Searching for the Best Classical Guitars Under $1000
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Last Updated: May-04-2018
Our newest revisit to this page was to expand our chart to include even more of the best sub-$1,000 classical guitars. We did just that! In came the beautiful Kremona Verea Cutaway and the intriguing Taylor 114ce-N, as well as the Yamaha CG-TA and the Godin Multiac.
Welcome to the world of premium! When it comes to a classical guitar, $1,000 can get you one of the best guitars on the market – something that’ll happily accompany you on stage, through recitals or just a home model you’ll treasure for a long time.
Table Of Contents
We’ve put together a chart highlighting five of the best classical guitars on the market in this price range, which you can check out below. Of course, it’s not a comprehensive list, rather a snapshot of some of the best looking, sounding and more interesting classical guitars you can find.
Top 9 Classical Guitars Under $1000
|Image||Acoustic Guitar / Rating||Summary||Check Price|
Kremona Verea Cutaway
Total of 4.80/5 [usr 4.80 max='5' ]
A great option for bringing impressive nylon sounds to any live setting.
Total of 4.75/5 [usr 4.75 max='5' ]
The Taylor 114ce-N brings a classical feel and tone to a grand auditorium design.
Total of 4.77/5 [usr 4.77 max='5' ]
An advanced electro-acoustic classical from Yamaha, with excellent playability.
Total of 4.72/5 [usr 4.72 max='5' ]
Cordoba’s all-solid-wood C9 certainly deserves its place in this chart.
La Patrie Collection
Total of 4.58/5 [usr 4.58 max='5' ]
A quality nylon stringed classical beauty from the Godin family of builders.
Total of 4.72/5 [usr 4.72 max='5' ]
Rich tone plus innovative onboard effects place the CG-TA above the competition.
ESP LTD TL-6N
Total of 4.65/5 [usr 4.65 max='5' ]
Something a little different from LTD, with excellent playability.
Godin Multiac Encore
Total of 4.75/5 [usr 4.75 max='5' ]
Godin puts an impressive modern twist on the traditional classical guitar.
Kremona Fiesta FC
Total of 4.85/5 [usr 4.85 max='5' ]
Kremona surpass themselves with a special classical guitar, packed with tone.
[usrlist "Body And Neck:4.7" "Hardware:4.9" "Sound:4.8" "Value:4.8" avg='false' max='5' ]
The Kremona Verea Cutaway is an impressive choice for any guitarist who is looking to expand their tonal palette. Bringing a smooth nylon-string sound to a live setting can make any performance unique.
You can tell that a lot of thought went into the choice of tonewoods, while the quality of construction coupled with the attractive looks makes this one a keeper – especially when you consider its price range.
The flexibility you have when it comes to adjusting the tone is a great benefit that many other models in this category just don’t provide. Thankfully, it sounds just as good when playing unamplified. For this price, the Verea Cutaway is very hard to beat.
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Classical gas meets grand auditorium class – welcome to the Taylor 114ce-N. Featuring a melding of classical nylon strings with a steel-string body and neck design, the 114ce-N would be an innovative and welcome addition to any acoustic guitarist’s collection.
Boasting traditional Taylor build excellence with high-quality tonewoods and hardware, the 114ce-N shows off great value. The Taylor 100 series may be at the lower end of the Taylor spectrum, but you can hardly call it a ‘budget’ guitar.
This blending of styles results in a tone that is unique and inspiring, giving you the opportunity to branch out and get that classical guitar sound with traditional acoustic playability. More details can be found in our full review of the 114ce-N.
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One of the higher-end models in Yamaha’s super-playable NX series, the NTX1200R electro-acoustic classical is geared towards those players craving the feel of a steel-string, but with the core and tone of a traditional nylon-stringed guitar.
The all-solid-wood body is made using a spruce top and rosewood back and sides, while the African rosewood neck has a nut width of 1.89”, so it’s slightly narrower than your standard classical.
As we explain in our complete NTX1200R review, the electronics on offer are very advanced, with a two-way pickup system, and Yamaha’s versatile System 61 preamp, with a multitude of sound shaping capabilities. Acoustically it can be a little quiet, but the tone is – as you may expect – beautiful, especially when amplified.
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As we push into premium, it’s no surprise to see a Cordoba on this list. Their delightful C9 is proof of the superb craftsmanship of their Chinese workshop – it just feels wonderful to play, and sounds great to match.
With a traditional design, the C9 is an all-solid-wood guitar, with a Spanish fan-braced Canadian cedar top paired with mahogany back and sides. The mahogany neck is a pleasure to play and, combined with a warm and mellow tone, it’s versatile for most styles of nylon-stringed music.
Throw in some good tuners, a bone nut and saddle, and an excellent Cordoba Polyfoam Case, and you have a very solid choice. Check out our full review of Cordoba’s C9 for everything you need to know.
[usrlist "Body And Neck:4.6" "Hardware:4.5" "Sound:4.5" "Value:4.7" avg='false' max='5' ]
La Patrie’s Collection is a nylon string classical style acoustic guitar. Made with materials and hardware which are appropriate for a premium instrument that costs at least twice as much.
La Patrie and Seagull are both from the Godin family, but they are in fact two separate companies that specialize in completely different types of guitars. Made with a combination of solid cedar top and solid rosewood back and sides that needs to be heard to be truly appreciated.
