Whether you are a professional musician with money to invest or a first-time guitar buyer with a limited budget, rarely has there been a better time to be in the market for an affordable new electric than now.
In this feature, I will showcase my six best Mitchell electric guitars for you to consider.
While Mitchell isn’t comparable to legacy brands such as Gibson, Martin, Taylor, etc., the brand is known for producing good-quality guitars geared towards beginners or those with tighter budgets. Fundamentally, this brand makes decent budget guitars.
But are any right for you?
Read on to find out!
My Bottom Line Up Front: If you’re looking for an affordable and fast way to start playing the electric guitar, then the Mitchell MD150PK Electric Guitar Launch Pack has everything you need and offers excellent value for money.
At a Glance: My 6 Best Mitchell Electric Guitars
- Mitchell MD150PK Electric Guitar Launch Pack – #1 Top Pick
- Mitchell MM100 Mini Double Cutaway Electric Guitar – #1 Top Budget Pick
- Mitchell MS450 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar
- Mitchell MD200 Double-Cutaway Electric Guitar
- Mitchell TD100 Short-Scale Electric Guitar
- Mitchell MS400 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar
Benefits of Mitchell Electric Guitars
It doesn’t seem to be widespread knowledge, but Mitchell Guitars is actually the house brand of Guitar Center, the largest instrument sales chain in the country.
The founder of Guitar Center is a guy called Wayne Mitchell, who has used his surname for the guitar brand name, too. This gives me great confidence that the guitars are of – at least – acceptable quality.
Mitchell makes budget electric and acoustic guitars, with their real focus being on the
Affordability is often a top priority for those looking for the best beginner electric guitars, and I don’t believe there are many guitars out there more affordable than Mitchell. Another benefit of mass-produced guitars is that there’s much less risk of them being out of stock or having long shipping delays.
So, if you want a cheap electric in a hurry, then Mitchell electric guitars can cater to these needs.
Let’s take a much closer look at my chosen favorite Mitchells – there are some surprising entries!
There aren’t a great many Mitchell electric guitars out there, which meant I could be pretty critical with my product criteria. Here are some of the things I was looking for:
Mitchell Guitars Availability
Mitchell electric guitars can be purchased offline, in places like Target and Walmart, and online at Guitar Center, Musicians Friend, Reverb, and Amazon.
They’re not in short supply. However, I still wanted to ensure that the guitars I chose to review were available to buy today.
Mitchell Guitars Value for Money
The brand’s main selling point is affordability, but value for money has to mean you’re actually getting value. For this, the quality level must be adequate-to-good, given the price point.
While you will find inexpensive guitars in this guide, this does not mean they feel, look, or play like a cheap guitar.
Are Mitchell Guitars Good?
As touched upon above, every Mitchell guitar here has a good quality level, in my opinion. While some aren’t the best out there for their RRP, they are well made and have a reasonable level of durability.
Positive Consumer Feedback
Mitchell guitars have their fair share of critical feedback online. However, I have chosen six guitars that have much more positivity surrounding them than negativity!
6 Best Mitchell Electric Guitars
|Mitchell MD150PK Electric Guitar Launch Pack – #1 Top Pick
Available at: GuitarCenter Here
|Mitchell MM100 Mini Double Cutaway Electric Guitar – #1 Top Budget Pick
|Mitchell MS450 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar
|Mitchell MD200 Double-Cutaway Electric Guitar
|Mitchell TD100 Short-Scale Electric Guitar
Music & Arts
|Mitchell MS400 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar
Mitchell MD150PK Electric Guitar Launch Pack – #1 Top Pick
I have since learned that the Mitchell MD150PK Electric Guitar Launch Pack is often stocked in giant offline retailers such as Walmart – and often at a discounted rate. However, it’s a fast and easy transaction purchasing from Guitar Center and comes with free delivery.
First impressions: a student or
The box that arrives is very sturdy, with an adequate amount of protective packaging to keep the guitar safe in transit. Delivery is super speedy as well.
There is little-to-no setup required, meaning an amateur could use the guitar straight from the box. The included clip-on tuner works exceptionally well, and I love that even picks and a strap are included – literally everything you need to begin playing an electric straight away – including a 15W (6.5-in) combo amp.
