Best Classical Guitars Under $1000 – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

You have finally decided to tap into the classical world and buy your classical instrument. But which one is the best?

Do you really have to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality classical guitar?

There is no need to worry about this; we will explore the best classical guitars under $1,000 and everything you need to know about them!

Comparison of the Best Classical Guitars Under $1000

PRODUCTDETAILS
gm2-table__image

Kremona Sofia

  • Best classical guitar under $1000 overall
  • Adjustable truss rod and authentic saddle and nut
  • Red cedar top with a mahogany neck and solid Sapele back and sides
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Alhambra 4 P

  • Includes D’Addario strings and a gig bag
  • Great bass/treble balance and loud output
  • Solid cedar top with rosewood back and sides, ebony fingerboard and a mahogany neck
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Cordoba C9 SP/MH Acoustic Nylon String

  • Best for the money
  • Comes with Cordoba polyfoam case
  • Sweet and warm tones due to the solid body
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Hofner Solid Cedar Top Mahogany Body

  • Smooth, satin finish
  • Best Solid Wood Classical Guitar Under $1000
  • Rosewood fingerboard, mahogany neck and back, and sides
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Cordoba GK Studio Flamenco

  • All-wood rosette with a rosewood top binding
  • Comes with Fishman Presys Blend electronics
  • Dual-action truss rod and three-play maple and back top purfling
View Latest Price

Perks of Getting a New Classical Guitar

Why should you buy a new classical guitar and not an acoustic or electric one? Just like the other types, classical guitars have their perks. Here are some motivations for you to consider:

Easier to Play

If you are a beginner, you will definitely enjoy the playability of a classical guitar. Especially that they come with nylon strings that go easy on your fingers before you build your calluses. Nylon strings do not require as much strength as steel strings, for instance. 

Unique Tones

Intermediate or pro musicians would still enjoy other perks of classical guitars. Even if they already have the experience, and they do not seek the playability of nylon strings. More specifically, classical guitars have unique tones that are commonly associated with Spanish or Brazilian guitars. 

Transferable Skills

Because classical guitars are easier on your fingers, you can improve the speed of your play. Also, the fingerpicking technique is much quicker than if you exercise on an acoustic or electric guitar

The strings, intonation of the frets, and many other parts of the classical guitar are the same with acoustic or electric guitars. Not to mention, many teachers recommend classical guitars to their students. 

Can You Find a Quality Classical Guitar That's Under $1000?

Classical guitars can come at higher or lower budgets, but what about their quality? The reality is, contrary to popular belief, you can actually find a guitar under $1,000 with excellent performance and suitable for studio recording or live performances. 

What’s the trick? Well, most of the affordable guitars do not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive ones, but they do have high-quality components and great performances. For instance, you might find an American model at a higher price with good performance, but you can get an imported one with the same qualities but at a lower price. 

How to Choose a Classical Guitar

Here are some primary considerations to take into account when choosing the best guitar:

Laminated Top Versus Solid Wood?

One of the most important parts of an acoustic guitar is the top because it makes direct contact with the bridge, meaning that it is the main culprit for resonance. A classical guitar with a solid top means that it is made of only one piece of wood, while a laminated one is made of a minimum of three layers of wood. 

Laminated wood is stronger and more resistant than solid wood, especially when it comes to temperature change and climate. However, the laminated top performs slightly less than a solid top. Solid top guitars are not so durable, but they are fuller and louder than their counterparts. 

The Guitars’ Finish

A high-quality classical guitar does not only sound great, but it looks great, too. After all, you should be proud to take your new companion out in the world. You should decide whether you want a matte or glossy finish, natural or tinted black. It is all up to you, but a beautiful instrument will likely be played more often. 

Tonewood

There are different materials that your instrument can be made of, and they impact the instrument sounds. Spruce tops have bright, articulate sounds; cedar is warmer, mahogany is bright and rich, getting fuller as time goes by. Go for rosewood if you want deep, sparkling sounds or basswood for round sounds. 

Quick Take:
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best classical guitars under $1000:

  1. Kremona Sofia
  2. Alhambra 4 P
  3. Cordoba C9 SP/MH Acoustic Nylon String

Review of the Best Classical Guitars Under $1000

You now know what to look for in a classical guitar, so let’s take a look at what the market has on offer for you.

