Best Classical Guitars Under $500 – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the ideal classical guitar can be a troublesome task, so we decided to help you cut down the stress of browsing through endless models and price ranges.

Check out the next sections to find out more information about classical guitars under $500 and which models are the best models of the year. 

Let's take a look!

Comparison Chart of the Best Classical Guitar Under $500

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Cordoba C7 CD/IN Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar

  • Includes Savarez strings and a gig bag
  • Best classical guitar under $500 overall
  • Solid cedar top with rosewood back and sides
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Yamaha CGX102 Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar

  • Good quality electronics with a beautiful design
  • Laminated spruce top with a Nato body and rosewood fingerboard
  • Great quality acoustic-electric classical guitar with sweet, warm tones
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Yamaha CG102 Classical Guitar Spruce Top

  • Best for the money
  • Glossy finish with a 25-9/16” scale length
  • Spruce top with nato back and sides and rosewood fingerboard and bridge
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Kremona Soloist S65C Classical Acoustic Guitar

  • Dovetail neck joint
  • Cedar top and Sapele back and sides
  • Versatile, good quality and handmade in Europe
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Cordoba C7 CD Classical Acoustic Guitar

  • Superb sound projection and build quality
  • Includes Cordoba gig bag and Savarez strings
  • Solid cedar top with rosewood bridge and fingerboard
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What is a Classical Guitar?

A classical guitar is distinguishable from acoustic or electric guitars, mainly because it comes with nylon strings, instead of steel strings. It is similar to the acoustic or electric guitar, but the nylon-encased strings enhance playability and go easy on your fingertips – which is why many beginners go for classical guitars. 

Classical guitars are great to play classical music, but they are not so versatile if you want to play most of the modern music genres, such as blues, pop, or rock. Despite this, many guitarists fell in love with their warm, sweet, and mellow tones that are characteristics of this guitar type. 

Can You Find a Quality Classical Guitar Under $500?

Finding a guitar under $500 that is made of good quality tonewoods, sounds great and is also easy to play can be difficult, but nothing is impossible. It does take some research, though. Not all guitars use real tonewoods, so you need to be quite well-versed to pick out the best one for you. 

But rest assured – this is precisely why we put together a buyer’s guide and the top recommendations of classical guitars under $500. Whether you want an acoustic guitar or acoustic-electric guitar, we have five different models for you to choose from. 

Why Did These Classical Guitars Make Our List?

We included these specific models on our list for several reasons. The most important are:

Quality

First of all, the quality of the build is important. Not all affordable models are built from high-quality materials, which can lead to their deterioration quite quickly. Despite this, you should also make sure that you clean and maintain your guitar as recommended in order to prolong its life. 

Performance

Another important characteristic of our model is performance. The sound quality is crucial to a model because, unlike electric guitars, classical guitars do not have a wide range of sounds. They often have the ‘classical’ type of sound with a touch of warmth and sweetness. 

Playability

Both beginners and more advanced guitarists appreciate a guitar that can be played with ease and in comfort. However, for the first category, this is critical. If you are a beginner, you certainly require a model that can be played easily and smoothly; otherwise, you will not enjoy your practice sessions. 

Review of the Best Classical Guitars Under $500

Overall, our models are the best you will find in each category. They pack value and all the features you need to benefit from a classical guitar’s performance, but the prices are surprisingly affordable. 

PROS

  • Balanced and lightweight
  • Well-balanced tones and easy to play
  • Includes Savarez strings and a gig bag
  • Buttery smooth tones with heightened warmth
  • Deep lows with bright treble notes with crystal clarity
  • Rosewood used for back, sides, bridge, and fingerboard

CONS

  • Sensitive to temperature highs or lows
  • Requires a humidifier otherwise, the saddle glue might get undone

What Recent Buyers Report

Cordoba C7 CD is one of the best classical guitars on the market under $500. It packs in all the features of a classical guitar without any compromises. The price tag is a real steal considering the value bundle that includes Savarez strings and a gig bag. You should consider purchasing a humidifier with this guitar for longer life.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Cordoba C7 CD is our top recommendation for an affordable classical guitar. The tones are buttery smooth and flow impeccably with the right amount of warmth. It has a perfectly balanced feel, and it is easy to play. Cordoba’s reputation is well-grounded in terms of performance at incredibly low prices.

