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Thread: Northfield mandolins

  1. #1026
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    When I had a TG, I wrapped each prong with small strips of micro-fiber that I had cut out and glued them on to these prongs. This eliminated any marks on the instrument where these prongs made contact on my mandolin.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain

  2. #1027
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I know that the original TGs have black rubber on the prongs but Tony sent me a set of these white rubber (or plastic) that, I believe, will not affect the finish. I still might not leave it on the mandolin in the case but I would think using it would be fine.
    Tony sent me a new set too and when I changed them out, I found no marks from the old black ones. BTW, the TG had been on the mando for 4 years continuously. I'm wondering if they may not leave marks when taking it off or putting it on. Nevertheless, I think I'll leave a TG off the new Duff because it will be a really brew finish (just got pics this morning in the early stages of French polishing) and I'll let it cure a while.
    Mike
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  3. #1028
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    The black rubber thingies actually did make slight marks on my Brentrup, so I don't leave it on any more even tho I put the replacements on. I wonder if it depends on how the mandolin was finished.
    Jim

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  4. #1029
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    There should be no problem with a regular F5-S (lacquer). One thing to note, a 'normal' F5 TG will not fit a 'Big Mon' anyway - you need a custom fit version. I'd be kind of wary with a french polish finish, regardless of make. Some of the tougher 'yacht' type varnishes seem to hold up fine, though. I think there would be quite a risk taking a TG on and off continually, they are quite a tight fit.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  5. #1030
    Registered User CeeCee_C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    I love my Northfield F5-S. It has a pretty developed voice, particularly for a new instrument. It lacks a little at the higher end of its range, but has spectacular mid and bottom. It was the bargain of the century as far as I'm concerned. The finish isn't great, sunken in some spots on the back of the headstock and one on the side, but they're small and have nothing to do with the tone anyway.

    The only change I've made is to Grover tuners, and that only because I like the greater precision inherent in the lower gearing of the tuning machines. There was nothing wrong with it out of the box.

    My only complaint is with the case, which although, covered in flocked material, has no padding underneath. It's a hard surface and I'm frequently surprised when I put the mando away. I was afraid I was going to damage it so now it lives in a different case.

    Is that at all helpful?
    CeeCee, Self-appointed Supreme Arbiter of All that is Good, Just, and True
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    1919 Gibson A1, Collings MF, Northfield F5-S, Eastman 815, Eastman 514, Eastman 315, JBovier ELS-VC electric mando

    The difference between theory and practice is smaller in theory than it is in practice. anon

  6. #1031
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
    What's the name of the tunes? Heard them and play a couple but some that I don't know the name of.
    Sounds like Methodist Preacher is the first tune.

  7. #1032
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by rskibo View Post
    Sounds like Methodist Preacher is the first tune.
    Right and I heard St. Anne's Reel in there too. I didn't listen all the was through, were there more?
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.



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  8. #1033
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    Right and I heard St. Anne's Reel in there too. I didn't listen all the was through, were there more?
    Yea Methodist Preacher was the one they played at the very beginning then when they both started playing was all the other tunes that was listed in the other post.

  9. #1034
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    These mandolins sound amazing. I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on a Big Mon.

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  11. #1035
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    The Big Mon is a superb mandolin in its own right. A bit different from everything else. I do agree that the supplied case is very poor, though. Be better off with a Travelite or basic TLK or similar. I imagine they probably reckon everyone will switch to something else anyway. Can't imagine doing much travelling with the OEM case...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The mandolin itself is (as they like to say here), a "hoss" and "plays like butter"

    I would say the finish is pretty good. It has stood up well. We are in a very dry climate, though, which is fairly friendly to French polish vs. damp environments. Had it just over a year, and gigged with it quite a bit.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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  13. #1036
    Registered User Markelberry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    I have noticed that the finish seems to have stabilized recently and really still looks great! I would have to research myself to see when I actually took possession but I don't believe its been a year yet. Iknow it came in the spring. I was playing today and there are times when this mandolin just jumps out and bites me,this has been one of those days. It seems like it has really opened up some more ,it may go for days sounding great then all the sudden it just wows me!
    2013 Northfield Big Mon #223
    2004 Gibson A9
    1981 #1132 Flatiron 1N
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    Dreaming of a Pomeroy F5 Blonde w Engelmann ?