While the amp isn’t the best around (check out our best amps under $100 guide for an affordable future upgrade), it is sufficient and offers a clean channel and aggressive lead channel.
The guitar itself (MD150PK) is a poplar double-cutaway, with a string-through-body design and adjustable tune-o-Matic bridge. The electronics are basic; two volume controls, single tone control, and a three-way pickup, but they perform well.
I found the guitar to feel a little more lightweight than most but comfortable to hold. It is an excellent choice for a child or a
- Unbeatable Value for Money
- Perfect Gift for a Child, Student, or
- Excellent Service from Guitar Center
- No Separate Purchases Needed
- Fun to Play
- Simple Yet Solid Electronics
- Good Quality Amp
- Tuning Stability isn’t Great
- Not the Most Robust Guitar Around
Mitchell MM100 Mini Double Cutaway Electric Guitar – #1 Top Budget Pick
At less than $140 for an electric guitar, the Mitchell MM100 Mini Double Cutaway Electric Guitar is certainly a budget pick, and once I found it to be surprisingly decent! Due to the ¾-size of the guitar, I feel it would be more suited to players with smaller hands (check out our best tips for playing the guitar with small hands to see if the MM100 fits your criteria).
The guitar is comfortable to hold and play, and the sound is more impressive than you may imagine for the price point. Although a relatively inexpensive build, the mixture of basswood and maple/rosewood truly adds to the warmth and twang of the tone.
For people who don’t want many extras, I would strongly consider the MM100. It is basic, but it’s good and has a strong following online. While highly experienced players may quickly tire of this guitar or consider it a project guitar, it is a wonderful stepping stone for learners.
If you look further into the MM100 due to specifically wanting a guitar for smaller hands and find it doesn’t live up, there may be something more up your street in our 5 best guitars for small hands feature.
And, if you want to know more about this particular Mitchell guitar, then you’re in luck as we have dedicated a full review of the Mitchell MM100 that leaves nothing out!
- Good-Quality Budget Guitar
- Potted Ceramic HH Pickups
- Versatile Across Many Genres
- Warm Tone
- A Good Travel Guitar Yet Case Sold Separately
- Minimal Hardware
- ¾-size Scale Doesn’t Suit Every Player
We’re edging towards the end of the budget range with the Mitchell MS450 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar, but still within the affordable one at under $400. This means I can be a little more critical!
The first drawback is the finish and reading the reviews of other consumers, I see I am not alone with this. While for $400, you can expect the odd flaw, it’s not great when straight out of the box. Purely cosmetic, but when the brand is so quick to boast of a ‘stateside setup and quality control inspection,’ it shouldn’t be happening at all.
Moaning over, let’s go to the tone, and this is truly where the MS450 shines! I found the sound to be equal to that of much more expensive guitars. The style is very similar to the Epic Epiphone Les Paul in appearance, and the sound isn’t too far away either.
While I believe most Mitchells are geared towards beginners, this isn’t the case with this guitar. I feel that advancing or advanced players would be a better match. Still relatively short on electronics, yet high in quality, this is one of the most comfortable Mitchells I have come across.
There’s little tuning required initially, and the stability is good. The guitar comes with premium D’Addario EXL120 .009–.42 strings, which I am experienced with and find them to be among the best. You can choose from eight different finishes, including Gold Metallic, Sunset Burst, and Forest Green – all eight are completely stunning.
- Truly Stunning
- Excellent Tone
- High-Quality Build
- D’Addario Premium Strings Included
- Fair Price
- Cosmetic Damages Seem to be Common
Firstly, the color choices with the Mitchell MD200 Double-Cutaway Electric Guitar are simply amazing. Highly glossed and super bright, these guitars were designed to be seen! I have found several different players to liken this to the Squier Stratocaster, which is more well-known and a little pricier. I have to say I agree with those findings.
The build is on a par, if not better, and the sound is mighty. I was a little disappointed again with the finish of this guitar; another coat of varnish wouldn’t go amiss. While the worst thing about the MD200 is the fragility of the finish, the most remarkable thing is the tuning control and stability, which I found to be very impressive.
The guitar is lightweight and comfortable to play for long periods. You would have to play about with amps and strings to find your perfect match, and some consumers have tinkered with bridges using the MD200 as a base to customize.
