Summary: In this Best 4/4 Cello Guide, you will learn what manufacturers to consider based on your musical skill and the type of cello you want.
The cello is one of the most prominent members of the string family. It is a stringed instrument which means you can play it with a bow. This site is one of the largest sizes and the most common sizes for adults.
So what makes a cello excellent or bad? What features are most important? This best 4/4 cello guide explains…
Out of all the models in this best 4/4 cello guide, I recommend the D Z Strad Cello Model 250. It has supreme craftsmanship, and all accessories are top of the line.
The wood is of a significantly higher grade, which directly impacts the sound quality. However, this is meant for an intermediate or professional, so if you are on a budget, the Eastar is my Top Choice.
Everything I included in this Best 4/4 Cello Guide is evaluated based on the craftsmanship and the quality of the materials used. I also look at the reviews and how well it is received by customers or what complaints they might have.
Best 4/4 Cello Guide: What is the 4/4 Cello?
Cellos come in different sizes. A 4/4 cello or “full size” is the most common, one of the biggest, and intended for adults. They have a somewhat similar sizing structure as violins in that they use fractional representations.
A 4/4 cello can be:
- Acoustic: An acoustic cello is what most people think of when they picture a cello. it is a solid wood body construction that is hollow on the inside. You run the bow across the cello strings, and the vibrations go into the body and are projected outward. The sound is entirely natural and relies only on acoustic resonance.
- Electric: As the name implies, electric cellos usually require a battery and a speaker system. But with that, you can play different types of music and get a lot of fun metallic sounds.
If you are starting, I recommend sticking with the traditional acoustic cello. Most people play this, and it is easier to learn an acoustic instrument because you do not have to worry about purchasing as many accessories or having some cable hookup whenever you want to practice.
With an acoustic cello, you can grab your instrument and play whenever the mood strikes. Acoustic cellos also fit with all genres of music, so you have a more comprehensive array of opportunities.
Best 4/4 Cello Guide: What Features are Most Important?
When you buy a 4/4 cello, you have to consider the materials that go into the design. Cellos, like most acoustic instruments, are crafted from wood. However, there are significant differences in the tonewoods used.
The same maple and spruce might be used on a beginner AND professional instrument, but there are key differences in how the wood was cut, how thick it is, and how long it was left to age.
The same can be said about the fingerboard and pegs; these, too, are made from wood and need to be a strong wood that can withstand the vibrations of such a large instrument.
Not all cellos are made the same. You want the fingerboard (where the strings rest) to be hardwood-like ebony and the pegs to be ebony or a similar hardwood that can stand up to the tension of the strings.
The finish is essential as well. Usually, the varnish is applied to the body of your instrument, but there are plenty of situations where you have colored paint and varnish to turn your natural wood grain into a fun blue, black, or white.
Strings matter too. However, you can always replace strings. If you can avoid a replacement as soon as you buy a 4/4 cello, that is better. Similarly, beginner models come with extra strings, and usually, these strings are at a beginner or intermediate level.
You will get higher quality strings as you invest more money in higher quality, professional instruments. Similarly, the bow you get should be a strong wood like Brazilwood, but you can invest in carbon fiber or Pernambuco as you advance. Your bow should feature unbleached Mongolian horsehair.
Beyond that, there are other features or accessories that you will need but do not necessarily require when you purchase your cello.
I mean to say, you can buy certain accessories separately, so you do not require your cello to come with things like cello rosin or extra strings. You can always purchase the instrument independently and then buy something like a hard case or a cello stand on your own.
Everything I have put under this following selection of recommendations is based on the quality of the materials, specifically the wood used for the construction of the cello.
I also established my selection criteria based on different musical skills, so there is something for beginner, intermediate, and advanced performers. What is more, there are acoustic and electric options.
Best 4/4 Cello Guide: My Top Picks
LYKOS 4/4 Acoustic Cello + Case + Bow + Rosin Wood Color Beautiful Varnish Finishing (Blue)
If you have musical experience with the cello, I recommend you upgrade the strings on this, as they come with beginner strings. The tension needs some time to break-in, but it makes beautiful warm sounds once you do. It responds well for an adult beginner or adult on a budget.
I like that it has the accessories you need (though you might want a hard case instead of the soft, padded one). One problem with this model is that it comes directly from the factory, so it is not set up.
You have to set everything up yourself. I would strongly recommend you take it to a luthier and have them make some slight adjustments.
- Only available in a blue finish
Eastern Acoustic Cello 4/4 for Beginners Adult
The Easter Acoustic Cello 4/4 for Beginners Adult is a remedial model perfect for beginners. It is constructed with maple and spruce. You get a beautiful set of vertical lines in the wood grain. It comes with a stand, a space bridge, spare strings, rosin, a bow, and a case.
