After you’ve played cello for a few years and have the basics down, it’s time to start taking a look at the best intermediate cellos. It can be tricky for intermediate players to choose the best cello, and finding one that meets your expectations is a big task.

I’ve been playing the cello for more than 20 years and teaching for more than 10. I’ve played countless cellos during that time, and I know that sound and playability are the factors that make a good intermediate cello.

Quick Look: 10 Best Intermediate Cellos

#1 Best Intermediate Cello Overall: D Z Strad 600 


Whether you’re an acoustic player, an electric player, or both, here’s a selection of the best intermediate cellos on the market.

What Is an Intermediate Cello?

An intermediate cello is an instrument to buy once you’re more familiar with the basics of playing the cello. With a bit more experience, you should have a better idea of what you’re looking for from an intermediate cello in terms of sound and quality.

one of the best intermediate cellos

Just like beginner cellos, intermediate cellos should keep you inspired and motivated to continue advancing as a musician. The best intermediate cellos have great playability, sound, and quality.

Types of Intermediate Cellos

Types of intermediate cellos available on the market are divided into acoustic, electric, and electric-acoustic. Acoustic cellos are the most common, but you can find great electric intermediate cellos too.

Acoustic Intermediate Cello

Made from natural wood, an acoustic cello has a beautiful tone and is the most traditional cello. Intermediate acoustic cellos have better quality wood and more attention to detail than beginner instruments, giving them a richer sound.

Electric Intermediate Cello

More of a modern phenomenon, electric cellos have great playability. Several models fit into the intermediate cello category. With an electric cello, you can plug into an amplifier to increase your volume or use effects like distortion or reverb. You can also practice silently with headphones.

Acoustic-Electric Intermediate Cello

As the name suggests, acoustic-electric cellos are traditional cellos that contain a pickup, allowing you to amplify it like you would an electric cello. There aren’t many of these on the market, and because they’re a hybrid instrument they do come with compromises.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Intermediate Cello

Just like with beginner cellos and professional cellos, the most important factors for choosing the best intermediate cellos are sound, quality, and playability. Beauty and budget are other important things to think about.


Intermediate cellos are usually full-sized, but some models fit cellists of all ages and sizes. Cellos also come in fractional sizes: 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, and 4/4 (full size).

Most adults play a full-sized cello, although a 7/8 size is sometimes preferable. Use the following list for younger beginners:

  • 3-5 years: 1/16 or 1/8 size
  • 5-7 years: 1/4 size
  • 7-11 years: 1/2 size
  • 11-15 years: 3/4 size
  • 15+ years: 7/8 or 4/4 size

The Overall Tone & Sound

The most important factor when choosing the best intermediate cello is the sound, and all cellos have their own unique tone. Your cello should have a beautiful sound that’s rich and warm. It should ring evenly across all four strings.


Intermediate cellos are a step up in price from beginner cellos, but it shows in their sound and quality. You can expect a price range from about $1,500 to about $6,000.


Intermediate cellos are made by luthiers from fine selections of wood. Each cello has its own beauty and this can be very subjective. Many people prefer an antique, aged look to the wood of their cello.

Electric cellos come in all kinds of interesting designs and colors to suit your personal style. They’re often quite narrow, as the full body of an acoustic cello isn’t necessary to produce sound. Often the narrow body is complemented by a thin acoustic cello-like frame, which will make the instrument feel more like a traditional cello.

10 Best Intermediate Cellos

The following is a list of the 10 best intermediate cellos. You’ll find a selection of acoustic and electric instruments here, with the main focus always on sound, quality, and playability.

1. D Z Strad Model 600

  • Available sizes: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 4/4
  • Strings: Spirocore and Larsen
  • What’s included: Cello, bow, case, strings, rosin
  • Material & finish: Selected flamed maple and spruce, antique varnish finish
  • Best for: Intermediate cellists

The D Z Strad Model 600 cello from D Z Strad is a striking antique model with an even, warm, and round tone. With an outfit package including a quality bow, this is a fantastic intermediate cello.

✅ Outfit package
✅ Great size range
✅ Even tone
✅ Trusted brand
❌ High price tag

Why I Recommend It

I played this cello for years, and after I bought an advanced cello for live performances, I kept it as a backup and also to lend to students. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best cello for intermediate players, and I’m certain that my students would agree.

