Washburn Classical C64SCE Review
Our Verdict and Review Summary
I've rarely seen a solid top and Fishman preamp in an acoustic guitar this cheap. Since it's also a classical guitar with nylon strings (easier to play than steel strings), this makes for a fantastic beginner acoustic. I'm often concerned that the low-quality and low-cost acoustics will discourage beginners, but that's not at all the case with the C64SCE.
The C64SCE checks off what I'm always looking for in a low-cost, beginner-friendly acoustic guitar, namely:
- Easy to play
- Doesn't skimp so much that it ruins the experience
At the time of publishing this review, the price of the C64SCE was $399, which is very low by acoustic guitar standards. As always, check the price guide below to ensure you have updated numbers.
But given that it has a solid Spruce top, Mahogany, and a Fishman preamp, that's an incredibly reasonable price tag. That tonewood combination is the same thing we get on a lot of Taylor acoustics.
That checks off two of our requirements.
Adding the nylon strings and playability checks off the last requirement.
Also, this is an acoustic guitar that you can take from the beginner stages into more advanced skill levels.
As a side note: A lot of classical guitars have a Cedar top, which I would love to see here. But making that an "issue" would be way too trite and not a valid criticism.
I just really like Cedar tops.
Ok - the full Washburn C64SCE review is below if you want more details.
You can compare the C64SCE to other classical acoustic guitars (some that we've reviewed) from a wider price range.
Cordoba GK Pro Negra
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IDEAL FOR: Beginners, budgets, simple recording projects, home studios, students, lessons, and personal study.
- Plays great and nylon strings are always easy on the fingers
- Fishman preamp does a good job of capturing the natural resonance of the guitar's body
- Solid Spruce top
- Price point with this feature set is extremely tough to beat
- I could be a brat and whine about not having a Cedar top, but I won't.
- I don't love "engineered wood" listed for the fingerboard.
Washburn Classical C64SCE Price Guide
Prices updated Fri, December 08th, 2023.
Price History for Washburn Classical C64SCE - Natural
|Current Price||$399.00||December 6, 2023|
|Highest Price||$399.00||October 4, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$399.00||October 4, 2023|
Last price changes
|$399.00||October 4, 2023|
Sound and projection
The tone is predictably warm and softened, as you would expect from nylon strings. Spruce is a pretty balanced tonewood, and the solid top piece helps fill things out and give you a loud, full projection. With the cutaway and smaller body size, you definitely get some more treble and "plink" on the higher register.
When running down the strings and fretboard, you can hear some EQ distinction between the higher and lower registers.
Overall, there's absolutely nothing to complain about here regarding sound.
You wouldn't be able to tell how low it's priced based on the tone of the guitar. It sounds far better than the cost would indicate.
This demo does a great job of capturing the C64SCE's tone.
EQ on the Fishman preamp is simple, with volume, bass, and treble controls. You can reduce a lot of the brightness here and make a decent range of basic tone adjustments. This is going to be perfectly adequate for most, but if you want a more advanced EQ, I'd recommend some kind of acoustic preamp pedal. An onboard tuner is also included, which makes it even more helpful for beginners.
Playing feel, tension, and ease
Classical guitars typically have wider necks, and the C64SCE is no exception, with a nut width of 2.04".
However, there's a trade-off with classical guitars and wide necks.
First, the extra fretboard space gives you more separation between strings, making it a little easier to fret notes without your fingers running into each other. Second, the nylon strings - which we've already mentioned - are a lot easier on your fingers than steel strings.
On the C64SCE, they feel soft and forgiving. They're also easy to bend.
The body is very manageable, especially with the cutaway. It feels smaller to me, more like a concert-style body and not a dreadnought.
If you have smaller fingers, the neck size might be an issue, but there are still a lot of benefits to using a classical acoustic guitar like this to learn on. Obviously, those who are specifically studying classical guitar, especially in a formal capacity, will be well-served by the C64SCE.
Overall, the neck feels great, plays smoothly, and shouldn't cause any discomfort.
Price and value
I've covered this at length, but it's worth repeating.
This is one of the best-value classical guitars I've ever had the opportunity to play, so I would certainly recommend it for a very wide range of situations. Beginners, to be sure, but even intermediate players who have been studying classical guitar for a while will get a lot out of the C64SCE.
And it's not just about the spec sheet.
The neck and body feel like a nicer instrument and provide you with a genuine experience with the guitar, not just a cheap fill-in.
Beginners who actually have a decent instrument are more likely to stick it out and stay interested. Cheap guitars have a hard time holding someone's attention.
The C64SCE will definitely hold your attention.
Review wrap up
This guitar is a solid editor's choice with many ideal scenarios. I like it for everything from pure beginners up to basic recording and formal study. Even performance situations like church or small recitals can be a good fit.
Bonus points for all of this if you're specifically studying classical music.
Even if you aren't, a classical guitar can be a good one to start on.
If you have any questions about my Washburn C64SCE review, drop them in the comments section below, and I'll get in touch.
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