Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: Reverb.Com
Features — 10
The MD300S is a very moderately priced, high quality dreadnought guitar with Indian Rosewood sides and back, and solid Sitka Spruce top. A solid Mahogany Neck with Indian Rosewood fingerboard, a 25.5 inch scale; 20 frets/14 open. High Gloss Natural finish, with Rosewood bridge with compensated saddles. Off-white binding around all body edges and sides of Neck, with abalone pfurling. Rosette features beautiful inlaid abalone - definitely creating a very high-end appearance (like certain Guitars from Nazareth, PA, that cost above $4,000.00). Tuning machines are Gold-Plated Gotoh-style sealed, precision units. It looks high-end, nothing cheap about appearance or presentation.
Sound — 9
As a guitarist with over 45 years playing, I know what I like, and what leaves me cold. For instance, I loved my 1972 Ventura Bruno acoustic, which was made with the same materials as this Mitchell. Regrettably, the Ventura was stolen from me years ago, and the only guitars I've played since then, that came anywhere near matching the playability, feel, and tone of that old Ventura, were Martins that were way over my budget.
The Mitchell MD300S is an absolute delight, a very low-priced (entry-level priced in fact) acoustic that comes very close to giving me the playing enjoyment I had with my Japanese-made Ventura. This means a crisp playing feel. I can make barre chords with little strain on my index finger, yet the strings all fret properly. Intonation that is spot-on, so there is no jiggery-pokery involved in having to fine-tune 3rd and 2nd strings relative to each other. Finally, tonality that rings very crisp in the higher registers, with a nice booming bottom end. A perfect guitar to bring to gigs.
I'm saying this as an experience pro guitarist, who was featured playing both rhythm and lead guitar on two CD's on which my guitar work was rated 4-stars and 5-stars on over 20 songs.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
For a budget-priced acoustic, the factory set-up is phenomenal. Excellent is the best descriptive I can give. The string action is as good as any acoustic I have ever seen or played, and that includes instruments in the $4,000 - $8,000 price range. Intonation as near perfect as I have found in 4 decades of playing guitar. I found one flaw in the finish on the lower back, about a 1/2 inch long area where the finish separated away from the edge, not bad, just to the degree that I could feel it as I moved my finger along that area. Then again, my guitar was purchased on the cheap, and was labeled "Blem." This must have been the blem, because nowhere else is there the slightest imperfection.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar feels stout and durable in my seasoned hands. I have played with a super-aggressive rhythm style, for many years, and this one, even new out-of-the-box, needed only a very occasional tweak on the tuners the first time I played, and again, I was playing rock rhythms in a very percussive style. Everything suggests that this guitar will last me for many years to come. The hardware appears to be totally up to the kind of handling a pro-player would give it. The finish looks durable, and I would have no problem taking this on a gig, with no backup guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of classic rock - mainly rockabilly, in the vein of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, so my guitars tend to get a good workout when I play them. To repeat some items already written above, I have been playing guitar since my sophomore year in High School (1968), have been member in two rock bands, and band leader in Longboard Ranch, a surf-instrumental band which was active for 10 years, and self-produced two commercial CD's, rated 4-star and 5-star respectively.
I have always been a fanatic about the tones I can get from the guitars I play. For $225.00 in 2015 dollars, there is NOTHING in the market that even begins to compare for value with my Mitchell MD300S. Even if cost were no object, THIS is a keeper guitar I would have purchased for double what I paid. Since they are regularly available at GC, MF, and other outlets, at $349, I consider it a drop-dead bargain at THAT price level. I would absolutely, positively recommend this guitar to my best friends.