10 Best Cello Brands & Models 2019 – Buying Guide

Buying a cello can be expensive so you want to make sure that you are buying the right cello. You want to buy a cello from a company that is known for making high-quality instruments. This generally shows through in the external beauty of the instrument, but also the sound.

Our list of the best cello brands below is based on quality and affordability. It is intended to help you select a high-value cello brand that fits within your budget.

Every cello brand on this list may not suit your individual personality. You need to find a cello that sounds right to you and that you know you will play for a long time, but also fits in your budget.

Cellos are expensive instruments, usually costing between $200-$5000 depending on the level of quality, so we wanted to make sure that we provided you with a list of the best cello brands.

Best Cello Brands 2019

We have listed our favorite cello brands below. We’ll start with an overview of the best cellos for beginners, intermediate players, and advanced players. We’ll then list the remainder of our recommended cello brands below in the order that we recommend them. If you’re only looking for beginner cellos, check out our guide on the best cello brands for beginners.

Use this list as a guideline for which cello brands to buy. While not every cello brand on this list will fit your budget, experience level, or other search criteria, we hope it provides a great baseline to begin your search.

Best Cello Brand for Beginners

Cecilio, one of the most well-known cello brands, makes great instruments for beginners. Their cellos are high-quality at an affordable price. We recommend the CCO-100 and CCO-500 depending on your budget.

Features:
• Affordable
• Quality
• Complete starter kit

cecilio cello

Best Cello Brand for Intermediate Players

Consistently rated as some of the best mid-tier cellos, D Z Strad cellos are known for their quality sound. Even though this is a mid-tier cello, the cellos come with everything you need to start playing.

Features:
• Highly rated
• High-quality sound
• Includes bow and case

d z strad cello

Best Cello Brand for Advanced Players

Eastman’s hand-crafted cellos are known to be some of the best cellos for advanced players since they combine beauty with sound quality. Often going for $1,500+, these cellos should only be purchased by those who need a very high-quality instrument.

Features:
• Beautiful sound
• Look amazing
• Hand-crafted

eastman cello

Cecilio

Recommended For: Beginner

Cecilio is a maker of great student cellos. They make student cellos are a large discount to traditional student cello manufacturers and their cellos are all hand-made. This is why we rated Cecilio as our number one cello brand.

Cecilio cellos are hand-carved from tonewoods with spruce tops, flamed maple sides and back, and inlaid purfling. This gives their cellos a look that exceeds their modest price point.

These cello outfits come with everything you need to get started, including a quality brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair and both a soft and hard case! Great value for your money.

Given the value you get for the price, the Cecilio cello brand gets our highest vote, but if you are an advanced player, we recommend looking at some of the higher-end cellos below.

Recommended Models:

Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello

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Cecilio CCO-500 Student Cello

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D Z Strad

Recommended For: Intermediate

DZ Strad cellos are our favorite mid-tier cello because of their sound quality and fine craftsmanship. The Model 150 in particular is a great instrument for the intermediate cello student because of these two features.

The company has workshops in New York and Minnesota so you know that these instruments are made with American quality in mind. The cellos themselves are hand-carved with Italian tonewoods that have been naturally dried which ensures stability.

D Z Strad cellos come with a soft cello case and a cello bow. For a high-quality cello that ranges between $600-$2000 depending on size, D Z Strad cellos offer a ton of value.

Recommended Models:

D Z Strad Model 101

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DZ Strad Model 150

 

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Eastman Strings

Recommended For: Advanced

While Eastman Strings does make student model cellos, they are well-known for making advanced violins and cellos that sound beautiful which is why we highly recommend them for the advanced player. Strings Magazine often recommends Eastman VC- 305 cellos for advanced players due to their playability and tone.

The cellos are handcrafted with a select spruce top and highly flamed maple back, ribs, and scroll. They come in either Stradivari or Tertis patterns. Outfits generally come with a base Despiau bridge, which can of course be modified after-market, and a metal alloy tailpiece.

Outfits on Amazon usually only include the instrument, no bow or case. As Eastman’s cellos are built for advanced players, the bow choice is often up to the player.

