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Is the Martin LX1E Ed Sheeran Right For You?

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LX1E Ed Sheeran

The Martin LX1E Ed Sheeran is a discontinued collaboration between the iconic guitar brand and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. In fact, it’s the regular LX1E Little Martin but with custom features. Despite no longer being in production, this travel-sized acoustic guitar with its distinctive design and punchy sound remains a popular choice on the secondhand market. This review will delve into the LX1E Ed Sheeran’s specifications, playing experience, sound quality, and legacy, helping you decide if it’s the right instrument for you.
And as compensation for the discontinuation, I can suggest the Little Martin 
LX1RE guitar. It’s quite similar to Ed Sheeran’s version.

Specifications:

  • Body: LX (Little Martin) Size
  • Top: Solid Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Mahogany HPL (High Pressure Laminate)
  • Neck: Select Hardwood with a Richlite fingerboard
  • Scale Length: 23 inches
  • Frets: 20
  • Electronics: Fishman Sonitone preamp system
  • Hardware: Chrome tuners with black buttons, black bridge pins with blue dots
  • Finish: Natural with a blue soundhole rosette, “Divide” symbol fretboard inlays and headstock inlay
  • Includes: Gig bag

Pros:

  • Perfect for Beginners and Travel: The LX1E’s compact size makes it ideal for players of all sizes and skill levels. Its comfortable playing position and shorter scale length are great for learning chords and fingerpicking techniques. The included gig bag makes it easy to take your music with you wherever you go.
  • Ed Sheeran Signature Design: This guitar boasts a unique aesthetic inspired by Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” album. The solid spruce top with its rich, warm tone is accentuated by the blue soundhole rosette and fretboard inlays.
  • Punchy Sound with Onboard Electronics: Despite its smaller size, the LX1E packs a surprising sonic punch. The solid spruce top delivers a bright, articulate sound, perfect for fingerpicking and strumming. The built-in Fishman Sonitone electronics allow for easy amplification, making it stage-ready for live performances or recording.
  • Affordable Option: While no longer available new, the LX1E Ed Sheeran can be found at reasonable prices on the secondhand market. This makes it a great option for budget-conscious guitarists who want a quality instrument from a reputable brand.

Cons:

  • Limited tonal range: Due to its size, the LX1E doesn’t offer the same deep bass and rich projection as a full-sized acoustic guitar. This might be a drawback for players who prefer a fuller sound.
  • Laminate Back and Sides: The LX1E utilizes mahogany HPL for the back and sides. While durable, laminate construction doesn’t resonate as richly as solid wood guitars, which can affect the overall tonal complexity.
  • Discontinued Model: Finding a new LX1E Ed Sheeran is no longer possible. You’ll need to search the secondhand market, which can be time-consuming and may present challenges in finding the guitar in good condition.

Sound Quality:

The LX1E Ed Sheeran offers a bright, articulate sound thanks to its solid spruce top. The mahogany HPL back and sides contribute a touch of warmth but don’t expect the full-bodied resonance of a larger guitar. This instrument shines for fingerpicking and strumming with a clear definition between notes. While not ideal for aggressive strumming, the LX1E excels in singer-songwriter applications where vocals take center stage.

The onboard Fishman Sonitone electronics provide a natural-sounding amplified tone. Volume and tone controls are discreetly hidden within the soundhole, maintaining the guitar’s clean aesthetic. Plugged in, the LX1E translates well to stage use or recording, offering a punchy and clear amplified sound.

Playability:

The LX1E’s small size and comfortable body shape make it a joy to play for extended periods. The shorter scale length is ideal for players with smaller hands or those who find full-sized guitars cumbersome. The action (string height) is generally comfortable out of the box, but adjustments might be necessary depending on your playing style. The Richlite fingerboard offers a smooth playing surface and excellent durability.

Legacy of the Martin LX1E Ed Sheeran:

While its production run has ended, the LX1E Ed Sheeran holds a special place in the hearts of many guitarists. It served as an entry point for countless aspiring musicians, inspired by Ed Sheeran’s meteoric rise. The guitar’s unique design and focus on playability continue to resonate with players seeking a comfortable and travel-friendly acoustic instrument.

FAQ:

  • Is the LX1E Ed Sheeran a good guitar for beginners?

Absolutely! The LX1E’s small size, comfortable playing position, and bright

  • Is the LX1E Ed Sheeran worth buying used?

If you can find one in good condition at a reasonable price, the LX1E Ed Sheeran can be a worthwhile purchase. Consider your needs and playing style. If portability and a bright, articulate sound are priorities, then the LX1E could be a great fit. However, if you desire a fuller, deeper sound or plan on heavy strumming, you might be better suited to a larger-bodied guitar.

  • What are some alternatives to the LX1E Ed Sheeran?

Several guitars offer similar features and price points:

    • Martin LX1RE Little Martin Acoustic-Electric Guitar: A modern version of Little Martin LX1E with similar characteristics as the LX1E Ed Sheeran.
    • Fender CP-100 Small Body: Another travel-sized acoustic with a solid spruce top and laminate back/sides. It boasts a slightly warmer tone and slightly longer scale length compared to the LX1E.
    • Yamaha APXT2: This acoustic-electric guitar features a slightly larger body than the LX1E but remains travel-friendly. It offers a solid spruce top with laminate mahogany back/sides and delivers a well-balanced sound with good projection.
    • Baby Taylor BT1: A popular choice for beginners, the BT1 offers a solid spruce top with laminate sapele back/sides. It features a slightly longer scale length than the LX1E but remains comfortable to play.
  • How can I find a used LX1E Ed Sheeran?

There are several online marketplaces where you can search for used LX1E Ed Sheerans. Popular options include Reverb.com, Guitar Center Used, and online classifieds like Craigslist. Be sure to inspect the guitar carefully before purchasing, checking for any damage or structural issues.

  • What should I look for when buying a used LX1E Ed Sheeran?

When examining a used LX1E, check the following:

  • Overall condition: Look for any cracks, dings, or scratches on the body, neck, or headstock.
  • Neck straightness: Ensure the neck is straight and free of warping.
  • String action: The string height should be comfortable for your playing style. A qualified luthier can adjust the action if necessary.
  • Electronics functionality: Test the Fishman Sonitone preamp by plugging the guitar into an amp and checking the volume and tone controls.

By considering these factors, you can increase your chances of finding a used LX1E Ed Sheeran in good condition.

Conclusion:

The Martin LX1E Ed Sheeran, while discontinued, remains a compelling option for beginner guitarists and singer-songwriters seeking a comfortable, travel-friendly instrument with a unique design. Its bright sound, onboard electronics, and Ed Sheeran connection make it a popular choice on the secondhand market. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, considering your playing style and budget before making a decision.

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