Other Guitars

Any experience with REALLY cheap classical guitars?


Looking for a beater to keep by the couch. Craigslist here is a wasteland. Rondo has a $50 job. I don't care if it sounds good, but I'd like it to be decently playable.

Anybody have one lying around that they don't want?


I'm hanging on to the one I've got, an Alvarez-Yairi, that I've had for 35 years. Second best $30 I ever spent. Best was a '63 Rambler 330 POS. Car lasted for 60K miles while I did delivery work while in college. One of the ugliest cars I've ever seen.

Try it out. That's the only way to really tell. Rondo may not be a Fender or Gretsch or Gibson, but they're good entry level instruments, and a decent bang for the buck.The wide flat neck may throw you at first. They're not as loud as steel strings, obviously, nor as bright. Still, it seems to work for Willie. They're great for finger picking, as well as strumming. They're handy to work things out on---the keep it by the couch use you mentioned. Nice if the power goes out or if you want to go sit under a tree. Have fun plunking!


I bought a used Yamaha for $50 that, in a moment of weakness I let go. Should have hung on to that guitar. Very well made and pretty good tone.

The Yamaha classical guitars get pretty high marks as far as "bang for the buck" goes.


Just have to keep looking on all fronts, whether it's Craigslist, eBay or your local trade rag or neighborhood message board. There should be some parents unloading decent entry-level classicals when their kid stops playing...


The really cheap ones are what you find on a street corner in Tijuana.


Anyone got a Tijuana connection?


Anyone got a Tijuana connection?

– Otter

Not for guitars...


I would imagine that with the low tension of classical strings, they're more forgiving of cheap construction than a $50 steel string would be.


Oh yeah - never put steel strings on a classical! My sister did... The guitar was never playable again.

Hard to go wrong with Yamaha. These days their cheapest guitars are made in Indonesia but there should be plenty of cheap Taiwanese ones out there. Yamaha have made guitars in Taiwan for probably 40 years or so, so models like the CG110, G50 etc will be old but very playable.

If you are lucky you might find a cheap Asturius (Japanese) or Esteve (Spanish). The Esteve my son has was inexpensive new and sounds ridiculously good. Much better than a cheap Yamaha, and might be a cheap find used.


I have a Chinese-made classical marketed as a Beaver Creek... I should replace the tuners to bring it up to snuff, but otherwise, it's been quite handy for the $99 I paid for it. Came with a piezo pup under the bridge that has come in handy for recording a couple of times. Neck's a tad narrow for a classic, but my short fingers love that part.


My first guitar was an Asian made Westbrook classical I bought for $35 in a pawnshop in 1970 or so. It had a high action, but sounded good and projected well.

With acoustics, you pretty much have to check out the individual instrument to tell if the neck width and action are what you want.


My experience with really cheap acoustics is that most of the thing will be burned up within ten minutes. The neck might last up to half an hour. The fretboard stain gives the smoke an unpleasant smell.

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