While they do have premium priced vintage style parlor guitars, Martin also has a parlor style guitar line that’s affordable and more accessible, called Little Martin. The LXK2 comes from the said line, featuring a modified 0-14 style body that’s made to be smaller, and its built overseas but passed through the same quality standards as their more expensive guitars.
The company claims that, “While the Little Martin is our smallest guitar; it is very big on tone, quality and versatility.” And you can take their word for it, because this guitar really has a good projection for its size, and the tone quality is not that bad either.
At the core of this guitar are high-pressure laminate (HPL) koa, which is used to craft the back, sides and top. Koa is a type of wood that’s popularly used on small body acoustics, because of its maple and mahogany hybrid qualities. As for the body being made from laminate, my experience with Martin’s HPL tells me that its improved durability and reliability suits this portable and compact guitar really well. Making it ideal for travel, couch jamming or practice and other informal purposes. I’ve had a Martin with HPL back and sides, and I had no problems with it, I even find myself still using it even when I already have an all-solid tonewood Martin!
There’s just something about the Martin sound that makes even their more affordable models easily stand out, and this same woody characteristic tone is present in the LXK2, albeit in a more compact package that has less volume.
The neck is crafted from laminate birch, which is then topped by richlite fingerboard, both of which are low cost alternatives to the usual mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard that more expensive guitars use. It has a shorter scale length of 23″ and nutwidth of 1.6875″, making it’s 20 fret design very easy to play. Following modern configuration, the neck meets the body at the 14th fret. Other hardware features include chrome tuners with small knobs, richlite bridge and a matching koa wood pattern HPL headplate.
The MSRP for the Little Martin Koa LXK2 is $409, but I’ve seen it being sold online for just under $300. If you are looking for an affordable couch guitar that carries the popular C.F. Martin & Co. label, then you will want to check this one out.