If you’ve been looking for a fantastic classical guitar for less than one thousand dollars then I’m happy to say I can help you out.
Maybe you’re looking for a great upgrade or maybe you’re looking for your first classical guitar.
Either way, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve found 8 of the best classical guitars under $1000, so let’s find out which one is perfect for you!
Quick List: Best Classical Guitars Under $1000
Researching Classical Guitars Under $1000
I know how tough it can be to find a brilliant classical guitar under $1000, so I made sure to consider everything from playing style to craftsmanship.
When it comes to the classical guitar, there are so many different styles to be played, so I completely understand the challenge of finding the perfect model for your playing style. I made sure to research some beautiful flamenco options alongside some versatile models (you know, for anyone who doesn’t like to be tied down). Whether you’re a beginner jazz player or a classical pro, the perfect affordable nylon-string guitar for you is on this list.
I also realize that we aren’t all made of money so I made sure to provide a range of price points. Don’t worry though, I’m a stickler for details and excellent craftsmanship, so every one of these classical guitars is extremely well made. There’s nothing worse than investing in an instrument that starts falling apart after a few months!
Throughout my research, I was taken aback by how many beautiful sounding classical guitars there are in this price range. So, even if you’ve got a slightly tighter budget, your next guitar is going to sound gorgeous!
Okay, with that being said, let’s take a look at the best classical guitar under $1000!
The Best Classical Guitar Under $1000 In 2020
1. Kremona Fiesta
- Solid western cedar top
The Kremona Fiesta is the best classical guitar under $1000 by far. It’s a beautiful concert-ready guitar from Kremona’s Artist series and it’s a completely solid wood build!
- Solid-wood build (cedar top, Indian rosewood back and sides)
- Left-handed and spruce top model options
- Would have liked to see a 12-hole bridge for extra string tension
- Straight neck build
This concert-ready classical guitar is as close as you’ll get to a pro model in this price range. The Kremona Fiesta has the most unique sound. Its western red cedar top gives the guitar a very beautiful mellow sound but it’s balanced out by the Indian rosewood back and sides. Every note rings out with richness and clarity! I’d say this is a very versatile model.
Whether you play folk or flamenco, the Kremona Fiesta could easily be your new best friend. This completely solid wood guitar is made with Spanish heel construction which is almost unheard of at this price point as well. Plus, I know the sound is what matters but, let’s be honest, the Kremona Fiesta is one beautiful guitar, right? I mean, I’d love to have this guy on display.
Its gorgeous rosette was inlaid by hand and just look at the grain coming through the top? It’s safe to say I’ve fallen head over Spanish heel for this guitar (lol, I’m sorry that was terrible). Anyway, before I crack any more dad jokes, let’s move on to our next model!
2. Cordoba C9
- Solid Canadian cedar top
If you read my Best Classical Guitars Under $2000 blog post, you’ll know how much I adore Cordoba guitars and the C9 is no exception. This would be the perfect upgrade for an intermediate student!
- Solid wood build (Canadian cedar top, mahogany back and sides)
- Two-way truss rod
- Inlaid mother of pearl Esteso rosette
- Flat neck
- Could do with a little more volume in the lower register
The Cordoba C9 is my favorite student guitar under $1000. The C9 is a beautifully crafted model with a gorgeous, rich sound. Unlike the Kremona Fiesta, it has mahogany back and sides so it’s not quite as balanced in tone.
I’d say It’s much warmer and a little more soulful, so I think it would be a great option for folk, jazz, or classical players. It’s a great option if you’re trying to transition from playing the steel-string acoustic guitar to playing the classical guitar. It has a slightly thinner neck, so it should feel quite similar to what you’re used to playing already. Even if you’ve just got small hands like me, you’ll love the C9 (no more cramping, thank god).
I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit apprehensive about this model at first because the quality of solid wood models under $1000 is often questionable. However, I really can’t complain about the Cordoba C9. It’s a great choice for any student!
3. Cordoba C7
If you need a great student classical guitar but the Cordoba C9 is a little out of your budget, the C7 is another brilliant choice. It might be slightly cheaper but it’s just as fun to play.
- Traditional Spanish bracing
- Part-solid build (choice of cedar or spruce top with laminate rosewood back and sides)
- Bone nut and saddle
- The hardware looks a little cheap
- Laminate back and sides
The Cordoba C7 is an incredibly popular model amongst students and I can see why; it’s a great classical guitar! Although it has laminate back and sides, it sounds fantastic. It’s got a beautifully balanced tone and pretty good dynamic range.
I mean, it could have a little more volume in the lower register but that’s to be expected at this price-point. Although the C7 is a student model, it’s still concert-ready. So, if you are a competitive player, you’ll love this guy. In terms of aesthetics, the C7 isn’t exactly striking but it’s still a lovely looking guitar. You can see the grain of the wood shining through on top and its rosette is pretty unique (and we all know I love anything unique).
If you’ve got the budget, I think the Cordoba C7 would be the ideal first guitar and it would serve you well until you’re an intermediate to an advanced player!
