Best Cello Review – Top Rated Models in 2019 with Buying Guide
Whether you’re a student or a well-versed musician, getting the best cello can provide you with unforgettable performances every time. However, finding the right instrument can be a true challenge nowadays. The good news is that we’ve done research on some of the most popular consumer choices to bring you the models that offer the most for the money. After comparing countless instruments, we’ve concluded that the D Z Strad Handmade is the model you should be looking at. This cello comes with a full-size handcrafted body, it has an impressive design that increased playability, and it also comes with several accessories to get you started right away. If this product is no longer available, you might also want to consider the Merano 4/4 Purple.
Our Top Choice
The D Z Strad model offers a superior sound and performance at an affordable cost compared to other similar instruments. What makes it stand out is the fact that it’s handmade, being suitable for both practice and concerts, which means that you won’t need to make a new investment anytime soon. The beautiful lacquer finish gives it a stylish look.
In certain cases the packaging the instrument is delivered in was not perceived as being very good; however, the quality of the cello itself outweighs this, so there’s really nothing to worry about.
Easy to be played by students, this cello is an excellent choice for anyone wishing to learn in a fast and convenient way, using a portable alternative to practice anywhere.
Merano’s purple cello offers you everything you need to start playing right away. The warm and round sound is given by the instrument’s spruce top, while the back, neck, and sides are made of maple, which both enriches the sound and renders the cello more durable. The fingerboard and the pegs are ebonized for easy tuning.
According to some reviews, the case delivered with the cello doesn’t hold up as well as it could, but this is not such a big issue since the instrument itself delivers superior performance.
For anyone looking to practice and improve their musical abilities by playing the cello, this model is definitely one to be considered.
Another example of a high-quality handcrafted instrument, Stentor’s 11008 ¾ model comes with fine-grain solid spruce that gives it excellent sound properties. The resonance is enriched by the solid maple back and sides, while the ¾ size makes it a very good alternative for beginners.
As with any other musical instrument, over time it might need some tuning, so, especially if you’re a beginner, you might need to go to a local music shop, but this is part of its maintenance.
Featuring a beautiful exterior and superior sound, this instrument is undoubtedly worth keeping in mind for your next cello purchase.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
If you’re looking for a quality cello but don’t have the time to read dozens of cello reviews, then you’ve landed in the right place. We’ve selected some of the most appreciated models available and created a list complete with descriptions so that you get all the information you need to pick the right one for your preferences, style, and budget.
D Z Strad Handmade
This D Z Strad model is a handmade cello that offers a superior sound and performance without costing an arm and a leg. This instrument comes with a full-size body that is suited to both practice and concerts so you won’t need to invest in an upgrade anytime soon. The body is handcrafted out of quality wood and it also comes with a beautiful lacquer finish.
Thanks to its design, this cello is easy to play so it is a good choice for students wishing to learn in a fast and convenient way. The cello is capable of producing warm and rich tones that will delight your ears as well as your audiences.
The hand-carved pegs allow you to keep your instrument tuned at all times. This product comes with a carrying case for safe transportation, a cello bow, as well as strings and 1C cello rosin.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1250)
Merano 4/4 Purple
The Merano purple cello package gives you everything you need to start playing this beautiful instrument. You get a full-size cello that has a spruce top which gives the instrument its warm and round sound. The back, neck, and sides are made of maple which contributes to the quality sound as well as gives the cello resistance to even virtuoso playing styles.
Both the fingerboard and pegs are ebonized for superior performance as well as easier tuning. The tailpiece is made of a quality alloy and contains the four fine pegs. You also get a wood stick bow with a hardwood frog that will keep the genuine horsehair tight so that you benefit from consistent results and accurate notes every time.
This set also comes with a lightweight case that has a plush interior and a tough 600D nylon exterior, two string sets, a cello stand, a metro tuner, and a music stand.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($539)
Stentor 1108 3/4
In case you’re searching for a cello that’s capable of producing amazing sounds but which won’t break the bank, then the Stentor 1108 ¾ is a fine choice. This instrument is handcrafted and comes with a fine-grain solid spruce top that confers it its excellent sound properties.
