In the budget arena we’ve all heard of Epiphone and Squier, but Mitchell…? They are actually a Guitar Center house brand who specialize in entry-level models at seriously low prices. So does that mean they are pieces of junk? Nope! In fact, if you can get past the name, you will find that the Mitchell MM100 is a good little electric guitar for kids that suits the smallest of budgets, without compromising on style.
As far as budget kids guitars go, the Mitchell MM100 is one of the better looking. It sports a nicely contoured superstrat body with well-defined horns and deep cutaways. Similar to other kids guitars it sports a smaller 3/4 scale (22.5” scale length), which is perfect for small hands. The body itself is made from basswood – a very common wood in this market, although one you will also find used for some $1000+ premium guitars. A couple of finishes are offered, with glossy Blood Red, glossy Black, or the sophisticated matte-finished Walnut Stain. Whatever color you go for, there’s a bolt-on one-piece maple neck with a comfortable shallow C shape, which features an Indian rosewood fretboard and a full 24 medium jumbo frets.
Voicing the MM100 are two wax-potted ceramic humbuckers at the neck and bridge position, which can be selected by a three-way switch. As you may expect, tone controls are limited, but you still get an individual rotary control knob for both master volume and tone. Elsewhere the guitar utilizes basic hardware that gets the job done – the stylish headstock features a set of black tuning machines with a high ratio in a 3+3 configuration, which keeps tuning stable, especially when combined with the fixed tune-o-matic style bridge and string-through body.
The pickups aren’t anything special, but they produce an all-round decent sound. They lack some vibrancy and there is not a great deal of versatility – even with the differing positions – but for a beginner they are very suitable. Played cleanly, the MM100 is clear, while you can find some pretty thick distorted tones for rock and metal, although the actual sound will depend on the quality of the amplifier you plug it into.
The MM100 is by no means a perfect guitar – the pickups aren’t particularly powerful or toneful, and the Chinese build quality leaves a lot to be desired. However, factor in the cost of a string change and good local set up, and the MM100 still offers great value for money, as the style is just awesome for the price. Kids just starting out could learn on much worse instruments than the Mitchell MM100.