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  1. #1

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    My current classical (an Ibanez that I bought used for $100-ish 5 or so years ago) is giving me a bunch of headaches lately. Bad intonation, notes fretting out all over the neck, a complete disaster.

    So, I'm thinking it may be time to upgrade to something better. These days I'm mostly playing for my own amusement, so the guitar doesn't have to be concert-grade or anything. No need to fill Madison Square Garden unamplified, Segovia-style. What I am looking for is:


    • sturdy construction -- can last several years of reasonable use
    • reasonable intonation out of the box
    • classical guitar dimensions -- no narrow electric-style neck, flat fretboard
    • can take low tension strings without going out of whack


    Things that the guitar may or may not have; I don't care:

    • cutaway
    • pickup
    • solid vs laminate, type of wood, bone, plastic, etc.
    • thinline


    And, to make things more challenging:


    • price must be in the $500 range
    • I'm located in the US
    • will be getting the guitar shipped to my house, so no "running the racks" unfortunately


    I'm open (eager, almost) to comments of the type, "5 Benjamins is too low, you're better buying yourself a (serviceable $300 model) instead and start saving for a (holy grail Spanish luthier)."

    Thanks in advance!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Killer deal. NFI. I have a Takamine CP-132SC. These are surprisingly holding their value really well, so the ones I found are are out of your price target. This one doesn’t have a cutaway or pickup but is otherwise the same guitar. Takamine made some great, affordable classical guitars and if you can find a used one in good shape it would be a prime option to match your search criteria. My best advice is to go to a shop that has a good inventory of used guitars in your price range and find one that speaks to you, but that’s tough to do in COVID times. Good luck with your search!

  4. #3

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    Comes with case, ticks many of your boxes; beware the skinny neck:

    CN-140SCE | Acoustic Guitars

  5. #4

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    The Takamine is an amazing deal. I would just go with it. Fantastic guitar in a really great price.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  6. #5
    Unfortunately I'm looking for a guitar with classical string spacing. Thanks anyway!

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    Killer deal. NFI. I have a Takamine CP-132SC. These are surprisingly holding their value really well, so the ones I found are are out of your price target. This one doesn’t have a cutaway or pickup but is otherwise the same guitar. Takamine made some great, affordable classical guitars and if you can find a used one in good shape it would be a prime option to match your search criteria. My best advice is to go to a shop that has a good inventory of used guitars in your price range and find one that speaks to you, but that’s tough to do in COVID times. Good luck with your search!
    Thanks for the recommendation!

    Looking at this guitar... Do they make classical guitar strings with ball ends, or what are the wound strings on this one?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howzabopping
    Thanks for the recommendation!

    Looking at this guitar... Do they make classical guitar strings with ball ends, or what are the wound strings on this one?
    Can’t speak to the strings on that listing as I have no connection or financial interest in it. Some companies do offer ball end classical strings. I’ve only ever used tie-ons, so I can’t offer an opinion on the difference in performance or tone.

  9. #8

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    I'd recommend a Cordoba Fusion 14. Has a pickup, cutaway, and they can be found from $4-$500

  10. #9

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    You can try yamaha C40 II. The wood, sound and fingerboard are amazing. The tonewood is really sturdy. you can check the detail from here. I bought one my one after reading this. Let me know,
    5 Best Classical Guitars For The Money – Secure 40% Cash
    Last edited by marksmith; 07-22-2020 at 09:48 AM.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by marksmith
    You can try yamaha C40 II. The wood, sound and fingerboard are amazing.

  12. #11

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    Hi, H,
    Just saw this post. It is an oxymoron, in my opinion, to find a good sounding $500.00 Classical guitar-- new. What you get for the money is a functional, playable instrument on which to practice technique until you're ready to spend more on a "real" instrument. However, if you look around, you can find a decent sounding used classical guitar from Spanish builders like Esteve, for example, or the Japanese Takamine, who in my opinion, give the player a better guitar for the money in "sound." My first Classical guitar was a cheap Yamaha(CG120? if I remember correctly) that had excellent construction/finish but a dead sound. Even as a beginner, I tired quickly of the poor sound and moved up to another Yamaha(GD-10 Grand Concert-luthier model) that ,although, well-built, also lacked in sound. So, don't be concerned about cosmetics(scratches, dings, worn finish) since they do not effect the sound of the instrument. Go for the best sounding guitar you can buy for the money that is, of course, is functionally stable and playable.
    Finally, in all fairness to Yamaha, they do build some good sounding guitars but you'll have to spend over $1,000.(new) to get in the game. I'd go for a good used Spanish built guitar for what you want to spend. Play live! . . . Marinero

  13. #12

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    Howzabopping,
    I've got a 1989 Eichi Kodaira AST50L in great condition. If you're interested, drop me a line. Here are the specs. And $500 + shipping takes it.

