Here at Normans we sell a variety of student to intermediate cellos, however, sometimes it can be tricky to choose the right model for you and the best one within your budget. I will be talking you through some of the main criteria to keep in mind when shopping for your cello and you can also find a comparison chart at the bottom of this page of all the models that we stock.

1. Cello Size


Choosing the right size cello is extremely important when shopping for your instrument as this can make or break your performance. Ensuring your instrument fits you comfortably will prevent many issues that can put you off the instrument altogether and will ensure you perform to your best ability. Above is an approximate chart to help you determine the correct size of your instrument based on your height and age, however, this may not always be accurate because everyone is different.


Ideally, I would recommend trying out different cello sizes in a music shop to see which you feel most comfortable with. The right size cello will allow you to sit up in a chair with the knees bent at a 90 degree angle and feet flat on the floor. The cello is supposed to rest on your left shoulder, C-Peg should be near your left ear and the lower bout touching the left knee with the endpin extended. You should be able to reach the full length of the fingerboard comfortably.

2. The right cello for your level


Another important factor to consider when shopping for your first ever cello is, you may want to stick to a beginner model that offers good quality and value for money because you never know whether you will stick to playing the cello in the long term. If you are looking to upgrade, then it is important to consider the sound, playability and features of your next cello to make sure it caters for all your needs and really goes the distance. It is vital that you pay attention to the sound, quality and playability of the instrument no matter what level you are – poor quality instrument can make learning very difficult and even put you off playing the cello altogether.

3. Brand preference and value for money!



There is a range of brands available, and many people tend to stick to ones that they have heard of, which is completely understandable. Stentor are currently one of the market leaders in orchestral strings and have also been one of our bestsellers here at Normans. But don’t worry if your budget is a little tight – there are other quality cellos available from other brands at a cheaper price. For example, the Forenza Prima 2 cellos offer the same specification as the Stentor II model at half the price! So I would recommend keeping an open mind and looking at which instrument offers more quality features at the best price and of course read some reviews and feedback from other purchasers to see what other cellists think!

Cello comparison chart:

View our cello comparison chart below to see how our range of cellos compare against each other and which one is most suitable for your budget and your ability. I have also rated them from 1-5 in terms of value for money, 1 = poor and 5 = excellent!

Click on the image to enlarge.



To sum up the above cellos, I would say that the Forenza Prima 2 certainly offers the best value for money as it has the virtually the same specification as Stentor II at half the price. This has also been very popular with beginners, students and education services. Definitely a good one to consider when shopping for your first cello. I have given Stentor I a 3 out of 5 in terms of value purely when contrasting against the Forenza Prima it is clear that Stentor I lacks in quality of fittings but is still more expensive. Regardless, it is a brilliant instrument for beginners and will produce a great tone, therefore, if you are looking to start specifically on a Stentor instrument, this is the one to go for. Last but not least, the Stentor II and Conservatoire models will be more expensive, but the Stentor II model will truly last you up to intermediate grades and is one of the best student models on the market. The Conservatoire cello will be perfect for a progressing student who is looking for a more advanced instrument.

About the author

Diana was Normans Piano & Strings specialist for a number of years. She is a singer songwriter, plays piano and speaks 3 languages. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling as well as blogging about anything.




  • jenny 31/01/2017 at 1:37 pm

    hi i am jenny and i am trying to find a fullsize cello which is black with red rose design which thomann used to stock and don’t know where else i can purchase one from can anyone help please. many thanks for your help

    • Diana Stone 01/02/2017 at 9:33 am

      Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, we do not sell these cellos as they look like they may have been Thomann’s own brand. We would suggest having a look on eBay to see if anyone is selling a second hand one. Hope this helps.

      Kind regards,


  • Kelly Dimgba 23/03/2017 at 8:55 pm

    Hi i am trying to get a cello for my 8yrs old can you reconmmend any please

    • Jack Spencer 29/03/2017 at 9:33 am

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for your comment.

      For young children, we recommend the Forenza range, as they are excellent quality but also not too expensive. All of them come with a bow, case and handy accessories – https://www.normans.co.uk/category/cellos?section=-472-

      I hope this helps, and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Kind Regards,


  • David 02/10/2017 at 10:16 pm

    Hi, I’m thinking of taking up the cello again after 30 years, so interested to know what’s available. I reached a good level – Grade VI – but admit I have forgotten much. I hope I could pick things up again quickly but I would like to have an I instrument that gives confidence. I’d be interested to know what you might recommend. Thanks

    • Shona Callow 27/11/2017 at 3:03 pm

      Hi David – I would recommend the Forenza Prima 2, this is a great Cello to get going again with. If you need any help choosing, just call our Advisers on 01283 535333.

  • Sophie Lethbridge 26/12/2017 at 10:05 pm

    I used to play the cello when I was ages 10 to 15 reaching grade 3 and examination. I’m thinking of starting to play the cello again aged 31 any help in regards to what cello and where to get lessons would be grateful

    • Shona Callow 08/01/2018 at 11:29 am

      Hi Sophie,

      That’s great to hear you’re thinking of starting to play the Cello again. If you purchase a cello with us before 28th February you register for 2 x FREE lesson with your space music lessons (www.normans.co.uk/topic/myfreelessons). We would recommend a Forenza Prima cello for beginning to play again. If you need any help, just call us on 01283 535333.


      Normans Musical Instruments

  • Paco 05/03/2018 at 4:54 pm


    Interested in getting the full size Forenza Prima 2 Cello. Would the Cello be set-up by any Luthier prior to shipping? Do you ship to Ireland?


    • Shona Callow 08/03/2018 at 10:44 am

      Hi Paco,

      The Cello can be delivered to Ireland and we do not have an onsite Luthier. However, the sound board and bridge will be up and ready to go.

      Our sales team would be more than happy to chat to you with any questions you may have. You can contact them via 01283 535333.


      Normans Musical Instruments