Detailed Reviews of the best classical guitar under $1000
A fairly common question we’ve encountered in the guitar community is: How exactly do I find best classical guitars under $1000?
And this is a legitimate question as many factors are included in the equation. Following a decade of experience in retail, we decided to join forces and shift the market in order to provide you with the best possible answer. Our research has been summed up in the rundown below.
There are numerous brands of classical guitars out there on the market. Some are extremely expensive, while others are dirt cheap.
Since not everyone can spend several thousands of dollars on a Jose Ramirez guitar, we’ve decided to show what we consider to be some of the best classical guitars in a reasonable price bracket. The $1000 range is the sweet spot where you will find the best price to performance ratio. In this guide, we’ll give you several models for each skill level, and list both pros and cons of each guitar.
Without further ado, let’s dig in.
If you are in a hurry these are our TOP Picks:
- Solid European spruce top
- Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
- Solid Sitka Spruce Top
- Solid Rosewood Back & Sides
- Solid European spruce top
- Dual-source Fishman Presys Blend system
- Solid western cedar top
- Solid African sapele back and sides
- Solid Canadian cedar top
- Indian rosewood back and sides
Now that we listed a quick rundown for those who don’t have too much time, let’s move on to the detailed portion of this guide. We’ll begin with our choice of models for professionals and go all the way to the best options for begginers.
Table of Contents
BEST CLASSICAL GUITAR UNDER $1000 BUYING GUIDE
Here is our selection for 9 of the best classical guitar choices for under a grand
Best Guitar for Professional Players
Let us cut to the chase and start with the pinnacle for this classical guitars run down, we have the Cordoba C10 SP/IN . It’s one of the best, if not the best classical guitar in the range of $1000 that you can find at the moment.
This is a very exotic model that excels where it matters the most. You get a solid European spruce top with Indian rosewood back and sides that gives a twist to a traditional Spanish design.
Everything on this model screams quality. There are no electronics, but that doesn’t take away anything from how good this thing is.
The action is just right, although the catch is being a tiny bit higher in price than this article barrier.
Never the less we couldn’t help ourselves of including it in this list, is almost on the budget range we are targeting.
The sound is exactly what you’d expect from an instrument of this caliber. It’s rich, warm and balanced across the range. There is more than enough projection and volume, which is great considering this is an acoustic only model. Its shape and choice of tonewood make it a great finger style classical guitar.
If you are a more traditional player who won’t settle for anything but the best, this is probably as far as you can get with a $1000 budget.
- Sound 99%
- Design 95%
- Quality 98%
Yamaha’s NTX series are by far some of the best acoustic guitars on the market at the moment. The NTX1200R belongs to a more affordable end of the spectrum and brings most of the key features which define this line of models.
In terms of tonewood, you are looking at solid Sitka Spruce top paired with solid Rosewood back and sides. The neck is made of African Mahogany that is topped with a nice Ebony fretboard. Overall, the construction of this guitar is impressive, to say the least.
It’s a stunning looking model.
The tone is a story of its own. Sitka Spruce combined with solid Rosewood gives it a very distinct color, one which you won’t find so easily elsewhere. The tone is rich, somewhat punchy for a classical guitar, but it offers a fine balance across the range.
Yamaha chose to install their A.R.T 2-way pickup system on this model, which gives allows you to enjoy the almost untouched tone when you plug the NTX1200R into an amp.
This guitar definitely has everything a professional guitar player would need from a classical guitar, and it all comes at less than $1000.
- Sound 96%
- Design 93%
- Quality 94%
Best Guitars for Advanced Players
This is another model that appears in our shortlist selection from the beginning of the article. Verea is an impressive classical guitar which brings you some features you won’t often see in this category.
It features a cutaway design, with a solid European Spruce top, and Indian Rosewood back/sides.
The neck is a custom designed unit that offers a lot smoother playing experience and is narrower than what you would usually see on a classical guitar.
This is an amplified guitar, which uses Dual-Source Fishman Presys electronics. Dual-Source comes from the fact that there are a microphone and a piezo style pickup at your disposal. Sound can only be described as great.
The cutaway design doesn’t affect the low end of the frequency range at all, and the mids are well saturated.
Overall, you can count on a very rich tone with a lot of projection and volume to work with. These qualities make the Kremona Verea Classical Guitar a great choice for a performing artist who needs a reliable classical guitar.
- Sound 94%
- Design 90%
- Quality 94%
The first model we’d like to recommend to our more advanced readers is the Cordoba Fusion 12 Rose. This guitar brings a very interesting choice of materials, great form factor, and a lot of versatility. It’s a solid top classical guitar with the body made completely out of Indian Rosewood. Even though this type of Rosewood is not all that rare, it’s still unusual to see it used on the entire body of a guitar.
In terms of electronics, we are looking at Fishman Presys Blend system, which is more or less the default configuration on most Cordoba amplified guitars.
Performance wise, Cordoba Fusion 12 Rose is very interesting. That Indian Rosewood gives it a bit brighter but also softer sound. This is mostly due to the hardness of this type of tonewood.
There is a lot of definition, no matter which part of the frequency range we’re talking about. One thing that is apparent as soon you strike a chord is the limited sustain. Some will find this to be a benefit, others won’t. Whatever the case may be, this is a great classical guitar for those who want a bit extra.
- Sound 92%
- Design 90%
- Quality 89%
It’s no secret that Kremona guitars can have quite an impact on your wallet. However, this famous brand also has several models which are affordable but deliver a good portion of their sound.