The solid maple back and sides add to the rich resonance of the instrument while also making sure that it is resistant and able to offer countless hours of practice and public performances for anyone dedicated enough. This instrument has a ¾ size which makes it a good cello for beginners or students who are looking for a reliable cello.
The comfortable chin rest is made of hardwood while the tailpiece has 4 durable string adjusters. With this model, you also get full ebony fittings and inlaid purfling for a beautiful exterior which also comes with a warm brown finish. This product also includes a lightweight carrying case with a comfortable shoulder rest.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($497.17)
Becker 4000F Outfit
The Becker 4000F is made of selected tonewoods that help this instrument produce amazing sounds each and every time. The top is made of solid spruce while the back and sides are made of strong and durable maple so you can count on this cello to give you superb performances for many years to come.
The body features inlaid purfling and a full ebony trim that give it an elegant look which is further amplified by the lacquer finish. This model comes with Wittner string adjusters as well as a Wittner tailpiece adjuster which should help you keep your cello in tune for every occasion.
The chinrest is made of composite materials and it offers the proper support for your instrument while staying comfortable. This cello also comes with a TKL nylon bag that enables you to carry your instrument safely and comfortably, as well as a Glasser horsehair bow.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1499)
Antonius VC-150 Student
The Antonius VC-150 is an inexpensive cello that has a durable design as well as fine features that will make it a pleasure to play anytime. The full-size body makes this instrument a good choice for both experienced musicians and students who are just starting out.
The spruce top gives a rich sound while the maple sides and back confer this instrument with strength as well as superior performance as time goes by and it is played more. The maple neck is hand-carved so you get to enjoy countless playing sessions in great comfort.
This cello comes with a bow that is made with Mongolian horsehair which should give it strength as well as a much better sound, especially when coupled with high-quality rosin. Not only is this product accessible in terms of price, but you also get a free soft case for easy carrying.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Best cello cases
Travelite TL-20 Deluxe
If you’re searching for a reliable cello case, then the Travelite TL-20 Deluxe is a sensible choice. This case has a cavity that has been precisely engineered to fit a cello. The surrounding high-grade foam is durable yet lightweight and it is a perfect material choice for protecting an expensive instrument such as a cello.
This case has an arch-top design and rugged sides which make it strong and able to withstand impact while ensuring that your instrument stays safe. The interior may fit the cello tightly, but there’s still plenty of space to store two bows in the special holders. There’s a Velcro strap that goes over the neck of the cello to ensure a snug fit and protection against bumps.
The heavy-duty zipper provides smooth operation while the included hygrometer gives you accurate humidity readings so you can prevent damage to your cello. This product also comes with a locking latch and backpack straps that are removable.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($189.95)
Kaces UKCB 1/2
The Kaces UKCB is an affordable case you can get to keep your cello safe from harm during transportation. This product can fit a ½ cello inside which means it is a great gift for a child or teenager who’s practicing on this beautiful instrument. This unit has a 0.47-inch dense foam padding which should be able to absorb shocks from potential impacts.
The exterior is made of tough materials which are resistant to tearing and durable so you can count on them to last for a long time. This item has interior compartments that should make organizing accessories quite simple. There’s also an exterior bow pocket that should snugly fit a medium-size bow.
The case has several handles that are double-stitched for extra resistance. These handles are highly comfortable so you can carry your instrument without hurting your hand or fingers. You also get two backpack straps that should make transportation even easier.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($67.99)
Heritage Mobile Lightweight
If you’re looking for a solid case to keep your cello safe while you’re on the move, then you might as well consider the Heritage Mobile Lightweight. This case has a tough exterior that’s supposed to resist impacts and ensure that your instrument stays safe inside. The case can fit any ½ size cello so it’s a great purchase for teenagers or young musicians just starting out.
The thick layer of foam should absorb shocks from impacts and ensure that you don’t end up with a broken instrument that’s expensive to repair. This case also comes with a set of wheels so that you don’t have to break your back while carrying your cello to and from rehearsals or performances.
