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Thread: Kentucky vs Northfield

  1. #1

    Default Kentucky vs Northfield

    With the thread about the Kentucky price increase, I looked up the price of a model M. Now I realize, correct me if I'm wrong, the Kentucky is likely to be discounted more, but we still have a shrinking price difference. I have never played the Model M, but Northfields have always impressed me as great values.

    Do you think Kentucky is trying to up their game to get into a higher end market? Northfield seems to have a nice in between market niche going on. Right now it seems to me Kentucky builds a pretty good well appointed instrument while Northfield is plainer and to me a significantly better instrument.

    I have no doubt Kentucky can build an equal instrument, but do they want to?

    Here is where I expect most of us would sink an instrument company
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    I mentioned this in the other thread but I am wondering if Eastman will follow suit. Raising the bottom end mandolins (which arguably Kentucky and Eastman are viewed by many as the lower end of the market) will inevitably raise the entire market. Why sell a Pava, Weber, or Collings for the price of a Kentucky?
    As someone who makes a modest wage working for a non-profit, let's just say I'm real dang pleased I got my "professional quality" Pava this year rather than waiting.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    Both the Pavas I have played were really first rate. I imagine Eastman and Kentucky have very similar business pressures.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    From all the Eastman's and Northfield's I have owned/played and all the Kentucky's I have played I think Eastman's and Kentucky's are in the same league but not Northfields ! Northfields are many steps upward from the other two and a quality mandolin. Just my opinion !
    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------supposedly !

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    It would be nice to hear a sound test of the Ky 1500 compared to the Northfields, I have heard that the fellow that oversees the Northfield building also at one time worked for Saga so he may be building the NF`s much like the Ky`s along with some of his own ideas...One thing that drives the NF`s price up is that some models are finished here in the U.S. and the wages for the help is more than what it is in China...Myself I would love to play both side by side and see for myself...One mandolin that NF was building has an oval hole but has tone bars, I loved the sound of it but have only seen one come up for sale,,,,,

    Remember not all of us like the same things in an instrument, that is what makes the world go around...

    Willie

  7. #6

    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    It has been my experience that the Northfield is well worth the price difference over a Kentucky. I forget which Kentucky I played at TMS when there. It was not the cheapest nor the most expensive of the master line. The Northfield F5S was worth the cool thousand more to me. Now I will say, there was not as much difference as between the 800 and master Kentuckys. But enough so I would buy the Northfield. This was my primary reason for the Treck to TMS.

    Now when you add another $1500 to go to a Collings MF, THAT is where I have serious doubts, though you can certainly tell, and same goes for a BigMon. Now you are talking real money.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  8. #7
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    The Big Mon is an exceptional F-model mandolin for the money they currently sell for. I've been less impressed with Kentucky since they've fattened up their neck profiles. Why did they change one of the most comfortable neck profiles in the business?

  9. #8

    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    I am of the opinion that Northfield is creating a bit of a price "umbrella" that they are allowing Kentucky (Saga) to sneak underneath. The price of the various NF models is getting significantly higher than Saga and they, Saga should be able to challenge the quality of the NFs and yet still come in under the NF pricing. It's a strategic bit of market positioning IMHO

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  10. #9

    Default Re: Kentucky vs Northfield

    Well, there are a few factors in Kentucky creeping into Northfield, one being, what would they call a cut above the master series. They already have gone to KM 5000. But marketing guys will find a way. The other is desire. They may see no upside to building a head to head competitor to Northfield.

    I'm a fan of both the F5S and the Big Mon, but MAS for a modern f style is at bay because my Arches kit turned out so well. Next in my sights will be a teens Gibson.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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