Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best cello 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2020
Best cello of 2018
If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best cello. Check them out and decide which one suits you the best to splurge upon. I want to find something that’s designed well (both for aesthetic purposes and efficiency). On that note, I review the three best cello of 2018 to help you get value for your money.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this cello win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days.
Why did this cello come in second place?
This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made.
Why did this cello take third place?
It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work.
cello Buyer’s Guide
It is time for an upgrade.
After a couple weeks of research and a handful of phone calls back and forth to your teacher, you set off to visit several dealers in search of a cello equal to your needs. But after your first shop visit, you find yourself feeling woefully overwhelmed and still underprepared for the daunting task of selecting a step-up instrument.
Adult beginners and younger students alike face a unique set of dilemmas when shopping for an instrument, especially if they do so without the advice and experience of a seasoned player. Instrument setup can make or break even the best cello, and knowing what to look for and what will best suit your needs is not as easy as it sounds.
Additionally, budget constraints, teachers who suggest only particular brands (be sure to read the Strings article on teacher commissions, “An Elegy for Ethics?”), and not knowing what the market has to offer or how to best evaluate instruments, can contribute to the difficulty beginners face when shopping for that first step-up cello.
It’s All in the Wood
Contrary to the old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” you can often judge an instrument by its appearance. When viewing cellos at your local violin shop, you will instinctively reach for a rich, warm-colored cello with just the right amount of varnish, beautiful flaming, and gorgeous grain rather than a lacquer-finished, candy-apple–red instrument.
Beautiful varnish is not merely aesthetically pleasing. The quality of a cello’s varnish will, in fact, affect how an instrument sounds and how that sound will change and mature over the years. Heavily applied varnish can prevent an instrument from “opening up” sonically and cause it to resonate less and less as you play.
A cello’s grain will also affect how the instrument performs. A cello’s spruce top should have tight grain at its center, under the fingerboard and bridge, growing gradually wider and wider as it reaches out toward the bouts.
A poorly setup cello, no matter how well it was made, can sound more like a screeching cat than a strong, deep, resonant bass voice with a bright, but not tinny, upper register. Everything from choice of strings to tail-gut material and placement to peg fit influences a cello’s playability and performance. “Mechanics are so important,” explains Walsh-Wilson. Besides sounding terrible, poor setup can render a potentially good-sounding instrument unplayable. Simply replacing a poorly fit sound post, cutting a new bridge, adjusting the fittings, or trying out different strings can vastly improve an instrument that might have previously sounded less than desirable.
Do the fingerboard and neck feel and look smooth? As you play, feel around the fingerboard for bubbles and dimples in the wood (especially along the long joint between the fingerboard and the neck). A good dealer will make sure that the fingerboard is properly planed and free from any imperfections. You can check this easily by looking closely at the fingerboard: while seated as if playing, position your instrument so that the scroll is even with your chin; in good light, look down the fingerboard—the light should play evenly across the curves of the fingerboard. Another important factor is the long, shallow dip, or scoop, in a properly planed fingerboard. Depress the string at the nut end and at the bridge end of the fingerboard and you can see the scoop at the midpoint of the string. The distance between the string and the fingerboard should be about.9mm on the treble side and 1mm–1.4mm (about two credit cards) on the bass side.
While checking the fingerboard, also observe the neck—it should also be straight, smooth, and without bumps or pits (a good neck will not be varnished, but instead treated with an oil finish).
Are the strings well-suited to the instrument, or are they a one-size-fits-all solution? If you feel that the strings are impeding the sound of the instrument, be sure to ask your dealer if you can try a different set. (Our reviewers like Larsen, Thomastik-Infeld’s Red and Blue, and Jaeger).
Pegs should turn easily and stay in tune (pegs that are too tight or too loose are a sign of improper setup). Also, check that the peg ends are flush with the scroll head—they should not extend out from the scroll, and should indent only slightly into the peg box.
The Real Cost of Budget Cellos
Buying your first cello – whether for your child or yourself – is a tricky business. Twenty years ago the problem was the distinct lack of choice in the budget price range. Nowadays there are more budget cello brands than you can shake a stick at, each claiming to sound like an instrument worth a great deal more than its retail price. Add to this the fact that the average buyer’s concept of budget prices varies a great deal and the price of a single brand and model can vary by as much as £150 and you’ve entered a minefield. After years of assisting my beginner students with the purchase of their first instrument, I have some valuable advice to share with players, parents and teachers.
