Despite its diminutive size, Martin Guitar’s new Custom Shop LX1E Ed Sheeran Signature Edition guitar comes with several plusses.
First there’s the + logo on the headstock and solid sapele top, a reference to the title of the English singer-songwriter’s Platinum-selling 2011 album, which spawned the mega-hits “Lego House,” “The A Team,” “Drunk” and “Give Me Love.”
Then there’s the charity component: a portion of the proceeds from sales of the guitar will be donated to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, a U.K.-based charity Sheeran supports. The organization assists families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, providing services in several U.K. counties, including Suffolk, where the 22-year-old Sheeran grew up.
The 23-inch-scale, 20-fret LX1E Ed Sheeran Signature Edition is small enough to take anywhere and comes with Fishman Isys T electronics and a padded gig bag—just right for the traveling musician.
“I had been playing this same model [the LX1E] for six years, carrying it on public transport, sleeping at friends’ houses,” Sheeran says.
“Carrying a huge case never appealed to me; I just put it all in a rucksack and had everything in one bag. I played small-ish venues then, so I didn’t need a big sound. But the bigger the venues got, I realized I could play arenas and stadiums with this guitar. It just has a huge sound. It’s done everything I’ve needed it to do.”
Sheeran also recommends the LX1E to kids just beginning to play guitar. “When I started, the acoustic guitar I had was almost bigger than me,” says Sheeran, who was inspired to take up the six-string after seeing Eric Clapton perform “Layla” on TV. “It’s great way to start. The neck’s not too thick, it won’t hurt your fingers and you can get your arm around it. It’s just right.”
In addition to its fluorescent-orange + logo, the LX1E Ed Sheeran Signature Edition’s headstock sports the words Est. 1991, a reference to the year Sheeran was born. Other features include a Richlite fingerboard, a hand-rubbed finish and a single-ring rosette.
For more information, visit martinguitar.com.
Photo: Jason Borucki