The Best Classical Guitar Under $1000

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Whether you’re a newbie nurturing your newfound passion or a seasoned player looking to upgrade your instrument, finding the best classical guitar can be a real challenge, especially if you’re working with a budget under $1000.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide that reviews the best classical guitars under $1000 in 2023. We’ll walk you through the key features, pros, and cons of each model, helping you find the perfect fit for your style, needs, and budget.

So relax, strum along, and let us help you find your dream guitar. By investing your time in reading this article, you’ll be well on your way to owning a fantastic classical guitar. Enjoy the read and even more so, the playing!


The Taylor Academy 12e-N

Taylor Academy 12e-N


The Taylor Academy 12e-N is a nylon-strung electro-acoustic guitar that’s part of the Academy series. Combining quality, playability and affordability, this guitar is well-suited for beginners and players with smaller hands. It is crafted with a solid Sitka spruce top and layered sapele back and sides, creating a rich and vibrant sound. The neck is made from tropical mahogany and the fretboard is from West African Crelicam ebony. It also features Taylor’s ES-N electronics for easy amplification, a Grand Concert body shape known for its balanced tone, and comes with a padded gig bag for secure transportation.

Key Benefits

  • High-quality craftsmanship at an affordable price
  • Warm and balanced tone from the combination of nylon strings and a Lutz spruce top
  • Layered Sapele back and sides contribute to the guitar’s durability and stability
  • Comfortable and smooth playing experience due to the mahogany neck and West African Crelicam Ebony fretboard
  • ES-B electronics for easy amplification, ideal for both practice and performance
  • Non-cutaway design that lends a classic and traditional look


The Taylor Academy 12e-N offers quality at an affordable price. It’s an excellent value for money, especially considering the high-quality materials and craftsmanship that go into the guitar.

Pros & Cons

The Taylor Academy 12e-N is a testament to craftsmanship and value. Its Taylor headstock with a slot headstock design and pearl-style tuners add aesthetic appeal. The guitar is easy to play, with a comfortable action that works well for both fingerstyle and pick playing. It delivers a warm and natural sound, with good sustain and musicality throughout the range, thanks to the spruce top and layered pau ferro back and sides.

The ebony fretboard with vintage-style small frets provides excellent playability and comfort. Despite not having solid back and sides, the guitar still produces a superb sound, without compromising on quality. Additionally, it comes with a basic preamp system with volume and tone controls, and a built-in tuner.

However, the guitar isn’t without its drawbacks. The fact that it doesn’t have a solid back and sides may initially put off some potential buyers. But many have found that this doesn’t compromise on the guitar’s overall quality.

The internal bracing of the guitar, designed specifically for nylon string guitars, ensures great sound. It also includes a gig bag for storage and protection, making it suitable for beginners and experienced players alike. Whether it’s used as a starter nylon string guitar or for studio work or gigs, this guitar offers pro-level sound and playability in a budget-friendly package.

See Current Pricing Here


The Cordoba C7-CE classical guitar

Cordoba C7-CE


The Cordoba C7-CE is a classical nylon acoustic-electric guitar renowned for its blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern features. This fine piece is favored by beginner or intermediate guitarists who are looking to create beautiful music, either on stage or in recording. Its design features include a solid Canadian cedar top, rosewood back and sides, and a soft cutaway for easy access to higher frets. The guitar is also equipped with a Fishman preamp and an under-saddle pickup with an internal microphone, making it perfect for amplified performances. Being a part of Cordoba’s Iberia Series, it reflects high-quality craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail.

Key Benefits

  • Solid Canadian cedar top and rosewood back and sides for a rich, resonant sound.
  • Fishman Presys Blend preamp for an amplified performance.
  • Soft cutaway for easy access to higher frets.
  • Traditional fan bracing for maximum resonance and sustain.
  • Comes equipped with a two-way adjustable truss rod for better stability and adjustability.
  • Comfortable playing feel and excellent tone, suitable for a variety of musical styles.


The Cordoba C7-CE is known for its reasonable pricing that doesn’t compromise the quality and sound of the guitar. It offers an affordable option for guitarists, providing them with a high-quality classical nylon string guitar.

