C.F. Martin & Company known for its large acoustic guitars called the “dreadnoughts,” which are a high-end acoustic guitar known for its bolder, richer, and louder tone.
The structure of the dreadnought is unique in that the neck is usually attached at the fourteenth fret giving the guitar a more “square shoulders” look and feel. 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 X Series called the “Little Martin” or “Martin’s Little Guitar.” It’s one of the hottest little travel guitars on the market today. Have no fear. Although the “Little Martin” is made of Hawaiian Koa high-pressure laminate with a natural stratabond neck, it still maintains the” Martin’s patented neck mortise.” The Martin’s Mortise and Tenon joint making the joint as stable as it’s “dovetail” counterpart. Many say the stability of the neck contributes to the sweetest tone ever heard.
The catch, though, is in finding a Martin constructed from a single piece of solid tonewood at an affordable price. This situation is discounted since Martin has been a trusted guitar maker since 1833.
Martin seems to know how to do it right with laminates producing a three-quarter scale guitar with a modified low oval profile and a rich fingerboard. The Little Martin is the perfect size for traveling or for the guitarist with smaller hands who have problems fretting the strings. Yet, the Little Martin is not as small as the ukulele.
The bridge on the LXK2 is FSC certified Richlite fitted with a compensated white TUSQ saddle. Richlite, a manufactured product, is more durable and moisture acclimated making it more stable than the Ebony for the fretboard. There is no difference in the feel or playability in the Richlite, therefore, it is better because it is more durable. Some reviewers go as far as to say that Richlite may work better than the ebony in most acoustic guitars.
The TUSQ saddle sits directly in front of the bridge pins on an acoustic guitar. The saddle affects the guitar’s ability to play in tune. The saddle also affects the height of the strings above the frets which affects the action.
Acoustic guitar players have reported that the Graph Tech TUSQ Martin-style saddle produces a 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 and that it also makes the acoustic sound come alive.
One of the main questions asked by acoustic guitarists is whether they can get the same “Martin Sound” out of guitars completely constructed out of laminates.
But, to everyone’s surprise, this gorgeous little travel guitar delivers a well-balanced sound with just enough low-end response. As expected, the Little Martin doesn’t have the full-bodied sound of the big dreadnoughts, but it does offer more bass to mix with the crisp, clean highs than other little travel guitars.
Some guitarists say fingerpicking works better than strumming with the Little Martin, but projection seems to make up for the lack of low-end response.
The Action Users report that the Little Martin’s action is very good.
Others have stated that if the soundhole was large the sound would be bigger. But, remember, it is not a dreadnought, so you can’t expect the full-bodied sound of the bigger guitar.
But with all that being said, Martin did it!! They successfully built an affordable guitar that delivers “Martin’s Tone,” even though it is constructed with 100% laminates.
The bottom lines that Martin produced an amazing little guitar with their “Martin Sound” and at an affordable price.
The Little Martin comes, straight out of the box, with a heavily padded gigbag that fits like a glove, a neck and backpack strap, and a pocket for comfort while traveling.
For more info about the Little Martin, click here.
The Little Martin’s 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