7 Best Classical Guitars Under $2000

Best Classical Guitar Under $2000

If you’ve been searching for a great classical guitar under $2000 then I’m happy to say I’ve got your back.

Maybe you’re looking for your first upgrade or maybe you fancy trying out a new model without breaking the bank.

Either way, I’ve found some brilliant options.

They may be affordable but they certainly sound expensive!

So, let’s find your new classical guitar.

Quick List: Best Classical Guitars Under $2000 In 2020

  1. Cordoba C12 SPBest Overall
  2. Cordoba C10 CD
  3. Ortega Guitars R270F
  4. Takamine TH5CBest Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar
  5. Takamine TC132SC
  6. Cordoba Solista CD
  7. Alhambra 5P

Researching Classical Guitars Under $2000

Let me guess… You haven’t had much luck finding a great classical guitar under $2000? Let me tell ya, it’s not an easy task but it is possible.

There are so many different models on the market but you’re probably struggling to figure out which ones are actually worth your money!

Well, that’s where I come in. Throughout my research, I had three things in mind; the quality of materials used, the craftsmanship, and, of course, the sound.

I managed to find some fantastic classical guitars in this price range. Some of them sound better than the high-end models I’ve got at home!

Whether you’ve got a super tight budget or you’re looking for something closer to the $2000 mark, I’ve got you covered!

Here are the 7 best classical guitars less than $2000 I discovered.

Let’s find your ideal model!

Our 7 Best Classical Guitars Under $2000

1. Cordoba C12 SP Classical Guitar

Cordoba C12 SP Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with...
  • Solid European spruce top with solid Indian rosewood back and sides

The Cordoba C12 is undoubtedly the best classical guitar I found in this price range. Now I see why everyone sings its praises!

Pros
  • Elevated fingerboard
  • Modern lattice bracing
  • All solid wood
Cons
  • Hard tension strings might not be suitable for students
  • Flamenco players might not like the raised fingerboard

Out of all the classical guitars I found in this price range, the Cordoba C12 impressed me the most. If you read my in-depth review of the Cordoba C12, you’ll know how excited I am about it.

It would be the perfect upgrade for any intermediate or advanced student but, to be honest, any classical guitar player would love this guy. The C12 has a gorgeous elegant design with its mother of pearl rosette on the top and flamed maple wedge in the back.

It’s raised neck gives you fantastic playability and the use of modern lattice bracing gives it a lightweight feel. The attention to detail that went into crafting this bad boy is just insane. I’ve never heard an affordable guitar with a voice like this one.

It has amazing sustain and it’s packed full of volume. I’d say its tone is pretty complex; the perfect balance of clarity from the spruce top and warmth from its rosewood back and sides.

This is as close as you’ll get to a professional model under $2000.

2. Cordoba C10 Classical Guitar

The Cordoba C10 is like the C12’s younger sister. It’s just as beautiful but it’s slightly more affordable so if you’ve got less to spend, here’s your guy!

Pros
  • Personalization options: spruce or cedar top
  • Two-way truss rod
  • Hand Crafted
Cons
  • Hard tension strings might not be suitable for students
  • Polyfoam case not the most protective

Okay, if you’ve got a slightly more conservative budget then the Cordoba C10 is a fantastic option. The major difference between the C10 and the C12 is that the C10 doesn’t have a raised fingerboard and has fan bracing rather than lattice.

It’s still beautifully crafted and made completely from solid woods, so it’s still a great option. If you’re a flamenco player, you may prefer its flat fingerboard and the option for a spruce top will be right up your street. Because of the difference in bracing, it doesn’t quite have the same sustain or volume as the C12 but its tonal qualities are still top-notch.

Cordoba certainly hasn’t skimped on craftsmanship or quality although the C10 is a bit cheaper, it could be your new best friend. I mean, it looks and sounds a hundred times more expensive than it actually is so the C10 is a winner in my books.

3. Ortega Guitars R270F Classical Guitar

Ortega Guitars Traditional Series 6 String Classical Guitar, Right (R270F)
  • SOLID Spruce top, Maple back & side, gloss finish, FLAMENCO STYLE

The Ortega Guitars R270F is a real treat for flamenco players. I mean, it’s made in Spain and it sounds fantastic, what more could you want?

Pros
  • Flamenco scratch plates
  • Handmade in Spain
  • Maple back and sides for a bright flamenco sound
Cons
  • May not suit all styles of playing
  • Doesn’t have the best sustain

Okay, listen up flamenco players! The Ortega Guitars R270F might just be your new favorite guitar. It’s handmade in Spain (so there’s your first sign) and it has the most gorgeous sweet but warm sound.

