Best Classical guitars: Our top 9 picks

If you’re a fan of classical guitars, then you should know how important it is to find a classical guitar that’s both physically impressive and functionally dependable. This is why buying a classical guitar should be considered with intense care and attention.

Acquiring the best classical guitar isn’t a decision that is made on the spot. One time when a close friend needed to get one, he spent days—weeks even—researching on the ones he had found online and making sure that the specs he was interested in were captured by the ones on offer.

The importance of careful consideration when shopping for a classical guitar cannot be overemphasized.

If you’re buying one, there are several things you need to consider to enable you make a good decision and get the best out of your money. Before we show you some of our favorite classical guitars, we would like to talk about some of the factors to consider when shopping for a classical guitar.

These factors to find the best classical guitar will enable you to shop better, plan your budget around a durable product or brand, and get the best results. The factors are;

Bodywork

The bodywork of your chosen guitar is extremely important. Remember that guitars are instruments and the success of using an instrument is determined by several things including the feel of the instrument and the ease of use. When choosing a guitar, choose one that feels good and is built in a way that feels right for you.

Tonality

Choosing a guitar that stays in tune is an essential part in choosing a classical guitar brand or product. This is because it is not uncommon for guitars to quickly go out of tune. With movement from place to place comes the challenge of always tuning your guitar. So, getting one that maintains tonality is a very essential factor when getting a classical guitar. If you’re shopping for a guitar, shop for one that has good tonality.

Sound balance

The balance of the sound of a guitar is an equally important factor to consider when shopping for a guitar. This is because guitars are generally acoustic and where the sound is not balanced, it is very likely going to ruin a performance and that’s something that can have an overreaching effect on your general experience of using the instrument.

Sound balance is often overlooked by manufacturers, but you can find a classical guitar that comes with the precision of design that most classical guitars are known for.

Weight

The weight of a guitar is also an important factor to consider when shopping for a guitar. Professionals and even amateurs will testify to the importance of this factor when shopping for a guitar because they all experience the effect it has on their general experience when using a guitar. Guitars that are too heavy often have a negative impact on the performer when they need to carry or hold the guitar for a long time. In the same way, light guitars can be difficult to use for some performers as well, depending on their personal preference.

Durability

One major thing to consider when buying musical instruments is durability. This is because most instruments are moved about often and this can generally affect their performance over time. Without proper consideration for the durability of your musical instrument, you may end up with one that gets broken or damaged easily and that may result in loss of function.

 

Some of the Best Classical Guitars 

If you’re currently shopping for a classical guitar, but struggling to decide which one is “the one”, this selection will help to provide some guidance. Here we outline and explore options for shoppers to help you find the guitar of your choice.

Although there are many other choices beyond this list, we have worked to narrow down the options to the guitars that we feel best meet the criteria we talked about above. Here are our choices for best classical guitars!!!

 

1. Cordoba C12 SP Classical

If you’re in the market for elegance and durability, the Cordoba C12 SP is the ideal choice for you. This instrument is elegant to the full extent of the word, exceptional and a full-size classical guitar that’s popular in the market. It is what I’d like to describe as a successful merger of modern and traditional design inclinations, handmade from European spruce and solid Indian rosewood.

Down the center of the back and sides, this guitar features a striking flamed maple wedge.

These premium tonewoods deliver a deep full tone, the fretboard is crafted from ebony, and is raised for easier playing from 12th fret and beyond. Ebony fretboards are also smoother to slide around making motion effortless.  It has a modern lattice braced spruce top which can withstand heavy playing and create bigger tones with its projection enhancing capabilities.

Don’t let the Chinese manufacturing tarnish your opinion of this guitar. It plays like a $5000 guitar for a third of the cost.  It also comes with a hard case.

Pros

Pros:

  • Traditional design with a modern flourish
  • Premium woods
  • Built in truss rod
  • Elegant
  • Durable

Cons

Cons:

  • There are several imitations of this guitar available in the market
  • Manufactured in China

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2. Cordoba Dolce 7/8  Classical Guitar

The Cordoba Dolce Classical Guitar makes our list for best classical guitars. If you have smaller hands, then this is the guitar for you. It is the Cordoba Dolce ⅞ which is specially designed for people who struggle with the full-sized guitars, but can’t use a ¾ because it’s too small. The 7/8 size makes for a happy medium. It is only slightly scaled down from full size.  This Cordoba guitar makes for a rather lovely lightweight classic guitar and is very comfortable. The price tag is low.