    I think this guitar checks all of your boxes on the positive side. Hey, I put $500 into the guitar (new case, new frets, new tuners). I've got 3 other classical guitars well beyond this price so I thought I'd offer it. It needs nothing done to it. Ready to go by one of Japan's fine luthiers.
    Richard

    1989 Model AST50L
    Scale: 630mm (24.8”)
    Nut width: 51mm (2”)
    Top: Solid Cedar with Ramirez bracing and supporting ring of wood glued underneath sound-hole/lacquer
    Bracing: 5 fan braces, 2 braces at bottom, and 1 treble brace diagonal (similar to Miguel Rodriguez, Jr. bracing 1976).
    Back and Sides: BEAUTIFUL Indian Rosewood double-plate
    Neck: mahogany
    Fingerboard: Ebonized Rosewood
    I had the frets replaced with EVO large frets and the tuners replaced with Der Jung's by Zebulon Turrentine (classical guitar builder)
    Body length: 47cm (18.5”)
    Body width at lower bout: 35cm (13.77”)
    Body width at upper bout: 27cm (10.6”)
    Body width at waist: 23cm (9”)
    Body thickness: 9cm (3.54”)
    String spacing at the nut:40mm
    String spacing at the saddle:56mm (2.2”)
    Action at 12th fret: 4/32", 3.6/32"
    Nut and saddle are bone
    The new hard shell case came from Kenny Hill's shop. Fits the guitar perfectly.
    Attached Images Attached Images What to buy in the 0 range?-front-case-jpeg 
    Last edited by Eclectic16; 08-16-2020 at 05:23 AM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic16
    Howzabopping,
    I've got a 1989 Eichi Kodaira AST50L in great condition. If you're interested, drop me a line. Here are the specs. And $500 + shipping takes it.

    I think this guitar checks all of your boxes on the positive side. Hey, I put $500 into the guitar (new case, new frets, new tuners). I've got 3 other classical guitars well beyond this price so I thought I'd offer it. It needs nothing done to it. Ready to go by one of Japan's fine luthiers.
    Richard

    1989 Model AST50L
    Scale: 630mm (24.8”)
    Nut width: 51mm (2”)
    Top: Solid Cedar with Ramirez bracing and supporting ring of wood glued underneath sound-hole/lacquer
    Bracing: 5 fan braces, 2 braces at bottom, and 1 treble brace diagonal (similar to Miguel Rodriguez, Jr. bracing 1976).
    Back and Sides: BEAUTIFUL Indian Rosewood double-plate
    Neck: mahogany
    Fingerboard: Ebonized Rosewood
    I had the frets replaced with EVO large frets and the tuners replaced with Der Jung's by Zebulon Turrentine (classical guitar builder)
    Body length: 47cm (18.5”)
    Body width at lower bout: 35cm (13.77”)
    Body width at upper bout: 27cm (10.6”)
    Body width at waist: 23cm (9”)
    Body thickness: 9cm (3.54”)
    String spacing at the nut:40mm
    String spacing at the saddle:56mm (2.2”)
    Action at 12th fret: 4/32", 3.6/32"
    Nut and saddle are bone
    The new hard shell case came from Kenny Hill's shop. Fits the guitar perfectly.

    Hi, E,
    Any novice prospective buyer should be aware that the above guitar is not 650mm standard size/52 mm nut size but a smaller model--630mm/51mm nut size which may not be a good fit for some larger people or have the sound a standard size guitar is capable of producing. Play live . . . Marinero

  15. #14

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    FWIW I have a Córdoba as a knock around and for the price (under 500$) its really quite nice. Kenny Hill was (is?) a consultant to them and I think it shows.

  16. #15

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    Sweet machine...ESTEBAN!

    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 08-17-2020 at 08:13 PM.