It’s made with traditional fan bracing and everything about it screams flamenco. If you’ve been searching for an affordable spruce top guitar, the R270F is probably your best bet. It’s got lovely playability and a beautiful traditional design.

I wouldn’t recommend this model if you’re a classical or jazz player because you’d probably prefer something with a bit more warmth. If you are looking for a spruce top guitar I’d recommend the C10 instead for any other style of playing.

The R270F has been beautifully crafted with a Spanish rosette and I think the rosewood binding emphasizes its traditional silhouette.

All in all, the Ortega R270F is the perfect upgrade for an intermediate or advanced beginner flamenco player!

4. Takamine TH5C Classical Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Takamine TH5C is the best acoustic-electric classical guitar under $2000. It has the most beautiful warm voice and it’s great value for money!

Pros
  • CoolTube (CTP-3) Electronics
  • Piezo pickup
  • All solid wood
Cons
  • Sounds a bit similar in tone to the TC132SC
  • Doesn’t come with the best case

The Takamine TH5C is another model that kinda blew my mind. Who’d have thought you could bag yourself a brilliant acoustic-electric classical guitar under $2000? This is craziness.

Here we have a completely solid wood model with a gorgeous, sleek design. The TH5C has a cutaway for ease of play on the higher register which I think is an absolute godsend. It also has a fantastic CoolTube preamp that gives you so much control over your sound.

It takes away the tinny, rattly tone you get when you’ve changed the EQ controls and brings back the beautiful warmth of the guitar. Although this is a pretty modern looking guitar, its marquetry rosette brings it back to earth and I think it’s an absolute bargain.

Considering the electronics, solid wood and fantastic playability I’d say the TH5C is the best value for the money.

Plus, you don’t have to use the pickup to make it sound good. Playing the TH5C acoustically sounds just as beautiful!

5. Takamine TC132SC Classical Guitar

Fancy yourself the TH5C but don’t quite have the budget? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. The Takamine TC132SC is your guy!

Pros
  • CoolTube (CTP-3) Electronics
  • Piezo pickup
  • Solid top and back
Cons
  • Laminate sides
  • Flat neck

I wouldn’t let the laminate sides put you off the TC132SC because it still has a very similar tone to the TH5C. It doesn’t feel quite as smooth to play and I think that’s probably due to its fingerboard not being raised. However, it has a cutaway so you can still play the higher register without any issues.

I think the TC132SC is the perfect acoustic-electric model if you know you will be playing it with an amp most of the time. It doesn’t sound quite as deep and warm as the TH5C without a pickup but I don’t think it’s that big of an issue. I mean, this model still has the same electronics as the TH5C, so you’re not missing out on much.

It has a gorgeous sound even if it is a little less resonant and it’s still fantastic value for money. To be honest, if you don’t get the TC132SC then I will!

6. Cordoba Solista CD Classical Guitar

The Cordoba Solista CD is perfect if you like to switch between playing styles. It has a gorgeous tone and fantastic playability!

Pros
  • All solid wood
  • Handmade in Spain
  • Suitable for different playing styles
Cons
  • Traditional Spanish build limits sustain
  • Flat neck

This classical guitar series has really made me fall in love with Cordoba guitars. I love that they have made solid wood models so much more accessible! Anyway, the Cordoba Solista CD is an absolute gem.

It would be perfect for someone who likes to dabble with different playing styles! Jazz players would love its complex tone and dynamic range as well. The Solista CD has such a rich, warm sound but its fan bracing gives it a bit of a sweet Spanish edge (yup, I’m starting to get the hang of describing sound). I have to say, my favorite thing about this model is how its tone mellows and changes over time.

Solid wood guitars are the best! Oh, it also comes with a HumiCase as well which is brilliant because we don’t want to be stressing about our new guitars when we’re not playing them, do we?

7. Alhambra 5P Classical Guitar

Alhambra 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Solid Canadian Cedar, (5P-US)
  • Solid Canadian Cedar top with rosewood Binding, high gloss natural finish

If you’re looking for a lovely beginner model, the Alhambra 5P could be your new best friend. It’s the most affordable guitar I found and I think it could make a great upgrade.

Pros
  • Solid cedar top
  • Lightweight
  • Rosewood binding
Cons
  • Laminate back and sides
  • Has a similar tone to more affordable beginner models

Okay, I kind of have a love-hate relationship with the Alhambra 5P. It’s an incredibly popular beginner classical guitar so I’ve included it because I knew a lot of you are probably considering the model.

I think it has a pretty sound and pretty good playability. It would make a pretty great first upgrade but there are a few things that let the 5P down. First of all, it doesn’t have a very complex tone. It rings out with a sweet, warm voice but it just doesn’t have much depth. Second, I think its thick glossy lacquer stifles its sound a little bit.

