Best Cello – Budget Friendly Acoustic and Electric Cello Instruments for Beginner and Advanced Students

Just imagine your guests going crazy over a musical instrument in the far corner. Then you taking it down and blowing them away with some fine tunes. Well, with a cello’s sleek look and rich sound, this is just the beginning. You need to invest in a quality one though and selecting it from some of the best cello brands in town can be hard. But this review will help you make the right decision.

For our featured products, we focused on traditional, acoustic cellos in a mixture of levels and price ranges. Each of our chosen brands have other options of course, and we included links within the reviews to make things easier for you. However, we know there are some of you who are in the market for a modern, electric cello. We’ll be reviewing those soon, but here's a sneak peek at some of our favorites!


TopProducts may earn commissions when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Quality
Cello Size/s
Weight
Material
Bow
Our Top Choice
D Z Strad Model 100 Handmade Student Cello
D Z Strad is one company that ensures it offers more than just variety. When it comes to the range of products, this one never disappoints.
It features a wooden chinrest. Has an easy-to-play design for longevity and efficiency. Is handcrafted and has an oil-varnished finish. Designed with hand-carved pegs.
Some reports case not the greatest
Beginners
Available in 5 sizes
Depends on size
Oil-varnished Spruce & Maple
Bow is included
Best Value
Cecilio CCO-100 Student Outfit Cello
Are you into strings, woodwinds and brass, among others? Well, Cecilio is a wonderful place to turn for this rich diversity of musical instruments.
Quality is uncompromised with a crack-proof top. It is a sturdy and durable instrument with a tailpiece made of alloy and four integrated fine tuners. Using it is super-easy.
Isolated complaints of the bridge falling off.
Beginners
4 size options
Depends on size
Spruce & Maple
Brazil wood bow, horse hair
Cremona SC-500 Premier Artist Cello
Cremona has always been a trendsetter when it comes to excellence in music education.
A quality, ebony fingerboard and fittings. Has a lightweight composite tailpiece. It is ideal for both students and professionals. Has a solid spruce and maple body.
Can have a visible stain on the interior
Advanced students/professionals
Size 4/4
23.2 pounds
Maple and spruce, golden varnish
Brazil wood bow
D’Luca MC1800 Meister Ebony Fitted Cello
The meticulous crafting of cellos is not every company’s cup of coffee, but D’Luca has perfected this art to achieve great milestones in value and tone.
It is made of hand-carved maple for rigidity and durability. Comes with a Rosewood Mongolian horsehair bow. Designed with a solid wood frame.
It is not that easy to play
Advanced students/professionals
Size 1/4
50 pounds
Hand-carved maple, ebony finish
Rosewood Mongolian horsehair
Merano CL100-BK Black Handcrafted Cello
Merano has passed many other companies in offering a wide variety of products, catering for students and pros alike.
Has ebonized pegs and an alloy tailpiece. Designed with four tuners, giving you more control. Comes with an extra set of strings. Has a sturdy, hardwood bow.
The largest string might come loose after use.
Beginners
Size 4/4
150 pounds
Hand-carved spruce top
Wood stick bow/genuine horsehair

Related Reviews
Best Violin
Best Viola
Best Acoustic Guitar
Best Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar

What Is the Best Cello for Students and Advanced Celloists? Read Our Best Cello Reviews!

Now that you are well-informed on the various features to keep an eye out for, let us jump to the five products we have reviewed. Make sure you look for a cello that will work for you.

Related: Headphones vs Earbuds: How To Choose the One That’s Right for You
Our Top Choice
The handmade D Z Strad Student Cello features a comfortable wooden chinrest and an easy-to-play design for longevity and efficiency. If you are an experienced cello player, then check the gorgeous D Z Strad Model 600 cello handmade by prize winning Luthiers. It has a beautiful antique design and features genuine ebony fingerboard and fittings.

D Z Strad Handmade Student Cello Model 100 - 5 Sizes, Carved Top Instrument, Spruce and Maple, Comes with Case, Bow and Rosin


Features

Finding the best service out there in a busy market is never easy, but this company ensures customers get more than just remarkable service. You can’t go wrong with the cello, viola and violin classes, repairs, rentals, and piano lessons, to mention just a few of its services. As long as it has to do with the string community, then D Z Strad will always be there for you.

Not every cello in the market can showcase your expertise with the instrument, but the D Z Strad Student Cello is handmade and oil-varnished to take your experience to a completely new level.

