Other than the popular term, “classical,” musicians also refer to this type of guitars as nylon strings or a Spanish guitar. Compared to its counterpart, the steel string guitars, this stringed instrument brings a new sound and physical qualities that you may never achieve even if you have the best acoustic guitar.
For instance, in terms of physical attributes, the classical guitar comes with three nylon strings on the first, second, and third strings. Second, they have a small body and a wider neck compared to the steel string guitars.
In terms of sound, the classical guitar also provides a less punchy sound than the steel strings acoustic guitar. And we believe that is the reason why classical, fingerstyle players love to use them to express their musicality.
Typically, you would think that this guitar is usable in learning classical music only. Because of its qualities, elite players also use it for contemporary jazz music, jamming, and even for live acoustic performances. Also, experts recommend the classical guitar for beginners. The nylon strings offer comfortability for them, unlike the steel strings.
So, if you are looking for the best budget classical guitar, we are here for you. We researched the best ones in the market, and found ten that we will list in our article today. Be assured that we included everything for everyone. So, let’s jump right into it.
Top 10 Best Classical Guitars Under A Budget:
1. Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar
On top of our list is a nylon-string instrument from Yamaha. We have to appreciate the work Yamaha did in providing a guitar that will last a lifetime.
The Yamaha C40II is a full-size classical guitar. Its body consists of spruce with meranti back and sides. The neck has a contoured shape, which provides a comfortable way for the player to hold the chords. It also has a rosewood fingerboard.
Players who love to explore the entire fretboards should be delighted with the quality of sound that the C40II guitar provides. We noticed that there were no dead frets, and the guitar stayed in tune, unlike most guitars of its price range.
When it comes to sound, everything sounds so mellow. And if you love balance in both highs and lows, then this guitar provides that in plenty.
Although most people recommend this guitar for beginners, we believe that it is ideal for professionals.
You will enjoy the sound produced, and you will never get tired of playing it. We also believe that this guitar provides the right kind of inspiration a beginner needs to keep playing his or her instrument for hours, non-stop. And with its price, this guitar is worth the investment.
2. Cordoba C5 Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar
Before reviewing this guitar, we had to review every quality that it had. And this classical guitar is a masterpiece, to say the very least.
Even before we could test it, the appeal seemed so classic and modern at the same time. The head features a cedar top with a dark glossy finish, the back and sides are mahogany, and the fingerboard consists of rosewood.
Other than that, unlike other classical guitars, the guitar features a two-way truss road. The headstock seems very stable and durable. It provides gold and pearl tuning machines to keep the instrument in tune.
When it comes to sound, we can say that this guitar delivers. The sound seems gigantic and balanced with all the Savarez Cristal Corum strings providing adequate tension when plucked. It also stays in tune, and something else, each fret delivers. Hence, it is proper for beginners who want to learn barre chords.
Generally, the Cordoba C5 is a guitar for all levels. It provides an excellent platform for a beginner to learn to hold different chords. He or she will also save money when buying this guitar since the package comes with a gig bag.
Also, elite players will appreciate the quality that this classical guitar offers.
If you are left-handed, there is a left handed option for you.
3. La Patrie Etude Classical Guitar
If, as a player, you would like to invest in a pricey guitar, then the La Patrie Etude is what you should consider buying. We believe that this guitar will inspire you to play for long hours without stopping.
The guitar comes with exceptional features that other pricey guitars may lack. Its body features a cedar top and mahogany- made back and sides. The neck is also mahogany. It also comes with a rosewood bridge and fingerboard.
Another notable feature was the two-way truss rod and two-inch nut width.
The classical guitar provides a balanced tone. Its bridge has a raised saddle to ensure that the intonation remains true along the entire fretboard. With the right tension on the strings, this guitar will deliver nothing but superb sound for different genres.
Although La Patrie guitar is a full-size guitar, the guitar is lightweight. It will fit snuggly on your laps and inspires you to play all day. Regardless of its price, this classical guitar fits any player. You can invest in it even though you are a beginner. It will help you develop your musical ear and skills with precision from the word go.
