Cort SFX-AB Review & Prices

Cort SFX-AB Review
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  • From Cort's 2020 SFX series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 15.748" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash Burl top
  • Ash Burl back
  • Ash Burl sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Merbau fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Cort CE304T (Preamp/Active)
  • Merbau bridge
  • Acoustic Cort Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Die-Cast tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 83
Build quality 64
Value for money 83
Overall Score 73
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Cort SFX-AB
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Electronics
  • Bone Saddle
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $440, which means that the Cort SFX-AB is around 50% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Cort SFX-AB meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Cort SFX-AB
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Cort SFX-AB's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Cort SFX-AB's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Cort SFX-AB Scale Length Comparison
Cort SFX-AB's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Cort SFX-AB Neck Profile
Cort SFX-AB's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Cort SFX-AB has a 15.748" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Cort SFX-AB Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Cort SFX-AB's fretboard radius compared to others

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Cort SFX-AB has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Cort SFX-AB
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
24.803'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
25.512'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
25.512'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.68'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Cort SFX-AB Nut Width
Cort SFX-AB Nut Width

The Cort SFX-AB has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Cort SFX-AB Fret Size Comparison
Cort SFX-AB's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Cort SFX-AB's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Top, Back, Sides
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck

Ash Top, Back and Sides: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Mahogany Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Pickups

This guitar comes with preamp pickups that will allow you to connect it directly to an amplifier and record with it, or use it live.

Sound Score

Sustain 75
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 83

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Cort SFX-AB is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Bridge

Merbau: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Cort SFX-AB has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 61
Features 75
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 64

All Specs

Cort SFX-AB
General
Brand: Cort
Year: 2020
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: SFX
Colors: Black, Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Ash Burl
Bridge: Merbau
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Die-Cast
Fretboard: Merbau
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Acoustic Cort
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 15.748"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Cort CE304T (Preamp / Active)

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