Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar Recommendations?

Emigre

Member
Messages
3,621
Hi folks, I'm looking for any recommendations on acoustic-electric nylon string guitars. Budget: "not expensive", this is a guitar to be used for live work and a lot of the time, amplified so no need for a high end classical.

The style of music for this guitar is solo fingerstyle standards, which I have found sound much better on nylon than steel strings.

Normally I would only look on Spanish instruments for classical, however for this style of music I find that amplified classicals tend to overpower on bass, like after a while there's a constant bass drone to my ears.

So I'm willing to open my ears to non-classical, nylon string electric-acoustics.

In the past I have owned a Yamaha NCX900 and have played their top of line NCX2000, these guitars while superbly built, have a weird mid focussed sound that I don't particularly care for. But perhaps it works better amplified?

I prefer my classical's sweet but bell like top strings and warm, deep bass. Just not too much of it :)
 

Drak

Member
Messages
5,059
If you want to reduce dat bass, stick with Spruce and don't go Cedar.
Cordoba makes a bazillion varieties of this kind of thing and is generally looked favorably upon.

Are you looking for what's commonly termed a 'crossover'?
I.e., steel string nut width, radiused fretboard kinda thing?
 

Emigre

Member
Messages
3,621
Thanks, Cordoba is a good suggestion. I'll check it out.

I agree with your point on Spruce, in fact I have gone with Spruce for my high end classical. I like the warmth Cedar but I find that Spruce "cuts" better in the mix... of voices in the same guitar :)

I'm not necessarily looking for a crossover though that can be an option if they sound good amplified. I am a classical player, and totally comfortable with a classical instrument but for this application (solo fingerstyle jazz/standards) I am open to "crossover" or as I call it a nylon string acoustic.
 

Bluedano1

Member
Messages
7,046
Hi folks, I'm looking for any recommendations on acoustic-electric nylon string guitars. Budget: "not expensive", this is a guitar to be used for live work and a lot of the time, amplified so no need for a high end classical.

The style of music for this guitar is solo fingerstyle standards, which I have found sound much better on nylon than steel strings.

Normally I would only look on Spanish instruments for classical, however for this style of music I find that amplified classicals tend to overpower on bass, like after a while there's a constant bass drone to my ears.

So I'm willing to open my ears to non-classical, nylon string electric-acoustics.

In the past I have owned a Yamaha NCX900 and have played their top of line NCX2000, these guitars while superbly built, have a weird mid focussed sound that I don't particularly care for. But perhaps it works better amplified?

I prefer my classical's sweet but bell like top strings and warm, deep bass. Just not too much of it :)
I'm kind of lusting for something like this too- basically something affordable I can gig with ( just a tonal/ feel changeup to play all the same stuff I play on steel string- I play -Id use a thumbpick on a nylon)
I've never tried one, but the Cordoba C5 CE seems to check all the boxes- a nylon string with a pickup, cutaway and under $500
Just a suggestion on one to check out? ( I know Yamaha makes a similar price one with options of Cedar or Spruce top)
 

Drak

Member
Messages
5,059
Just as an FYI.
I bought two classicals recently.
A La Patrie Presentation and a Collection.
Both used on Reverb.
The Presentation is one down from the top, the Collection Is the top.
I got the Presentation for $150.00 no case, and the Collection for $400.00 w/ hard case.
It might as well be mint condition.
Both Screaming good deals.
All La Patries are Cedar tops and solidly built.

When I was looking, I kinda thought I wanted 'all the extras' too.
Electronics and cutaway that is. It's tempting.
But from what I've read, Most people wind up never even using the cutaway.
And the electronics in most of the entry level instruments 'ain't all that'.
They're going to be very primal and very basic electronics.

So you may want to consider a guitar w/o a cutaway unless you absolutely know you'll use it.
And buy your own pickup system of your choice that you know is a solid sturdy one.
To me, that makes a more solid deal in the end.

The La Patries have a slightly radiused board but are full width nut classical.
I prefer this, as I use them full-out fingers.
So they have one feature of a crossover, the radiused board.
And it's not radiused much, probably much less than most crossovers, but its there, its enough to know its there.

Just food for thought.
 

Emigre

Member
Messages
3,621
I've never tried one, but the Cordoba C5 CE seems to check all the boxes- a nylon string with a pickup, cutaway and under $500
Just a suggestion on one to check out? ( I know Yamaha makes a similar price one with options of Cedar or Spruce top)
The C5 CE is also my target model to test. It checks all the boxes.