Despite its strong build and wheel platform, this product is still lightweight, as it only weighs 8.25 pounds, which is definitely less than a standard hard case.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Cushy Hard Body
The Cushy Hard Body is a protective piece that is lighter than a hard case, yet more resistant than an instrument cover. This case has a strong exterior that’s made of synthetic fibers which are resistant to ripping or other forms of mechanical damage.
The interior is padded with resin-reinforced foam which is lightweight yet strong and it can offer your beloved instrument with the protection it needs against unforeseen accidents. This case is perfect for people who want some degree of safety without having to haul a heavy case along with an already bulky cello.
The exterior also features plenty of handles for superior handling. These are made from soft materials that are gentle to your hands. You also get some backpack straps for even more comfortable transportation, while the carabiners ensure that they attach properly and securely. The giant YKK zippers offer easy access to the interior and long-term performance.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Guardian CV-013 C1/2
The Guardian CV-013 surely deserves its name. This carrying case comes with a solid body that can withstand a lot of punishment while offering superior protection for your 1/2-size cello. The exterior is made of 600 Denier Nylon which is strong and resistant to impact as well as mechanical damage.
The exterior is also water-resistant so you get an extra layer of protection for your instrument while you’re traveling or moving through the city. The interior benefits from high-density polystyrene foam which has good shock-absorbing capabilities, a thing that could save your cello from damage in case you trip over and fall or drop the case by accident.
The interior also features soft padding to prevent brushing or scratching your instrument so that it maintains its like-new lacquer. This case will snugly fit your cello and prevent it from bumping against the interior walls. The exterior straps and handles are soft and easy to hold so you can transport your instrument effortlessly.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($161.09)
Best cello bows
Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber
If you want to get the most out of your playing experience, then you definitely need to take a look at the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber. This quality cello bow comes with a handmade body that’s strong and durable. The use of carbon fiber reinforces the structure and ensures long-term performance so that you can play to your heart’s desire.
The bow is made using Siberian horse hair which is strong yet flexible for a superior sound and rich tone. The frog is made of ebony and decorated with copper. Its role is to hold the horsehair tightly so you can play well without risking an accident in mid-play.
The bow is precisely designed to have a good weight distribution and great balance so that you can play vigorously without tiring your hands. This unit has a good arch for a proper bounce as well as action. This bow is lightweight and works well with a quality electric cello.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($77.79)
VingoBow Snakewood Baroque
The VingoBow Snakewood Baroque is a handcrafted cello bow that features a superb construction that’s definitely a surprise for a price that won’t break your bank. This bow is designed for 4/4 full-size cellos and features a concert-level design. The stick is made of snakewood which has been left to dry naturally for a long period of time.
The wood offers this bow a good balance and curve while retaining a bit of flexibility for various playing styles. The horsehair comes from horses in Mongolia. These hairs haven’t been bleached so you get a 100 percent natural product. You could enjoy powerful and rich sounds every time you use this bow with your favorite cello, especially if you use some proper rosin.
This product weighs only 2.6 ounces so you can trust it to provide you with the performance you expect of it without tiring your hand too much.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.95)
VingoBow Pernambuco Perfect
The VingoBow Pernambuco Perfect is a reliable cello bow that comes with a solid construction and beautiful finish. This product is made of quality wood that has just the right arch and rigidity for a fast response, yet a smooth quality that will produce delightful sounds. This is a concerto model that’s suited for both practice and live concerts that you’ll always enjoy.
The wood used in the production of this bow is lightweight yet strong enough to resist even virtuoso or more demanding styles. The horse hair is taken from horses in Mongolia and you’ll definitely be glad to learn that it is natural and not bleached. In combination with the right rosin, you can get amazing performances out of this item.
The frog is made of high-density ebony and it features Parisian Eyes while the screw has a decoration that’s made of Mother of pearl.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.95)
Kmise Z5248 Carbon
With the Kmise Z5248 Carbon, you get a high-quality bow that comes with a lightweight design that’s also long-lasting, and that while selling for a more than affordable price. The stick is made with carbon fibers so you get a superior strength-to-weight ratio and a trusted bow to use in every concert possible.
