Tell us, why do you want to buy one of the best classical guitars?
Picking up your first guitar? Adding to your diverse collection of musical instruments? We got your back! Our varied collection and reviews on budget-friendly, beginner-level, acoustic, kid-friendly, or must-have guitars may be just enough for you to find the best classical guitars.
Classical guitars will always be in style. Did you know, it is also called Spanish guitar because it originates from Spain? You may also hear people calling it Nylon string guitar. They are the most advantageous type of guitars to own. Their dulcet tone and smaller built make them a preferable option than similar nylon-stringed folk guitars. From love to drama, any sound can be well-evoked from a classical guitar.
It is hard not to love guitars for their sound, and it is also hard to find someone who hasn’t once or twice at least desired to buy a guitar. Searching for the right guitar may seem like a tedious job, but not to worry! We have you covered with all that you need to know in this comprehensive and straightforward article of ours. Read on!
Top 10 Classical Guitars-
Here are 10 of the best classical guitars for you to select from. Follow it to know our take on the best classical guitar brands out there:
1. Yamaha CGS 102A ½ Size Guitar Review
One of the gems from Yamaha ½ size guitars range, the Yamaha CGS student classical guitar is a great one for starters such as kids. It can easily be included as one of the best half-size classical guitars.
Finding a guitar for children is not so easy as it sounds. You may be thinking you will get them one of the white and purple plastic ones that play built-in music. But no. If your child is above 5, this trick won’t work no matter how hard you try. Even harder, if you notice they have taken a genuine interest on it, and you would be unkind not to buy them one of those guitars the older ones use. At least it should look similar.
The half-size guitars are smaller in size. It is lightweight and easy on the fingers. But that in no way means that such guitars are for the tender ones only. Even you, who have difficulty working with a full-size guitar as a grown-up, can make good use of this. And even if your kids get the hang of it as they grow older, you won’t have much to lose owing to their cheapness.
Like the one we just mentioned in an earlier review, this one, too, has a spruce top, nato neck, meranti back as well as sides, and the rosewood fingerboard make it a sought-after choice for comfort and structure.
It is very easy even to tune this thing. Because once you have the nylon strings fully stretched out, it holds for long without needing to redo it. Compared to its size, it can generate a lot more volume than you would expect it to. It is just so much easier on the fingers, that parents choose this as the first option for their kids to play.
- Great value for money.
- Safe on the hands for kids compared to the steel strings which always pose the threat of having a minor or major cut.
- Holds a great tune.
- Perfectly sized for the petite people.
- The guitar has good playability.
- It is one of the best classical guitars under 150 dollars.
- Of little use, once your child outgrows it.
- Not for most adults.
2. Yamaha C40II Review
Who isn’t familiar with the Yamaha guitars? One of the best Yamaha classical guitars, the C40II is another great buy under $200. It came after the C40 was discontinued, with a change in the hardware obviously. Again, it provides added mobility compared to the older one.
The body of the guitar is made with a combination of 2 laminated wood types. The top is spruce whereas the back and sides are of meranti. Moreover, ebonized rosewood was used to make the fingerboard of the guitar and the neck is of nato.
In order to make sure that the guitar lasts you years at least, the tonewood portrays strength and durability. However, the binding could do better than the plain old black paint.
It is by definition that you have to tune classical guitars more often than their similar other alternatives. And the nylon strings are to blame. But credits to Yamaha’s brand reputation and craftsmanship, they last longer.
The tone and music produced are just as it should be, with the mid tones doing better than the rest in terms of smoothness. It is safe to say it is better than those of the best high-end classical guitars.
For beginners and learners that are young, the playability of the guitar and the dulcet tone does a good job. Almost paradoxical attention to details but inexpensiveness is what makes this model a stand-out one in the list and in your closet.
A little bit of old-schooler and a little bit of new technology, you can be safe to try out on this one.
- A guitar from a well-respected, known and recognized brand.
- Beginner-friendly guitar.
- Takes it easy on the pockets coming from a furnished, top-notch brand that fits your pocket and plays well too!
- Great bargain for the money as you can get it under $150.
- Boasts a modest and quality construction and architecture.
- Not so suitable beyond the beginner level.
- No fancy electronics, graphics or inlays, if that is what you are looking for besides a cheap guitar that plays well and is backed by a reputation.