4. Cordoba C7 SP Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar
For players who would like a classical guitar that is louder and sounds authentic, then the Cordoba C7 is the guitar of your dreams. The guitar does a fantastic job of providing the player with those excellent sounds that relate to any guitarist.
Like any other quality classical guitar, this guitar comes with a spruce body, mahogany back and sides, a rosewood bridge and fingerboard, and a truss rod. The manufacturer also provides Savarez Cristal Corum strings, which offer high tension, needed when playing the instrument.
The Cordoba C7 comes with a padded gig bag to keep the guitar safe during traveling.
If you wonder what kind of sound you will get from this guitar, then we can assure you that the sound produced is high quality. It also sounds professional from our point of view.
The guitar provides a fretboard with no buzz and dead frets. We also noticed that the sound is punchier, which is a characteristic that you rarely find in a classical guitar. Overall, the sound is balanced, and with the tension each string produces, this guitar will sort you a lifetime.
The Cordoba C7, which belongs to the brand’s C series, is a quality guitar for all types of players. Beginners and intermediate guitarists can use this guitar for their musical adventures.
Also, with the quality of sound it offers, this guitar adapts to any playing style, whether it is classical, fingerstyle, or Spanish guitar.
5. Ibanez GA3 Classical Guitar
If you are a student who is looking for the perfect classical guitar to start with, then the Ibanez GA3 is a worth try. The nylon-string instrument is also fit for music teachers who are looking for budget-friendly guitars for their lessons.
The Ibanez GA3, first, comes from a notable brand, Ibanez. It features a spruce top, mahogany neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and bridge. When it comes to appeal, this guitar looks great since the entire body comes with a high natural gloss.
It is also important to note that the neck is a bit wider; hence, players with smaller fingers will have to stretch out to hold chords and notes.
Although the guitar is ideal for students, this guitar sounds balanced. However, you should note that it offers more of the highs and Mids. The lows are not that noticeable.
Regardless, this instrument will help the student develop a sensitive musical ear, which is an integral part of learning any genre.
A guitar’s physical and sound qualities are some of the factors that inspire a student to play the instrument. With the Ibanez GA3, you can be sure that you will be playing the guitar for hours since it is lightweight.
Other than that, the sound qualities are not only suitable for beginners. Any player that is looking for comfort while playing should buy this guitar.
6. Cordoba Dolce 7/8 Size Acoustic Classical Guitar
Skill development for any guitarist is dependent on the instrument you use to practice. If you are the kind of player that wants an instrument with intelligible qualities, then the Cordoba Dolce qualifies in all aspects.
The guitar comes with reliable physical qualities, which include a cedar top, mahogany back, sides, and a cedar neck. It also features a rosewood fingerboard with a 24 ¾ inch scale length. And the nut width is about 50 mm.
Like any other Cordoba classical guitar, it also comes with Savarez Cristal Corum strings, which provide the extra string tension the player requires.
After listening to this guitar keenly, we found out that the sound produced is top-notch. The fretboard has excellent intonation; therefore, you can explore different areas of the fretboard without any problem. Besides that, the sound is punchier and balanced.
Nonetheless, it is essential to note that there’s a particular buzz, which some players will not like.
The Cordoba Dolce is ideal for most playing styles. It can adapt to jazz fingerstyle, Spanish, and it is the perfect gift for a student that wants to learn with comfort and simplicity. Keep in mind that due to its size, children can also use this guitar for practice.
7. Antonio Giuliani CL-6 Classical Guitar
The Antonio Giuliani CL-6 is the perfect gift for any guitarist who wants to venture into classical and fingerstyle music. It comes with unique qualities since it is a high-end classical guitar.
Notable physical attributes include a cedar top, a rosewood back, (and side), rosewood fingerboard, and a mahogany neck. Also, the neck is broad for smooth movement along the fretboard and features an adjustable dual-action truss rod.
It is also important to note that the guitar comes with an attractive glossy finish.
Within the package, you will receive a padded bag with extra poaches, a tuner, three extra sets, and a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
The CL-6 was a guitar made with the professional player in mind. Each fret provides its unique intonation, while the sound remains balanced. We also noticed that the guitar sounds are punchy but mellow at the same time.