This bow is designed for 4/4 cellos so you don’t have to worry about incompatibilities with any full-size model. Weighing just 2.82 ounces, this bow is very light while retaining a quick response so you don’t have to compromise performance for extra comfort. With this product, you also get hair from Mongolian horsetail so you know you benefit from a premium material.
The ebony frog is decorated with abalone inlays for an attractive look. The handle is wrapped in sheepskin as well as copper thread winding so that you get a good grip for energetic performances.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
Glasser 401H Horse Hair
The Glasser 401H is a ¾ cello bow that offers children and students an inexpensive alternative to the wooden bows. Fiberglass is a prime choice for many manufacturers due to its good strength, lightweight, as well as lower cost of production. However, this does not translate into a cheap product, as this unit is capable of producing superb sounds on just about any cello.
Because of the fiberglass construction, this bow will not warp in time regardless of storing conditions and humidity levels, so you get to enjoy the same performance every time. This product features a standard frog with a round inlay which helps keep the hairs tight and secure.
The horsehair used is unbleached and coming from a reliable source. The grip is wrapped with leatherette so you won’t risk any slippage due to sweaty hands during intense playing. Make sure you use a proper rosin for a round and deep sound.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($67.1)
Best cello strings
D’Addario Helicore Medium
If you’re looking for some quality cello strings that don’t cost a fortune, then the D’Addario Helicore Medium are a solid choice. These are meant for 4/4 full-size cellos and are suited for people who play medium tensioned strings. The effective play length is 27 1/2 inches so you should make sure to check your instrument to see if they fit.
These strings come with a strong construction that enables them to vibrate strongly in order to create powerful sounds that could fill a concert hall. The stranded steel core ensures that these can last for a long time even if you’re practicing a lot or using aggressive plucking techniques on the cello.
Thanks to the medium tension, you also get a quicker response with your bow and can optimize your playing for a wide range of styles. These strings are designed and manufactured in the United States.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($127.67)
Thomastik-Infeld S31 Spirocore
The Thomastik-Infeld S31 Spirocore is a set of high-grade cello strings that are used by both students and professionals around the world. These are designed, engineered, and manufactured in Austria, so you know you are getting a quality product by purchasing it.
These strings have a flexible spiral core which confers them strength as well as increased elasticity so they can vibrate for a longer period of time to give the cello its powerful yet warm sound. These strings are of the medium kind and they can fit on any instrument that comes in the standard 4/4 size.
The Spirocore design gives the strings less inertia in return for increased responsiveness so you can play even complex and fast compositions as well as classical works without a problem. These are more responsive on the lower C and G strings, offering a more traditional sound that should satisfy classical-oriented musicians.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($134.77)
Larsen Soloist 4/4
With the Larsen Soloist 4/4, you get some professional-grade strings for your cello which are sold at an affordable price. In fact, these won’t cost much more than a standard set of decent acoustic guitar strings so you’re actually benefiting from a great purchase if you choose this set.
These strings are made of a steel alloy which gives them strength as well as the ability to vibrate more than their rigid counterparts. These strings are medium gauge so they are suited to a wide range of musical styles. What this means is that you can effectively play the same strings for a longer period of time without having to spend money on different sets.
These come with a ball end which makes them easier to install on your cello. With these strings, you get to enjoy a more powerful timbre as well as an increased projection throughout the tonal range.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($45.74)
Pirastro Chromcor Medium
The Pirastro Chromcor is a set of reliable strings that all benefit from a quality construction that should provide you with countless days of joyful playing. Each string has a single filament steel core which results in a flexible yet strong filament for an easy and fast response.
The steel core is then wound with chrome steel for extra resistance as well as prolonged vibrations so that you get to benefit from a warmer sound. The A and G strings give you a bright sound while the G and D strings produce round and powerful sounds while also being quite easy to play.
These medium gauge strings are the standard choice for many cello players both young and old, and they are becoming more and more popular among educators. They also offer excellent tuning stability so you won’t risk your cello going out of tune in the worst possible moments.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Jargar Coated Steel
With the Jargar Coated Steel, you get a full set of strings for your 4/4 cello. All strings have ball ends which make them easy to replace so you can fix a broken string even in the middle of a performance, provided that you have the spares.
