Last year I tried to purchase a classical guitar — twice. I returned the guitar both times. I’ve just tried again and this time I think I’ve found a classical guitar I’ll keep. It’s the Yamaha NCX900FM.
Last time I purchased Cordoba guitars but I made some compromises where I should have known better. I purchased a Cordoba C7, no cutaway, no electronics and worst for me, a Cedar top. Nothing’s wrong with any of those things if that’s what you want. But I knew I preferred spruce tops to cedar and I leaned towards a cutaway since I’ll be playing jazz, not classical.
Another problem was buzzing. The first guitar had a high fret problem causing buzzing. I returned that guitar. The second guitar was better but I discovered I was causing buzzing through sloppy fretting habits. My bad.
So far I haven’t had any buzzing problems on this new guitar that I couldn’t blame on my own technique – but very little even of that type of buzzing.
I checked the new guitar for a proper setup and everything is well within spec for action at the twelfth fret.
The Yamaha NCX line isn’t as lightly built as Cordoba. Between electronics, truss rod and other construction details I’m sure this guitar weighs more than an equivalent Cordoba. But one of the reasons for choosing this guitar is there really isn’t an equivalent Cordoba model. The closest model to this would have been the Cordoba C7-CE SP/IN. That model is discontinued. You can only purchase a cedar top version of the guitar. There is no maple body version in a twelve fret, full width fingerboard.
I almost purchased a Cordoba Fusion Model. The Fusion 12 Maple model has a flamed maple back and sides. The Cordoba web site in September 2014 indicated this had a scale length of 640 mm which is a bit shorter than the standard 650 mm scale of most mass produced classical guitars. However, online vendors gave the scale length as 650 mm. I emailed Cordoba but they never responded to clarify which is correct. I finally went to the local guitar center and measured the scale length. It’s 650 mm. Too bad. I would have bought the guitar even though it has a narrower fingerboard.
Instead, I got what I wanted. The Yamaha NXC900 comes with either laminated rosewood back and sides or laminated, flamed maple. Both have solid spruce tops, 650 mm scale length and full width fingerboards. I took a chance on the maple back and sides but I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.
The pickup system, Yamaha’s ART61, uses two contact pickups glued inside the body under the bridge with one pickup on the bass side and one on the treble. Separate volume knobs control the blend of bass and treble before the electronics feeds the signal to the three band equalizer. I’ve never found an under saddle transducer that sounded any good. Most seem to “clack”. This doesn’t.
I purchased the guitar from Kraft Music in Wisconsin because they did a setup inspection and included a hard case and a lot of stuff I didn’t need for a small extra cost. The case, extra sets of strings and the inspection were worth the price.
I bought one too about 6 months ago – running it through a really nice ’70s vintage tube amp. Sounds great, nice neck, very playable – easy action with no fret buzz, good intonation.