If you’re planning to buy a cello and need some help and inspiration, you’ve come to the right place!
Buying a new instrument is never an easy task for beginners, especially if you’re buying a pricey instrument like the cello.
But if you do proper research, making the right choice won’t be that hard.
That’s why we decided to make a list of the 15 best cellos for beginners.
We will show you their most important features, benefits, and potential disadvantages.
And our comprehensive cello buyer’s guide will let you know how to choose the best one for you. You’ll learn what to look for in a cello, so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
But first, let’s explore the best beginner cellos!
Table of Contents
- 15 Best Cellos For Beginners
- 1. Cecilio CCO-100
- 2. Cremona SC-165
- 3. D Z Strad Student Cello 101
- 4. Windsor MI-3006
- 5. Crescent 4/4 Cello Starter Kit
- 6. D’Luca MC100
- 7. Lykos Acoustic Cello
- 8. Merano MC400
- 9. Knilling Bucharest Model Carved Cello Outfit
- 10. Cecilio CCO-500
- 11. Stentor 1102 Student I Series
- 12. Merano MC100BK
- 13. Waful Acoustic Cello
- 14. Paititi PTTCE101 Cello
- 15. Yamaha SVC-110SK Silent Electric Cello
- How To Choose The Best Beginner Cello For You
- Final Thoughts
15 Best Cellos For Beginners
1. Cecilio CCO-100
Although it’s hard to pick the very best beginner cello, the Cecilio CCO-100 is pretty close to the top.
After all, Cecilio is a well-known and reliable manufacturer of classical instruments, and the Cecilio CCO-100 is their standard student cello.
It has a spruce top with a maple neck, back, and sides and a high luster varnish finish.
Besides the elegant design, it has the benefit of producing a wonderful, clear sound.
This 4/4 cello really has excellent build quality and sound, especially considering the price (it costs less than $300.)
You can choose from different colors including unique blue and purple shades.
And you’ll get everything you need in the package: a soft case, a Brazilwood bow, a cello stand, rosin cake, and an extra set of strings.
Al things considered, the Cecilio CCO-100 is a really great choice for students and first-time beginners.
- Great build quality
- Comes with all the accessories
- Clear sound
- Different color and size options
- Strings could be better
2. Cremona SC-165
Cremona is another reliable brand known for manufacturing quality cellos for all levels of experience.
The Cremona SC-165 is designed with beginners in mind. It’s the best choice for younger students as it comes in a smaller size.
It’s an example of excellent build quality and craftsmanship. It’s set up to MENC Standards at the Cremona workshop in California.
Made from maple and solid spruce, the Cremona SC-165 features Indian rosewood fittings and an ebony fingerboard.
Due to its high-quality materials and efficient design, it produces a beautiful sound. It’s also very comfortable and easy to play.
The Cremona SC-165 is a bit more expensive than some other starter cellos on this list, but it’s still very affordable if you consider its quality.
- Suitable for younger students
- Excellent build quality
- Easy to play
- Great tone
- You could replace the strings for a better quality
3. D Z Strad Student Cello 101
The DZ Strad 101 is an excellent cello for beginners.
It’s a bit pricey (around $1,500) but it will ensure you an outstanding playing experience. And you’ll get a 1-year warranty in case of any flaws.
It’s available in different sizes and comes with all the necessary accessories including a case, a Brazilwood bow, rosin, a cello stand, and an extra set of Prelude cello strings.
Moreover, this elegant antique-style student cello has a spruce top and maple sides, and neck.
It also features a genuine ebony fingerboard and fittings.
All in all, it’s a high-quality instrument that produces a beautiful, full sound.
The D Z Strad Student Cello 101 is undoubtedly one of the best starter cellos in its price range.
- High-quality materials
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Great tone
- Available in different sizes
- Pricey (compared to some other options)
4. Windsor MI-3006
The Windsor MI-3006 is a good beginner cello for students on a budget.
It features a spruce tonewood, and maple neck, sides, and fingerboard. And it comes with a horsehair bow.
It also comes with a height-adjustable spike that may come in handy.
The Windsor MI-3006 is a full-size cello, so it’s best for ages 15 and up.
In essence, it’s a budget-friendly instrument with a deep, rich tone.