Kremona Artist Series Sofia is one such guitar that definitely deserves a mention. We’re looking at a solid Western Cedar top with South African Sapele back and sides. Artist Series guitars are handcrafted in Europe, which also applies to the Sofia.
The sound you can expect to get from Kremona Artist Series Sofia is well balanced. It’s not on the same level as their more expensive guitars, but it definitely gives you a good portion of that sound.
This is a model we would recommend to advanced players who are limited by a tight budget. Sofia is very playable and sounds great right out of the box.
If you’re looking for a reliable classical guitar that delivers a great core performance, Kremona Artist Series Sofia should definitely be on your short list.
- Sound 93%
- Design 90%
- Quality 92%
Guitars for Beginners and Intermediate Players:
Generally, beginner classical guitars are not a category where you will find hybrids or even amplified models. With that said, we decided to break the narrative a little, and show you one incredible model which can definitely be attractive to beginners. Especially those who are not still sure whether they want to go classical or electric.
Michael Kelly MKN6CN is a classical electric guitar that was created in cooperation with Rick Turner. Its design is somewhat unusual, but the performance is there.
Materials used in this guitar are Okoume for the back and sides, while the top is made of Cedar. Choosing a relatively rare African hardwood tells you that a lot of effort went into designing this model.
The neck is a Mahogany bolt-on unit, which is fairly normal. It comes with a Rosewood fretboard and 22 medium jumbo frets.
The sound this guitar is capable of producing is rich and very balanced across the frequency range.
This is thanks to Seymour Duncan D-TAR electronics. At the end of the day, Michael Kelly MKN6CN is a great beginner guitar, that brings a lot of flexibility and headroom to the table.
- Sound 90%
- Design 89%
- Quality 86%
Canadian acoustic guitar manufacturers have made shock waves on the market ever since they appeared. La Patrie Concert CW QI is a perfect example of why that’s the case.
What you see here is a hand-crafted classical guitar with a great set of electronics, which comes at a price which makes it a bargain. Finding a good classical guitar in this price range is hard as it is, let alone a hand-crafted one.
What La Patrie Concert CW QI offers is an impressive build quality, high-quality Cedar top, and solid Mahogany back/sides. It comes with EPM Quantum 1 electronics, which do a great job at amplifying the incredible sound this mid-range guitar delivers.
Performance wise, you’re looking at crisp trebles and well-saturated mids. The instrument’s rather large size allows for a nice low-end response, so bass is not an issue.
All of this makes this fella a perfect beginner guitar, but also a great choice for intermediate players.
- Sound 88%
- Design 90%
- Quality 85%
If you’ve read the the guide from the beginning, you’ve probably noticed that we have mentioned Cordoba C7 CD as one of our top picks. The reasons for this are many. First and foremost we’re looking at a Canadian cedar top guitar with Indian rosewood back/sides.
Finding a solid top guitar for this kind of money is not as easy as you might think. The overall build quality is great, but then again it’s a handcrafted piece from Cordoba we’re talking about.
The sound is by far the best thing about this guitar. It’s not the best you will ever get to hear, but it’s streamlined in a way that makes it practical. There is loads of volume to work with, and the tone has that nice thickness to it.
Cordoba C7 CD is very playable, especially seeing how smooth the neck is. Right out of the box, you might only need to tune it up a bit and you’re ready to go.
Just keep in mind that this is not an amplified classical guitar. If you’re a beginner and you simply want a more traditional classical guitar, this Cordoba is absolutely the way to go.
- Sound 92%
- Design 87%
- Quality 89%
Yamaha’s line of acoustic guitars, whether they are nylon or steel string models, is known for good build quality and great sound. Yamaha CG172SF is their take on flamenco guitars, which punches a bit above its weight class. What you get is a solid Spruce top guitar with Cypress back/sides.
The Nato neck features a Rosewood fretboard, with no inlays. This is a rather sturdy guitar, and the choice of materials definitely gives it a different kind of edge compared to the competition.
Performance wise, the tone is great. Yamaha CG172SF offers a lot of resonance and volume, while it also lends itself well to finger-style playing. This comes as no surprise seeing how this is a flamenco guitar after all. The question on everyone’s mind is how this Yamaha CG172SF compares to its Spanish competition?
The answer to this question is – great. In all honesty, this kind of performance is not something you often see in a price range where this Yamaha is placed.
- Sound 86%
- Design 88%
- Quality 85%
Buying Guide – Things to consider
Before you go looking for a classical guitar, you need to figure out what kind of application you have in mind for that instrument.
Do you intend to use it in combination with an amp?
Or are you more interested in traditional classical guitars?
Figuring this out will help you reduce the number of choices to a manageable number.
Playing comfort is the most important factor when shopping for an acoustic guitar. If you’re having trouble handling the guitar, you will be limited in what you can and can’t play on it.
Make sure that the guitar you chose fits your body, and allows you to play comfortably.
If you have decided to get an amplified classical guitar, make sure that you do additional research on various types of electronics that are available on the market. Each system delivers a slightly different performance, and knowing the difference between various models is fairly important.
Hopefully, this guide armed you with enough information to find the best classical guitar under $1000 that fits your needs.
The models we’ve shown you cover a wide range of body styles and features. Our choice of models might be different from what you can find elsewhere, but we wanted to step outside of the box and bring expand your horizons a little.
Best of lucks with your research!