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is ideal for any beginner or a more advanced guitarist. It has a long life when stored and maintained properly, and it has all the qualities to make you stand out on the stage when practicing or recording in a studio. It is handmade, which is an extra advantage of this model.

Bottom Line

Cordoba C7 CD is the perfect balance between value and money. It has a low price tag, but it is made of great quality materials, embeds different features that you will undoubtedly enjoy, and the tones are absolutely outstanding. If you want the embodiment of what a classical guitar is, Cordoba C7 CD is the one for you.

PROS

  • Beautiful design
  • Built-in digital tuner
  • Good quality hardware and electronics
  • Performs great both acoustically and plugged in
  • Extremely versatile with mellow, sweet and warm tones

CONS

  • Does not have any built-in EQ controls

What Recent Buyers Report

Versatile and affordable, Yamaha CGX102 is what you need if you look for the perfect balance between classical features and the acoustic-electric guitar. Skeptical at first, this model definitely delivers real value to its users, even though Yamaha is well-versed at steel-strings and electric guitars.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Yamaha CFX102 is an example of versatility, comfort, and convenience that can hardly be matched by any other competitor. It is affordable, the design is absolutely beautiful, and the tones are breathtaking, with incredible warmth and sweetness. This model is a one-stop solution for acoustic-electric players.

Who Will Use This Most

Most would rush to assume that affordable guitars are for beginners or children. We dare you to think again; it seems that both beginners and intermediate level players have something to learn from this model. It simply grows on you from the first use.

Bottom Line

Overall, the CGX102 follows the traditional contours of the classical guitar, but Yamaha managed to find a way to combine classic with modern touches. This beauty boasts great quality electronics with an astonishing design,  ​what you’d expect from Yamaha.

PROS

  • High value for money
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Exquisite craftsmanship
  • The rich, inspiring tonal palette
  • Lightweight, portable and ideal for travel
  • Scores high on playability, performance and sound quality

CONS

  • Difficult to be played by guitarists with smaller hands because of the large neck

What Recent Buyers Report

This is an excellent option for anyone who needs an affordable classical guitar. It is beautifully crafted from good quality materials, and the design enhances playability, which is great for beginners. Because it is a full-size, you might find it difficult to play if you have small hands due to the larger neck size.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Yamaha CG102 classical guitar is our top recommendation in this category. It comes with top-level sound quality, playability, and performance. This full-scale model features a spruce top with nato back and sides. The guitar comes with a 52 mm nut width, which is ideal for traditional classical play.

Who Will Use This Most

The Yamaha CG102 is an affordable, great quality guitar suitable for both beginners and more advanced players. Whether you want to learn guitar quickly or you want to polish your skills, this model comes with all you need to help you out. It is easy to play, and it offers a seamless experience.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Yamaha CG102 is a great option for a classical guitar. It is affordable, boasts all the features you need to enjoy your practice times, and it has a beautiful design. The playability and comfort of this model are the highlights. CG102 should definitely be on your shortlist!

PROS

  • Handmade in Europe
  • Deep and thick sounds
  • Made from durable, long-lasting materials
  • A great choice for beginners and intermediate level players
  • Beautiful soft case included for portability and storage

CONS

  • The design is quite simplistic
  • Sounds deeper and thicker than other classical guitars

What Recent Buyers Report

Kremona Soloist S65C is a great choice. It is not only handcrafted in Europe, but it also includes a good quality soft case with neck support, and the build is durable and long-lasting. However, it might sound a bit deeper and thicker than other models, so it might not be suitable for everyone.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Kremona Soloist S65C boasts a durable cedar top with Saplese back and sides. The neck is made from mahogany, with a natural finish. The design perfectly complements the performance and sound quality of the model. With a 25.6” scale length, this classical guitar definitely stands out among other alternatives.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is a full-size acoustic, classical guitar, ideal for any student, beginner or more advanced players. If you need an affordable guitar for your classes or small gigs, this is what you need. It also includes a padded gig bag to make transport easier – you can take it with you anywhere!