It perhaps doesn’t have the same build quality as some of its more expensive counterparts, but it’s a nice cello to start your practice on and see whether you’re ready to make a bigger investment.
- Great price
- Good tone
- Easy to play
- Some parts could be enhanced
5. Crescent 4/4 Cello Starter Kit
The Crescent 4/4 Cello Starter Kit is another option if you want to save some money.
For less than $200, The Crescent 4/4 Cello offers a good sound and comfortable playing experience.
Like many affordable beginner cellos, it has a spruce top and maple back, neck, and sides. The bow and pegs could be of better quality though.
But the kit includes everything you need: a padded bag, rosin, and an extra set of strings.
Considering the price, it’s a good beginner cello that comes with all the necessary accessories.
- Complete outfit
- Strings and bow could be better
6. D’Luca MC100
The D’Luca MC100 is a great example of a model that blends quality and affordability.
It costs around $500 and provides great sound quality and features.
It comes with all the useful accessories such as a clip-on tuner and a portable stand.
Moreover, it has a stylish finish and a beautiful design.
And with sturdy construction and good-quality materials, it’s quite durable as well.
All in all, the D’Luca MC100 is a great choice for students and beginners who need a full-size cello.
- Great accessories
- Great sound
- Bridge and tailpiece don’t arrive set up
7. Lykos Acoustic Cello
The Lykos Acoustic Cello looks very stylish and unique. It’s available in several different colors.
But it also provides a great sound quality. It produces nice, crisp tones.
Due to its crack-proof top, it’s quite resilient and durable as well.
On top of that, it comes with all the extras you’ll need: a soft carrying bag, rosin, and a bow made from arbor and white horsetail.
And it’s quite affordable too.
The appearance of this starter cello might be its biggest selling point, but the Lykos Acoustic Cello actually offers much more.
The Lykos Acoustic Cello will ensure you a comfortable playing experience and a beautiful sound that will (along with the cool look) motivate you to practice regularly.
- Good tone
- Complete outfit
- You’ll need to set up the bridge
8. Merano MC400
If you’re searching for an affordable starter cello that will meet all your needs, you should check out the Merano MC400.
It’s available for $300 which is a really great price considering its quality.
This model comes with all kinds of accessories including a cello stand, music stand, tuner and metronome, a bow, and a carrying bag.
Also, the Merano MC400 has a spruce top, maple back, neck, and sides, and ebony fingerboard and pegs. This means that it can produce very nice, rich tones.
After all, Merano is a prestigious instrument brand, so you won’t be disappointed with any of its models.
- Good build quality
- Great accessories
- Nice design
- Comes with a low-quality bow
9. Knilling Bucharest Model Carved Cello Outfit
This stunning Knilling Bucharest cello offers an outstanding quality of sound. It is, therefore, suitable both for beginners and intermediate cello players.
Its fingerboard, nut, and tailpiece are made from real ebony. And it comes with renowned Perfection Pegs.
As it’s handcrafted in Romania, it has a classy appearance and a professional-looking finish.
It doesn’t come with many accessories, but you’ll get a Glasser fiberglass bow with white horsehair.
It’s available in different sizes so it’s suitable for learners of all ages.
So, if you want to invest in a beautiful, durable instrument, you can’t go wrong with the Knilling Bucharest Model Carved Cello.
- Outstanding build quality
- Great sound
- Professional-looking finish
10. Cecilio CCO-500
The Cecilio CCO-500 is, just like its CCO-100 counterpart, a fantastic cello for beginners.
It is slightly more expensive (this one costs around $500) which means you’ll get a more resilient and durable instrument.
It features a hand-carved solid spruce top with a flamed maple neck, back, and sides. And it has an ebony fingerboard, pegs, and tailpiece with mother of pearl inlaid, which is unusual for this price range.
It comes with a hard and soft case, a Brazilwood bow with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair, rosin, a cello stand, and an extra set of strings.
And the manufacturer will give you a one-year warranty in case of any defects.
All in all, the Cecilio CCO-500 is a truly beautiful cello with great sound and build quality suitable both for beginners and intermediate students.
- Great build quality
- Excellent sound
- Complete outfit
- Needs to be adjusted before playing
11. Stentor 1102 Student I Series
This antique-style student cello is carved from solid tonewoods. It has a blackened hardwood fingerboard and pegs.
