19 Best Cello Reviews 2017 – Best Cello Brands

Best Cello

Best Cello

For those who love orchestral instruments, the cello is likely one of the warmest-sounding of the string section. If equated with the human voice, it would match up from the bass (the lowest string: C) to the tenor range (the highest string: A), making it an ideal instrument for playing any male vocal lines from any work. When in an orchestra or even smaller ensemble, the cello can provide a haunting, mellow backdrop to higher-pitched instruments such as the violas, violins, or perhaps harp or woodwinds.

Of course, depending on the score, a group of cellos can take the lead in providing much-needed drama and tension during certain film scenes, such as in Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. And then there are the numerous cello concertos written by Mozart and Haydn, to say nothing of more modern works written for this amazing instrument that can both soothe and bring excitement.

2) Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello

  • Beautiful
  • Crack-Proof
  • Natural 
  • Full Size 
  • Best Seller

1) D Z Strad Cello Model 101

  • Genuine Fittings
  • Hand Oil-Varnished
  • Elegant ‘fleur-de-lis’ Style
  • Smaller Size

3) Merano 4/4 Size Cello

  • High Quality
  • 2 Bow Holders
  • Maple Back and Sides
  • Metal Alloy Tailpiece

You might have seen the cello featured in popular ensembles such as The Piano Guys, or have heard the famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform, or anything in between that has inspired you or a younger musician in your life to pick up the cello and learn.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to play the cello, we have provided a review guide of 19 of the best cellos for you, so you can decide which model you want, and whether you want just the instrument, or if you want a complete kit.

19 Best Cello Reviews and the Best Cello Brands

There are quite a wide array of cellos in this guide, so you should have no trouble getting a good start on deciding which one you might want the most, and then doing more research from there. This guide is for anyone starting out on their musical journey or looking to upgrade from their current make and model.

1) D Z Strad Cello Model 101 Full Size; Handmade

Are you looking for the best the world of stringed instruments has to offer? Then you might end up putting the DZ Strad on your ‘short list’ pretty much right away.

The DZ Strad cello has much to offer anyone who either wants to start playing or has played in the string section for a number of years. As it says in the title, the instrument is handmade, meaning special care and attention has been paid to every aspect of proper craftsmanship. But the value in this package is not just the cello. Have a look at the following specs:

  • 100% hand oil-varnished
  • Genuine ebony fingerboard and fittings
  • Elegant ‘fleur-de-lis’-style design on the frog of the bow
  • Cello comes with spare strings, carrying bag, bow, and rosin

This cello comes in smaller sizes, too, so if the full size doesn’t fit the chosen player, you’re not stuck with still searching.

As for the sound, players of all skill levels will find that not only does the sound live up to the craftsmanship, but this instrument’s overall playability matches its great sound.

2) Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello with Soft Case, Stand, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Extra Set of Strings, Size 4/4 (Full Size)

If you’re looking for a cello for yourself or your middle-school age child, this might be what you’re looking for. Not only does the cello have a beautiful high-luster varnish that highlights the natural maple and spruce wood grain, but it’s part of a kit, which includes:

  • Soft carrying case
  • Rosin
  • Brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Bridge
  • Cello stand
  • Extra set of strings
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty against defects
  • Availability in other great colors

The cello’s spruce top is crack-proof, which should help bring peace of mind concerning possible accidents. It’s also full-sized, which, according to most cello sizing charts, the best recommended size for anyone 12 and older. That said, depending on your child’s height and growth pattern, you might need something a bit smaller.

Keep in mind that when you receive the cello after ordering, it arrives without the bridge set up in order to prevent unnecessary damage to the cello in transit. If you’re not sure how to set it up, you can always ask your child’s teacher or someone at a music store.

3) Merano 4/4 Size Cello with Hard Case, Bag and Bow+2 Sets of Strings, Cello Stand, Black Music Stand, Metro Tuner, Mute & Rosin

Merano 4/4 Size Cello with Hard Case

Many cellos come as part of a kit these days, but very few kits are quite as complete-sounding as the assembly of accessories that come with this Merano full-size cello. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Hard case
  • Carrying bag w/wheels (A plus if you plan on wheeling your instrument through bus or airplane terminals or even just around a big city.)
  • Hardwood bow with genuine horsehair
  • Music stand
  • Tuner
  • Mute (a plus if you’re rehearsing in a house or apartment at night)
  • Cello stand
  • Rosin
  • Spare strings

As for the cello, you’ll be pleased by the spruce top and maple back and sides, which are complemented by black hardwood tuning pegs and fingerboard. The tailpiece is a metal alloy with four built-in fine-tuner pegs.

