Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:5 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

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Martin LX1E Acoustic Guitar w Fishman Sonitone electronics


  • Sound (It’s Martin, for God’s sake)
  • Good quality electronics
  • Small size – comfortable and compact


  • Saddle and nut material is not the highest quality
  • Change strings to achieve optimum sound

It is enough to mention the name of this company to get guitar lovers drooling and fangirling over it. Martin, for over 180 years, has been chomping out the most beautiful sounding and high-quality guitars that people are ready to empty their wallets for. The quality does not come at a low cost, you will see most Martins at over $1000 range. But they, of course, have some models at a more “affordable’ price. Their LX1E is perhaps the best acoustic-electric guitar under 500 that is also smaller in size but manages to deliver the same sound as a full-sized model.


The LX1E is a smaller-sized guitar that despite its size maintains the sound Martin is so proud of. That would not have been possible without the choice of the right tonewood and construction. This baby is equipped with a solid Sitka spruce top and Mahogany Pattern HPL Textured Finish. HPL stands for High-Pressure Laminate. While most times “laminated” anything does not sound good for guitars there are certain exceptions. Martin is one of them. Although this is not a solid wood it still managed to produce a great sound that only complements the top wood. The rust strata-bound neck is connected to the body through a mortise/tenon joint which creates a sturdy connection and will last for a while.


Okay, let’s talk hardware. This baby comes with a tapered headstock and solid Morado bridge which makes the guitar even more sturdy than it already is. The nut is made of white Corian while the saddle is compensated white Tusq. To be honest, this has to be my least favorite part of this guitar. If you are expected to pay over $500 for a small-sized model I expect to have top-notch material (a.k.a real bone). That being said, real bone nut or not, Martin manages to deliver on the sound. This model also ships with a padded gig bag with a tough cloth exterior and plush interior as well as a front zipper compartment for accessories, which might not be as sturdy and protective as a case but at the same time, if you are traveling a gig bag will fit you better.

Martin LX1E Sound

Since this is a smaller-sized guitar I don’t think a lot of people expect it to achieve the same volume as full-sized Martins. This, in a way, is true but then again most smaller-sized guitars just cannot achieve the volume. That’s just a fact. That being said, the LX1E comes very close to the volume of a full-sized model while the sound is just as crisp, bright and balanced as with any other Martin.  


You’re not here just for the acoustic part of the guitar, I’m guessing. Martin, knowing that people expect top-notch sound from their guitars, does not skimp on the electronics. The Fishman Isys T is a high-quality, easy and intuitive system that will be like second nature to you within a few days. AND, of course, it delivers the guitar’s sound to perfection (you don’t want anything muddying up Martin’s sound, now do you?)


If I could just write “It’s a Martin guitar” I think it would say a lot about the model, already. Martin is famous for amazing guitars which produce beautiful, mesmerizing sounds that I promise you can distinguish from other instruments, even if you have not been playing for that long. The size of the LX1E will be a great fit for a traveling musician or any beginner/intermediate player who wants a great quality instrument to make their experience more exciting and interesting.

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