7 Best Nylon String Guitars (With Thin Necks For Playability)

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  • Nylon string guitars offer a lighter, less tiring playing experience.
  • We look at the best nylon string guitars with thin necks on the market.
  • Featuring Alvarez, Taylor, Yamaha, and more!

Nylon string guitars with thin necks have become increasingly popular. Here are 3 reasons why people prefer nylon string guitars:

  1. They are easier to play thanks to the lowered tension in nylon strings.
  2. They tend to be less tiring for many players.
  3. They make switching from an electric guitar easier thanks to the similar neck size.

While classical players and others may prefer a robust and more traditional-sized neck, there are still a significant number of players that do look for a slimmer neck.

What Are The Best Nylon String Guitars With Thin Necks?

The Alvarez Cadiz Classical Hybrid CC7HCEAR is our pick for the best nylon string guitar with a thin neck. It takes the best of classical and flamenco guitar tradition and is a breeze to play.

For those on a budget, the Taylor Academy 12e-N offers the Taylor quality you expect at an affordable price. And for those discerning players that need the best, the Taylor 812ce-N Grand Concert Nylon is our premium choice.

Here are our candidates for the seven best nylon string guitars with thin necks:

  1. Alvarez Cadiz Classical Hybrid CC7HCEAR (Our Pick)
  2. Taylor Academy 12e-N (Best Value)
  3. Taylor 812ce-N Grand Concert Nylon (Premium Choice)
  4. Takamine TSP148NC
  5. Yamaha NTX1 
  6. Cordoba Fusion 12 Maple
  7. Cort CEC1

1. Alvarez Cadiz Classical Hybrid CC7HCEAR

OUR PICK
Alvarez CC7HCEAR Cadiz Classical Hybrid Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Alvarez's CC7HCEAR Cádiz Classical Hybrid acoustic-electric is a beautiful instrument made from Sitka and walnut with a flawless gloss finish and acacia binding and armrest. 

Why We Love It:
  • Beautifully crafted
  • Great playability
  • Open, clear, and strong bass response
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Alvarez went deep into the Cadiz region of Spain to develop their Cadiz Series of classical and flamenco guitars. The Hybrid CC7HCEAR is the result of research on different construction styles and bracing systems, in a product that appeals specifically to crossover players.

If you are looking for true craftsmanship with modern features and playability, this Alvarez is for you. This is our pick for the best nylon string guitar with a thin neck.

Features

  • Acacia biding
  • Asymmetric fan with treble bar bracing system
  • 3-piece mahogany, ebony, mahogany neck
  • Nut width of 48 mm (17/8″)
  • Scale of 660 (25.98″), 22 frets

Review

Just like all models in the Cadiz Series, the CC7HCEAR features a new shape that is slightly taller, slightly narrower, and more elegant than previous Alvarez guitars.

This thin line nylon string acoustic features a three-piece neck made with a combination of mahogany with ebony in the middle, while the fingerboard features Indian laurel and rosewood with a 12th fret inlay. The top wood on this guitar is Solid A+ Sitka Spruce, while the back and sides are dark walnut.

Another feature of this series is that the tops are graduated while each brace is custom cut and sanded with 4 varying widths in total.

The bracing design features asymmetric architecture with a treble bar. This stiffens up the top end a little more to produce a round, bell-like treble on the first three strings. 

To keep the bass side of the top light, Alvarez uses slightly thinner braces to produce a very open, clear, and strong bass response.

This Alvarez nylon string guitar features a 660mm (26.”) scale length that raises the tension just a little and helps deliver more energy into the soundbox, especially when compared with other series. 

For amplifying your sound conveniently, this Alvarez hybrid cutaway classical includes an LR Baggs StagePro EQ system with an Element pickup. This is a great preamp system that will let you dial in your sound in no time. 

Additional features include:

  • Wood mosaic rosette inlays
  • MOP head stop inlay
  • Real bone nut and saddle
  • Bi-level Indian Laurel/Rosewood bridge
  • Chrome with ebony style buttons tuners.

The CC7HCEAR is a great choice for crossover players looking for a nylon string guitar with great quality, playability, and appealing price. 

2. Taylor Academy 12e-N

BEST VALUE
Taylor Academy 12e
$649.00

The Taylor Academy Series is a great option for many guitarists because everyone appreciates a quality guitar at a great price.

Why We Love It:
  • Affordable, but still quality
  • Thin, tone-enhancing varnish finish
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The Academy 12e-N offers Taylor quality but without the elevated price. This is one of Taylor’s most popular models and for good reason: it is a hybrid nylon-string guitar with a slim neck, making electric and steel-string players feel more confident. 

Features

  • Genuine Lutz spruce top
  • Layered Sapele back and sides
  • Mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, 17 frets
  • 1.875″ nut width
  • 3-ring wood/fibre rosette

Review

Taylor designed the Academy Series with the intent of making the acoustic guitar accessible to more players. It is fair to say they succeeded.  This is a compact nylon string guitar as well as Taylor’s smallest full-scale shape.