3. Cordoba C3M Review
Again a part of the Iberia series by Cordoba, the C3M boasts handcraft and a full, standard guitar size. The back and sides of the guitar are made of mahogany whereas the top is made of cedar wood. The hand-inlaid wooden rosette that is part of the construction, the tuning machines plated in nickel with pearl buttons, the rosewood fingerboard, the matte/satin finish makes it a treat to the eyes and hands. The Corum basses and the nylon treble featured by the 500 CJ Savarez strings are another delicacies of the piece.
The vibe of the product can create better music whether you are in a crowded, loud bar or a quiet, humming cafe.
Although the guitar is a modern, classical one, it features traditional Spanish bracing. Due to its ability to strongly resist tension, a great volume comes out of it. This earthier functionality also allows warmth in the various, dynamic range of tones that you can produce from it.
The solid top needs to be spoken more about. Simple because of its exceptionality to last longer than the laminated alternatives.
The wide neck and radius to make it easier to bring out the classical music we all want. But you can play a little jazz and flamenco now and then with it too.
- Matte finish in the body allows sustainability.
- Looks vintage but is so affordable.
- Easy to play with.
- Lightweight and compact size.
- Projects excellent resonance.
- An avid spectrum of tones.
- Lack of gig case made some people see the disadvantages of it.
- Could improve with the price compared to guitars of similar category.
4. Cordoba Dolce 7/8 Review
Cordoba guitars are a well-known brand when it comes to the best classical guitars. And Cordoba classical guitar, the Dolce 7/8 is from the Iberia series of Cordoba. The size 7/8 means the scale actually, the guitar is a little smaller than the standard size. The scale length is 230 millimeters.
The Dolce 7/8 features a Mahogany back and sides made of the same material. But the top of the guitar is made with cedarwood; just like the previous cordoba guitar, we reviewed. The binding and bridge of the guitar are made up of Indian rosewood. The inlay again, features a maple and ebony top, with maple sides. All in all, great architecture! The nut and saddle also being made of bones, ensure a better sound. Lastly, the headstock containing the tuning machines are gold-plated.
Although it does not come with a case, pickguard and additional electronics or such, it steals the show (and the purchase) with the presence and use of the Savarez strings. If you wish to adjust the strings, there is one thing they have, the truss rods at the neck.
It is actually a combination of a lot of features for a small price, and hence can be called one of the best small classical guitars. The intonation and the appearance of the guitar to make up for the absence of accessories. The lightweight-ness and the comfort that the user will get as he plays along the strings may be just enough to make up his mind to purchase the piece.
- Mellower and fuller sound compared to the competitors in the same-sized category and in some cases better than full-sized guitars.
- Perfect for those who have a small hand or petite fingers.
- Has a beautiful, glossy look.
- Excellent projection capabilities.
- The lightweight body makes it more attractive to the traveling guitarists and hobbyists.
- It’s very comfortable to play with.
- Traditional Spanish fan bracing ensures a better sound.
- Truss rods maintain and enhance neck stability.
- Requires no tweaking.
- Some have complained that the price could do better.
5. Antonio Giuliani CL-5 Review
One of the well-known, best classical guitars under $500, the CL-5 Giuliani guitar is crafted by the Kennedy Violins experts. You could be a beginner, intermediate, or a professional, and you would be just as elated by the things that come with the complete bundle of the CL-5 guitar.
The top of the guitar is made using cedar wood. Canadian cedar wood, to be precise.
This along with mahogany in the lateral and posterior part, make a combo ensures another delightful combo: lightness in weight and pleasant sound as you play. The fretboard is made using rosewood and all the wood used here are well-laminated to prevent wear and tear. And lastly, nut and saddle made with bones ensure good use of raw materials for the purpose.
The polishing, leveling, and crowning of the guitars happen via human hand. So there is a personal touch and emotions attached to this wooden piece. This practice also helps maintain the standard and finesse of the product itself.
This is a full-size guitar, so younger adults and kids naturally may have difficulty holding it. The parts, although sourced from different places of the US are all connected to form the piece at Washington by the experts.
The bundle setup comes with a Savarez string, and a classic nylon string. An electric tuner, a polishing cloth so that you do not have to reek through the house trying to find one and ultimately cut your own clothes, a capo. There will also be a hard travel case, the insides of which are foamed so that your guitar sustains no damage as you travel.
- Any trouble you have will be dealt with spontaneity and responsibility because their customer service is rated number one in the United States.
- It is made solely in the United States, from sourcing parts to assembling the final product.
- The positioning of the components and their built ensures maximum comfort to the user.
- Hand-furnished quality.
- None, unless you are looking for something below $300.
- It comes in just one color if you are not a fan of the classic guitar colors.
