Californiatokorea can all dream of owning an American-made model from Cordoba’s prestigious Master Series… until we check our bank balances and realize we can’t even afford the strings for it! On this page, we have highlighted five of Stringed Guitar For Less Than $150 in the current market.
There may be several reasons for wanting a cheap guitar. If you’re a beginner, you may not want to spend much more than $150 because you may not be sure whether or not you’ll stick with the instrument. If this is the case, don’t forget to check out our page dedicated to classical guitars for beginners.
Maybe you’re a parent purchasing a guitar for your teenager to take to and from school? If you drop, damage or lose a guitar that didn’t cost much, it’s not the end of the world. Rather that, than your $1,000 Kremona!
Whatever your reason for wanting an affordable model, you don’t have to settle for ‘cheap and nasty’. We’ve sourced classical guitars that are ‘cheap and cheerful’. Here’s our top five.
Best acoustic guitar under $300
Top 7 Stringed Guitar For Less Than $150
1. Yamaha C40II
Beginners looking for a great starter guitar need a few specific things: quality, value and tone. The Yamaha C40II has all of those in spades.
It features an all-laminate construction, with a meranti body and spruce top, while the playability on the nato neck is exceptional. However, the C40II’s best features are its brilliant articulate tones.
Any beginner looking to start on a classical guitar (or any more advanced guitarist looking to switch up their sound on a budget) needs to check out the C40II!
2. Washburn C5CE
The C5CE features a laminated spruce top with catalpa back and sides. An engineered wood fretboard tops the mahogany neck. The 25.5” scale gives this guitar a more traditional acoustic feel. Classical lovers don’t need to worry – the roomy fretboard still feels like a traditional Spanish guitar.
The C5CE also boasts a built-in pickup and onboard preamp, including a tuner. The electrified sounds are far from flawless, but at this price the C5CE’s versatility is outstanding.
3. Ibanez GA3
Although they have rock in their hearts, Ibanez show off their classical side with this super affordable GA3 – with style, tone and attitude in equal measure. With a traditional classical body, the guitar is crafted with a spruce top, and agathis back and sides, finished in a natural high gloss with a classical mosaic rosette.
This attractive guitar is clear and well-balanced in sound, and would work well for a beginner learning their first chords, licks and riffs. Take a look at the full review to find everything you need to know about the GA3.
4. Yamaha CGS103AII
The Yamaha CGS103AII is the perfect starter model for smaller or younger players who don’t want to deal with an unwieldy full-size guitar. This 3/4-scale model makes playing easier and more comfortable while still offering Yamaha’s high-quality construction and top-notch tones.
While it doesn’t project as well as its bigger brother (the C40II), the CGS103AII offers traditional classical tones with a full, warm range for its unique size. This axe also responds better to picking and strumming than many classical models – great for beginners looking to explore different genres.
5. Cordoba CP100 Guitar Pack
Cordoba’s CP100 is a fantastic affordable startup nylon-string guitar that comes bundled with a range of essential accessories, including a travel gig bag, a digital clip-on chromatic tuner, plectrums, and a tutorial book.
There’s also a good rosewood bridge, and a nato neck with rosewood fretboard, which is wide and easy to play.
The guitar provides a mellow sound with good projection, that’s more than suitable for beginners. It looks great, and the craftsmanship – for such a ‘cheap guitar’ – is very notable. This convenient pack (which is reviewed in full here) offers beginners everything they need to start playing.
6. Classical Guitar by Hola!
While there’s no big brand name behind this affordable guitar, there’s a lot of quality on offer – as we highlight in the full review of the Classical Guitar by Hola! Music. It’s a full-size classical guitar, sporting attractive traditional looks and featuring a spruce top, with mahogany back and sides.
There’s a good mahogany neck, fitted with a rosewood fretboard and the typical 19 frets. Heading to and from guitar lessons is no problem either, as the guitar comes bundled with a padded gig bag. For the price, it’s hard to fault this impressive model!
7. Squier SA-150N
When it comes to cheap guitars, Fender’s budget subsidiary Squier know how to make something that impresses, and this SA-150N (available in both jet black and natural finishes) has plenty to offer both beginners and experienced players alike.
It’s constructed entirely of laminated wood, with lindenwood on the top, and mahogany on the back and sides. J
Hardware on this model is nothing to write home about, but it does the job with a set of traditional open-geared tuners and a rosewood bridge. For more on the Squier SA-150N, check out our full review.
Whether you’ve skimmed the summaries or read each review in depth, you’ll now see that you don’t have to spend over the odds to find a classical guitar that marries affordability with a decent level of quality.
What to Look for in a Cheap Classical Guitar?
Unlike having, say, $150 in your pocket, you aren’t spoiled for choice when it comes to woods, components and tones in this budget bracket – but there are still some things to look out for.
Whereas the steel-string acoustic and stringed guitar for less than $150 markets are awash with a nearly endless stream of designs, the classical market is notably more traditional in appearance, and the budget end is usually no different. In fact, trying to tell a $1,000 model apart from a $100 guitar based on a photo is not always the easiest thing to do!
In this budget market, you can find different colored guitars (black in particular), but nothing beats a classic natural finish.
As for materials, you’ll usually find laminated woods on cheaper guitars, especially those under a hundred bucks, but in some cases, you can find a cheap guitar with a solid top. This allows for a much more robust sound, and adds to the value and longevity of the guitar.
Where possible, avoid plastic components (and we’re talking basic, cheap plastic, not higher-tech plastics such as TUSQ, Corian or Micarta). It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but if you have the option to avoid it, do so. For example, aside from cheapening the look of your guitar, a plastic nut isn’t particularly durable and will usually hinder your tone. If the guitar does come with a plastic nut, consider upgrading it.
Before we go, we should point out that having your new guitar professionally set-up by your local guitar pro is worth considering – unless you are experienced enough to do it yourself. Ask them to change your strings, lower the action a little, and ensure it’s all playing and sounding as good as it can. This can make a cheap instrument feel a lot more expensive. Although make sure to have a quote from them first – if the set-up ends up costing more than the guitar it’ll all be a bit pointless!
The Final Word
This is the most volatile market, because for every good Stringed Guitar For Less Than $150, there are 10 poor models. But do not worry, our website has unique articles to help you be more accurate in your purchase
If you feel that guitar is still not suitable for you, then learn through mandolin vs ukulele, the form and usage are similar.
Good luck with your hunt!