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View Full Version : So I Bought a Mitchell Concert or "Hello"



afeatheredhat
01-13-2009, 09:14 AM
Hey there Ukulele Underground, my name is Mike and I've just discovered that the Ukulele is simply fantastic.

My sister is a pretty big fan of Julia Nunes, Wade Jonston, and the other youtube ukulele people. Me being a music person decided to buy her a Ukulele for Christmas. It was a very cheap Oscar Schmidt from the small local music store. I didn't want to get her anything too nice because I wasn't sure if she was going to really take to it, or if it would end up being a novelty thing.

After Christmas I just couldn't stop playing it! It is just an incredibly fun instrument. I spent a while reading things online and then went to Guitar Center to see if they had a decent selection (I live in the Middle of Nowhere Florida, also known as Highlands County--so there really aren't too many other places to go).

The salesperson there sold me a Mitchell Ukulele, MU100, claiming that it was solid Koa. I thought that unlikely but he insisted. I probably should've known that I couldn't get a solid wood Ukulele for $170, but excited and pleased I purchased it.

I've had it for about two weeks and looked it up online--found this forum: http://www.ezfolk.com/forums/forum18/4626.html where people have said things like this:
Just say "no" to Mitchell ukes. Same maker as Samick/Washburn/Lyon & Heal/Oscar Schmidt.

Composite/laminate spruce tops do not make a nice sounding uke. They look pretty, but that's about where the honeymoon ends. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

"Mitchell" is Guitar Center's p.o.s. cheapo house brand. They overcharge. I'd tell you to go for it if they offered the uke for $25. That's about their value.
(Mine is laminate koa, I've since found, I think he's talking about the MU70.)
This disturbs me. I don't have anything to compare it to. Right now the Mitchell is the most expensive Ukulele I've heard in person, and I don't know ANYONE down here who sells, plays, or has Ukuleles for me to compare it to.

To ME, the tone sounds real nice and mellow--with factory strings. The intonation is nearly perfect (maybe I got lucky). The weight seems nice to ME. It looks beautiful of course, but apparently its a laminate. Its a little bit quiet--but then again I'm not entirely sure how loud its suppose to be.

It seems pretty good to ME, but maybe only because I've never even seen a solid wood Ukulele and I don't really know much.

Should I try and return it to Guitar Center? Could I get something better for the price? I don't really want to pay more than $250 for it.

So, hello. My name is Mike and I've just started on my journey of discovering this amazing little instrument. Thanks for reading/responding!

deach
01-13-2009, 09:16 AM
Can you get nicer ukes for the price, yes but if you like it, who cares what other people think.

Link
01-13-2009, 09:28 AM
That's a good stater Uke. I started out on the MU-70, a big step down from yours, and I loved that thing. I only had mine for 6 months though before the nut fell off though.. this just happened this last weekend. If you plan to keep playing, I might suggest returning that one and using the money to boy a Uke from musicguymic's room, a great eBay store which is highly rated round here.

Here's a sample of what you could get for the $170:
http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-SC-solid-sprucetop-Concert-Ukulele-w-case-SETUP_W0QQitemZ330299869470QQihZ014QQcategoryZ1622 4QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

A solid spruce top, complete set up with Aquila strings, free hardshell case chordbook and pitch pipe. All for $139.95 plus 18.95 shipping.

Good luck to you, keep playing!

UKISOCIETY
01-13-2009, 09:39 AM
That's a good stater Uke. I started out on the MU-70, a big step down from yours, and I loved that thing. I only had mine for 6 months though before the nut fell off though..

Will you stop with your falling nut already!??
:D

HoldinCoffee
01-13-2009, 09:44 AM
Greetings and salutations!

hoosierhiver
01-13-2009, 09:47 AM
I haven't heard too many good things about Mitchell,but I would be pissed that the shop insisted it was solid Koa when it wasn't.That's like selling someone a 4-wheel drive truck that doesn't have 4-wheel drive.

