The three things that professional guitarists want most from an acoustic-electric guitar are great sound, good looks and quality electronics (not necessarily in that order). If you’ve done any comparative shopping, you’ve learned that you don’t always find all three qualities in a new guitar, that is, unless you are willing to spend a lot of money. Fortunately, there are exceptions like the eye-catching Mitchell ME1ACE Auditorium size acoustic-electric that has something for you in each category.
Aesthetically, this guitar stands out from the crowd with a clean look of a solid spruce top with striped sapele back and sides. If you are not already familiar with it, sapele is a lustrous mahogany look-alike from West Africa with a slightly finer texture than Honduras Mahogany, and a typically interlocked grain. In addition the contrast of the woods, the stand-out flame maple binding, real wood rosette, cleverly placed abalone fingerboard inlays and rubbed satin finish contribute to give this guitar a striking look. If you like guitars that look "woody", you’ll like the ME1ACE’s appearance.
This guitar isn’t just about looks. Mitchell claims its excellent tonality is the result of a special shifted scalloped X bracing pattern that enhances resonance and projection as well as, state-of-the-art construction techniques. The guitar does sound good, with the most striking feature being the instrument’s mid-range resonance and outstanding projection. If you perform on stage or like to record, you’ll also appreciate the quality of the onboard Fishman INK electronics and built-in, light-up tuner. Both work well for performance situations.
The ME1ACE also has a solid feel with a classic Venetian cutaway for upper fret access, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and dovetail joint, but there are
some things to note about this guitar if you are going to use it for performing. First, like some acoustic guitars, there is no strap button at the heel of the neck so if you aren’t a fan of a tying one at the headstock, you’ll be looking to get a button installed. Also, the guitar is sold without a case. Both issues are easily solved and well worth pursuing as this is an excellent choice for a good sounding, easily playable and good looking electric-acoustic in this price range. Check out Mitchell’s website for details on the lifetime warrantee.
List price: $699
Street price: $345