Cordoba 20TM-CE Reviews4.6/5.0 based on 4 customer reviews
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David R. Brown
from El Paso, TX USA
September 28, 2011Music Background:
A High-End Uke Without the High-End PriceThe Cordoba 20TM-CE 4-string tenor ukulele is a beautiful little instrument! With the natural, medium-dark mahogany wood (semi-gloss finish), this uke is is nice to see as it is to hear! The volume and sustained resonance of its tones nearly rival that of a full-sized acoustic guitar, plus its option to plug into an amp allows for performance on an even larger scale. To those of you who have considered learning the ukulele but haven't tried one yet, I say, GO FOR IT! It's simple, fun, and lightweight, and there may be no better model with which to begin and/or continue than the 20TM-CE. The "tenor" classification means that it is just a bit bigger than a "soprano" and possessive of a slightly deeper, richer resonance (even though the notes are exactly the same, the lowest open string being Middle C). I have played other ukes within this reasonable price range, but none has matched the look and sound of this Spanish-made Cordoba. This is the one!
from Eastern Washington
May 2, 2013Music Background:
Well worth the money!After playing this instrument at two gigs this last weekend and rehearsals in between, I’d like to offer my initial opinions.
It is advertised as being handmade, and definitely appears well made: all the joints are smoothly fitted and polished. There is not a poor joining to be found anywhere. The neck fits well onto the body, with the seam between the heel and the back of the body nearly indistinguishable by feel. The fretboard is smooth and fast — there are no sharp fret edges anywhere to hang up your fingers. In short, this is a sturdy instrument. It does not feel flimsy or poorly built in any way. Plus, it’s got a beautiful light/dark wood inlay around the soundhole and across the tie-bar on the bridge.
Surprise of all surprises, however: upon close inspection, it appears this little Cordoba has been made with a SOLID top! Wow! If mine eyes are not mistaken, the top of this lovely little uke is indeed a solid piece of mahogany. Which, for those of you not in the know, is a very good thing. Solid tops sound better with age, whereas laminates sound exactly the same twenty or thirty years down the road as they did when you bought them (great, if you buy a good quality laminate, poor if you buy one that sounds lackluster). And this little Cordoba is rocking the solid mahogany: it is leagues above my old Lanikai LU-21 series tenor in terms of sound and resonance. I strung it today with a low wound G string (my preferred ukulele tuning) and it really hums. Rich like an alto voice, but not dark in any way. This is still an ukulele, and it keeps the sprightly sound in the treble end.
Speaking of strings and sound, this instrument comes from the factory with Aquilas (again, my preferred type of nylon string, and the new ukulele industry standard). The intonation is about as “on” as you can get with a fretted stringed instrument. The action is just right, too. Many ukuleles come with high actions (the distance the strings sit above the frets) — many of them sky-high — but this one appears to have been fine tuned from the factory. It plays like a much more expensive instrument.
If I could pick on anything, it would be the electronic pickup. It’s a fairly standard under-saddle “active” setup (requiring a 9v battery) with bass, treble, and volume controls. Very reliable and nothing too exciting. The drawback is that on a poor amplification system, it makes the ukulele sound very thin and “plinky.” On a better PA system, you can get an amplified sound very similar to the actual sound of the instrument, which is fine if you own said better system… but if you’re dealing with whatever your venue hands you, it can definitely be a mixed bag. The amazing part of it is, this Cordoba loses none of its resonance to the unit and associated cords inside the body. Typically, the rule of thumb is that if you wire an instrument for amplification, you are going to lose much of the natural resonance of the body cavity — and the smaller the instrument, the worse this loss becomes. Not so with this little uke. Somehow, it maintains its rounded sound despite the loss of space!
It is very obvious that Cordoba is committed to excellence. They’ve been a top name in nylon-strung and classical guitars for ages, only recently adding ukuleles to their line of products. Their experience with nylon strung guitars really shows in this “miniature:” the 20TM-CE is a polished work of art from its hand-inlayed soundhole and bridge to the resonance it carries. The only drawback is the less than state of the art electronic system. I give it a firm 4 and 1/2 stars because it is well worth the money.
from Mid-South USA
June 26, 2012Music Background:
Hobbyist - retired
Cordoba 20TM-CEThis replaced a Lanikai Tenor Koa AE uke that was returned to the manufacturer 3 months after I bought it. Poor customer service with Lanikai meant I looked at other brands; the Cordoba came out tops - cost was 2/3rds of the Lanakai, and quality of fit and finish was much, much better. Sound it excellent, and I think I prefer the mahogany over koa, but that's a personal preference. My next uke will most likely be another Cordoba, maybe a baritone
from Canton, OH
May 13, 2012Music Background:
Full-Time Worship Leader
Love It!This is my first ukulele and I couldn't be happier! The tone is great unplugged and the ukulele looks beautiful (love the feel of the satin finish). It sounds great plugged in as well. I play regularly at a large church and our sound engineer loved the sound of this thing out front. In addition, the gig bag is really really nice. My only complaint is that it does go flat in between days playing it, but from what I know this is common with ukuleles (and doesn't impact how I feel about it overall). From the research I did before purchasing this instrument, and having it now, I'd say that this uke can't be beaten it it's price range.