Martin is a force to reckon with in the guitar-building world. An innovator and a visionary, Martin guitars reshaped the future of acoustic guitar music with its Mini Martin guitars series. When did these instruments become so popular? After all, when you think about acoustic guitars, the first thing that comes to mind is the dreadnought body.
The story of mini guitars and especially the Mini Martin guitars line intertwines with Ed Sheeran’s 2010 performance. The second the UK artist appeared on stage with his Martin LX1, the trend picked up and skyrocketed. Today, the Mini Martin guitars are more than a trend.
They became the top choice for many musicians, travelers, and artists all over the world. They are uber-portable, lightweight, of exquisite quality; they sound superb and are more than affordable. However, how do the Mini Martin guitars stand against their full-size counterparts? Let us find out!
1. The Mini Martin Guitars LX1
The LX1 represents a model upgrade from the previous LXM and LXK2 models. It stands little to no competition with other mini guitars and even normal-sized ones. The Little Martin LX1 comes with a Sitka Spruce solid top (a type of wood common to many acoustic guitars on the market, small or full-size) and mahogany HPL back and sides.
The Fishman Isys T preamp system delivers what this guitar promises in terms of sound. The guitar does not come with electronics, but you can purchase them afterward. The sound is superb and you will surely enjoy the size and looks of this little wonder.
The modified 0-14 body guarantees a tight, rich tone. The 23″ scale does make the sound a little thinner in comparison to full-size guitars, but the LX1 sound is fuller and richer than the one you achieve with other mini guitars. Some say this guitar actually sounds better than many other full-size guitars on the market.
2. The Mini Martin LXME
If you wonder what the “E” at the end represents, let us tell you it comes from the presence of electronics, if they are a must-have for you. The Mini Martin LXME comes with Fishman Isys T pickup system (a feature present on full-bodied guitars as well), allowing you to plug this gem into a sound system or recording deck.
The onboard tuner is a nice addition for those taking guitar playing seriously. The Little Martin LXME uses patented mahogany high-pressure laminate for its top, back, and sides. The LXME sound is smaller and thinner than a full-size Martin, but this is not a reason to overlook the LXME. For its size, this is a real, amazing-sounding guitar.
A perfect “pick-up and play” type of guitar for the traveling gig artist, this is a Martin guitar only smaller. You can easily overlook the differences in power and tone because the playability is stellar, to say the least. The Fishman Isys T pickup system makes it sound much bigger than it really is.
3. The Mini Martin LX1E
Small but packs a big tone, the LX1E acoustic electric comes together with a much-desired solid Sitka Spruce top and mahogany HPL back and sides. If we compare the Little Martin LX1 with the Little Martin LX1E, it is easy to feel joyful that the latter incorporates on-board electronics. The Fishman Isys T pickup and the onboard tuner are worth investing in. The ones loving the sound of a Fishman pickup will certainly appreciate the presence of the built-in Isys T.
If you compare the LX1E to a dreadnaught, you will notice some differences in power. The 23” scale of the LX1E will pack a less powerful punch than a dreadnaught (which likely comes with a 24.5” scale). You may also find some small differences in sustain and the tonal shading of the mini instrument in comparison to a full-bodied one. However, the tonal shading also depends on your pickup of choice.
The LX1E is the flagship of Mini Martin guitars. It offers a superb and warm satin finish, impeccable sound, and a stylish way to impress an audience at your stage gig.
4. The Mini Martin LXK2
For a stylish flair, creativity, and stage gig-oriented panache, you may want to pick the Mini Martin LXK2 guitar. It comes with a Koa wood finish – something you love about many full-sized guitars. The LXK2 does not actually use veritable Koa wood but HPL patterned as Koa for its back, sides, and top. However, besides looking incredibly well, the LXK2 also sounds beyond expectations.
The little Martin LXK2 does not offer the option to have electronics on board, but this is not a reason for you not to try it. If you want a beautiful and crystal-clear sounding guitar for travels or concert circuits and you do not care about plugins, this is the one for you.
Strum with the LXK2 guitar as long as you wish. With the modified 0-14 fret and the 23” scale, the Martin LXK2 packs a rich, sweet tone and enough power to convince you to get up on that stage!
What Mini Martin guitars do you love most? Have you tried one of these models? Do you favor the full-bodied Martins more?
I have an LK1 with a kna piezo pickup on it running through a Kustom amp. It sounds great, better than many full-sized guitars I’ve played……money well spent and one could easily play a coffee house or small venue with it!~