Martin LX1 Acoustic Guitar Review
When you’re a guitarist, one of the greatest comforts in life is always having a guitar at hand no matter where you are. And it’s only the hassle – nay, the torture – of having to lug a full-sized instrument through crowded airports and stuffy tour busses that can make us leave our most prized possessions far away at home. Which is why ¾ sized guitars are a godsend. And even though some of these “travel guitars” can be hit and miss in terms of tone, the Martin LX1 is truly a standout.
Referred to as Little Martins, Martin’s LX series is the smallest size of guitar that the company offers. And the LX1 is the line’s flagship instrument which also comes in acoustic-electric and Ed Sheeran signature variants.
First Impressions of the Martin LX1
At first glance the LX1 looks like a slimmed down, no frills version of a classic Martin dreadnought. And to be honest, it looks kind of adorable. But don’t let this guitar’s price and size fool you. Just because it’s ¾ the size of a traditional acoustic, that doesn’t mean that Martin hasn’t put in the full effort into this instrument. The LX1 features a solid Sitka Spruce top and mahogany high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides. While the use of HPL woods for the back and sides enables Martin to bring the price of the guitar down, the quality of the guitar’s construction is so high that unless you’re a real guitar aficionado you’ll have trouble telling that it’s a laminate.
First of all, if you buy a ¾ sized guitar expecting a tone comparable to a full-sized acoustic, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. But that’s exactly why the Martin LX1 is a pleasant surprise. While most travel guitars tend to have thinner, bright sounding tones, the Martin LX1 has a surprisingly deep and rich sound, which really puts the LX1 in a league of its own compared to other travel guitars out there on the market.
In fact, artistes like Ed Sheeran have shown just how effectively these types of guitars can be used to create a unique and fun sound. The acoustic electric LX1E variant of the guitar also gives players a whole new level of customization in terms of sound.
And in any case, it’s a great guitar for jamming, songwriting and travelling, and is an excellent choice for parents looking to encourage their kids’ guitar playing ambitions. The LX1’s size and soft action are perfect for youngsters and buying one of these instruments won’t really break your bank either.
Now Martin itself states that “The Little Martin is not designed to be cosmetically perfect.” And in fact, some customers have noted that there can be small imperfections in the guitar’s finish. But this instrument isn’t intended to be part of your studio décor. It’s meant to be taken everywhere and beaten up. And just because it isn’t much of a looker doesn’t mean that it doesn’t adhere to Martin’s high build standards.
The Martin LX1 is definitely a small guitar that performs big, and at just over the $400 mark, it makes for a high value-for-money travel or practice guitar.