Cordoba 22B Solid Spruce Top Baritone Ukulele
The Cordoba 22B baritone ukulele is a very tidily made instrument that ticks a lot of boxes. It is smart without being over the top, has a pleasingly thin neck profile that makes reaching the frets relatively easy (for me at least, I prefer a less chunky neck as I can more easily arch my fingers onto the fretboard), plus it sounds good too - all for relatively modest investment.
When it comes to baritone ukes I’m a fan of spruce and cedar tops, with the solid spruce in this example delivering a nice fresh crispness to the trebles to counteract and compliment the natural bassiness that a baritone size body will deliver. Bass can dominate the mix with baritones so it is nice to hear with the Cordoba 22B that the trebles notes compete in terms of volume. As a test, I like to pick the E string up and down the neck, using the D string open as a drone. If the E string is clearly heard, as it is with this bari, then you can be confident the low end isn’t going to blow your melodies out of the water - but rather offer a complimentary backdrop of warmth to your tunes.
Aside from the solid spruce top, the uke has a laminate rosewood back and sides (very pretty is it is too), and a satin finish. There are some nice details, like the shaped end of the fretboard and the rope-style purfling and black binding.
At the time of writing Cordoba’s website suggested this model is high gloss. Somebody had been sniffing the high gloss tin when they wrote this as it is very definitely not shiny!