The 5 Best Classical Guitars Under 2000 (Review and Guide)

The 5 Best Classical Guitars Under 2000 (Review and Guide)

If you are in the acoustic guitar world, chances are, you view a nylon-stringed guitar as a beginner instrument, aimed at those who don’t yet have calluses on their fingers and can’t yet bear the pain of playing on steel strings. However, that is not the case. Classical guitars have nylon strings, and it is part of their sound profile and charm. Classical guitars have a beautiful, mellow sound, that is great for fingerpicking. (Check out our other best picks for fingerpicking here) They also have wider necks, which make it easier to switch quickly and cleanly between chords. All in all, a classical guitar is a great guitar to play, and is not reserved only for beginners. So what are the best classical guitars under 2000 dollars? 

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The Best Classical Guitars Under 2000

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Cordoba C12 SP Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Humidified Hardshell CaseCordoba C12 SP Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Humidified Hardshell Case
  • Top: Solid spruce or solid cedar
  • Back and sides: solid rosewood
  • Neck: mahogany 
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • Tuning knobs: black and gold
  • Cutaway: no
  • Nut width: 52 mm
  • Scale length: 650 mm
  • Electronics: no 
  • Accessories: humidified hardshell case

 

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Takamine TH5C Classical Nylon String Acoustic Guitar with Hard CaseTakamine TH5C Classical Nylon String Acoustic Guitar with Hard Case
  • Top: solid cedar
  • Back and sides: solid rosewood
  • Neck: mahogany
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • Cutaway: yes
  • Nut width: 51 mm
  • Electronics: CTP-3 Cool Tube
  • Accessories: hardshell case

 

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Cordoba C10 CD Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Polyfoam CaseCordoba C10 CD Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Polyfoam Case
  • Top: solid cedar or solid spruce
  • Back and sides: solid rosewood
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • Cutaway: no
  • Scale length: 650 mm
  • Nut width: 52 mm
  • Electronics: no
  • Accessories: polyfoam case

 

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Alhambra 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Solid Canadian Cedar, (5P-US)Alhambra 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Solid Canadian Cedar, (5P-US)
  • Top: solid cedar
  • Back and sides: rosewood
  • Neck: mahogany
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • cutaway: no
  • Scale length: 650 mm
  • Nut width: 52 mm
  • Electronics: no
  • Accessories: gig bag
  •  
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Ortega Guitars Traditional Series 6 String Classical Guitar, Right (R270F)Ortega Guitars Traditional Series 6 String Classical Guitar, Right (R270F)
  • Top: solid spruce
  • Back and sides: maple
  • Neck: mahogany
  • Fretboard and bridge: rosewood
  • Cutaway: no
  • Scale length: 650 mm
  • Nut width 52 mm
  • Electronics: no
  • Accessories: deluxe padded gig bag
  •  
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Cordoba C12 SP Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Humidified Hardshell Case

Cordoba C12 SP Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Humidified Hardshell Case

A quality, all-solid-wood guitar from Cordoba.

You can’t talk about classical guitars without mentioning Cordoba. They are among the top classical guitar makers in the world. The C12 has a solid spruce or solid cedar top and solid rosewood back and sides. This combination of wood gives the guitar’s tone both clarity and warmth. It has a flamed maple wedge along the back of the guitar which adds to its beauty and elegance. It has a lattice braced top (not the more typical fan bracing found in classical guitars) and a raised ebony fingerboard. The lattice bracing gives it a lightweight top and a lot more volume than other classical guitars, and the raised fingerboard gives easier access to higher frets.  It has a stunning, hand-inlaid, mother-of-pearl “Esteso” style rosette. It also comes with a humidified hardshell case, so you don’t need to buy a separate humidifier to protect your expensive guitar.

Specs

Top: Solid spruce or solid cedar

Back and sides: solid rosewood

Neck: mahogany 

Fingerboard: ebony

Tuning knobs: black and gold

Cutaway: no

Nut width: 52 mm

Scale length: 650 mm

Electronics: no 

Accessories: humidified hardshell case

Takamine TH5C Classical Nylon String Acoustic Guitar with Hard Case

Takamine TH5C Classical Nylon String Acoustic Guitar with Hard Case

A classical guitar with a cutaway and electronics.

This is a great classical guitar from world-renowned guitar company Takamine. The guitar has a solid cedar top and solid rosewood back and sides. It has a mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard. The combination of tonewoods lends the guitar warmth, a broad, dynamic range, and excellent projection. The classical fan bracing gives the guitar both durability and projection.  It has Takamine’s CTP-3 Cool Tube preamp system for easy hookup and amplification. This is a great guitar for playing live, since it can be plugged in and amplified easily, and it has a cutaway for easier access to the higher frets. Comes with a hardshell case. 

Specs

Top: solid cedar

Back and sides: solid rosewood

Neck: mahogany

Fingerboard: ebony

Cutaway: yes

Nut width: 51 mm

Electronics: CTP-3 Cool Tube

Accessories: hardshell case

Cordoba C10 CD Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Polyfoam Case

Cordoba C10 CD Classical, All-Solid Woods, Acoustic Nylon String Guitar, Luthier Series, with Polyfoam Case

Another great solid wood guitar from Cordoba.

