The ukulele phenomenon shows no signs of slowing, with models ranging from well under $100 on up to thousands. The Cordoba 15CFM is on the budget end.
The 15CFM has a 15.125″ scale with flamed mahogany top and headstock veneer befitting its “Concert Flamed Mahogany” designation, along with laminated mahogany back and sides. Details include pearloid inlays, abalone rosette, and composite nut and saddle. Offered in bold colors – Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, Granite Gray, and Rose Red – it’s finished with satin polyurethane. No question, it’s a looker.
With Aquila synthetic gut strings and tuned A-E-C-G (low to high), the Cordoba is pleasantly loud, with a warm, clear voice. Notes pop with bell-like timbres and fretting the flat pau ferro board is fast and easy. Guitarists and bassists should have no problem adapting; the most challenging aspect will be learning your way around a new tuning. But with just four strings and a pleasing overall tone, it’s an enjoyable task.
Best of all, this China-built uke has something of a no-brainer price tag. For under $150, it’s a nicely constructed instrument that looks great and sounds glorious, making the 15CFM a fine starter ukulele for young folks who want to hop on the bandwagon and jam with friends, or a worthy instrument for more serious players.
This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.