Best Cello Brands for Beginners 2023

Beginner cello players need an instrument that is both ready-to-play out-of-the-box and is cost-effective since they may not continue playing for long. Our comprehensive list of the best beginner cello brands below has been evaluated by our staff to ensure that they are both beginner- and budget-friendly.

Each of the cello outfits below comes with a minimum of a student beginner cello, a bow, a case, and strings. As with all cellos, components can be upgraded, but these basic outfits will be enough to get the beginner up and playing within minutes. You will also need to get cello accessories.

We’ll only talk about the best cello brands for beginners here, but for our full analysis of the best cello brands including intermediate and professional cellos, check out our best cello brands guide.

1. Cecilio – Best Cello Brand for Beginners

Recommended For: Beginner

Cecilio makes some of the best student instruments. The low-cost instruments are made with high-quality materials that give students a great introduction to the cello. Even the less than $200 CCO-100 is produced with the finest materials.

Cecilio cellos are hand-carved from traditional tonewoods with spruce tops, flamed maple sides and backs, and inlaid purfling. The higher-end student models also have well-defined flames.

The Cecilio cello starter kits also contain everything students need to get started. Most Cecilio outfits come with a quality brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair. They also come with boxwood pegs, tailpiece (with four fine tuners), and both a soft and hard case! Great value for your money.

The only shortcoming of Cecilio cellos is that their fingerboards are made of maple instead of ebony. Ebony fingerboards are sturdier than maple since ebony is a hardwood which means ebony fingerboards can withstand the repeated pressure of fingers tapping on them. Of course, removing the ebony fingerboards makes for a lower-cost cello, but you may need to take your cello in for repairs more often.

Given the value you get for the price, the Cecilio cello brand gets our highest vote for a student cello. If you are looking for a cello that’s meant for a more intermediate student, we recommend looking at our review of the best cello brands.

Recommended For: Beginner

Very affordable, Stentor has made a name for themselves by being one of the highest quality cello brands for the price. This is a great cello that serves many students well until they are able to upgrade to an intermediate cello.

Like their other instruments, Stentor cellos are made in the traditional way out of solid tone woods. This includes a solid ebony fingerboard (as opposed to the Cecilio above), pegs, and fittings with maple sides and back, and a spruce top. Stentor cellos also have inlaid purfling to prevent the softer spruce wood top from splitting.

Starter kits on Amazon come with the cello, a cello bag, wood and horsehair bow (usually brazilwood), and rosin so you have everything you need to get started immediately.

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 so you can be sure that your instrument will arrive in excellent condition.

With a wide variety of cellos for sale, from absolute beginner to slightly below intermediate, Stentor is sure to have the right cello for your student. 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.

Recommended For: Beginner

For a beginner outfit, Cremona cellos are great quality 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 tonewoods, such as hand-carved maple, spruce, and ebony, these cellos stand up well on their own, but can be made significantly better with small improvements.

Cremona cello starter kits come with Prelude strings which are okay, but swapping them out for a higher-quality cello string brand can make a world of difference. Each starter outfit also comes with a high-quality Brazilwood bow, a cello bag, and a Breton composite tailpiece with 4 built-in fine tuners.

Cremona cellos are built to MENC standards (National Standards for Music Education as prescribed by the Music Educators National Conference in 1994) in their Cremona workshop in the state of California. The MENC standard ensures that they are playable when they arrive, and can be easily integrated into your child’s school orchestra or ensemble. It’s no wonder that students and teachers alike favor Cremona over other student cello outfits.

Cremona SC-100

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Cremona SC-130

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Recommended For: Beginner/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.

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. They also use a Styrofoam shaped case instead of a standard “pillowy” case. While slightly lower in quality, this case still performs well, and will protect your cello from the elements and drops.

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 case.

Primavera Prima 90

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Primavera Prima 100

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5. Merano

Recommended For: Beginner

While lower quality than many of the cello brands on this list, Merano definitely deliver on affordability. Many of their cellos are just over $200 which makes them especially good for absolute beginners who may not continue playing after their first year. While they won’t garner a high resale value, they will certainly meet the requirements of a novice and your budget.

Like Cecilio listed above, Merano cello fingerboards are made out of hardwood instead of ebony, meaning you will most certainly have to upgrade to a better model or have the fingerboard repaired frequently.

If you can’t afford a higher quality model at this moment, the Merano cello makes a good starting instrument.

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

Merano  Cello

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