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Classical guitars are a work of art and there aren’t a lot of stringed musical instruments that can produce such crisp and pure tones as the classical guitar.
Of course, most classical guitars are quite expensive, which is not exactly surprising for an instrument capable of delivering rich natural sounds like it.
In addition to that, classical guitars have become quite popular among guitar lovers and guitar manufacturing companies are taking advantage of that and flooding the market with tons of products.
As such, there are hundreds of options to choose from and unless you are a guitar aficionado, it is unlikely you will make the right choice without some help.
Nevertheless, fret not. If you are on a budget and you are looking to pick up an excellent classical guitar, your quest comes to an end here.
Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $: Our Top Picks
In this article, we will review some of the best classical guitars all under $500 currently in the market so you can enjoy strumming away without having to break the bank.
1. Yamaha CG122MCH
If you are after a rich tremendous sound, then it doesn’t get better than the CG122MCH. Yamaha is one of the most popular and trusted brands when it comes to musical instruments and they definitely didn’t disappoint with this acoustic classical guitar.
The CG122MCH comes with soft tension strings which makes it a really easy guitar to play. For this reason, it is ideal for beginner guitarists who are still learning their way around the guitar.
The sound is of great quality, delivering warm and clear tones so you don’t have to try too hard to produce music. About the body build and design, the CG122MCH has a beautiful cedar top which helps with sound reverberation, making it resonate across the fretboard and on all six strings.
It has a cutaway body shape which makes it superb for playability and comfort. The guitar features a durable rosewood fingerboard which helps to enhance the resonance for the best sound quality.
It has a 25.6-inch scale which makes it a great choice for guitarists, from beginners to professionals in need of an affordable guitar to experiment with.
The CG122MCH belongs to the Yamaha CG range which means you will get to enjoy the improved sound and playability that comes with the new technology. The 3-ply neck helps to prevent neck wrap which can render the guitar unplayable after a while.
While the quality of the finish may not be the best you will find, that is likely going to be the only drawback you will have with this guitar.
Overall, the Yamaha CG122MCH offers great value for the money which makes it a perfect choice in our best classical guitar under 500 $ 2021 list. It sounds amazing and it is also quite affordable.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Yamaha CG122MCH that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Part of the Yamaha CG Series
- 6-inch scale for effortless playability
- Cedar top with rosewood fingerboard
- 3-ply neck construction
- Gorgeous and lightweight body construction
- The matte wood finish isn’t of high quality
- Can not be used with straps
- Lack of intricate cosmetic details.
2. Kremona Soloist S65C
When it comes to specialists in the audio industry, Kremona is one of the top brands you will find. The brand is particularly famous for producing handmade guitars recognized for their excellent craftsmanship as seen in the Soloist S65C.
The Kremona Soloist S65C is a full-size right-handed acoustic classical guitar. It is ideal for beginners and intermediate guitarists who are in need of an inexpensive guitar for small gigs.
The top of the guitar is made of durable cedar material while the sides and back are made of Sapele. The mahogany neck has a beautiful natural finish with a golden shine which perfectly complements the great sound quality of the guitar.
The bridge and the fingerboard are made of rosewood and it is designed with 19 frets on a 25.6-inch scale length. The nylon strings of the guitar contribute largely to the amazing sound quality that makes the Soloist S65C stand out among other classical guitars.
Kremona also packages the guitar with neck support and it comes with a pocketed padded gig bag for convenient and easy transportability. All in all, the Soloist S65C is one of the best classical guitars in this price range and you will fall completely in love with it from the first strum.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Kremona Soloist S65C that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Constructed with a cedar top and Sapele back and sides
- Possesses a dovetail neck joint
- Ideal for beginners and intermediates
- Specially handcrafted in Europe
- Packaged with a padded gig bag with neck support
3. La Patrie Etude
After over a decade in the market, the Etude by the Canadian brand La Patrie is still a favorite among guitarists and the reason for its longevity in the heart of customers is quite straightforward – it a simple classical guitar that serves its purpose quite beautifully.
While a lot of people prefer guitars with tons of designs and patterns, others are more appreciative of a fuss-free and simple design. If you belong to the latter group, then La Patrie’s Etude is your last stop in the classical guitar search.