If you have a set budget for buying a cello you might be surprised (and annoyed) to find out that the cost rarely ends with the purchase of the instrument. I’m not talking about long-term costs such as string replacements, instrument maintenance and bow re-hairs either. The reason basic student instruments cost so little is generally because they cost very little to make. This means that corners are cut and production values leave much to be desired. I have never seen a brand new instrument in the lowest price range (up to £400) that didn’t need several crucial adjustments to get it into a playable state, often costing more than the instrument itself. To illustrate this point, here’s a case study of one of my students, who bought herself a cello before looking for a teacher.
She had wanted to take cello lessons for years, and had sensibly waited until her job allowed her the financial and time flexibility before buying an instrument and committing to lessons. Given how long she had waited for this opportunity and how much she wanted it, she knew it was more than a passing fancy and decided that she might as well buy a cello rather than rent one. She was pleasantly surprised when she went online to find out how little she could have her very own cello for. What was more, delivery was guaranteed the day after she paid for it, and only cost an additional £That was settled then: she had found a cello advertised as “perfect for beginner to advanced players” which came with a “reliable brazilwood bow” and a lightweight hard case apparently worth considerably more when sold as a separate unit – all for an amazing £175.
Her cello arrived the following day as promised, but she was a little taken aback when she opened the case for the first time: it didn’t look much like any cello she had ever seen because the instrument was shipped with the bridge flat and the retailers had failed to inform her at any time during her transaction that they were going to do this. Well, it was a very reasonable price after all, so she didn’t rush to the phone to complain about it. Instead she rummaged through the packaging to see whether any instructions had been included for getting the cello into a playable state. Sure enough, she found a single sheet explaining that the cello was shipped this way to prevent damage and assuring her that setting up the bridge was a very simple matter of aligning the feet with the nicks in the F holes and tightening the strings using the tuning pegs until there was sufficient pressure to keep it in place.
Things only went downhill from there. She stood the bridge up and began attempting to tighten the strings as directed. This was far from easy: the pegs kept slipping and the bridge wouldn’t stay put. Eventually she managed to tighten two out of the four strings enough to keep the bridge in place, but it was now far from aligned with the nicks in the F holes. When she tried tuning the third string, it snapped and one of the tightened strings unravelled as the peg jumped out again. The bridge collapsed leaving a fairly large scratch on the cello. At this point she decided that this was clearly not a job for a novice regardless of how easy the instructions insisted it was.
When she rang me up to discuss lessons she told me all about her flat-pack cello and my heart sank: I was familiar with the brand and she was not the first of my students to make this nightmarish purchase. I advised her to bring the cello to me as soon as possible so that I could have a look and see whether it could be set up or sent back to the retailer. By the time she brought it to me the soundpost had fallen and the instrument was so far from playable I suggested that she send it back and get a refund or replacement. We called the shop then and there, but were told that since she had already set it up and damaged it in the process the money-back guarantee was now void. Despite a heated conversation between me and various employees there was no persuading them to offer even a reduced refund.
From my experience, it is cellos in the mid price range that are the most dependable. They all require a few minor tweaks, but nothing like the catalogue of errors that come with the cheapest cellos. Then we have the “deluxe” models: always considerably more expensive than the mid range, generally more impressive to look at, but all too often no better in genuine quality than the mid range. Makers have tricks to make average instruments appear superior: the most common one being artificially created flame. In case you’re wondering, flame is the pattern found in maple, the wood used for the back and sides of stringed instruments. The better quality the maple, the more densely flames the back and sides will be. However, flame can be created with varnish, making plain wood look spectacular to the untrained eye. Other tricks include adding shiny bells and whistles to the pegs, end button and spike to make the cello look posh. These additions make no difference whatsoever to the quality or value of the instrument and often drive the price up exponentially. This is not true of all student instruments in the upper price range, so if you’re considering splashing out on a good cello be sure to have an advisor other than the salesperson on hand.
Did you find this post useful? Please consider making a donation.
Join us on our Discord chat server!
Design is also striking. The bezel of the ZDis trimmed in a rose gold, while connections are hidden behind pop off panels. There are four HDMI inputs, all HDCP 2.ready, plus, digital optical audio output and Ethernet/Wi-Fi. Active 3D is also supported.
Picture quality is outstanding. In addition to that Backlight Master Drive, the set employs a new X1Extreme HDR image processor which does a remarkable job with all sources, even when they’re not 4K resolution.
If the set does has an Achilles heel it’s audio. A small carp (which incidentally is what it sounds like), given the general excellence of this superb set. And you’ll probably use a soundbar anyway.
