The 4 Best Classical Guitars for Under $1,000

There’s nothing quite like the beauty and calming sound of a classical guitar. Commonly known for their nylon strings and origins that date back to in Spanish history to a far as 400BC, there’s a solid reason why these are called the classics.

Renowned their smaller bodies compared with most modern, metal-stringed guitars, a classical guitar in an essential model in any guitar enthusiast’s collection. Of course, when you’re looking to get one yourself, there are two main considerations you’ll be looking for; quality and price.

If you’ve already started looking for that ideal classic guitar that will give you the exact sound you’ve been looking for, you’ll already be aware of the fact that there’s a lot to choose from. From cedar wood masterpieces to spruce delights, there used to be a time where classical guitars were only available after hours of hard-graft and professional handy-work.

Of course, this resulted in them costing several thousand dollars apiece. Nowadays, the art has been refined and the production lines streamlined which means you can now found a truly affordable, yet equally incredible-sounding classical guitar for under $1,000.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect guitar to play in your free-time or looking for the ideal companion to take to the stage for you, we’ve done all the hard-work and found four of the best classical guitars for under $1,000.

Here we go!

Cordoba Guitars C9 Parlor CD MH 7 8 Size Classical Guitar

Cordoba Guitars C9 Parlor CD/MH 7/8 Size Classical Guitar

Coming in at the higher end of the $1,000 price bracket, this is a solid and reliable guitar that is ideal for any situation that you’ll need it, whether you’re jamming at home, hanging out with friends or using your strumming skills to captivate your audience.

The main body of this, quite frankly, stunning guitar is crafted using solid Canadian cedar wood which is securely held in place with solid mahogany sides and back. While the wood to produce this guitar may seem solid and bulky, it remains lightweight, making it the perfect choice for a guitar player of any age or skill.

As with most classical guitars, this one has been designed to be 7/8 the traditional size, which allows you to have the freedom to perform the only way you know how; with style. Moving up from the body, you’ll find high-density, beautifully sounding nylon strings which have been stretched up equally professional rosewood fingerboard, topped with a rosewood bridge.

All in all, one touch of this guitar and you’ll be able to sense to quality build, ensuring you’ll be able to enjoy many hours of soulful chord playing for many years to come. With each purchase, you’ll also receive a patented Cordoba Polyfoam travel case, ensuring it is well-protected while being stored or while you’re traveling around to your next gig.

PROS
  • Beautiful aesthetic mother-of-pearl weave rosette for a beautiful classical feel
  • Lightweight and suitable for all styles of play
  • Included lightweight hard foam case for protection
  • Cedar/mahogany body for outstanding sound quality
CONS
  • Not full size, preferable to some guitar players
  • Strings pre-set to a medium tension, may need adjustments for some players

Yamaha NCX1200R Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar

Yamaha NCX1200R Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar

A best-of list of classical guitars wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, Yamaha. The company was founded in Japan back in 1887 and the experience that has been collected over the last 130 years is evident in their latest classical guitar release.

Coming in just under the $1,000 price range, this guitar is full of features, implementations and quality sections that guarantees to give you everything you’ve been looking for in a classical guitar. With quality in mind, the main body of this guitar is produced using Sitka Spruce, with the sides and back made from solid, sturdy yet lightweight rosewood, ensuring that you can enjoy a build that is designed to last for many years to come.

Moving up, you’ll find a stylish African mahogany neck to stretch your strings over, coupled with an ebony fingerboard that doesn’t just feel incredible to touch, but sounds heavenly to listen to. While some guitar players may feel like this choice of wood is too heavy or too thick, this is easily overcome with a strap or self-positioning.

However, what really sets this classical guitar apart from the rest is the fact that it can be used as both an acoustic and electric guitar.

This is thanks to the patented A.R.T 2-way pickup system, complete with input/output ports at the top of the body, complete with drive and treble knobs for a fully personalized style of play. It’s safe to say that finding the sound you’ve been looking for is effortless with this state-of-the-art model.