4. Yamaha CG-TA
- Yamaha Prorpietary Trans Acoustic technology with built-in Hall Reverb, Room Reverb and Chorus
If you’re looking for value for money, the Yamaha CG-TA might just be the perfect classical guitar for you. It has a beautiful sound and some pretty cool trans-acoustic elements!
- Trans-acoustic actuator
- Solid spruce top
- Chorus and reverb effects (without using an amp)
- No gig-bag or case included
- Could have slightly better playability
The Yamaha CG-TA is a great affordable model for beginners to intermediate students. It would be ideal for complete beginners because it has a fantastic response and pretty good playability considering the price. The only reason I think the playability could be better is that the top of the fingerboard is a tad harder to reach than I’d have liked.
Playability aside, the Yamaha CG-TA is a great student model with a gorgeous sound. It has a trans-acoustic actuator which allows you to use chorus and reverb effects without the amp. Usually, I’d advise students to choose cedar top guitars over spruce tops because they generally sound nicer in this price range. However, the actuator works wonders for this guitar.
If you add a little bit of chorus effect, it completely transforms the sound. Without the chorus effect, the Yamaha CG-TA is pretty bright but if you make good use of the actuator, it is beautifully balanced, soulful, and warm! What more could you ask for? I’ve fallen head over heels for this guy.
As you travel up towards the higher register (12th fret onwards) you will have to stretch quite uncomfortably (then again, when has it ever been comfortable up there?). I mean, it won’t be an issue for most learners because you probably don’t spend much time up there!
5. Ortega R200
- Made in Spain with Solid North American Cedar Top, Gloss Finish
If you’ve been looking for a fantastic, affordable flamenco-style classical guitar then you just might be in luck. The Ortega R200 is a cedar top, Spanish-made model so it benefits from the flamenco growl without being too bright!
- Spanish-heel construction
- 12-hole bridge
- Solid North American cedar top
- Spanish straight-neck construction might not suit all classical players
- String tension may be a little high for beginners
Finding a great flamenco guitar for under $1000 is a pretty hard task but, you know me, I love a challenge! I think the Ortega R200 would be the perfect starting point for any classical player who wants to give flamenco a try.
Sometimes players find it difficult to move from a classical to a flamenco model because the difference in sound is quite stark. However, I think the Ortega R200 will make that change much more seamless for most players. If you’re a classical or jazz player who’s taken a notion for flamenco then this guy will be right up your street. Its rich sound will be familiar but its growl will give you something new to practice! Beginners, listen up!
The R200 has a twelve-hole bridge, so its strings have a much higher tension than what you’re probably used to. Don’t worry, I’ve got a solution for you! Just ignore the extra holes and tie your strings traditionally (but, if the thought of changing the strings is freaking you out, you can always ask your teacher nicely)!
6. Kremona Rosa Morena
Okay, it’s time for your spruce top flamenco option. If you’re like me and you don’t do things in half measures then go ahead and throw yourself headfirst into the flamenco world with the Kremona Rosa Morena!
- Solid European spruce top
- Traditional Spanish craftsmanship
- Brilliant playability
- The lower action takes some adjusting to
- No truss rod
If you read my full review of the Kremona Rosa Morena then you’ll already know I think this is a dream model as far as I’m concerned. Believe it or not, I never used to be the biggest fan of flamenco guitars and it was this guy that changed my mind about them.
The Kremona Rosa Morena is a “Flamenca Blanca” model, meaning it has a spruce top, complemented by dark wood back and sides. The dark wood balances out the brightness of the spruce with depth and warmth and I just can’t get enough. You’re probably wondering why I think it has such amazing playability and, honestly, it’s down to the craftsmanship. Although its neck is straight, it’s beautifully graduated and even the highest frets can be easily reached.
It’s worth saying that the Kremona Rosa Morena is not a beginner model though. So, if you are looking for a great beginner model I’d stick with the Cordoba C9 or C7. Aside from that, I’m sure any intermediate player or onwards would fall in love with the Kremona Rosa Morena just as much as I have!
7. Yamaha CG192S
If you love bright, punchy classical guitars then the Yamaha CG192S will be right up your street! Who knew there were so many great models under $1000?
- Solid Engelmann spruce top
- Lightweight construction
- Ebony fingerboard
- Dovetail construction
- Synthetic bone nut and saddle
Beginners, this one is for you! The Yamaha CG192S is one of the best student classical guitars for inexperienced players. It has a lovely C-shaped next, giving the model excellent playability. Plus, the Yamaha CG192S is an incredibly lightweight guitar so, if you’re searching for your kid’s first guitar, this one could be it.
The only reason this model isn’t further up my list of the best classical guitars under $1000 is that it has a bit of a marmite sound – you either love it or you hate it. It’s punchy and every note rings out with a beautiful clarity but it might be a little on the bright side for some. As long as they have enough response, spruce top guitars can be great for beginners because they make it very obvious when you’ve made a mistake.
If you’re a parent shopping for your kids, the Yamaha CG192S is a model that will push them to improve!
8. LAVA ME 2
- The World’s Leading Unibody Guitar: One-piece injection moulded technology makes LAVA ME 2 more comfortable to hold, gives it excellent acoustic performance. LAVA ME 2 can offer a loud, wide range...