The guitar features a fingerboard that is slightly curved in a way that allows for easy finger placement. This design allows the fingers to comfortably curve around the fretboard making it easier to play the guitar.
This will be especially helpful for beginners as they will be able to play complex pieces of music without having to put in too much effort.
The sound is very good quality as well and thanks to the width of the tub nut and the compensated saddles, the guitar is able to produce smooth and clear sounds regardless of how it is tuned.
The top of the Etude is made with pressure-tested solid cedar which will stand the test of hundreds of jamming sessions. To summarize, the La Patrie Etude is a simple guitar that has stood the test of time and from the look of things, its simplicity is a much-loved characteristic and it isn’t going anywhere soon.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of La Patrie Etude that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Pressure tested cedar top
- The fingerboard is made of rosewood
- Radiused fingerboard for added ease and comfort
- A simple and straightforward design
- Tusq nut and compensated saddle for better intonation
- Not suitable for people who like well-designed guitars
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4. Cordoba C7 CD
If you need an acoustic classical guitar that sounds amazing and is also quite affordable, then you might want to check out the Cordoba C7 CD. The classical guitar is designed with a durable spruce top which will last for as long as you need it to without breaking.
In addition to the durability of the wood, the spruce also brings its own uniqueness to add to the quality of the sound being produced. The back and the sides of the guitar are constructed with rosewood which matches the spruce top and adds to the overall aesthetics of the guitar.
The sound of the guitar is also probably one of the loudest and clearest you will hear. It has a fan bracing pattern which increases the resonance and tension in the strings for better sound quality.
The soundboard is also more spacious to allow for a louder volume and better tone. The only drawback here is that the frets are slightly wider than normal so if you are still learning how to play the guitar or you have small hands, the fretboard may not be very comfortable for you.
When you purchase the C7, you will also be gifted a gig bag by Corboda. This will come in handy when you need to carry your guitar around for your gigs or if you just need somewhere to keep it when it is not in use.
Considering how expensive hardshell guitar cases have become, the gig bag is a very thoughtful addition to an already great package.
Conclusively, the clarity and pureness of the sound produced by this guitar are exceptional and you won’t find a lot of guitars in this price range that play this well with great functionality which makes it perfectly fit in our best classical guitar under 500 $ 2021 list.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Cordoba C7 CD that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Solid European spruce top with rosewood back and sides
- Packaged with a gig bag
- Fan-pattern bracing for amazing sound projection
- A stunning and shiny finish
- Just under the $500 limit
- The upper frets tend to vibrate with high action
- The saddle can become loose and may even fall off
5. Antonio Giuliani CL6
The Antonio Giuliani CL6 classical guitar is fast becoming a popular choice for people who are looking for a guitar below $500. The CL6 is packed with a full set of accessories a guitarist could ever need including extra string sets, capo, tuners, and a case.
About the design, the guitar is constructed with a cedar top while the back and sides are made of Indian rosewood. The two materials come together perfectly to produce warm and rich natural tones.
They are also built to last so you can have as many jamming sessions as you can with your classical guitar. The frets are well polished to ensure a comfortable experience while playing.
The brand also offers the guitar with a 45-day return policy so if you change your mind about it within this period, which is very unlikely, you can always pack it up and send it back.
It also has an incredible lifetime warranty which covers minor damages and inconsistencies in the craftsmanship. Anyhow you look at it, whether you want reliability, affordability, or great sounds, purchasing the CL6 is a win-win for the buyer.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Antonio Giuliani CL6 that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Comes with a return policy and a lifetime warranty
- Packaged with a ton of accessories
- Features a solid Canadian cedar top and Indian rosewood
- Produces beautiful and smooth tones
6. Cordoba C5-CET Thinline
Cordoba is one of the brands in the audio industry that pride themselves on manufacturing high-quality musical instruments of unmatched quality.
This expertise is evident in the Cordoba C5-CET Thinline which happens to be the second Cordoba product on this list. As the name clearly gives away, the guitar has a sleek and thin line body design measuring just about 2.6 inches in depth and the nut measuring just 50mm in width.
