16 Best Martin Guitar Reviews 2018

Best Martin Guitars

Best Martin Guitars

C.F Martin & Co is one of the few companies that have been at the forefront of designing great quality guitars. The company is excellent and reliable when it comes down to craftsmanship, versatility, and use of innovative materials and intonation.

Today, most of the innovative guitar designs created by Martin have become the norm of the industry, with buyers and sellers seeing them as the benchmark of quality assurance and performance. For instance, the company’s dreadnought and orchestra models are rated as the best in acoustic guitars worldwide.

What are the Best Martin Guitars to Buy?

2) Martin LX1E Acoustic Guitar

  • Solid Sitka Spruce Construction
  • Warm Satin Finish
  • Bright Tone
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

1) Little Martin LXK2 Koa Pattern HPL

  • Portable & Compact Design
  • Comfort & Playability
  • Wood HPL Pattern Construction
  • 1-inch Style Sitka Wood Bracing

3) Little Martin LXM Guitar

  • High-pressure Laminate Spruce Pattern Construction
  • Superior Feel
  • Bright Sound Projection
  • Reliable & Consistent Sound

Why buy a Martin guitar?

One of the reasons why we greatly recommend Martin’s guitars is because most of the models they produced have been tested and played by artists of renowned fame, and in different genres. The feedback they bring in and the many appreciations that pour in from guitar enthusiasts and fans alike have created an undeniable pass mark for a brand that is wholeheartedly committed to quality across all fronts.

Martin has a superior playability and trademark sound that leave the rest of the competition gasping for breath. Today, their line of acoustic-electronic guitars are the gold standard other brands are trying hard to emulate.

A whole world of guitars

Martin has a wide range of endless category of guitars that will always have something for you. No matter the size, sound or scale, there is a guitar for your playing level, and for which genre you want to hit.

What to do when buying A Martin acoustic-electric guitar

The first thing you will need to do before paying for a Martin guitar is to know the size and shape that will suit your style. Do you have a small stature? Are your hands small? Or do you prefer a guitar with a smaller body frame? Then consider one of the versions in the Little Martin Series.

Another option for people looking for small-bodied guitars is those in the 000 and Orchestra body style series. These Martin guitars are smaller than the regular dreadnought models. They are more convenient for people with smaller hands and petite frame.

However, if you want something with a significant volume and projection, then go for Martin’s dreadnought guitar series. These guitars provide powerful rhythm and deep, rolling bass notes as a result of their larger sound chambers.

Wood is important.

Yes, when choosing your guitar from Martin, look out for the wood construction, since a more substantial part of the sound generated depends on the wood used in making that guitar. A Martin guitar with a solid wood top will give you a fuller, rich and louder sound compared to what their laminate counterpart will provide you with.

Majority of Martin’s soundboard guitars uses spruce, due to its clear response and loud sound. Notwithstanding, there are tonewood designs such as mahogany, which gives you robust and deep sound, and cedar, which provides a light and airy sound.

You can also look out for the back and sides of the guitar since they add more to the overall tone of the guitar as well. The materials used in these areas are mahogany, maple, and rosewood. The good thing about rosewood is that it distinguishes the guitar sound in a mix of instruments due to its brilliant highs and deep bass resonance.

That is what you will need to know before getting out purchasing your Martin acoustic-electric guitar.

16 Best Martin Guitar Reviews

1) Little Martin LXK2 Koa Pattern HPL

Are you looking for the right guitar you can take along with you on your travels? The LXK2 from Martin can be the right model for you.

The guitar features 6.3 x 38.5 x 18.1 inches in dimensions, making it an extremely portable and compact design. It is most suitable for the needs of beginners or student players. They can practice easily on it without facing any challenges regarding comfort and playability.

As the name implies, this guitar comes with a modified body ranging 0-14 inches in body size. The top features a wood HPL pattern construction, with a 1-inch style Sitka wood bracing.

The neck is also modified to have that same mortise, a low oval look known to most of its sister versions in the same ‘Little’ Martin series. A Marcata bridge and fretboard, a nickel plated tuners for keeping your tune in place and a nice padded gig bag defines the quality you will get from this beautiful design.

2) Martin LX1E Acoustic Guitar

The Martin LX1E is another model of the Martin Little guitar series that excels in breathtaking portability yet with such a loud sound. Regarding intonation, this guitar gives more than it appears in size.

The LX1E is an acoustic guitar that also makes use of electronic components. At the top of the guitar features a solid Sitka spruce construction for bright tone, which further compliments the back design that is made of a high-pressure laminate mahogany wood material, including the sides of the guitar. Additionally, the guitar has a warm satin finish that defines its elegant look and charming characteristics.