Bottom Line

Kremona’s hallmarks are soft playing action and great sound quality. If you want an instrument suitable for traditional classical guitar music, then this might be the one you need. It offers richness and warmth, unbeatable tonal balance, and impressive projection.

PROS

  • Attractive design
  • Comes with a gig bag
  • Stunning, glossy finish
  • Impressive performance for the price range
  • Sound projection is enhanced by the fan-pattern bracing

CONS

  • Upper frets tend to vibrate when the action is high

What Recent Buyers Report

This is perhaps one of the loudest, clearest sounds you will experience, although the upper frets do have a tendency to vibrate slightly with high action. The fan bracing pattern increases the tension in the strings and resonance, which boosts the sound quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Designed to impress, Cordoba C7 CD achieves its objectives. It has a fan bracing pattern and a more spacious soundboard, which means that the volume is louder, and the tones are better quality than other models. The frets are a bit wider than usual, which might hinder people with smaller hands.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want an affordable classical guitar that sounds absolutely on point and you need a louder, clearer output, Cordoba is what you need. It is made of durable materials, and it will surely impress your audience. It also scores high on comfort and ease of play; thus, it is a great instrument for beginners.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Cordoba C7 CD is remarkable due to the pureness and clarity of the sounds. It is an exceptional model that is worth a try, and we can guarantee that you will not be disappointed. You will definitely not find many classical guitars in this price range with such features and quality.

Aspects To Consider Before Buying

Here are some aspects to consider before choosing the best model for your needs:

Bundles

If you are a beginner, you might want to go for a bundle. They usually include gig bags, but you can also find some with good quality strings, which is an important aspect. On the same page, make sure you take into consideration the rest of the accessories you will need, such as a humidifier, more sets of strings, and others. The gig bag will be useful in storing and transporting the guitar. 

Size

The size is also important, as the guitar’s size should match the player’s size. In other words, if you have larger hands, you should not be worried unless the model is small and feels too cramped. If the size is not suitable for you, playing the guitar will feel very uncomfortable. 

Tonewoods

Another aspect to consider before buying is the tonewood. It influences the quality of the sounds, and it also impacts the durability of the instrument. Make sure you understand what cedar, mahogany, rosewood, or spruce mean for your guitar before buying it.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that choosing the best classical guitar under $500 should not feel like an impossible task anymore. We have introduced you to the best models of this year in terms of performance, sound quality, durability, and playability. We are confident that you are now equipped with all the information to help you choose the best one for your needs. 

People Also Ask

If you still have a few questions left about cheaper classical guitars, keep reading below.

Can You Play Classical Guitar on a Regular Acoustic?

Classical guitars are best for classical music for several reasons, the main one regarding the playing technique. Classical guitar is played with the fingertips, while regular acoustic uses a pick (plectrum). Playing with your fingers on steel-strings can be quite tough, especially if you are a beginner. 

Is Classical Guitar Hard to Learn?

It is certainly not an easy or straightforward path, but as long as you are passionate about it and you practice as often as possible, you will learn classical guitar in no time. You can experience different sounds, tempos, speeds, and notes. You can also take lessons for a more structured approach. 

Why are Classical Guitar Necks So Wide?

The necks are wider so that the player can press down a string without touching another by mistake, especially when they play quite fast. Classical guitars are played with the fingers, not picks, so the wider neck allows for greater precision. 

Can I Play Classical Guitar Without Fingernails?

It is not impossible – many guitarists choose to play without fingernails. You should keep in mind, however, that it will impact the projection and tone color, affecting the interpretation and musical presentation ultimately. It might be challenging to find the best tones without fingernails. 

Are All Classical Guitar Strings Nylon?

All classical guitars have nylon strings. The highest pitch comes with all-nylon construction, but most guitars have a nylon core wrapped in metal (bronze or silver-plated copper).