More often than not, when someone hears the term “beginner” in front of a ukulele, they envision some gimmicky, plastic uke with a palm tree on it, that barely stays in tune. However, when you hear “concert” somewhere in there, that all changes.
By now, you should know that there are plenty of solid beginner ukuleles that are good enough to be played well beyond your learning period. Most beginner ukes are sopranos, as they are the smallest.
So, when making the jump up to a concert size, the idea of a “beginner” concert uke can seem a little strange. Even so, they exist. And in the case of the Cordoba 15CM, they are hardly a beginner’s ukulele, even with a price of around $100.
Yes, beginner’s can definitely play this ukulele, but so can experienced players who are looking for a concert ukulele that won’t set them back much in regards to money, but also doesn’t flinch when it comes to tone, playability, and looks as well.
In this case, the Cordoba 15CM is the perfect choice for all of the above.
Cordoba is a well-respected guitar manufacturer,so it makes sense that their foray into ukuleles has been a huge success. This is largely due to the conscious effort to replicate a lot of the characteristics of the braguinha, which is what eventually became the ukulele.
To do this, the company relied on Pepe Romero Jr, which was a very wise move. Romero meticulously planned and designed the 15CM to offer the highest amount of quality in all aspects, while keeping the price more than manageable. In the end, everyone wins.
The quality is apparent from the outset. The 15CM starts with a quartersawn mahogany top, back, and sides on the body, and continues with an Ivoroid binding that allows for continuance of the uke’s tone, while also providing a very striking look.
Speaking of looks, the 15CM is one of those instruments that gives off a certain vibe from the moment you pull it out of the case. Just by looking at it, you can infer that it’s of higher quality than what you’d typically expect from an entry-level ukulele.
The understated satin finish allows the details of the mahogany to really shine through, giving the 15CM a natural, sturdy look that is very alluring. The thin finish also lets the ukulele really sing and project, rather than being dampened by too thick of a finishing layer.
A hand-inlayed abalone rosette is sort of a surprise with the 15CM, as you usually don’t see that on ukuleles within this price range. This is a very welcome surprise, and just more evidence that shows how much attention to detail Cordoba (and Romero) put into designing this uke.
The strings have a sort of mid-range action to them, witting nicely in between low and high. For many, this is the perfect trade-off. You get the increased playability of lower action, with the surety and clarity of higher action strings.
Like most quality ukuleles, the 15CM comes with Aquila strings, which in this case are Nylgut 7U’s. This helps to avoid the annoying “these strings aren’t good enough” situation often encountered with many beginner ukuleles. The 15CM is good to go right out of the box.
Like we said, this is technically a beginner’s concert ukulele, but it doesn’t look or feel like one, and that’s a good thing in this case.
In regards to the 15CM, it’s really about the total package. Everything works in sync to ensure a great sound, and a smooth playing feeling that is easy enough for lower-skilled players to grasp.
There are a few particulars we’ll point out though. First of all, this thing seriously looks wonderful. It gives off a very professional vibe, and any unassuming audience member or fellow performer will often think you’ve paid three to four times the price when they see it.
The tuning pegs get a little extra attention too. The silver tuners have pearl buttons, which gives them more of a unique look, while complementing how well they actually work. You get a true feeling of precision while tuning, and the tuners easily hold the string in place while playing, ensuring the 15CM stays in tune seamlessly.
The only real drawback here that we can find is the actual price. The near-$100 price tag will be a turnoff to some for sure, as that range is $30-$30 above what many are willing to pay for an entry-level ukulele.
But, as we said, it’s sort of a misnomer, as the 15CM offers performance and looks well above the average entry-level uke, regardless of size, which in this case happens to be a concert size.
We think you’ll find the extra money spent to be well worth it.
Amazon offers accident protection for the Cordoba 15CM, with a few different options that are all minimal. It’s worth it, so we recommend it.
You’ll likely need a few accessories with the 15C as well, in case you don’t have them already. This includes items like a carrying case, a tuner, a string tool, and maybe even some extra strings just in case.
It should be fairly obvious by now that we are big fans of the Cordoba 15CM. This is an exceptional concert ukulele that performs well above its cost. Yes, you’re paying a little more than you would with some other brands, but when you strum it, you’ll know why immediately.
This is great for beginner players who want a ukulele they can hang on to and use for performances well past their initial learning stage. For an entry-level ukulele, that’s all you can ask for. We can’t recommend the 15CM enough, and the same goes for their other sizes as well.