Although it’s made in China, it has a good build quality.
In fact, the Stentor 1102 Student will meet all your needs. It produces a good tone that will help you improve your performance.
It features a straight-grained fingerboard (not real ebony though) and a composite tailpiece with adjusters for easy tuning.
- Good performance
- A bit heavy
- Some parts could be improved
12. Merano MC100BK
If you wish to practice on a unique beginner cello, you should take a look at the Merano MC100BK.
Besides its eye-catching appearance, this starter cello provides great sound quality and good value for money.
It’s easy to play, so it’s ideal for beginners to play their first notes.
It has a spruce top, maple back, neck and sides, and ebony pegs and fingerboard. These materials are a standard (but good) option for beginner cellos.
All in all, it’s a distinctive cello that will provide you with everything you need for a regular cello practice and learning.
- Unique appearance
- Easy to play
- Good materials
- Overall build quality could be improved
13. Waful Acoustic Cello
Another unique-looking cello is the Waful Acoustic Cello.
This model will definitely help you stand out from the crowd.
And it produces a very nice, warm sound.
It comes with all the accessories including a padded soft bag with pockets and backpack straps, a bow, rosin, and a bridge.
It’s made from maple, spruce, and basswood.
The Waful Acoustic Cello is a full-size cello so it’s ideal for students and adult beginners.
- Beautiful varnish
- Good sound
- Complete outfit
- Strings are very thin
14. Paititi PTTCE101 Cello
If you’re searching for a cello to start enhancing your music skills, the Paititi PTTCE101 Cello will meet all your expectations.
It comes with everything you’ll need for your practice. And it arrives completely set up and ready to play.
It’s hand-carved with a high gloss finish and has an elegant, antique-inspired appearance.
It features a solid spruce top and solid maple back, sides, neck, and scroll. It also has nice inlaid purfling.
Pegs, fingerboard, chinrest, and tailpiece (with a built in fine tuner) are made from ebony.
The Paititi PTTCE101 Cello also comes with a quality Austrian rosin cake, rosin, and a padded bag.
This model is a great option for aspiring cello students and beginners of all ages.
- Great build quality
- Comes set up
- Nice accessories
- A bow could be better
15. Yamaha SVC-110SK Silent Electric Cello
In case you’re not familiar with electric cellos, we wanted to show you this option as well.
Although it doesn’t offer the same playing experience as the traditional acoustic cello, electric cellos have a lot of benefits.
For example, the Yamaha SVC-110SK Silent Electric Cello will allow you to practice without disturbing anyone. You can simply play with the headphones (they’re included.)
And like all the electric instruments, it offers the possibility to amplify the sound.
On the other hand, this Yamaha model uses an outline of an acoustic cello body, and the overall feel is really close to the acoustic cello.
And the sound is really incredible too.
So, if you’re worried that you might disturb your family members or neighbors with your practice, the Yamaha SVC-110SK Silent Electric Cell might be the solution.
- Ideal for silent practice
- Looks elegant and modern
- Great sound
- Easy to play (similar to the acoustic cello)
How To Choose The Best Beginner Cello For You
Cellos come in different shapes and sizes. And their price also varies.
So, how do you know what is the best model for you?
Well, if you’re just starting out and this is your first cello, you should definitely seek advice from someone knowledgeable.
But it’s also great to know what to look for in a cello and what makes it a good-quality instrument. That knowledge will also help you understand your instrument a little better.
And educating yourself about the instrument you’re playing will make your learning process easier and more logical.
When buying a cello, it’s essential to pick the correct size.
There are six basic cello sizes. Adults usually choose the full size (4/4 size) with a back length of 30 inches and above.
There are many smaller sizes for children and young players as well.
To choose your ideal cello size, you must consider your age, arm length, finger span, and height. The cello sizing chart will help you determine your perfect fit.
This is extremely important to know if you’re shopping online and don’t have the possibility to hold the instrument first.
If you want to buy a durable instrument that produces a strong sound, it has to be made from quality materials.
Cellos usually have a spruce top and maple sides. The fingerboard and pegs also need to be made from hard, durable wood.
However, budget-friendly models are usually made from cheaper materials. Laminate wood is one of the examples. Although laminate cellos will not cost you much, they will not produce a very good sound.