For jamming sessions or learning the guitar, the MD200 is a good choice, and I am overall impressed with this guitar.
- Outstanding Tuning Control and Stability
- Good Range of Colors
- Sturdy Build
- Nice Sound
- Easy to Customize
- Fragile Finish
- Lacking Electronics
The Powder Blue Mitchell TD100 Short-Scale Electric Guitar couldn’t look more like 1950s rock and roll – if you love vintage, then you will appreciate the appearance of the TD100. It makes for a stunning decorative guitar, but more than this, it is great fun to play; plus, it sounds pretty incredible too. The best bit of all? It’s under $150.
The TD100 is a well-made ¾ guitar, and the slim-taper neck is exceptionally comfortable to play. For a little more money, you would get more quality; for example, the Fender Mini Strat is superior and not too much more expensive. However, I am impressed with the features of the Mitchell TD100.
The construction is good. Sealed gear tuners, attractive chrome hardware, and a jatoba tonewood fretboard are rarely found on budget-price guitars. I would prefer a heavier gauge string set (learn how to find the right guitar strings to suit your preferences), but this is a minimal secondary financial layout that doesn’t take the value for money away.
I believe the TD100 to be great as a child’s first guitar or good for home practice.
- Stunning Finish
- Choice of Two Vintage Colors
- Superb Value
- Retro Twang
- Comfortable to Play
- May Need Immediate String Change
- Slight Issues With Tuning Stability
The Mitchell MS400 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar boasts a modern design not generally found in this price range, along with details and upscale appointments that emphasize performance contrary to the typical cost-cutting methods.
The asymmetrical Strat-style double-cutaway mahogany body features an arched top, contours, set-in neck, and dual-pickup configuration.
The carved mahogany top is across the range of MS400, and although the finishes differ, I believe them all to look pretty outstanding – especially given the $350 price tag. Quilted maple veneer that looks this good should cost more.
The neck has 24 jumbo frets and a shallow C profile. I love how the back of the neck has the matching gloss finish of the body – for the price; this was a pleasant surprise.
The electronics on the MS400 are decent; a full-size alnico V humbucker, individual volume controls, three-position blade pickup selector switch, and master tone control.
Hardware includes a three-position pickup toggle switch, tune o’matic-style bridge, vintage-style top hat bell control knobs, and 18:1 die-cast locking tuners.
The guitar is set up to play straight from the box, requiring minimal truss rod adjustments. The pickups provide their own individual personality, with tight bass, voice-like midrange, and tonal versatility. I would never have guessed the low price of this guitar after examination and play – it is worth far more, in my opinion.
- Beautiful Quilted Veneer Finish
- Minimal Setup Needed
- Good Versatility
- Excellent Sound
- Nice Finishing Touches
- Feels Robust
- Guitar snobs with a $350 budget may prefer a superior brand.
The Best Alternatives to Mitchell Electric Guitars
If you’re not fully sold on Mitchell guitars, then here are a few comparable guitars to consider:
Gretsch Streamliner Series
The price range of the Gretsch Streamliner series is pretty unbelievable, given the quality level. While higher than Mitchells, the build is superior and includes high-end woods such as rosewood, maple, and mahogany, combined with highly-skilled manufacturing. These guitars could, and would, sell well above their price points.
The brand is known for typically producing high-end guitars, but the Streamline Series has stripped things back to basics and reduced the RRP to widen their market and bring these guitars to the majority.
Discover more, and find out if this brand matches your style by checking out my full Gretsch Streamliner Review on the brand.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Great Versatility
- Good Quality Construction
- Made in Indonesia, Not the US
- Not the most lightweight electrics around
The Epiphone Les Paul Special II is within the same price range as Mitchell electric, and while it doesn’t sound amazing, it does have some pretty nice tones for a budget guitar. The high-output 700T/650R double humbucker pickup arrangement is excellent for overdriven and distorted tones, perfect for metal and rock.
I like the color choice with this guitar and have physically reviewed the transparent blue model, which looks far superior in real life than it does online. It isn’t breathtakingly stunning or particularly worthy of display; there is no disputing it looks good in hand.