As expected, this guitar is lightweight, with its 8.3 pounds, and measuring 6.3 x 38.6 x 18.1 inches in dimensions to provide a portable and compact body frame. Yes, included in the package is a truss rod, which you can access using a 5mm Allen wrench. If you are going out for the outdoors, this is the guitar to get. It is suitable for travel, sitting around campfires and jamming away during a picnic.

3) Little Martin LXM Guitar

Another superb version from the Martin’s ‘Little’ guitar series and it is noteworthy that this version comes complete with a high-pressure laminate spruce pattern construction for superior feel and bright sound projection.

The guitar is a perfect choice for the guitarist who loves to travel from one place to the other. It has six strings that are perfectly lined on a Micarta fretboard and a reliable bridge with a 23-inch scale to match. As with most of its predecessors in the same line of a model, the LXM has a low, overly shape neck that also comprises of Martin’s mortise patented design.

Martin also incorporates a Gotoh nickel tuner that ensures the instrument maintains a reliable and consistent sound. The headstock of this guitar also bears the famous C.F Martin logo for easy identification. A gig bag is included for your comfort when you plan to carry the guitar along while on the road.

The sound production is excellent, and the warmth level of intonation keeps it alive for stage performance.

4) Martin Dreadnought DRS2 Acoustic Electronic Guitar

The Martin DRS2 is the ideal choice for players seeking outstanding value on a train of affordable performance. The DRS2 features 14 frets that help to shape the quality of tone and playability that makes this model such an exceptional value.

The body of the instrument features a dreadnought design from the best of Sapele spruce wood material, which is famous for providing enduring tone and warm projection. While the back features a Sapele price design, the top showcases the best in Sitka spruce for a complete balance, tone, and sound projection.

The neck of the DRS2 features a hardwood material design that is perfectly crafted to suit Martin’s Artist Profile, which is made more possible as a result of the ergonomic design taper for a nice hand-fretting feel. With the 20 first certified fingerboards and its richlite design, the DRS2 provides unbeatable comfort and playability.

Boasting Fishman Sonitone electronics, the DRS2 is one of the most intuitive acoustic-electronic guitars that is fully ready for the stage at any time when called upon.

5) Martin DRS1 Dreadnought Road Series Guitar

The Martin DRS1 is one of the best in the Martin road series model which is making a return to the market, after debuting back in 2001. The DRS1 is created to assist the traveling performance of the ardent guitarist. It has a scale length of 25.4-inches with a fingerboard width that measures 1-3/4 inches in size–all providing a compact design for the sole interest of the traveling musician.

In spite of its size and durability, the guitar has a nice sound. Typically, the use of a multi-laminate stratabond which gives it added rigidity and durability could have watered down the sound quality. But, Martin ensures that the quality remains the same.

As for the rest of the body, the top, back, and sides of the DRS1 features solid Sapele wood construction that excels in clear resonance and sound projection. The fingerboard and underneath the bridge features Richlite material that looks more like the ebony design.

Also, the company also includes the famous sound reinforcement system from Fishman Sonitone, along with its preamp-mounted rotary volume and tone controls within the soundhole. With the aid of a 9-volt battery, you can easily power up the Sonitone and enjoy beautiful sound control mechanism.

6) Martin 2015 X Series Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

At first, when you purchase this guitar, you might be misleaded into thinking it is not better than a mere toy. But, by the time you start playing it, you will discover that looks can be deceptive. That is exactly what this guitar offers– a small look with a hidden solid performance.

The Little Martin 2015 is an excellent choice for guitarists who love moving from one place to another. The body features a design that mimics composite material components, which is ideal under conditions of extreme humidity. The neck is well patented with Martin’s mortise, and excellent spruce bracing.

Of course, the neck and body are modified to fit well into an overhead compartment without causing a fuss. The sound is excellent, and it has a nice projection for such a small-sized instrument. However, it doesn’t come with a strap, which you will have to get separately. It has a nice sustain, and you can rely on it on your travels.

7) Martin Classical Backpacker Guitar

There is always something for all beginners or student players to play when it comes to guitars, and the Martin Classical Backpacker is another excellent student acoustic-electric guitar.

The top end of the guitar features a spruce material construction that is very solid and will last for a long time while delivering amazing style and convenience. The neck features a mahogany wood design that helps in projecting the surprisingly distinct sound for which this guitar is remarkable. Both the back and sides of the guitar also feature similar mahogany wood construction. In the end, what you get is a rich sound and excellent sustain.

Well, you may want to change the strings that come with it, but they do fare well in delivering a blow of round melody. The tuners are the typical types associated with most of Martin’s guitars in this category, and the projection is just perfect.

Overall, this guitar is indeed not the best out there, but it does what it is supposed to do regarding sound, portability, and ease of play.

