Have you ever woken up one morning and realized you want to get yourself a classical guitar?
A good classical guitar might be a good addition to your guitar collection.
One can’t have too many guitars, can they?
If you plan on buying one but don’t have any idea which classical guitar to choose, I say start with something affordable first.
Below are the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200 you’ll surely enjoy playing.
Here are our top picks for the best classical guitars under $200
- Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar
- Cordoba C3M Classical Guitar
- Ibanez GA3 Classical Guitar
- Classical Guitar by Hola!
- Washburn Classical Series C5CE
Considered the crème de la crème, the number one of the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200 is the Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar. Who would have thought that for only under $200, you’ll get a classical guitar with good craftsmanship, rich and balanced tone, and great playability? If it’s from Yamaha, you can never go wrong.
Commonly used in classical guitars, the C40 has nylon strings, and spruce and mahogany body. Despite the model being a budget guitar, it’s built strongly with quality materials that are sure to last a long time. With outstanding tone and sound, the C40 is worth more than its price.
Perfect for beginners and even experienced guitarists, the C40 is the best you can get for under $200.
- Best for beginners
- Easy to use
- Spruce top and mahogany body
- Size might be an issue for guitarists with small hands
With its traditional design, excellent materials, and sturdy construction, this classical guitar won’t leave you feeling unsatisfied. The next best classical guitar for your budget is the Cordoba C3M Classical Guitar.
Sporting a cedar top with a mahogany body, the C3M produces a rich and bright tone. It’s satin matte finish and Spanish-style fan bracing, producing a balanced tone, will also catch your attention. Completing the eye-catching characteristic is the rosewood fingerboard and detailed rosette to the nickel-plated tuners with pearl buttons.
Excellent quality at an excellent price. What more could you ask for with the Cordoba C3M?
- Great value for money
- Excellent design
- Bridge easily comes off
Also running for the top choices for the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200 is the Ibanez GA3 Classical Guitar. Despite it being budget-friendly, it does not fall short of the qualities and sound of an excellent guitar. You can rely on GA3 to be long-lasting and pleasing to the ears.
Featuring a spruce top, agathis back and sides, and mahogany neck, the GA3 gives of pure and well-balanced tone. It has chrome classical tuners and rosewood fretboard and bridge to complete its striking features. Sized to classical perfection, this nylon-stringed guitar could be your ticket to being the best guitarist you can be.
- Great for beginners
- Has a nice tone
- Slightly heavy
- Neck might be a little wide and thick
Packed with an eye-catching design, high-quality materials, and great sound, this Classical Guitar by Hola! is among the top choices for the best cheap budget classical guitar under $200. Despite it having a full size of 39 inches, you’ll be amazed to play it comfortably for hours.
You can never go wrong with its spruce top and mahogany body, giving only the most balanced tone a classical guitar could ever make. With its rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and TUSQ nut and saddle, this classical guitar gives an enhanced sound quality.
To improve the tone of the guitar, a thin layer of lacquer is coated on the classical guitar’s wood. Also, you’ll be getting a Hex Key which allows you to adjust the action of the string. This is essential to have a more comfortable usage.
- Great tonewood used
- Users prefer to replace the existing strings
- A slight setup might be needed
To complete your top choices for the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200, the Washburn Classical Series C5CE sits at the number five spot. Giving a mellow sound that’s sure to catch your attention, the C5CE features a select spruce top and catalpa back and sides. Its mahogany neck and wide nut width make it easier to use, especially on fingerpicking.
Topped with Pearloid-buttoned tuners and gold hardware, the C5CE is both beautiful and functional. Owning a built-in preamp and pickup, the C5CE is crowd-ready for both beginners and experienced players.
- Excellent quality and build
- Good feel
- Does not stay in tune after a long time
Factors to Consider When Buying a Budget Classical Guitar Under $200
Before thinking about buying a budget classical guitar, you might want to get to know a thing or two about it. During your search for the best one, it’s normal to stumble upon guitars that are cheaply made with materials that are barely constructed carefully. But, just because you’re browsing through budget guitars doesn’t mean you can’t get one of the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200.