Choose a Cello Within Your Budget
One of the biggest factors you face when choosing a cello is the price. Are you willing to pay thousands of dollars for a high-quality professional cello? Or are you only going to spend about a hundred dollars? Either way is fine, but you should know what your price range is before looking into a bunch of cellos.
Importance of Brand Names
When buying a cello, there are a few things to look for. First of all, the wood should be high quality. This is a large part of why I advise you do some research on the company before buying from them. 100% hand-made is also a great thing to look for, this ensures that you are going to receive a nice, crisp sound when playing. If you are going to be buying from a private seller, you should check to make sure all of their previous work has been good.
For basses and cellos
The small rubber tips on endpins usually aren’t good enough to keep your instrument from sliding around as you play. I suggest you buy an endpin anchor, which attaches to the leg of a chair or stool to securely hold the endpin in place and keeps it at the same distance all the time as well.
I always bring my stool with me everywhere I play even if they have stools available. I am used to playing at a specific height and a specific angle, so even a slight change can throw my playing off a bit.
If you move your bass around frequently, this is practically a must. Save yourself the backaches of carrying it around and just wheel it.
The same goes for cello, though its less critical since it is far lighter.
You want to remove every barrier to practicing you possibly can. If your instrument is packed away in its case, under the bed, or otherwise out of sight, its very easy to forget to practice or get too lazy to take the few minutes to get all set up. Having the instrument out on a stand (in a safe place in your house) makes it much easier to grab and start playing. I have my violin and guitar hanging on the wall behind my desk at all times and it takes me just seconds to grab them and start.
If you live with other people who don’t appreciate your practicing as much as you (and lets face it, sometimes we have to practice things that sound pretty nasty) you may want a practice mute. It will cut the sound way down so others aren’t bothered and you can play with wild abandon instead of worrying what the people in the next room think of your playing.
Some of my students are bothered by the feeling of the chin rest against their jaw. I first suggest putting a cloth over the chinrest, but sometimes that isn’t enough. A chinrest pad will make playing comfortable, which will likely lead to more practice and better results.
It is very beneficial to have a way to listen to or watch yourself play. Watching a video or listening to a recording of yourself can lead you to valuable realizations about your playing. You will notice problem spots you were unaware of and often the problem will go away or at least get much better right away. I was unaware of how much tension I had in my face as I played until I watched a video of a performance. It was surprising and a little embarrassing to see the funny grimaces I was making. Needless to say, I made it my top priority to rid myself of all that tension and I fixed that problem quickly. The Zoom company makes many good digital recording devices as well as videocameras with high quality audio that are very helpful.
Bb trumpets are by far the most common in the trumpet family. With a warm tonal quality that blends nicely with ensembles of all types, the Bb trumpet is widely used across virtually all types of music, from classical to modern pop and jazz. Bb also is the most common tuning for beginners, as there is a large body of written music and instructional material available for the Bb trumpet. Shops worth visiting include: Phil Parker, SaxWindBrass and Yamaha Music London.
First of all, let me apologize if this topic has already been discussed. I spent a few hours reading past posts and did not find the answers I am looking for. I am a proficient amateur musician, currently playing a 190Heberlein, Maggini copy. It is a very nice instrument, but I feel the sound is a bit harsh, and the response sluggish at times. Also, it is especially easy to “crush” the notes, especially when playing double stops and chords.
Violinmaking is not a dying art, but it is a rare one. Luthiers who are fully trained, skilled, and experienced are artists who have spent years studying, analyzing, and practicing their craft to razor sharpness. They shun the spotlight, instead focusing their energies into the artisanship required in producing instruments and bows themselves.
We at Williams Fine Violins strive to serve customers who seek highly skilled, trained luthiers to work on their instruments and bows. In addition to our luthiers, our wonderful and friendly sales staff is comprised of talented musicians and experienced teachers who are ready to help you with any instrument or accessory questions you may have. We are a committed, full-service team of specialists that truly care about you and your musical goals.
After spending four years in violin making school and another year apprenticing, Dustin Williams moved his family to Nashville, Tennessee. His original intention was to use his skills as a luthier and violin maker to build violins, violas, cellos, and double basses and live a quiet life.
However, local musicians soon learned that a graduate of the esteemed Violin Making School of America had moved to middle Tennessee and he was asked to start doing repairs in his home. Soon enough, the need for a larger brick-and-mortar store was evident. Dustin opened Williams Fine Violins & Luthier Studios, LLC in June 200in his first location at 11016th Avenue South in the heart of Nashville’s Music Row neighborhood.
With the help of his family and many other luthiers, the shop grew quickly. In four short years there was a need for a larger space. Williams Fine Violins moved over to its current location, with four floors of work space and show space, at 12117th Avenue South in June 2008.