Keep in mind that when you start tuning the cello, the pegs at the top may not stay in place, and the strings may need to be retuned multiple times during practice sessions. This is not uncommon, but you might want to have your instructor look at the cello if such issues continue.

4) D Z Strad Cello Model 150 Handmade 4/4 Full Size

We featured another DZ Strad cello right at the beginning of this review guide, but this is a different model altogether. This is the 150 model, also full-size, with equal, let alone superior, craftsmanship and sound quality. The 150 is the model to get if you’re a dedicated cellist who wants nothing but the best. The specs for this cello are as follows:

  • 100% hand-carved, 100% hand oil-varnished; this is a solid carved piece and not laminated
  • Bow has mother-of-pearl inlay and elegant ‘fleur-de-lis’-style design on the frog
  • Ebony fingerboard, pegs, and tailpiece

When you purchase this cello, you’re not just getting the instrument. It comes with a padded carrying case to protect your investment with plenty of pockets to carry the accompanying rosin and spare set of steel strings. The rosin is by Hidersine, made in England, and is probably the best cello rosin you’re likely to find.

One thing that differentiates this cello from others is that it arrives all set up and ready to play, pleasing those who can’t wait to start playing as soon as the instrument arrives.

5) Windsor MI-3006 4/4 Size Cello with Padded Bag

For the beginning to intermediate student, you will want to have a look at the Windsor MI-3006 full-size cello. Beautifully crafted yet affordable, the MI-3006 sports a spruce top and maple back and sides for a resonance that you often find in the professional-level cellos. Here are more specs for this particular model:

  • Wood and horsehair bow, w/ebony-style frog
  • Ebony-style fingerboard and tuning pegs
  • Adjustable height spike
  • Bow rosin included
  • Four fine-tuning pegs
  • Comes with a padded carrying bag complete with adjustable straps and separate pockets for bow, rosin and spare strings.

Most cellos are shipped with the bridge not set up yet, and normally, you’d have to have the bridge set up for you, but the Windsor comes with setup instructions for the bridge, so you can have it all put together, tuned and playing in no time. This instrument also allows a student to easily advance to a Grade 5 standard.

Like other quality cellos, this model is covered by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty which protects against any defects, should there be any upon your cello’s arrival.

6) Crescent 4/4 Beginner Cello Starter Kit – Natural Wood Color (Bag, Bow, Accessories & Stand)

This full-size cello from Crescent is part of a convenient starter kit for beginners that has just the right amount of essentials for the budget-conscious. The cello itself is constructed of a crack-proof spruce top and maple back and sides, completed with a rosewood fingerboard and set of tuning pegs.

The tail piece is alloyed with four aluminum fine-tune pegs. Other specs include:

  • Bow with rosewood frog and genuine horsehair
  • Padded carrying case with adjustable straps (convenient for carrying on your back to school or orchestra practice)
  • Container of rosin
  • Cello stand
  • Extra packet of strings

The bridge is not set up, of course, but unlike the Windsor cello, there are no instructions for setup so if you wish to do the setup yourself, you can’t go wrong with looking online for videos, since it’s rather easier to watch someone else do something than having to read instructions that may not be all that well-written, let alone have helpful photos. That said, there’s nothing wrong with having the bridge set up for you by a teacher or music store tech.

7) Cecilio CCO-500 Ebony Fitted Flamed Solid Wood Cello with Hard & Soft Case, Stand, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Extra Set of Strings, Size 4/4 (Full Size)

The CCO-500 cello is not a model to be overlooked. Not with the extra accessories that come with this lovely instrument made of hand-carved, solid spruce with a high-luster varnish, topped off with ebony fingerboard, tuning pegs, and tailpiece.

Unlike other models that just have the soft carrying case, this kit ships with both a hard-shell and soft case, giving you more storage and protection options. For example, if you’re just taking the cello to a rehearsal room someplace, you might just want the soft case for hauling it around town or around campus.

But if you’re traveling with an orchestra on tour, you will want the hard case, as many instruments as large as a cello will get put either in the back of a truck or under a bus, depending on your transportation arrangements. Other specs for this kit include:

  • Rosin
  • Extra strings
  • Brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Cello stand
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty

The CCO-500 is full-size, meaning this will be a good instrument for students 12+ years and older, but height still might be a factor.