6. Hola! Music ¾ 36GLS Guitar Review
Hola! Music may not ring as much of a ring to your ears as Yamaha or Cordoba guitars do. But they are good enough, if not just as good. A fairly new name in the industry of guitars and related accessories. This is one of the best classical guitars you will get under $150.
The guitar features a spruce top and has mahogany for the sides and the back of it. It has a dreadnought body and is 36 inches in all.
As a humble-looking guitar, it actually has really good hardware. Tusq nut and saddle at the price that it comes maybe a slap in the face to the many competitors it has, who use cheaper plastics. The hardware also includes chrome-plated die-cast tuners, double-action truss rods, white bridge pins, etc.
Considering all the options altogether, we have a modern guitar with traditional binding, we have warmth and earthiness of the tones produced, we have a perfectly decent finishing work: not to glossy/not too matte, a very attractive rosette and attention to detail One would wonder if there are too many sellers who will be willing to give so much at a price less than $150. We wouldn’t!
But honestly, the Tusq nut and saddle steal the show. And the slimness of the neck, the lightweight-ness and just enough satin on the body.
- You can choose to buy any color you want from their available ones and this is the only guitar in the list that allows you to do so.
- Great accessories, materials, and functionality.
- Petite buyers can be benefited by it.
- A clear and warm sound is produced when you play it.
- The guitar is not caked in gloss.
- Great resonance.
- Doesn’t compare to premium brands (but is a good substitute).
7. Cordoba C7 CD Review
The Cordoba C7 CD is a very popular entry-level classical guitars for those who are just starting. It can work well enough for the ones in the intermediate level, but would not be of much help if you are an advanced guitarist.
The body of the guitar is made of a couple of raw materials. Firstly, comes the cedar top. The Canadian cedar top here gives a more exhaustive sound as we said earlier. The solid top also works to increase the comfort and playability of the guitar, being lightweight as it is.
If you are a beginner or a student who is just learning, you should always opt for a cedar-top guitar because it covers up the poor playing. Imagine what would be if you play pleasantly. But it is totally on you whether you want, what we may call a more “forgiving” guitar than the others.
Indian rosewood for its availability may be, are becoming more and more common to form the back and sides of a guitar; and this is no exception. It combines with the warmth of cedar, ultimately leaving you with a better volume. The porous and heavy nature of Indian rosewood comes in handy here.
The bridge and the fingerboard are also made of Indian rosewood in the C7 CD.
The strings used in the making are long-lasting and last you a long time without needing to be frequently tuned, as most classical guitars happen to require. Cordoba uses the high tension Savarez Corum Strings, 500 CJ; which is more expensive than many others and also is ahead in terms of quality. Great durability here!
Priced under $500, this is a blend of performance and quality.
- You will get a unique tone from this guitar.
- Good playability for beginners and intermediates.
- Great value for money.
- Conventional fan bracing, Spanish.
- Comes with a gig bag.
- Strong vibration and resonance.
- A great choice for fingerpicking and strumming.
- The buzzing along the upper frets was troublesome to some users.
- Not a very easy buy for some beginners, as there are some of the best classical guitars under $200.
- You have to maintain the humidifying conditions of the guitar strictly.
8. Cordoba C100M Review
One of the best classical guitar brands that are popular even today, the Cordoba C100M showcases craftsmanship and raw beauty in a way that will allure you into buying the piece. It is for the aspiring learners, or so they claim, as is the reason to produce it. A blend of comfort and play, they say.
Only for the built alone, the guitar can be on your list of to-buy, and we haven’t even told you about the sound it produces yet! The modern features, a dash of tradition and addition of accessories to the lot make it a part of our list of the best classical guitars.
The guitar has a spruce top in the making. The back and the sides use Mahogany. This not only contributes to the beautification but also increases the stability of the product. For the guitarists, there is a truss rod at the neck of the guitar. This helps you to adjust it if and when needed. The full-size guitar is made of nylon strings, of course. More precisely, the 500CJ Savarez strings. Lastly, the bridge and fingerboard are made using rosewood.
Those who rave about the accessories that come with a standard guitar, there is good news for you. This piece comes with a gig bag and a clip-on tuner.
- A great buy for the price.
- The adjustable truss rod is rather surprising to be included in this price range, acting as an added, free bonus for you.
- The wood used and the construction of the guitar reeks quality.
- It is much easier to tune.
- The nylon strings being of narrower width make the transition easy as you switch between chords.
- A more mature, matte finish than glossy, which some users don’t like.
