Suppose you are in the market for a new classical guitar. Maybe you don’t have a huge budget, but you want something that will have a great sound and hold up to a lot of playing over the next several years. There are plenty of great classical guitars available for less than $2,000. In fact, you will find models for less than $1,000 made by some of the best manufacturers of classical guitars worldwide. Today we will review a few of the best classical guitars under $2000, as well as what to look for in a quality classical guitar. Let’s get started.

Best Classical Guitars under $2,000: Reviews

As mentioned, there are terrific classical guitars available for less than $2,000. In fact, there are so many that it could get confusing as to which to purchase. So let’s take a look at our favorite classical guitars that won’t break the bank.

Ovation Timeless Legend

Ovation Timeless Legend

Specs

  • Top: Solid Cedar
  • Back and Sides: Lyrachord (developed by Ovation)
  • Neck: 5-piece mahogany/maple
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Scale: 26.2”
  • Frets: 19
  • Finish: Natural

We love the sound that is produced by the bowl-back Ovation guitars. The Ovation Timeless Legend is a bowl-back, nylon-string acoustic guitar that is great for playing on stage or at home. The only major downfall is the width of the neck; traditional classical guitars have a wider neck than other acoustic guitars. On an Ovation, the neck is narrower, which some traditionalists don’t care for.

The bowl-shaped back and sides were created by Ovation founder Charles Kamen. He felt that some frequencies were unwanted in an acoustic guitar and created his own solution using different materials, including Lyrachord. The end result is a guitar that can play at higher volumes without amplification, often leading to annoying feedback.

The Ovation Timeless Legend Nylon combines innovation and tradition, and you get a guitar with a lovely, balanced tone that is nice and mellow. This is a high-end guitar at mid-range in the price scale.

Pros

  • Great projected sound
  • Smooth neck feels great to play

Cons

  • Not everyone likes the bowl-back shape
  • Neck may be too narrow for some players

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Taylor Academy 12e-N

Taylor Academy 12e-N

Specs

  • Top: Lutz Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Layered Sapele
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: West African Ebony
  • Scale: 25.5”
  • Frets: 17
  • Finish: Varnish

Taylor offers some fantastic guitars, and the Taylor Academy 12e-N is no exception. This line has seen much success, and this is an excellent guitar for players of all levels. It is also quite affordable when compared to other classical guitars. This nylon-string classical guitar allows you to enjoy playing classical or flamenco styles while having the feel of a steel-strung guitar.

We love that this guitar has a beveled armrest that makes playing more comfortable. The onboard electronics are pretty great too. You never have to worry about buying a guitar tuner because it is built right into this guitar. The electronics also ensure that no matter how loudly you play, you will still hear that natural resonance that an excellent classical guitar should have.

Pros

  • Comfortable to play
  • Great electronics

Cons

The neck is narrower than most classical guitars

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Cordoba C7-CE

Cordoba C7-CE

Specs

  • Top: Canadian Red Cedar
  • Back and Sides: Rosewood
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale: 25.5”
  • Frets: 19
  • Finish: Gloss

We love this beautiful, Spanish-style nylon-string guitar, particularly the onboard electronics. The only real complaint is that you must never forget to turn the built-in tuner off when you are not using it.

This is a quality guitar that is reliable while still being relatively affordable. Whether playing for personal enjoyment or professionally, this is a great instrument to choose. The wood tones are absolutely fantastic, and they not only make the guitar sound great, but it also looks pretty awesome. The onboard Fishman electronics give you an under-saddle piezo and internal microphone, so you can have total control over the tone when using amplification.

Considering that this is lower on the price scale, you won’t find much better quality for the price. We highly recommend this for beginners, intermediate players, and professionals.

Pros

  • Great electronics
  • Beautiful appearance and tone
  • Great price

Cons

None

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Yamaha C40II

Yamaha C40II

Specs

  • Top: Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Meranti
  • Neck: Nato
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale: 25.5”
  • Frets: 18
  • Finish: Natural

While this is not a professional model guitar, it is ideal for the beginning learner. It is also the next step up from a 3/4 scale guitar to full-size, so you can take your playing to the next level as you learn.

If you are looking for an affordable guitar for someone just starting out and not sure if the guitar will be the instrument for them, this should be one to consider. It has a great sound and a great, low price at just under $200.

Like all Yamaha guitars, the C40II classical guitar offers a terrific sound and solid construction. But, don’t let the low price fool you. This is a Yamaha guitar, so it is built to stand up to several years of learning and playing.

