Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Dilemma

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    The Great Northwest
    Posts
    50

    Default Dilemma

    What to do.

    I have been looking at octave mandolins. The Clark has bubbled to the top of the list until I ran across the Northfield. I had lunch with a man who deals in high end violins who mentioned that the best violins are currently being made in the small shops in China.
    Most of the instruments he deals in are in multiples of $10K.

    So, the dilemma - the Northfield is $1500 less. Now, I find that a small shop Chinese made instrument might also have better sound qualities. I am kind of a Made in America guy but, I really like quality regardless of the source. With Northfield do I get quality and a somewhat lower price?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lopez Island, WA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Dilemma

    I'll stick with my Clarke OM and Don Noon fiddle thanks very much.

  3. #3
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    alberta
    Posts
    1,117

    Default Re: Dilemma

    Northfield has established itself as a maker of consistently fine instruments. If you're after a made in North America octave, you should also have Michael Heiden & Fletcher Brock at the very top of your list as premier single-luthier instruments. Played by Sarah Jarosz, Ben Winship, Eli West et al.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dx5Ft1Pbvw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3jUISIphiU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76foUOD8AaY

  4. The following members say thank you to doc holiday for this post:


  5. #4
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Re: Dilemma

    While you're considering options, I hope you take a look at the Big Dog octave --



    Steve

  6. #5
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,113
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Dilemma

    Though I am a Weber guy, tried and true, it happens that I got myself hooked up with a "Weber" (not Weber) Two Old Hippies Octave Mandolin. It's absolutely fabulous. Better than on older real Weber I also tried out for a little while that was the worst Weber I've ever played. I'm not sure you can generalize from my experience, but I'd certainly look at a TOH instrument.
    belbein

    Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

  7. #6

    Default Re: Dilemma

    Bayard Blain has a nice looking archtop ready to go. (scroll down from the tele). NFI.

    http://www.bayardguitars.com/for-sale.html
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Crump B1 Bouzouki
    Davy Stuart Mandola
    www.singletonstreet.com

  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    The Great Northwest
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Though I am a Weber guy, tried and true, it happens that I got myself hooked up with a "Weber" (not Weber) Two Old Hippies Octave Mandolin. It's absolutely fabulous. Better than on older real Weber I also tried out for a little while that was the worst Weber I've ever played. I'm not sure you can generalize from my experience, but I'd certainly look at a TOH instrument.
    I play a TOH Weber Yellowstone. Great mandolin.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Dilemma

    $1500 is a lot of money. That $1500 may or may not buy you a mandolin you like more. Buy the one you like the most, or the first quality used instrument that you find.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  10. #9

    Default Re: Dilemma

    I have a friend who has let me play her Clark octave mandolin and it is superb! If I had the money, that would be my choice. How far are you from Boise ID? Might be worth a visit to the Clark shop. If I were going to spend that kind of money, I would have to play them both first to help me decide.

  11. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,455

    Default Re: Dilemma

    Someone asks which of two particular brands to buy and they’re immediately confronted with half a dozen they’ve shown no interest in!

    Personally, I’m happy with my Clark GBOM and I’ve no wish for a Northfield (well, I suppose I might have but space is at a premium and I’ve no room for anything else.)

  12. #11
    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Denman Island, BC Canada
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Dilemma

    I've played both and I'd pick the Clark hands down if I were in the market for another OM. My wife plays an A style mandolin made by Austin, so I might be a bit biased.
    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

  13. #12
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukesdad View Post
    What to do.

    I have been looking at octave mandolins. The Clark has bubbled to the top of the list until I ran across the Northfield. I had lunch with a man who deals in high end violins who mentioned that the best violins are currently being made in the small shops in China.
    Most of the instruments he deals in are in multiples of $10K.

    So, the dilemma - the Northfield is $1500 less. Now, I find that a small shop Chinese made instrument might also have better sound qualities. I am kind of a Made in America guy but, I really like quality regardless of the source. With Northfield do I get quality and a somewhat lower price?
    I'd be cautious of making a decision based on a conversation about where the best violins are being made. That's a bit of a leap, and I daresay, quite the statement. There are some exceptional violins being made in the small shops in China. There are also exceptional violins being made in Italy, USA, Czech Republic, etc. at all price points. Try to play them both or examples from the makers that interest you. I've played violins at price points into the 6 figures, and I'm happy enough with my Jon Cooper that I really don't even look at other fiddles (much.)

  14. #13

    Default Re: Dilemma

    I have a maple Northfield OM and I think its fabulous. They look and sound great, the construction is top notch and its very comfortable to play. Its a lot of money and if you get one youll be wondering about the other so Id hold off making a decision and continue to gather info. Heck, you might run across a completely different one that you end up liking.

    If you have to have an OM right now then get an Eastman or Trinity College...I know a pro who recorded with a TC and Im pretty sure no one could tell the diff. For less than $1,000 they sound good and you can probably resell it here without taking too much of a financial hit.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  15. #14
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,267
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukesdad View Post
    What to do.

    I have been looking at octave mandolins. The Clark has bubbled to the top of the list until I ran across the Northfield. I had lunch with a man who deals in high end violins who mentioned that the best violins are currently being made in the small shops in China.
    Most of the instruments he deals in are in multiples of $10K.

    So, the dilemma - the Northfield is $1500 less. Now, I find that a small shop Chinese made instrument might also have better sound qualities. I am kind of a Made in America guy but, I really like quality regardless of the source. With Northfield do I get quality and a somewhat lower price?
    I hope he paid for the lunch. (He must be some kind of salesman...).

    Stick with instruments made in Michigan. (Or Idaho, or New York, or where there are fewer salesmen.)

    The guys at Northfield work hard at offering a good value. And "high end" instruments from individual luthiers are just that: "high end".
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •