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Choosing the best classical guitar can take a long time especially if you have a limited budget. The best classical guitars under $500 have a smooth and mellow tone compared to electric guitars. They are also smaller and easier to play than steel-stringed models.
For those who want to learn guitar, it is advisable for them to use classical models because the nylon strings have a softer feel. However, not everyone knows that musical instruments can really be a serious investment, with the handcrafted and custom models often costing several thousand dollars.
If you are planning to buy a classical guitar, you have to consider many things. It is really a challenging road, to begin with, but trying to filter through hundreds of quality guitars that leading guitar brands provide under $500 can be even more stressful.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, it is still good to know what you should look for when buying a classical guitar. Aside from the price, it is also advisable to determine what features you should look for before you purchase your new stringed instrument.
Here are our top picks for the best classical guitars under $500
- Solid western cedar top
- Sapele back and sides
Kremona Soloist S65C features a full sized classical shape of a guitar. Back on point, the body of this classical guitar is made of a solid western cedar top and Sapele back Mahogany and sides with an eye-catching natural finish. It has an attractive golden-like glow looks on its sides and back that flawlessly matches its cedar top.
The sound produced by the nylon strings of this Kremona guitar is what makes this classical beauty truly stand out. The rosewood fingerboard is armed with 19 frets which include the traditional 52mm (2-inch) width at nut and 650mm (25.6-inch) scale length. When you buy this on Amazon, you will also get a dual-pocketed padded gig bag with neck support.
- Nato back and sides
- Solid Spruce Top
Yamaha is a well-known company of not just motorcycles but also musical instruments. Yamaha CGX122MSC is a traditional classical guitar model available in three different colors: solid cedar top, solid spruce top, and spruce top. It is made up of solid woods which blends great playability, pro-level amplification into an all-around affordable classical music instrument.
There is a sleek nato neck, rosewood fretboard, and 19 frets in total, which are all easily accessible through the 12th fret cutaway on the treble side.
Aside from this, an additional highlight is that Yamaha-designed System 61 preamp and A.R.T. two-way pickup system. This feature amplifies the classical guitar’s rich tone naturally while offering maximum capacity in the way of sound shaping through the onboard control panel. It is a go-to guitar for many customers that are looking to combine low-budget shopping with quality content.
This classical guitar is imported made in North American with radiused fingerboard for added ease and comfort. La Patrie’s classical guitar has been a favorite among many customers because of its simple look yet high quality and clear sound. The fretboard of this guitar is designed to help your finger curve around and grip the neck with strings making them much more easy to play, thus making the playing experience more comfortable.
La Patrie’s Etude guitar is the most popular model in the lineup since many are buying this for the double function truss rod with the dimension of 42 x 14.8 x 5.5 inches. It is very durable, thanks to the wood used in these tops that can be found only in previously fallen cedar trees that have an average age of about 800 years. The nylon string is finished off with an intricate rosette, cream binding, rosewood fingerboard, and bridge as well as Tusq nuts and fully compensated saddles by Graphtech.
- Solid Red Cedar top with Maple Binding, open Pore natural finish
- Mahogany back & sides
Alhambra is another brand that gives its music lovers many options when it comes to buying a customized guitar. They are always making sure that their products are suitable for your needs and your needs only. This nylon string classical guitar is the perfect instrument for anyone that is looking for a solid product. Made up of solid red cedar or Canadian cedar and top with maple binding, open pore natural finish.
Aside from its rosewood fingerboard and the mahogany neck, this classical guitar is also built light-weight for those beginners who are planning to use this when they study. This was released back in 2016, still very new to the market but has already captured the hearts of many guitar players -beginners and experienced players.
- Solid Canadian cedar top with mahogany back and sides
- Soft cutaway with Fishman Isys+ pickup
This 50mm nut width, thin body-design classical guitar is available in both glossy jet-black and natural wood varieties. The Cordoba C5-CET is crafted from laminated mahogany, with a solid Canadian cedar top, and bound with rosewood. The high-quality wood used in this fashionable musical instrument stretches into the slim mahogany neck, where a cutaway produces good access to the highest part of the neck, which has 18 frets.
C5-CET has the same features as the C5-CE, but easier to bring because of its sleek thin body size coming in at around 2.6” in depth. Aside from that, this guitar is also equipped with a Fishman Isys+ pickup/preamp system – a compact but popular system, and for good reason. Because of this, you’ll find a side control panel offering a master volume rotary control knob and 2-band EQ (bass and treble) controls, along with a phase switch and a built-in digital tuner.
Here are things you should look for when buying a classical guitar
There are plenty of guitar brands nowadays and at some point, each of them can help you with your guitar journey. However, if you have a limited budget, it is always recommended to go to a quality product, with accessories, but at a cheaper price. Completing the guitar accessories for a beginner is really confusing. This is why it’s better to see what bundles are on offer on the market – so that you can decide what fits you and your needs better.
Usually, if you buy a classical guitar, it will come with a default set of classical strings. It’s important to check the brand and quality of the strings attached or installed on your guitar so that you will know if you need to but an extra set or not. A new set of strings that usually come as freebie when you a buy a classical guitar is not really that good, so I suggest choosing from one of these best nylon guitar strings.
Type of Wood
There are several types of wood to choose from when buying a classical guitar, that is why it is important to know what kind of wood will you the sound you want to produce. The type of wood of your guitar will also help determine how long-lasting and reliable your item is; some solid woods are more hollow sounding, like spruce and maple tonewoods, while some are thicker and have a distinct low, rich sound, like mahogany and rosewood.
If you’re age 12 or younger, you’ll probably buy a classical guitar that is a smaller size. For 5 to 8-year-olds, it is recommended to buy a half size classical guitar. While for 9 to 12-year-olds, it is advisable to have 36″ student size classical guitar. However, these are just general recommendations. Your guitar should always match your individual height and proportions. You should be able to hold the guitar with correct posture.
Purchasing a classical guitar can be a difficult task particularly if you are not yet an accomplished player. Just take your time when choosing and always remember that quality is the most important thing to consider. As long as it is qualified with your budget, you may buy the best classical guitar under $500, especially our top pick: Kremona Soloist S65C Nylon String Guitar.
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