Córdoba Guitars Nabs "Best In Show" at The 2022 NAMM Show

Elizabeth Dale

At The 2022 NAMM Show, Córdoba Guitars introduced its latest guitar to the world. The Stage is the company's first nylon string electric guitar and was made possible by the collaboration between Córdoba Guitars and Fishman Transducers. The two NAMM Members spent the last few years perfecting the guitar itself and its revolutionary new pickup to provide musicians with an entirely new product in the marketplace.

Founded in 1997 by CEO Tim Miklaucic, Córdoba Guitars “seeks to guide the evolution of acoustic guitars and ukuleles, blending traditional craftsmanship of the early master luthiers with modern developments.” It highlights the beauty and breadth of sound from the classical guitar using nylon strings. Conversely, Fishman Transducers has created products over the last 40 years for musicians. Founded by President Larry Fishman, the manufacturer is “dedicated to helping musicians of all styles achieve the truest sound possible wherever and whenever they plug in.” As an industry leader in pickups for acoustic and electric instruments, amplification, tone shaping, and MIDI guitar, Fishman said, “This was an exciting project for us because the promise of what this new model could do was so huge. We ended up with a nylon string guitar that not only sounds and looks beautiful but is also a performer’s dream.”

  • Cordoba Guitars History

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  • Fishman - 40 Years

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While the Stage may look and feel like a tried-and-true Córdoba nylon string guitar, the pickup makes it a revolutionary instrument. The concept began with artists approaching Miklaucic looking for a guitar that could be played at loud volumes on stage with no feedback. The pickup designed by Fishman takes a piezo element underneath the saddle and body sensors that work in tandem to compliment each other in an innovative way. The blending of the pair of signals, along with the filtering circuit, shapes what the pickup receives and the sound produced. To further improve the Stage, Córdoba worked alongside Fishman to tweak its propriety pickup system.

Cordoba Stage Guitar Promo

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We spoke with Córdoba Music Group’s Vice President of Marketing, Alex Ordoñez, and Product Manager Mike Fischer who elaborated on the project. The Stage and its integration of the new pickup was a decade-long desire to collaborate and innovate between the two manufacturers. While Córdoba has been utilizing Fishman pickups for quite some time, Miklaucic began envisioning a “feedback proof” guitar nearly three decades ago.

“Fischer reported that initially, Córdoba provided a guitar to Fishman that was very overbuilt in order to reduce feedback under the pretense that "acoustic tone" would come from the pickup itself. "Larry and the team at Fishman found they weren’t able to get the guitar to sound right and requested to explore options to get the instrument to ‘open up.’ It was this synergy of unconventional guitar construction and special pickup together that finally gave us what we were looking for.” Ordoñez comments on the importance of collaboration on projects to advance the industry. He said, “It’s easy for a single company to start working in a silo. Collaborating with someone who may have a different but closely related perspective of the industry opens up a whole new set of possibilities and maximizes their outcomes.” Fischer puts the concept into perspective for the Stage, saying, “Tim is one of the most world-renowned experts on nylon string guitars and Larry brings this incredible pickup experience to the table. The give and take between the two created something neither could have accomplished on their own.”

The Stage made its world debut at The 2022 NAMM Show last month and even took home a coveted “Best In Show” award. Hosted and moderated by Frank Alkyer, publisher of Music Inc. and UpBeat Daily magazines, and a panel of retail leaders, the program highlights picks from the show floor, including products, services, and technologies that are likely to drive the industry in the year ahead.

Of the decisions to debut the product at The NAMM Show and the subsequent Best In Show distinction, Ordoñez said, “The 2022 NAMM Show was the first-time dealers could experience the Stage. While we had been discussing the product for some time, we needed a physical model for people to hold and play, something you can only really do at The NAMM Show.”

When it comes to earning a Best In Show distinction, Córdoba was enthused to champion the success of the Stage at all levels of the company. “Earning Best In Show means everything. It reaffirms all the hard work that has gone into this product. It is an award especially for those behind the scenes in the factory and on the shipping line who do everything to get this guitar into customer's hands.” Fischer echoed his sentiments, saying, “Best In Show's panel of judges are respected members of our industry. Hearing from these experts that something is good means something. To win an award of this kind at NAMM is huge.”

Córdoba is committed to exhibiting at The 2023 NAMM Show and is excited to continue its success from June. For the most up-to-date information on The NAMM Show, please visit /thenammshow/2023/attend.  

Learn more about Córdoba Guitars and Fishman at https://www.cordobaguitars.com/ and https://www.fishman.com/.