8) Cecilio CCO-300 Solid Wood Cello with Hard & Soft Case, Stand, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Extra Set of Strings, Size 4/4 (Full Size)

If this cello kit looks familiar, you’re right, it is. Everything about the CCO-300 kit is much like the CCO-500, with some specific exceptions: the CCO-500 has an ebony fingerboard, tailpiece, and pegs, but the CCO-300 has a maple fingerboard and boxwood tailpiece and tuning pegs, and the maple back and sides are not “flamed” like the 500 model is. Other than that, the cello itself is pretty much the same as its brother instrument. Here is what you get in the kit:

  • Hard case
  • Soft case
  • Rosin
  • Extra strings
  • Brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Cello stand
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty

Both the 300 and 500 models are hand-carved, so you’ll be experiencing top-level sound which will be pleasing for the beginning or intermediate player, pushing them to keep practicing and rehearsing. After all, nothing quite motivates a young learner like a great instrument that makes them sound great, especially while working through a particularly challenging piece of music. Also, a well-crafted instrument will last much longer, making the CCO-300 an investment, and not just an ordinary purchase.

9) Cremona SC-165 Premier Student Cello Outfit – 4/4 Size

You might have heard of this brand before if you were ever searching for violins to try out. Not only do they make violins, they make cellos as well, and this particular instrument is one of their finest, suitable for the beginner to intermediate level player, and maybe beyond.

This instrument only ships with a case, so here are the specs just for the cello:

  • Hand-carved out of spruce (top) and maple (back, sides and neck)
  • Antique translucent brown finish; this might be more appealing to the tradition-minded out there
  • Ebony fingerboard and fittings
  • Indian rosewood tailpiece
  • J. LaSalle LB-13C Brazilwood bow and unbleached horsehair; ebony frog
  • Crafted to not just meet, but exceed MENC standards, making this a superb choice for both high school and college learners

Concerning ease of playability and sound tone, your budding cellist will find themselves wanting to practice much more often and will experience much pride in playing the SC-165 right alongside others. Plus, thanks to the MENC standards to which this cello adheres, any conductor would be pleased with your student’s choice.

10) Kinglos 4/4 Green Red Heart Colored Solid Wood Student Cello Kit with Soft Case, Stand, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Extra set of strings Full Size (HSDT012)

If you’re searching for a new cello to try out, perhaps one with a true ‘artsy’ feel to it, try the Kinglos full-size green and red-heart colored instrument. The green background and red hearts will show off your unconventional personality as well your passion for music. But of course, visual design isn’t enough. The cello has to have strong construction specs, and the Kinglos certainly measures up:

  • Crackproof plywood body
  • Maple neck and hardwood fingerboard and fittings
  • Patented coloring technology that locates and docks the network of pigment with the wood. This means the design isn’t just painted on.

The cello comes with quite a few handy accessories, for your peace of mind. There’s a soft padded case, rosin, Brazilwood bow w/unbleached horsehair, extra strings and a cello stand.

You might be concerned about the usage of plywood in a cello, but plywood can be surprisingly strong, and the tone from this Kinglos cello is truly beautiful. It’s also easy to set up, meaning you will be able to dive into the thing you love most: playing and practicing your favorite music.

11) RATA 4/4 Full-Size Purple Cello W/Bag, Bow, Free Rosin, 2 Sets Of Strings, Pitch Pipe, Cello Stand & Music Stand

So, you’ve likely looked at the more basic kits and decided you need an entire set-up. The RATA full-size cello and its accompanying accessories should be just right for you then. Here’s what you’ll be getting:

  • The cello itself is purple, but the wood it’s carved from is a classic spruce-maple combination to give the cello that recognizable mellow tone; equipped with hardwood pegs and fingerboard, with an alloy tailpiece
  • Bow with hardwood frog and white horsehair
  • Rosin
  • Padded carrying case; adjustable straps
  • 2 extra sets of strings
  • Pitch pipe
  • Cello & music stand

A note about the pitch pipe: it is plastic, and the fact that it’s merely a pitch pipe and not an electronic tuner may be something of a turn-off for the more serious musicians out there. However, there are good inexpensive tuners, and your teacher will likely recommend a brand.

The music stand folds up for storage. However, such thin metal stands have a tendency to tip over on the carpet. So if your preferred practice area is carpeted, you may want something more sturdy.

