Martin & Co LXM

LXM, Other Steel String Guitar from Martin & Co in the Little Martin series.

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heads on fire 12/25/2011

Martin & Co LXM : heads on fire's user review

« A winner for travel. »

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Martin LXM Java Mahogany Features:
Construction: Mortise/Tenon Neck Joint
Body Size: Modified 0 - 14 Fret
Top: Spruce Pattern High-pressure Laminate Textured Finish
Rosette: Gold & Black Style Herringbone
Top Bracing Pattern: Modified 1 Style
Top Braces: Crowned Cross Brace & Graphite Bowtie Plate
Back Material: Java Mahogany Pattern High-pressure Laminate
Side Material: Java Mahogany Patter High-pressure Laminate
Neck Material: Natural Stratabond
Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval
Nut Material: White Corian
Headstock: Solid/Square Taper
Headplate: Java Mahogany Pattern High-pressure Laminate
Fingerboard Material: Solid Morado or Solid East Indian Rosewood
Scale Length: 23"
Number of Frets Clear: 14
Number 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
Bridge Style: 1 Style Belly
Bridge String Spacing: 2 1/8
Saddle: Compensated White Tusq
Tuning Machines: Chrome w/ Small Knobs
Recommended Strings: Martin M550 Phosphor Bronze
Bridge & End Pins: White w/Black Dots
Case: Padded Gig Bag
Interior Label: Gold Foil Label


This is a very neat entry from Martin. The LXM is a guitar built with travelers and smaller hands in mind, but with a more traditional tone and appearance than the higher-selling Backpacker guitar. Due to the body shapes, a Backpacker doesn't sit in the lap comfortably, and the LXM will. Finish and fit are excellent for a guitar this size, and the fretwork is top notch. The playability is as good as guitars costing 4 times this price! Also, the model I played had such an incredible top - it's a laminate, with a textured finish, but it was just breathtakingly cool-looking.


In a tonal comparison between this guitar and the Backpacker, this guitar wins hands-down. The clarity is there, like its older and more oddly-shaped brother, but the elegant curves of the LXM's body enhance the lower end frequencies more, providing a rich acoustic timbre for chording and fingerpicking. Now, this guitar will obviously never be a prewar D28, but it certainly sounds great for the size, application, and price point. Martin has been making guitars in the USA for for 178 years and counting, so this is a great way to get a child into guitar with a manufacturer that has more experience than anyone else at crafting a quality instrument.


Overall, this is one of my most recommended acoustic guitars for backpacking, camping, travel, and smaller hands. The tone is quite nice, the look of the guitar is incredible, and it is very comfortable to hold. The playability is out of this world for the price range. I feel that it is a real winner - I'll give it an 8 out of 10.