Because of its clear tone and projection, it’s not only suitable for practice and study, but it’s also one of the best concert cellos for intermediate players. This cello will see you through many years of cello playing.



2. Maple Leaf Strings Master Lucienne

  • Available sizes: 4/4
  • Strings: Superior strings
  • What’s included: Cello, protective case
  • Material & finish: Aged maple and spruce, warm varnish finish
  • Best for: Intermediate and beginner players

The high quality Maple Leaf Strings Master Lucienne cello is individually handcrafted by their luthier Master Lucienne, a famous cello and violin maker who typically focuses on advanced instruments. With aged wood and fine craftsmanship, this cello has a deep and clear tone.

✅ Individually handcrafted
✅ Aged wood
❌ High price tag
❌ No outfit package

Why I Recommend It

This cello is a favorite of my students, who choose it for its classic looks as much as its robust sound. This is a good cello for intermediate players or even for beginners who want to invest a bit more in a quality cello. I always recommend instruments like this one that have been handcrafted by an individual luthier.



3. Andreas Eastman VC405

  • Available sizes: 7/8, 4/4
  • Strings: Larsen and Spirocore
  • What’s included: Cello, carbon fiber bow, soft case, rosin
  • Material & finish: European or Chinese maple and spruce, antique spirit varnish
  • Best for: Intermediate or beginner players

The Andreas Eastman VC405 series of cellos are crafted using traditional materials and techniques, including a special varnish resembling the superior German varnishes of more than a century ago. It’s details like this that make it an excellent choice for both beginner and intermediate players.

✅ 7/8 size available
✅ Outfit package
✅ Trusted brand/lifetime warranty
❌ Limited sound colors

Why I Recommend It

Several of my cellist friends play Andreas Eastman cellos, and while their advanced models are quite expensive, the VC405 is an affordable option that looks and sounds great. You can also find it in an outfit package that includes a bow, case, and resin.

For someone a little smaller than average, a full-sized cello can sometimes be difficult to get around. This cello is my recommendation for a smaller adult cellist, as it’s offered in a rare 7/8 size.



4. Scherl & Roth Hand Crafted Galliard

  • Available sizes: 1/2, 3/4, 4/4
  • Strings: Prelude
  • What’s included: Cello, carbon fiber bow, soft case, rosin
  • Material & finish: European maple and spruce, hybrid lacquer/spirit varnish
  • Best for: Young intermediate or beginner players

The Scherl & Roth Hand Crafted Galliard cello is a budget instrument, but you’d never know it by sight or sound. High quality wood and other materials combined with first-rate craftsmanship make for an exceptional cello that’s great for beginner or intermediate players on a budget.

✅ Low price tag
✅ Outfit package
✅ Good size range
❌ Lacquer finish
❌ Limited sound colors

Why I Recommend It

As I tried the lower-price cello options in a music shop, this one immediately jumped out at me as something special. It has a full sound with excellent projection, and its wood and varnish make the cello shine.

I highly recommend it to intermediate cellists looking for an outfit package at a low price. This cello is also a great pick for younger cellists, as it comes in a good range of sizes.



5. Strobel MC-500 Recital Series

  • Available sizes: 4/4
  • Strings: Thomastik Dominant
  • What’s included: Cello, pernambuco bow, carbon fiber hard case
  • Material & finish: Highly flamed maple and spruce, antique spirit varnish finish
  • Best for: Intermediate players looking for a quality outfit package

Strobel has a range of cellos for musicians at all playing levels, and their best intermediate cello is the Strobel MC-500 Recital Series. With a strong tone and quality strings and case, this is a fantastic cello and outfit package.

✅ Strong tone
✅ Hard case
✅ Best outfit package
❌ High price tag

Why I Recommend It

Many of my students buy outfit packages, and I like to check out the accessories that come with each. From all of the intermediate cellos I’ve seen and tried, this is the one with the best outfit package. Other outfit packages may try to sneak in a flimsy case and cheap strings, but this cello comes with a carbon fiber hard case and quality strings. It’s my recommendation if you’re looking to upgrade your entire setup.