The 12e-N features an adjustable truss rod and a lightly radiused fingerboard with a narrower neck (about 1/8” thinner across the nut than your typical 2” wide classical guitar). However, its voice remains classical with an open, responsive midrange.

The 12e-N is a good choice for players looking to get into flamenco, bossa-nova, bolero, and other Latin-derived styles. Additionally, this guitar will also be right at home for pop and folk styles that require nylon strings.

If you are an electric or steel-string guitar player and you’re looking to get a nylon-string instrument without spending a fortune, the Taylor 12e-N is one of the best choices for you.

3. Taylor 812ce-N Grand Concert Nylon

Taylor 812ce-N Guitar

From its fast mahogany neck and its ebony fingerboard to its spruce and rosewood body, the 812-N is a player's dream come true.

Why We Love It:
  • Excellent tonal balance
  • Premium plugged-in tone
  • Extremely comfortable
View Price On Sweetwater

The name Taylor is embedded in the mind of acoustic guitar players as one of the greatest brands ever. The Taylor 812ce-N is further proof of that.

With a smaller-bodied yet full-voiced nylon-string guitar, it features a fast mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard that is truly comfortable and ensures maximum playability.

This nylon string guitar produces a richer voice with more complex harmonics and a more open and vibrant sound. This is our premium pick for discerning guitarists that are willing to splurge. 

Features

  • Sitka spruce top for expressive sound
  • Indian rosewood back and sides for clarity and projection
  • Venetian cutaway for access to higher frets
  • Onboard Taylor ES-N electronics for natural sound even when plugged in 
  • Hardshell case included

Review

The 812ce-N features a redesigned Taylor bracing pattern with added side bracing to lend rigidity to the sides. This updated bracing pattern offers a long sustain even with a delicate touch. 

This guitar features a smaller-than-average Grand Concert body shape, making it more manageable and comfortable to play. This is especially helpful for folks with shorter arms or those who specialize in fingerstyle playing. 

Taylor determined what the optimum wood thickness for this guitar would be by matching up the thickness for the spruce top with the rosewood back and sides. This produces maximum tone while keeping the weight of the instrument light. 

Another unique feature of the 812ce-N is the use of animal protein glue instead of synthetic glue in its construction. This optimizes the transfer of vibrations and holds quite well, ensuring your investment (and great tone) can last you a lifetime. 

As far as electronics, the Taylor ES-N system ensures great sound when plugged in. It uses patented Dynamic Sensors optimized for nylon strings. 

Other features on this fantastic nylon string guitar include pale maple biding, tropical mahogany neck, 20” radius, smoked ebony fingerboard, 17 frets, Taylor Slot Head tuners, and 1.875” nut width. In short, a superior nylon string guitar for those that demand to have the best. 

4. Takamine TSP148NC

Takamine TSP148NC Guitar

A shallow depth, comfortable 47mm nut width, and quality tonewood construction equips the easy-playing Takamine TSP148NC classical acoustic to deliver the goods in the hands of any player, modern electric to traditional acoustic. 

Why We Love It:
  • Sounds and feels as good as it looks
  • Comfortable
  • Punchy tones
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The Takamine TSP148NC is a fantastic choice for players that want high quality at a fair price point. It sounds and feels as good as it looks and features a very comfortable and slender C-shaped mahogany neck.

If you come from playing mostly electric guitars, this Takamine will make you feel right at home.

Features

  • Solid cedar-on-Sapele construction for a rich sound and dynamic response
  • Comfortable 47 mm nut width, and 25.5″ scale length
  • CT-3N preamp system with tuner and 3-band EQ 
  • Built as a performance classical guitar but with a compact, streamlined body
  • Low-profile hollow dot fingerboard inlays

Review

The Takamine TSP148NC nylon-string guitar is built from a combination of cedar, sapele, and mahogany to yield a traditionally balanced and punchy tone.

The solid cedar top and well-figured sapele body offer a strong and dynamic response, along with punch and depth, especially for a thin line acoustic. 

This guitar features a very comfortable C-shaped mahogany neck and 12-inch radius that lends itself to being played for a long time without causing fatigue.

Additionally, its rosewood fingerboard gives you a smooth and precise fretting surface while producing full, enveloping sustain. The volume and clarity of this Takamine are clear from the moment you first strum it unplugged. 

This thin line nylon string guitar also features a fantastic onboard preamp system with CT-3N electronics. Created explicitly for the Thinline Series, this preamp system offers a 3-band EQ for tone shaping and a notch filter for feedback control.

(To see how the different preamps for nylon string guitars compare, check out 7 Best Pickups For Classical Guitar (That Aren’t Trash))

There is also an onboard tuner, battery indicator, and master volume control. The CT-3N’s great preamplification matches well with Takamine’s proprietary Palathetic pickup, producing a fantastic sound when plugged in. 

Simply said, the Takamine TSP148NC is a solid choice for anybody that comes from playing mostly electric, and wants a comfortable and professional-grade instrument but without spending a fortune. 

5. Yamaha NTX1 

The Yamaha NTX1 is an affordable option for players looking to play a nylon string guitar that is truly comfortable.

