Then, you can learn if the model will meet your needs and help you reach your cello playing goals. If it doesn’t, you’ll know to look at other models.
Bottom Line Up Front: The Cecilio CCO-500 is an affordable, basic cello for beginners and casual players. However, it may be a bit limiting for players bound for music school or a professional career.
What is the Cecilio CCO-500?
You can use it to first learn the cello, return to playing after a multi-year break, or as a backup model. While I’d hesitate to recommend it to a serious student, it does serve a purpose for some players.
If you’re on a tight budget and need a suitable instrument, the CCO-500 is worth trying.
How It Plays
You can play the Cecilio CCO-500 similarly to how you’d play any other cello model. If the strings are too loose or too tight, the instrument is adjustable.
Now, as you advance, you may find the cello limits your tonal flexibility. However, it offers a good amount of control and response for beginners and casual cellists.
Before you decide the cello isn’t for you, give it a try. It may play better than you expect, so you could save money on your next instrument.
This model features a spruce top and a maple back as well as two maple sides. The neck is also maple, while the fingerboard and fittings are ebony, so the materials are pretty standard for cellos.
On top of the wood is a high-luster varnish that makes the cello look and sound great. You can use the fine tuners and the pegs to help the cello play in tune, and you can adjust as needed.
This model comes in 3/4 and 4/4 sizes, so it’s nice for adults and older kids. However, you’ll want to choose another model if you have a younger child who wants to play the cello because the instrument will be too big.
Along with the cello body, you’ll receive a Brazilwood bow to play bowed music. The bow features unbleached Mongolian horsehair, so you can get a good sound.
The case has wheels as well as a handle on the side and near the top. That makes it easy to transport the cello safely, so you can go to and from rehearsals or concerts.
- Good materials
- Nice sound
- Comes with accessories
- Easy to play
- Not for professionals
- Some of the accessories are cheap
How It Compares to Other Cecilio Cellos
The CCO-500 has better materials than the cheaper, lower-numbered options. That makes it a better option if you want to use it for a bit longer as you start to learn the cello.
Where to Buy the Cecilio CCO-500
If you decide to buy the Cecilio CCO-500, I’d recommend looking for it on Amazon. Amazon makes it easy to buy an instrument and have them ship it to your door.
You can find the cello on sites like eBay or Reverb, but a lot of those listings are for used cellos. The CCO-500 is already pretty cheap as far as cellos go, so I wouldn’t recommend buying a used one.
A new one will probably last a bit longer, and Cecilio cellos already aren’t going to last for centuries. You also may not be able to return or exchange a used cello if you don’t like it.
If you have to buy a used Cecilio CCO-500, stick to your local area. Ask to meet the seller in person so that you can give the cello a good trial run before you commit to purchasing it.
Things to Know Before You Buy
While it’s important to know where to buy a Cecilio cello, you should consider a few other things. Then, you can make sure that the model is going to work well for you.
The more you know ahead of time, the easier it will be to avoid buyer’s remorse. I can’t guarantee that knowing these things will help you find an instrument you like.
However, you should still consider the following things to make sure a Cecilio cello is a good choice.
If you ask professional musicians what they think of Cecilio instruments, they probably won’t have great things to say. As a musician myself, I’ve heard that Cecilio and similar brands use cheaper materials.
They may also cut corners during the manufacturing process to save money. While that results in a lower-cost cello for you, it can also result in an instrument that won’t last.
You can still get good use out of the CCO-500, but you need to have realistic expectations. It also helps to start saving money now to replace the cello when it stops working well.
Another factor that can make a huge difference in your cello purchase is the size options. Now, the CCO-500 comes in more sizes than some, but you can only choose the 3/4 or 4/4 option.
If you’re an adult or teenager looking to learn the cello, one of those sizes should work. However, if you have a younger child who wants to learn, even the 3/4 cello may be too big for them.
Be sure to consult a cello size chart if you aren’t sure which size is best for you. The chart may not be perfect, but it can help you narrow your options to find a comfortable instrument.
Before you buy a cello, consider your current playing and skills on the instrument. If you’re a beginner, the CCO-500 may be a good option because it’s affordable and has what you need to start playing.
However, I wouldn’t recommend it as an upgrade for any player. After you’ve played for a while, you know you’re going to stick with it, so you can justify spending a bit more on a better model.
That way, you can get an instrument that you’ll be able to play for years or decades. If you chose another Cecilio, you might have to keep replacing it every few years.
It also helps to consider how you plan to play the CCO-500, specifically, or the cello, in general. If you want to be a professional musician or go to college to study the cello, this model isn’t great.
However, it may be the perfect fit if you want to play alone at home. You might even be able to play it in a community orchestra or string quartet if you like playing with others.
Think about where you see yourself as a cellist in a few years. Then, you can determine if the CCO-500 will support those goals or if you need a different model.
Consider Others’ Opinions
You don’t have to care what others think of your cello. However, you may want to at least get opinions from more advanced musicians, especially if you’re new to playing.
