That’s sort of clickbait, I know. I’ve looked at Mitchell before. And, um, I wasn’t impressed because the model I played was set up extremely poorly. I have absolutely no idea about well these guitars are or are not doing in the shops. I’m only going by talking to a couple of guitar sales dudes I know. And they tell me the Mitchell guitars aren’t moving. Why?
I think it’s because the name means nothing. I run in many different guitarist circles. In pro circles, an Epiphone Les Paul is looked at as being a cheap guitar – basically anything under a grand is a cheap guitar. But the other day at Lowes, the dude on the cash register was telling me about how proud he was of his Epiphone Les Paul. He saved up for it. Best guitar he’s ever owned. So it’s all relative. I have a soft spot for the Epi Les Pauls. I own two.
Anyway, there’s a group of people who look at a $500 Epiphone Les Paul as being a really nice guitar. And it is, in that price range. Epiphone and Squier are the known commodities of the budget guitar universe – the little brothers of famous big brothers. And they’re (mostly) good instruments. There are even some semi-well known musicians who play them. Who endorse them. In the “$399 strat shape locking trem HSH” guitar area, the competition is LTD and Jackson and a few others, with Jackson being the big name of the group.
Mitchell is sitting in the same price range as all of the above and no one endorses them. No one you know plays them. No one is raving about them, unless it’s someone who bought one. Quality-wise, they’re comparable to all the other $399 guitars out there – if you want one that plays well, either try out a bunch of them or pay for a setup and potentially someone to fix those sharp fret ends.
Mitchell is made in China (I believe) and is hopefully playing the long game – they know it takes a long time to get brand name recognition. But they’re not looking for endorsers. Why not? Probably for the same reason that their website is low budget and their Facebook presence is a laugher. How could a company big enough to get stocked in Guitar Center not have a killer website and social media presence? It could be that Mitchell was created to make stock for a certain demographic. I’d suspect it was a Guitar Center brand, but they’re also sold on Musician’s Friend. But it’s definitely a mystery.
Being inept at social media isn’t a new thing. Look at Fender, which is pound for pound my favorite guitar brand. They’re infamous for making stupid 2 minute videos that some marketing person came up with and that people don’t care about. Speaking of which, Mitchell has a YouTube channel that they don’t directly link to from their website and that they don’t update on a regular basis. Again, HUH?
If you know the back story behind Mitchell, please email me. I’m just curious.