This guitar is perfect for adult beginners and advanced guitar players.

The Cordoba Dolce is built mainly with mahogany, with rosewood accouterments and it has a solid Canadian cedar top finished with a gloss.  It is traditionally braced in a Spanish guitar fan style.  Once again it features the built-in truss rod like all the other members of the Cordoba family.

The tuning machines are gold with pearl buttons.

Pros

Pros:

  • 7/8 size for people with smaller hands
  • Solid top for durability
  • Truss rod for enhanced use
  • Lightweight
  • Low Price

Cons

Cons:

  • Not a full-sized guitar

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3. Antonio Giuliani Classical Rosewood Guitar 

The quality of this guitar is talked about a lot and yet cannot be overstated. It is a classical guitar model from “Antonio Giuliani”, constructed with a high-quality mahogany neck and a solid rosewood which is a wonderful feature as we typically see a lot of laminate in the lower price range.

Canadian cedar lines the solid top, giving it a strong feel. Giuliani nylon string guitars are hand built which gives them better control over the quality of the pieces sourced and shaped. 

The full rosewood back and sides help to increase the high-end frequencies. It is a very bright sounding guitar.  It has a sweet inlay and a light lacquer finish.

The rosewood fingerboard is hand-leveled and planed with highly accurate methods before crowning and polishing and the frets are dressed also for added comfort ascending and descending along the neck.

Pros

 Pros:

  • Low price
  • Handmade
  • High quality materials
  • Soft case, spare guitar strings, capo, digital tuner, and more included.

Cons

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4. Yamaha CG122MCH Classical Guitar 

If you’re new to the musical world and are interested in an entry-level guitar, this is a great option. When it comes to musical instruments Yamaha is highly respected, especially in the category of student instruments. This is a company that puts dedication and thought into the design elements and focus on products’ relative affordability. 

The CG122MCH makes for a perfect entry level guitar, not just because of its low price, but its gorgeous tone.  The fingerboard width is 2.05 inches and it is ideal for students looking for a full-size classical guitar to practice their craft.

This series is a step up form their C series so the quality of components is a little better than their cheaper models. The body is spruce topped with rosewood sides and a meranti back. 

The neck is nato with a rosewood fretboard.  It has a natural gloss finish.

Pros

Pros:

  • Comes with a beginners bundle of useful accessories
  • High Quality
  • Affordable
  • Good tone

Cons:

  • May not have the amount of finish one would like on their guitar.
  • Difficulty staying in tune at times.

Cons

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5. Cordoba C10 SP Classical Guitar

The Cordoba C10 adds a fantastic touch of class to the C series. It is the first in the line to feature all solid wood (not just top).  This zero laminate, full-size classical beauty has been handmade by the folks at Cordoba from Spruce and Indian rosewood. 

The Cordoba C10 budget classical features an exquisite hand inlaid mother of pearl rosette that takes its inspiration from 1920’s vintage Esteso designs.  The Sheer depth and warmth provided from the natural acoustic of this solid classical guitar is phenomenal.  This full-size classical guitar sounds ‘posher’ than it is. 

 The Cordoba C10 SP/IN is a good upgrade from your first classical guitar and has a fitting price tag for this step up in components and tremendous tone. This budget classical guitar features the all-important always included truss rod to allow for tension adjustment.  If you prefer cedar there is a cedar version available of this model.

Pros

 

Pros:

  • All solid wood
  • Truss rod for sturdy grip
  • Ebony fingerboard for smooth use
  • Perfect for players in their intermediate learning level

Cons:

  • Neck may be too narrow

Cons

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6. Yamaha CGS103A Classic Guitar

The Yamaha CG103A is one of their top guitars for beginners and students serving in teaching environments. As a transitional musical instrument bridging the gap between child and full sized, it is comfortable for all players.  This makes it ideal for those not quite ready to step up to full sizes.

This classical guitar is constructed from spruce and nato has a 4-inch body depth for great resonance and a natural finish.  The fingerboards are rosewood the scale length is 23 inches, perfect for practicing those scales. 

It also makes for a good “grab-and-go” guitar to take on the road.  The tones are pretty sweet and deep for a cheaper option.  The tuning machines keep great intonation.

Yamaha is at forefront of musical instrument manufacturing and does a great job with their inexpensive models, specifically those for entry-level learners.

Pros

  

Pros:

  • ¾ size for people with smaller hands than the 7/8
  • Surprising tone for a budget model
  • Perfect practice instrument

Cons:

  • May need to upgrade to a better gig bag.

Cons

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 7. Alhambra 2C-US Classical Guitar 

This is a deep Spanish classical guitar.  The lows are very moving and the trebles age-in because it sports a pretty decent set of D’Addario nylon strings.  This Spanish guitar is marketed as a student model, but the sounds are genuinely moving.

It has a real palette of tones and is suitable for practicing a bit of flamenco guitar as it has the tonal capabilities.

Its mahogany neck supports a rosewood fingerboard and is fairly wide at 650mm radius so it is best left for adult learners.  The tuning machines are nickel plated.  It has a mahogany back and sides with a solid Canadian cedar top. 

There is nothing remarkable about its materials and construction but the sound, however, is remarkably different to competitively priced models.

Pros

  

Pros:

  • Great guitar for beginners
  • Good volume dynamic and sustain for prolonged instrumentation
  • Affordability

Cons:

  • Does not have gloss which could be more prone to scratches on the surface.

Cons

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8. Yamaha CGS102A Classical Guitar

Another Yamaha makes out list for Best Classical Guitars. The CGS102A Full Size classical is one of Yamaha’s lowest priced classical guitar options and is indeed also the least expensive on our review list.  Intermediate players will likely want to skip ahead to our buying guide and conclusion here as expectations for Yamaha’s CGS102Areally are cheap and cheerful, ideal for beginner to advanced players.

Now we are not trying to down-sell the product by any means. If you are shopping with a budget of around $129,  you honestly won’t find a better product than Yamaha’s CGC102A.  Yamaha is the gold standard for budget student models. 

Their top guitars for beginners and students benefit from a wealth of industry experience. The reduction of costs comes down to the sheer number they produce rather than compromises on quality.

The Yamaha CGS102A Half Size classical measuring at 36.9 x 16.5 x 4.5.  It supports a spruce top and has mahogany back and sides and produces rich tones.  The body supports a spruce top.  The intonation of the rosewood fretboard is fairly accurate, but it obviously won’t play like a boutique model.

Pros

  

Pros:

  • Bare bones classical guitar
  • Range of essential accessories come with it
  • Comes with the entry-level capacity of the Yamaha
  • Affordable

Cons

Cons:

  • Will not play like a more expensive model

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9. Cordoba C7 SP Classic Guitar 

Though Cordoba has only been in the business since 1997, they have made leaps straight to the top for their respected bodywork and the consistent delivery of great caliber classical guitars with appealing price tags.

The C7 is a fantastic model featuring a rosewood fretboard, bridge and back.  The SP is the top version and it also comes in Cedar.  It features the decorative inlay that all Cordoba’s sport.  It comes with the same high tension guitar strings as Cordoba’s C3M above. 

The guitar itself measures 39”, has full 19 frets, and the neck is around 2 inches.

It features traditional Spanish guitar fan bracing as opposed to x, lattice or ladder bracing.  This makes for a warmer sounding musical instrument as the acoustics are centralized by the sound hole and the top can vibrate much more freely.

Pros

   

Pros:

  •  Traditional design
  •  Lightweight and responsive
  • 2 way Truss rod
  • Free gig bag to carry your guitar with

Cons:

  • Action may need to be adjusted.

Cons

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Best Classic Guitars Buyer’s Guide

You have read the reviews for these Best Classical Guitars for the money, but now what? You will need to decide what features are the most important to you and of course what is in your price range. Remember, the tonality and durability of the guitar are essential.

You want the classical guitar to have that signature sound that is truly recognizable. With smart research and focus you can without a doubt select the Best Classic Guitar that will last you for a long time. With the factors we outlined earlier, you will have all the tools you need to make the best decision.

 

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