Pros & Cons

From a first-person perspective, the Cordoba C7-CE can be a dream guitar. Its warm, well-balanced tone, both acoustically and when amplified, is a huge plus. Thanks to the solid Canadian cedar top and rosewood back and sides, the guitar gives off a rich and resonant sound that can transport anyone into a musical paradise. The fan bracing allows for maximum resonance and sustain, which enhances the player’s performance.

The presence of the Fishman Presys II pickup system is a major advantage. This system offers a natural and balanced amplified sound, making the guitar suitable for both live performances and studio recordings. The design is also a hit, with the rosewood fingerboard and bridge adding to the guitar’s overall aesthetic appeal. The guitar’s 25.6″ scale length and a nut width of 52mm provide a comfortable playing experience, catering to both classical and fingerstyle guitarists.

On the downside, some might argue that the C7-CE isn’t as elegant as the Pro Negra. As a cheaper alternative, it strives to maintain the feel and sound of the Cordoba brand, but it can’t quite reach the high-end acoustic quality of the Pro Negra. Additionally, the absence of a preamp could be seen as a negative by some, as the guitar focuses primarily on resonance, projection, natural EQ, and sustain.

However, the Cordoba C7-CE remains a popular choice among guitarists of all levels, and it is highly recommended for those in search of a reliable, versatile, and affordable instrument.

See Current Pricing Here


The Godin Multiac Nylon Encore Acoustic Electric Classical Guitar

Godin Multiac Nylon Encore Acoustic Electric Classical Guitar


The Godin Multiac Nylon Encore is a high-quality acoustic-electric classical guitar, designed for intermediate and professional musicians. It stands out for its solid cedar top and silver leaf maple body with poplar wings, providing a well-balanced tone and rich volume. Its almost hollow body, along with the generously radiused back edges and a slight ribcage cut, contribute to enhancing the resonance and providing the guitar with a distinctive characteristic.

With a well-proportioned neck and a truss rod adjustable at the body end, this guitar also features an upper shoulder control area with mini sound ports and sliders for volume and tone control. Armed with an active preamp powered by a 9V battery and a mono output jack located on the body’s edge, this guitar offers a robust, amplified nylon-string sound.

Key Benefits

  • Solid cedar top and silver leaf maple body wood with poplar wings, providing rich, well-balanced tones.
  • Chambered body design for enhanced resonance.
  • Comfortable mahogany neck, designed as a medium between the wider necks of classical guitars and the slimmer necks of electric guitars.
  • High-quality hardware and electronics, including Indian rosewood bridge and Tusq nut and saddle.
  • Dual-source preamp with under-saddle and acoustic soundboard transducers, allowing for a range of nylon tones and customizable sound.


While the price tag may be a deterrent for beginners, it indeed is a worthwhile investment for those seeking a high-quality instrument for professional use.

Pros & Cons

The Godin Multiac Nylon Encore offers a fun and versatile playing experience, especially for players who are familiar with electric guitars and looking to explore the world of nylon string guitars. Its comfortable mahogany neck, familiar 25.5-inch scale length, and a nut width of 1 7/8 inches make it a comfortable play for electric guitar players.

The guitar is also equipped with a fish preamp and both an under saddle transducer and a soundboard transducer, allowing players to blend the two sources for a customized sound, thereby enhancing its versatility. Despite these benefits, it’s important to note that the guitar might arrive with a poor setup, including high action, which might require corrections before getting started.

In addition, the saddle height is high, and finding a replacement saddle could be challenging as it is proprietary to this model. It might be beneficial to consider purchasing a used model as those may have already had the setup issues addressed, allowing for a smoother initiation. In conclusion, despite the setup issues and the higher cost, the Godin Multiac Nylon Encore stands as a high-quality instrument crafted from superior materials, offering a unique playing experience in the realm of nylon string guitars.

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The Ovation Timeless Classic Nylon

Ovation Timeless Classic Nylon


The Ovation Timeless Classic Nylon is a celebrated piece of Ovation’s Timeless Collection, admired for its outstanding design and phenomenal playability. This nylon-string acoustic-electric guitar is designed for jazz, Latin, flamenco, or classical guitar players, offering complete fretboard access. The guitar has a narrower neck than a standard classical guitar, making it a choice instrument for steel-string players eager to explore new musical terrain.