  14. #1037
    Mary Yanocsko Mandobar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    I picked up my Northfield F5S. It's been sitting at the shop waiting for the snow to stop at least a few hours for me to get down there. Just in time for Spring Break and the March Mandolin Festival.
    so many mandolins, so little time.

  15. #1038
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    I picked up my Northfield F5S. It's been sitting at the shop waiting for the snow to stop at least a few hours for me to get down there. Just in time for Spring Break and the March Mandolin Festival.
    Photos..we need photos, Mary!

  16. #1039
    Mary Yanocsko Mandobar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    nothing fancy, pixie. Just your standard-looking F5s. It's all in the sound, and I picked from two (they'd gotten a second one a few days earlier).
    so many mandolins, so little time.

  17. #1040
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    How does that one compare to your Brentrups?
    John A. Karsemeyer

  18. #1041
    Mary Yanocsko Mandobar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    Totally different animal. Totally.
    so many mandolins, so little time.

  19. #1042
    John Amann jamann's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    I've been considering a new Northfield and really need to get out and try a couple. Curious how you compare it to your Silverangel. I have two Silverangel's and love their tone. Would appreciate your honest comparison?

  20. #1043
    John Amann jamann's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    almeriastrings, I've been considering a new Northfield and really need to get out and try a couple. Curious how you compare it to your Silverangel. I have two Silverangel's and love their tone. Would appreciate your honest comparison?

  21. #1044
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    PM'd you. I am going to record a comparison track over the next few days (just finished rewiring the studio). They are quite different from the Silverangels. Less low end, for one thing.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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  23. #1045
    Mary Yanocsko Mandobar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    PM'd you. I am going to record a comparison track over the next few days (just finished rewiring the studio). They are quite different from the Silverangels. Less low end, for one thing.
    See now, my Northfield has a huge bottom end. Not so of the others I have played, and very different than the other the shop had. Mine is also a different looking burst.
    so many mandolins, so little time.

  24. #1046
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    I have never played a Northfield that has the low end of a Silverangel. I have owned both, and played many from each maker. Not taking anything away from Northfield here or the low end they have, they just don't go for as bass heavy of a sound as Ken goes for on the Silverangels. The Northfield puts more emphasis in the Loar-mid-range camp. Again, not a bad thing, just different than SA. If I were playing solo mandolin, I would go for the SA. Huge sound with big-big bottom... It is almost like playing a guitar. In a context where you need a mandolin to cut, low end may not be what your after. You may need more mids and highs, and the Northfield may be the ticket. Either are great products, but we're talking apples and oranges... And another thing, Ken's design on the SA of late has a higher arch than even the Big Mon, and thus an even larger air chamber. Plus Ken is a master of and believer in X bracing, where Northfields are tone bars. This also makes a difference. I love both products dearly! I can say though that after playing my SA for a while and picking up another mandolin, it is like going from a dreadnaught to a parlor guitar. I am still hopeful that 1 day Northfield will offer cedar and/ or redwood options. If I ever get another I'll probably go with an engelmann top if that and red spruce are all that's on the table.

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  26. #1047
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield mandolins

    +1 to everything Shawn says.

    It is not that the Northfields are exactly light on low end, they're not - in fact, they have more going on there than many - but the Silverangels are unique in my experience in that area. I have an X-braced distressed model, and it has more low end than anything else I have ever heard. A great solo instrument. Excellent on altered tunings too. Very resonant. Very much their own thing and totally different from the 'Loar' sound.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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