Despite the target price range being under $200, there are still guitars that are worth more than its price. Various prominent brands offer budget guitars, so that’s one way to know that you’re on the right track. To save yourself from purchasing a guitar that is poorly built, here are some of the factors you need to consider when planning to buy one of the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200.
Top Quality and Construction
One of the things you have to notice is the guitar’s overall top quality and construction. Considering the top material is important because this part greatly influences how the guitar sounds. This thin piece of wood is the base of the bridge and makes the transfer of sound vibrations to the back and sides possible.
When searching for the right construction, there could be two options—solid top or laminated top. Aside from that, there are tons of variations of wood when it comes to top construction. Ultimately, it depends on how the guitar should sound—bright or warm.
So, if we’re talking about a “solid top” it means the top is constructed by one solid piece of wood. Solid tops are naturally flexible, vibrate more, and produce fuller and louder sounds. Sounds like an ideal guitar, right? Not quite, as solid tops are relatively more expensive.
On the other hand, “laminated top” is made up of three or more thin layers of wood. Tops that are laminated are stronger and can adapt to temperature changes better. However, strength comes at the cost of the sound, so laminated tops might mean weaker sound quality.
Now, let’s talk about the different and most commonly-used wood types. As mentioned earlier, the type of wood used mostly dictates how the guitar sounds. Below are types of wood that are no stranger when it comes to classical guitar tops.
Among others, spruce or Sitka spruce is the most common wood type used for classical guitar tops. It comes in a yellowish or reddish tint with a grainy texture. This type is known to have strength and elasticity, producing a bright and clear sound. So, if you want to bag one of the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200, notice the one that has a solid spruce top.
Another type is the cedarwood, which is naturally grey-brown in color with a touch of red. It’s denser and lighter than spruce, so its tone has a warmer range. Cedar tops are more suitable if you’re fond of fingerpicking as soft sounds are louder with a cedar top.
Lastly, basswood is the least type used as guitar tops and you’ll find it only on beginner models of some brands. Basswood is soft, light, and easy to use which makes it perfect for beginners. Because of this, it’s less likely used as a whole, so it’s more conveniently used in laminated tops. It produces a rounded, non-edgy sound, far from the deep sound range.
Usually, the woods used for the guitar’s top is different from what’s used for the back and sides. Examples of these woods are mahogany, rosewood, and maple.
Sound and unnecessary noises
Before choosing your potential best cheap budget classical guitar under $200, experiment with it first. Get to know all the tones and sound ranges it makes so you’ll get comfortable when playing it in the near future.
Along with getting to know the different sounds it makes, watch out for any buzzing, rattling, or any unwanted noise. You might think that the buzzing sound is normal, given it’s a budget classical guitar. However, a guitar that has a good quality and built properly should not come with unnecessary noise.
One way to check if a guitar has a buzzing sound is to play every note on every fret. Sometimes, it could just be a loose machine head or the guitar might be warped. If you can’t figure out the reason behind the buzzing sound, this is enough reason for you to put that guitar aside and move on.
A guitar’s action is the height of the strings from the fretboard. If you’re a beginner, you might want to go for a classical guitar with a lower action, as a higher action means more difficulty in playing that guitar. If possible, always try out the guitar you’re eyeing on. This will save you a lot of doubts, in terms of sound and playability.
It goes without saying that not all classical guitars have the same and exact sizes. The size of a classical guitar could affect your comfortability and ease of use. Classical guitars are relatively smaller than an acoustic guitar, so pick the right kind of “small “that’s suited for you.
Some of the factors to consider in terms of the guitar’s size is the guitar’s with, body depth, and neck depth. Also, try if you can play different chords, especially the complex ones, with ease.
ALSO READ: Our ultimate list of the best acoustic guitars
To make the long story short, the top choice for the best cheap budget classical guitars under $200 is the Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar. With a spruce top and mahogany body, this guitar gives a bright and well-balanced tone.
Users rave that the C40 is perfect as a beginner classical guitar as it’s easy to use and very compact. However, it may not be preferred by guitarists with small hands as the C40 is full-sized.