- Softer nylon strings than other nylon-stringed guitars.
- There have been complaining about the looks which could be better, probably made by the ones who prefer a glossier guitar.
- The lightweight-ness of the tuning machine questions their durability.
- The headstock could improve.
9. Winzz Classical Guitar Review
Can it be called one of the best student classical guitars? Yes. Can it be called one of the best value classical guitars of nylon string? Sure. Can it ALSO surprisingly or not so surprisingly be called one of the best classical guitars for beginners? Yes again! The Winzz 39” classical guitar is a fond one for many for it being cheap so affordable and easy-to-use form.
Not too cheap again, let’s hold the horses. The pricing is just right, below $200.
The brown top of the guitar is made using spruce plywood. The fingerboard, bridge, back, side and neck are made of Sapele plywood. The body shape is the “classic cutaway” as we are used to seeing on classical guitars. The setup also carries a band-of-four equalizer, nylon strings, wrench and cable, tuner and cleaning cloth.
A strong structure to enhance the durability, a built that ensures comfort, pleasantness of the sound in line with the fan bracing and golden plated machine head makes it a piece you would love to own. The 39” inch classic works well for petite students and adults too.
- A lot of useful accessories come with the product that you would not expect (wrench and cable, how thoughtful!).
- This is great for beginners.
- A lightweight option that weighs just 6.3 pounds makes you less worried about the weight as you play, resting on your lap or standing.
- The sound range created through the guitar is warm and round.
- Full-sized yet doable with people of different heights.
- The fretboard of this guitar has a wider action going on than usual.
- The bridge of the guitar was lower than would be preferred.
- You may have to dress the frets when you get it first.
- For the strings to settle down, you may need to tune it as you start playing, every time you play.
10. CNBLUE 30 Inch Guitar Review
Note: CNBLUE 30 inch guitar is not available now. But I have linked a similar product link in the button.
This is the cutest guitar on the list, of just 30 inches length, the CNBLUE classical guitar is a must-buy for kids who are passionate about playing the “real” guitar.
With children, they always want to imitate what we adults are doing, and the silly plastic guitars from the toy shop just won’t do anymore. Don’t worry! This small-size guitar is enough for your child to enjoy and play, for boys and girls alike.
The features and build of the guitar promote a solid basswood top, body and sides; easy-tuning pegs; soft nylon strings; a maple neck and a decent finish. The guitar is available in 5 different colors for your kids to choose from.
It may be too small for you if you take it in hand, but for preteens and petite teens, it would be the right fit. Do not be speculative seeing the size. No ignorance was part of the making of the guitar. It is a fully-proportional dreadnought to give your child the experience at a young age. So that when the young man has come of age, the full-sized guitars would feel just right in his hands.
- This is one of the best small guitars under $60 dollars.
- Extremely lightweight weighs less than 3pounds.
- For those with a petite built, or small, skinny fingers, this is a great option.
- It is inexpensive, but not made cheaply.
- Safer, softer nylon strings.
- Works as long the kids remain.
- The tuning could be better, but seeing the price, it isn’t much of a con.
Difference between Classical guitars and Acoustic guitars:
In the 21st century, you may have heard more of acoustic guitars than classical ones, considering you only come across the word guitar via YouTube or Spotify. If not, even still, here are the fundamental differences between the most known and sought-after guitars:
[Sidenote: If you plan on skipping this section, let it be at your own risk and loss. If you are unaware of which is which and intend to play acoustic on your classical guitar, you might do damage to it. Also, different artists have different styles of playing. To play the music well too, you need to know the difference]
Firstly, the acoustic guitar has a narrower fretboard compared to classical guitars.
Secondly, cutaways are more common in acoustic guitars which have a dreadnought shape. Classical guitars have fewer cutaways or none. And are symmetrical, forming almost a “peach-body” shape.
Thirdly, the most prominent feature, the string, of a classical guitar is made of nylon, whereas acoustic guitars have steel strings. If you are somewhat of a scientist yourself and want to replace the strings of your classical guitar with steel ones, it will increase the tension, damaging the neck and bridge of the guitar. If you plan to do the opposite, not much harm will be done, but the sound will be significantly dull.
So, what should be my budget?
As a beginner, and on a totally different note, if budget is your issue, classical guitars are a safer option. In the beginner level too, there is cheap, and it is expensive. You can buy with as low as $100 to as much as thousands.
But remember, just like the golden rule, it doesn’t mean the cheap ones are okay-ish, and the expensive ones are the prime in class. The former may be true, but there are both quality and affordable guitars, only if you know what are those and where to look for them.