8) Martin X-Series 2015 Little Martin LXME Acoustic Electric Guitar

For the guitarist who is looking for a great sounding yet compact guitar, the Little Martin LXME 2015 is the answer. The guitar comes with the regular features you would have expected with the very best of Martin’s acoustic guitars.

From the body construction, you know this one is what you need when you are planning to travel frequently, and you need something that is compact and lightweight as well. The LXME features a modified Martin 0-14 body design that measures 6.3 x 38.6 x 18.1 inches in dimensions. It weighs 2.2 pounds, making it super lightweight for travel and easy handling.

For students who are looking for something to practice on, this Little Martin Guitar is the right choice to have. It is even more amazing that this model comes with electronic tuners that ensure you have the right and stable tone.

The bridge and Marcatone fretboard make life easy when playing your favorite tone. With the cute looking gig bag, you have a lot to enjoy, not just in sound quality but also in convenience and style.

9) Martin HD-28E – Natural

Professionalism is the hallmark of all acoustic-electronic guitars, and this is what the Martin HD-28E offers. Packed with Martin’s flair and quality tone, there is no questioning why the HD-28E makes this acoustic-electric guitar review.

The HD-28E features a superior dreadnought body size that defines the very best in the retro series. At the top, the guitar features Sitka spruce rosette, with a style 28 top bracing pattern for greater versatility and all-around bright sound performance.

To ensure that the neck performs flawlessly, the company features a selected hardwood material design with a modified low, oval profile shape carrying a taper nut material for top quality performance.

The inclusion of Fishman Aura electronics supports makes it possible to capture accurate recordings from plug-n-play configurations. With such superior neck design and excellent quality sound, playing this guitar is always going to be fun.

10) Martin 000–15SM Dark Mahogany Guitar

The Martin 000-15SM is another high-quality guitar that features the very best in sound, playability, and projection. Featuring 12 frets, the 000-15SM renders a ton of natural sound projections and powerful tones that delivers excellent value for a singer or songwriter.

One distinctive feature of this model is the slight variation in sound. The 000-15SM has a slightly darker tone that further creates more room for the singer’s voice while giving you much more powerful accompaniments that allows your lyrics to flow naturally.

The body of the instrument features a small design which makes it more comfortable. It is ideal for studio and stage performance. The frame features 100% mahogany wood construction, which makes the tone to be warm. If you need a guitar for a complete harmonica experience, this is the guitar that will serve you better.

With the bridge conveniently centered on the soundboard, you are given an additional volume. A hard-shell case is included for you to carry your guitar about.

11) Martin DX1RAE – Natural

The Martin DX1RAE is another popular model in the X series of guitars from Martin. This model features a spruce material at the top of the guitar, which enhances its bright and well articulate sound. The same spruce material design dominates the back and sides of the guitar. An elegant HPL Indian Rosewood style construction lines the back and sides of the instrument as well.

Martin ensures that the neck of the guitar joined up with the full-body construction along with the tenon and patented mortise construction for maximum tone transfer. For the ardent musician that is on a budget, the inclusion of the Fishman electronics makes this a stage-ready guitar that renders top quality performance on a budget.

The 8 strings and D-14 platform combines efficiently with the dreadnought body to generate powerfully rich sound that is perfect for studio and live performance. With optimal resonant tone at your call, the Martin DX1RAE is the guitar you need for stage outings.

12) Martin 2015 GPX1AE X Series Grand Performance Acoustic Electric Guitar

One of the excellent features of this X series is the environmentally friendly and innovative materials used in creating this beautiful instrument. The back and sides of the guitar feature spruce Sitka material construction that excels in bright and articulate tone.

The bracing pattern incorporates the natural mahogany Sapele wood design for a subtle feel and projection. The neck is designed to suit the needs of people who are right-handed, making it not suitable for left-handed players.

While the neck features a richlite wood construction for vibrant reverb and intonation, the fingerboard is made to hold 20 frets in the numbers. The back has a dynamic hue design that complements the rust-colored laminate neck of the guitar, leaving a beautiful piece of a string instrument.

You can use the Fishman Electronic settings on this guitar to connect to an external source via the USB design to record and play any sound or tone of your choice. Enclosing tuning machines, a tortoise color pickguard, and innovative rosette makes up the rest of this beginners and intermediate acoustic guitar from Martin.

13) Little Martin LSK2 Hawaiian Koa Guitar

When you come across a guitar that features the best of Hawaiian Koa wood design, you can trust it to be of high quality. The principle behind this guitar construction is the use of koa wood material that dominates every exterior aspect of the guitar, giving it a rich and harmonious warmer sound with excellent projection.

For instance, the LSK2 top end features a high level patented koa pattern texture design, which is also applied to the back and sides of the guitar. With this material construction, the LSK2 can generate quality and versatile tone that defies its small size and compact appearance.