This is not all – it comes with a whole lot of features. Here is what we are talking about:

  • Hand-carved pegs, a magnificent tailpiece and a stunning wooden chinrest for unprecedented appearance and performance
  • Original ebony fingerboard and fittings
  • Value-packed outfit, including a cello bow, case, prelude strings and rosin
  • Easy-to-play design, which makes it an ideal go-to choice for beginners and pros alike

Not to mention, the cello comes in 1/2-size, 1/4-size, 1/8-size, 3/4-size, and full size; for sure there is a size for you.

If you are looking for an easy-to-play cello, then get the D Z Strad Student Cello today!

Best Value
The Cecilio Student Outfit Cello’s quality is uncompromised, with the top made of crack-proof spruce for a sturdy and durable instrument. If you are looking for a cello with inlaid purfling, and the top, sides and back made of ebony that has aged for a minimum of seven years, then check out the Cecilio CCO-600 Ebony Fitted Highly-Flamed Solid Wood Cello.

Cecilio Student Cello with Stand, Soft Case, Bow and Extra Strings – Available in Several Colors and Sizes


Features

Cecilio is one of the most renowned companies when it comes to quality and value. And this dedication goes beyond the confines of these two virtues. The customer service is beyond compare, with aspects as maintenance, warranty, and such, catered to. If there is one company that never disappoints out there, it has to be this one.

If you are a musical die-hard, you already know that finding an ideal cello can be a big deal, but not the easiest task, of course. Luckily, with the Cecilio Student Outfit Cello, you can be sure to get the best value for your money with the sturdy make of this instrument. Best of all, it includes a whole lot of other features that you can’t help but go out of your way for.

Here is what we are talking about:

  • A crack-proof top, and a similarly outstanding maple neck, back and sides give you unrivaled quality.
  • A maple fingerboard and an alloy tailpiece make it not only easy to carry around, but also fun to use.
  • High-luster varnish finish gives it an outright remarkable appearance.
  • A padded, soft carrying case makes this cello super-easy for you to carry around, especially if you want to travel with it.
  • An extra set of strings, integrated fine tuners, and a Brazil wood bow offer something special that makes this cello an exceptional instrument.

If you are looking for variety, this is exactly what you will get, as this cello comes in four different sizes and colors. Yes, you can get yourself a blue or pink cello, or just a natural-colored one.

A quality, ebony fingerboard and fittings and a lightweight composite tailpiece make this Premier Artist Cello an ideal tool for both advanced students and professionals. If you are looking for a cello for a beginner, consider the Cremona SC-130 Premier Novice Cello Outfit. It's made from solid hand carved tonewoods and comes in four sizes.

Cremona SC-500 Premier Artist 4/4 Full Size Cello Outfit - Best Tone Quality for Advanced Celloists and Students, Set-Up to Educational Standards


Features

Not every company out there succeeds in perfecting the art of creating the best-quality musical instruments. But Cremona has taken the edge in this field, making cellos that are not only beautiful in appearance and long-lasting, but that also produce impressive tones.

Since the harmonies of a well-played cello took hold of you, you have never turned back. And this Cremona Premier Artist Cello can help you on your journey. Well-made ebony fittings and fingerboard are sufficient to bring out the best in your expertise.

There are a lot more features to look at; check them out:

  • The spruce is hand-carved and solid for a sturdy design, and a maple body adds to this cello’s beauty.
  • A deluxe Brazil wood bow with a golden red-brown varnish will last you for generations.
  • A well-padded bag makes transport and storage easy and effortless.
  • Unique prelude strings and an Aubert Bridge make this cello an unparalleled instrument in the market.
The Meister Ebony Fitted Cello is made of hand-carved maple for rigidity and durability. If you are looking for a beginner cello that has a portable stand, a protective padded bag and a clip-on chromatic tuner, then check out the D'Luca MC100 Meister Student Cello package. The cello itself is available in four sizes.

D'Luca Meister Handmade Ebony Fitted Cello - 1/4 Size, Hand Carved Select Maple Back & Sides


Features

Nothing can stop you in your pursuit of quality music like using the wrong instrument. This is why D’Luca is committed to offering customers nothing less than top-quality musical tools that make the best tunes. And the company has achieved this with tremendous success, making a significant impact on the industry and establishing a lasting impression.

That time when all you want is to play some relaxing tunes after a stressful day at work, may be the day your musical instrument lets you down. Nothing can be worse than the disappointment and frustration, but this D’Luca Meister Ebony Fitted Cello with hand-carved maple back and sides is made to keep playing against all odds.