Different parts of a classical guitar:
What is the point of knowing about the best classical guitars if you do not know the anatomy of a guitar? It is also important if you want better quality. The following parts make up a classical guitar:
The top piece of wood is called the soundboard. As you play music, it vibrates. This changes the sound as well as the resonance. A plywood soundboard has 3 wooden layers joined together with quality degrading in each. On the other hand, solid wood soundboards have two wooden spruce wood or cedar wood slabs, joined with a seam in the middle. The former is of better quality, allows more resonance and vibrates easily. But for starters, plywoods would do fine.
Not a very helpful point for online buyers, but if you are buying first hand, compare between models to observe the thickness. The thinner the body, the higher the register.
The fretboards or fingerboards can be made of Indian rosewood to more expensive ebony. The strings should be as close to the fretboard as possible to initiate better sound. Also, the strings should be equally spaced, be it wide spacing or narrow.
The tuning nuts can be lightweight and/or heavy-duty apparatus. Either way, they should be long-lasting. If you are frequently going out of tune, change and replace the tuning nuts.
Nuts and saddle:
The strings are mounted on these two positions. They are usually made of plastic but can be made of bones too.
For kids, there are half and quarter-size guitars. This is usually to match the height and weight of the petite. We will discuss half-sized guitars in our reviews.
Buying Guide For The Best Classical Guitars:
Here is what to look for as you buy the guitar:
- The tension of the string will produce an impact on the sound as well as the feel.
- It should have good playability.
- For a warm sound, choose mahogany wood for your soundboard. And for vibrant sounds, go for spruce. If you need a sweet sound, choose cedarwood.
- The hardware should be good quality, but simple.
Here are the things that you should consider when buying a guitar:
- The age and experience of the person buying it. Do you need the best classical guitar for a 5-year old? The best classical guitars for beginners? Choose the guitar with respect to the age of the user (kid or adult) and experience (noob or pro).
- The user of the guitar. If you are a performer, you need amplification so select one as such; If not, you don’t need that. And if you are a learner, a student guitar will do. I would like to say if you are someone who just plays as a part of his hobby, you don’t need an expensive one. It all depends on you actually.
- You can use a second hand one if budget is an issue. But remember to have it checked by an expert to make sure the used one is free of damage.
- Gather knowledge. Our article should cover all the information that you need to know as you buy one of the best classical guitars.
Follow these tips of ours to buy the best classical guitars:
- If you want to be a classical guitar player, choose guitars that come with a nylon string. Steel-string guitars are not the best option for you. It may be a beautiful one to look at. But all the classical techniques do not work on it. And if you are a beginner who does not want to have his fingers cut on the first few sessions of learning and playing, do not get yourselves into the pain that can be steel-stringed guitars.
- As a beginner, you can select from the best classical guitars under $200. You will get a good buy and a good save.
- Plywood ones wear off fast. It can discourage your playing skills and desire to play with the sound it produces over time, no matter how mature of a player you are. Try not to buy it.
- Buy a spruce soundboard if you are a beginner.
- If possible, check the guitar and test it using your own hands.
- Check the tune of the guitar with a tuner. Then, check near the neck for intonations that are off. Also check precisely the E, B, D notes.
- Don’t buy packages unless it is one from the Yamaha C series.
- Learn the guitar basics about sitting positions, guitar notes, names of fingers, tuning, etc. The more you know, the better you buy.
How To Care For Your Classical Guitar
- To make sure that your guitar lasts longer, you must learn how to take care of it.
- A creaking sound is very common when you are tuning the guitar. But if you lubricate the nut string slots, you can do it smoother. You can color them with a graphite pencil if you want to lubricate them.
- Clean the fingerboard often.
- To prevent dirt, buff the frets frequently.
- Polish the fingerboard using the mineral oil. The dampness will reduce if you do it. The water retention of the guitar will reduce if you keep doing it often.
- The area where the guitar is stored should have 40-50% humidity. Keep a humidifier if you have regular fluctuations in the humidity.
An article that’s for the best classical guitars that cover reviews, a guide and a little knowledge here and there. That’s what we intended to carve here and hopefully we were able to do it here.
Which is the very best of the 10? This is for you to decide. As you should know, there is no single best thing, Everything has flaws, everything shines in its own way. Look at the features, pros, and cons that we presented. Read on the reviews, check other websites too. Watch videos on YouTube if you want to. But make sure the pennies you spend are worth what the strings will produce.