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  #1  
Old 08-30-2019, 03:59 PM
Noah_963 Noah_963 is offline
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Default Cordoba C12 Difficult to Play (high action/tension?)

Hey guys,

I've owned a cordoba c12 for a couple years and while I absolutely love the sound and it is generally easy to play on the lower frets, it can be a big pain in the butt to go past like the 5th fret.

The vast majority of classical guitars I've played in stores play a lot more easily (I specifically enjoy playing the Cordoba c5 every time). My uncle also owns an old cheap Takamine classical guitar that I'd honestly trade for the $1700 Cordoba. It plays like butter and sounds amazing.

I know this is probably a really dumb and common question and the answer is just to go have it setup by a professional, but I'm just wondering if a simple truss rod adjustment (I think I could reduce the relief a little bit but I'm not sure if that would even make a difference on the tension problem) would help to get the action lower or if I need to sand down the saddle/nut (which I'm terrified to do) or what.

The main issue is that the strings just feel so tight and difficult to keep down. I don't think I've been buying high tension strings or something, I've tried a couple different kinds. It's just when I play other classical guitars it just feels really nice. I own a Cordoba GK as well, and yes that plays like butter but I really want the deep and loud sound of the C12 with at least slightly similar playability to the GK.

As another example, some other classical guitars I've played the strings are so loose that they can roll back and forth a little bit. I don't want that exactly but I'd like to be able to actually get sounds out of my bar chords on higher frets without breaking my fingers.


TL;DR: Strings are really tight and action is too high at higher frets. Is this just the nature of this guitar or can this be fixed by taking it to a professional.

EDIT: I know action is fairly easy to change but the overall tension of the strings is also a big issue
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Old 08-30-2019, 04:19 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Take it to a professional for a setup. He or she will be able to determine if you have enough saddle height to lower it to achieve your preferred string height. He or she should also check the string height at the nut and lower it if it is high.

The truss rod is there only to adjust the amount of curvature in the neck, not to adjust string height.

If you want to take measurements of the string height on the guitar who's action you like, and take measurement on the one that is too high, you can determine how much the one that is too high needs to be lowered and if there is enough saddle to do so. If you want to do that, I can tell you how to do so.
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Old 08-30-2019, 04:50 PM
Noah_963 Noah_963 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Take it to a professional for a setup. He or she will be able to determine if you have enough saddle height to lower it to achieve your preferred string height. He or she should also check the string height at the nut and lower it if it is high.

The truss rod is there only to adjust the amount of curvature in the neck, not to adjust string height.

If you want to take measurements of the string height on the guitar who's action you like, and take measurement on the one that is too high, you can determine how much the one that is too high needs to be lowered and if there is enough saddle to do so. If you want to do that, I can tell you how to do so.


Thats a good point! I should try to compare the height of mine to one I enjoy playing. I was also looking around for some "low tension" strings so I might try a set of those next time I switch them and see if it helps. I think overall I'm just gonna take it to someone when I get the chance, it's just a bit of a drive to the nearest guitar luthier so I've been putting it off.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:14 PM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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I once played a Cordoba C10 crossover that had a really high string angle over the saddle. The saddle was very high but something wasn't right with the production because the action was so bad. Anyway, the strings felt very stiff, stiffer than I've ever tried and I thought it was to do with this harsh angle over the saddle.

But yes, take it to get set up and ask the technician about the correct strings to use. I would definitely measure the action on the guitars you like so you can tell the technician what you want. Measure it at the 12th fret from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string.

You might also have to have work on the nut to lower the strings there too.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:06 AM
Pat Foster Pat Foster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Take it to a professional for a setup. He or she will be able to determine if you have enough saddle height to lower it to achieve your preferred string height. He or she should also check the string height at the nut and lower it if it is high.

The truss rod is there only to adjust the amount of curvature in the neck, not to adjust string height.

If you want to take measurements of the string height on the guitar who's action you like, and take measurement on the one that is too high, you can determine how much the one that is too high needs to be lowered and if there is enough saddle to do so. If you want to do that, I can tell you how to do so.
If you do the measurements like Charles said, remember that any change needed for the string height at the 12th fret needs to be doubled at the saddle. If you need to bring the strings down 1mm at the 12th fret, 2mm will need to come off the saddle. Also, a common problem that arises when the saddle is lowered is that there might not be enough of a break angle (where the string cross over the saddle) to maintain good tone. Also, also is the string height above the top. If it gets too low, the tone could be affected. We don't get no free lunches.
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2019, 08:10 PM
SirMrGuitarDude SirMrGuitarDude is offline
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I somewhat solved this issue on my C9. The open position was comfortable to play but from 5th fret and up the action was too high. Adding some back bow via truss rod adjustment straightened the neck perfectly flat and in the case of this guitar it lowered the frets from 5th fret and up. Just an eight of a turn each day for 3 days, and I ended up where I wanted. I'm not sure if this part is true but a guitar tech told me to massage the neck the direction I want it to move after each truss rod adjustment so I do that too. Just tiny adjustments and check how it holds the following day couldn't hurt.
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