This is not all it has to offer; check out its other interesting features:

  • An endpin with chrome tube and brass tip offers outstanding balance when in use.
  • Ebony fittings make this cello a great tool you can enjoy either on your own or with your friends.
  • The Mongolian horsehair in this instrument is a magnificent feature.
  • With a sturdy, wooden frame and ebony finish, you get the best combination of great looks and lasting service.
The Black Handcrafted Cello has ebonized pegs and an alloy tailpiece with four tuners, giving you more control. Want a white student cello package? The Merrano MC100WT Cello has all the same features.

Merano Black Grace Acoustic Cello for Students, Beginners with Bag and Bow - 4/4 Full Size


Features

A combination of quality and experience can go a long way as far as music is concerned. The experience is on your part, but the quality depends on the instrument you have. Merano has built on the second aspect to ensure nothing stands in your way when it comes to having fun with your cello. You can confidently enjoy all the orchestras and symphonies you want.

While playing any musical instrument can be quite an experience, there is something about cellos that seems to go above and beyond. The ebonized pegs in this Merano Black Handcrafted Cello can take you all the way, not to mention that it also comes with other interesting qualities to keep an eye on too.

Here are the amazing features you should look out for:

  • Well-designed fingerboard, making its use super-easy and fun too.
  • Built-in fine tuners in this cello’s alloy tailpiece ensure easy and hassle-free tuning.
  • A padded carrying bag makes the cello easier to transport.
  • This cello comes with an extra set of strings.
  • The hardwood frog and wood stick horsehair in this cello offer a rare and unprecedented value for your money.

Best Cello Instrument Buying Guide - How Do I Choose the Best Cello for My Experience Level?

Picture an instrument that makes all the difference on stage and goes the distance in moving your audience. A cello is what you need, and yes, it is crafted to offer more than just great sound, but comfort during use as well. This is provided by the chinrest pad or shoulder rest that may come with the cello, or that you can purchase separately. All you need is time to hone your skills.
 
Being a pro cello player is one thing, but having the right tool for the job is another. And this is where a good-quality cello comes into the story. What puts this instrument above most is its magnificent design, stunning colors and, of course, perfect tunes. And once you have honed your skills enough, you can capture your mastery with a voice recorder or the high-end camcorder in your room. Go ahead and show off to your friends the fine tunes you have composed.
 
But you will likely face a fair share of difficulty traveling with such a delicate instrument. Nevertheless, this doesn’t have to be a pain in your neck, at least not when you have a wheeled cello case on hand. Just strap in the cello and be on your merry way to share the lovely tunes you have been practicing. For sure, playing your cello can’t be more fun.
 
We’ve reviewed five of the top cellos around, but here are some of their features to check out first.  

 

Video: How To Start Playing The Cello

Tutorial on How To Start Playing The Cello. | Courtesy of Videojug
Price

With its performance and décor, it is safe to say that a cello’s quality comes at a price. If you are ready to spend any amount between $200 and $1000, you can get yourself a good cello that will last you for years without giving in to heavy use.

Not every cello out there is worth the asking price, but the market is full of cheap cellos that are unreliable. If you ever come across such instruments, steer clear. Usually, this type lacks important features like the right strings, material or bow, which are essential for durability and sound quality.

Features

Getting the right cello can be quite a task, especially if you are just starting out. But looking out for the following features can help in choosing a well-built instrument that will last you for ages.

Here are some of the features you need to consider:

  • Quality – Most cellos are built to cater to users across the board, from beginners to intermediate users and professionals as well. It all boils down to your preference, level of practice, and sometimes the budget you have set aside for the purchase.
  • Cello Sizes – With a wide variety of cello sizes in the market, you can always get the right fit for you. And if you are not sure you will get the right size, try looking for one with an adjustable endpin to adjust to your height.
  • Weight – Just as with size, these instruments come in a wide variety of weights to ensure there is something for everyone. The right weight for you is out there.
  • Material – Since cellos are built to last, they are usually made of sturdy wood and may be hand-varnished with an 100% oil finish for durability. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the elegance of any cello compromises its quality, especially if you are going for the high-end type.
  • Bow – The bow of every quality cello is made for perfection too, and may include Brazil wood and horsehair, among other interesting features.
Construction and Design

Construction and design is at the heart of every cello in the market, and most of those instruments are designed to offer more than the best.

Material - This is important for manufacturing an ideal cello that can stand the challenge of everyday use and still make a stunning sound. To achieve this, most of these instruments are made of high-quality wood with a lustrous varnish. Most feature a spruce top, while the other segments are built from maple for absolute rigidity, unique look, and sound. This makes the cello not only a heavy-duty tool, but also a decorative instrument to have in your house.

