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When I was looking into buying a cello, I found that there seemed to be different classifications for cellos beyond size (1/2, 3/4, full, etc). For example, some cellos were being called "Stradivarius models," and there was a wide type with a darker timbre whose name I've forgotten- it had a wider body and didn't fit in my case. But the point is, what other models are there? How does the model affect the sound?

(edit for clarification: by model, I mean the shape of a cello, rather than any brand/production name.)

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There are several well-known shapes of cello, based closely on the original designers' instruments. This includes "Strad," "Cremonese," "MOntagna," "Guarnieri," and so on. To a limited extent the shape will affect the tone - each has slightly different height-width-depth values, different bout shape. Since the wood selected and the skill of the luthier are far more important overall (at least in my view), I wouldn't make your choice purely on the design style.

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First of all, you have to decide what size you want. For example, if it is for a small child, then you might need a half size cello. If it for an adult, then probably full size would be best. At the lower end of the price scale, it will probably be made with cheaper materials (laminated wood), and have a painted black fingerboard, rather than using real mahogany. Don't be fooled by seeing the word Stradivarius. It is just a marketing ploy. Don't get too bothered with model types or names. It either feels right for you or it doesn't.

If you are willing to pay a few thousand, then you will get a good solid quality instrument likely made of spruce, mahogany and maple. The best guide to finding the right sounding instrument is simply to try out as many as you can, and see what feels right and sounds right for you. You could end up with a cheaper instrument that feels better for you than a more expensive one. Trial and error.

  • You are wrong and not addressing the question. "Strad" refers to a specific shape of instrument, roughly modeled after the original Strad cellos. Same for several other popular shapes of cello. – Carl Witthoft Apr 28 '18 at 18:40

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