Other than that I think the Alhambra 5P is a great student guitar. I’d recommend it to any student if it was about $200 cheaper! If you have the budget, I’d recommend going for the Cordoba C10 instead though.

I think you’d find learning a little bit more rewarding with a guitar that gives you more for your money!

Classical Guitar Under $2000 Buying Guide

There are a lot of classical guitars out there so it can be pretty difficult to narrow things down. I’d recommend considering the following points before making your decision. You don’t want to end up regretting your purchase – I’ve been there, it’s gutting!

Classical or Flamenco?

All nylon string guitars sort of get flung into the bracket of “classical guitars” which doesn’t help when you’re searching for an upgrade. Classical and flamenco are the two main styles of nylon string guitars that you’ll have to choose between. So, let me break it down for ya!

Flamenco Guitars

The most obvious difference between flamenco and classical guitars is the wood used to craft them. Flamenco guitars tend to have a spruce top and maple sides to give them a much brighter sound.

Percussive playing is also a big part of the flamenco style so flamenco guitars often come with scratch guards as well. They’re made with fan bracing (the bars of wood under the top of the guitar) and often have less sustain.

Another key difference is the way flamenco guitars necks are made; they don’t usually have raised fingerboards and their action is much lower. If in doubt, I’d suggest avoiding flamenco guitars until you’ve decided what style you like to play. Classical guitars accommodate a variety of playing styles so they’re your safest bet!

Classical Guitars

Classical guitars are a little more straight forwards. They’re usually made from thicker wood and have a bit more sustain and volume than flamenco guitars. Flamenco and classical guitars are generally the same size (52mm at the nut, 660mm scale length) so their difference in sound mostly comes from their build and the wood that they’re made from.

You can play flamenco style on a classical guitar, so don’t worry if you’re stuck between the two!

Best Classical Guitar Brands Under $2000

As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of Cordoba. They’ve made classical guitars so much more accessible and I think they’re a safe bet. I’ve always been happy with my Cordoba guitars! Takamine is another great brand for guitars in this price range.

They’ve got a great reputation and are popular amongst students! I haven’t had as much experience with the likes of Alhambra and Ortega but what I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen so far! Kremona and Yamaha are also great brands but they don’t have quite so many options in this price range.

Choosing the Right Wood

Many classical guitar models come with a choice of tonal wood for the top so you’ve probably been driving yourself mad trying to choose! So, I’m going to lay out the differences for you so you can make the best decision.

Cedar Top

Cedar is probably the most popular wood used for classical guitars. It’s softer than spruce so it usually has a better response so if you’re a beginner it’s definitely the best choice. In terms of sound, cedar gives your guitar a warmer, deeper tone than spruce.

Spruce Top

Spruce is a much stiffer wood than cedar so spruce top guitars tend to sound much brighter and sweeter. I’d recommend sticking to cedar unless you’re spending over $1000 on your guitar. Spruce is a little harder to craft so cheap spruce top guitars don’t tend to have the nicest tone.

Solid or Laminate Wood?

Solid or laminate? That is the question… There’s nothing wrong with having laminate back and sides as long as your guitar has a solid top. The top of your guitar is where its tone comes from so you shouldn’t skimp in that department. Solid wood guitars generally sound better but they’re not cheap!

Consider Your Experience Level and Playing Style

Last but not least, you should always consider your experience level and playing style before pulling the trigger on your new guitar. Where one guitar might be perfect for me, it could be your worst nightmare!

Experience Level

If you’re a beginner you don’t need to look for the same specs as a more advanced player. A good quality guitar with great playability is all you really need. More advanced students, on the other hand, should look for a higher quality model. If you’re an intermediate or advanced student, you should look for something with a more complex tone, a raised fingerboard for better playability, and solid wood if your budget allows.

Playing Style

It’s so important to consider your playing style when you’re searching for a new guitar. Whether you prefer classical, jazz, flamenco, or folk should impact your decision. Classical players will need a guitar with great sustain, good volume and a nice warm tone whereas flamenco players need something with a little brighter for percussive playing.

If you love playing jazz or folk then you should look for a great dynamic range and a complex tone! It comes down to personal preference but these are the questions you should ask yourself before taking the plunge.

Top Quality Classical Guitars for Everyone!

I hope this has helped you narrow down your search for the best classical guitar under $2000 for your particular needs. I was so surprised at how many fantastic, affordable models there actually are!

I’m really impressed by the Cordoba C12 but each of these guitars has something pretty unique going on. I mean, I love that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great solid wood guitar anymore, when did that happen?

Whichever model you choose, I know you’re going to absolutely love it!

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