Remember when I said I love unique instruments? Well, the Lava Me 2 takes unique to a whole new level so if you’re like me this model could be your new best friend!
- One-piece, injection-molded body
- FreeBoost technology (play with effects without an amp)
- Can withstand both extremely high and low temperatures
- The unique look might not be for everyone
- Limited battery life (10 hours)
Okay, this guitar is packed with a lot of technology, so if you’re interested in learning the ins and outs, I’d recommend reading my full Lava Me 2 review. Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of my favorite things about the Lava Me 2 (you know, in case you’re in a hurry).
First and foremost, this guitar has some of the best playability I’ve ever experienced. I know that’s a bit dramatic but, trust me, it’s true! There’s something about the way its neck is shaped that just makes it an absolute dream to play. On top of that, it’s incredibly durable so if you do go for the Lava Me 2, you’ll most likely have it for life.
In terms of its sound, this is an incredibly versatile guitar. It has so many built-in effects that you can tailor it to suit your style of playing. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a classical guitar pro, you will love playing the Lava Me 2. The reason it’s last on my list is because of its unique build.
I love it but I know a lot of classical guitarists have, well, quite a classical taste so it might not be for everyone!
Classical Guitar Under $1000 Buying Guide
Best Brands for Affordable Classical Guitars
I always recommend buying from a company you know and trust but, if you’re looking for your first classical guitar, then you’re probably not sure who to trust! Don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for! Kremona, Cordoba, Yamaha, and specialist brands like Lava Music make some of the best classical guitars in this price range but they all have a slightly different approach.
If you’re looking for an affordable concert-ready classical guitar then you really can’t beat Kremona. All of their models in this price range ($500-1000) are handmade with the most beautiful materials. Whether you’re looking for an excellent flamenco-style guitar or a classical model, you won’t be disappointed!
We all know I’m a huge fan of Cordoba. They make brilliant student classical guitars and although a lot of their models are affordable, they never skimp on craftsmanship. It would be a hard task to find a Cordoba guitar under $1000 without a hand-inlaid rosette or wood binding. Their models have excellent playability and they’re always incredibly accommodating in terms of customer service if you order through their Amazon store. If you need your action lowered or heightened, don’t hesitate to give them a shout – I always do (god, I hope I’m not an annoying customer).
I mean this one probably isn’t a shock but I thought it was worth mentioning. Yamaha is one of the most well-known instrument brands which means you can always find plenty of classical guitar reviews. I don’t know about you but reading other players’ reviews always gives me peace of mind, so Yamaha is a pretty safe bet if you really don’t know where to start. That being said, their more affordable instruments don’t tend to be handmade so, if you’re looking for attention to detail, a smaller company may be the way to go!
Ortega is another great brand for beautiful Spanish made classical guitars. They’re all about making affordable instruments with high-end specs! I didn’t know much about this brand until I started researching budget classical guitars but I’m incredibly impressed so far. Every guitar I’ve tried has been meticulously crafted to produce a brilliant sound.
If you’re looking for a unique classical guitar that showcases exceptional craftsmanship and beautiful attention to detail Ortega is your best bet. They prove that you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a brilliant, handmade classical guitar! Can you tell I’ve fallen in love?
Buying from a specialist brand like Lava Music is a great idea if you’ve got a limited budget. Companies like these have a very limited line of instruments, so the models they have on offer are always incredibly well thought out. Take the Lava Me 2, for example; it’s the only classical guitar model Lava Music sells. So, instead of making multiple guitars, they’ve made one instrument and continued to develop it. Buying from a specialist brand should give you peace of mind because so much effort has gone into crafting one instrument.
What Makes the Best Classical Guitars Under $1000?
Brands aside, there are a few things you should look for when choosing a classical guitar under $1000. Most importantly, you should look for a solid top. If a guitar in this price range doesn’t have a solid top then it is not worth the money. Oh, and if the description doesn’t explicitly say the guitar has a solid top, it most likely does not (I made that mistake in my beginner years!).
You should also look for signs of great craftsmanship like a hand-inlaid rosette, wood binding, or Spanish-heel construction. A great classical guitar under $1000 doesn’t have to have all three specs but one or two shows attention to detail!
Your New Classical Guitar Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune!
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned player, I hope this article has shown you that you can find the best classical guitar for your needs and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. So many brands are popping up with new innovative ideas to make advanced models more accessible.
I don’t mean to sound like my granny but back in my day, there weren’t half as many options! Beginner classical guitars sounded plinky and sharp, and affordable intermediate models were almost unheard of.
Seeing as you’ve got so many options, I hope I’ve helped you narrow things down. Your new classical guitar will be with you in no time!
- Antonio Giuliani CL-5 Classical Guitar Review
- Godin Etude Classical Guitar Review
- Takamine GC5-NAT Classical Guitar Review
- 8 Best Classical Guitars Under $1000 In 2020
- LAVA ME 2 Guitar Review (Carbon Fiber Acoustic Electric Classical Guitar)
Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.