6. Fiddlerman Master Cello

  • Available sizes: 3/4, 4/4
  • Strings: D’Addario Helicore or custom
  • What’s included: Cello, Holstein bow, composite hard case
  • Material & finish: Maple and spruce, dark-brown oil varnish finish
  • Best for: Intermediate players on a budget

The Fiddlerman Master Cello is a serious instrument for serious players. It not only has quality craftsmanship and superior playability, but also a low price and a lifetime warranty.

✅ Low price tag
✅ Outfit package
✅ Lifetime warranty and adjustments
❌ Low-quality outfit package
❌ Limited sound

Why I Recommend It

I had a great time playing this cello in my local music shop, and it’s another excellent choice for an intermediate player on a budget. There’s something about the way the cello felt in my hands that told me it was a quality product, and on the first pull of the bow against the strings, I knew the sound was every bit as good as the feel.



7. Fiddlerman Artist Cello

  • Available Sizes: 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4
  • Strings: D’Addario Helicore
  • What’s included: Cello, hard canvas cello cover, carbon fiber bow, Holstein rosin
  • Material & finish: Antiqued spruce and maple wood, spirit varnish finish
  • Best for: Beginners and intermediate players on a budget

The Fiddlerman Artist Cello is a step down in price from the Fiddlerman Master Cello, but you’d hardly know it. I tried both on the same day, and although they have different looks, their playability and dynamic tone was nearly indistinguishable. That’s the consistency and attention to detail that you can expect from a company like Fiddlerman.

✅ Lowest price tag
✅ Warm tone
✅ Great playability
✅ Lifetime warranty and adjustments
❌ Limited sound colors

Why I Recommend It

I’ve played plenty of cheap intermediate cellos that, while inexpensive, weren’t worth the money. This wasn’t one of them. Obviously it doesn’t have the rich, full tone of an advanced cello, but when combined with the price tag, the difference is negligible, especially for intermediate players.

I have no hesitation saying that this is the best cheap intermediate cello on the list, and it definitely doesn’t lack in quality. If you’re on a tight budget, this could be the intermediate cello for you, and it might last you years.



8. Ren Wei Shi Model 8000

  • Available sizes: 4/4
  • Strings: D’Addario
  • What’s included: Just the cello
  • Material & finish: Maple and spruce, antique varnish finish
  • Best for: Intermediate players on a budget

The Ren Wei Shi Model 8000 cello has a fast response and a clear sound, making it one of the very best intermediate cellos. It’s not a budget cello, and it doesn’t come in an outfit package, but it’s a favorite of advancing players and is absolutely suitable for live performance.

✅ Low price tag
✅ Clear tone
❌ No outfit package
❌ Limited sound colors

Why I Recommend It

This is the backup instrument of choice of my of my closest cellist friends, who uses is for home practice and the occasional recording. It has a rich, even sound and comfortable playability, which is no surprise from a luthier like Ren Wei Shi. He’s a fantastic violin, viola, and cello maker, and this cello is beautifully made. It has a clear sound that’s hard to be beaten by other cellos in its price category.



9. NS Design NXTa Active Series

  • Available sizes: 4/4
  • Strings: NS Design
  • What’s included: Electric cello, soft case
  • Material & finish: Solid wood, available in two colors: sunburst or solid black
  • Best for: Intermediate players looking for an electric cello

NS Design is one of the best brands that produce electric cellos. The NS Design NXTa Active Series cello is available in two striking, natural wood colors and has an elegant, narrow design. It also comes in both four string and five string models.

✅ Pure electric cello
✅ Great sound
❌ No outfit package

Why I Recommend It

I’ve tried lots of electric cellos over the years, and this one is definitely my favorite. It’s an excellent choice for people who must practice in apartments (and don’t want to bother their neighbors), musicians looking to experiment with sound, and cellists who are part of rock or pop groups.

As far as electric cellos go, this one is almost unbeatable for its sound. It comes the closest to sounding like an acoustic cello, with the added benefits of amplification and silent playing with headphones.



10. Glasser Carbon Composite Cello

  • Available sizes: 1/2, 3/4, 4/4
  • Strings: Larsen
  • What’s included: Cello, winter bag, carbon fiber bow, rosin, polishing cloth
  • Material & finish: Carbon fiber composite
  • Best for: Intermediate players who travel and play in extreme weather conditions

Wood is the material of choice for 99% of cellos out there, but there are plenty of good reasons to choose a carbon fiber cello. They’re light enough for frequent travel and tough enough for drastic humidity changes.

