• Quality of Materials
  • Ready-to-Play
  • Durability
  • Price


Great viola for beginner and intermediate students alike.

Are you looking for a student viola? Look no further than the Cecilio CVA-500 – a teacher approved viola. The viola is even suitable for the intermediate player. Cecilio is an old time favorite when it comes to making violins and violas as they produce quality instruments and bows.

Cecilio has been in the instrument business for decades and received their name after St Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Due to its affordability and outfit contents, the beginner viola comes highly recommended by students and teachers. Even professional violists do well with this viola in their hands.

Cecilio uses top quality wood that mainly consists of maple and spruce wood while they use ebony for all the fittings found on the viola. The great thing is that it comes with D’Addario strings and the best bow included ensuring that there is no need of frequent upgrades.

When you buy the Cecilio CVA-500, you receive an instrument that will last you generations, providing years of grand music for all to enjoy.

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Overview of the CVA-500

For the beginner or intermediate student, the Cecilio CVA-500 is a recommended instrument because of its quality and price. Not only does it sound great but also you receive included features and accessories normally found in much more expensive brands.

For students, it’s outfitted with everything you need to start playing including a Cecilio chromatic tuner, a lightweight hard case, quality rosin cake, bridge and Brazilwood bow with authentic Mongolian horsehair. You can buy this viola outfit for less than $200, the best instrument in its price range.


  • The viola has an excellent tone
  • Has a high-quality tailpiece
  • The bow is durable and made with quality horsehair
  • Great for beginners and intermediate viola players
  • Affordable to buy as it includes a hard case with strap, rosin, extra bridge, and chromatic tuner
  • The viola grows with you as you make adjustments to it when buying a better bow and strings
  • A great investment
  • Has a lightweight and durable design


  • Will need to replace the bow and strings if you are an intermediate viola player

The Price

The Cecilio CVA-500 viola is an inexpensive buy and you cannot beat the price when compared to some other beginner violas that are priced at more than $500. You receive a quality instrument with a ton of extra frills that you can buy directly from the Cecilio website or can buy it directly from Amazon at an affordable price of ~$180 including free Prime delivery.

The Materials Used

To ensure the highest quality, the Cecilio violas use only the highest quality wood. The entire body of the viola is covered in maple wood. The back, neck, and sides of the instruments are inflamed with maple while the top of the viola has a durable surface of hand-carved spruce.

The fine golden brown luster enhances the grain of the wood used, giving it a lovely sheen. Even the fingerboard, pegs, and tailpiece are made from 1st-grade ebony wood that is rarely found in the beginner’s range. Usually viola makers only use 2nd or 3rd-grade ebony wood when making these accessories.

The 1st-grade wood makes the fingerboards, pegs, and tailpiece crack-resistant and durable enough to last a long time. For a luxurious look, the CVA-500 has hand-carved inlaid purfling and looks much more luxurious than it really is.

The Case

Included in the viola outfit, you get a lightweight hard case that is durable and sturdy enough to keep your viola free from scratches when on the road or even while taking a flight.

The Brazilwood Bow

The Brazilwood bow comes standard with the majority of Cecilio violas. However, if you are an intermediate violist it may be better to upgrade the bow to a D Z Strad bow or even a CodaBow. These bows give you a premium sound.

The Strings

Included with the viola are generic viola strings which you can replace with Pirastro – Evah Pirazzi Gold or Thomastik-Infeld – Spirocore strings for the best sound. You can read our best viola strings review here for other options. However, it is best to play with your viola for at least two weeks before deciding to have the strings replaced. The reason for this is that the viola neck starts to bend and has an impact on the sound quality of your instrument. Sometimes the strings may even improve after a while.

The Cecilio Chromatic Tuner

Another standout accessory included with your Cecilio CVA-500 is the Cecilio Chromatic Tuner that is easy to read and use. With the LCD display, you will have your instrument tuned in no time. It has a ¼ -inch input jack to use with electric instruments. To find a downbeat you can use the Metronome function and has an adjustable tempo and note value settings for the most multifaceted beats.

Features and Specifications

  • The Cecilio CVA-500 has an ebony tailpiece that is fitted with 4 nickel plated tuners
  • You get a Brazilwood bow with authentic Mongolian horsehair,
  • The hard case has pockets and includes a strap while the rosin cake is from high-quality
  • Additionally, you receive an extra bridge and a Cecilio chromatic tuner with metronome
  • The 16-inch violas made from maple wood on the back and sides, the tops made from solid hand-carved spruce while it has a purfling and satin finish giving it an antique touch
  • The chin rest, tailpiece, pegs, and fingerboards made from 1st-grade ebony
  • While the strings are D’Addario Prelude
  • You receive a one-year limited warranty

Customer Feedback

Reading the Cecilio CVA-500 reviews on Amazon leaves you with a pleasant feeling that you are buying an affordable student viola outfit with everything you need. Customers are more than pleased with this beginner viola for its quality and sound.

Daughter loves it, very happy
This instrument plays extremely well, tunes easily and nicely, and looks beautiful!
Amazon Customer
Awesome instrument! My daughter loves it. Quality instrument yet affordable. I definitely would recommend this viola.

The Verdict

For a great bargain, you will not be disappointed when you buy the Cecilio CVA-500 viola. Although this instrument is a student viola, many intermediate players enjoy practicing and playing with this model. For the best bang for your buck, Cecilio has the best outfit when it comes to quality made instruments compared to other brand names that are more expensive with the included accessories. You can use this instrument for generations and it will still sound as amazing as the day you bought it.

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See Cecilio CVA-500 on Amazon