12) Cecilio CCO-600 Ebony Fitted Hand Oil-Rubbed Highly Flamed Solid Wood Cello, Size 4/4 (Full Size)

Cecilio CCO-600 Ebony Fitted Hand Oil-Rubbed Highly Flamed Solid Wood Cello

Quality instruments for the beginning or intermediate cello student are a worthy investment, and the Cecilio CCO-600 is definitely among the higher-ranking models. Its warm, rich tone and playability are perfect for the student who wants to go beyond their current skill level, as just the sound alone will inspire them to practice more often.

By this point, an avid cellist will want to know exactly what they (or their parents) are purchasing, so here are the specs:

  • Solid spruce top, highly flamed maple back and sides; the wood’s been aged for 7+ years, so this cello’s truly a beauty
  • Hand-rubbed oil finish
  • Ebony fingerboard, tailpiece and pegs w/nickel-plated fine-tuners. This may prove problematic for those who have nickel allergies, so use your best judgment
  • 1-year warranty against defects

You’ll also receive a number of helpful accessories:

  • Hard shell and soft cases
  • Rosin
  • Cello stand
  • Brazilwood bow w/ebony frog, inlaid mother-of-pearl, unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Extra set of strings

Since quality and value are important to satisfaction, the CCO-600 is a good all-around investment, musically and otherwise.

13) GRACE 4/4 Size Natural Cello with Bag and Bow, Rosin & Extra Set of Strings

If the music itself is grace personified, then this cello brand name is appropriate. This full-size model is a great starter instrument for someone who wants good value at a budget-friendly price. Here’s why the Grace 4/4-size cello would be a good fit for you or the budding young cellist in the family:

  • Classic spruce-and-maple wood combination: spruce top, w/maple back, sides and neck
  • Hardwood pegs and fingerboard
  • Alloy tailpiece with built-in fine tuners
  • Bow with hardwood frog and white horsehair
  • Carrying bag with plenty of cushioning for carrying your instrument without worry of damage
  • Rosin and set of extra strings included

This set is ideal for students who want a cello kit, but might already have a cello stand, tuner or extra bag, which are accessories that other kits include. Thus this kit makes a great gift to give a middle-school-age musician who’s been yearning for such an instrument, but the other multi-accessory kits are out of your budget.

Whatever your scenario, the Grace full-size cello is sure to meet your needs with high-quality construction, great playability, and rich sound.

14) Z ZDTM Acoustic Cello with Bag, Bow, Rosin for Beginner Cello Kit (4/4 Full Size)

You’ve probably looked through quite a number of cellos and have seen the more common spruce-maple combination, so seeing this full-size cello with a maple-basswood combination is likely a pleasant surprise, especially if you’ve played a basswood or maple cello before.

Like some of our other featured kits, this one is similar in its simplicity, but again, it’s perfect for those who don’t need all the “bells and whistles” that other kits have. Here are the specs for both the cello and accessories:

  • Crack-proof maple top; back and sides are basswood
  • Glossy finish
  • Kit includes: cello, bow, rosin and soft carrying case with plenty of pockets for supplies and adjustable straps for carrying like a backpack, making transporting the cello a bit easier.

People who want to get all the necessary accessories in one fell swoop might want to pass this over, as this kit is very basic. But the kit’s simplicity may work better for people who want to take their time getting other supplies, such as tuners, extra strings, and stands, especially if they are budget-conscious by nature and necessity.

15) Stentor 1108 Cello, 4/4 Size

Stentor 1108 Cello

To be fair, this is probably the most minimalist cello kit we’ve got in the list. Apart from the cello bow, the kit solely includes a well-padded carrying case with outside pocket and adjustable backpack-like straps. Unlike the other kits, there is no rosin or strings included, so you’ll have to purchase them separately.

This said, this kit is a good choice for those who already have the necessary equipment, and simply wish to upgrade the two most important parts: the cello and bow. Here are the specs for those as follows:

  • The cello is constructed of a spruce top and maple back and sides; full ebony fittings including pegs, fingerboard, and alloy tailpiece. The finish to the cello is a warm, natural brown polish, both traditional and elegant.
  • The bow is octagonal wood with an ebony frog and white horsehair. Again, elegant and unfussy at the same time.

If your goal for upgrading to a better outfit is simple and understated, but with high-quality construction, great tone and playability, while being budget-conscious, then the Stentor 1108 cello kit is precisely for you.

16) Bellafina Prodigy Series Cello Outfit 4/4 Size

This is our last review in the guide, and this particular instrument is worth a mention, though this is the only cello that does not ship as part of any kind of kit, apart from an equally well-constructed bow made of brazilwood and a carrying bag.