Glasser is offers carbon fiber instruments for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. The Glasser Carbon Composite Cello is an acoustic-electric model, making it durable for all climates and settings, from the beach to the recording studio.

✅ Durable for playing in extreme conditions
✅ Outfit package optional
❌ Limited sound

Why I Recommend It

I must admit that I was skeptical about the acoustic sound of any cello not made of wood. Some sound thin or tinny. Not so with this cello, which is the only cello available that can be played acoustically or electrically while withstanding extreme conditions. For outdoor concerts and frequent on-the-road travel, this is a fantastic cello to go with.



Best Intermediate Cello Brands

When looking for an intermediate cello, it’s important to look for brands offering instruments that are made by individual luthiers in their workshops. That way you’re sure to get a well-crafted cello that will have the sound and playability you need to continue your progress as a musician.

best intermediate cello

A cello produced by a luthier will also ensure your instrument is made from high quality materials and had a fine attention to detail.

D Z Strad

D Z Strad is one of America’s leading workshops, offering a line of cellos from beginner to professional levels. All of their cellos have a great quality of sound and are carved in a traditional way.

Ren Wei Shi

Ren Wei Shi studied at the Chicago School of Violin Making and has established his own brand of quality violins, violas, and cellos. His cellos are suited for beginner to intermediate students and are beautifully handcrafted.


Strobel Strings produces cellos with top-quality, durable tonewoods and expert craftsmanship. They come in a variety of sizes, and their best intermediate cellos are an excellent option for students looking to kickstart their musical development.

Scherl and Roth

Scherl & Roth is a brand that started in Germany and moved to America in the 1920s. It’s one of the best cello brands for intermediate students, offering a fantastic selection of beginner and intermediate cellos that helped establish the standards for school instruments.

Andreas Eastman

Eastman cellos are made using traditional techniques from the 19th century. They’re known for their fine craftsmanship, and their instruments are made from top selections of wood.

Maple Leaf Strings

Founded in 2011, Maple Leaf Strings is a newer company that produces a wide range of cellos for players at all levels. Many of their cellos are offered at competitive prices and are suitable for intermediate cellists.


Fiddlerman is a workshop based in Florida. Their cellos are made with attention to detail, and the company has a partnership with, offering warranties and free adjustments.

NS Design

NS Design is a company founded in 1990 that produces electric cellos. Their cellos have solid wooden bodies and state-of-the-art technology, making them a world-leading electric instrument company.


Glasser is a brand specializing in instruments made from carbon fiber. Most of their cellos are acoustic-electric instruments that are made to withstand extreme conditions. They’re a compelling choice for any intermediate cellist that’s looking for something different.

Intermediate Cello Aesthetics and Material

Acoustic intermediate cellos are made from quality, individually selected and aged spruce and maple wood. Electric cellos are made from either solid wood or carbon fiber and have unique custom aesthetics, such as narrow bodies and extended hollow frames in the shape of traditional cellos.


The best intermediate cellos are made from high-quality wood. The top is made from spruce (for its sound projection), the body is made from maple (for its beauty), and the fingerboard and fittings are made from ebony or rosewood (for its durability).


Good intermediate cellos are made with high-quality, natural varnishes. Two common varnishes that luthiers use to enhance the beauty and sound of the cello are special antique and spirit varnishes. Some cello makers, like Andreas Eastman, take the extra step in using varnishes similar to those used on some of the greatest cellos of hundreds of years ago.


Intermediate cellos mostly have a natural wood look, the darkness of which varying depending on the age of the wood or the varnish. Electric intermediate often come in wide range of striking colors, although natural wood is often preferred. Carbon fiber cellos are typically black or silvery grey.

The Bow

Bows for intermediate cellos are made from either wood or carbon fiber. The weight and balance of the bow are extremely important for ease of playing and for creating a beautiful sound.

Buying New vs Used

You can find the best intermediate cellos both new and used, and price is often a consideration when deciding whether to buy new or used, as used cellos are often an affordable option. But price isn’t the only reason to consider a used cello. Aged wood can do wonders for the sound of an instrument, and many of the best cellos are pre-loved.