Professionals will be happy because they can compose, improvise, and play the classical guitar for a long time. Besides, if you feel you need to upgrade the guitar, you can adjust the truss rod, or you can change the strings to see which ones fit your needs.
Not only will professionals enjoy playing this instrument. Beginners, too, who want a classical guitar they can grow with, will enjoy the richness this guitar brings when developing their classical and fingerstyle skills. Also, music teachers can use it for beginner lessons.
Nonetheless, beginners should note that the guitar is quite pricey and should consider whether it is a worthy investment or not before purchase.
8. Stagg Full-Size Classical Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
One of the reasons electric guitarists consider acoustic guitars a turn off is that they have large bodies. But, what if you could find an acoustic guitar that comes with a thinner one? Will that change your mind about classical acoustic guitars?
Here is the Stagg full-size Classical guitar.
The Stagg Full-size guitar provides you with a four-band preamp. Also, the preamp comes with an in-built tuner, which makes it easy for beginners to tune their guitar.
Other physical qualities include a spruce top, catalpa back, neck, side, and a rosewood fingerboard. Another essential characteristic is that the body is thinner. It also features a steel-string “kind of” shape, which provides the difference.
Since this is an acoustic-electric guitar, you can be sure that you will be jamming or practicing in any setting. If you want to perform, you can connect it directly to the mix. Also, if you are at a camping site, this guitar will function.
Note that the string tension on this guitar provides the kind of tone that any musician needs.
There are no dead frets or buzz while playing.
The Stagg full-size is easy to play guitar. And with the thin body, players can play with optimum comfort without any obstruction and discomfort that comes with a broader body. Also, the guitar is an excellent instrument for professionals who like guitars that can play any genre without compromising on sound.
9. Kremona Rosa Morena Flamenco Series Nylon String Guitar
Most classical guitars only produce a mellow sound even with a hard pluck. But the Kremona Rosa Morena is a guitar that provides the player with a punchy sound from each string.
The classical guitar features a classic appeal but also provides a modern look in the materials used to make it. It comes with a spruce top, a rosewood fingerboard, and a neck that is also rosewood. Kremona also provides medium string gauge nylon strings.
Also, the bridge is rosewood and comes with an authentic bone nut and saddle. You will also receive a padded bag to facilitate transport and storage for your guitar.
Primarily, the easiest way to describe this guitar is that it is a high-action guitar. The strings provide a punchy sound without compromising the sound of a classical guitar. You will also have an easy time moving across the fretboard because the strings are well apart.
Each tone sounds balanced. From our experience, this guitar does not have any buzz, regardless of when you are playing chords or notes.
It would be unfortunate if the only people who can use this guitar were flamenco players. The
Rosa Morena adapts to different playing styles, and since it is loud, you can use it in different settings. We also noticed that this would be a great classical guitar for both entry and professionals.
Children can also use the guitar to practice.
10. Traveler Guitar 6 String Classical Guitar
Guitarists or beginners that love classical music but are always away from home would like a guitar that they can carry abroad. We checked the market, and we found the Traveler Guitar.
The manufacturer offers the player (whether beginner or expert) a classical guitar with a 24 ¾ inch scale fingerboard. It comes with a smaller body, which makes it lightweight and simple to carry wherever you go.
It also comes with a lap rest, a pickup, which lies below the saddle, and does not have a headstock. Hence, the guitar consists of an in-body tuning system to keep the guitar in tune.
Within the bundle, the manufacturer provides a padded gig bag with an accessory pouch.
At first, we thought that this was not an acoustic classical guitar, but it is. However, you will need to hook it up with a mixer or amplifier. You can also plug a headphone to it if you want to practice silently without bothering anybody else in the hotel room or at home.
According to some users, the sound is punchy. On the other hand, the guitar seems to have steel strings sounds, even though it comes with nylon strings.
In our opinion, this is the most portable guitar on our list. You can carry it everywhere you go since it also comes with a padded bag. And even though you may never use it at home, this is an excellent alternative for practicing and jamming to different tracks while you are abroad.