There is little-to-no buzz unless playing with exceptionally high gain. The body shape is strikingly similar to the Gibson SG and constructed from mahogany which contributes to the rich sound. However, this is somewhat limited due to the bolt-on neck.
- Good Pickups for Distorted Tone
- High-Quality Wood
- Attractive Design
- Affordable Price
- Cheap Hardware
- Bolt-on Neck Limits Sound
- Lacks Versatility
The Yamaha Pacifica has long proved a benchmark for quality and affordability, and one of my favorites is the 112VM.
The Yamaha Pacifica 112VM is one of the best electrics for beginners for multiple reasons. Comparable to Mitchell due to the affordability, it is also a guitar that simply concentrates on the essentials, which is exactly what someone needs with their first electric. The construction, however, is of excellent quality, and with the proper care, this guitar will be around for decades.
I found the Yamaha Pacifica 112VM to be a lighter, brighter, and more modern take on a hot-rod Strat – but not overly shrill. The bridge humbucker is beefy yet not too heavy. It is possibly a little bland played clean.
- Impressive Build Quality
- Beautiful Vintage Look
- Excellent Longevity
- May be a little bland without a distortion boost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Will the Lower Quality of Budget Mitchell Guitars Hinder Learning?
Answer: A good player will make the best of the instrument they’re given; a true musician can make banging a pan sound good! However, a learner who learns on a poor-quality guitar may find improving their craft more challenging and less enjoyable than if they were, to begin with a high-end guitar.
Question: How Low Quality are Mitchell Guitars?
Answer: I don’t believe Mitchells to be low in quality across the board; in fact, some, such as the Mitchell MS400 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar, feel and play well above their price point. The general feedback around this brand is a surprise over how good a quality they are.
I don’t know if they’ll last as long or withstand as much hammering as a more expensive brand, but the durability feels good for now.
Question: What is the Warranty with Mitchell Guitars?
Answer: There is a limited lifetime warranty whereby the brand will repair or replace any Mitchell guitar that malfunctions due to materials or workmanship. You can read the full warranty policy here.
Final Thoughts on Mitchell Electric Guitars
I began this project feeling pretty unimpressed. I hadn’t heard of the brand or experienced their instruments, and my initial findings didn’t fill me with optimism. However, this soon changed!
The first guitar I researched was the Mitchell TD100 Short-Scale Electric Guitar, and straight away, I was impressed with the vintage design and finish. I chose to look further into the powder blue TD100 and would be happy to have this in my home simply as a display piece! The TD100 has excellent construction, feels sturdy in hand, and is comfortable to play.
I wasn’t in love with the attached strings of the TD100, but this could be personal preference. For under $150, I would happily play the TD100 all day long and think it would be an excellent choice for a student or home hobbyist.
Secondly, I looked at the Mitchell MD200 Double-Cutaway Electric Guitar, which is regularly compared to the Squier Strat. I love the color choices but don’t believe they’re destined to stay looking fresh and shiny. The fragility does seem to stick with the finish, and the rest of the guitar feels solid. The Stability of tuning is the best thing about the MD200.
The Mitchell MS400 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar and Mitchell MS450 Modern Single-Cutaway Electric Guitar are good all-rounder guitars; highly versatile, comfortable, robust, and with a great sound. However, I’m not convinced that anyone with a mid-range budget would choose a lower-end branded guitar.
I don’t think the MS400 and MS450 should be written off – far from it – but I wonder who their audience is.
Offering superb value for money, I would strongly recommend the Mitchell MM100 Mini Double Cutaway Electric Guitar for those who want a good-quality guitar yet have a lower-end budget. The MM100 ticks many boxes and is ideal for those with smaller hands due to the ¾-scale.
My top recommendation is for the Mitchell MD150PK Electric Guitar Launch Pack, and this is mainly down to the fact that anyone with a small budget looking for the most guitar they can get will be satisfied with this purchase.
So, it isn’t the best quality in the world, but it is a great starter pack that can be upgraded as a player progresses or forgotten and discarded if interest is lost, with no significant investment lost.
- The Yamaha FG800 vs FG830: Which to Pick? - August 23, 2023
- Best Martin Guitar Options: How to Pick the Right One - August 22, 2023
- Best Gypsy Jazz Guitars: How to Pick the Right One? - August 22, 2023