Best classical (nylon string) guitar for an electric player?
June 17, 2009 4:39 AM   Subscribe

Best classical (nylon string) guitar for an electric player? I've been taking guitar lessons for a couple of years and lately dabbling in classical music. I'm considering buying a classical guitar.

What is a good classical guitar for someone who usually plays electric? I will continue to primarily play electric, so I'd like one that feels similar to what I'm used to.

I normally play a PRS mira and a Stratocaster.

Some typical non-classical features would be nice: strap buttons, fret markers, narrow nut width, electric-ish scale length, shallow body, cutaway.

I'm currently budgeting $300 to $400, but I'll entertain any suggestion. I've looked at Yamaha and Ibanez's entries in my range and both seem like they might work, but it's hard to try any of them locally. Any advice appreciated.
posted by mmoncur to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did you ask your teacher? Mine had pretty strong opinions about what I should and shouldn't play, and that was very helpful.
posted by dhoe at 5:04 AM on June 17, 2009

Not about nylon, more about steel:

My dad is a folk blues player that only plays old Martins and guitars styled after pre-war Martins (Santa Cruz, Collings). My teacher always says electric players love Taylor guitars for their low action and scale. However he's pretty opinionated (see dhoe's post above), and thinks the sound is weak compared to a Martin... but still "not bad for not being the real thing".

So check Taylor out. Of course, play before you buy.

I'd say don't buy a Yamaha, but someone once told me the intro to "More Than a Feeling" was cut on a $200 Yamaha, so those can't all be bad.
posted by teabag at 5:14 AM on June 17, 2009

I'm not into the whole "Oh this brand is awesome, that brand sucks" because any company can make a decent guitar. I've played crappy American made Fenders, great old cheap ass Harmonys, and my favorite guitar I bought brand new for 80$, it doesn't even have a brand. Just go play some guitars and don't even look at the name, if you like how it plays and sounds than buy it.
posted by BrnP84 at 5:56 AM on June 17, 2009

Save up and get a Godin.
posted by eightball at 7:42 AM on June 17, 2009

My father has a 1956 Martin nylon classical guitar and, I have to say, the action is skyscraper high. You need the hand strength of a god to play it well. Beautiful guitar but, whoa, hard to play especially coming off the fast and low action of a Strat or, well, most any electric.
posted by bz at 7:44 AM on June 17, 2009

Yeah, don't dismiss Yamaha classicals out of hand. I had one years ago that I bought used (and unfortunately forget the model number of) and it was a sweet and easy playing guitar.
posted by metagnathous at 11:45 AM on June 17, 2009

It'd suggest Godin. They make some really nice electric/classicals.
posted by magikker at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2009

Followup: I ended up buying a Takamine EG128SC - I took BrnP84's advice and tried all the guitars in a store, and this is the one that felt good. Not surprising since I have a steel-string Takamine too.
posted by mmoncur at 9:40 PM on July 17, 2009

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