#1
I started self-teaching myself guitar a couple of months ago. I've been using a Squier electric guitar that I had for 7 years and never played until now. After using it for a couple of months now and trying out the guitars at Guitar Center as I've been learning, I now have this desire to pursue learning from an acoustic guitar. I've tried many different guitars on display at Guitar Center and this one (which looks like one of those starter packs) felt surprisingly good when I tried it out:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Mitchell-MO100SPK-Folk-Acoustic-Guitar-Pack-103938130-i1172231.gc

The reason I liked it is because it feels a lot easier to play. It just feels so much more smoother and easier to switch chords and everything. It even felt more comfortable and easier to play than some of the more expensive guitars on display. But of course, since I've been only playing for a couple of months, my judgment of guitars might not be the best, so that is why I want to ask some of you experts out there.

Does anyone recommend this guitar? Is this worth buying? Or should I wait a while and save up for a more expensive Taylor guitar or something?
#2
Well, Mitchell's are made for Guitar Center as their own entry-level brand as I understand it. They are decidedly inexpensive.
However... I had one a few years ago; one of the 200 dollar dreadnaughts with the built-in electrics. It was surprisingly well made and the fit and finish were good and the action properly set up.

You could see where they cheaped out... The endpin jack was just press-fitted into the end block, and pulled out the first time I tried to unplug it. I had to re-solder the leads...
Also, the electrics had no battery port... You had to loosen or remove the strings and stick your hand in the soundhole to change the battery.
Still, it sounded and played pretty good for an entry-level guitar.

for about a hundred bucks more, you could get a solid-top Yamaha......
#3
Thanks. Yeah, that's what I liked about the one I saw at guitar center. It was nicely set up making it easy to play and it seems to stay in tune. However, the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. But out of all the entry-level guitars I saw on display, this Mitchell one seems to be the one that had the best setup, which is why I was leaning towards getting this particular guitar. It's very hard to decide, but I really want an acoustic guitar ASAP.
#4
Yeah it looks like a nice guitar, and for a beginner the set-up and ease of play is the most important thing. Even the worst sounding guitar still sounds like a guitar and that is good! You may find that you want to upgrade in the future and you may find that you still want to keep this guitar for travel and campfire play. Maybe you'll find that you don't even need to upgrade. The important thing is that you get something in your hands that feels good to learn on. From there, the sky is the limit! "Time waits for no one" and "Some day never comes" so get on it!
#5
Ok, I got it at Guitar Center. I'm not sure how common this is with guitars, but the ones in the box weren't set up as nicely as the one on display (which I refuse to buy because I don't want to pay full price for a used, manhandled guitar). The action was kind of high on a couple of the ones that the salesman opened for me. Finally, the third time was a charm and that one he opened was set up nicely. The salesman was getting short with me for a while because he had to open so many, but finally was happy when I was satisfied with the third guitar he opened.

Anyways, when I brought that guitar home, I was so happy with the way it played. It's sooooo much easier to play than my old Squier electric guitar. I've only been playing for a couple of months and I can't believe how well I was playing the new Mitchell guitar. I guess that's because I've been learning from my old Squier guitar, which was so difficult to play, so it made it feel a lot easier to play on a new, well setup guitar.

It's ironic that an acoustic guitar is easier for me to play than an electric. I guess it's because the action on my electric is higher and the neck is narrowed. I actually find it easier playing on a wider neck for some reason. I guess it's because the strings are further apart and my fingers don't interfere with other strings as easily. Not sure why, but this new guitar is such a breeze to play compared to my old electric guitar.
#6
Quote by GuitarDude85
Ok, I got it at Guitar Center. I'm not sure how common this is with guitars, but the ones in the box weren't set up as nicely as the one on display (which I refuse to buy because I don't want to pay full price for a used, manhandled guitar). The action was kind of high on a couple of the ones that the salesman opened for me. Finally, the third time was a charm and that one he opened was set up nicely. The salesman was getting short with me for a while because he had to open so many, but finally was happy when I was satisfied with the third guitar he opened...[ ]...
It isn't unusual for the boxed guitars to have high actions. Some makers aren't inclined, (or so it seems), to worry about the action being LAPWOB, when they ship. It's an added manufacturing cost, but as long as the neck on the guitar is set properly, it isn't an issue. There should A LOT of saddle over the bridge if the action is high. Plus, making a snap judgement about how much saddle you'll have to take off to lower the action, and how much saddle will be left after you do, is a matter of experience.