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners and younger players
  • Great sound
  • Low price

Cons

Not a professional guitar

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Washburn Festival EACT42S

Washburn Festival EACT42S

Specs

  • Top: Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Engineered Wood
  • Scale: 25.5”
  • Frets: 19
  • Finish: Natural

If you are looking for a guitar that you can use for all fingerpicking styles, this may just be the guitar for you. The Washburn Festival EACT42S is the ideal guitar for classical players, with the dimensions of a traditional acoustic steel-strung guitar. We think it is one of the finest classical guitars out there for the price.

Thanks to the attractive cutaway, the upper frets are easy to access, so you can play the higher notes comfortably. In addition, a four-band equalizer gives you control over the tone when the guitar is amplified. So while some may think it may not be the most attractive classical guitar in the world, it offers a lot of bang for your buck.

This guitar will appeal to guitarists of many styles, from classical to flamenco and more. By the way, we love the way it looks!

Pros

  • Easy to control feedback
  • Unique appearance
  • Low price point

Cons

  • Unique appearance
  • Godin ACS-SA Slim

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Godin Multiac Series-ACS Guitar 

Godin Multiac Series-ACS Guitar

Specs

  • Top: Cedar
  • Back and Sides: Silverleaf Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Richlite
  • Scale: 25.5”
  • Frets: 22
  • Finish: Natural and Black Pearl

Godin offers some great guitars and uses a lot of innovation in their products. For instance, the ACS-SA Slim has a slim neck, hence the name. While some players do not like this in a classical guitar, we think it is ideal for younger players or anyone with smaller hands and difficulty with the standard wide neck in most classical guitars.

When it comes to technological advancements, this guitar is one of the best on the market. Of course, it costs more than others we have reviewed, but it is still under $2,000, and it is an excellent guitar for any serious musician. In addition, it offers a 13-pin synth connection, so it can control a variety of guitar synths.

This guitar is made from high-quality tone-woods, and the craftsmanship is what you would expect from any Godin guitar. This is an excellent guitar for anyone who wants to play classical guitar, take things to the next level, and try some synth work.

Pros

  • High-end performance
  • Use for many styles
  • Onboard electronics

Cons

May be a bit pricey for some

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Don’t Let High Prices Fool You

First, spending thousands of dollars on a classical guitar isn’t necessary. In fact, after that $2,000 price point, you will not find many better models. When you spend more, you are paying for the name so you can have bragging rights by being able to say, “I own a …” All you really need is a quality guitar that plays well and has a good sound. What really counts is knowing how a classical guitar is made, and then you will have a better understanding of prices.

The cost of materials to make any guitar has a cap. The best woods for tone will cost about $1,000. The best tuners should cost no more than $300. If you start going above $2,000, you won’t get anything better than a guitar that costs $2,000 (or even much less in some cases).

How Classical Guitars are Made

Materials – Neck and Body

The first consideration of any luthier making a classical guitar is the choice of neck and body materials. In most cases, the material will determine the sound of the guitar. For instance, if you want a classical guitar, it is best to look for one made from spruce, redwood, cypress, mahogany, cedar, or rosewood. These materials are also used in most of the least-expensive classical guitars.

Each type of wood produces a particular sound, and different qualities of wood have different sounds. For example, Sitka spruce and Engelmann spruce are different in sound quality when making guitars. It is the same for various rosewoods. Some are great for guitars, and others, not so much. If you want rosewood, look for Brazilian rosewood instead of other types, as it provides a warm, full tone.

Materials – Top and Back

Next, think about the materials used for the top and back of the instrument. They are often different from the woods used for the body front and the neck to create a balanced sound. For example, the top may be spruce, while the back and sides may be mahogany. Finally, don’t forget about the material for the nut, which can be bone or synthetic.

Fretboard

Now we come to the neck and fretboard. One of the first considerations should be comfort. The smoother the wood, the more comfortable it will be for playing and better alignment. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will sound great right away, but if you have a great-sounding guitar that feels good to play, you will be more apt to play often and improve your skills. If you are a beginner, you can easily get away with one of the less expensive models.

Cutaway

You may want a guitar with a cutaway. Not all classical guitars have this, but a cutaway makes it much easier to reach the higher frets. You have to get your hand into a pretty twisted and cramped position to play these notes without a cutaway.

Tuning

The final consideration is tuning stability, which is as important as sound quality and playing comfort. Unfortunately, not all tuners are created equal. Some will come out of tune within minutes of starting to play, while others will hold a tune for what seems like forever.

Conclusion

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginner guitar player, any of the above guitars will be ideal for you. Obviously, if you are just starting out, you will likely be more interested in the lower-priced guitars, at least until you are sure if you want to continue playing the guitar.

However, you will find that most of these guitars have all of the qualities you are looking for in a great classical guitar, and then some.

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