Here are the specs:

  • Spruce top
  • Back & sides are laminated maple
  • Neck: maple and oil finish
  • Fingerboard and fittings are ebony, including the pegs.
  • Tail-piece is a Glasser composite, with individual fine-tuning pegs.

The carrying bag is probably like most of the other bags in this review guide: durable, well-padded with adjustable straps. As for the playing quality, you’ll be pleased to know that the Bellafina company prides itself on MENC-standard instruments, so your instructor will likely give this instrument a hearty nod if you choose this model.

One thing you might want to think about in your search for this particular model is how well it will fit you and how well you like the sound, so taking a trip to a local music shop that sells Bellafinas will serve you well.

17) MCH 4/4 Full Size Beginner Acoustic Cello Starter Kit with Soft Case, Bow and Rosin (White)

It’s not uncommon to see cellos in unique colors, but a white cello like this one by MCH is certainly a sight to behold and is perfect for the cellist who wants to make a statement not just with their playing but with their personality.

Here are the specs for the cello and accompanying kit:

  • Front, back, and sides are made with a high-quality basswood
  • Aluminum alloy tailpiece
  • Ebony fingerboard and pegs
  • Soft padded case
  • Bow made of arbor, ebony and white horsehair
  • Rosin

White seems to be either a rare or popular color, depending on where you look, so ordering directly from a licensed dealer may be your best bet as far as actually locating a cello of this color. As for how it plays, it is a beginner cello, so professionals might not want to try and use this, even though it’s a full-size instrument, as they might be more accustomed to an instrument that’s meant for professional-level work. But the MCH is a good starter instrument for a younger player who wants something full of personality.

18) Stentor 1586 Conservatoire Cello Outfit

Do you like the look of the Stentor 1108 but want a case that’s a bit more durable? Then you might want to have a look at the 1586 Conservatoire model. This is a full-size cello, of course, and like the other Stentor kit, very minimalist concerning what’s included, but if minimalist is what you want, then read further about this cello’s specs:

  • The cello is hand-carved from select tone woods that are not only attractive but promote excellent sound quality and great balance between the middle, high and low tones.
  • Ebony fingerboard and pegs
  • Alloy tailpiece w/integral adjusters
  • High-quality varnish tops off the look of the entire instrument, inspiring confidence in the student concerning both sound and appearance.

The case that comes with the cello is hard-shell with a lovely purple lining with appropriate storage for strings, bows, etc. The one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that while this cello comes with strings, the cello arrives unstrung. So purchasing this outfit may depend on how confident you are about stringing and setting up your own cello.

19) Ammoon I1999-1 3/4 Solid Wood Cello Gloss Finish Basswood Face Board with Bow Rosin Carrying Bag for Students & Music Lovers

Out of all the cellos in our review guide, this is the only ¾-size instrument, so if you’re in need of this slightly smaller size, you’ll want to pay a bit of extra attention to this listing. Granted, the Ammoon brand is not quite as well-known as the Cecilio or DZ Strad, but we think you’ll like the specs:

  • Solid basswood and maple combination for a slightly different tone than what you might get with a spruce-maple mix. Just as with guitars, the type of wood a cello is made of can determine the type of sound you’ll get. The basswood makes up the front, back, and sides, and the maple makes up the neck, fingerboard, bridge and tuning pegs
  • Maplewood bow with natural horsehair
  • Steel cello strings. Some beginner cellos have acrylic strings, and acrylic may not produce the most desirable sound. So steel will be your best bet.
  • Rosin included
  • Carrying bag with adjustable straps; carry your cello bag like a backpack!

This basic kit is perfect for smaller or younger players, no matter the commitment level.

Choosing the Best Cello among the Best Cello Brands

Whether you are looking for a multi-accessory kit from DZ Strad, or a minimalist approach, such as with the Stentor cellos, you really can’t go wrong with choosing any of these models.

The real eye-catcher was the green cello with the red hearts, which will likely appeal to a lot of people looking for something unique. On the other hand, there is something to be said for a more traditional look.

2) Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello

  • Beautiful
  • Crack-Proof
  • Natural 
  • Full Size 
  • Best Seller

1) D Z Strad Cello Model 101

  • Genuine Fittings
  • Hand Oil-Varnished
  • Elegant ‘fleur-de-lis’ Style
  • Smaller Size

3) Merano 4/4 Size Cello

  • High Quality
  • 2 Bow Holders
  • Maple Back and Sides
  • Metal Alloy Tailpiece

We can’t tell you which specific cello to choose, but we can definitely advise you to go with what feels right to your fingers, as well as your soul.