While some guitar players may find that the tone can seem a bit deep, perhaps due to the solid build or two-way pickup, this factor is easily trumped to by the fact that this is a durable, long-lasting guitar that has the ability to create some incredible tones, and gives you full customization when it comes to playing the way you want to play.

PROS
  • Quality build using rosewood, mahogany, and ebony
  • Both acoustic and electric output
  • Comes with hard foam travel/storage case
CONS
  • Heavier than most classical guitars
  • Deeper sound than traditional classical guitars

Antonio Giuliani CL5 Mahogany Classical Guitar

Antonio Giuliani CL5 Mahogany Classical Guitar

Coming in at the just under the halfway mark when it comes to price, the Antonio Giuliani classical guitar, designed and created by the experts at Kennedy Violins, brings their complete setup guitar bundle which comes with everything you could possibly need, regardless of whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or professional musician.

The guitar itself is crafted using Canadian cedar wood for the top, supported by mahogany back and sides, a tried and tested combination that produces a fantastic sound while remaining lightweight and pleasurable to hold.

While being a full-size guitar, all the parts are sourced from across the US before being finally assembled by the Kennedy professionals in the Washington State, ensuring you can bask in the quality that comes with a home-crafted all-American product.

The experts have even added a touch of personal care when it comes to the details by leveling, crowning and finally polishing each guitar by hand, ensuring the final product is signed off to the highest standard. To further this level of quality, each guitar comes with its own lifetime guarantee, leaving you safe in the knowledge that this is a guitar that will provide enjoyment and satisfaction for many years to come.

Furthermore, since this is a complete bundle set with everything you need, you’ll also find with your purchase that Kennedy has set two packs of nylon strings, the first being classic nylon, the other Savarez, an electric tuner (although the guitar comes fully tuned), a capo so you can perform every set of chords, and your own polishing cloth to ensure the professional level of quality is always maintained, even after excessive use.

You’ll also find a hard foam travel case to make sure that your guitar is always well protected and safe from the elements, whether you’re keeping it at home, or traveling the road and performing at gigs and concerts.

PROS
  • A complete classical guitar set with everything you need
  • Outstanding, hand-finished quality
  • Real rosewood bridge and fingerboard
CONS
  • None!

Yamaha C40 Full Size Nylon-String Classical Guitar

Yamaha C40 Full Size Nylon-String Classical Guitar

While classical guitars are typically expensive due to their compelling sound and outstanding quality that doesn’t mean that there aren’t models designed for those on an affordable budget. Returning to the market-leading brand that is Yamaha, the C40 model excels in the budget price range while still maintaining the levels of sound and quality you deserve.

With the sole aim of providing beginners with a complete classical experience, this guitar is expertly crafted with solid spruce, ideally for producing harmonious sounds, supported by Indonesian mahogany back and sides. This ensures the guitar remains both lightweight and durable.

Extending from the body, you’ll discover a high-quality Javanese rosewood fingerboard, complete with bridge, which gives this full-size guitar a professional and somewhat captivating feel whenever you pick it up.

The entire guitar is finished with a Melamine gloss finish for anti-scratch protection that guarantees you’ll have a beautiful looking guitar for many years to come. Each guitar has additionally undergone an individual quality check to ensure that it meets Yamaha’s professional standards which result in this outstanding performance guitar at a price that’s hard to beat.

PROS
  • Affordable price
  • Outstanding quality build
  • Terrific sound production
  • Ideal for beginners
CONS
  • Professional players may need more
  • A lack of end block for strap pegs

Summary

As you can see, purchasing your first, or next, classical guitar doesn’t mean that you need to pay out thousands of dollars for a top-quality build. There’s plenty of high-quality and affordable options under the $1,000 price tag that guarantees that you’ll have a premium classical guitar that you can enjoy and perform with for many years to come.

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