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Thread: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

  1. #26

    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I'm not a fan of the lid flopping all the way open. I'd prefer better quality latches, but never had a problem with them. They just feel sketchy. Other than that, it's a good case.
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  3. #27

    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I have had a Recurve “Natural” (non-fabric) for almost a year. I got it because I was tired of lugging the Calton case around, but will always keep the Calton for those times that I need a lot of protection (which has not yet happened), the Recurve falling far short of the Calton in terms of instrument protection. Gilchrist F5 on board, so I am always thinking in terms of whether or not the Recurve is protective-enough for wherever I am taking the instrument.

    The light weight is GREAT, and so far the weight cancels out all other considerations for me. It’s a joy every time that I pick up the case/mando and walk out the door, or even up the stairs or down to the basement.

    The “Natural” exterior finish is hard-surfaced and more-or-less slick (again, non-fabric), and therefore it has none of the inherent concerns regarding potential fabric-finish problems. In my opinion however, the “Natural” isn’t nearly as attractive as the two fabric models (the green and the gray). Regardless, the “Natural” works perfectly-fine for me, and mine still looks brand new, inside and out, after a lot of opening/closing, stowing here and there, throwing into the car, and so on. Latches/hinges still work like new.

    There is a bit of a “learning curve” in order to make sure that the latches really are closed—sometimes they appear closed, but are not closed (yikes). Just be careful, is all, and take the minute or so when you first get the case, that is required for learning proper latch closing. This is only a danger when you do not recognize a "fake" closing, which will not be a problem once you take that all-important initial learning minute.

    I have had a couple of Travelite Cases over the years, and I am guessing that Travelites offer a little more protection than the Recurve, and obviously Travelites are less expensive than the Recurve…but, I still prefer the classy/comfortable little Recurve cases.

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  5. #28

    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    My recurve grey is working perfect. No complaints. I travel about once every other month and it goes with me.
    My cat also used it as a scratch post once, so it has a few snags on the front but no big deal.
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  7. #29
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Thanks gang. I really appreciate your feed back.

    Adam

  8. #30
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I really don't need one, but I am kind of drooling over it. The Calton is overkill for most of what I do.


    I did find that Northfield has a nice 30 second video of how to use the latch on their website
    https://www.northfieldinstruments.co...irloom-recurve
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  10. #31
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I love my Recurve with backpack straps for zipping through airports with other baggage. Has fit in every overhead on every size plane I've taken. It's practically weightless and even though I've never had the latches pop open, when traveling I always put an extra trap around it just in case when I have it on as a backpack and can't see what might be happening with it behind me... The gray tweed is awesome.
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    had my eye on one of these for a while also. I don't need or want calton like protection-and especially the weight. If any of you have time and a scale around, what is the actual case only weight?

    does it come with one strap(if so, is it padded like the two backpack straps NF sells in a pair?)

    thank you
    d

  13. #33

    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Tom Sanderson had a post where he explained how to use a few Velcro strips to ensure the latches stay put. It’s an inexpensive enhancement. The case is great, nice and roomy and light, but when loading guitars, an accordion, and other equipment into the back of the van, it’s Calton all the way.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I've had a green recurve for a while and echo a lot of what has been said, great protection, lightweight, classy, excellent storage.

    I'm not a huge fan of the lid flopping open all the way, but that's a minor complaint.

    My biggest gripe is the latches. Latches should be idiot-proof, and the fact that they can look closed and not be is a huge downside for me. All it takes is a moment of lapsed attention or someone else closing up your case and you've got a broken instrument on your hands. I also find the latches to be bulky and the middle one prone to popping open when I carry it over one shoulder. Still two latches to keep it closed, assuming they are actually closed, but there's just enough room for error that I never feel 100% relaxed carrying it around, which honestly wears me down a little compared to hauling a heavier Calton or my former favorite, the Travelite (which has declined in quality and now permanently reeks of glue).

    Ultimately, the search continues for me, but thats just my 2 cents.

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  16. #35
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Well, I thought about it for a week and decided to pull the trigger on a Recurve since I saw the 10% off ad posted here.
    Originally wasn't sure about the green but decided to get it. The color grew on me and the grey is out of stock anyway.
    Looking forward to having a lighter alternative to the Calton.

    I'll also add that I had an order confirmation email immediately and a order shipped email only 45 minutes later.
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  17. #36

    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Hi everyone. First off, thanks to everyone who has contributed to the thread and others and has shared your thoughts and ideas. Just like with our mandolins, these cases have been an evolving project and quite demanding. In some ways, making cases is as hard, if not harder, than making instruments. They’re very complex- loaded with challenging problem solving hours. And since this community is vital and so open we decided to look for ways to improve the design using the Cafe as the ultimate source for user feedback.

    We listened to you. Starting in the fall of 2018 we began road testing a new latch. After good results we switched to it on instrument bundles and then at the beginning of this year we started to send out all new instruments to dealers with cases featuring the new latch. We got more good feedback. Now all new cases are shipping with this latch (from our store and with instruments from our dealers).