The sound is characterized by a solid natural cedar soundboard and Lyrachord mid-depth cutaway body, delivering impressive projection and rich tones. Equipped with an Ovation OP Pro preamp and OCP-1K pickup, this guitar performs exceptionally well when plugged in.

Key Benefits

  • Mid-depth body offers full fretboard access, ideal for jazz, Latin, flamenco, or classical guitar players.
  • Slightly narrowed neck makes it versatile for steel-string players aiming to traverse new musical areas.
  • Solid natural cedar soundboard combined with Lyrachord mid-depth cutaway body ensures excellent projection and rich tone.
  • Comes fitted with an Ovation OP Pro preamp and OCP-1K pickup for superior plugged-in performance.
  • Gold die-cast tuning machines with soft touch buttons for precise tuning and easy string changes.
  • Features a solid AA-grade cedar top, a five-piece mahogany/maple neck, and an ebony fingerboard.
  • Possesses 19 nickel silver frets and a scale length of 26.2 inches.


The Ovation Timeless Classic Nylon guitar comes in three different models and price ranges, with the 177034 model standing out for its advanced features and craftsmanship, suitable for all players including beginners, occasional players, and professionals.

Pros & Cons

For those interested in Latin and jazz music, the Timeless Classic Nylon is designed for this purpose, offering a flat fingerboard that is slightly narrower, making it highly playable. The guitar is well-balanced in terms of action, playability, tone, and volume, thanks to the original Ovation pickup and Op pro preamp. The cutaway design facilitates easy access to the upper frets.

While the guitar may not be directly comparable to a classical guitar, it is worth considering for those wanting to play non-classical music. Its design incorporates a center soundhole and rubber tuners for a non-slip grip. The nut width of 48 millimeters is narrower than the standard classical guitar, making it easy to handle for most players.

Although the Ovation Timeless Classic Nylon offers many advantages, it does present some drawbacks. The hybrid nature of the guitar means it may lack the tonal subtleties of a pure acoustic or electric guitar, resulting in a less warm and resonant tone when played unplugged. The preamp tone is not as customizable as a fully electric guitar. Furthermore, there may be issues with sustain and long-term durability due to the different materials used for the front and back of the body, leading to possible separation or warping over time, which might require repairs.

Yet, the versatility of the Ovation Timeless Classic Nylon makes it a unique guitar that offers a balance between electric and acoustic tones, suitable for players who want the convenience of a single guitar that can handle a variety of musical styles.

See Current Pricing Here


The Yamaha C40II classical guitar

Yamaha C40II


The Yamaha C40II is a full-scale classical guitar that is a top choice for beginners and seasoned players alike. This guitar has a spruce top that produces a bright sound with a meranti back and sides that balance its tone. The body is comfortable and easy to play, boasting a traditional scale length of 25.56 inches. The neck, made of Nato wood, is of a classical shape that, coupled with its 2-inch nut width, facilitates traditional fingerstyle techniques. The Yamaha C40II, however, does not come with a strap, case, or electronics which can be purchased separately.

Key Benefits

  • Full-scale classical guitar suitable for beginners and long-time players
  • Spruce top for a bright sound and meranti back and sides for a well-balanced tone
  • Comfortable and easy to play body with a traditional scale length of 25.56 inches
  • Nato wood neck with a 2-inch nut width for traditional fingerstyle techniques
  • Tuners that maintain the tuning very well
  • Resonant rosewood bridge and stunning gloss finish
  • Great value for its price.


The Yamaha C40II is a highly affordable guitar, priced around $150. It offers terrific value for the money, given its build and sound quality. Although it does not come with any accessories or electronics, these additional items are available from Yamaha at an added cost.

Pros & Cons

The Yamaha C40II excels in its craftsmanship and quality. The types of tone woods used – a spruce top, meranti sides and back, rosewood fretboard and bridge, and a nato neck – contribute to its overall sound quality. It creates a bright, balanced tone, with the meranti adding warmth and depth. The rosewood enhances the guitar’s sustain and resonance. This guitar is a popular choice due to its affordability and reliability.

It should be noted that while the Yamaha C40II is a wonderful guitar, there are slight differences in tonal quality when compared to older models like the C40. The major difference being the type of wood used in their construction.

Lastly, the Yamaha C40II does not come with a strap, case, or electronics. These need to be purchased separately, which could be an additional cost to consider. Despite this, the guitar stands as a highly recommended choice for its balanced sound, affordability, and overall value for money. Overall, the Yamaha C40II is a dependable and versatile instrument, suitable for both beginners and experienced players.

See Current Pricing Here


The Kremona Flamenco Series Rosa Morena Nylon String Guitar

Kremona Flamenco Series Rosa Morena Nylon String Guitar


The Kremona Flamenco Series Rosa Morena Nylon String Guitar is a finely crafted instrument from the Czech Republic that blends flamenco design elements with the depth of a concert classical guitar. Its construction consists of a solid European spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, and a Honduras cedar neck. This high-quality instrument is suitable for intermediate to professional level guitarists interested in Flamenco music. Its well-balanced tone, clean and bright treble, and great volume and clarity make it a standout choice. However, the high action might be challenging for some players, especially beginners.

Key Benefits

  • High-quality construction with a solid European spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, and a Honduras cedar neck.
  • Gold tuning machines with pearloid buttons, a bone nut and saddle, and Kremona Arete nylon strings provide top-notch hardware.
  • Features a well-balanced sound with clean and bright treble, offering great volume and clarity.
  • Includes a padded gig bag for easy transportation and protection.
  • Slightly thinner profile than most classical models, making it more comfortable to play.


The Kremona Flamenco Series Rosa Morena Nylon String Guitar offers solid value for its price. It is an affordable option for those looking for a flamenco guitar with a versatile tone.

Pros & Cons

Crafted with fine attention to detail, the Rosa Morena is recognized for its high-quality construction and impressive design. The striking dark wood finish, complemented by a solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, and a mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard, makes it a visually appealing choice.

The guitar’s lightweight design, attributed to its beautifully graduated top, enhances the comfort of playing. The Spanish star rosette, bone nut and saddle, and dark wood binding showcase the craftsmanship, which is comparable to a handmade guitar.

The Rosa Morena provides a rich sound that’s loved by Flamenco enthusiasts. The sound is characterized by a growl in the lower and mid register and a beautiful ring in the high register. However, some may find the action too high, which can pose a challenge for beginners. The cedar neck might be a limitation for some players, as cedar tends to be softer than mahogany or rosewood.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the Rosa Morena remains a great addition to any guitarist’s collection and offers excellent playability. With its high-quality construction, attention to detail, and affordable price, it is a solid choice for intermediate to professional players.

See Current Pricing Here


The washburn festival eact42s

Washburn Festival EACT42S


The Washburn Festival EACT42S is a classical nylon strung guitar with a distinctive thinline body, designed to appeal to players across all genres. A member of the celebrated Washburn Festival Series, this model stands out with its narrower string spacing and a cutaway for convenient access to upper frets, making it a great choice for both classical and steel string players.

The guitar boasts a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides along with quarter sawn scalloped Sitka spruce bracing, all of which contribute to its warm and balanced tone. Equipped with the Belcat BG-3TN electronics package, the guitar offers an active preamp with a 3-band EQ and built-in tuner for precise control over the tone.

Key Benefits

  • Narrower string spacing, accommodating steel string players
  • Thinline body design that reduces feedback
  • Equipped with Belcat BG-3TN electronics package, including an active preamp, 3-band EQ, and built-in tuner
  • Feature of a large body, quality electronics, and fine woods, resulting in a balanced sound
  • Solid spruce top, mahogany back, sides, and quarter sawn scalloped Sitka spruce bracing
  • Engineered wood fretboard with 19 frets
  • Mahogany neck with a 2-way truss rod
  • Comes with D’Addario EJ45 Pro Art classical strings


The Washburn Festival EACT42S is priced at CAD$699.99, offering a fair balance of quality and cost, suitable for both beginners and experienced players.

Pros & Cons

The Washburn Festival EACT42S has proven to be a true performer with its unique design and features. The guitar not only stands out in terms of sound quality but also offers a comfortable playing experience. The solid construction and use of high-quality materials undoubtedly add to the durability and reliability of the guitar.

