The CF Martin and company started over a century ago and has been one of the best companies ever since. Boasting to be one of the best companies in acoustic guitar innovations, they expanded their line of guitars to the X Series of electric-acoustic variants.
As it turns out, the Martin X series of guitars, though of a lower price, still has decent performance and quality. What makes these guitars amazing is that rather even with the cheapest models, their focus is still on quality and top of the line performance.
Because of this, I was obliged to do a martin custom x series review. With either of these, not only will you be paying less and have an amazing build quality but the sound output will also be outstanding.
Why is the martin X series very special?As a guitar enthusiast and when it comes to any other products, time dictates everything. As it turns out, this is also the key reason why I find the Martin X series intriguing. It’s quite obvious that with decades of experience, they’ve perfected their designs to fit in quality design and performance in a budget guitar.
This is something that most guitar companies aren’t able to meet.
- Martin custom X series review: an expert’s pick.
- 1. Martin LX1E Little Martin Solid Sitka Spruce/Mahogany HPL Acoustic/Electric
- 2. Martin X Series GPCX2AE Macassar Grand Performance Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 3. Martin X Series 2015 LX Little Martin Acoustic Guitar Black
- 4. Martin X Series 000XAE Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 5. Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gigbag
- Features to consider before buying
- Final verdict.
Martin custom X series review: an expert’s pick.
On to the main agenda, here’s a look at 5 amazing Series X guitars that stood out.
1. Martin LX1E Little Martin Solid Sitka Spruce/Mahogany HPL Acoustic/Electric
As the name suggests, the Martin LX1E is one of the smallest guitars in the X series. Even so, the tone is quite impressive- both big and high quality. In a nutshell, this guitar should be perfect for small guitarists who don’t want to compromise performance.
in the small configuration, you’ll be getting 6 strings which make tonal output and variation amazing. To add icing on the cake, the neck is made of mahogany which means one thing: quality.
The sound, however, will emphasize mostly on the high-end tones and the mid-range tone s are boosted as well
for the body material, it boasts a combination of both Sitka Spruce and mahogany. With Sitka being a standard for acoustic guitars, it’s light yet strong nature gives the guitar amazing resonance.
Simultaneously, quality is not compromised. The mahogany, on the other hand, as we have seen gets you longevity and performance all in one.
The side and back are made of HPL mahogany which is quite durable and the warm satin finish gives it a decent appearance.
- Features HPL mahogany sides and back
- It’s small in size
- The body is made of Sitka spruce and mahogany
- It gets out of tune a little quick
2. Martin X Series GPCX2AE Macassar Grand Performance Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Attention to detail is what most guitarists are interested in which is why the GPCX2AE stood out to me. The body is a grand auditorium cutaway that made it easy to reach the upper frets. This way, it’s ideal for both stage and studio performance.
For the neck, it features laminate birch which is a multilayered wood creation. Even though it’s not solid wood, there won’t be any compromises on different notes.
The top wood is made of solid Sapele. Being highly sustainable weed, the midrange will be better and so will be the resonance plus there will be a little more boost in the treble. For the back and sides, it features Macassar patterned HPL that gives it an amazing sound and premium looks.
For the electronics, it comes with complete Fishman Sonitone like most Martin guitars. The Fishman also has a sound hole-mounted preamp that’s got rotary controls for both the tone and volume.
Besides easy controls, the plug and play design make it viable for many situations whether for performances or studio recording.
- Features Fishman Sonitone electronics
- Made of HPL back and sides
- Comes with a solid Sapele top
- Tuning is a little bit off
3. Martin X Series 2015 LX Little Martin Acoustic Guitar Black
I’d recommend this to anyone that’s just starting of with playing acoustic guitars. It comes in a rather small configuration that makes it the perfect choice to have if you are traveling or need an ideal guitar for practice.
This modified body comes with a wood-pattern HPL top. Even though this isn’t solid wood, the Jett Black HPL textured finish only looks and feels nice but the performance will be decent. The top also comes with a “1-style” Sitka bracing that is light, strong and has amazing resonance.
