Adam casts his analytical eye on one of our most talked-about products:
The LX1E, also known as the ‘Little Martin’, is a reduced size acoustic guitar that has become synonymous with the wildly popular and incredibly talented singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, having been his favoured choice of guitar for most of his career. Whilst an obvious choice for the Sheeran fan, this association can put some people off. For those of us who aren’t fans of Ed, it can be a struggle to see past the opening bars of “The A Team” but the Little Martin has a lot to offer.
The Little Martin feels more in essence like a parlour or folk style than a travel or reduced size instrument. It has a distinctively Martin sound, a kind of folky rasp so often heard on classic American records. It’s a great sounding folk fingerpicker, superb for delta and country blues and adept at Americana and country rock strumming.
The lightly focused frequency range also makes this a great recording guitar, working particularly well in ensemble projects because it knows it’s place in the midrange and doesn’t interfere too much with cymbal highs or bass and drum kick lows.
The small size and scale is practical for players on the move, perfect for busking and jamming with others. It’s size is also easy on the body, feeling very comfortable on wrists, elbows and shoulders. The high quality onboard Fishman ISYST pickup provides beautiful hi-fi clarity making the Little Martin stage and studio ready.
Overall, the LX1E carries all the playing and convenience benefits of reduced size whilst still producing a classic sounding Martin tone with a real rustic Americana flavour. If you like American music you might warm to the Little Martin, I do and I did…so much I bought one!