E-Lo Roberts
01-13-2009, 09:48 AM
Afeatheredhat,
Do you like the sound of it? It so, don't worry about it. I'm saying this because I also bought the concert MU-100 (laminated koa top) from guitar center. I sat and played that thing for at least an hour before buying it. I have a $800 G-string tenor that I normally play. Sounds good, nice solid koa uke. However, the tone of my laminated Mitchell is just as musical as my G-string. No kidding. It's of course not as "Big" sounding due to the concert actual size, but it plays great and goods damn good. In fact, the next week I went into guitar center and they had just got in a solid koa Mitchell concert for about $100 more. I played it and believe or not, I have to laugh, my laminated one sounded better!

If yours is anything like mine, then you should be good to go. The only down factor I could find with mine was it needed a fret dressing ( a bit rough at the edge of the frets) and there are a couple over stained areas on the neck. However, this has no effect when it comes to tone and playability. I hope this will ease your mind. Thanks, e.lo...

GX9901
01-13-2009, 10:01 AM
I would say return it and get something like a Mainland ukulele (http://mainlandukes.com/) or Ohana (http://ohana-music.com/)or something equivalent. While I have not personally played any Mainland or Ohana, I have played the Mitchell and I'm pretty sure you can get something better for the same or a little more money.

Edit: E-Lo's post went up as I was typing mine, but I agree with what he says as well. However, given that the original poster have no point of reference for that Mitchell, I'd still recommend getting a decent reputable solid wood uke instead.

uber_goober
01-13-2009, 10:09 AM
If you're having fun with it, and it sounds good to you, that's all that matters.

The music you play is more important than the instrument you play. Just have fun.

-John

Hobgoblin Steve
01-13-2009, 10:35 AM
yknow, Ive got this uke, and Ive compared it to others, and Id say about more than half of the time I prefer my Mitchell. (and this is comparing to $300 and under ukes) I wouldnt say you bought a bad uke, Id say you bought a starter uke. And as a starter uke, you really cant go wrong with it.

hotnanas
01-13-2009, 12:15 PM
i love my mitchell mu-70 (actually preferred the tone out of it than the mu-100). I have had no problems with it at all. The intonation is great (according to my Korg tuner). The sound is sweet. I would say if you are happy with yours, then don't let anyone change your idea of happy?

Link
01-13-2009, 12:22 PM
Will you stop with your falling nut already!??
:D
LOL sorry. I only bring it up when it's relevant! When your nuts fall you'll talk about it too! J/k man, lol!

freedive135
01-13-2009, 12:56 PM
It's your first Uke.... the next one will sound better and play better and so will the next one and the one after that.....or so you hope!!!!

As far as being Loud it's a Ukulele, they normaly are not loud but some of them are louder than others due to internal bracing and wood type.

haole
01-13-2009, 12:59 PM
Buying something before reading other customer reviews is only a mistake if you don't like it yourself. If you're happy with it, then you've made a smart purchase and you shouldn't have any regrets! There are plenty of satisfied players who have instruments with less than stellar reputations. I have a 1985 Fender Telecaster (from Fender's dark ages, where quality control was notoriously bad), and I wouldn't trade it for anything else even though it's near worthless. Enjoy your uke, and only get rid of it if you honestly think it sucks. ;)

I'm not sure if some Guitar Center salespeople are genuinely ignorant of what they sell, or if they BS you on purpose about solid wood. But the shopping experience there can range from friendly and helpful to careless and indifferent to clueless but well-meaning to complete deception depending on who you talk to. D:

E-Lo Roberts
01-13-2009, 01:07 PM
There are plenty of satisfied players who have instruments with less than stellar reputations. I have a 1985 Fender Telecaster (from Fender's dark ages, where quality control was notoriously bad), and I wouldn't trade it for anything else even though it's near worthless.

haole, I'm with you. I have a mexican $275 tele that I play with my band gig. I also own a $1200 50th anniversary strat. But I have to say the tele sounds and plays better than my strat! No joke, I'd use the strat if I could, but tone don't lie...e.lo...

lisaxy424
01-13-2009, 03:43 PM
My Mitchell has been good to me too! I really didn't know anything about ukes, and was excited that any store by me even carried them! Like IrvingJohn, I bought the cheapo one and had fun the whole time. But then it happened...

