Martin is one of the most reliable manufacturers in the guitar industry, producing models for players at any level of expertise and at any price point. Their LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top is great for beginners, kids and anyone who is travelling a lot and needs a smaller guitar to practice with . AND, I don’t even know if I should mention it, this a Martin under $300 which is a rare find.
This is one of the best picks on the market for a travel guitar/ beginner guitar. Its small body and short-scale make playing much easier for children or someone with smaller hands. LXK2 is ¾ sized dreadnought with high-pressure laminated body and wood-pattern HPL top with “1-style” Sitka spruce bracing. This model does not have solid top so if that is what you are looking for, unfortunately, this is not the right model for you but I do not think that this model suffers from the lack of it in sound or durability. LXK2 has Stratabond, low-oval neck with solid morado and micarta fretboard and bridge. It has quite a high action which is not the best option for some beginners. Smaller fretboard makes it easier to form chords for kids and people with smaller hands. The back and sides are also high-pressure laminated while fingerboard is rosewood.
This smaller sized model is equipped with Gotoh nickel-plated tuners and white corian nut. As a kind of a bonus you get padded gig bag made of a tough ballistic cloth exterior, plush interior, backpack straps and a front zipper compartment. Most times, bags that come with guitars are quite flimsy and useless but this one is an exception and will keep your baby safe at any time.
LXK2’s sound is a lot louder than what you would expect from a smaller guitar. Compared to a lot of ¾ models this one has much binner tone and more depth to it. Whenever you are getting a smaller sized guitar you cannot really expect the same volume that full sized dreadnoughts have but this model comes very close to emulating sound, tone and balance of those guitars. For a ¾ model under $300 the sound and tone is amazing and it has very balanced highs and lows. It is great for finger picking.
This is one of those models that is good to play right out of the box, with no setting up or tweaking. Martin, once again, has created a model that is durable, with great sound and low cost, making it a great option for anyone looking for a guitar for beginners, kids, or anyone with smaller hands who is not comfortable with full sized dreadnoughts. Most importantly, you will not be compromising the sound to the size of the guitar which is the case with a lot of other smaller sized models.