Best Overall: 
Kremona Sofia

PROS

  • Handcrafted in Europe
  • Tonal balance and vibrancy
  • Gold-plated machine heads 
  • Versatile and a beautiful finish
  • Impressive warmth and articulation
  • Comes with a good quality hard case

CONS

  • The hard case is not very qualitative

What Recent Buyers Report

Kremona Sofia is a real steal for its price tag. The workmanship is outstanding, with a great action right out of the box. It has a rich bass and is extremely easy to play. It truly looks and performs like a hand-made guitar. The rich, resonant sounds are definitely worth the investment!

Why it Stands Out to Us

Kremona Sofia is a high-quality guitar series made of carefully selected components. It combines a beautiful top of red cedar with solid Sapele on the back and sides, an African mahogany neck, and a rosewood fingerboard. It has a unique, striking tone, and it comes with a deluxe hard case. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is a great choice not only for beginners and students but for anyone who wants to enjoy the richness and warmth of a classical guitar at an unbelievable price range. It is easy to play, and it does not require professional adjustments, it can be played right out of the box!

Bottom Line

All in all, Kremona Sofia is the perfect choice if you want the perfect blend of high-quality features. This includes toning, setup, fit, and finish, all right out of the box and ready to play. It has a light feel, with easy playability and, most importantly, a very affordable price range!

Runner-up:
Alhambra 4 P

PROS

  • Built-in Spain
  • Beautiful finish
  • Fine-tuning abilities
  • Four layers of light varnish
  • Enhanced playability due to the U-shaped neck

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

The Alhambra 4P is a high-quality guitar that combines versatility and playability. The incredible sounds are loud, and it has the ideal balance ​of bass and treble. The high-quality components are obvious from the first moment you pick it up. It is extremely easy to play!

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the world’s most favorite Alhambra guitars, the 4P is a high-quality instrument. It has four layers of light varnish that draw attention to the exquisite craftsmanship of the red Canadian cedar top and rosewood laminate on the sides and back. The gold-plated machine heads allow for fine-tuning due to their superior quality. 

Who Will Use This Most

Alhambra 4P guitar is the best runner-up, and it is incredibly difficult to find any flaws in it. It is easy to play, versatile, and one of the best classical guitars on the market. It would be a precious asset to any guitar enthusiast or a pro; it’s a gem that will shine in any guitar collection. 

Bottom Line

Overall, the Alhambra 4P guitar would make a great addition to any guitarist. It is reliable, versatile, and built with some of the highest quality materials, easily a strong competitor to some higher-end instruments on the market. Alhambra 4P should be high on your list regardless of your skill!

PROS

  • Incredibly versatile
  • Lightweight and easy to play
  • Solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides
  • Comes with a polyfoam case for enhanced portability
  • Highly response soundboard gives louder output with better tonality
  • Has a touch of vintage elegance due to the mother-of-pearl weave rosette

CONS

  • Issues with quality control

What Recent Buyers Report

This product is very well-built and easy to play. It is lightweight, which makes it resonant, and the adjustable truss rod for the neck is very useful. Some buyers complained that the product was damaged on delivery, but it seems to be only on isolated cases. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Cordoba C9 offers the best price/value ratio. It is built from high-quality materials, focusing on the responsivity of the soundboard, which means that it has a louder output than other alternatives. It is a great concert-level guitar that can be used by any guitarist. The high gloss finish makes it shine like a diamond on stage. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Cordoba C9 is ideal for intermediate players who need a high-quality concert-level guitar at an affordable price. It is resonant and has a consistent and reliable performance throughout. The treble end is sweet, clear, but not overpowering. Once you try it, you will be a Cordoba loyalist for the rest of your life!

Bottom Line

This instrument is a great choice for any guitarist who wants to reap all the tonal benefits of a classical guitar. It comes with an even finish, with straight grains all-solid body. The slightly thinner neck is great for transitioning musicians from acoustic or electric guitars. 