As for the back and body materials, it also has Jet Black HPL textured finish. The bridge and Fretboard are made of Micarta and Richlite which, even though not solid wood, should get you just as good a performance as that of solid wood. The scale measures 23” which due to its detailed nature will not compromise on the sound output quality.
Last but not least, the tuners included on this guitar are the Gotoh nickel-plated designs and it comes with a heavily padded gig bag that makes it easy to carry around.
- Has a Micarta-Richlite fretboard
- Has a natural stratabond neck
- Compact in size for flexibility
- Not ideal for stage performances
4. Martin X Series 000XAE Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar
With the Auditorium body, this guitar should be able to get you a clear and well-balanced sound. This should be perfect for live performances and studio use as well, right?
Additionally, it got the Sitka Spruce on the top which is strong and lightweight. At the same time, the resonance is amazing and the sound clarity is not compromised whatsoever.
As a bonus:
The Sitka Spruce is paired with a mahogany pattern HPL on the back and the sides. Though not solid mahogany, the HPL back and sides should get you a performance close enough to solid wood.
With the Fretboard being made of synthetic black Richlite, I found it just as good as solid wood. It may, however, take some time to get used to the feel of this.
With the mortise and tenon neck joints, solid construction is maintained while at the same time, the tone resonance was optimal.
The neck is laminae birch which is then carved and finished conventionally hence resulting in a strong neck of high definition and amazing sustain from note to note. For comfort and dexterity, the neck is oval-shaped with a 25.4″ scale, the nut is 1-11/16” and its width is 16”
- Features a Rust Stratabond neck
- Has got a black Richlite fretboard
- Made of spruce and mahogany back
- The back and sides have a plastic feel
5. Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gigbag
Finishing up our reviews is the Martin LXK2 which is yet another acoustic that comes in a compact design. As such, it should be ideal for learners, travels, and persons with small hands. Despite the small design, there is plenty to look forward too.
The back-material type is koa which is known and loved for the amazing midrange tones it’s got. The guitar also comes with 6 strings on it which means you’ll get utmost accuracy on the tonal variation. At the same time, hand orientation is ambidextrous so anyone can use this comfortably
With the body material being Sitka Spruce, resonance will be at its best while at the same time, clarity will remain uncompromised.
As for the fretboard, it is made of Richlite. Though most people prefer wood to this, it happens to be one of the best replacements for solid wood. The sound quality will be amazing while at the same time, the Richlite material will last longer.
The tuners are Gotoh nickel-plated design and it also comes with a heavily padded gig bag for utmost durability.
- Features a wood-pattern HPL koa top
- Has an ambidextrous hand orientation
- Includes a Richlite fretboard
- Fingerpicking reach is a little difficult
Features to consider before buying
Even with all the good that comes with the Martin X series guitars, it’s important to watch out for a few things. Here goes.
- The Series X guitars have a lot of variants and the first thing I’d look at is the built quality. Always go for the best laminate tonewood, with or without cutaways, the number of frets among other things. At the end of the day, it’s all about whether or not it fits your preferences
- Also, pay close attention to electronics. Yet again, this depends on what you’ll be doing with it. Whereas some will have a pickup and preamp system, others won’t. likewise, the better the electronics, the more expensive it will be so you should always have this in mind.
- Looks matter. Fortunately, most Series X guitars are quite ravishing and good enough for both studio and stage performance. Additionally, most Martin guitars have a classical design that carries on to the Series X guitars as well.
- Last but not least, the cost is indeed a factor. Though dedicated to guitarists after budget guitars, there are variations here as well. Because of this, you should be ready to pay a little bit more for a guitar that packs more and better features.
Form the martin custom X series reviews above, it’s clear that they are worth going for. Though we’ve not covered them all, we’ve covered the best of the best which is what most are after. With the advantage of paying less for an electric-acoustic guitar, you couldn’t go wrong with either of these.