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Have you ever heard of Mitchell guitars? Don’t be ashamed if you haven’t. Mitchell is not yet one of the better-known brands like Martin or Gibson or Fender. Someday they might be if the Element and Exotic series acoustic electric guitars they currently offer are any indication of what’s to come.
Mitchell makes several lines of guitars. In this review, I’ll concentrate on just the acoustic electric models in the Element series and the Exotic series. That makes a total of 4 guitars.
If you’re in a hurry and just want to check the availability and pricing of these four at Amazon, you can click the links in the list below.
If you want to skip ahead to a certain section of this review, you can click a link in the box below. Otherwise, you can just keep scrolling and reading as usual.
Mitchell Element Series ME1CE and ME2CEC
The ME1CE and ME2CEC are the acoustic electric models in this series. Mitchell also makes two Element non-electric guitars – the ME1 acoustic guitar and the ME1ACE acoustic guitar.
To compare most of the features of these two guitars, examine the pictures and the table below.
You can also check out the short, promotional videos just below. The first was produced by Musician’s Friend. The second comes directly from Mitchell.
The main differences in construction between the ME1CE and the ME2CEC are the spruce top on the former versus the cedar top on the latter and the woods used for the back and sides. Sapele, used in the ME1CE, is an African wood that is harder than mahogany. The ME2CEC uses Indian rosewood for its back, sides, and fingerboard.
Both models have high-ratio, die-cast, chrome tuners with Ebonite keys. They also both employ the Fishman INK3 pre-amp that includes a built-in tuner. Controls on this module include volume, bass, middle, and treble.
The TUSQ material mentioned in the table is manufactured by Graphtech Guitar Labs. You can read more about it in their FAQ here.
|Top||Solid select spruce||Solid select cedar|
|Back & Sides||Striped sapele||Indian rosewood|
|Fingerboard||Indian rosewood||Indian rosewood|
|Finish||Open-pore satin||Open-pore satin|
|Inlay||Abalone dots||Abalone dots|
|Rosette||Sapele / Maple||Sapele / Maple|
|Binding||Flame Maple||Flame Maple|
|Electronics||Fishman INK3 / tuner||Fishman INK3 / tuner|
|Scale Length (in.)||25 1/2||25 1/2|
|Saddle||Nubone TUSQ, compensated||Nubone TUSQ, compensated|
Mitchell Exotic Series MX400 and MX420
Both the MX400 and MX420 have the “Grand Auditorium” cutaway body style. Neither model has a pickguard. If that’s an important feature for you, you’ll either have to investigate installing one yourself or move on to a different guitar.
The MX420 is available in Midnight Black or Antique Sunburst (pictured below) finish.
|Top, Back, Sides||Quilted Ash Burl, Bubinga, or Ovangkol||Quilted Ash Burl|
|Inlay||Pearl dots||Pearl mini-dots|
|Binding||Black Multi-Ply ABS||Black / White / Black Multi-Ply|
|Electronics||Mitchell CE304T / tuner||Mitchell CE304T / tuner|
|Frets||20 total; 14 open||20 total; 14 open|
|Scale Length (in.)||25 1/2||25 1/2|
|Nut Width (in.)||1.67||1.67|
|Bridgepins||Black with white dot||Black with white dot|
|Upper Bout Width (in.)||11 1/4||11 1/4|
|Lower Bout Width (in.)||15 1/2||15 1/2|
|Maximum Depth (in.)||3 1/2||3 1/2|
|Dimensions L x W x D (in.)||41 x 15 1/2 x 3 1/2||41 x 15 1/2 x 3 1/2|
Conclusions about the Mitchell Acoustic Electric Guitars
Online reviews of all of these models of Mitchell acoustic electrics are overwhelmingly positive. Most people fairly rave about them, especially those who had never heard of the Mitchell brand before discovering it at a local music store.
Many appreciate the color and finish, besides the quality construction and materials and the great sound.
Some owners compare their Mitchell favorably with their Martin or other high-end guitars.
As of this writing, the Mitchell Element series guitars are a little harder to come by at Amazon, but that can change daily.