Cordoba has little standing in their way when it comes to nylon string acoustic guitars. The Spanish manufacturer, founded in 1997, prides itself on local craftsmanship with an extensive range that offers modernised varieties of the classic flamenco guitar. With traditional construction and live performance in mind, the Luthier Series GK Pro Maple is a guitar that reinvigorates the age-old body of the flamenco guitar with exceptional design and responsive playability. A welcomed addition to the original GK Pro, and follow up to the GK Pro Negra, it rounds out the series by offering a brighter tone and a little more bite.
LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE TALKING
A considerably low action – the product of a slightly thinner neck and atter neck angle designed to have little or no relief – lends itself to speed and precision. The body depth and nut width have also been reduced, deviating marginally from traditional Spanish construction, in order to maximise comfort. It plays smoothly, and moving up and down the neck is a breeze; with a soft cutaway it’s an acoustic guitar that encourages the use of the entire fretboard. As is characteristic of classic guitars, particularly those flamenco-inspired, the string spacing at the saddle clocks in at 59mm. This is optimal for fingerpicking, without discouraging the use of a pick.
A distinct feature of the entire Luthier series is the Spanish heel construction. It involves the top of the guitar initially being attached to the neck, then the sides are added, and lastly, the body is sealed with the installation of the back. The GK Pro Maple’s body is comprised of a solid European spruce top, solid flamed maple back and sides, and Spanish fan bracing. The build is designed to provide dynamic frequency response that, while full-bodied, emphasises the mids and highs to provide a brighter tone. It’s hard to go past the bite that’s on offer here. If you can’t flamenco, utilising hammer-ons and pull-offs are a nice alternative to harnessing the cutting tone. And with the Fishman Pre x ProBlend pickup on-board for plugged in performance, there’s ample opportunity to shape your sound. The three-band EQ is particularly useful when looking to push the bass for greater depth and balance to compensate for the brighter response. Rounding out the Spanish theme is the headstock, finished with a flamed maple veneer and a high gloss finish, which give the guitar a striking richness, clean cut and classy.
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
The non-conventional wood configuration and amenco underpinnings of this guitar make it an exciting prospect for anyone looking to diversify and shape their sound with nylon strings. Close to the top of the line, it’s a pricy venture for newcomers, but once you experience the superior playability, punchy range and versatility, the decision becomes a lot easier.
For more details on Cordoba guitars, visit www.zenithmusic.com.
Hits and Misses
Low action means great playability
Fishman pickups for shaping tone
Wide string spacing and low action may be off-putting for steel string advocates
Top: solid European spruce
Back & Sides: solid flamed maple
Neck: mahogany / cutaway – electric style
Fingerboard: ebony fingerboard
Width at Nut: 50mm
Electronics: Fishman Pre x Problend on board Electronics with three-band EQ and internal microphone with blender, built in digital tuner