scale: 650 mm
weight: 1440 g
body length: 490 mm
nut: 50 mm
upper bout: 277 mm
waist: 242 mm
lower bout: 367 mm
depth: 96 mm
top thickness: 3.3 mm

action - 5th fret: 2.6 mm
action - 12th fret: 2.7 mm
neck size - 1st fret: 75 mm
neck size - 5th fret: 80 mm
natural resonance note: Ab
strings: Galli Genius GR65, normal tension, silverplated copper on nylon and nylon

top material: spruce?
sides/back material: tiger maple
neck material: unknown? is five piece
fretboard material: rosewood?
bridge material: rosewood?

builder: Cordova (built by Teller), made in Germany
model: WC-014
serial no: 63 191
years built: not sure, assuming 1963
original msrp: unknown

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This is a lovely guitar, in sound and appearance. The Cordovas were built by the Teller family, of West Germany, who also primarily built guitars in their own name. The story of the Cordovas supposedly is that the Tellers were trying to increase their penetration into the US classical guitar market so used a "Spanish" sounding name. Judging by the extreme rarity of Cordova guitars in the United States, their marketing strategy didn't work. Likely the most famous Cordova is the one owned by Mason Williams (the writer of Classical Gas and also famous for his television writing skills). Apparently, here again as a marketing effort, the Tellers gave Tommy Smothers (of the famous brothers) a Cordova classical guitar. Tommy passed it on to Mason, who later wrote for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Mason's Cordova is mentioned in the history of his guitars. And the guitar (with its distinctive 5-piece neck) is visible on the cover of Mason's biography. It also is in this video, and this one. I do not know what model Cordova Mason Williams' is, so a direct comparision between his and this one may not be appropriate.

As mentioned above, the neck is distinctive, not only for its look but its feel. It is the smallest neck I've every encountered on a classical guitar. But, probably due to its five-piece construction (with a bit of German engineering thrown in for good measure), the neck looks straight. The neck size, as noted above, is 75mm at the first fret. This is a measurement from the edge of the fretboard around the back of the neck to the other edge of the fretboard. By comparison, most other classicals have a neck size of 79-81mm. Four or five millimeters may not sound like a lot but it makes a world of difference in trying to reach certain fingerings.

For its age (over 50 years), this instrument is in very good condition. The primary flaw is the finish is crazed. But instead of detracting from the look of the guitar, it's adds a warm, aged patina that matches its sound and feel. The tuners appear to be original and one is slightly bent - I don't think it's pronounced enough to show in the photos. Also, and I believe this shows in one of the photos, the center of the bridge is lifting ever so slightly from the top but it's been that way since I've had the guitar (about 4 years). As with most guitars of this age, it could use fretwork but is very easily playable as is.

The sound and feel of the guitar are unique. The instrument is very light, lighter than some solid wood guitars yet it is a standard scale (650mm). Its body is slightly smaller (by a millimeter here and there) than a contemporary mainstream classical guitar. The combination of the light weight and thinner than usual neck make it a pleasure to play and give it, for lack of a better description, an almost feminine feel. And the sound it produces is not that of a booming concert guitar but a more mellow, rich and caressing sort of sound. Interestingly enough, I did a blind sound test (with someone pretty well versed in music as the judge) of a collection of 7 or 8 guitars and they put the sound of this one in second place between two solid wood guitars.

Besides the flaws mentioned above, the overall condition is very nice. A few nicks here and there and maybe a belt buckle ding but nothing that detracts from the beauty of this instrument. The photos, unfortunately, do not do it justice. It's highly unlikely you'll see another Cordova in this condition anytime soon.

The strings are new. The case, which fits very well, is an attractive tweed in nearly new condition with the exception of a flaw in the stitching on the back of it.