10 Of The Best Cello Brands In The World

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Written by Christine Davies
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The cello may not be as in your face as other instruments when it plays in an ensemble, but it provides a delicious and deep bass to any music. This sultry instrument can also create an impressive and beautiful solo experience.

If you are interested in learning this heart-tugging instrument, it is a good idea to know of the most significant brands. There are several companies that each have their strengths and weaknesses. Read on to learn about 10 of the best cello brands in the world.

1. Scherl & Roth

Seventh-generation German luthier Heinrich Roth joined with Max Scherl to found Scherl & Roth in 1932. Initially, they produced violins, but as orchestras started gaining population, they added the cello to their repertoire of manufacturing quality instruments.

Wanting their instruments to be accessible to students, Scherl & Roth aimed to make their models friendly on the pockets, not just top-of-the-line.

Their Arietta Student 4/4 cello is a popular choice for early learners. Made from handcrafted solid wood with Prelude strings, it is a budget-friendly choice without compromising quality.

If you are a professional or an advanced student, you may enjoy one of this company’s high-end products. The SR55E4H is crafted with advanced players in mind, with a solid spruce top and solid maple back and sides.

2. Yamaha

In addition to selling motorcycles and electronics, the Japanese brand Yamaha also manufactures musical instruments, cellos included. The founder, Torakusu Yamaha, began the company as a repairer for the reed organ in 1887.

The company’s goal is to provide good quality, accessible instruments that work well for beginners and professionals. And after over 100 years of making music waves, Yamaha has stayed true to that goal.

Yamaha offers many models of cellos. Their latest is the Silent series. These electric cellos have a unique semi-solid design purported to have resonating sounds on stage while allowing players to practice silently.

In addition to cellos, the company also makes violins, violas, pianos, woodwind instruments, percussion, and brass instruments.

3. Knilling

Bernard Kornblum founded Knilling in 1932 in St. Louis. He started the company with plenty of European instrument-making experience. Johannes Knilling, a famous German luthier, is the namesake of the brand.

The cells from Knilling are known for their high-quality craftsmanship and tone. The wood used in the instruments is carefully treated and shaped. Despite their dedication for creating one of the best, Knilling instruments are known to be accessible to students and professionals alike.

Their 153S Sebastian is a good, budget-friendly choice for beginners. If you want a higher-quality, more expensive option, you may like their 182F 4/4 Nicolo. Besides cellos, this brand also makes violins, violas, and basses.

4. Antonio Strad

Founded in 1994 by Guolian Zhou and Mary Zhang—a luthier and music teacher, respectively—Antonio Strad soon became one of the largest string instrument manufacturers in the state of Texas.

The company works to provide great instruments and expertise for both students and teachers. Antonio Strad’s offerings cater to all levels of cello players while maintaining an affordable price.  

There is quite a range in terms of price when it comes to this company’s cellos. Their models range from $1,200 to over $7,000. And if buying is not something you’re intending, Strad also has rental.

5. NS Design

Ned Steinberger founded NS Design in 1990 intending to develop fine electric bowed instruments. The company aims to embrace technology and tradition in equal measure in the manufacturing of their instruments.

Each model is crafted from solid wood and combined with state-of-the-art electronics. As a result, these instruments have an identifiable sound that is not just a copy of acoustic instruments.

NS Design has an affordable option in their WAV series cello at around $1,300. These are perfect for students and beginning learners. More advanced players might be interested in the CR series, though they come at a hefty $5,000-plus price range.

6. Eastman

Founded in 1992 by Chinese flutist Qian Ni, Eastman is without a doubt one of the best cello brands in the world. In the beginning, he ran the small business out of the back of his car. Since then, the brand evolved into a well-known global musical instrument supplier.

The company is dedicated to crafting the traditional way, after the work of master craftsmen Stradivarius, Guarneri, and Montagna. Each cello in their catalog is carefully handcrafted using chisels, gouges, and scrapers, ensuring each is unique and the best of the best.

Made from high-quality aged wood, Eastman classic cellos are available as well as their Series+, which are electronic models that you can plug in while still retaining the traditional look, feel, and sound of the classic instrument.

7. Fiddlershop

The father-and-son team of Michael and Pierre Holstein started Fiddlershop in 2012. This company came from a need for a central place to find great instruments and accessories. It offers beginner, intermediate, professional, acoustic-electric, and electric cellos. 

An affordable beginner cello from this company includes the Fiddlerman Apprentice cello. It’s made of solid-carved maple and spruce at the starting price of $1,300.

If you want a professional instrument, you may like the Fiddlerman Soloist cello, handcrafted from 12-year-aged spruce and maple. At its price range of $3,000, it comes with a fiberglass case and a Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow.

8. Strunal

Strunal Schonbach was founded in the Czech Republic shortly after the Second World War. The first instruments from the company were made in the home of artisans. Soon, the company expanded into factories, but they retained their traditional craftsmanship.

Strunal offers cellos at three levels—student, advanced, and concert. Student models are laminated top, back, and sides with either a high-gloss finish or semi-matte and Saturn strings.

Advanced models are crafted from a solid spruce top and laminated sides and back with ebony trimmings and Saturn strings. Their concert models are similar to the advanced ones with solid spruce top, but the sides and back are made from flamed maple. It comes with D ́Addario Helicore strings for a brighter tone.

9. D Z Strad

Penultimate in our list, we have a full-service company, D Z Strad, which has grown to become a well known instrument brand on Amazon.

Beyond offering a plethora of different musical instruments, they also provide instruments for rent, lessons, and a trade-in policy. You can also find unique fine and antique instruments at D Z Strad.

Cellos from D Z Strad are known to be high quality, though a bit on the pricier side, like their Model 400 4/4 cello. For beginners or those wanting to save, you can also try their Model 101 student cello. Complete your cello kit with bows and other accessories, also available in their catalog.

10. Stentor

Edward C. Doughty founded Stentor in 1895 as a rosin and gut string company. It gets its name from a herald in Greek mythology named Stentor. The company evolved quite a bit over time, and it started offering instruments and other items.

By the mid-20th century, Stentor was a well-known acoustic instrument distributor throughout Britain. However, it was a few decades before the company started producing its stringed instruments. Now they produce several student and professional-level string instruments. 

Stentor cellos come in several sizes and wood finish to suit players’ style. If you want an affordable instrument, you might enjoy the Harlequin Series Blue cello. The color is certainly as vibrant as its sound.

For those with more classic tastes, the Stentor 1586 Conservatoire cello might be for you. Depending on models, Stentor cellos prices are usually above $1,300.

Summing Up Our List Of Cello Brands 

Now that you know about some of the best brands of cellos, you are ready to start picking out the right one for you.

As you make this decision, assess what types of strengths you want your cello to have. You should also consider tone and budget.

Thanks to the quality represented on this list, you can not go wrong when choosing from these brands.

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Christine Davies is a widely experienced teacher, and her passion is playing the cello. Her drive to make music learning fun led to the publication of her book, ‘Games for Music Reading.’ Recently she formed the cello quartet Montycelli which she takes into local schools to expose children to live music and inspire them to learn the cello.