A cello teacher, section member, or another friend can recommend models to you. They may even be able to demonstrate a Cecilio cello and show you how it could keep you from playing your best.
You’ll be the one to make the final decision on what cello to get, but it helps to get advice from someone else. Then, you can make sure the Cecilio cellos will meet your needs.
If You Don’t Like It
Before buying any instrument, particularly online, you should consider if you can return it. Fortunately, Amazon offers a return policy, so you can send the CCO-500 back if you don’t like it.
You have 30 days from when you receive the instrument to return it for a refund. Then, you can use the money to buy another cello that you may prefer.
So take a week or two to really test it out and see if you like how it feels and sounds. If you think there’s something better out there, return the cello and keep shopping.
If the Cello Breaks
Cellos can be very delicate, and you need to be extremely careful when moving them. Cecilio does offer a one-year warranty on their cellos, including the CCO-500.
However, the warranty only applies to manufacturer defects. It won’t apply if you drop the cello or if someone else knocks it over when you put it on a stand.
You also probably can’t use the warranty if you buy a used cello, even if it’s less than a year old. Keep those things in mind when handling the cello so that you can keep it in good condition.
You should also think about the value of a Cecilio cello, not just the price. Many similar models from other brands cost much more than a Cecilio.
However, those brands usually are more valuable, and you can get more use out of those cellos. If those cellos break, you’re also more likely to find a luthier willing to perform repairs.
When it comes to cheap instruments, a lot of professionals won’t fix them. In many cases, the repairs would cost more than the value of the instrument, so you’re better off buying a new one.
Other Cellos to Try
You may try the Cecilio CCO-500 and find it’s the best cello for you. However, you might give it a try and realize that you don’t like how it feels or that you want a richer tone.
Before you settle on your next cello, you should compare a few options. That way, you’ll open yourself up to more models that may meet your needs better.
Here are a few cellos that are similar to the Cecilio CCO-500 and are worth trying.
I’ve briefly mentioned the Cecilio CCO-600, and it’s very close to the 500 in terms of features. Both use spruce and maple for the cello body and ebony for the fittings.
However, the 600 uses aged tonewoods, so the wood has been sitting for seven years. It also features hand-rubbed oil varnish, so it looks a bit different from the 500.
Unfortunately, you can only get the 600 in the full, 4/4 size. If you’re a bit shorter or have smaller hands, you may have to reach a bit to play it, so it could get uncomfortable quickly.
Those tonewoods are hand-carved to help get an exact design. That way, you can get a resonant sound, and you can enjoy playing the cello.
Ebony fittings feel good and make it easy to move your fingers up and down the fingerboard. Meanwhile, the endpin features a brass tip and a chrome tube.
You’ll receive a rosewood bow with Mongolian horsehair, so you can start playing. But you might want to buy some rosin separately to help give you a rich tone.
- Good materials
- Hand-carved woods
- Feels and sounds nice
- Comes with a bow
- Doesn’t have a ton of accessories
- Only in full size
Like many other cellos, this one uses spruce and maple as the main tonewoods for the body. There are ebony fittings and an ebony fingerboard, so the cello is easy and enjoyable to play.
Cremona follows national music education standards, so this model is perfect for playing in school. The strings are at the right height and spacing to help you play the correct notes.
This model is lightweight, which is great if you need to take it to a lot of different places. Plus, it comes with a balanced bow, so you can start playing immediately.
- Follows music education standards
- Balanced bow
- Sounds great
- You may need a different bridge
- Not for professionals
FAQs About the Cecilio CCO-500
Answer: Cecilio cellos can be good for some players, but they aren’t the best overall. I’d recommend Cecilio cellos to beginners who don’t have access to a cello rental program.
You can spend a bit of money on a Cecilio cello to see if you like playing the instrument. Then, you’ll be able to upgrade to a better model.
Answer: You can change the strings on a Cecilio cello to make the instrument sound a bit better. Another option is to buy rosin from another brand, such as a specialty rosin company.
If you still need to get the instrument to sound better, you can upgrade to a better bow. Then, you can get more of the sound you want without having to buy a whole different cello.
Answer: The Cecilio CCO-500 is a good backup cello for many serious players. For example, you might want to take a cello on vacation to practice, but you don’t want to fly with your good instrument.
Buying a cheaper model as a backup is great because you don’t have to worry as much about damage. You still want to be careful, but the damage won’t be as devastating.
Answer: Compared to other cheap cellos, the Cecilio CCO-500 is actually pretty good. It uses maple, spruce, and ebony as the main woods, which is on par with cellos from more expensive brands.
You still need to have low expectations when buying the model, but it may surprise you how well it can play if you take good care of it.
Final Note on the Cecilio CCO-500 Review and Guide
If you’re looking for an affordable cello, a Cecilio CCO-500 review and guide can help. I took a look at the model and found that while it’s not perfect, it’s better than some options.
The cello is a good fit if you’re a beginner or a casual player who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money. But if you’re more serious, you should consider other brands and models, like the Cremona SC-130.