It is constructed with a solid Canadian cedar top with the back and sides made of rosewood. The slim neck design is crafted with high-quality mahogany wood which is perfect if you are going for durability. The fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood as well.
The guitar has a cutaway shape which gives the player easy access to the top of the neck with 18 frets. Other stand out components of the C5-CET Thinline include a compact Fishman Isys pickup, which happens to be one of the best preamp systems for rich and full sounds, this system will be particularly useful for guitarists who play often in gigs and live performances.
The system features a side control panel with a volume control knob, two-band EQ controls for the treble and bass, an onboard digital tuner, and a phase switch.
The classical guitar is available in many finishes including several natural wood varieties and a glossy jet black finish to give customers a range of options to choose from.
In addition to its warm and rich sounds, the Cordoba C5-CET Thinline is an aesthetically appealing piece and can be used by any guitarist regardless of genre.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Cordoba C5-CET Thinline that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Solid Canadian cedar top with mahogany back and sides
- Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
- A soft cutaway with a sleek thin-line body design
- Features the Fishman Isys pickup system
7. Breedlove Pursuit Nylon
Breedlove, of course, makes an appearance on this list thanks to its modern electro-acoustic guitar – the Pursuit Nylon.
This classical guitar is offered as part of the brand’s Pursuit Series which features guitars specially designed for performing players who do a lot of live performances and similar gigs.
As an electro-acoustic product, the classical guitar comes with a USB port which allows for USB connectivity for easy connection to the recording software.
The Pursuit Nylon has a single-cutaway design and the signature asymmetric Breedlove headstock. The best thing about this guitar is that while it is electro-acoustic, the sound quality is just as good as what its nylon-stringed counterparts offer, partially thanks to body construction.
The classical guitar is crafted with laminated Sapele back and sides and topped with solid Western cedarwood. The fingerboard is made of rosewood while the neck has a Nato wood construction. The end result is warm and mellow tones and a long-lasting product.
The guitar comes with a radiused fretboard to enable your finger curve and access the frets with as little effort as possible. Altogether the Breedlove’s Pursuit Nylon is a great option for steel-string players looking to experiment with nylon strings. There aren’t a lot of worthy contenders for your cash as this one.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Breedlove Pursuit Nylon that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Allows for USB connectivity via its USB port
- Comes with a Fishman pickup system
- Features a solid cedar top bounded with mahogany back and sides
- It is priced just under the $500 limit
8. Alhambra Classical 1OP-US
The Alhambra Classical 1OP-US guitar is the ideal guitar for anyone looking for a solid product specially customized to meet your needs. Alhambra offers this guitar in different sizes, shapes, and designs.
Some models come with cutaways and players who usually struggle to get reach the frets will find the cutaway versions more suitable than those without cutaways.
When it comes to finishes, the guitar is available in two varieties; an open pore finish and a glossy finish. While the body construction is standard across all models, the color schemes differ and players can choose between the solid Canadian cedar or the solid red cedar alternatives.
Essentially with Alhambra, you have access to as many varieties as possible. The back and sides are crafted with mahogany while the fingerboard and bridge have a rosewood build.
In all, the construction is relatively lightweight and guitarist who tends to move around a lot with their guitars will be very appreciative of this.
The guitar comes with a soft case that can be used to keep the product safe and sound when it is not in use. Compared to the others on this list, the Alhambra Classical 1OP-US, just released in 2016 is still very new in the instrument market.
Nevertheless, in the short period of time the guitar had been around, it has established its brand in the industry and there is no doubt that we will be seeing it for years to come.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Alhambra Classical 1OP-US that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Available in a wide range of varieties to suit customer’s preferences.
- Features a cedar wood top, sides and back are made of mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard
- Comes packaged with a soft case and gig bag
- It has a lightweight build
- Still relatively new and largely untested in the market
9. Fender FC-100 Classical Guitar
This list would not be complete without a product from Fender. The brand’s line of acoustic guitars has improved immensely over the course of the past few years and if you are looking for an inexpensive guitar that offers great value for a classical then you will find the Fender FC-100 to be a serious contender for your money.
The guitar has a spruce top with mahogany sides and back. The body build allows for optimal resonance for the best sound quality by reverberating the sound around the guitar when you strum it. Fender offers the FC-100 with extra accessories including an electric tuner, a customized Fender strap as well as a gig bag.