Also, both beginners and experts will enjoy using this guitar. Its sound qualities are authentic, and the comfort it comes with will inspire you to play all day.
Best Classical Guitars Buying Guide
If you want a guitar with a mellow sound and comfortable to practice with, classical guitars are the best fit. Most musicians buy these acoustic guitars for playing classical pieces, for teaching purposes, and for playing Spanish and gypsy genres.
But once you start looking for the best classical guitars, the number of guitars you’ll meet could deter you from selecting the best one for your needs.
So what are the things you should consider when buying a classical guitar? Read this article until the end if you want to know the best selection practices.
Let’s begin with price
If you are a beginner, there’s something important we would like you to know. Money is an important aspect when buying any instrument, let alone classical guitars.
When you approach any salesperson, the first thing they’ll ask you is how much you are willing to spend. The more money you spend will determine the quality of the guitar you will acquire.
But that’s not to mean that low-end guitars are not ideal. They are. In fact, in our research, we found some exciting and affordable classical guitars.
Also, note that the price can also determine whether the classical guitar will have inbuilt electronics or not. Most pricey classical guitars have electronics for gigging musicians.
The second thing you should consider is how easy it is to play. Well, classical guitars (nylon strings) are easy to play, at least for everyone. But some guitars are larger than others are; therefore, you have to be aware of the guitar’s scale length while buying.
Classical guitars with a scale length of 26 and below are quite small and suitable for children or people with little hands.
And speaking of small hands, you should check the neck profile. It should be thin enough to accommodate your hands and quick transitions.
Manufacturers use different materials to make these instruments. You’ll find that most guitars have better and durable materials that resonate with the guitar’s sound for premium guitars.
Most guitars use spruce or mahogany top, mahogany on the back, sides, neck, and maple or rosewood on the fingerboard. The best material for the guitar’s body will enhance the acoustic properties of the sound.
The strings should also have the right string gauge. But if the guitar sounds good and the strings don’t please you, you can upgrade them by yourself.
Regardless of how much money you invest in a classical guitar, you never want to buy it without knowing how it sounds.
Each guitar has a unique sound personality. And when checking the sound properties, you should test the action of the guitar.
A high action guitar means that it’s loud; a low action guitar means that you do not have to put a lot of pressure when strumming or fingerpicking to hear the sound and a mid-action is a guitar with a sound that lies between the high action and the low action.
Additionally, the guitar should produce natural acoustic sounds. You can check the body’s internal parts to see if the manufacturer adds some bracing for this purpose.
The intonation of the guitar
Intonation works hand in hand with the guitar’s sound properties. But some guitars will sound well, but the tone is a bit inconsistent.
Hence, you have to examine each fret to see if you can spot dead frets or buzz. Also, check the bridge and the headstock to see if they need adjusting, get to know if the tuning pegs are stable and if the guitar has an adjustable truss rod.
Some classical guitars come with truss rods. Others don’t. But if you don’t want a situation where your guitar’s neck bends, then look for one with an adjustable truss rod.
Last But Not Least…
Experts recommend that beginners should start with a beginner classical guitar. That’s “okay” advice, and it should be doable if the player doesn’t want to become a professional guitarist.
On the other hand, if you want to become a professional, you can save money and buy a premium guitar that you’ll use even after you advance. The advantage of this is that you don’t just save money, but you also develop a sensitive music ear.
Experts will recommend classical guitars to beginners most of the time. However, from what we picked from the above list, these guitars are also ideal for elite players. And note that they are not just for classical players. Those who want to enhance their contemporary skills can use this guitar.
On that note, ensure that you pick a guitar that suits your needs. If you love small sized classical ones, there’s nothing wrong with going for one. Furthermore, that is what you like.
Nevertheless, we also would like to encourage beginners to try to consider the investment before buying any nylon string guitar. You can also come across a cheap guitar with fantastic qualities than a high-end one.
As we conclude, allow us to highlight the best classical guitar in a budget: Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar. It is the best among the list because, apart from being affordable, this guitar fits in so many settings. Both beginners and experts will enjoy the physical and sound attributes this guitar provides to their music arsenal.