|Body And Neck:|
The Mitchell MU70 ukulele is an affordable mid-range concert uke that is suitable for players of all levels. As you may expect from a ukulele under $200, now that we have crept out of the entry-level range, it offers some nice features that you won't find on pure beginner instruments. Let's check it out and see what it has to offer.
The first thing we notice about the body is the beautiful abalone rosette and purfling that gives this uke a more expensive appearance. It's a timeless, classic design which is very subtle and tasteful. Definitely off to a good start!
It's a concert ukulele, so it's a step up in size from the more common soprano body. The body is very comfortable to hold, partially due to the arch back design. There are two different laminated tonewoods used in the build, with rosewood back/sides and a spruce top. The uke has a lovely gloss finish that further accents the genuine abalone details.
An Indian rosewood fingerboard with mother of pearl dot inlays leads to a custom beveled headstock. The neck is made from mahogany and has a 15″ scale length with 12 frets, which proves very playable for beginners and gives advanced players room to get creative.
Mitchell has paid great attention to detail with this uke. In fact, the finishing touches wouldn't be out of place on a much more expensive instrument. That same care has been taken when choosing the hardware, starting with the premium Aquila strings which add tremendous tonal value right out of the box.
On the less replaceable side of things, the MU70 has a rosewood bridge with compensated saddle and nut, which offers great tuning stability. In most situations, you will only need to make minor adjustments even after fairly heavy use. Another nice touch is that the uke comes with a complete setup by Mitchell before they are shipped to distributors. This might sound pretty standard, but it's not always done well. This extra consistency makes for a much better playing experience from the moment it arrives.
One word that we would use to describe the sound of this uke is ‘authentic’. Close your eyes and you could be in a tropical paradise. It has a full, rich tone that is particularly articulate in the high-range so, if you are more advanced and like to noodle around, you will enjoy this treble tone. The clarity of the high-range really is beautiful and that tone doesn't break anywhere.
Much of that clarity is owed to the Aquila strings that really do enhance the tonal quality of any uke. Couple these strings with the right tonewoods and you have a truly beautiful sound. The mid-range to low-range is punchy and percussive, and works really well for that island sound ukuleles are so famous for.
There is a lot to love about this uke – not least the stunning abalone rosette and trim. Design features like these are usually restricted to more expensive instruments. The quality is consistent throughout, from design to craftsmanship to sound – nothing is left to chance. Mitchell have done a great job with the MU70, creating a uke that is appealing to both beginners and professionals alike. For under $200, this is quite an achievement.