I got a Lanikai tenor, and just fell in love with the rich sound. But I think it was simply the lower pitches - but now I sometimes use my Mitchell to do a higher melody (seen here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22uG6UXQBsQ&feature=channel_page)) or a chordal harmony (seen here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1G8qYFtKCs&feature=channel_page)) over the tenor. THEY'RE GREAT FRIENDS, and there's always room for more! :)

But I'll agree with what everyone else is saying: if ya like it - keep it! Then punch the salesman in the junk for lying about the wood :)

Plainsong
01-13-2009, 09:45 PM
On the one hand, it's the principle of the matter. They lied, so you should take it back. It's true that there are solid wood ukes for the same or just a little bit more.

But then again, if you like it, then don't worry about those uke snobs who say you shouldn't. :)

afeatheredhat
01-14-2009, 02:32 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the responses!

See, that's how I was when I bought my Ibanez--I had a decent idea of what I wanted, went to Guitar Center, played through most of the instruments within or close to my budget in the acoustic room, found something that I loved, and bought it.

...but I didn't really get much of a choice with the Mitchell.

Even though I actually do like the Mitchell quite a bit, I may go ahead and try to return it to get this Kala Mahogany Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Ukulele (http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-ALL-SOLID-MAHOGANY-CUTAWAY-TENOR-UKULELE-ka-asmtec_W0QQitemZ250355521922QQihZ015QQcategoryZ162 24QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting). I'd really rather a tenor, and Guitar Center didn't have any (or rather, I THINK I'd rather a tenor, I've never seen one in person).

...whatever I do, I'll let you all know.

Link
01-14-2009, 03:13 PM
A question if to topic starter, lisaxy, or anyone with a Mitchell:
Does you Mitchell have really terrible intonation? I'd tune mine to perfect GCEA, and 1st fret nots were almost a quarter step off tune. It was wild.

afeatheredhat
01-14-2009, 03:20 PM
A question if to topic starter, lisaxy, or anyone with a Mitchell:
Does you Mitchell have really terrible intonation? I'd tune mine to perfect GCEA, and 1st fret nots were almost a quarter step off tune. It was wild.

No no no, as far as my Korg tuner can tell me its got perfect intonation all the way up the fretboard.

lisaxy424
01-14-2009, 03:47 PM
A question if to topic starter, lisaxy, or anyone with a Mitchell:
Does you Mitchell have really terrible intonation? I'd tune mine to perfect GCEA, and 1st fret nots were almost a quarter step off tune. It was wild.


No no no, as far as my Korg tuner can tell me its got perfect intonation all the way up the fretboard.

Yeah, mine seems to be okay too! (It's me ear that goes out of tune!) But I have heard of this problem with our specific uke - so you probably just got a misbehaved one! :D

Link
01-14-2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks you two. I'll base my future recommendations for this uke with that in mind.

Hobgoblin Steve
01-14-2009, 04:15 PM
A question if to topic starter, lisaxy, or anyone with a Mitchell:
Does you Mitchell have really terrible intonation? I'd tune mine to perfect GCEA, and 1st fret nots were almost a quarter step off tune. It was wild.

I haven't had a problem with intonation on mine either. I still stand by my recommendation of this uke to a starter.


Edit: mine is now currently for sale to fund my next uke, see marketplace.

afeatheredhat
01-14-2009, 04:19 PM
Actually yeah, I don't want to make it sound like I was disappointed in this instrument. In fact if I do return it to get a Tenor Kala, I will feel rather sad to be parted with it. Maybe I'll just stick with it for a while, and get the Tenor Kala in a few months when I have the cash... or for my birthday... Hrmm.... my birthday....