Best Classical Guitar Under $1000

Best Classical Guitar Under $1000

If you’re passionate about fingerstyle music, you’ll no doubt love these best classical guitars under $1000.

Each one sings with a beautiful dainty voice meant to bring to life the classical compositions of old.

Our Recommendation

Because it’s totally nonstandard, I’m setting the Yamaha SLG200N happily in the bottom spot of this review. While I love its playability and plugged in tone, this is not your typical classical guitar and won’t meet your needs if you’re looking to get in touch with tradition.

Many would argue the best classical guitars are all about traditional builds, which is why I’ve chosen the Cordoba C9 as the best classical guitar under $1000. It’s built in the Spanish tradition established almost 200 years ago and carries a sound and playability that will make playing classical compositions feel as natural as can be.

You can check here if you want to learn more about these 19th-century composers and their works.

The Top 5 Classical Guitars Under $1000 – Overview

#5 Yamaha SLG200NW Check On Amazon >>

Specs

  • Top – Mahogany
  • Body – Rosewood and maple
  • Neck – Mahogany
  • Fingerboard – Rosewood
  • Electronics – SRT Powered System

Pros

  • Built-in effects including chorus and two types of reverb
  • Silent practice enabled by onboard headphone input
  • Classical playability in modern package

Cons

  • Requires headphones or an amp to be heard
  • Completely nontraditional

Review

While there are many traditional classical guitars in this price range I could have chosen from, I’ve picked the Yamaha SLG200NW because of its amazing divergence from the mold.

This Silent Guitar is the perfect choice for those who want to keep their practices private, allowing you to play completely quietly until routed through an amp or headphones.

The SRT Powered system comes with three effects, chorus, room reverb, and hall reverb.

You can simply plug in a pair of headphones and hear lush, beautiful classic tones with a range of effects levels and EQ tweaks.

The SLG200NW is made to play like a traditional classical, with a slim, wide neck and a soft and smooth rosewood fretboard under the nylon strings.

#4 Kremona Verea Check On Amazon >>

Specs

  • Top – Solid cedar
  • Body – Rosewood
  • Neck – Cedar
  • Fingerboard – Rosewood
  • Electronics- Fishman Presys Blend preamp + Sonicore piezo pickup

Pros

  • Smooth Venetian cutaway for easy upper-fret playing
  • Traditional tonewood combo paired with modern-day electronics
  • Fishman Presys Blend gives microphone and piezo pickup abilities

Cons

  • Cutaway breaks from classical tradition

Review

Kremona’s Verea model is a beautiful classical guitar with just a couple slight twists to reflect modern playability.

It follows the Spanish heritage in its tonewood composition and Spanish fan bracing but shakes things up a bit with a narrow nut design. This makes the string spacing smaller, which can be great for steel-string players but a small problem for classically trained musicians.

If you’re looking for an acoustic electric classical guitar, the Verea has one of the best pickup systems around. It features a Fishman Presys Blend and Sonicore piezo that pick up and transmit your tone in two ways.

The Fishman section uses a small mic that transfers the overall sound of your guitar, while the Sonicore piezo transmits each string individually.

The result is an amazing blend of fundamentals and harmonics that sings like a dream. Learn to use this pickup combination from this informative article.

#3 Yamaha GC12 Check On Amazon >>

Specs

  • Top – Solid cedar
  • Body – Mahogany
  • Neck – Mahogany
  • Fingerboard – Ebony

Pros

  • Responsive, springy ebony fretboard
  • Choice mahogany and cedar tonewood pairing
  • Matte finish on neck delivers smooth, silky playing feel

Cons

    • Artificial nut and saddle reduces tonal authenticity

Review

In Yamaha’s GC12 series, there’s hardly anything not to love.

They do a great job in these guitars of reproducing the genuine look, feel, and sound of the oldest Spanish classicals through the use of traditional tonewoods and the time-honored fan bracing pattern.

We’re mainly looking at the GC12C today, but there is also a spruce-topped version called the GC12S, which gives a brighter, snappier tone than its cedar cousin.

True to form in playability and its sultry, delicate tone, the GC12C is a great nylon string guitar for any fan of Yamaha’s trusted craftsmanship.

This model only loses points with me because of its artificial urea nut and saddle. To keep things real, I would have preferred bone for these pieces, but you only lose a slight amount of sustain with the urea choice.

#2 Alhambra 4OP Check On Amazon >>

Specs

  • Top – Solid Canadian cedar
  • Body – Rosewood
  • Neck – Mahogany
  • Fingerboard – Rosewood

Pros

  • Traditional Spanish construction made in Spain
  • Open pore finish allows greater resonance
  • Beautiful tone and authentic playability

Cons

  • May ship with sharp fret edges

Review

Alhambra’s guitar mastery dates back to 1965, and for the last half-century, they’ve been crafting amazing Spanish style instruments.

The 4OP is a truly historic classical guitar made with the same tonewoods and bracing patterns established in 19th-century Spain.

Its open pore finish allows the wood to vibrate freely and transfer more of its beautiful tone than guitars sealed with thick poly lacquers.

Alhambra’s OP4 excels in every way except for one, and that is its sharp fret edges. This is either due to a rush at the factory or shrinking of the fingerboard wood over time, but either way, it’s an annoying issue that will need some attention.

To fix this and have a truly perfect classical guitar, you can take it to a tech or read here on how to do this simply repair yourself.

#1 Cordoba C9 Check On Amazon >>

Specs

  • Top – Solid Canadian cedar
  • Body – Solid mahogany
  • Neck – Mahogany
  • Fingerboard – Rosewood

Pros

  • Solid wood construction gives the best classical tones
  • Handmade with great attention to every detail
  • Constructed of the finest materials

Cons

  • None

Review

If you want to play a really amazing classical guitar, you’ll want to get your hands on the Cordoba C9.

Made of solid cedar and solid mahogany, this is a classical guitar that speaks with the most angelic voice of any model on this high-priced list.

Though Cordoba is a relatively new company, they take great pains to follow the construction principles laid out by the classical luthier masters, using only the finest hand-selected woods, handcrafting every detail of the guitars, and following the delicate Spanish fan bracing pattern. This is why they rank #1 in our review of the best classical guitar brands.

There’s even a genuine Mother-of-Pearl rosette inlay to complete the historical authenticity of this fine model.

The Cordoba C9 offers the truest classical guitar experience you can find at this price range.

Buyer’s Guide

What Can I Expect in a Classical Guitar Under $1000?

When you start looking in this under $1000 price range, you’ll find guitars loaded with premium qualities that are ready and raring to hit the stage.

The best classical guitars under $1000 have solid tops made of hand-selected woods. This elevates the tone far above what you’ll hear on any laminate top classical.

These guitars are typically made in traditional fashion, commonly utilizing the Spanish style fan bracing made popular by classical guitar master Antonio de Torres. Because of this bracing pattern, they sing loud and clear while maintaining the delicacy inherent in this type of guitar.

You can read all about classical guitar bracing patterns here.

In the hardware department, classicals under $1000 will be top-notch, with infallible tuning machines that keep your tone true no matter how hard you play.

Who Should Buy a Guitar in this Price Range?

These guitars are probably out of budget for most beginners, and even if you’ve got the money to spend I’d recommend keeping your first guitar purchase on the cheaper side.

You can check out our reviews of great classical guitars under $500 here, under $300 here, and under $200 here. We’ve even rounded up the best classical guitars for beginners in this super review.

Mid- to high-intermediate players will have a grand time hearing the sonic allure of these nylon six-strings. These are beautiful sounding guitars that are more than a step up from the beginner guitars you’ll be used to.

Now, to all you professionals, you’re probably well aware that there are classical guitars that sell for easily ten times over this price point, and if that’s the kind of guitar you’ve set your sights on, more power to you. If cost is no issue, read our recommendations for the best classical guitars for the money in this review.

But, I’m here as the anti-elitist to tell you that the average audience will in no way be able to tell the difference between one of these great guitars for under $1000 and a guitar costing upwards of $15,000.

It’s the job of the player to make the guitar sing, and with the right technique and musical passion, these classical guitars can be a tool of choice for any guitarist.

The Final Word

Whether you go with Yamaha’s atypical silent model or the famed Cordoba line, any guitar on this list is bound to please even the most discerning classical guitarist.

Each of these best classical guitars under $1000 has its own benefits that serve to set them high on my list of favorite instruments, so ask yourself exactly what it is you’re looking for and make the choice that feels right to you.

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