Alex Trimble's 2016 Martin LX1 (Little Martin), as made famous by Ed Sheeran

 

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The Little Martin.  Owned by Alex Trimble of Two Door Cinema Club.  Made slightly more famous by Ed Sheeran.  Lovely short-scale, travel guitar.  They probably both liked The Shape Of You . . . Now everybody wants one.  

What's more, it's a Martin.  It may be the diminutive, and cheaper, relation to its fabled cousins, but it still bears that logo.  And it still passes the high quality bar that Martin has set for all its instruments since 1833.  Which doesn't just apply to the build, but also to the unexpectedly balanced tone and resonance.  This is a great guitar, whether it be for noodling in your front room, playing in your band to 50,000 at Lollapalooza, or just going solo in front of 70,000 people at Wembley Stadium.  Part of that has to come from Martin's inspired decision to put a solid spruce top into the mix, giving a natural wood sparkle to the sound.  Being so small, it's never going to give you that low note intensity that a full-sized dreadnought will deliver in spades.  But be prepared to be surprised by the range of tone this one can give you.

Two Door Cinema Club may be the lesser known of the pairing here.  But give them your time.  It's worth it.  Alex Trimble, Kevin Baird and Sam Halliday have been turning out masterful up-tempo indie-pop since 2009.  If you don't know, try What You Know - with a lovely acoustic version linked below.  I haven't yet found any footage of Alex with this Little Martin, but it was part of a sale of gear from their Reverb shop in 2017.  Whether it's

the Ed, the Alex, or simply the you you're looking for, this Little Martin is a fabulous and entertaining companion.    

Specification

Martin

Make

LX1, aka Little Martin

Model

Natural

Colour

2016

Year

MG 261107

Serial  Number

20

Number of Frets

Richlite, unbound

Fretboard

Rust Birch Laminate

Neck

Sitka Spruce & Mahogany Pattern HPL

Body

Martin Mini-Schallers

Tuners

Junior-style Belly

Bridge

23.00"

Scale Length

33.9"

Full Length

Further Information:

  • Martin have been making Little Martins since 2003, with the LX1 introduced in 2004.  It's the smallest of the guitars they produce - a 0-size tenor body.  Not the first 0-size by any means.  The first of those came out in 1854, according to Walter Carter in his fabulously researched and written The Martin Book.

  • Things have come some way since 1854.  So, this one benefits from today's  technologies: the High Pressure Laminate (HPL) back & sides, the Rust Birch Laminate Neck, the Corian nut.  Materials that give amazing durability to this guitar.  There's not a dent on it.

 

  • And some things are as true to the heritage as you'd want them to be: the hand-rubbing and finishing applied to the solid Sitka Spruce top and neck, the high-quality Martin-branded mini-Schallers, and especially the 14-fret neck, making access up to and beyond the octave a delight.

  • Soundwise, you've heard it a hundred times, in the hands of Ed Sheeran.  It's got a great balanced tonal range from bottom to top - and it's got volume well beyond expectation.  A lovely guitar to play.

  • And finally, it won't make you the centre of attention at a party, but here's a quite interesting fact I learnt while looking into this guitar.  It's a travel guitar, it's not a short-scale guitar.  They're different.  Put another way, it's not a child's guitar.  At first glance, you might think it could be - at 34" end to end, it's just over three quarters the length of a full-size acoustic.  But the distinction comes in the scale-length.  With its 23" scale, the Martin LX1 is only an inch or so shorter than its bigger bodied counterparts.  A child's guitar has a shorter scale, in quarter, half, or three-quarter scale lengths.  Which means simply, there's plenty of space for adult fingers on this guitar.  OK, the tumbleweed, whistling wind, and tolling bell are calling . . . interesting fact moment over.

See & Hear It In Action
Celine Chappert Martin LX1 Little Martin
Hirer Celine Chappert - only 2 weeks after first starting to learn the guitar - WOW!
With our Martin LX1 Little Martin
Sources & Links
  • The Martin LX1 Little Martin:  Everything you need to know about this guitar from Martin themselves.  I haven't tried playing it around the campfire yet.  Not too many of those in London...
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