The strings are made of steel cores with chrome steel winding. These strings can produce a warm and round tone that you will learn to love. These medium gauge strings are handmade in Denmark so you get the peace of mind knowing that they have been manufactured according to the highest standards.
These strings are a favorite among both veteran cello players and students wishing to learn to play on this impressive and versatile instrument. You get a robust and bright tone that will lighten all your performances as well as enable you to play even traditional folk styles.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($90.5)
Yearly Guide & Report
Whether you’re looking for the best student cello or a model that has a professional-grade design, you’ve come to the right place. Especially if this is your first instrument, you might have many questions regarding the instrument itself as well as the main features you should look at in order to make an informed decision.
Here you’ll find information regarding essential aspects of a cello so that you’ll be able to pick the right model for your level, play style, specific needs, as well as budget.
Choose a cello suited to your level and style
This should be quite obvious, but before you buy your first instrument, you should make sure that you check some reviews of cellos for beginners in order to be able to compare models and pick the right one for your needs.
The best beginner cello will depend on your size and ability. If you’re planning to get a cello for your child, then opting for a smaller model such as a 1/10 or ⅛ might be a good choice. A reduced size would be ideal for a pair of small hands and be much easier to play on.
In case you’re not looking for your first instrument and want to upgrade, then you should be glad to learn that there are quite a few choices to be made. You can go for one of the best professional cello brands available on the market or try to stick to a cello with a more realistic price tag.
Tonewoods and design
When looking at instruments from the best cello makers, you surely want to check out the type of wood used. You can get a cheap cello which comes with a laminated top and decent back and sides or go for a more advanced model that features a solid spruce top and maple back and sides. There are also quite a few cellos that come with poplar or willow back and sides.
You’ll also find quite a few modern cellos that are made with carbon fiber. This has become a popular choice for some due to its high strength and lightweight. Carbon is often used for electric cellos, which might not be able to produce the warm and rich sound of wood, but they are still great for certain types of music and performances.
Bows, rosin, and strings
When looking for a decent cello, you shouldn’t forget that you also need a quality bow and rosin. The bow influences the sound of your cello quite a lot, so make sure you go for a quality model for sale. The stick can be made of normal wood, expensive Pernambuco, fiberglass, or even carbon.
The hair should be horsehair and preferably not bleached so that it retains its natural quality and ability to create beautiful sounds. You should also remember that your bow is nothing without rosin. This is a solid substance that is made of special resins. You apply it on your bow in order to increase grip on strings and create clearer and more powerful sounds.
Speaking of strings, you should make sure that you get a proper set for the specific sound you are looking for. The most popular are the medium gauge strings since they are versatile and suited to a wide range of styles. You might want some heavy-duty strings, and models that feature steel cores and chrome steel might do a very good job.
Because you’ll probably need to transport your cello at some point, you also want to get a proper carrying case. You can choose a lightweight model that isn’t intended to protect against powerful impacts or for a hard case that weighs quite a bit, but which can ensure that your instrument stays safe even if you accidentally drop it.
Before buying one, you should make sure that it fits your cello, and that implies that you are checking the size it can accommodate. For a snug fit, get one of the cases which come with a dense and thick foam interior with a precisely carved compartment. Velcro and straps also help secure your instrument and protect against bumps.
Unless you want to carry your accessories in another backpack, you should also try to get a model that has other compartments for your bow, rosin, sheets of music, spare strings, and other things you might need.
One important question that might linger in your mind is probably related to how much you should spend on a cello. The answer depends on quite a few factors, so there’s no easy solution here. If you’re just starting out and are doing this for fun, then you can check out some reviews of student cellos and choose a model that has an affordable price.
This way, you’ll get a decent quality instrument that can help you learn easily but without committing a large amount of money to it. If you decide that cellos are not for you, then you can sell it at a small loss and carry on.
If you’re planning on sticking to this amazing instrument, then you should be prepared to spend quite a bit of money on a high-end model. You don’t need to do this from your first purchase, especially since you’d be able to make a much better choice after learning a thing or two about cellos.
