The Top 5 Classical Guitars Under $1,000 Reviewed
Whether you’re just looking for an upgrade or just starting out with guitar, you don’t want to be spending too much money on a new guitar if you’re on a budget.
The problem is that there are so many guitars out there that are way over $1000 and it can be disheartening when you see a make and model you like that’s well out of your price range.
Thankfully, there are a lot of fantastic classical guitars out there for whatever your skill level for under $1000 – you only need to know the right place to look for them.
We’ve compiled our favourite and put together a handy buyers guide to help you understand the key things you should look for.
Best Classical Guitars Under $1,000
The Spanish company Alhambra have been making quality guitars since 1965 and as you may expect, the guitars they make are of the highest caliber. The guitar is a semi-hollow makeup with a cutaway designed to help players reach the higher strings with ease.
The guitar makes a great sound that’s very true to its Spanish heritage. Your melodies will sound authentic and sweet with this guitar! It’s also very comfortable to hold due to the cutaway style.
This style enables the guitar to sit on the lap in such a way that the body and neck can be reached easily without straining too much. It has high tension strings that are designed by D’Addario. It’s fairly simple to change out these strings if you have a preference or if they snap.
The guitar also looks stunning with its cedar wood body that has a natural look and feel to it. The wood enhances the rich sound that the guitar creates, and it works well with the Nylon strings.
The guitar comes equipped with a hard case that will keep it safe. If you’re often traveling for your music this is especially helpful.
- Hard wearing carry case
- Left and right handed models
- Warranty included
- A little bulky for some players
- Solid Red Cedar top with rosewood Binding, high gloss natural finish
- Mahogany back & sides
- Rosewood Fingerboard, Mahogany neck, 650mm radius
- Nickel plated machine heads & D 'Addario strings
- Gig Bag included
This is a great guitar no matter where you are in your guitar journey, beginner or more advanced. It has fantastic play-ability, and that’s just the start.
The Cordoba C7-CE CD/IN comes with a fantastic uplifting tone as you strum it, and definitely sounds very energetic as you play.
Smoke on the Water has never sounded so good, nor has Wonderwall! It’s created with tone-wood that’s a really high quality which is what helps to create its vibrant sound.
It’s also very comfortable to use and is primarily designed for right handed guitarists. The body can be held without problem while standing and sitting so it’s fairly versatile in that respect.
The guitar achieves a warm sound due to its cedar wood construction. There’s also an alternate version with a European spruce top which provides a brighter tone if that’s your preference.
The guitar comes with Savarez Cristal Corum High Tension strings that really enhance the guitar’s bright sound. It also comes with a padded gig bag that will help to protect your guitar from any damage when you’re carrying it around with you.
For a great price and a really good sound the Cordoba C7-CE CD/IN is a fantastic choice for guitarists on a budget.
- 2 year warranty
- Comes with padded gig bag
- Warm sound
- European Spruce top option
- Can have a bit of a buzzing sound after a couple of years
- Solid Canadian cedar top
- Indian rosewood back and sides
- Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
- Fishman Presys Blend electronics with onboard tuner
- Includes Cordoba gig bag
3. Yamaha FG840
The Yamaha FG840 will bring a wonderful resonating sound to any song, both created and covers.
The guitar sounds amazing with notes sounding sustained – something you may not expect from a guitar at this price. It’s very comfortable as it comes in a couple of different sizes so you can find one that’s just right for you.
The Dreadnought version will be better for larger people and the concert version will be better for smaller guitarists.
The guitar is created using solid spruce on the top, whereas the sides are made from flamed maple. This really makes this guitar look stunning as well as creating a lovely sound, and it’s also got a fingerboard made of rosewood while the neck is created using nato.
Many players recommend using the Martin Silk and Steel Strings, or the Ernie Ball Aluminium Bronze strings. Each have their own qualities that will sound good with the guitar. The guitar also comes with a carry case for guitar safety and easy transport.