Best Solid Wood Classical Guitar Under $1000:
Hofner Solid Cedar Top Mahogany Body

PROS

  • Ideal for students
  • Comfortable to play
  • Full-scale mahogany neck
  • High-quality performance
  • Excellent sustain and intonation
  • Recommended by EGTA (European Guitar Teachers Association)

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar comes in excellent condition, ready to be played out of the box. Upon the first experience, you will easily notice the attention to detail and the beautiful, smooth finish of the instrument. It is a great choice, and the intonation qualities are absolutely breathtaking. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Hofner Solid Cedar Top Mahogany Body is our main recommendation for solid wood classical guitars. It has a beautiful finish, and all components are of high-quality, sourced in Germany. The true shine of this instrument comes from its beautiful intonation, that cannot be matched by any other instrument in this price range. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is recommended by the European Guitar Teachers Association, so you might think that it is best for students. It is no surprise, however, that more advanced musicians found this instrument impressive. Whether you are skilled or not, this classical guitar can open the way to a whole new world of sounds and impressive tonalities. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this instrument is a high-quality guitar, and you will find it to be right on the money. If you want an affordable, playable product with excellent intonation and sustain, Hofner is what you need. All you need to do is strum a chord, and you will definitely be pleased with your new acquisition. 

PROS

  • Cypress back and sides
  • Glossy finish with a soft feel
  • Fishman Presys Blend electronics
  • C-shaped neck for greater comfort
  • Single cutaway for enhanced playability

CONS

  • Difficult to access the nut 
  • Frets are quite sharp on the edges

What Recent Buyers Report

Cordoba GK Studio comes with easy to play nylon strings, low action and provides excellent sounds. It is lightweight, and the slimmer neck with cutaway improves the playability, being similar to playing any other electric guitar. It is highly responsive, and the included padded gig bag is extremely useful. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The GK Studio is the ultimate gigging guitar and one of Cordoba’s favorites. It is created to shine on the stage and provide you with comfort and convenience. It has a thinner body depth, neck, and nut width. The low action provides plenty of comfort and quick playability. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are an electric guitarist, you will definitely enjoy this classical guitar to the fullest. For acoustic loyalists, there is no need to worry: this guitar sounds just as great whether you plug it in or not! It is a fantastic hand-made guitar that will add a lot of shine to your on-stage performance. 

Bottom Line

The Cordoba Studio comes with great features ideal for the gigging musician or to be used for studio recording. The electronics are of good quality, and the shape of the body enhances comfort, easing the transition to classical guitars. It is made of high-quality components, and it performs acoustically as well as electric. 

Pros and Cons of Classical Guitars

Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of classical guitars. 

Pros

  • Great for beginners. Classical guitars are perfect to learn guitar, especially when you do not have calluses or the strength needed for steel strings. 
  • Transferability. Although they are quite different in terms of playability, all the fingerpicking and other playing techniques you learn on a classical guitar can be transferred to any acoustic/electric guitar
  • Unique tones and textures. Classical guitars are tonalities and textures that cannot be reached on a steel-stringed guitar; many advanced players have a classical guitar in order to have access to these unique features.

Cons

  • The callouses you usually build up with steel-stringed guitars will not form, so it will still be difficult for your fingers to make the transition.
  • The neck and fretboard are wider compared to other guitars; thus, you need a period of adjustment; additionally, they might not be suitable for people with small hands (especially when soloing and picking).
  • You will need a steel-stringed guitar anyway if you want to achieve pop and rock sounds.

Conclusion

Overall, whichever instrument you decide to purchase, we truly hope that it will bring you countless hours of joy without much effort. You now have all the information you need to make the best decision for you, but we strongly agree with the fact that any guitarist should try out a classical guitar at least once in a lifetime. 

People Also Ask

Here are a few more questions and answers to get you more familiar with classical guitars that are under $1000.

How Much Should I Spend on a Classical Guitar?

This depends on your needs. If you are just starting on your musical journey, there is no need to spend a fortune on the instrument. Instead, you can purchase a more affordable one, as you will also need quite a few accessories. What is more, an affordable instrument does not mean it is of lesser quality, as we’ve seen in the previous sections. 

What is a Fair Price For Guitar Lessons?

Guitar lessons are priced at around $40-$60 per hour. Local private lessons can start at $30 for half an hour, but online guitar lessons are usually 20% less than that. Some instructors also offer free introductory lessons to beginners. 

Can You Use a Pick With a Classical Guitar?

Classical guitars are usually finger-picked, so if you want to play classical music, you won’t need a pick. However, if a flat-picked guitar sounds great in a certain context, why shouldn’t you give it a try? 

Is Classical Guitar Harder Than Acoustic?

Classical guitars are the first choices for many beginners because they are easier to play than acoustic. This is especially because classical guitars have nylon strings that go much easier on the fingers, compared to acoustic ones. None of them are really hard if you are passionate about what you’re doing!