I am very lucky in my job that I get to play a lot of different guitars. Students are often very generous and even lend me them for a week or so. Recently a student kindly lent me a Yamaha SLG 200 N silent travel guitar. I was extremely impressed with it and thought it would be useful for late night praticing - as they are virtually silent.
The Yamaha SLG 200 N is quite expensive and costs around £600 new. Even second hand they tend to fetch the same amount - so I had a look around for a cheaper alternative. I happened upon the now discontinued Aria Sinsonido and managed to get one off of Ebay for £175 - much cheaper than the Yamaha.
I am extremely impressed with the guitar. It is an odd looking guitar for sure. It features a Rosewood fretboard and a Mahogany body (if you can call it a body). It then has a detachable metal frame that forms the outline of the guitar. It has 19 frets - but what I really like is the fact that it has a standard (for classical guitars) 52 mm nut. This means that the nut is nice and wide, just like on a standard classical guitar.
It takes a little while to get used to holding the guitar as it sits much closer to your body than a standard classical guitar. It also has a slightly odd 'balance' to it as most of the weight is in the body. I soon got used to it though and after a while it feels perfectly normal. The guitar has a lovely low action so is very playable and all the frets are nicely finished. You can plug the guitar into an amp to make it louder or use the headphone jack. I tend to use it 'acoustically' - as I want it to be quiet for late night practicing.
Silent guitars, like the Aria Sinsonido and the Yamaha SLG200N are not completely silent of course. The best way to describe the volume level is that it is the same as an electric guitar that is not plugged in. I would say that if you play one of these in a standard room in a house, the person in the next room will not hear you.
Overall I really rate this guitar highly. I use it for teaching over zoom as I can plug it into a small amp if required. For late night practicing it is absolutely perfect. It weighs around 3 kg and if you take the sides of it is only about 90 cm x 30 cm so for travel it is ideal.
My only gripes with the guitar are that the battery runs out very quickly (funnily enough I had the same issue with the Yamaha Trans acoustic guitar). Secondly the metal frame that forms the body occasionally comes loose and undoes. To be fair, my guitar was second hand so the loose body may not be an issue on new ones (although I am pretty sure Aria have discontinued the guitar). It seems a real shame if they have stopped making it - especially as the Yamaha SLG200N seems to be selling so well. Check out online though there seem to be a fair few second hand ones around. Overall I would give the guitar 9.5 out of 10. Its very playable, has a very nice tone and to my mind even looks quite cool. Here is a video review I did of the Aria Sinsonido.