The past fourteen years have seen remarkable growth as Williams Fine Violins has become the “go to” place for musicians from all over Middle Tennessee and the “Old South.” In the fall of 2018, Williams Fine Violins will move into a new building, on Donelson Pike, with over 7,000 square feet of work space, show space, six private lesson rooms, and a small recital hall.
Instrument repair work is often compared to the work of a medical doctor. The ethics of instrument and bow repair is this: Do no harm. Here at Williams Fine Violins, we work quickly and with the utmost skill. We know that time can be of the essence with repairs, and that’s why we’re trusted by the professional players in Music City.
A certified ISB “Friend of the Bass,” Dustin Williams has an intimate relationship with the instrument. He holds a degree in bass performance and has his Masters in Music Education from West Texas A&M University.
Dustin is a graduate of the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, Utah, under the direction of Peter Paul Prier, Charles Wolf, and Boris deGranda. With an intensive four-year program, the VMS of A is the Alma Mater of many of today’s finest violin makers and restorers working in top ateliers and high-end violin shops throughout the world.
With sponsorship from the Gary Karr Double Bass Foundation, Dustin spent nine months studying the concepts and ideas of double bass maker James Ham in Victoria, B.C., Canada before moving to Tennessee.
Dustin also founded and serves as the chairman of the Luthier’s Competition for the International Society Of Bassists, and takes great pride in his work. Williams Fine Violins is the most established location for bass work in the southeast US.
Lauren is from Chicago and performs regularly with live bands and plays up to seven nights a week on lower Broadway.
Cello bows come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes and styles. The bow that you choose will depend largely on your ability level. A beginner doesn’t need a carbon-based cello bow, and a professional won’t be able to get away with playing with a bow made from plastic. If you’re serious about your playing, you should always invest in the best bow your money can provide. A properly balanced bow is essential for playing modern cello techniques and can also enhance your playing enjoyment.
The cello bow is arguably the most important aspect of your playing technique. A cello bow that is too heavy will slow down your playing and put too much emphasis on the string when performing articulations. On the other hand, a light bow might not provide enough power to get the right sound from your cello.
When it comes to brands, it’s best to choose a Coda, Righetti, Hill, Numberger or Lamy. These are all popular brands and they are trusted worldwide for their performance and reliability. The most extensive part of the cello is the bow’s stick. The vast majority of sticks are composed of four main materials, Pernambuco, carbon fiber, fiberglass and Brazilwood. If you’re an intermediate to a professional player, concentrate on getting a Pernambuco, arguably the best type, or carbon fiber stick. The beginner should probably use a Brazilwood or fiberglass stick. The only real rule for a beginner? Don’t select a stick that is made from plastic. It’s simply not going to work well.
Care and Use
Caring for your bow is important. Without proper care, your cello bow may become warped or damaged. Caring for your bow requires proper rosin technique, good storage protocols and a solid playing technique. A young player shouldn’t use an expensive bow until they know how to properly care for the bow. When choosing a rosin, look for a light-colored rosin if you’re playing in a high heat or high humidity environment. Find a dark-colored rosin if you plan to play in a low heat or low humidity environment. You may need more than one type of rosin if you travel, and it’s important to clean the bow properly before applying any new rosin. Keep your bow out of sunlight, in a good protective case and in a temperature-controlled environment to extend the life of the bow. Light rosins tend to provide less friction while darker rosins are stickier.
As with everything dealing with artistic expression, there is always controversy. Some of the controversies surround the use of ivory for cello bow parts. Since ivory doesn’t affect the playing, you can play it safe and maintain your ethics by avoiding all ivory materials for your bow. The other main controversy is whether a beginning should play with a professional bow. Until a player has at least five years of playing under their belt or is competing, a beginner’s bow will work just fine. If you’re competing locally or nationally, go for an intermediate cello bow made of carbon fiber. If you’re competing on the world stage, find yourself some Pernambuco, immediately.
It makes no sense to purchase a bow if you don’t yet know how to use the bow. If you’re a complete beginner, the bow that came with your cello should be fine. Use that bow and learn how to care for it, and when it breaks or you level up significantly, start looking for a new intermediate bow made of carbon fiber. You don’t want your learning curve in the realm of care and maintenance to be spent on a bow that costs hundreds of dollars.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your cello wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of cello
- №1 — 4/4 Full Size Cello D Z Strad Model 600
- №2 — D Z strad Cello Model 150 Handmade 4/4 Full Size Handmade by prize winning luthiers
- №3 — Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello with Soft Case