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[Editor’s note – in September we put out a call for musicians to enter to win a fantastic prize pack of a Mitchell Element Guitar (ME1ACE) and an A40 Acoustic Instrument Amp (from Acoustic Amplification). Winner number one was Jordan Davis, who posted a number of updates on social media during his testing period with the gear. His final wrap-up is below — look for winner #2 (Tim Feist) to post his final thoughts shortly, as well. Thanks again to all who entered!]
When I get a new guitar I write songs on it that fit its sound. While exploring its ins and outs I hit record on SoundCloud and music is born. From that point the guitar and song are bound together. Hence my taking three different guitars to perform live on a radio show. In many cases the guitar becomes a part of the story of its songs, from backstreets to rooftops to mountaintops and beyond. And now I am starting to uncover more stories, sounds, and songs via the newest guitar in my arsenal: a Mitchell acoustic/electric in the Element Series, the ME1ACE.
The Venetian cutaway in the body is great for soloing up higher and for capo play. The built-in tuner and volume controls are a dream compared to other options for tuning right before a show. Turning on the LED tuner (by Fishman) automatically stops the output into the amp. Recently I performed at a wedding, and was actually able to fine-tune a bit during the ceremony between the entrance and exit music I played without disrupting anything.
The sound is clear and bright, and I have enjoyed some alternate tunings thus far. The solid spruce top adds some nice reverberation for rhythm parts. I adjusted the truss rod a bit to eliminate some of the buzz, and will work with a specialist to get the action where I would like it. One more needed adjustment is a quick file on the frets poking out on the bottom of the neck, as they can snag on things mid-song. But overall, no biggie.
The A40 from Acoustic Amplification accompanying the guitar in the tour test package goes well with the Mitchell Element, and I love its power and clarity. After performing with the pair at the wedding I mentioned, I was DJing the festivities, and the volume in the venue’s built in sound-system wasn’t sufficient. I switched over to the A40 using smartphones and the built-in Bluetooth functionality it gave all the bounce needed for the remainder of the night’s dancing.
The dual-channel, and versatility with accepting a standard mic input or a quarter-inch cable are great functionality, but there’s just one caveat in that the variety of built-in effects available will apply to both channels. The Bluetooth integration is something I will continue to rely on heavily. It is just for playback, rather than for controlling the effects, but is very handy. I also enjoyed the feedback prevention technology, and the shape of the amp with its and control accessibility and upward projection.
The wedding was the easiest gig I have ever done in terms of preparation and logistics. The guitar is incredibly light and easy to handle, and the amp is compact, easy to control, and powerful. These two quality items go together nicely. Thanks again, Performer Magazine, Mitchell Guitars, and Acoustic Amplification for the chance to tour test them!
Enjoy Yorudan’s first album, “The Chi Medallion,” at yorudan.bandcamp.com, comment on his latest songs in the works at soundcloud.com/yorudan, and connect with him at twitter.com/yorudan. He is currently working on two albums for 2016: “The Book of the Wars of the Lord” and “All About Volcanoes and Earthquakes.” He thrives on live music, is open to opportunities to collaborate and perform, and is based in the greater Salt Lake City area. Photograph courtesy of Jamie Tervort photography (jamietervort.com).