The Yamaha NTX1 lineup was created in part to ease the awkward transition between electric and nylon string instruments by blending mature plugged-in classical tones with precision comfort and playability. To address this, it features a modern neck profile to ensure comfort and playability. 

Features

  • Advanced NX bracing enhances low-end projection
  • Slim nato wood back and sides
  • Modern-profile nato wood neck
  • Flat 23-5/8″ radiused fingerboard
  • Slimmed-down 1-7/8″ nut spacing
  • Undersaddle pickup system with 3-band EQ and tuner

Review

The Yamaha NTX1 features premium solid tonewoods, including Sitka spruce for the top, and nato wood (a mahogany alternative). It features a refined NX bracing system, which helps enhance the low-end resonance of the instrument.

Additionally, this bracing system helps bring out more of the natural character of the selected tonewoods, enhancing the volume and projection of sound.

As far as the electronics, the NTX1 features an under-saddle pickup powered by an advanced Yamaha preamp system, with onboard 3-band EQ to let you sculpt your sound. 

Additional features of the NTX1 include an onboard tuner, a slimmed-down 1-7/8″ nut spacing, and slim nato wood back and sides.

Besides offering the quality and reliability that Yamaha is known for, this instrument is also a fantastic option for players that want comfort at an affordable price. 

6. Cordoba Fusion 12 Maple

Cordoba Fusion 12 Guitar
$889.00
Why We Love It:
  • Premium tonewoods provide exceptional sound
  • Incredible value-benefit ratio
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Cordoba has risen to the forefront of great-sounding and comfortable nylon string guitars. The Fusion 12 Maple features fantastic playability and sound, all of that for less than a grand.

This instrument is the embodiment of what a cross-over guitar is, and both electric and steel players will have a smoother transition to a nylon string with the Fusion 12 Maple. 

Features

  • Great nylon-string acoustic guitar for steel-string players
  • Thin and narrow steel-string-style neck for added comfort
  • Maple body with a spruce top for rich lows and gleaming highs
  • Excellent projection and dynamics thanks to the classic fan bracing construction
  • Comes with Fishman Presys Blend electronics built-in

Review

The Cordoba Fusion 12 Maple features 12 frets up to the neck joint, with a total of 19 frets and a cutaway design for easy access. If you are a crossover guitarist, then the Maple 12 should be one of your top choices.

It comes with a thin-profile mahogany neck and 1.875″ nut width. This neck profile is thinner than most nylon-string guitars, making it more comfortable for steel-string acoustic players and electric players.

This instrument is not only comfortable but also features great sound thanks to the choice of woods in the construction. The Fusion 12 Maple sports figured maple back and sides with a solid spruce top, for powerful projection and splendid top-end sparkle. 

Additional features include an onboard tuner and phase switch. Overall, this is a great instrument that offers an incredible value-benefit ratio. 

7. Cort CEC1

Cort CEC1 Guitar

The CEC1 features slim body with cutaway, 45mm nut width, and electronics for steel-string players who love the nylon-string sound.

Why We Love It:
  • Tonal flexibility
  • Slim body depth
View On Cort Guitars

Cort Guitars is a South Korean guitar manufacturing company and also one of the largest guitar makers in the world. A newer player in the game, it has made serious strides, earning some legendary endorsees like Frank Gambale, Bumblefoot, and bass extraordinaire Jeff Berlin.

The Cort CEC1 is a solid choice for players that want a great-sounding nylon string guitar that also features a comfortable and slimmer neck.

Features

  • Laurel fretboard and bridge
  • Traditional fan bracing 
  • Slim body depth (83 x 83 mm)
  • 643 mm (25.3”) scale
  • Spruce top, African mahogany back and sides

Review

The Cort CEC1 belongs to the Classic Series. It is a hybrid nylon string that borrows from steel-string acoustic electrics with cutaways, narrower nut width, and Fishman electronics.

Besides the featured slim body with cutaway, the CEC1 comes with a 45mm nut width and electronics for steel-string players who love the nylon-string sound.

The top of this guitar is made of spruce, to provide an ideal balance between strength and flexibility. Spruce is overwhelmingly popular as the wood of choice for tops of acoustic guitars, and the CEC1 is another example of why.

The back and sides are mahogany, producing a bright yet natural sound with a strong and warm midrange (mahogany wood has also been a standard for back and sides on premium acoustics for years).

This Cort nylon string includes a 3-band EQ for tonal flexibility and a built-in LED tuner for convenience. This  EQ system delivers a rich midrange with clear transparent highs, with a simple yet effective plug-and-play approach.

The CEC1 also features a slightly narrower nut width that appeals to both classical and traditional steel-string acoustic players. Its width of 45 mm (1 ¾”) will make players used to smaller necks feel right at home.

Another fantastic feature of this guitar is that it comes with a set of Savarez Cristal Corum 500CJ high-tension nylon guitar strings, which sound much better and last longer than the most popular brands in the market.

(Think you know all the parts of your guitar? We break down all the parts of an acoustic guitar in The Anatomy Of An Acoustic Guitar (An Illustrated Guide))