There are plenty of great new cellos available on the market, however, and you can be sure that you’re buying an instrument in its best condition by buying new.

What’s in the Intermediate Cello Box?

Unlike beginner cellos, most intermediate cellos don’t come in extensive outfit packages. Your intermediate cello will often include these simple add-ons:


Your intermediate cello will usually be set up and ready to play, although some cellos do come without their strings or bridge attached — ask your teacher or a professional to help with this.

Cello Bow

Cello bows included in outfit packages are usually of low quality but can be used as a backup. They’re usually made from wood, but some brands offer carbon fiber bows.


Most intermediate cellos come in soft padded cases, which should eventually be replaced by a more protective hard case. Some cellos do come with carbon fiber hard cases.


If you don’t have everything you need for playing the cello, here are some important accessories to help you get going.

  • Bow
  • Rosin
  • Extra strings (Strings sometimes snap and it’s good to have a set of spares.)
  • Case (I highly recommend a hard case to protect your cello.)
  • End pin stopper
  • Music stand
  • Tuner
  • Metronome
  • String cloth (for keeping your cello in good nick)
  • Mute (Hotel mutes are useful for silent practice.)

Intermediate Cello Brands to Avoid

In general, it’s good to stay away from intermediate cellos under $1,500, as they’re most likely not fit for an intermediate player. These cellos are produced by many brands with funny names that don’t correspond to an individual luthier.

If the price seems too low, and you can’t find any information about the brand online, then it’s probably best to avoid that cello.

two of the best intermediate cellos

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about the best intermediate cellos.

How Much Do Intermediate Cellos Cost?

Intermediate cellos will cost you anywhere between $1,500 and $6,000. The price does generally show in the quality of sound, so keep that in mind.

What Are the Best Intermediate Cellos?

These are three of the best intermediate cellos, each for their own unique reasons. I’ve played all three in many situations, including in music shops and when my students brought one to lessons, and I own and still use the D Z Strad Model 600.

D Z Strad Model 600: Best Overall

In terms of quality and sound, this is by far the best intermediate cello. It does come with a steep price tag, though, but it’s worth it. I still use mine after so many years, and it’s one of my prized possessions.

Andreas Eastman VC405: Best Small Cello

With great quality and a beautiful sound, this cello is the best for its unique size range. Available in a 7/8 size, it’s extremely popular for smaller intermediate adult cellists or younger prodigies. The small size also makes it that much easier for travel.

Glasser Carbon Composite Cello: Best for Versatility

Years ago, I never would have imagined recommending a non-wood cello, but this instrument is a keeper. An electric-acoustic, it’s the best intermediate cello for playing in all kinds of conditions. Made of carbon fiber and unlike its wooden counterparts, it can withstand rough wear, as well as extreme climate changes.

Where Are the Best Intermediate Cellos Made?

The best intermediate cellos are usually made in luthier workshops in Europe, America, and Asia.

What Is the Best Sounding Intermediate Cello?

The D Z Strad 600 is the best sounding intermediate cello. It’s so good that I still use mine on stage from time to time instead of my much more expensive advanced cello.

Where to Buy Intermediate Cellos

You can look online to find good cellos for intermediate players, and there are some great deals out there. If you can go in-store, you’ll get the benefit of trying different cellos and testing them against each other.

Amazon offers several of the best cello brands for intermediate players, and you can read reviews from previous customers. You can also return your cello for your money back if you aren’t happy with it.

Online Music Retailers

Some online stores such as and have great intermediate cello options, as well as some of the best cheap cellos for intermediate players.

Your Local Music Store

If you can go into your local music store, I recommend it. You can try different cellos and hear how they all sound different from each other. Make sure you love the sound and feel of your cello — every string should be easy to play.

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In Conclusion

Above all, remember to focus on the sound and comfort of playing when choosing your intermediate cello. You need to be happy with the instrument you choose — it will be with you for years to come.

There are so many great intermediate cellos to choose from, and if you focus on what’s important to you (whether it be budget, aesthetic, sound, or quality), you’ll be sure to find the perfect instrument.

Feel free to leave any comments about intermediate cellos below and share this post with friends and family who might also be on the lookout for the best intermediate cello.