One of the significant advantages of the Washburn Festival EACT42S is its narrow string spacing, which is a boon for steel string players transitioning to a nylon string guitar. The thinline body of the guitar not only reduces feedback when plugged in but also provides a comfortable playing experience. The inclusion of the Belcat BG-3TN electronics package with an active preamp, 3-band EQ, and built-in tuner allows for precise control over the tone, making the guitar suitable for any performance situation.

However, like any instrument, it might not be the perfect fit for everyone. While the guitar is designed to cater to both beginners and experienced players, some might find the transition from a steel string to a nylon string guitar a bit challenging. But with practice and familiarity, this can be overcome.

All in all, the Washburn Festival EACT42S, with its rich history and commitment to quality, stands tall as a versatile and well-crafted guitar, offering a smooth, full tone suitable for a variety of settings.

What Is The Difference Between A Classical And Acoustic Guitar?

When you’re choosing a guitar, it’s important to know the key differences between a classical and an acoustic guitar. These differences are in their construction, the type of strings they use, and the styles of music they’re typically used for.

One of the main differences between classical and acoustic guitars is the type of strings they use. Classical guitars use nylon strings, which give a softer, mellow tone. This makes them perfect for classical music, flamenco, and bossa nova genres. On the flip side, acoustic guitars use steel strings, which produce a brighter tone. They’re suitable for a wide range of genres, including folk, rock, country, and pop.

Another big difference is in the size and build of the guitars. Classical guitars have wider necks with larger spacing between each string, while acoustic guitars have smaller necks and smaller gaps between the strings. These physical differences are designed to cater to the different techniques used in playing these types of guitars. Classical guitars are built for fingerpicking and flamenco techniques, while acoustic guitars are versatile for strumming techniques.

Lastly, your choice between a classical and an acoustic guitar will also depend on your personal preferences, the type of music you want to play, and your budget. It’s a good idea to play the guitar and listen to its sound before you buy it to make sure it fits your style and preferences.

What To Look For In A $1000 Classical Guitar

When you’re exploring the world of classical guitars, particularly those in the $1000 range, there’re a few key factors you’ll want to keep in mind. First off, the type of material used in the guitar’s construction can greatly affect the sound quality. You’ll find that cheaper guitars might have synthetic laminate tops, while a $1000 guitar is likely to be a solid top instrument, which enhances the overall sound quality.

Size is another factor that you’ll want to consider. Classical guitars come in various sizes, including full-size, half-size, and three-quarter sizes. You’ll want to choose a size that’s comfortable for you to play with and suits your stature.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the action (the height of the strings above the fretboard), the well-cut nut (which affects the height of the strings at the first fret), and the saddle (a piece of bone or plastic at the bridge of the guitar that should be well-cut to ensure proper string height and intonation).

Finally, the intonation (the accuracy of the pitches) and the overall feel of the guitar are also important. It’s crucial for you to feel a connection with your guitar – you should be drawn to it and feel a bond with it.

In Conclusion

From the beginner-friendly Taylor Academy 12e-N to the versatile Washburn Festival EACT42S, we’ve highlighted the key features that make each of these guitars shine in their own way. We’ve chosen these guitars with a focus on craftsmanship, sound quality, and affordability, and they cater to a range of skill levels and musical styles, from the enthusiastic beginner to the accomplished studio artist.

But remember, the guitar you pick should not only fit your budget but also your personal style and musical dreams. You’ve got to consider everything, including the type of music you want to play, your favourite tonal qualities, and physical comfort. Your guitar is a part of your musical journey, and it should inspire and support your artistic expression.

Whether it’s the sweet tones of the Kremona Rosa Morena or the subtleties of the Godin Multiac Nylon Encore, it’s your connection with the instrument that truly brings the music to life. Our selection offers some of the best classical guitars under $1000, but the right guitar will, in a way, ‘choose’ you.


Andrew Scrivens

Andrew Scrivens

I am a live musician and guitar teacher from Brisbane, Australia, with extensive experience playing live, in the studio and for TV shows. I play in many venues, studios, music shops and with my students and as such am exposed to a lot of different gear. I form my opinions based on my experiences playing instruments in these locations.

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