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Have you been looking for the best cello for you only to find everything isn’t quite right? Before you give up on your cello-playing dreams, consider our Cecilio CCO-500 review and guide.
The model may not be one you’ll find in a professional orchestra, but that doesn’t mean it’s the worst out there. Plus, you may find it’s the best cello for your current needs.
Bottom Line Up Front
I wouldn’t recommend the Cecilio CCO-500 to music majors or professionals. However, it can get the job done for beginners and casual players on a tight budget.
What Is the Cecilio CCO-500?
The Cecilio CCO-500 claims to be for intermediate cellists, meaning players with some experience. However, I’d say that all of Cecilio’s instruments are for beginners.
This brand is quite cheap compared to other student and intermediate cello models. While it may work for some intermediate players, it doesn’t have a ton of features that make it a suitable upgrade.
Before you decide if the CCO-500 is or isn’t for you, it’s important to learn about the model. That way, you can get a good idea of how the instrument will work if you decide to buy it.
How It Works
The CCO-500 works similarly to other Cecilio cellos in that you use a bow or your fingers to bow or pluck four strings. It has a lot of the same features as other beginner cellos.
Some of the lower-level Cecilio cellos use cheaper materials to bring the cost down even more. So you might find that this model feels and sounds like a beginner Cremona or Yamaha cello, for example.
This Cecilio cello features a spruce top with maple making up the back and sides of the body. Unlike some of the other Cecilio models, this one uses ebony for the fittings and fingerboard.
Ebony is pretty standard for the fitting material among cellos of all brands and levels. So if you’re on a tight budget and want to try the cello, you can get a good idea of how a more expensive instrument will sound or feel.
You’ll also get a one-year warranty, but that only applies to manufacturer-related issues. If you drop the cello, the warranty probably won’t cover any of the repair or replacement costs.
Accessories You Get
When you’re looking to learn the cello, you don’t just need the instrument. Fortunately, Cecilio includes a Brazilwood bow so that you can play classical music.
You’ll also receive rosin to use with that bow and an extra set of strings if your strings break. A cello bridge comes in the package, and you’ll need to set it up since Cecilio doesn’t put it on before shipping the instrument.
This model even comes with a cello stand, which is useful if you need to take a practice break without putting the cello away. And it comes with a hard and soft case, which can be a bit more protective than some cases.
- Includes plenty of accessories
- Good materials
- Easy to play
- Suitable for beginners
- Not for intermediate players
- Somewhat poor quality
How It Compares to Other Cecilio Cellos
The Cecilio CCO-500 is one of a few different cellos from the company. If you’re looking for something bare-bones at the lowest possible price, you may prefer the CCO-100.
That cello uses cheaper materials and a cheaper manufacturing process. While the 500 uses hand-carved spruce, the 100 doesn’t mention any handwork.
You’ll also find that the lower model numbers use maple or boxwood for the fittings. The 500 and 600 use ebony, which is more common among reputable brands, so you may find this model is more similar to popular cellos.
If you’re considering any Cecilio cello, try it before you commit to buying it. When trials aren’t an option, you can usually buy and return the cello if it doesn’t work for you.
That way, if Cecilio is the brand for you, you’ll get the correct model. And if it’s not the right fit, you can start looking for models from other brands.
Where to Buy the Cecilio CCO-500
The easiest place to buy the Cecilio CCO-500 is Amazon because they usually have it in stock. However, you may also find the cello on websites like Reverb or eBay.
I’d recommend avoiding buying the cello from sites aside from Amazon. Because this cello is already so cheap, you don’t need to buy a used one to get a good deal.
Buying a used Cecilio CCO-500 may do more harm than good. You don’t know how well the seller took care of the instrument, so it could only last a few days once you get it.
At least if you buy it new, you’ll be able to play it longer. Plus, you’ll be able to take advantage of the manufacturer warranty if something happens to the instrument within the first year.
Special Concerns to Think About
Whether you want to buy a new CCO-500 or try your luck with a used one, you should consider a few things. Buying an instrument is a very personal decision, and I don’t want you to rush into a purchase.
The more you know about the Cecilio CCO-500, the easier you’ll be able to determine if it meets your needs. Even as a beginner, you need the best instrument you can get to help support you as you learn.
Here are some essential things you should consider before you buy the CCO-500.
I’m part of a few music-related groups online, and the question of cheap instruments comes up regularly. Whenever someone asks about Cecilio, a lot of people reply saying that the brand is low quality and not worth your time.
Some musicians go so far as to call Cecilio instruments “instrument shaped objects.” Unfortunately, I agree with a lot of those negative sentiments.
When you’re learning an instrument, you don’t want to have an instrument that will hold you back. The low-quality processes and materials can make playing a Cecilio cello impossible at worst or unsustainable at best.
You should also consider the cost of repairs or general maintenance on a cello. If something breaks, you may need to take it to a luthier to fix it if you can’t fix it at home.
However, if the problem is significant, the cost of the repair may be more expensive than the value of the cello. In that case, a repair technician will probably advise you to get a new instrument instead of putting more money into a Cecilio.
Now, you may be able to play the cello for months or years without issues. If you know you’ll be careful not to drop it or knock it into something, you might not have to worry about repairs.
Another thing to consider is your current level as a cellist. If you’ve played the instrument for any length of time, avoid Cecilio cellos and save your money for a better upgrade.
However, if you’re new to the instrument and want to test it out, you can get the Cecilio CCO-500. You can use the instrument to learn if you want to continue playing the cello.
Then, you’ll know to start saving up money for a good cello, and you can use the Cecilio in the meantime. But I’d only recommend using the Cecilio cello as a gateway to your musical journey and not an instrument you plan to play for years.
