Review: De Cascia, Sylvia Model Classical Guitar

De Cascia, Sylvia Model Classical Guitar – I was pleased to get to review this instrument that is a mid-range guitar with lots of bells and whistles. De Cascia is a Montreal based company in connection with Grand Guitar Salon.

PLEASE NOTE: The newer models are very different. They now have all lacquer finishing, no arched back, and other changes making this review outdated.

In a nutshell: Pretty good for the price. I’m interested in guitars in this price range as intermediate students can’t always make the jump to a $7000 single-luthier made instrument. Coming in around $2000 Canadian this guitar has all the features of a modern pro instrument. For the money it has all the bells and whistles of a modern classical guitar with lattice bracing, raised fingerboard, arm rest, French polished top, truss rod, and some good volume and response. I thought the bass register was quite heavy and overall a bit muddy. I’ve also had reports from other buyers that the bass was way too heavy. That said, the tone is warm, forgiving, and full sounding. If you value balance over volume and tone there are other choices out there. In this price range I often recommend the Cordoba C12 for its balance even though it doesn’t keep up to the De Cascia in terms of tone or volume or modern features. My Cordoba C12 review is here. Still good for the money and you won’t find these options on most guitars in this price range.



  • 650mm scale length with 52mm nut width
  • Canadian cedar top
  • All wood lattice braced
  • Indian rosewood back & sides
  • Brace-less arched back
  • African mahogany neck
  • Raised ebony fingerboard, Sound port, Arm rest
  • Der Jung tuning machines
  • Back, sides are lacquered
  • Top is French polish

Here is a video of the excellent Drew Henderson playing this model at the Grand Guitar Salon. This might give you better idea of the sound compared to the bright reflective room that I did the review in.

Photo Gallery: Click to enlarge the images. You can also see more pictures at the De Cascia website.


Ask a Question or Leave a Positive Comment

  1. Hi Bradford!

    Thank you for the review.

    I’m hesitating between this guitar or the Ramirez Estudio 2, that are about in the same price range. Do you have any tought about Ramirez guitars?

    Personally, I think the Sylvia model comes with a lot of quality of life improvments (raised fingerboard, arm rest, etc.) for the price range, which would make me more inclined to buy it.

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • I don’t really know the Ramirez very well so can’t help there. Yes, the Sylvia has some modern additions to it which is nice. Have you tried the Cordoba C12, lots of my students have been happy with it. I would like to try these De Cascia’s again though as the one I got to try might not have been as good as recent ones.

  2. Hey Bradford,

    Thanks for this excellent review!

    I actually purchased a Cordoba C12 on Tuesday and have been very pleased with it.

    This guitar is a huge step up from my now former guitar (Raimundo 104b), so I’m don’t feel qualified to comment on the balance of the C12, though I did opt for the spruce top on the Cordoba, while the Raimundo is a cedar top.

    One big reason I went for the Cordoba was from your positive review as well as many others on the instrument.

    Also, I think the strings will have a big influence, too, no?
    My Raimundo is strung with D’Addario Pro Arte EJ46, and the Cordoba is strung with the Savarez Cristal Corum High Tension 500CJ, which I’m currently favoring.

    Long story short, I’m really digging the C12.

    Thanks for all your reviews, tips, etc.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful review. Unfortunately listening to DeCascia Sylvia and the C12 on youtube videos is very deceiving to me, given the room, nails, microphones, etc, making the same guitar sound different in different recordings.
    Tried all stores near me that may have both so I can try them myself, but no luck.
    I would love to have you kind recommendation, knowing that I always tend to like the more warm, romantic sound. Obviously, we all love the volume and playability.
    Thanks a ton.

    • Well, I find the Cordoba C12 to be well balanced and very good for the price. The DeCascia is certainly warmer and bigger sounding but I would worry about the muddy basses. Balance is more important to me.

  4. Bradford, I’ve enjoyed many of your reviews. I do not have many opportunities to test intermediate classical guitars. I’m looking to get a nice guitar and I’m wondering if you would go out on a limb and make a recommendation. first Cordoba C12 or this De Cascia Sylvia? also I see that the De Casicia Sylvia now has a double top. would you recommend this upgrade?