Handcrafted - Although many cellos today are not handcrafted, this method of making cellos is still the best and it is used in making most of them. There is always something special about handcrafted cellos. These instruments produce an amazing sound that brings out the artistic work in its construction and design.

Strings - Strings are far from just an inevitable necessity in a cello; they are the heart of your experience in playing this instrument. The strings make all the difference between having discomfort in playing your cello and having the best of times with it. Strings come in two types; the nylon ones, which are recommended for beginners, and steel strings for advanced users.

Variety of Colors - Speaking of a cello’s design, color makes a great impact on its appearance. This does not influence the quality of the instrument’s sound, but gives a unique feeling to it. For most musicians, practice is just a way of preparing to put on a show and impress big crowds someday. This is where the issue of color comes into play. At such a time, you will need an instrument that you can be proud of as you step onstage.

 

Video: How To Tune Your Cello

Demonstration of How to Tune a Cello. | Courtesy of Sarah Joy
Performance and Ease of Use

Performance is among the most important factors that you cannot overlook, especially if you are looking for an ideal cello. This can determine the difference between an instrument you will be proud of and one that you will regret owning.

Tuning - This involves setting the strings in the position that you want to use them. It goes a long way in getting the perfect sound from your instrument. In most cases, going for a cello with a clip-on tuner adds to the ease of tuning it, since this tuner is hands-free. Some cellos feature large tuning pegs. These are easy to handle and turn, making the tuning a breeze If you come across one with the strings already tuned, then you can go for that and start playing immediately.

Holding the Tune - Most cellos are built to hold the tune, which means that once you have it properly tuned, it will stay like that for a long time; all you need to do is pick up your instrument and play. Purchasing a cello that holds the tune well will make cello practice less work and more fun, not to mention that you won’t have to interrupt your performance because the instrument is out of tune.

Comfort - For the most comfortable cello-playing experience, many manufacturers include an adjustable endpin. The endpin is a little metal piece at the bottom of the cello that sticks out, on which the instrument rests when in use. The best thing about getting a cello with an adjustable endpin is that you can move it up or down to match the height of the instrument to your height.


Get the Best Cello of 2021!

With the market flooded with dozens of cello brands, making the right choice can be difficult, considering the variety. However, we are here to help, and our team has invested a significant amount of time making sure you can choose from the best cellos out there without a struggle. But if you haven’t found what you need yet, don’t worry. You can always browse these sites for a whole lot of other interesting models that fit your budget and needs.

Our Top Choice
D Z Strad Model 100 Handmade Student Cello
Best Value
Cecilio CCO-100 Student Outfit Cello
Cremona SC-500 Premier Artist Cello
D’Luca MC1800 Meister Ebony Fitted Cello
Merano CL100-BK Black Handcrafted Cello

Cello FAQs

What is a Cello?
A cello is a bowed (sometimes plucked) string musical instrument, similar to a violin. It has four strings that are tuned in fifths ranging between low and high. The music played on a cello is in the bass clef. However, treble clef and tenor clef may apply in passages of a higher range. It is usually played by a cellist.
How to play the cello?
Before you can play the cello, you have to sit upright in a firm chair, with the hips at a higher level than the knees. The back should be in a straight posture. Place the cello in between your knees in a balanced way with the strings facing away from you. Ensure the body of the cello is resting upon your chest. Adjust the endpin so that you attain the right height.
How to tune a cello?
To tune a cello, you have to start by knowing the different strings – A, D, G, and C, in descending order of thickness. The tuning you will do depends on the number of strings that require tuning. Moving step by step, pluck the string to give a tone followed by pushing and turning the peg to loosen or tighten according to the pitch guide. You may leave it slightly loose so as not to pressurize the bridge. Since strings affect each other, you may have to repeat the tuning over again. After tuning all the other strings, check that the bridge remains in a perfect perpendicular position. Tune the strings once again until the tone is as close to perfection as possible. Now you can use the fine tuners to get the perfect tone. However, please do not turn the fine tuner as it can dent the cello.
How much does a cello cost?
The cost of a cello mainly depends on the model and brand. As such, the most affordable instruments may cost somewhere about $1,000. However, the most expensive cellos go for as much as $1,000,000.
How many strings does a cello have?
A cello has four strings – A, D, G, and C in descending order of their thickness. Thus A has the highest pitch and C the lowest.