C.F. Martin & Company is known for their high-end dreadnoughts, which is a type of acoustic guitar with a much larger body than other guitars. The dreadnought has a bolder, richer, and often louder tone. It is distinguished by its size, square shoulders, and bottom with the neck usually attached to the body at the fourteenth fret. The dreadnought has been copied by other guitar manufacturers making it the most common acoustic guitar style.
The Martin dreadnought is also known as “D-size” guitars or among musicians, “the dreads.”
The Little Martin Travel Guitar
The Martin LXK2 is called Martin’s Little Guitar and is one of the hottest travel guitars on the market. It is made from a Hawaiian Koa high-pressure laminate with a natural stratabond neck which features Martin’s patented neck mortise.
The catch, though, in finding a Martin at an affordable price is that there isn’t a single piece of solid tonewood in the guitar. That’s not really a problem because it is made by Martin a trusted guitar maker who has been making guitars since 1833. They know how to do it right even with laminates.
It has a modified low oval profile with a rich fingerboard. The LXK2 has a three-quarter scale length of the dreadnoughts, which makes it’s the perfect size for traveling.
Children’s guitars are usually scaled to one-quarter, one-half, or three-quarter length, similar to a ukulele guitar. Thus the three-quarter length makes the LXK2 the perfect size for bigger children or adults with small hands or someone who has trouble fretting the strings.
The bridge on the LXK2 is FSC certified richlite fitted with a compensated white TUSQ saddle. Richlite is an incredibly durable, extremely versatile, and highly sustainable material made from resin-infused paper. Martin users state that they have had no problems with it. They even go as far as to say that it may even work better than the ebony in most acoustic guitars.
Acoustic guitar players have reported that the Graph Tech TUSQ Martin-style saddle produces sound that is clear, with bell-like highs, expansive low end, and rich harmonic overtones. You might ask why the saddle makes a difference in the sound. Sweetwater Music states that the TUSQ nuts, saddles and bridge pins are highly efficient in transferring string vibrations to the guitar body. They continue by saying the TUSQ saddle makes the acoustic come alive.
Acoustic guitarists questioned whether the LXK2 would have the same Martin sound because of being built completely out of laminates. But, this gorgeous little guitar is well-constructed and delivers a balanced sound with enough low-end response.
Because it is smaller, it doesn’t have the full-bodied sound that you would get with the bigger dreadnoughts, but it brings more bass to the mix with crisp, clean highs and more definition than other travel models.
The LXK2 seems to work better with fingerpicking rather than strumming, but the projection is there which compensates for the lack of low-end response.
Users stated that the action on the LXK2 is very good. Some have commented that if the soundhole was a little bigger it would have a bigger sound. But, it is a travel guitar so you won’t get the same sound as you would with a full-bodied dreadnought.
Martin did it!! They built an affordable guitar that brings the famous Martin tone, even though it is built with laminates and artificial materials. This little guitar produces an amazing sound and at an economical price that is hard to beat.
Straight out of the box, the LXK2 comes with a nice heavily padded gigbag that fits over the guitar like a glove and a neck strap. The case has a pocket for your music and a backpack strap for comfort while carrying.
Martin LXK2 Little Martin Features:
- CONSTRUCTION: Mortise/Tenon Neck Joint.
- BODY SIZE: Modified O — 14 Fret.
- TOP: Koa Wood Pattern HPL Textured Finish.
- ROSETTE: Decal (White and Black Herringbone).
- TOP BRACING PATTERN: Modified 1 Style.
- TOP BRACES: Inverted 1 Style Crowned Cross Brace and Graphite Bowtie Plate.
- BACK MATERIAL: Koa Wood Pattern HPL Textured Finish.
- SIDE MATERIAL: Koa Wood Pattern HPL Textured Finish.
- NECK MATERIAL: Natural Stratabond.
- NECK SHAPE: Modified Low Oval.
- NUT MATERIAL: White Corian.
- HEADSTOCK: Solid/Square/Tapered.
- HEADPLATE: Koa Wood Pattern HPL/ Textured Finish/ Raised Gold Foil Logo.
- FINGERBOARD MATERIAL: Richlite
- SCALE LENGTH: 23”
- # OF FRETS CLEAR: 14
- # OF FRETS TOTAL: 20
- FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT NUT: 1 11/16”
- FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT 12TH FRET: 2 1/16”
- BRIDGE MATERIAL: Solid Morado or Solid East Indian Rosewood.
- STYLE OF BRIDGE: 1 Style Belly.
- BRIDGE STRING SPACING: 2 1/8”
- SADDLE: 16” Radius/Compensated/White Micarta.
- TUNING MACHINES: Gotoh Nickel w/ Small Knobs.
- RECOMMENDED STRINGS: Martin M550 Phosphor Bronze.
- BRIDGE & END PINS: White with Black Dots.
- CASE: Padded Gig Bag.
- INTERIOR LABEL: Back label- Gold Foil Label with LXK2, Serial # and Patent #.
- Wikipedia (January 5, 2019) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadnought_(guitar_type)
- (October 22, 2019) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel_guitar
- Martin LXK2 – Travel Package On a Different Level. Retrieved from https://www.guitarfella.com/martin-lxk2-review/.
- Graph Tech TUSQ Martin-style saddle. Retrieved from Sweetwater.com