    I do have to say this - we never had a single return on a case with a latch problem. We did have a couple bumps from lengthy tours and replaced a latch or two (something very attractive about that design is that you can actually do it... try that with a zipper on a foam case) but nonetheless we did have a few worried folks as the comments here in this thread would indicate.

    Sometimes perception is reality. Experience is everything though, IMO. I’d never assume anyone that plays the mandolin needs “idiot proof” designs but.. I can understand wanting the peace of mind that comes with a well know design or process.

    So, thank you everyone. Another great collaboration between knowledgeable enthusiasts and musicians and a company that just wants to try as hard as it can to make great things for people that’ll use and love them.

    Adrian
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  19. #37
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Quote Originally Posted by Northfield mando View Post
    Now all new cases are shipping with this latch
    Adrian
    Northfield Mandolins
    Thanks Adrian.
    Those look sweet!
    If one wanted to upgrade to your new latch, would it be possible to trade in a Recurve case with the older latch and get a deal on the new one? Or is there a way to upgrade just the latches on the older model? Or would one just have to sell their old case and buy a new one?
    Thanks!

  20. #38
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Northfield is such a class act, always moving forward, always tweaking to make better.
    d

  21. #39
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Bravo, Northfield!

  22. #40
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    OK guys, I typically hate unboxing videos, but with this thread going on I figured it would give everybody a look at a new Recurve.

    As noted earlier in the thread, I placed my order Tuesday morning and it arrived in NC Thursday at lunch. Pretty impressive.



    As noted in the video, the mandolin is a Skip Kelley F5 with Tonegard applied.
    And below are some photos for those who don't want to sit through my ramblings.

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    I am very impressed so far, thanks Northfield! Also, appreciate the cool stickers, though I am not sure how they would stick to the case or that I would want to. I will find another place!

    Disclaimer: I am not "replacing" my Calton apples to apples as I know it is much more protective. However, this will be the new daily driver case to band practice, camps, etc. and seems to be plenty for my needs 99% of the time.
    Drew
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  24. #41
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Drew
    Thanks for the video, just makes me want one even more now,lol.
    If you have a scale and a moment sometime, weigh the case, I've been wondering the weight of these.
    Thank you
    d

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  26. #42
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I think their site says 5 lbs. if memory still works. It doesn't always these days. Half of what my Calton weighs.
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  27. #43
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    The website says 5.25. I would say that feels about right. Noticeably lighter than the Calton.
    The Recurve with mandolin inside weighs less (unscientifically holding them) than the empty Calton w/ case cover.

    I also got the backpack straps and wearing it that way you barely feel the weight at all.
    Drew
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  29. #44
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    My Airloom Recurve case in Natural have arrived this morning from Michigan.
    Those latches are renewal instead of plastics.
    Guy from Northfield did honest and kind replies to me in spite of inquiry from abroad.
    I own Airloom Deluxe case also. I am much pleased with both.
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  31. #45
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Awesome man! Good video and I bet it will be nice at festivals and camps for sure... The lighter the better is some cases (pun intended). We only really need that Calton/Hoffee level protection from time to time and when you have to hall one of those around all day at festival or something it starts to wear on the old shoulders.. or at least it does mine. I don't see how banjo players can do it..
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  33. #46
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I'm glad Adrian and Northfield have responded to our concerns.

    Nowadays I feel ignored and even insulted by the Airlines, delivery companies, online stores and even 'big box' stores. So this is a welcome response.

    The Airloom case, in my humble opinion, still could use some improvements.

    As others have said, the top lid should not open all the way.

    And my peeve is that interiors of instrument cases should not be a dark color. I'm tired of trying to find a brown pick inside a black interior compartment while I'm at a dimly lit backstage corner.

    And it would be nice if the accessory compartment would be the size of a new set of strings.
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  34. #47
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    And it would be nice if the accessory compartment would be the size of a new set of strings.
    I can easily put a new set of D'Addarios in there, probably several but haven't tried. Definitely one (see pic above).
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  36. #48
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    I may be in the minority regarding this, but I actually prefer cases that open fully and the top lid lays open. I've preferred that with all my instruments, guitars/banjos/mandolins/dulcimers. I don't know why, I just do?

    but it would not prevent me from buying one that does not.

    d

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  38. #49
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Minority or majority, I don't care either.

    The issue for me at least, is that I expect the top of the case to open in a certain way.

    When this does not happen unexpected things happen.

  39. #50
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    Default Re: Northfield Airloom Recurve review

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Minority or majority, I don't care either.

    The issue for me at least, is that I expect the top of the case to open in a certain way.

    When this does not happen unexpected things happen.
    Doesn't opening said case -- just once -- reset your expectations? I'm still not quite sure what the problem is. I've had numerous guitar, mandolin and saxophone cases for over 20 years, split about 50/50 between full and partial opening. Nothing bad has ever happened in any of those circumstances.

    This is a design choice, not a design flaw. It's especially not worth lobbing a critique when there's no proof that "unexpected things happen." If Northfield is comfortable shipping their multi-thousand-dollar instruments with the Recurve, that should be the insurance you need that they work as intended by the designer. They do not want complaints or warranty repairs/returns.

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