A stand can be a real helper
If you want to ensure maximum safety for your cello between playing sessions, then you should also invest in one of the stable music stands available online. Such a stand will enable you to keep the instrument safe while you are catching your breath after a strong performance or during breaks.
In case you have multiple cellos that you’re using during a single session, then getting a couple of stands is an obvious choice. A stand will prevent your cello from slipping or tipping so that you won’t risk damaging an instrument that most likely costs several thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
You can also use a stand to store your instrument while you’re not using it and at the same time ensure that it stays in a proper position and ready for playing.
Best cello brands
D Z Strad is an American manufacturer, restorer, and dealer of stringed instruments such as violins, violas, cellos, as well as accessories such as bows, strings, stable and lightweight violin stands, and more. The company is headquartered in NY, USA, and is currently serving a growing number of satisfied customers on the continent as well as in other parts of the world.
This company strives to provide any musician with a rich source of both information and quality products that offer great value for the money. You can find student models that are sold at an affordable price or high-end professional cellos that cost a small fortune.
Cecilio is an American manufacturer of various musical instruments, from string to woodwind to brass. Headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA, the company has a solid client base and it also sells many of its models through some of the largest online retailers in the world.
The company boasts that all stringed instruments are handcrafted, and this includes Cecilio violins and the modern line of cellos which are quite appreciated in the music world. You get to choose cellos from 4/4 full size down to 1/10. Each instrument is manufactured and inspected and it has to pass strict quality standards to end up on the market.
Cremona is a line of products designed and manufactured by Saga, an American company that specializes in stringed instruments such as guitars, ukuleles, violins, and cellos. The company boasts its 40+ years in the industry and highly regarded models that have reached all corners of the world.
The company mainly focuses on American and European-designed string instruments that are suited to both students and professionals. The Cremona line bears the name of the renowned Italian city where some of the best violins and cellos are made. The name perfectly reflects the high-quality craftsmanship and superior sounds these instruments can produce.
Merano is an American musical instruments company that has a vast collection of models with various designs. The company was founded in 2000 and it has become well-known in the music industry, mainly for its line of instruments that come with a quality build but more than affordable prices.
Many of its products, including cellos, are handcrafted and carefully selected so they offer powerful and rich sounds as well as an appealing exterior. All of these are achieved while still trying to maintain competitive prices so that both students and aspiring musicians can enjoy a good cello for the money.
Yamaha is a company that needs no introduction. Founded 130 years ago as a small reed organ family business, it grew into one of the largest corporations in the world and one of the most important musical instruments manufacturers in the industry.
Besides the highly acclaimed pianos, digital keyboards, amazing guitar amps or easy-to-use guitar tuner models, this company is also known for its quality cellos. Its line of cellos is meant to address the needs of professionals looking for high-grade instruments, as well as those of students or amateurs who may not have a particularly large budget for a first-time purchase.
Knilling is a reputable American string instruments company that designs and manufactures cellos, basses, violas, violins, as well as accessories such as precise violin tuner models and durable violin cases. The company was founded by Bernard Kornblum in St. Louis, Missouri, a location that still hosts its main headquarters.
Its experience and longstanding tradition have made it a prime choice for professionals looking for a high-grade instrument. Its use of quality tonewoods and designs ensures that the entire range of instruments is capable of offering focused and powerful sounds worthy of a grand hall concert.
D’Luca is a music instruments company based in Ontario, California. This American company creates highly appreciated guitars, percussion instruments, trumpets, cellos, and more. The company boasts a focus on children’s education and many of its resources go into producing quality instruments that are easy to play on and which also have low purchasing prices.
Each instrument is uniquely designed and manufactured in order to provide a fun and enriching experience to anyone, whether it’s a student practicing on a full-size 4/4 cello or a child playing for the first time on 1/10 model.
Crescent is a highly popular American manufacturer of cellos that is based in Southern California. Established in 2001, the company rose to prominence with reliable and durable models that are capable of offering inspiring performances and consistently good sound production.
Since then, it has become one of the most popular student cello brands, and the fact that it managed to keep many of its products in a low price range might have had something to do with that. Most cellos come with everything an aspiring musician needs to start playing, and that often includes extra strings, rosin, and carrying cases.