Introduced in 2020, the Core Series from Cort has enjoyed a fast-growing popularity due to its focus and dedication to what truly makes acoustic guitars great: keeping it simple yet elegant, with excellent playability and natural acoustic sound. With the introduction of the Core-PE Mahogany the brand has forged the same idea and focus of the Core Series onto a historic Parlor body shape. Nick Jennison takes a closer look a the Cort Core-PE Mahogany.
Cort’s ever-expanding range of acoustic guitars is some of the most impressive mid-priced acoustics I’ve seen in a very long time. With designs as diverse as the über-playable “Flow OC” and the triple-bevelled “Gold Edge”, these forward-looking instruments offer serious quality on a level that competes with guitars that are several times more expensive.
The in that spirit, the Core-PE Mahogany is a highly affordable, solid wood parlour that harkens back to the “pre-war” era, with a historically accurate silhouette and a strong “vintage” aesthetic. It sports an open pore finish, open gear tuners with ivoroid buttons and an 1800s-style pyramid bridge.
Parlour guitars have a unique and very appealing voice, with a contained low end and an articulate and detailed midrange, and the Core-PE has these qualities in spades. It’s beautifully responsive for flatpicking and fingerpicking styles, with a “seasoned” quality to the tone. It’s also surprisingly loud, and responds well to aggressive strumming, with more headroom than I’d expect from a guitar this size.
While the look and sound of this guitar are decidedly “vintage”, it plays like a thoroughly modern instrument. The neck profile is slim and comfortable, with a highly tactile satin finish immaculate fretwork. The action is low and comfy, offering easy playability all the way up to the 14th fret neck join.
Pluged-in tones come courtesy of a Fishman Sonicore undersaddle pickup and Sonitone preamp, housed neatly inside the guitar’s soundhole. If you’re a regular GI reader, you’ll know that my pet peeve with electro-acoustic guitars is when manufacturers cut massive holes in the guitar’s side to house an ugly black preamp, so I’m pleased to see that Cort has resisted this urge in favour of a more discreet system. And like every modern Fishman pickup, it sounds fantastic. The tone is very natural and true to the guitar’s unplugged sound, and with just volume and tone controls, it’s very hard to mess this natural tone up.
The Cort-PE Mahogany is another excellent acoustic guitar from a brand that’s rapidly becoming a favourite of mine. I’ve been very impressed with every one of their acoustics that I’ve laid hands on, and this guitar is no exception. It has all the old-world charm of a vintage parlour guitar with none of the setbacks - the biggest of which being the price!
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