Meer words cannot convey how beautiful this guitar sounds. The high gloss custom finish deserves special attention. It looks awesome, feels fantastic, and will allow your guitar to age naturally and only get better over time.
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Yamaha continues with its long-standing tradition of producing high-quality instruments with the CG-TA classical guitar. The unique choice of tonewoods coupled with innovative effects technology is a combination that makes for a very worthy choice for any shortlist.
As we highlight in the full CG-TA review, the System 70 TransAcoustic system gives you the ability to add two common effects that can be used both amplified or unamplified! We have not seen another model with this type of feature, that’s for sure.
Technology and innovation mean nothing if the guitar itself is less-than-stellar, but that’s not a concern with the CG-TA. The base sound is warm and inviting, putting it on par with other options at the higher end of the market.
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A wildcard on this higher-end list, although worth considering if you appreciate modern playability, versatile electronics and something a little different. In a world where many classical guitars look like replicas of one another, the ESP LTD TL-6N breaks the mold, using the Japanese brand’s classic EC shape, with a top made from spruce, and mahogany making up the bulk of the thinline body.
There’s also a mahogany neck, with a nut width of 1.89”, and a rosewood fretboard holding 22 easily-accessible frets. While pretty quiet acoustically, the guitar is fitted with a B-Band T-7 preamp and an undersaddle B-Band transducer, which is very versatile through an amp.
Check out our full review for all the details of ESP LTD’s TL-6N.
[usrlist "Body And Neck:4.8" "Hardware:4.8" "Sound:4.7" "Value:4.7" avg='false' max='5' ]
Traditional classical guitars are… well, traditional. With all of the models on the market, how can any manufacturer differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack?
Godin has figured out exactly how to do that! The body design alone – from both an aesthetic and a functional standpoint – is enough to break it apart from the others. Throw in a flexible electronics system along with other hardware enhancements and it may be tough to beat – check out our full Multiac Encore review for more details.
Ultimately, the Multiac Encore is a great blend of traditions from all sides of the guitar world, with the end result of an extremely playable instrument that is geared towards a full and expressive live sound.
[usrlist "Body And Neck:4.9" "Hardware:4.8" "Sound:4.9" "Value:4.8" avg='false' max='5' ]
In this sub-$1000 price range, it’s not too difficult to find a classical guitar that plays and sounds great, although not many feel as special as Kremona’s Fiesta FC.
As part of the Bulgarian brand’s Artist Series, their master luthiers craft this delightful all-solid-wood guitar using red cedar on the top and Indian rosewood on the back and sides. This pairing leads to a very warm tone, with good balance throughout the registers, as mentioned in the full review of the Fiesta FC.
There are no electronics on this model, but the quality hardware adds to the playability and tone, with good Gebr. Van Gent tuners, a bone nut and saddle, and a very good deluxe Kremona hardshell case.
What to Look for in a Classical Guitar Under $1,000?
If you’re spending around a thousand bucks on a classical guitar, chances are you’re no beginner, and you know what to look out for.
So there’s no point in us telling you to look for a spruce-topped electro-acoustic, when you really want a traditional cedar-topped guitar with no electronics!
But there are still a few general considerations. Such as the fact that guitars in this category have less room to make mistakes. Sure, we can forgive shaky tuning stability or a few blemishes if you’re paying up to $500, but as soon as you start spending close to a grand, the manufacturer should be producing a near-perfect guitar.
And while you do get a few duds, the general quality in this range is great. Manufacturers such as Cordoba, Yamaha, Kremona, Godin, Takamine and Taylor all shine, producing a range of traditional models, as well as some with a little more flair – just check out the ESP LTD TL-6N on our chart!
Cedar, spruce, rosewood and mahogany are still very much the primary woods used in body construction and the combination you go for will be down to the tone you prefer. Most notably, you will start to see more all-solid-wood guitars in this price range, especially when electronics are not involved.
On that note, electronics are more common in this market as players tend to want to use such a playable, great-sounding guitar to perform on stage/record with. Plugging into an amp, then, becomes much more important. You’ll find the electronics are more advanced and versatile in this sub-$1000 range, with systems like Fishman and B-Band performing well, allowing you to shape your sound to match your style.
A final word on craftsmanship and playability – these two things should be near perfect at this price point.
Asian-made models are still pretty common, but they feel much less mass-produced than the factory line models you see in lower price ranges. Regardless of where and how it’s made, the guitar should show no flaws and it should feel smooth and slick to play straight from the box.
Should You Buy a Used Guitar?
As we’ve recommended many times on this site, buying a used guitar can be an excellent route to explore – especially when you have a grand in your pocket. Chances are you can get a great bargain, without spending your entire budget.
However, be aware of the risks. Are the electronics fully-functional? Has the guitar been dropped or damaged? Has it been stored correctly? Can you examine and test it properly before buying?
If you’re buying from a reputable online or physical guitar store you shouldn’t have any trouble – especially with a warranty and returns policy.
The Final Word
Unless you’re rich, spending up to $1000 on a guitar is not usually done on a whim. So spend some proper time making your decision. Even if you’ve fallen in love with a particular guitar, read reviews, watch videos, and – if you can – try it out.
Ultimately, be picky – you can afford to. Good luck with your hunt for the perfect guitar!