Top 13 Best Classical Guitar Under $500 in 2020

Nowadays, major guitar manufacturers unveiling some of their most stunning classical guitars at a very reasonable price.

You can now have a handcrafted classical guitar within $500. You may be thinking that classical guitars under $500 cannot compete with the expensive ones.

However, such understanding is mostly wrong.

In this review, we present 13 best classical guitars under 500. Our chosen guitars under such price range come with the most exquisite details and promising sound quality that you could only expect from an expensive guitar.

The stunning look and uniqueness of these guitars are guaranteed by premium tonewood and nylon-strings.

Beyond that, the high-quality preamplifier, glossy finishing, and exceptional playability make these guitars stand out. Scroll below to discover more about our classical guitar collections under $500.

S.no

Product

Name

Rating

Where to Buy?

1

Cordoba C7-CE CD/IN Acoustic Electric Nylon String Classical Guitar

Cordoba C7-CE CD/IN Acoustic Electric Nylon String Classical Guitar

2

Cordoba F7 Acoustic Nylon String Flamenco Guitar

Cordoba F7 Acoustic Nylon String Flamenco Guitar

3

Traveler Guitar Escape Classical (Cedar Top) (ESC CDG)

Traveler Guitar Escape Classical (Cedar Top) (ESC CDG)

4

Luna Guitars High Tide Grand Concert Nylon 6 String Acoustic/Electric Guitar, Right, Mahogany (HT EXM NYL)

Luna Guitars High Tide Grand Concert Nylon 6 String Acoustic/Electric Guitar, Right, Mahogany (HT EXM NYL)

5

Yamaha NTX1 BS Acoustic-electric nylon-string guitar

Yamaha NTX1 BS Acoustic-electric nylon-string guitar

6

Cordoba C5-CET Limited Spalted Maple Thin Body Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series

Cordoba C5-CET Limited Spalted Maple Thin Body Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series

7

Washburn USM-EACT42S Festival Series Acoustic Electric Guitar, Natural

Washburn USM-EACT42S Festival Series Acoustic Electric Guitar, Natural

8

Cordoba C5-CE CD Classical Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series

Cordoba C5-CE CD Classical Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series

9

Yamaha CG172SF Nylon String Flamenco Guitar

Yamaha CG172SF Nylon String Flamenco Guitar

10

Cordoba Cadete 3/4 Size Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar

Cordoba Cadete 3/4 Size Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar

11

Traveler Ultra-Light Nylon Guitar with Gig Bag

Traveler Ultra-Light Nylon Guitar with Gig Bag

12

Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany 3/4-Size Travel Acoustic Guitar - Natural

Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany 3/4-Size Travel Acoustic Guitar - Natural

13

Cordoba Mini II MH

Cordoba Mini II MH

#1 Cordoba C7 Cedar Classical Guitar Review

Cordoba C7-CE CD/IN Acoustic Electric Nylon String Classical Guitar
  • Solid Canadian cedar top
  • Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Rosewood bridge and fingerboard

Cordoba C7 has acquired the first place among all of our classical guitar collections.

Handcrafted quality and rich tone have made this guitar set apart from others.

Frankly, this nylon-string acoustic guitar is excellent for its value.  

As a tonewood, the manufacturer used Indian rosewood at the back and the sides. Also, the Canadian red cedar top produces vibrant tones that present the sound very lively.

On top of that, the solid mahogany neck brings excellent sustainment and detail in the sound.  

Whether you're an amateur or a professional guitarist, you will love it in terms of brilliant playability and detailed sound.  

Beyond that, the glossy polyurethane finishing, stylish rosette, and Indian rosewood give this guitar a stunning look. We can say Cordoba C7 plays as good as it looks without any doubt.

Cordoba has kept this guitar inexpensive without compromising the quality of the tonewoods. The Indian rosewood and cedarwood formulations are mostly responsible for a robust tonal foundation and a warm and bright sound.

It has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge that complete the tonewood selection.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The glossy finishing displays the rosewood body and red cedar top.
  • Excellent-sounding guitar at an affordable price.
  • Spanish-style fan bracing for a balanced and lively sound.
Cons
  • It lacks a cutaway design.
  • No preamplifier at this price range.