All in all, it’s always better to invest in a good-quality instrument that will last you longer and allow you to improve your musical skills in a proper way.
The material forming the frame of the bow is also important. They are usually made from the Pernambuco, carbon fiber, or a generic hardwood.
The standard cello has four strings and its tuning is C, G, D, and A.
There are cellos with five strings as well, but our list mostly consists of 4-string cellos as they are the types you’ll most likely start your practice on.
Strings will affect the sound you create and your whole playing experience so it’s important to have good ones. As a beginner, you don’t need the most expensive strings, but don’t opt for the cheapest option either.
You’ll also have to replace them from time to time, so many models come with an extra pair of strings.
And as you get more experienced, you’ll get better-quality strings.
Professional cellists even combine different sets of strings to bring out the best of their instruments. But you’re not quite there yet.
For now, it’s sufficient to have reliable, decent strings for your first cello. Some of the most popular brands are Evah Pirazzi, Larsen, and Thomastik-Infeld.
Varnish is an important part of the cello’s appearance. But it’s not there only for the looks.
Quality varnish protects the cello from grease, dirt, and humidity.
But most importantly, it impacts the sound that the instrument produces. Heavily applied varnish can cause the cello to resonate less.
A good cello varnish is transparent and soft enough to allow the cello to vibrate freely.
So besides looking elegant, the varnish should be smooth and thin.
Acoustic vs Electric Cello
In our list of the best cellos for beginners, we also included an electric silent cello.
So, what’s the difference between the electric and acoustic cello?
Of course, the overall sound and playing experience are not the same. However, as the market of electric instruments flourishes, there are some amazing electric models that sound very similar to acoustic versions.
Moreover, the electric silent cello allows you to practice with your headphones. This is perfect if you want to practice in odd hours without disturbing your family members or neighbors.
Electric cellos are especially convenient for beginners who practice with online cello lessons from the comfort of their homes.
And there are many different models to choose from. Most of them look very neat and modern.
On the other hand, acoustic cellos are mostly used among students and teachers.
It all depends on your personal preferences.
New Vs Used Cello
Another thing that depends on your personal preference is whether you want to opt for a new or a pre-owned cello.
Second-hand cellos usually have a very appealing price. And if the previous owner took good care of them, it’s a good opportunity to save some money.
You’ll just have to make sure that you’re buying an instrument in good condition. You’ll have to examine the varnish, look for potential woodworm damage, and so on.
On the other hand, brand new instruments come in mint condition. But that doesn’t guarantee their quality.
Getting a new instrument is a safer choice though. Especially if you invest in a durable, high-quality cello.
There’s a third option as well. Many beginner adults decide to rent their first cello.
Renting a cello gives you an opportunity to start practicing right away, without the pressure to find the perfect instrument to buy.
And you can simply continue with a better cello as you progress. But the possibility for a good model to rent also depends on the area you’re living in.
So, how to find the best beginner cello for you?
There are many things to factor in when buying a new cello.
But once you learn how to recognize a good-quality cello, everything will be easier.
As we’ve mentioned above, it’s crucial to determine the ideal size. If you’re buying the instrument online, you can check the cello size guide to find the perfect fit.
But quality materials and varnish are also important. They shape the sound of the cello and affect the overall playing experience. And they contribute to the instrument’s durability.
Your cello should be easy and comfortable to play.
Luckily, the best instrument brands make durable, comfortable cellos for beginners. And they often blend quality and affordability.
In the end, if you get enough information or seek valuable advice from experienced friends or teachers, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that you won’t regret.
The cello is an incredibly gratifying instrument to learn. It has a powerful, emotional sound, and it’s quite versatile.
And with all the great online possibilities to learn how to play an instrument, it has never been easier to start with your cello lessons.
You’ll just have to find a proper instrument first. But buying your first cello doesn’t have to be tricky.
We hope our buyer’s guide helped you understand what to look for in a cello.
There are many great beginner-friendly cellos on the market. And a lot of them are quite affordable too.
It’s not an easy choice though, with all the available options. But with proper research, you’ll know exactly which one is the best for you.
We’re sure you’ll make a good choice and start discovering the magic of playing the cello as soon as possible!