The Yamaha's are the NCX line, but to me they don't sound like a classical at all, and personally I don't like the sound of them. I've owned an NCX900 and played all the models to the top of the range 2000. They all have a similar tonal profile, imho too heavy on the mids.
 

Emigre

Member
Messages
3,621
Just as an FYI.
I bought two classicals recently.
A La Patrie Presentation and a Collection.
Both used on Reverb.
The Presentation is one down from the top, the Collection Is the top.
I got the Presentation for $150.00 no case, and the Collection for $400.00 w/ hard case.
It might as well be mint condition.
Both Screaming good deals.
All La Patries are Cedar tops and solidly built.

When I was looking, I kinda thought I wanted 'all the extras' too.
Electronics and cutaway that is. It's tempting.
But from what I've read, Most people wind up never even using the cutaway.
And the electronics in most of the entry level instruments 'ain't all that'.
They're going to be very primal and very basic electronics.

So you may want to consider a guitar w/o a cutaway unless you absolutely know you'll use it.
And buy your own pickup system of your choice that you know is a solid sturdy one.
To me, that makes a more solid deal in the end.

The La Patries have a slightly radiused board but are full width nut classical.
I prefer this, as I use them full-out fingers.
So they have one feature of a crossover, the radiused board.
And it's not radiused much, probably much less than most crossovers, but its there, its enough to know its there.

Just food for thought.
Thanks Drak, I'm in Singapore however, and would have to play first, I don't buy guitars over the internet. Especially with acoustics and classicals where any one guitar can feel and sound different to all the others even within the same model.
 

Bluedano1

Member
Messages
7,046
The C5 CE is also my target model to test. It checks all the boxes.

The Yamaha's are the NCX line, but to me they don't sound like a classical at all, and personally I don't like the sound of them. I've owned an NCX900 and played all the models to the top of the range 2000. They all have a similar tonal profile, imho too heavy on the mids.
I actually learned how to play guitar on a Yamaha Classical back in 1974 ( more or less self taught)
I went to a boarding HS, and a classmate lent me his Yamaha ( he had NO interest in playing) for the entire year! Kept it under my bed ( dorm with 35-40 beds) and would ' teach myself' ( noodle) on it after Classes, and at some point- got good!
I would end up buying a copy of a D-28 as a first guitar, then other steel strings, but have always wanted to revisit a Yamaha Classical for sentimental reasons. But the Cordoba looks more my type. Will try both out some day!
 

mill1341

Member
Messages
336
A couple other possibilities:

Cordoba GK studio - Designed for exactly what you're looking for, and play closer to a steel string (thinner neck width with some radius).

La Patrie Arena series - Good value compared to others, though mine are a little more heavily built and have a little less sustain than other nylon stringed guitars.

Kremona Performer series - A little more expensive than the others (unless you can find used), but all the features you're looking for, and built more like a classical. My Kremona is about the opposite of your Yamaha experience - heavier on the bass and treble, but decidedly lighter in the mids. It also rings forever.

All 3 of these can generally be found used for under $500, and new for $500-$800.
 

Vcaster

Member
Messages
1,433
Córdoba Fusion 12 Maple - Natural

https://www.cordobaguitars.com/guitars/12-maple/

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Fusion12MN--cordoba-fusion-12-maple-natural

I’ve had mine a couple of years. Really enjoy playing it. Was searching for a classical sound and feel but with modern acoustic guitar playability. Super tone, too, when amplified using the onboard electronics. Craftsmanship is superb. The big surprise was the padded gig bag; BIG step up in quality from what I’m used to when a guitar maker includes a gig bag.
 

Wag

Member
Messages
458

https://www.washburn.com/product/eact42s/

A few months back, while hunting for an Epi SST I stumbled across one of these Washburns in minty condition and priced to move.

I had a "next to nothing" amount of knowledge and experience with classical guitars in general and absolutely ZERO knowledge or experience with this model in particular. So.....I did the smart thing.


I bought it anyway. :rolleyes:

Well....bottom line.....I like this guitar. Really.

I was suprised at how "playable" it is. The few nylon string guitars Ive ever had my hands on were big and bulky with a neck that was still more "tree" than "guitar". Miserable torture devices I tell you.

I think these Washburns sell new right @ $350. Given the price range you know going in there will be some concessions. In spite of that, this guitar has much going for it. It's well built, very light, very sleek and comfortable. I would compare the neck to any typical Les Paul. Easy on the the hands even after noodling it all day long.



Might be worth taking one for a test drive.
 

NeuroLogic

Member
Messages
1,343
Taylor NS24E is a very nice guitar. Very accurately made and the Expression pickup system works quite well. It is a relatively small neck and is an exceptional value.
 




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