One of the most vital aspects of selecting any cello model is choosing the correct size. The Cecilio CCO-500 only comes in a 3/4 and a 4/4 option, so you’ll need to be about four and a half feet tall or taller.
Take a look at a good cello size chart to figure out what size is the best for you or your child. If your child wants to play the cello, the CCO-500 may be too big for them.
But no matter what size you think is best, try it out if you can. That way, you’ll know for sure the instrument will be comfortable for you or your child to play.
Ah, the future. It can be daunting to think about where you want to be in a year or a few years. But if music school or a career as a cellist is something you want, you should probably avoid Cecilio cellos.
These instruments are nice for beginners, but they won’t help you get that debut concert at Carnegie Hall. Instead, you should get a cello from a more reputable brand.
A better instrument will make it easier to play, which will help motivate you to practice. Then, you may find you can reach a higher level in less time, so you can reach your goals.
What Your Teacher Requires
Before you buy any cello, you should consult either a cello teacher or orchestra director. If you want to take private lessons, a cello teacher can suggest some models for you based on your situation.
Some cello teachers may also have requirements for their students, such as a certain brand or model. If you’re going to play in an orchestra, ask your director what they require.
A lot of directors don’t allow colorful cellos. While the CCO-500 doesn’t come in different colors, it helps to know if you’ll need a model with a natural wood stain or if you’ll need anything else to play in the group.
Other Cellos to Compare
An important part of a good Cecilio CCO-500 review and guide is to compare the model to other cellos. You may luck out and find that Cecilio is the perfect fit for you.
However, you might not like how it feels or sounds. But before you give up on playing the cello, you should learn about other brands and models in a similar category.
Even though I believe it’s more of a beginner model, Cecilio says the CCO-500 is for intermediate players. So I found a few beginners and intermediate models you should consider.
The Cremona SC-500 is an excellent cello for players looking for an upgrade. It features a spruce top as well as flamed maple on the back and sides of the body.
Meanwhile, the ebony fittings and fingerboard help make playing the cello smooth and easy. The lightweight tailpiece helps you tune the cello quickly so that you can get straight to practicing.
You’ll also receive an extra set of strings as well as a French-made bridge. Cremona follows educational standards, so this is a great choice for cellists in a school orchestra.
There’s also a deluxe bow that you can use with the cello. Everything comes in a soft case to protect the cello from scratches without being too heavy.
- Great quality
- Extra set of strings
- Easy to set up
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Tuning is quick
- A bit expensive
- Only in one size
D Z Strad 250
Another alternative to try is the D Z Strad 250, which is a handmade intermediate cello. The cello uses aged tonewoods, including ebony, so you can get the best possible sound.
This model is easy to play, which is nice for advancing students. It also features a gorgeous varnish that can help the instrument stand out visually if you’re a soloist.
You’ll receive a bow, rosin, and an endpin stopper, and everything comes in a case. Available sizes range from 4/4 down to 1/8 and include sizes in between.
Unfortunately, it is quite a bit more expensive than the Cecilio and even the Cremona. But if you’re looking to take you playing up an octave (figuratively and literally), this may be the model for you.
- Handmade instrument
- Excellent quality
- Comes with accessories
- Easy to play
- Variety of sizes available
- Quite expensive
- Not for beginners
I’ve played multiple Yamaha instruments, and I can vouch for their quality. Luckily, the Yamaha AVC5 is a cello that meets the brand’s fantastic reputation.
This cello uses maple and spruce to make up the body, which can help you get a resonant sound. It features an oil varnish to protect the wood and make the cello look good.
Yamaha follows and exceeds national music education standards, so this model is perfect for students. You can even choose from different sizes, though you may need to find separate listings for the correct size.
Of course, this model costs a lot more than the Cecilio CCO-500. However, it can be worth investing more in the instrument when you know you’ll play it for a long time.
- Follows education standards
- Good materials
- Easy to play
- Sounds great
- Comes in different sizes
- Expensive for what you get
- Not for casual players
FAQs About the Cecilio CCO-500 Review and Guide
Answer: You should play the Cecilio CCO-500 if you need an affordable beginner cello. It’s useful if you don’t want to buy the most basic model but aren’t quite ready for an advanced instrument.
Casual players may find they can get a good sound from the cello. If you want to practice your cello on vacation, you can travel with this model to avoid losing or breaking a better model that you usually play.
Answer: If you want the cheapest possible model, the CCO-100 will be a better fit than the 500. You should also avoid this Cecilio model if you want something of better quality.
Whenever you’re looking to upgrade, stick to more reputable brands. That way, you won’t have to buy another new cello in a year or two, so you can get the most use out of whatever model you select.
Answer: While the Cecilio CCO-500 as it comes isn’t the best, you can make small improvements to it. First, you can swap out the strings with a set from a brand like D’Addario.
Another way to improve the instrument is to get a new bow and some better rosin. That way, the bow can move more easily over the strings to help you get the best possible sound.
Answer: Your chances of fixing a broken Cecilio cello depend on the extent of the damage. If the bridge falls out of place, for example, you can put it back in at home.
However, if a bigger piece breaks, you should have a professional look at it and give you a quote. Even then, the luthier may tell you that the cello is worth less than what it would cost to fix, so you may want to get a different model.
Final Note on the Cecilio CCO-500 Review and Guide
When shopping for a cello, you should read a Cecilio CCO-500 review and guide to see if the model is for you. It can be a suitable option for some players, but it may not meet your needs.
I’d suggest beginners and casual players give the model a try. However, if you want to take the cello seriously, you’re better off spending your money on a Yamaha or Cremona cello.
Then, you won’t have to worry about the low quality of Cecilio’s instruments. And you may have more motivation to practice and improve.