#2 Cordoba F7 Flamenco Guitar Review

Cordoba F7 Acoustic Nylon String Flamenco Guitar
  • Solid European spruce top
  • Cypress back and sides
  • Lightweight with low action for easy playability

Certainly, Cordoba fans will be able to admire the F7 nylon-string flamenco guitar. This thinner Spanish flamenco guitar has acquired better tonewoods in producing a snappy and bright sound.  

Both beginners and seasoned players will find this instrument high in playability and tone.
When it comes to tonewood selection, the back and sides are formulated from cypress wood.

Solid European spruce is fused at the top, producing vibrant tones and a lively presence in the sound. Beyond that, the solid mahogany neck offers excellent sustain and detail in the tonality.

It is further improved by a flat neck angle for a low string action, which lets you experience excellent flamenco playability.

And the Spanish fan bracing makes the guitar's top to vibrate more freely while keeping a well-balanced tone.

Besides, the traditional design highlights a glossy polyurethane finishing that ornaments the cypress body and spruce top.

Surprisingly, this handcrafted flamenco guitar is a mouthful but promises an excellent sound and great playability only under $500.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent sounding classical guitar at a reasonable price.
  • This guitar produces a balanced and lively sound.
  • Cypress binding for superb frequency response.
  • European spruce top intensifies definition and projection.
Cons
  • You may experience buzzing issues on some frets.
  • Lacks preamplifier.
  • No cutaway design.

#3 Traveler Guitar Escape Classical Review - Natural/Cedar Top

Traveler Guitar Escape Classical (Cedar Top) (ESC CDG)
  • Built-in headphone amplifier with 1/8-Inch aux-in
  • Built-in tuner
  • Gloss-finished cedar top on alder body

Do you often need to carry your heavy guitar while travelling? Looking something lightweight? Look no further! Our chosen Traveler Guitar Escape Classical comes in a compact design that easily fits in any overhead compartment.

What makes this guitar special is the lightweight design. Therefore, we can definably say it is a perfect travel-friendly guitar.

To challenge other competitive classical guitars, Escape Classical has a built-in headphone output, aux input, and onboard tuner features.

On top of that, the built-in pickup and preamp system allow you to take this guitar for recording and live performance.

Enjoy a rich and full sound with its great amp!

Beyond that, the Escape Classical is composed of premium tonewoods.

The true cedar-topped produces vibrant tones containing lively presence. And the fused maple neck comes with a black walnut fingerboard.

From its overall tonewoods selection, you can project an awe-inspiring sound. Besides, this guitar feels quite active and responsive in the hands.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The compact design ensures accessible storage.
  • Lightweight design lessens the load while you're travelling.
  • Ideal for productive practice and great tuning. 
  • A deluxe gig bag included for safe storage.
Cons
  • You may discover some string buzzing issues.
  • No cutaway design.

#4 Luna High Tide Exotic Mahogany Grand Concert A/E Nylon-String Classical Guitar

If you are seeking a perfect, less costly guitar for moonlit serenades or bonfire singalongs, then we have one for you! We are presenting Luna High Tide Exotic Mahogany A/E Nylon-string guitar. It will meet all your musical expectations. 

Frankly, in any musical event, this guitar is a guaranteed conversation starter.  

Besides, exotic mahogany accounts for the majority construction of this guitar.

The top, back, and sides of this guitar are beautifully handcrafted from mahogany. It's hardly surprising that its Grand Concert body is mostly composed of laminated mahogany.

Also, the soundhole rosette and fingerboard are crafted from abalone, which gives a stunning look.

Featuring a C-shaped mahogany neck, it produces a creamy sustain and offers a varied playing experience.

Plus, a pau ferro bridge completes the tonewoods selection.

It is further improved by a Fishman Onboard Preamplifier that intensifies the natural sound and makes it a great-sounding nylon-string guitar. 

An upper-bout cutaway design allows you access to the frets with ease when it comes to outstanding playability. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The built-in preamplifier makes the sound loud.
  • A perfect musical instrument for moonlit serenades or bonfire singalongs.
  • Premium wood formulation produces an impressive tone.
Cons
  • The prolonged playing of this guitar may cause an audio hangover. 
  • Laminated mahogany body.

#5 Yamaha NTX1 Classical Guitar

Yamaha NTX1 BS Acoustic-electric nylon-string guitar
  • Modern looks and comfortable feel
  • Designed for electric and steel-string players
  • Advanced preamp and pickup system with onboard tuner

Yamaha NTX1 is part of NX Series guitars, which comes with the modern body style. With the added benefit of an advanced preamplifier and pickup system, Yamaha NTX1 meets the demands of live performances.

This guitar is designed for both classical guitarists and electric guitarists. With the NTX1, nylon-string players can experience a superior amplified sound.

NTX1 is also appealing for the steel-string players who want to explore the beauty of nylon-string sounds.  

The design highlights a slimmer neck and narrow nut width compared to the typical nylon-string guitars.

The oval rosette design is eye-appealing too. And the Thinline body design will appear to be comfortable to the electric guitarists.  

The single-cutaway design and appealing tonewood selections are mostly responsible for producing rich and impressive sound.

Besides, the bracing is a result of a sensible experiment and precise measurement, which profoundly enhances the low-frequency response. 

Further improved by the Yamaha Atmosfeel pickup system that lets the listeners experience an excellent amplified sound.

Also, the simplified Yamaha Atmosfeel preamp system allows you to easily adjust the setting without needing to look at the controls. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The optimized bracing system enhances low-end projection.
  • Combination of comfort and excellent playability.
  • Sitka spruce top produces a dynamic and expressive sound.
Cons
  • You have to buy the case separately.

#6 Cordoba C5-CET Limited Classical Guitar

Cordoba C5-CET Limited Spalted Maple Thin Body Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series
  • 6-string Acoustic Nylon-string Classical Guitar with Maple Back Sides
  • Fishman Elctronics - Natural
  • Pau Ferro Fingerboard

The Cordoba C5-CET is an ideal for the guitarists who are looking for a premium tonewood guitar without investing an arm and a leg. 

It comes with a spruce top, the back and sides which are of maple. Its pau ferro bridge and fingerboard complete the tonewoods correctly.

The elegant appointments include genuine bone nut and saddle, gold tuners along with pearl buttons.  

On top of that, a deep cutaway design facilitates effortless access to the high frets. Besides, the C-shaped mahogany neck equipped with pau ferro fingerboard delivers you excellent playability and instant response.

Also, under $500, Cordoba C5-CET offers a Fishman Presys+ pickup system for an excellent amplified tone.

These electronic components will impress you whether you are performing live or looking for a smooth recording guitar. As a bonus, the built-in tuner gives you an accurate tuning.

A final design highlight worth mentioning which is its polyurethane coating, it provides a smoother finishing! 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Spanish fan bracing for a balanced and lively sound.
  • Fishman electronic components for rich amplified sound.
  • Premium tonewood for excellent frequency response and big projection.
  • Cutaway design for easy access to fretboard. 
Cons
  • The case is sold separately
  • Body structure lacks support against humidity.

#7  Washburn Festival EACT42S Classical Guitar

Washburn USM-EACT42S Festival Series Acoustic Electric Guitar, Natural
  • Mini Jumbo Florentine
  • Select spruce top
  • Maple neck with trussrod

Washburn's Festival Series guitars have always been ranked best sellers since these guitars were first played on MTV's "Unplugged" series.

From new players to professional players – everyone is pursuing the best musical instruments at a reasonable price.

Frankly, countless players claim Washburn's Festival Series guitars are the best value for money.

This modern classical guitar comes with solid tonewoods and offers a ton of value at a fantastic price.

Beyond that, this value-packed guitar is a perfect musical instrument for stage and studio performance.

Built-in best electronic components and premium tonewoods choices set EACT42S apart from others.

On top of that, you are getting premium solid tonewood on EACT42S at a reasonable price range.

The top is handcrafted from solid spruce, which offers a very incredible projection. Besides, the mahogany back and sides produce a vibrant and dynamic tone.

And the Quartersawn X-scalloped spruce bracing intensifies the projection and tonal balance.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The florentine cutaway gives you effortless access to upper frets.
  • An excellent instrument for stage and studio performance.
  • Built-in pickup and four-band EQ to intensify the sound.
Cons
  • You may experience some string buzz issues.

#8 Cordoba C5-CE Review - Canadian Cedar Top

Cordoba C5-CE CD Classical Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series
  • Solid Canadian cedar top with mahogany back and sides
  • Soft cutaway with Fishman Isys+ pickup
  • Rosewood bridge and fingerboard

This versatile guitar comes with all the finer details that you can reasonably expect from a premium-grade classical guitar.

On top of that, you can have this nylon-string acoustic-electric guitar at a moderate price. From the bottom to headstock Cordoba C5-CE is furnished with awesome features that make this guitar exceptional.

Moreover, Cordoba C5-CE features traditional handcrafted classical guitar design. Despite its low-price, the quality of wood construction is quite impressive.

The tonewoods include mahogany back and sides for a robust tonal foundation. And the solid cedar top offers a balanced, vibrant, and bright sound—the mahogany neck and the rosewood fingerboard and bridge complete the tonewood selection.

Furthermore, Cordoba C5-CE has built-in Fishman Isys+ pickup system that offers the listeners a fabulous plugged-in tone.

Plus, the Fishman Isys+ pickup system is excellent for your live performance and easy to record. Also, the built-in tuner allows you an easy tuning.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great-sounding guitar at a reasonable price.
  • Spanish fan bracing for a balanced and lively presence sound.
  • Premium tonewood for excellent frequency response and big projection.
  • Gig bag included for safe storage.
Cons
  • You may find C5-CE challenging to keep in tune.

#9 Yamaha CG172SF Classical Guitar Review – Natural

Yamaha CG172SF Nylon String Flamenco Guitar
  • Solid European Spruce Top
  • Cypress Back and Sides
  • Nato Neck

Are you looking for a flamenco guitar under $500? Pick none other than our chosen Yamaha CG172SF.

This versatile flamenco guitar features low action and superior craftsmanship, also comes at an affordable price.

Yamaha CG172SF is an ideal musical instrument if you are considering to expand yourself musically.

Their choice of quality tonewood hasn't been compromised despite being inexpensive.
The solid European spruce top produces a rich sound along with excellent projection.

The solid European spruce top will get mature with age. Thus, you can expect an enhanced harmonics and more excellent tonal balance from your Yamaha CG172SF as the years go by.

Other wood appointments include cypress back and sides, nato neck, and rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

Beyond that, this nylon-string Flamenco acoustic guitar offers a spacious nut width. Thus, with the full-width nut, you can play pure classical and flamenco techniques.

Also, with Yamaha CG172SF, you will have a full space to use rest strokes and free strokes.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The full-width nut eases complex fingerings on the fretboard.  
  • Superior tonewood choice for great sound.
  • Full-width nut gives classical spacing.
  • Great sounding classical guitar at an affordable price.
Cons
  • No cutaway design.
  • Lacks electronic features.

10. Cordoba Cadete 3/4 size Classical Guitar Review- Canadian Cedar Top

Sale
Cordoba Cadete 3/4 Size Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar
  • Solid Canadian cedar top
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Lightweight, 3/4 size classical, 48mm nut width

Cordoba Cadete nylon-string acoustic guitar will likely impress the beginners, smaller players, and travelers.

Despite being inexpensive, this guitar receives a meticulous level of attention and promises great sound quality. Frankly, you will find this exceptional classical guitar as a great instrument that your money can buy.

The design highlights Indian rosewood binding, pearl buttons, and gold tuners.

Furthermore, Cordoba Cadete comes in a compact design, which makes it ideal for younger players.

It's also a smart option for the people who dislike carrying a standard-sized classical guitar all the time.  

When it comes to tonewood selection, the back and sides are handcrafted from mahogany. The top is crafted from solid Canadian cedar.

Besides, the neck is made of solid African mahogany. And the rosewood bridge and fingerboard just complete the tonewood choice.

Their overall tonewood selection is responsible for producing a rich, bright, and powerful tonal foundation.

Whether you are a learner or just playing guitar casually, Cordoba Cadete will provide you superior playability, durability, and impressive sound quality.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Perfect size for beginners and younger players.
  • Nut width eases playing notes and changing positions.  
  • Superior tonewood produces an impressive sound.
Cons
  • No cutaway design.
  • No preamplifier.
  • No gig bag is included.

#11 Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Nylon Review - Natural Mahogany

Traveler Ultra-Light Nylon Guitar with Gig Bag
  • Full 24 3/4"" scale acoustic/electric nylon-string travel guitar
  • Fits in airline overhead bins.
  • Eastern American Hard Maple Neck-through Body.

Unfortunately, a regular classical guitar is not travel-friendly due to its bulky design.

However, Traveler Guitar comes up with its newly upgraded Ultra-Light Nylon classical guitar.

This model highlights the compact size and ultra-lightweight body, which makes it a perfect travel companion.

Besides, Ultra-Light Nylon weighs only 3-pounds and measures a 28-inch-long body. The overall dimension makes it enough small and lightweight that you can take and store it anywhere you want.

Beyond that, the full-scale neck offers you excellent playability. And it is further improved by the Traveler Piezo Pickup that produces a full, detailed sound.

Other areas of improvement include the detachable lap rest for a convenient playing position.

On top of that, Ultra-Light Nylon has built-in standard tuning machines, referred to as In-Body Tuning System.

Thus, it doesn't need a headstock. With this versatile guitar, you will have full-scale playing experience.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Impressive acoustic tone.
  • Small and lightweight design makes it portable.
  • A gig bag included for safe storage.
  • It performs like a full-sized classical guitar.  
Cons
  • No volume control system.
  • You may experience strain on the right forearm.

#12 Luna Safari Spruce Travel Nylon Guitar

Sale
Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany 3/4-Size Travel Acoustic Guitar - Natural
  • Celtic laser etched henna design by Alex Morgan
  • Top: Mahogany
  • Finish: Satin

If you are looking for a great-sounding guitar in a tight budget, look no further! Luna Safari Nylon Travel Guitar comes with all the finer details that you can buy on a classical guitar.

Its comfortability, playability, and stunning look make it unbeatable.

Most noticeably, the "C" profile mahogany neck is coated with stain finishing that gives you a fast and smooth playing feel. Its wood appointments include a mahogany body and a solid spruce top. Such combined wood formulation produces a vibrant and articulate.

For both learners and travelers who want a musical instrument for an enjoyable experience, Luna Safari Nylon Travel Guitar can be a smart pick.

And its compact size is likely to impress the younger and smaller players. Furthermore, the laser-etched Celtic rosette is bound to call anyone's attention.  

Besides, Luna Safari Spruce Travel Nylon Guitar comes with a quality gig bag that allows you to take this guitar on journeys.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Impressive sounding guitar at an amazingly low price.
  • "C" profile neck for smooth and great playability.
  • Premium tonewood creates a rich and articulate sound.
Cons
  • No cutaway design.
  • Lacks preamplifier.
  • You may discover some tuning issues.

#13 Cordoba Mini II Classical Guitar Review - Flamed Mahogany

Cordoba Mini II MH
  • Comfortable 1/2 size guitar, with standard tuning
  • Layered Mahogany top, back and sides
  • Nub one nut, 1. 875" Width

If you are a little short of cash now and looking for a compact size classical guitar with impressive sound, we recommend you to check out the Cordoba Mini II.

This eye-appealing versatile guitar comes with nylon-strings, fingerboard width, and superior tonewood producing remarkable music.

Featuring compact body size and scale length makes it a perfect acoustic guitar for younger players.

Electric guitarists can also take this guitar into account if they intend to explore nylon-string guitar at an affordable price.

When it comes to tonewood selections, the top, back, and sides are handcrafted from laminated flamed mahogany.

Despite having a laminated body, this guitar produces an imposing sound that can conquer anyone's heart.

Beyond that, its small dimension makes it a travel-friendly guitar. Also, it can easily be stored in an overhead compartment. Yet, Cordoba Mini II is a bit larger than original mini guitars.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • "C" profile neck facilitates superior playability.
  • Satin polyurethane finishing protects the guitar's wooden surface.
  • Performs like a standard-sized classical guitar.
Cons
  • Laminated body.
  • No cutaway design.
  • No preamplifier. 

Buying Guide for Classical Guitars under $500- Know Everything Before Getting Your Classical Guitar!

Since you want to buy a classical guitar under $500, you have to choose the guitar wisely. Experts share a complete guide to buy the best classical guitar within your budget.

  • Choose a perfect classical guitar that interests you the most. The stunning look and other features of the guitar should motivate you to play. We noticed that most people often pick a cheap quality guitar at a reasonable price that is physically hard to play and doesn't sound great. The face of every feature (e.g., amp, strings, tonewood, and notes) may look the same. But you may find the outcome very disappointing.
  • Choosing the right size is another deciding factor. If you are considering taking the guitar on adventures or traveling, pick a lightweight and compact sized guitar. A smaller body should be a little bit larger than a genuine small guitar. Avoid a bulky one. Otherwise, you may experience shoulder strain.
  • For excellent sound quality, your chosen guitar must come with premium tonewood construction. The best classical guitars often feature Canadian cedar or European Spruce top and mahogany or maple neck. Also, the back and sides are often made of Indian rosewood or cypress. While their fingerboard and bridge are usually constructed of walnut and rosewood.  
  • Body size and shapes impact the tonality a lot. Besides, some guitars come in a single-cutaway or a double-cutaway design. Such configurations may offer you easy access to the upper frets of your guitar.
  • Guitar neck comes in different forms: C, D, U, and V. Usually, the C profile neck is trendy. We do not recommend the V profile neck for beginners.
    For choosing the guitar neck, the dimension of your hand and fingers play an essential role. It's worth to mention that a perfect neck gives you great playability every day.     
  • Choose a guitar that doesn't sell at a notable discount. For example, a guitar is presented with a price tag of $1000, but selling only for $200. In that case, you should consider the price difference between the original value and the selling price. If the price difference is too high, that guitar probably worth that amount, but not buying.
  • You must not fall into the brand name trap. Nowadays, major guitar makers compete with minor guitar maker companies. You should also check the new guitar brands apparently because a famous brand cannot always guarantee the superiority of the quality.
    Also, some famous brands take extra charge because of their brand value. Plus, they hire famous guitarists just to promote their marketing. Thus, you should go for a good quality guitar rather than chasing brand names.
  • If you want your selected guitar to have electronic components, e.g., preamplifier, volume control, or tuning device. Then you might need to spend some extra bucks. Most classical guitars under $500 offer electronic features. However, since the budget is low, you need to make sure the electronic accessories must feature high-quality.  

If you are not concerned about loud volume, we recommend avoiding the preamplifier.

Instead, you should spend your total budget on a guitar that features premium grade tonewood and exceptional playability.

Conclusion

Passion is a prerequisite to own a classical guitar. If you believe that for a long time, you have nurtured the desire to play nylon-string classical guitar, yes, you will find beneficial on the earlier discussion.

Our above mentioned 13 best classical guitars under 500 come with the most exceptional features that your money can buy.

In classical guitars, our chosen 13 timeless guitars offer a sharp look along with excellent tonality. In terms of tonewood selections, their quality isn't compromised.

Beyond that, you will find some guitars that are travel friendly and feature a compact, lightweight design.

Others come in a standard-shaped design with exceptional tonality and electronic features.

We did an in-depth research so that you will not need to search around in the stores and get confused among hundreds of suggestions.

Hopefully, the above discussion will guide you to choose the right classical guitar under $500.   

Last update on 2020-07-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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