There is a whole series of little Martins out there, rocking the world with their portable, durable and beautiful sound. The Martin LX1E Acoustic is one of these little martins, with its own twist on the design that allows the player to truly fall in love and appreciate their instrument. While some of you might find smaller guitars pointless, these beautiful instruments have a big place in the world. Let us take a closer look and see what makes the Martin LX1E one of these special guitars.
The body of the guitar, as you might have noticed, is scaled down from the size of a regular guitar. This makes the guitar lightweight, easy to carry and especially easy and comfortable for children to play. Yet the guitar was not made specifically for children, but for adults with a mature sound in mind. The Modified 0-14 Fret body has influences of the grand concert and the dreadnought, allowing it to produce a strong sound (not as strong as dreadnought) and create a very beautiful emphasis on the mid and high tones the guitar will be producing.
The top of the guitar is made of solid sitka spruce, a great, if almost traditional, choice for any guitar. The spruce further enhances the mid and treble sound of the guitar, giving them a nuanced, expressive feeling that is hard to parallel. The back and sides of the guitar are Mahogany, with an HPL texture finish. Mahogany is a cheaper alternative to rosewood. The tonewood is not as dense and heavy as its rosy cousin, but is just as good at emphasizing the bass tones of the guitar. The guitar is, as a result, lightweight and just as capable in the lower end of the tones as it is in the high.
The neck of the guitar is made of Rust Stratford, a technique which involves a very interesting process of combining layers of thin, heavily laminated wood, onto each other. The result is a very sturdy, but very alternative looking, neck. Despite the lamination of the guitar, few people say they can hear a difference in the sound of the guitar. The fretboard is richlite, a dark wood with a smooth surface that is as enjoyable to look at as it is to play.
The solid east indian rosewood bridge looks beautiful on this lightly tinged guitar. The effect on the sound is also noticeable, as the lower tones of the guitar seem to be better resonated than the body composition of the guitar would allow for.
The nut and saddle of the guitar are made of white corian, a synthetic material that stands out among the others thanks to its ability to allow for amazing harmonics. The material is also very good at mitigating string buzz.
The tuners of the guitar are Gotoh Nickel. Coming with smaller knobs, the guitar might be a little hard to tune for those of us with big fingers (read: the author of the article). This is fun though, since the guitar is very stable in its tuning, requiring tuning only once in a very long while.
The sound of the guitar is something more than just good. While the body size of the guitar does not allow for the loudest or the strongest tones produced by a guitar, by no mean is the instrument quiet. It is capable of attracting the attention of a crowd without the need for amplification, while also producing beautifully detailed midtones and treble. The sound of the guitar is vibrant and lively, so much so, you might end up feeling you carry around an instrument inspired by spring itself. And yet it is capable of warm tones that relax the ear. A great range of sound for a guitar this affordable.
The LX1E is one of my favorite instruments to talk about simply because there is so much good about it. The small size allows it to be the perfect companion on the road, while the tuning stability and the great hardware allow you to whip it out at any moment and start playing. The sound is outstanding and the sturdiness is inspiring. A definite recommendation, no matter whether you are a beginner or a professional player. You will find a use for this instrument!