The main selling point is how affordable it is for such a good looking and sounding guitar, and there’s more than enough evidence here to understand why it is such a big hit.
- Two size options to cater to all different sizes of people
- Clear resonant sound
- Guitar case included
- 11 color options
- Solid Spruce top
- Some may find the action a bit too high
- High-end appearance and transparent sound
- Solid Spruce Top
- Newly developed scalloped bracing
- Traditional western body
- Flamed Maple Back and Sides
Much like the other Cordoba above, the Cordoba C9 CD/MH is another fantastic guitar that’s a best seller in the guitar universe.
It’s fairly expensive which is one downside, but what it does have is plenty of character and quality to justify spending the extra big bucks on this beauty.
The guitar has a very loud sound that will certainly fill up the room after a few strums and plucks. We love the resonance you get and the clear notes that don’t distort. It has a vibrancy to it that you just can’t dislike.
The guitar is easy to use and play, and it doesn’t require a lot of finger strength which can be an extra added benefit to a beginner who may not be used to playing the guitar yet and feel a bit more pain than a seasoned pro might.
The guitar is made with either a European spruce or a Canadian cedar top. They both have a fantastic unique sound, and both have a durable mahogany back and an ebony fretboard.
It comes with a set of Arete Medium-High Tension strings made by Kremona . You can buy the strings again if they snap, and there are alternative tension versions too if that’s something that you’re interested in trying out down the line.
A great feature is the hard case with a built in humidifier. It ensures that your guitar is kept in top-notch condition and with proper care, it should last a lifetime.
- Concert level guitar
- Case included with built in humidifier
- Hand crafted
- Easy to use for beginners
- Not enough bass for players that need more bass
- Solid Canadian cedar top
- Solid mahogany back and sides
- Hand inlaid Mother-of-Pearl "Esteso" Rosette
- Rosewood fingerboard and Indian rosewood bridge
- Includes Cordoba Polyfoam case
The La Patrie Concert CW QI is a great choice and a very solid instrument that’s durable to last for quite some time. For such a low price this is a bargain, and you’ll see this even more when we get into the nitty gritty of what makes this guitar such a smash hit.
The guitar is rather unique in the sense that whilst a lot of guitars come with a very uplifting and vibrant sound, the La Patrie Concert CW QI instead comes with a mellow sound that’s quite deep.
This creates a rather melancholic sound which is very suited to certain kind of music and playing styles. It’s incredibly comfortable to use due to the radiused neck. It’s a bit of an anti-frustration feature when you compare it to normal guitars, as it can make it easier to play barred chords as the neck isn’t totally flat.
The guitar comes with the La Patrie own brand of guitar strings, in this case the Pro Arte Classical Hard Tension strings. You can also purchase another version, the Classical- Normal Tension set.
The guitar also comes with a hard case, again with a built in humidifier to keep the guitar in perfect condition.
- Comfortable to use, neck radius to help with barred chords
- Bass tones clear and create a melancholic sound
- Tuner built in
- Beautiful finish
- Action may be considered a little too low for some users
- Back & Sides: Mahogany
- Neck: Mahogany
- Top: Cedar (Pressure Tested Solid Top)
- Fingerboard & Bridge: Rosewood
- Finish: High-Gloss Custom Polished Finish, Tusq nut & saddle by Graphtech
Best Classical Guitars Under $1000 – Buyers Guide
If this is your first guitar or your fiftieth, you’ll know it’s hard to find the perfect one. We’ve compiled a few things together to help make your decision a little easier. We will cover what you should look for, and then answer some frequently asked questions.
The biggest question when it comes to anything that creates audio, or any product in general really, is do you need to spend more to get a better model. The answer is no, not necessarily when it comes to a classical guitar.
There are thousands of wonderful budget-friendly guitars that sound twice as good as ones that are ten times more expensive. Sometimes brand names can also increase the price, or some editions that are autographed by a famous guitarist.
You ultimately need to decide what features are best for you and whether they will change the kind of thing that you purchase.