Recommended Models:

Eastman Model VC305

eastman vc305

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Eastman Concertante

 

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Stentor

Recommended For: Beginner

Stentor cellos have made a name for themselves by making good quality cellos at an affordable price, similar to Cecilio. Stentors are great instruments to learn on before transferring to a professional cello. We like these beginner cellos and highly recommend them if you’re not into the Cecilios.

Based in the United Kingdom, Stentor manufactures the instruments in Chinese workshops, but checks each instrument for quality before delivery to your home or store.

Stentor is sure to have the right cello for your student, from absolute beginner to slightly below intermediate.  They come in a variety of sizes and are very sturdy, a plus for parents worried about durability while being transported to and from school.

Stentor cellos are crafted out of solid tonewoods and include a solid ebony fingerboard, pegs, and fittings with maple sides and back, and a spruce top.

The starter kits on Amazon come with a cello bag, bow (usually brazilwood), and rosin.

Recommended Models:

Stentor 1102 Student Cello

 

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Stentor 1108 Student Cello

Stentor 1108 cello

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Primavera

Recommended For: Intermediate

Primavera cellos are a very affordable intermediate cello brand. Slightly more expensive than many of the beginner brands ($600-$1000), Primavera cellos are made out of high quality solid tonewoods, including hand carved maple and spruce with inlaid purfling. The fingerboard and pegs are made out of carved ebony, as well as the fittings. In addition, the Primavera intermediate cello outfit comes with a “student-proof” (ie. very strong) composite bow with an ebony frog and Mongolian horsehair. To make it even more student-proof, you can get a hard cello case for it.

Primavera has made several decisions to cut costs while improving the musical experience. For example, they use a metal alloy tailpiece with four fine tuners, instead of a solid wood tailpiece.

Primavera beginner cello outfits come in many sizes, so you can find the proper fit for you or your child. Most also come with a hardwood bow and soft bag.

Cremona

Recommended For: Beginner

Cremona cellos make great beginner instruments for a decent price tag. While the parts are made in China, Cremona cellos are assembled in California, so there is definitely American craftsmanship involved. Made out of select tone woods, such as hand-carved maple, spruce, and ebony, these cellos perform pretty well as-is, but can sound a lot better with minor improvements.

Out-of-the-box, Cremona cellos come with Prelude strings which are okay, but swapping them out for a higher-quality cello string brand can make a world of difference.

Cremona cellos are manufactured in the Cremona workshop in California using MENC standards. The MENC standard ensures that the instruments are playable out-of-the-box, and can be easily integrated into your child’s school orchestra or ensemble.

Each outfit on Amazon is shipped with a high-quality Brazilwood bow and a cello bag.

Recommended Models:

Cremona SC-100 Student Cello

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Cremona SC-130 Student Cello

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Merano

Recommended For: Beginner

Merano’s make great beginner cellos for those who are very price-concious. Most of their cellos sell for a little more than $200, and while you won’t be able to sell them for much, they will meet the requirements of any beginner who needs a basic instrument to get started.

Merano fingerboards are not made from ebony so you will probably need to replace the fingerboard at some point if you keep it for long enough.

If you are on a budget, Merano cellos will work well.

Outfits on Amazon include a ton of extras including an extra set of strings, an extra bridge, rosin, cello bag, music stand, and electronic tuner. Buying a Merano cello outfit is one way to be up and playing in no time.

Recommended Models:

Merano MC100 Student Cello

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Merano MC200 Student Cello

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Conclusion

While most of the cello outfits above come with everything you need to get started, some of the packages don’t come with everything you need. Cellos need the following basic accessories such as rosin, a rock stop, a bow, a case/bag, etc. To find out what else you need, check out this buying checklist for cellos.

Buying a musical instrument online is a fairly recent thing with the advent of the internet. If you don’t feel comfortable buying an instrument online, we recommend trying out cellos at a local music shop before you shop online for the best deal. However, if you feel comfortable with Amazon’s return policy, you can certainly buy from them and return the cello if it doesn’t sound quite right.

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Bobby
Bobby plays both the violin and viola. He performs in several orchestras around the Pittsburgh area and is currently attending Carnegie Mellon University for his Master's.

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