Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gigbag
- * "1-style" Sitka spruce bracing
- * Martin's patented neck mortise
- * C.F. Martin script logo on headstock
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Precision Audio||Chicago Music Exchange||Precision Audio||Amazon.com||Chicago Music Exchange|
|Back Material Type||koa||Mahogany||Jett Black HPL Textured Finish||Martin||Mahogany||mahogany|
|Body Material Type||Sitka Spruce||Spruce;Mahogany||Jett Black HPL Textured Finish||Sitka spruce;mahogony||Bubinga||solid-wood|
|Fretboard Material Type||Richlite||Indian rosewood||Micarta ; Richlite||Micarta||Rosewood||Ebony|
|Hand Orientation||Ambidextrous||Right Handed||Right Handed||Ambidextrous||Right Handed||right|
|Item Dimensions||38.58 x 6.3 x 18.11 in||7 x 18 x 39 in||38.58 x 6.3 x 18.11 in||38.58 x 6.3 x 18.11 in||13 x 5 x 37 in||38 x 16 x 7 in|
|Neck Material Type||Natural Stratabond||Stratabond||Natural Stratabond||Martin||Mahogany||Mahogany|
|Number of Strings||6||6||6||6||6||6|
|Top Material Type||koa||Sitka Spruce||Jett Black HPL Textured Finish||Sitka-Spruce||Bubinga||mahogany|
Great for travel, practice, beginning students and children with smaller hands. The Martin LXM "Little Martin" Acoustic Guitar is a perfect choice for travel, practice, and beginning students. Small, modified 0-14 Martin body features a wood-pattern HPL top with "1-style" Sitka spruce bracing, Micarta fretboard and bridge, 23" scale, Stratabond modified low-oval neck, and Martin's patented neck mortise. Gotoh nickel-plated tuners and C.F. Martin script logo adorn the headstock. The LXM includes Martin heavily padded gig bag. Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.
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This is a 3/4 size guitar. The scale is about 3" shorter than a regular guitar, which means you can tune up two notes (F#BEAC#F#) with regular strings without risk of snapping them. I've done this, and it was fun. I've also tuned down a couple notes (DGCFAD) and it didn't buzz or feel weird. For some reason, though, I have more issues when using a capo than I do on other guitars--retuning with the capo on is a must.
The tuners are not too good. The ratio feels low, which isn't a probably for most of the strings but makes it hard to get the low E string dialed in. I'll probably swap them out for 18:1 Grovers.
Projection is minimal, but that shouldn't be a surprise. This is a tiny guitar built to survive kids and/or road trips. For what it is, it sounds good and the volume across each string sounds even. The Martin strings it came with sounded awful and I immediately swapped them out for a set of D'Addario phosphor-bronze.
Tone is balanced, but focused in the midrange. Fretboard feels perfect. Action was perfect out of the box. Finish looks nice--I'd describe it as semi-gloss (shinier than a matte finish, but not a glossy mirror). The materials are all laminated, and the "koa" is a photo finish but it looks nice and I don't see a seam or repeat in the pattern. Build quality is ROBUST and the finish will be hard to scratch. I've brought this a couple places and while the tuners aren't superb, it didn't seem to react to temperature changes like other guitars I've owned.
This is a guitar I bought for the purpose of bringing to church for youth, and on youth group trips. I am totally comfortable letting the youth borrow it and carry it around without me sweating about it. So far, it's been well received, and it's worked well in our smallish worship circles. Very pleased with this, even with its flaws.
My sister used to own a Taylor Swift Baby Taylor, a 3/4 scale guitar which has now been replaced by the Little Martin, which is also a 3/4 scale instrument. While the Baby Taylor played as easily as any Taylor (great beginner's guitar for little hands, by the way) and was loud for a little guitar, its tone was limited to the tenor range with very little deep sound, while the Little Martin's sound is more complete. The sound of the Baby Taylor was almost brassy-sounding; it became rather annoying, which is why my sister ultimately gave it to a middle school girl we know, a beginner like my sister was when she first got the guitar. This sound issue might be solved with a different wood choice, but I have no firsthand experience with other Baby Taylors, so I can't speak on that matter. The Martin is not only loud, but sounds like a real guitar rather than a travel guitar. The Little Martin is also sturdier, made of high-pressure laminate, which is basically made to survive anything. So in the battle between these guitars, the Little Martin comes out the clear winner.
The competition between the Little Martin and Backpacker is much the same. The Backpacker also has a thin, more tenor-rich sound; the Baby Taylor even sounds better than the Backpacker. However, the Backpacker's small size and light weight would be more ideal for certain travel situations, so the choice really depends on what you're using it for.
The real competition comes out between the GS Mini and the Little Martin. I've owned the GS Mini mahogany for over a year now. It is a 7/8 scale travel guitar. I've been impressed with its deep, moody sound typical of mahogany, which competes with the sounds of my more expensive guitars. It is a way better sound than the Little Martin, and is ideal for fingerpicking, my style of choice. It's not just me, either; the GS Mini is highly praised for its great sound by countless reviewers, especially in the mahogany version. Playing them side-by-side makes the Martin sound like cheap, plastic crap, to be perfectly honest. I use the GS Mini as a travel guitar, as it is incredibly lightweight and is rated for such use. I've taken it car camping and on vacations and it has held up remarkably, but with its more expensive price tag ($600, give or take), it does make me a bit nervous to go camping with it. I don't play by the fire, for fear of sparks damaging the wood, and I take it for frequent checkups to the guitar store to ensure that it's still okay. The guitar specialists have assured me that it has been in great condition every time, so perhaps my fears are misplaced. However, I would still be willing to wager that the Little Martin is better suited for camping and outdoor activities because of its sturdier material and its lower price tag. I wouldn't have to be as careful with it, which would be nice, and it sounds just fine. However, the GS Mini comes out the clear winner in sound, and it can also be fitted with a pickup made specifically for this model so it can be plugged in, a feature the Little Martin lacks. If you're looking for a great all-around guitar that sounds nice and also just happens to be a travel guitar as well, and you'll be using it for performance of some sort, I would go with the GS Mini, hands down. If you're looking for a more rugged travel guitar with a lower price tag, go with the Martin. The right guitar depends on why you're getting it. In any case, I hope the comparison was helpful! Cheers, and good luck making the decision!
Most recent customer reviews
Let me get one thing out of the way. I own a lot of guitars including a Gibson LG2 and two Taylor GS Mini's.Read more