Martin LX1E is an electro acoustic guitar and it is gaining popularity. I'm here to weigh the pros and cons and share my experience after using it for 2 weeks.
I Don't Like:
- The pre-amp
- The durable laminate
- The sound
I Don't Like:
- The price
- The price
Martin LX1E may be nice to have if sound is important to you, but you don't want to go for a big guitar and want something portable.
If you're anything like me and love to travel but hate leaving your guitar at home, the LX1E model is perfect for you. Take it to the beach on a sunny day and have a wonderful jam session, or bring it to an airport when you travel.
- 6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Sitka Spruce Top
- Fishman Sonitone Pickup - Natural
- 6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Solid Spruce Top
- Fishman Sonitone Electronics - Natural
- HPL Mahogany Back and Sides
I Don't Like
7 Things I Love About It
- Portable (it's a perfect travel buddy)
- Decent sound
- Simple design
- Good playability
- Has a pre-amp
- Perfect for practicing
If you haven't seen it in real life, know that this is a small guitar. It isn't suitable for everyone and a lot of people prefer standard guitars.
- Good pre-amp
- Durable laminate
- Decent sound
- Could be a bit cheaper
Speaking about sound, LX1E isn't one of the best-sounding Martins out there and the reason for that is obvious.
You won't get that dreadnought sound impact because of its size, and, it won't impress you if you're used to playing a high-end guitar.
This model, however, manages to sound decent and be small at the same time. Its sound isn't going to blow you away, but it's good considering how small the body is.
While other small guitars tend to produce bright and thin sounds, the Martin LX1E (known as Little Martin) projects the classic Martin sound, slightly miniaturized.
The Fishman Isys T with a pre-amp combo system on this guitar features built-in tone shaping, volume control, and phase controls, giving you a whole new level of sound customization .
LX1E lacks a punch of dreadnought and bass, but it possesses an exceedingly useful palette of sounds loud enough, especially if you play it through a pre-amp.
Sound Verdict: Decent, but not as good as Martin's standard guitars.
This guitar is small, but it isn't the smallest guitar on the market.
Because of its size, it is a great option for people who like to travel, young players and those with weak hands.
The hassle of having to carry a full-sized guitar through busy airports and crowded tour buses can force you to leave your most prized possession behind when you travel.
This is why small-profile instruments like travel guitars are gaining popularity.
Who Is It Suitable For?
The Martin LX1E is suitable for a whole range of players.
Its small size means it's most suitable for individuals with smaller hands and small stature.
Players with a more significant stature shouldn't worry though, as they can quickly adjust.
It may be smaller than you would expect, but that isn't its weakness. LX1E is a good choice for beginners because it doesn't require much stretching, but it's also a great fit for experienced players who like to travel.
It's worth mentioning that there are different editions of this guitar - the most popular being the Ed Sheeran edition and the classic Signature edition.
Material & Build Quality
For its top, Martin used solid Sitka spruce, like they do in most of their guitars (this feature looks nice on electric guitars too). Thanks to this material, guitars can sound bright and more dynamic.
On back and sides, we can find Koa pattern - HPL, which stands for high pressure laminate. That's a standard in this price range and we have nothing more to expect. It looks beautiful because of this material.
Saddle is made out of TUSQ, which is standard in most guitars in this price range, or even in the high-end ones. That's a synthetic material, but far from cheap plastic.
Nut, on the other hand, is built out of Black Corian and the bridge out of Black Richlite.
The neck or the Stratabond is laminated with 35 strips of layered wood glued together. The material may be human-made, but the bridge and fingerboard resemble dense ebony evoking a classy feel and look.
The LX1E model lacks position markers to the fingerboard face and features less decoration.
If sound is your #1 priority, consider checking out the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany and see which one you like better. Sound is subjective and the final decision is up to you, but I didn't notice a big difference between the two.
Features & Specifications
- Stratabond low oval-neck
- Highly pressured mahogany laminate at the top, back and sides.
- 23. scale length Richlite fretboard
- 20 frets in total
- Belly bridge style
- Hand rubbed finish.
- Onboard electronics, Fishman Isys for plug-in-and-play flexibility
- Richlite fingerboard material
- Mortise neck joint
- Inlaid Bolter on rosette without red fiber
- The Martin's are renowned worldwide for manufacturing the finest musical instruments with an experience spanning over 180 years.
- All their guitars are created by highly skilled craftspersons, who blend cutting-edge innovation with the ideologies of Christian Frederick Martin - the company founder.
- Their acoustic guitars have been used by various reputable musicians of our generation on stage and in the studio, and they all appreciate the gold standards and playability maintained over the years. Notable players include John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain, Mumford and Sons, John Mayer, and Ed Sheeran.
- Not all travel guitars perform as expected, but the best-selling Martin LX1E easily stands out from the crowd. Popularly referred to as Little Martins, the LX series represents the company's smallest size guitars.
- The LX1 is Martin's line flagship instruments which ships in 4 variants: Acoustic-Electric (LX1E), LXM, LX1 and the Ed Sheeran signature variant.
- Martin has put in the full effort to this small but mighty guitar to offer you the best value for your money.
If sound is your #1 priority, you should check out standard guitars that are made for the sole purpose of sounding good. Although the LX1E sounds decent, you can't compare it to classic guitars. It's impossible to get the same sound on a small guitar.
If you need a guitar that has the best of both worlds (small size and a good sound), Martin LX1e is the right choice for you.