Ortega Coral-NY review

  • £638
  • €669

Is this nylon jack-of-all-trades worth mastering?

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Our Verdict

The purist in us says no, but the player says yes! This is a great, affordable example of the modern steel/nylon hybrid.

For

  • Very clean build. Modern steel/nylon design and playability. Plugged-in performance.

Against

  • Higher tension strings might liven up its acoustic performance. No notch filter.
Buying options

The original gut, now nylon-string, 'classical' guitar has been used by countless highly influential non-classical players, yet is still seen by many as a secondary choice. However, today, its cache has arguably never been higher on numerous pop, rock and world music recordings and stages.

"With a clean build and a satin finish, the solid spruce-topped Coral-NY is typical of the modern hybrid steel/nylon"

In its cutaway electro guise it's a rarer bird and what has gradually emerged is a new hybrid instrument, a crossover between the steel-string flat-top and the concert or flamenco-style classical guitar.

With a clean build and a satin finish, the solid spruce-topped Coral-NY is typical of the modern hybrid steel/nylon. It's certainly unrestrained by tradition, with its inverted headstock tip, steel roller individual tuners, small neck block, 14-fret neck join, truss rod and oversized tie-block bridge.

A pointed Florentine cutaway adds to the modernist air, likewise the subtle non- Spanish soundhole decoration and 12th fret 'squiggle' inlay. Its body is a bit thinner-depthed than the Rodriguez (90 to 84mm, or 3.54 to 3.31 inches). Although the nut width is the narrowest on review and its deep C-section neck is very steel-like, it plays very well.

Sounds

Reflecting the guitar's style, the Coral-NY's unplugged tonality is light, as is its projection. It's certainly not a Spanish sound but, like other modern hybrids, it's a very usable sound for jazz and more modern Latin styles.

"Plugged in, we heard a nicely balanced output, and that brings the guitar alive"

Plugged in, we heard a nicely balanced output, and that brings the guitar alive. It's actually quite Taylor-like in its modern, brighter tonality.

And although the preamp only features treble and bass EQ, it's neat and very usable, and overall, the Coral-NY provides the best amplified sound of our electro-acoustic trio.

Tech Specs

Country of OriginChina
Available FinishSatin Natural (as reviewed)
Back MaterialLaminated dao
BridgeIndian rosewood/56mm (2.20")
Fingerboard MaterialRosewood
Fingerboard Radius320mm (12.6")
HardwareBrass individual (with steel rollers) with cream buttons, 2 strap buttons plus output jack
Neck MaterialMahogany
No. of Frets21
Sides MaterialLaminated dao
Special FeaturesFishman Clásica II with under-saddle pickup; volume, bass and treble rotaries, tuner and phase push switches
Top MaterialSolid Sitka spruce
Width at Nut (Inches)1.85
Width at Nut (mm)47