Martin LXM Little Martin Reviews 4

Purchased at the Guitar Store (or something like that) in Westminster, Colorado for around $250 for my 9 year old son who is ready to graduate from nylon strings to steel strings.

I had been shopping around for a half size steel string for some time and while in Denver I thought I would hit a few of the local stores. I had looked at Hohner, Taylor, Austin, and Olympia half size. Of the three, Taylor was the front runner until I found the Little Martin. What impressed me the most was the big guitar sound. I was truly astonished by the volume and depth of sound that came out of that little package the first time I struck a chord. It easily rivals any full size general consumer grade instrument for tone, depth and projection. It also comes with a very nice heavily padded ballistic nylon case with backpack straps and the Martin Logo embroidered in gold on the large outside zipper pocket. One of the really neat things though is the compact size. You are probably thinking that this goes without saying, but when I got on the plane to come home I just carried it on and threw it in the overhead bin and forgot about it. When Ever I travel with any of my other guitars I typically agonize over how they are doing in the cargo hold, but not this time. Iím considering getting one for myself.

I really canít find anything that I donít like about this guitar. I have given it a rating of 4, only because I canít truly justify giving it a 5 considering the other Martin guitars listed on this review page. However, if it was being compared to just half size guitars or many other full size guitars other than Martins, I would give it a 6!

As you would expect from Martin, the LXM is very solid. However, (brace yourself) this is one of Martinís environmentally friendly (and lower cost) X Series guitars which means that it is not made out of wood, at least not what you typically think of as guitar wood anyway. The body is constructed of wood fiber board called High Pressure Laminate (HPL) which is colored and textured to look like wood. However, it is so well done, that if you didnít know you may not even notice. The comments of another reviewer regarding the rich grain, the feel of fine materials, etc., is a case in point.

If you are looking for a compact travel guitar, or a small student guitar, this is by far the best value in my opinion.

Larry F. rated this unit 4 on 2004-06-17.

I played it at Sam Ash on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. It sells for $320.

The finish is beautiful, with rich wood grains, and the wood feels like quality material.

Quite a few things. The sound is very unimpressive, without much top-end shimmer. Martin may have been trying to achieve more bass power in the sound with this guitar, but I don't think they've succeeded. The fret hand feels crunched on this guitar; it's comparable in size to the Baby Taylor and the Baby Taylor doesn't feel like this at all.

High. Workmanship isn't the issue here.

Travel guitars necessarily entail a certain sonic compromise, but I don't see any reason I would take the Little Martin out to play because it doesn't feel or sound great. Given that choice, I'd rather buy a Baby Taylor or just bring my full-sized Martin DCX1E. The DCX1E had given me a beautiful impression of Martin guitars, but the Little Martin has shown me that not all Martins are created equal. But for high-quality materials and workmanship, I give it an extra point.

Derek Mok rated this unit 3 on 2004-02-18.

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