The classical guitar has a thin nut width coming in at 1.73 inches which makes it more comfortable to play. Guitarists with smaller hands especially beginners will find this design very helpful as it is not just more comfortable to play, it is also softer and easier on the fingers.
In summary, Fender FC-100 is an ideal fit for beginners delving into the world of stringed musical instrument with a classic.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Fender FC-100 Classical Guitar that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- It has a thin nut and overall thin body
- Packaged with several accessories
- Features a resonant spruce top with mahogany back and sides
- Not a suitable fit for people with bigger hands or pro guitarists
10. Ibanez GA Series GA5TCE
Finally, finishing our list in style is the incredible Ibanez GA Series GA5TCE. If you want an electro-acoustic classical guitar that can deliver outstanding performance at a pocket-friendly price, then this is it.
The guitar has a beautiful golden color which flawlessly marches the black color scheme of the mahogany back and sides.
The GA5TCE has a thin line body design with a cutaway on the left side of the instrument which gives the player easier access to the higher part of the neck where the frets are located.
Like the back and sides of the guitar, the neck is also made of mahogany and the slim build contributes to the ease of use.
As a function of being partly an electric guitar, the GA5TCE is equipped with the Ibanez piezo pickup system as well as a 3-band EQ that will enable the player to amplify the sound and improve the overall performance of the system.
The craftsmanship on this particular model is also beautiful and it has been built to withstand years of use with several jamming sessions.
The amazing thing about this guitar is that you get to enjoy the benefits of both an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar.
It is suitable for beginners and intermediates still improving on their skills and if you need a classical that will take you through training practices and jamming sessions without having to fold up your savings, this guitar is your surest bet.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Ibanez GA Series GA5TCE that earned it a spot in our list of Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $ to get in 2021.
- Beautiful aesthetics with a thin line body design
- Fitted with nylon strings
- Equipped with the Ibanez piezo pickup system
Best Classical Guitar Under 500 $:- What To Consider
Sifting through hundreds of products to find the best classical guitar can be a challenge especially when you are looking for a top quality instrument un under $500.
With that said, regardless of if you are a beginner, intermediate or professional guitarist, it is good to know the important features to look out for when purchasing a classical guitar to ensure that you are making the best choice.
Below are the things you should keep an eye out for when guitar shopping.
Most guitars come packaged with extra accessories like capo, tuners and string sets. These accessories help to improve the quality of the sound the overall performance of the guitar. It can be difficult accessing them on your own so it is better and more convenient to pick a guitar that already has these accessories.
The guitar is mainly made out of wood and apart from influencing the quality of sound produced, the type of wood a guitar is crafted with also determines how durable the instrument will be.
From cedar to spruce to mahogany to rosewood, there are several types of wood to choose from and ultimately, the best type of wood for you will be dependent on what you want out of your guitar. For example, while cedar is solid and hollow, mahogany is thicker and it adds a distinct low to the produced sound.
The design of your guitar is more important than a lot of people know. Guitars with cutaways offer easier access to the fretboard and those without cutaways may be more difficult to play, especially if you are not an expert guitarist.
The more comfortable the design of your guitar is, the better you will be able to play. The shape of the fretboard also matters in the design, beginners will do better with a smaller fretboard as there is less space between the strings while the professionals may want to opt for a larger fretboard.
The size of the guitar you buy should match your physical size as a player. In other words, the bigger guitarist should go for full size and bigger guitars while the smaller guitarist is better off with half-sized or 3/4 models.
As a bigger person, chances are a smaller model will feel too cramped for your bigger hands which are bound to be uncomfortable, just as with a smaller bodied person with a full-size hollow guitar. Essentially, if you are struggling to play your classical guitar, then there is a good chance it is not the right size for you.
You do not have to compromise on any feature, whether it’s the durability, playability, or audio quality to get a good quality classical guitar under $500. All of the 10 classical guitars featured in this list are highly playable, reliable, deliver great sound quality, and are suitable for guitarists of any skill level.
Hopefully, this article provides the insight you need to help you find the most suitable guitar for you.