For guitarists who want to play around the campfire or within the house, this is the guitar you need. It is not ideal for stage performance, but it does well as a practice instrument. The compact design also makes it suitable for traveling; thanks to the shell case that accompanies it, you can easily carry it just about anywhere you deem fit.

However, the strings that accompany the LSK2 are not the best as they appear stiff on several models. Therefore, you may want to consider changing them for lighter electric lines. After that, get ready to enjoy the best there is in guitar playing.

14) Martin D-18E Retro-Natural

A retro acoustic guitar can pass for an excellent gift to a loved one. The Martin D-18E Retro Has all it takes to hit the stage and perform the best of your guitar skills anywhere you find yourself.

The guitar features a six-string design that lines up comfortably on a fingerboard made from the very best of ebony material. The all-natural finish makes this guitar a must get for the ardent guitarist who wants something that appeals both in beauty and quality.

Talking about quality, the D-18E is an acoustic-electronic guitar that performs excellently across all fronts. For instance, the guitar features a solid mahogany wood design for the back and sides of the instruments. The top is made of solid spruce material construction, and the inclusion of Fishman electronics entails that this guitar is a complete acoustic-electronic guitar that delivers a mixture of bright and warm tone.

From the sheer size which measures 48 x 21 x 10 inches, you can tell that this guitar is out to hit the stage without any reservation regarding compatibility or portability. It is a guitar that is meant for the interest of the professional musician or advanced guitarist, and not as a beginner instrument.

The reverb it produces is good; the sound.tone is both friendly and warm, making up an excellent acoustic feel. This is the guitar that will hit the stadium like there is no tomorrow.

15) Martin GPC-15ME – Natural

The Martin GPC-15ME is a top-of-the-table acoustic-electric guitar with excellent features for the professional and advanced guitarists. For the back and sides of the guitar, Martin incorporates a solid mahogany wood construction so it can offer a warm and comfortable tone and feel.

The bracing pattern also features solid mahogany construction. The neck of the guitar is shaped with a low, oval profile, together with a PA taper nut length that measures 44.45 mm or 1.75 inches in width.

The fingerboard should always look comfortable as best as possible, and this guitar didn’t disappoint in that regard. It features a robust and reliable East Indian Rosewood material for excellent reverb and tone projection.

While the neck also features solid mahogany wood design, the scale length measures 25.4 inches. The neck also has a satin finish, and the guitar is designed to support 20 frets in numbers.

Other notable features in this model include a golden style fingerboard inlays with square, short abalone, multi-stripe rosette, a faux tortoise pickguard and open nickel gear tuning the machine.

16) Martin John Mayer OMJM Signature Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The OMJM signature series from Martins’ was first introduced in 2003 and has since gone on to be a guitar that enchants its users with mesmerizing thrill and feel in sound and playability. The guitar comes with a unique neck design that provides incredible response –thanks to its Engelmann spruce soundboard.

John Mayer is a name that quickly comes to mind whenever the silver-color line inlays, the headstock, and the bridge’s accents come into focus in this guitar. Designed to mimic the first ever built OM-298E, the OMJM features a rosewood material design for the back and sides of the guitar that resonate well with the Engelmann spruce soundboard.

Martin uses a scalloped X bracing technique to produce a rich, warm, and complete-bodied and superior acoustic voice. Considering that the whole body features a gloss finish, the tone and playability look even more magnificent. The old toner design at the top of the guitar gives it additional aesthetic design.

While the headstock carries an East Indian Rosewood construction, the tuning machines feature a nickel design, together with their butterbean knobs and a silver style Martin logo that defines a rich quality guitar.

Choosing the Best Martin Guitars

What we have covered from this guide above is a review of some of the best acoustic-electric guitars from Martins. This list is not at all exhaustive, but so far, we have painted a picture of what some of these beautiful guitars stand for.

2) Martin LX1E Acoustic Guitar

  • Solid Sitka Spruce Construction
  • Warm Satin Finish
  • Bright Tone
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

1) Little Martin LXK2 Koa Pattern HPL

  • Portable & Compact Design
  • Comfort & Playability
  • Wood HPL Pattern Construction
  • 1-inch Style Sitka Wood Bracing

3) Little Martin LXM Guitar

  • High-pressure Laminate Spruce Pattern Construction
  • Superior Feel
  • Bright Sound Projection
  • Reliable & Consistent Sound

Bookmark this page and be at alert for more reviews on Martin’s line of guitars. Remember that the artistry and durability that heralds all Martin’s guitars are highly consistent as such that we sometimes find it time-consuming to discuss.

The fact is, all Martin’s line of guitars boast of immaculate beauty and exceptional quality that excels across a wide range of sound, playability, convenience, versatility, longevity and for all playing conditions. So feel free to make a choice, and you won’t regret ever making one.