 AM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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I recently pulled the trigger on a GK Pro and I have been ecstatic about it! I love the tonal qualities! The details of the design parameters work very well for me: the neck dimensions, string separation, body depth, cutaway etc. Yes, there is some raspy string buzz when playing with even moderately aggressive attack, but that is probably by design since it is a flamenco guitar.

I wish I could find a classical guitar with the same dimensions except for slightly raised saddle to eliminate the buzz, and probably rosewood back and sides.

Dkstott, thanks for the tip on humidifiers!
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