The Cordoba C10 is made with a choice of solid spruce top or solid cedar top, and has solid rosewood back and sides. It has a traditional fan-bracing pattern, which makes the guitar soundboard more responsive, with a louder tone. The C10 is made with the special Spanish heel construction method which allows the entire instrument to vibrate as one unified piece. The c-shaped neck makes playing comfortable. It has a beautiful mother-of-pearl rosette and a high gloss finish that adds to its beauty. 

Specs

Top: solid cedar or solid spruce

Back and sides: solid rosewood

Fingerboard: ebony

Cutaway: no

Scale length: 650 mm

Nut width: 52 mm

Electronics: no

Accessories: polyfoam case

Alhambra 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Solid Canadian Cedar, (5P-US)

Alhambra 6 String Classical Guitar, Right, Solid Canadian Cedar, (5P-US)

A beautiful guitar hand-crafted in Spain.

This Alhambra guitar is handcrafted in Spain. It has a solid cedar top, rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard. This beautiful guitar has a full-bodied, warm, and rich sound. It has a hand inlaid wood rosette and a high gloss finish for added beauty. This is a very lightweight and versatile guitar that you are sure to fall in love with. Its wide nut width, typical of classical guitars, makes it very easy to play and switch cords, and its nylon strings are soft and easy on your fingers. 

Specs

Top: solid cedar

Back and sides: rosewood

Neck: mahogany

Fingerboard: ebony

cutaway: no

Scale length: 650 mm

Nut width: 52 mm

Electronics: no

Accessories: gig bag

Ortega Guitars Traditional Series 6 String Classical Guitar, Right (R270F)

Ortega Guitars Traditional Series 6 String Classical Guitar, Right (R270F)

A great flamenco-style classical guitar.

This Flamenco style guitar is handmade in Spain, with a solid spruce top, maple back and sides, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard and bridge. Comes with a clear pickguard, which is great for flamenco playing. The maple back and sides also give the guitar that bright flamenco sound. The fingerboard of the guitar is not raised – most classical style guitars have raised fingerboards, but flamenco style guitars do not.  

This guitar has decent volume, and a punchy and upbeat tone. It is a must for any flamenco player or any classical guitarist looking to branch into flamenco. 

Specs

Top: solid spruce

Back and sides: maple

Neck: mahogany

Fretboard and bridge: rosewood

Cutaway: no

Scale length: 650 mm

Nut width 52 mm

Electronics: no

Accessories: deluxe padded gig bag

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Classical Guitar

As you can see from this list, you can get a good quality classical guitar for under 2000 dollars. You should keep in mind, though, that classical guitars are a bit different from typical acoustic guitars.  Here are a few key things to remember and consider before making your purchase:

  1. Nylon strings: the main characteristic of classical guitars is the nylon strings. The nylon strings give the guitars a warmer, more mellow tone. They are also easier on guitarists’ fingers than typical steel strings. (If you are used to steel strings, you’re in for a treat!)
  2. Nut width: most classical guitars have a wider nut width than a typical acoustic guitar. This is to accommodate the complex chord changes needed for classical guitar playing and fingerpicking, which classical guitars are often used for. If you are used to a slimmer neck and nut width, you might take some time adjusting to the wider neck. You will no longer be able to use your thumb to help fret chords, but instead will keep your thumb against the middle of the back of the neck. It is slightly different fingering, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
  3. Cutaway: most classical guitars do not have cutaways. They just are not built in the cutaway style. If you are used to using a cutaway to access the higher frets of the guitar, you might need to practice a bit to get used to the lack of cutaway. As with the nut width, a bit of practice and you’ll get the hang of it in no time!

    Also note that while most classical guitars do not have cutaways, some do, such as the Takamine TH5C on this list. So if you are set on both a classical guitar and a cutaway, that can happen!
  4. Electronics: typical classical guitars do not have electronic hookups. If you are used to playing acoustic-electric, or need to be amplified often, then that is something to consider before buying a classical guitar. You can still amplify with an external microphone, so it’s not impossible to be amplified on a classical guitar, it just takes a bit more effort. And of course, there are some classical guitars that are acoustic-electric and do have the hookups that you need. 

Why Choose a Classical Guitar?

The nylon strings on the classical guitar make it much easier to play. Not only are the nylon strings softer than steel strings, there is also less tension on them, and that makes playing chords on them and fingering much easier. Nylon strings also produce a unique sweet and mellow sound. 

Another reason to consider a classical guitar is the style of music you want to play. If you like fingerpicking, a classical guitar is a good choice. Classical guitars are also used in flamenco music and other Spanish and Latin music. If you plan on playing those styles, then a classical guitar is the way to go. 

The last reason to consider buying a classical guitar is the sound. Classical guitars have a much softer, more intimate sound, and a smoother, velvetier tone, than typical acoustic guitars. They are great for playing around the campfire or for other singalongs, or for romantic songs.

Conclusion

There are many reasons to buy a classical guitar. The sweet, mellow sound, the nylon strings, the ease of fingerpicking… These are all very legitimate reasons to own a classical guitar. You can’t go wrong with the Cordoba C12. Cordoba is the king of classical guitars, and the C12 is a great quality option from them. If you want a classical guitar that has a slightly more modern design, with a cutaway and electronics hookup, go with the Takamine TH5C. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. 

Happy playing!