Merano 4/4 Full Size Student Cello Review

A beginner cello is a perfect entry point into the world of this traditional string instrument. Although it's a large instrument that requires precision construction, it is possible to find a good entry-level model for just a few hundred dollars. Merano offers one such cello at full size.

What To Consider Before Buying A Beginner Cello

Beginner cellos can have a variety of different features that distinguish them from one another. The wood in the body and fingerboard, the size and shape of the instrument, the extras and accessories included with the purchase, and of course the price will all affect your purchase decision. Beginner cellos are intended for people with almost no experience or materials ahead of time, so they tend to come in kits or sets.

The Merano 4/4

The "4/4" in the name of the cello indicates the size. The range starts at 1/10 and moves up to 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and lastly 4/4, which indicates a full-sized cello. This means that although the Merano is a student cello, it is intended for ages 15 and up. The Merano comes with a hard case, a soft bag, a stand, a bow, and more. The body is spruce and maple. It has an unusual black finish, which is in contrast to the normal natural or varnish finishes. The Merano has a construction that is mostly glued together, so there are not many moving parts.

Pros

  • Accessible price
  • Interesting design
  • Good accessories

Cons

  • Glued construction
  • Paint affects the sound
  • Some denting issues

Features and Benefits

Accessories

Merano 4/4 Full Size Student Cello

The selection of accessories that comes with the Merano is long. The full list is hard case, gig bag, bow, a pair of string sets, a cello stand, a music stand, a tuner, a mute, and rosin. This is the full list of necessary elements to start playing the cello, so their value alone is significant even if you decide to move on to a different cello later on. The bow and strings might need upgrading, but the rest is more or less useful for as long as you have it and are playing the cello.

Tone

The body has a spruce top with a maple back. These are two of the most common tone woods used in the construction of a cello, and they combine to create a tone that is warm and friendly. More advanced cellos will have a tone that has more depth and richness, but this is adequate for a beginner or a student. The tone is consistent and should last for a long time without warping or other problems.

Design

The black finish is quite unusual and is very eye-catching. The natural wood look that is common to most string instruments tends to seem dull after a while, especially when in a large orchestra, so the black stands out. The black finish paint does have an effect on the sound, but for a beginner cello the sound is less important anyway, so this tradeoff is worth it for such a unique trait.

Value

The Merano costs $300. That is about on par with other student cellos, but the Merano has a larger kit of accessories. The hard case is especially valuable because those can cost a significant amount on their own. It is possible to find student cellos that cost about $150 but they won't have the same accessories and they might compromise on the construction of the instrument.

Ratings

Design

4

Performance

4

Construction

4

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

4

Alternatives

Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello

Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello

The Cecilio CC0-100 is a close competitor to the Merano. It has a slightly lower price and a smaller feature set, as well as a natural finish. The top is crack-resistant and it has a one-year warranty. If you can find a cheap hard case, this might be better value for you in the long run.

Comparison

Cecilio CCO-100

Price: $200

Woods: maple, spruce

Accessories: gig bag, bow, a pair of string sets, a cello stand, rosin, bridge

Merano 4/4

Price: $300

Woods: maple, spruce

Accessories: hard case, gig bag, bow, a pair of string sets, a cello stand, a music stand, a tuner, a mute, rosin

Windsor MI-3006

Windsor MI-3006

The Windsor MI-3006 is an even cheaper option. It drops the bridge and rosin but has the same overall build and design as the Cecilio. The Windsor has an adjustable cello stand that lets it adjust to the height of the player. This makes it suitable for younger beginners.

Comparison

Windsor MI-3006

Price: $150

Woods: maple, spruce

Accessories: gig bag, bow, a pair of string sets, a cello stand

Merano 4/4

Price: $300

Woods: maple, spruce

Accessories: hard case, gig bag, bow, a pair of string sets, a cello stand, a music stand, a tuner, a mute, rosin

Cecilio CCO-500

Cecilio CCO-500

The CCO-500 is an upgraded version of the 100. For $400, it comes with a better finish and fingerboard as well as an ebony tailpiece and hard-carved top. This is not merely cosmetic- it produces a better, richer sound.

Comparison

Cecilio CCO-500

Price: $400

Woods: maple, spruce, ebony

Accessories: gig bag, bow, a pair of string sets, a cello stand, rosin, bridge

Merano 4/4

Price: $300

Woods: maple, spruce

Accessories: hard case, gig bag, bow, a pair of string sets, a cello stand, a music stand, a tuner, a mute, rosin

Final Thoughts

The market for beginner cellos is fairly saturated. If you enjoy playing, you will want to upgrade fairly soon. That makes the accessory packages key elements in evaluating the worth of these instruments. Any of the options in this post will produce an acceptable sound at a good price, so choose the one that suits your budget and your needs the most. If this is not your liking you can also read our cello guide.

Stephanie Su
 

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