As for Guitar Center's line model, part of the playability is based on the employees willingness to set up the displays for best possible action. In the case of your Mitchell, it's a push product for them, so it makes sense they would give that the whole treatment, and more or less ignore the Ibanez next to it.

That's not to say either guitar is inferior, just salesmanship in action.

If you held out for the one with the lowest action, you most likely did the right thing. Assuming the maker isn't sanding the saddles, just stuffing them in, that's the guitar with the optimum neck set angle.

Best of luck with your new guitar, or as we're more prone to put it, "happy new guitar day"!

FWIW, many players here would prefer a wider neck. I play a 12 string a bit, and the switch back to the narrower 6 string does have some adjustment lag.

Also, your "Squire" should be a bolt on neck. (Assuming it's a Strat copy). If the action is a problem there, you may be able to pull the neck off, and buy a steeper angle shim plate to lower the action. The bridge saddles should also be height adjustable to some degree
#7
Quote by Captaincranky
It isn't unusual for the boxed guitars to have high actions. Some makers aren't inclined, (or so it seems), to worry about the action being LAPWOB, when they ship. It's an added manufacturing cost, but as long as the neck on the guitar is set properly, it isn't an issue.


So, how do you guys buy guitars? Do you buy the floor model? Or do more expensive brands like Taylor have the action properly set up in the box?
#8
Quote by GuitarDude85
So, how do you guys buy guitars? Do you buy the floor model? Or do more expensive brands like Taylor have the action properly set up in the box?
Truth be told, I'm left handed, and am pretty much forced to buy over the web, sight unheard. But, free shipping, no state tax, and the general state of QA in both Asian and USA instruments, sweetens the deal, and takes most of the risk out of it.


With that said, I'm capable of setting up my own guitars. Which offsets a great deal of the risk from my atypical buying strategy. OTOH, since left handed models are far more rare than right handers, it also takes some of the agonizing and stress out of the buying process. I don't have to try 50 guitars, and then try to remember how 49 of them sound in reference to the 50th one, or each other. That can be very confusing.

When all is said and done, I'd rather have a dozen mid line instruments with different virtues and vices, than have a single guitar that I have to build an altar to, and worship.

I will say stepping up to a thousand or more dollar guitar is unnecessary to find one already set up. As before, it depends on the maker. As an example, Epiphone, (and Fender), are having their acoustics set up stateside. A sticker goes in the box saying something on the order of, "#78 Bob inspected and set up this guitar proudly in the USA". Yet still, after it's set up, a guitar might spend a fair amount of time in a warehouse, in a climate far different from its buyer's. That can change the setup, in spite of the manufacturers best intentions

Then too, "setup up in the USA", works to take some of the sting out of the fact nobody can afford American made guitars any more, and makes it look like the makers are throwing work the way of us Yankees, (which they actually are).

Assuming you're reasonably handy, and patient, it isn't difficult to setup a guitar to > 85% of its absolute potential of playability, and then the player's touch factors into that number. Like to strum hard and fast? The strings need to be higher than someone with a light touch, playing finger style.

So, doing a setup requires planning and practice, the same as playing does. Why not read this web tutorial a time or three, and you'll be less apprehensive should you encounter the setup issue in the future: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 25, 2015,
#9
I find it kind of crazy that makers don't care too much about action. Most beginners don't know about how the action should be set up, so they're going to purchase a guitar with high action, get frustrated and give up. That's what I almost did when I couldn't play my Squier guitar. I didn't suspect anything until I picked up a well setup acoustic guitar at Guitar Center and tried it out and found it significantly easier to play. Then when I told my friend (who plays guitar) about it, he told me that my guitar could have an action problem. Then I started comparing my guitar with the ones at Guitar Center and did notice that my action was set very high.