I strongly recommend this version for beginner adults because of how many things you get. The construction is also of excellent quality. This brand is known for beginner and intermediate instrument design.
- You get a fine adjustment knob for specialty tuning
- It comes with a practice bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
- It has a three-pack of rosin, so you will not have to worry about new rosin for a while
- It is designed with fingerboard stickers. These are transparent stickers that reflect light so you can quickly learn where your hand placement should be, but not everyone likes this.
Infinite Electric Acoustic Cello
The Infinite Electric Acoustic Cello 4/4 Solid Maple Spruce wood Ebony Fittings Sweet Sound With Cello Bag Bow (Blue) is another blue model but a slightly better design. This uses spruce and maple (not basswood), so the structure or body of the cello is somewhat more robust. The wood used has been air-dried for ten years.
This is an electric acoustic cello which can be pretty fun for those who want to try both styles of music. You can play it as an acoustic cello or plug it in and enjoy the excellent electric, metallic sound. Similar to the Lykos cello, this one is also directly from the factory, so it has to be set up by a luthier.
- Suitable for beginners or intermediates
- All of the wood for the construction was air-dried for ten years.
- It comes with a Brazilwood bow, rosin cake, cord, soft bag, and a cleaning cloth
- Also only available in a blue finish, though this one is a fun teal color which I prefer over the Lykos blue
Cecilio 4/4 CECO-1BK Black Metallic Electric Cello
If you want an entirely electric cello, you want the Cecilio 4/4 CECO-1BK Black Metallic Electric Cello. I like the sound of this particular cello. Cecilio is an excellent brand. They are highly regarded for beginner instruments, especially stringed instruments.
I want to warn you that many people who live in apartment buildings or have prominent families think that they can save money and annoy their families by investing in a “silent cello” or an electric cello.
Do not purchase this electric cello because you want something that will not annoy your neighbors. If you’re going to learn to play the cello, do not shy away from a full-size acoustic cello. The utterly electric cello is something you should try after you have learned to play an acoustic cello.
- Made with solid maple wood
- It has a battery, auxiliary cable, and headphones included
- It has a beautiful metallic black finish
- It only comes with a soft case, and the headphones are something you might want to upgrade
D Z Strad Cello Model 250
D Z Strad Cello Model 250 is an enchanting model for anyone who has the money to spend. This is one of the best companies for full-size cellos.
They are straightforward to play, with beautiful tonal qualities and a warm sound. You get an impressive projection perfect for a professional or an intermediate player who needs to be heard above a group of other stringed instruments.
These models are 100% handmade. You got a beautiful boil varnish for the finish, which helps bring out the natural grain of the high-quality, aged wood. You get a genuine ebony fingerboard and fittings and stunning aged maple and spruce for the body.
- Aged tonewoods
- Exceptional varnish
- It comes with a hard case, Hidersine cello rosin, Helicore D’Addario strings, and a Brazilwood bow
- Significantly more expensive, at around $2,650 compared to the $300 of the Lykos version
- Designed for professionals
Answer: This depends on your skill. Cecilio is one of the most popular, particularly for beginner models. D Z Strad is another great manufacturer, known for its craftsmanship and quality, but is meant more for professionals.
Answer: When you first play the cello, you will need a bow. Your cello bow allows you to play the strings that should come with your instrument.
If for some reason, you do not have strings with your instrument, you will need to add this to your investment. You will also need cello rosin and a cleaning cloth. If you want someplace to store your instruments safely, consider a case and a cello stand.
Answer: You do not have to buy a new cello to get the best 4/4 cello. If the cost of a high-quality cello is outside of your price range at present, you can look for used instruments online or in a music shop.
There are plenty of situations where parents might sell back a used instrument at the end of the school year or where an adult decides if they do not want to continue with her hobby.
You might also have opportunities to rent a full-size cello from a nearby music school or music shop. This can be a great option if you only need it for a few years or months each year.
Answer: A nice cello for a beginner might only cost a few hundred dollars, while a nice cello for an intermediate or professional player might cost between $1,200 and $2,500.
Answer: Many stringed instruments like Cecilio cellos are manufactured in China and then sent to the United States. Some manufacturers assemble everything once the parts get to the United States, but not all of them.
You can buy decent cellos made from China, but realistically, this is only suitable for beginners. If you regularly perform, especially solo performances, you want something assembled by hand once it reaches the United States.
If money is no object, I recommend the D Z Strad Cello Model 250. This is a very well-known brand for its exceptional craftsmanship and artistry.
You can see the quality of their handcrafted designs throughout the entire instrument. If, however, you are a beginner, Eastar is my next (more affordable) option.
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