What kind of sound are you looking for in your classic guitar, and what does the one you’re looking at provide?
The sound you have can make all the difference to the product that you buy. Try to see if you can find an audio clip of the guitar before buying to help influence your decision.
Guitars come in all shapes and sizes to cater to different sounds and different people alike. Make sure you choose a size that will be a good pick for you depending on factors like your height.
It’s important to make sure it’s comfortable as the guitar will likely be resting against your lap and shoulders, and this is especially true if you often play standing up. You don’t want something that will weigh you down, as this can impact your playing and make you lose motivation.
Usually, guitars come in parlour, dreadnoughts, jumbo, auditorium, classical and small body versions.
On the subject of comfort, a guitar’s shape has a lot to do with how comfortable it is. The most commonly recognised shape is that of the classical guitar. They usually included nylon strings, and the guitars are usually fairly small scale so they’re easier to hold in the lap.
They need to be held between the knee and chest so that’s the main reason that size matters – it can change a lot when they’re too big for you!
Classic guitars originate from Spain, and usually are aligned with flamenco playing styles but they can be used for a whole range of styles.
Sometimes classical guitars can have high action which may not be ideal for playing flamenco though so before you purchase your guitar consider the type of style you are likely to be playing.
Different guitars have different necks. Some of them can be incredibly bulky and thick, which can make them harder to hold. Most of the time you’ll find newer guitars have thinner necks that are also more narrow which make them easy to use when using the fretboard.
This is one type of neck design that can help how you play the instrument. These necks are more curved under the fretboard so they’re easier to use. There are a few types of radiused necks: u shaped, soft-v shaped, oval c-shaped, hard v-shaped, flat oval shaped and medium v-shaped.
You should usually check the item’s product description as these will specify if the guitar has a radiused neck.
What to look for
Tonewoods and Strings
These are important as they will contribute to how the guitar will sound. It’s important to check the type of string and tonewood.
For example, if you’re going for more of a bass sound go for a tonewood and string combination that promotes this kind of sound.
There are a lot of great brands out there that create budget guitars such as Fender and Yamaha, so you don’t need to necessarily go for the premium brands.
The most important thing is to check if it has the kind of sound you’re looking for, and if the guitar comes with a certain kind of bundle.
Do you want a guitar with a case included? How about a tuner built in, or an extra pair of strings? Having these things already in your arsenal can save you a little money and ensure that you’re all prepared to start playing the instrument.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main classical guitar brands?
The main brands and the top tier level budget classical guitar brands are Cordoba, Yamaha, La Patrie and Takamine.
What about guitars for beginners, what’s the best one to buy?
Yamaha guitars are usually best suited to beginners. They usually come with a huge range of colors, and they tend to come with a lot of beginner-friendly additions such as tuners, classical guitar strings and cleaning kits.
What’s the difference between a classical and acoustic guitar?
People can often get acoustic and classical guitars confused with one another, but the truth is they’re both very different. To start with, acoustic guitars usually have a thinner fretboard than you’d find on a classical guitar.
Classical guitars also don’t have indicative dots on them to show you where the 2,4,6,12 and 14th frets are. For this reason acoustics are usually better for beginners.
Acoustic guitars are usually much bigger and tend to come in more of a dreadnought shape that’s rather large for some types of people.
Classical guitars also don’t have as much cutaway as they’re usually more compact and much smaller. They’re designed to be held between the knee and chest and pointing upwards, contrary to the classical guitar.
An acoustic guitar will usually use steel strings and a classical will usually use nylon strings. This can create a big difference in sound.
And finally, price. Usually beginners tend to go for classical guitars because they’re usually much cheaper than acoustic guitars so if you choose not to go ahead with your guitar journey then it’s not too much money spent.
More often than not classical guitars are more suited to beginners anyway other than the unmarked frets that you would otherwise see marked on an acoustic guitar.
After you purchase your guitar, you will need to learn how to play. This video will be helpful in getting you started: