Find the Best Classical Guitar Under 500 in 2023

Looking for the Best Classical Guitar Under 500?

In A Rush? Check Out The Number 1 Pick Here:

Yamaha CG182C Solid Cedar Top Classical Guitar - Natural
  • Solid American Cedar Top
  • Rosewood Back and Sides
  • Nato Neck
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • Rosewood Bridge

Are you a classical guitar enthusiast seeking the perfect instrument to complement your musical journey? Look no further! In this blog post, we have curated a list of the best classical guitars under $500, providing a balance between quality, playability, and affordability. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, these “best classical guitar under 500” options offer something for everyone.

We will not only unveil the top 5 “best classical guitar under 500” choices in this budget, but also discuss crucial factors to consider when making a purchase, compare nylon and steel strings, share maintenance tips, and more. So let’s dive into the world of classical guitars and find the perfect match for you!

Short Summary

  • This article reviews the top 5 classical guitars under $500, detailing their features and playability.
  • Key factors to consider when buying a guitar include budget, sound quality, craftsmanship and size.
  • Accessories such as cases and tuners are important for optimal performance. Regular maintenance is also essential for preserving sound quality.
Best Seller
Yamaha CG182C Solid Cedar Top Classical Guitar - Natural
Editor Choice
Cordoba C7-CE Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series
Best Budget
Ibanez 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Natural (GA5TCE)
Yamaha CG182C Solid Cedar Top Classical Guitar - Natural
Cordoba C7-CE Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series
Ibanez 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Natural (GA5TCE)
Best Seller
Yamaha CG182C Solid Cedar Top Classical Guitar - Natural
Yamaha CG182C Solid Cedar Top Classical Guitar - Natural
Editor Choice
Cordoba C7-CE Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series
Cordoba C7-CE Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series
Best Budget
Ibanez 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Natural (GA5TCE)
Ibanez 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Natural (GA5TCE)

Top 5 Classical Guitars Under $500

Finding the best classical guitar under $500 can be a daunting task. However, we have done the research and narrowed down the list to five exceptional guitars that cater to different skill levels and preferences. These top 5 classical guitars under $500 include Yamaha CG182C, Cordoba C7-CE, Ibanez GA5TCE, Fender CN-140SCE, and La Patrie Etude. We selected these guitars based on their sound quality, craftsmanship, playability, and overall value for money.

In the following sections, we will delve into the details of each guitar, discussing their key features and what makes them stand out in the market. This will help you make an informed decision and ultimately discover the instrument that resonates with your musical soul.

Yamaha CG182C

Yamaha CG182C Solid Cedar Top Classical Guitar - Natural
  • Solid American Cedar Top
  • Rosewood Back and Sides
  • Nato Neck
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • Rosewood Bridge

The Yamaha CG182C is a versatile classical guitar, offering a choice of cedar or spruce tops that cater to different playing styles, including traditional flamenco and classical guitar. The selection of wood tops not only adds to the guitar’s visual appeal but also impacts the sound produced. The cedar top provides a warm and mellow tone, typically for traditional classical guitarists, while the spruce top is known for its bright and clear sound more often associated with Flamenco.

Yamaha is renowned for its superior sound quality and competitive pricing, making the CG182C a popular choice among guitarists. This Yamaha classical guitar is perfect for both beginners and advanced players.

With the Yamaha CG182C, you get a quality instrument that offers a blend of traditional classical guitar sound and modern features, making it an ideal choice for musicians who seek versatility in their playing experience.

Cordoba C7-CE

Cordoba C7-CE Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series
  • Traditional fan bracing
  • Rosewood back and sides
  • Full size
  • Full gloss
  • Savarez strings

The Cordoba C7-CE is a high-quality guitar with a solid cedar top and rosewood back and sides that make it suitable for traditional classical guitarists. The solid cedar top, combined with the rosewood back and sides, gives the guitar a rich and mellow sound, which is highly appreciated by classical guitarists.

This guitar is also equipped with Fishman electronics, which adds to its superior sound quality and makes it a great choice for both practice and performance. The Cordoba C7-CE is highly recommended due to its superior quality, reasonable price, and great sound, making it one of the best classical guitars under $500.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, the Cordoba C7-CE offers a great combination of sound, quality, and affordability, making it a favorite among classical guitar players.

Ibanez GA5TCE

The Ibanez GA5TCE is an affordable and well-made classical guitar, perfect for beginners and intermediate players who are looking for a quality instrument that won’t break the bank. The guitar is constructed from high-quality components, with an onboard Fishman pickup and preamp, which ensures great sound quality even when plugged in.

The mahogany build of the Ibanez GA5TCE is unorthodox for classical guitars, but it works effectively in this particular model. Its sleek design, piezo pickups, and affordability make it a great choice for those exploring the world of classical guitars.

With its superb sound quality, adaptability, and aesthetically pleasing design, the Ibanez GA5TCE is a fantastic instrument for novice players and those looking for a great-sounding guitar at an affordable price.

Fender CN-140SCE

Fender CN-140SCE Thinline Concert Nylon String Acoustic Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Natural, with Case
  • Thinline concert body with cutaway
  • Solid cedar top with classical fan bracing
  • Ovangkol back and sides
  • Thinner, easy-to-play neck with rolled fingerboard edges
  • Fishman Classic Design pickup/preamp

The Fender CN-140SCE is an electro-acoustic nylon-string guitar with a cutaway that offers an alternative to the traditional classical guitar style. It is equipped with a solid Engelman spruce top, a radiused fingerboard, low action, and nylon strings, making it an excellent choice for those seeking something different from the traditional classical guitar.

The Fender CN-140SCE has a rich midrange tonality that is suitable for any genre, from fingerpicking folk to flamenco. Its unique design and features make it a favorite among classical guitar players who want a versatile instrument that can handle various styles of playing.

If you’re a musician looking for a classical guitar that offers a unique twist on the traditional style, the Fender CN-140SCE is an excellent choice, providing a blend of modern features and a warm acoustic sound.

La Patrie Etude

La Patrie Guitar, Etude
  • North American made
  • Radiused fingerboard for added ease and comfort
  • Pressure tested solid cedar top
  • Double function truss rod
  • Tusq nut and compensated saddle for better intonation

The La Patrie Etude is a meticulously crafted guitar that features a pressure-tested cedar top and a comfortable radiused fingerboard, making it suitable for players of varying skill levels. The guitar is equipped with a truss rod, which is not commonly found on classical instruments, adding to its unique design. The use of solid spruce in its construction further enhances the quality and sound of this exceptional instrument.

The sound of the La Patrie Etude is crisp, articulate, and offers a rich sound, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a high-quality classical guitar under $500. However, some players may find the proprietary headstock and rosette to be aesthetically unappealing, and the finish somewhat underwhelming.

Despite its minor aesthetic drawbacks, the La Patrie Etude offers excellent craftsmanship, playability, and sound quality, making it a great choice for anyone looking to invest in a quality classical guitar under $500.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Classical Guitar Under $500

When shopping for a classical guitar under $500, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you find the perfect instrument for your needs. These factors include your proficiency level, budget, sound quality, craftsmanship, and comfort. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be better equipped to find a guitar that meets your specific requirements and preferences.

The type of wood used in a classical guitar has a significant impact on its sound and longevity. When selecting a classical guitar, it’s crucial to pay attention to the size of the body, the type of wood used, and the quality of craftsmanship. The body’s size will affect the instrument’s sound and playability, which is different from steel string acoustic guitars.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, it’s also essential to consider the brand and quality of strings when purchasing a classical guitar under $500. This will help you determine the quality of sound, ensuring that you invest in a guitar that will provide the best possible playing experience.

Classical Guitars for Small Hands

Selecting the right classical guitar for small hands can be a challenge, but there are several tips that can help you find the perfect instrument. First, look for guitars with “slim” or “narrow” necks, as these will be easier for smaller hands to grip and play. Additionally, consider 3/4 size guitars, which are scaled-down versions of full-size guitars and are more manageable for those with smaller hands.

Prioritizing comfort is crucial when selecting a classical guitar for small hands. A comfortable guitar will make the learning process more attainable and enjoyable, resulting in a more effective and satisfying playing experience. By keeping these tips in mind, you can find a classical guitar that fits your hands perfectly and allows you to fully express your musical talents.

Classical Guitars for Beginners

Classical guitars are an excellent option for beginners, as their nylon strings and reduced tension make it easier to press down on the fretboard, and the wider neck allows for more precise finger positioning. Classical guitars usually have a lower action in comparison to acoustic or electric guitars. It makes them easier to play and more encouraging for those just starting out. Some of the best classical guitars for beginners include the Yamaha CG182C and the Ibanez GA5TCE, which offer great value for money and are designed to cater to novice players. These guitars provide excellent sound quality and playability, ensuring that beginners have a positive and enjoyable learning experience.

It’s important to remember that the type of strings on your classical guitar can significantly impact your playing experience. Nylon strings are generally more comfortable for beginners, as they are less abrasive than steel strings and facilitate a smoother transition into the world of guitar playing.

By understanding the advantages of classical guitars for beginners and selecting a suitable instrument like the Yamaha CG182C or the Ibanez GA5TCE, you can set yourself up for success and embark on your musical journey with confidence.

Nylon vs Steel Strings: Which is Right for You?

The choice between nylon and steel strings can have a significant impact on your playing experience and the sound of your classical guitar. Nylon strings produce a softer, warmer, and more mellow sound, making them ideal for classical and folk music. On the other hand, steel strings produce a brighter and louder sound, which is more suitable for rock, blues, and other genres.

Classical guitars are known for their nylon strings, which are less abrasive and provide a more comfortable playing experience for those new to the guitar world. However, the wider neck and string spacing on most classical guitars can be challenging for some beginners to navigate.

Ultimately, the choice between nylon and steel strings will depend on your music style and preferences. By understanding the differences between the two types of strings and their impact on sound and playability, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect classical guitar for your unique musical journey.

Classical Guitar Accessories

To fully enjoy and maintain your classical guitar, it’s essential to invest in some necessary accessories. These include a case to protect your guitar during transport, a tuner for precise tuning, spare strings to ensure optimal sound quality, a cleaning kit to keep your instrument in pristine condition, and a footstool for comfortable practice sessions.

When selecting a case for your classical guitar, look for lightweight, durable options that provide sufficient protection for your instrument. For tuners, opt for precise and user-friendly models with a broad selection of tuning choices, including the classical model. When it comes to spare strings, choose those made from superior materials and designed to last.

A proper cleaning kit, such as the MusicNomad MN140 Premium Guitar Care, can help you keep your classical guitar in excellent condition and prolong its lifespan. Lastly, a footstool like the Ortega Guitars Wooden Classical guitar footrest can provide comfort during extended practice sessions, ensuring that you can fully focus on your playing.

Crossover Guitars: Bridging the Gap

Crossover guitars are designed for those who want the warm acoustic tones of a classical guitar without the difficulty of navigating a traditional classical guitar’s wider neck and string spacing. With slim necks and radiused fingerboards, crossover guitars cater to steel-string players who want to explore classical, jazz, and Latin styles without sacrificing playability.

These guitars are also great for classical guitarists who want a more modern, versatile instrument that can handle various playing styles. Yamaha’s NTX5 guitar, for example, is a thinline instrument with a slim, soft-C shaped neck, narrow nut, 24-fret ebony board, and Venetian cutaway, making it ideal for performance or studio use.

By opting for a crossover guitar, you can bridge the gap between steel-string and classical guitars, allowing you to explore new musical genres and styles without compromising playability and comfort.

Classical Guitar Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance and care of your classical guitar are essential to ensure its longevity and optimal sound quality. One of the most crucial aspects of guitar maintenance is cleaning. After each playing session, wipe down your guitar with a polishing cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or fingerprints.

Replacing the strings on your classical guitar regularly is also important, particularly if you play the instrument frequently. Using high-quality strings can significantly impact your guitar’s sound quality, so it’s essential to invest in a reputable brand.

Finally, proper storage is critical to preserving your classical guitar. Avoid exposing your instrument to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can damage the wood and finish. By following these maintenance tips and investing in the appropriate accessories, you can keep your classical guitar in top condition and enjoy its beautiful sound for years to come.


In conclusion, finding the perfect classical guitar under $500 is possible with the right knowledge and guidance. We have presented the top 5 classical guitars in this budget, including the Yamaha CG182C, Cordoba C7-CE, Ibanez GA5TCE, Fender CN-140SCE, and La Patrie Etude. By considering factors such as skill level, budget, sound quality, craftsmanship, and comfort, you can find the ideal instrument for your musical journey.

Whether you are a beginner exploring the world of classical guitar or an experienced player looking for a new instrument, remember to invest in proper maintenance and essential accessories. With the right care and attention, your classical guitar will provide you with years of enjoyment and beautiful music.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between nylon and steel strings?

Nylon strings produce a softer, warmer, and more mellow sound, while steel strings provide a brighter and louder sound. As such, nylon strings are generally recommended for classical music.

Steel strings, on the other hand, are better suited for genres like rock, blues, or country.

How often should I replace the strings on my classical guitar?

It is important to regularly replace the strings on your classical guitar, particularly if it is used frequently. Replace strings at least every three months for optimal performance.

What accessories are essential for a classical guitar?

Essential accessories for a classical guitar are cases, tuners, spare strings, cleaning kits and footstools to make playing comfortable.

What factors should I consider when buying a classical guitar under $500?

When choosing a classical guitar under $500, think about your playing level, how much you’re willing to spend, the tone and volume produced, construction quality, and how comfortable the instrument feels in your hands.

Pay attention to the materials used in the construction of the guitar, such as the type of wood used for the body and neck, the type of strings, and the type of bridge. Consider the action of the strings, the size of the neck, and the overall weight of the guitar.

Are crossover guitars suitable for classical guitarists?

Yes, crossover guitars are suitable for classical guitarists, providing them with a modern instrument that is capable of handling various playing styles.

Crossover guitars offer a unique combination of features that make them ideal for classical guitarists. They have a wider neck than traditional classical guitars, allowing for more complex fingerings and techniques. They also have a thinner body.

Bestseller No. 1
Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar, Full Size, Natural
  • Spruce top
  • Meranti back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard & bridge
  • Gloss finish
Bestseller No. 2
Fender FA-25N 3/4 Size Nylon String Acoustic Guitar, Beginner Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Perfect Beginner Guitar for Kids that is Easy on Fingers, Includes Free Lessons, Natural
  • One right-handed FenderFA-25N 3/4 Size Nylon String Acoustic Guitar – a perfect beginner guitar for both kids and adults
  • Backed by a 75 year legacy of quality and craftsmanship -- the FA Series has all the sound and style of Fender's iconic acoustic guitars with specially designed features for beginners.
  • This beginner guitar comes with a free subscription to Fender Play that includes free lessons with thousands of instructional videos to build your skills by playing the songs you love
  • This smaller ¾-size body acoustic guitar is ideal for children, beginners, and players with small hands -- making it easier to learn and play -- at home or on the road.
  • Includes open-gear tuning machine for accurate tuning, with a walnut bridge for a smooth tone; the easy to play "c" shaped neck and super soft nylon strings offer a gentle introduction to learning guitar.
Bestseller No. 3
Yamaha CGS102A Half-Size Classical Guitar - Natural
  • Spruce top
  • Meranti back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard & bridge, natural finish
  • Strings scale 25.6 inches, body depth 3.15 - 3.3 inches, finger board width (Nut/Body) 2.05 inches
Bestseller No. 4
Fender Acoustic Classical Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Small Beginner Guitar (3/4 Size) with Nylon Strings (Easier on Fingers), Includes Guitar Bag
  • One right-handed Fender Acoustic Guitar and one Gig Bag
  • Small Size, Same Sound: This smaller ¾-size body acoustic guitar is ideal for children, beginners, and players with small hands, it still offers great performance with its all-laminate construction and is easier to travel with and play anywhere
  • Smooth Tuning: The modern 3+3 headstock makes for an easy playing acoustic guitar and gives an intricate symmetrical design
  • Starting with Nylon: Combines the easy playability and quintessential sound of nylon strings with the comfort of a narrower string spacing for a best-of-both-worlds feel
  • 2-Year Limited Warranty: Fender guitars are built with unmatched quality, down to the last screw- which is why Fender warrants this Fender acoustic guitar to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for two (2) years from original purchase
Bestseller No. 5
D'Addario Guitar Strings - Pro-Arte Classical Guitar Strings - EJ46FF Carbon Strings - Silver Plated Wrap, Composite Dynacore, Carbon Trebles - Hard Tension
  • SUPERIOR INTONATION - Pro-Arte’ Carbon strings deliver superior intonation as well as beautiful tone, filled with brightness and projection.
  • RESPONSIVE PLAYABILITY - Utilizing our dynacore composite basses and fluorocarbon trebles, Pro-Arte’ Carbon strings provide beautifully responsive playability with exceptional tonal character.
  • TIE ENDS - This set features tie-ends, nylon monofilament material, and silver-plated copper wrap wire.
  • EARN REWARD POINTS - D’Addario Pro-Arte’ Carbon classical guitar strings come with a code on the recyclable, resealable VCI bag, which you can register to earn Players Circle points.
  • MADE IN THE USA – Our classical strings are made in the USA—drawn to exacting specifications at our New York production facility.

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