|Body And Neck:|
Martin’s main source of revenue are their high-end dreadnoughts. After all, this company invented that body style some hundred years ago. With that said, their travel guitars are making shock waves on the market as well. Martin LXK2 is currently one of the hottest travel guitars you can get. They delivered what many call the trademark Martin sound in a compact guitar.
Finding an affordable Martin guitar is awesome, but it comes with a catch. LXK2 features an HPL top and a laminate koa back and sides. In other words, there isn’t a single piece of solid tonewood on this thing. Does that make it bad? Not really. HPL, although artificial, can sound good if the whole guitar is put together by someone who knows what they’re doing. The neck is made of stratobond, and features Martin’s patented neck mortise. Overall, many will be put off by the choice of tonewood Martin used for this guitar, however it’s the performance that matters the most.
Hardware comes in form of a solid FSC certified richlite bridge fitted with a compensated white tusq saddle. On the other end of the neck, you have a set of closed chrome tuning machines. Again, not a single piece of natural materials to be found, yet everything works great. Bridge offers more than enough sustain, and having tusq saddle is actually becoming the standard in the industry. Rarely will you see real bone being used. Tuners are standard Martin stuff and are more than able to retain the tuning.
One of the biggest issues people anticipated with Martin LXK2 was the sound. Having a guitar built completely out of HPL caused a lot of raised eyebrows. If it was any other brand instead of Martin, chances are the guitar built using these materials would sound below average. However, that is not the case. LXK2 brings a rather balanced sound with enough low-end response. Sure, it’s not comparable to a dreadnought in this regard, but it brings more bass to the mix compared to some other travel models available out there. Highs are crispy and clean, with enough definition to satisfy anyone’s standards. For the most part, LXK2 works better with finger style than strumming. The projection is just there, which compensates for the lack of low-end response.
Martin managed to achieve a very interesting feat with LXK2. They’ve built an affordable guitar which brings that Martin tone they are known for. Even though they’ve used a whole lot of HPL and other artificial materials, this travel guitar sounds
amazing. At this price, you will hardly find a better deal. Only real contender we can think of would be the Big Baby Taylor, although LXK2 is smaller and much better for fingerstyle technique. If you’re looking for a great travel guitar on a budget, this is the one to go for.