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Thread: New Northfield Model M

  1. #1

    Default New Northfield Model M

    Today I finally got my hands on my new Northfield Model M. I've had my eyes on these for awhile, and I've seen curiosity about them here, but not too many first-hand threads about them. So I figured maybe others would be interested too. I'd inquired with Northfield about one of these almost a year ago, and I guess I ended up on a waitlist. A few weeks ago, they contacted to let me know there was a new one almost ready if I was still interested. Indeed I was!

    This one has a different look than the standard models I've seen previously. They put a black binding on the top and finished it with a nice, subtle sunburst. The back is a single piece of cool-looking maple.

    Here are some photos. The first three are photos Northfield posted to Instagram. The rest are mine -- not sure why some of them are rotated strangely.

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    Anyway, I think it looks pretty sweet. The shade top is a little unusual, and to my eyes gives it a nice vintage vibe. This is the first varnish-finished instrument I've had, and I dig how it looks and feels.

    I never know how to describe sound, so I'll just say it sounds great to me. My point of comparison is a Kentucky KM-270 (oval hole A model). That's not a bad-sounding instrument, but the Model M seems to have more focus, or clarity, or something. It has a nice, sweet tone, and sounds better strummed than the Kentucky.

    The build quality, fit, and finish are excellent. The setup feels good out of the box. This might be the first new instrument I've ever ordered that doesn't need the nut slots lowered. The neck feels a slight bit narrower that the Kentucky, but it feels fine. I believe the fretboard is supposed to be more radiused than the Kentucky's, but I honestly can't really tell the difference.

    All in all, a very exciting New Mando Day. I can't wait to play this thing in a little and keep getting to know it better!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Glad to read your review. The KM 272 was my first "real" Mando (moving up from a Rogue). Now I have a Northfield A5S and an M and I love them both. The M feels extremely well rounded and great for all types of music while the A5 is just a flat out Bluegrass monster. My wife plays the KM272 and has a ball with it (she's primarily a fiddle player). I'm a Northfield man for life now and I'm always glad to hear about it her happy Northfield owners.

  4. #3

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Absolutely perfect!

  5. #4

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Quote Originally Posted by imoir View Post
    Glad to read your review. The KM 272 was my first "real" Mando (moving up from a Rogue). Now I have a Northfield A5S and an M and I love them both. The M feels extremely well rounded and great for all types of music while the A5 is just a flat out Bluegrass monster. My wife plays the KM272 and has a ball with it (she's primarily a fiddle player). I'm a Northfield man for life now and I'm always glad to hear about it her happy Northfield owners.
    Yeah, it’s a cool company for sure. I like their business model, and they make beautiful stuff — most especially your A5. That thing is gorgeous.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Very nice. very classy looking mandolin.

    Adam

  7. #6

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    The vibe and feel I get from it is sort of similar to the feel I get from my beloved 00-18 guitar. The Northfield’s build quality is nicer though. (Not that I have many complaints about the Martin.)

  8. #7
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    this is a very beautiful and very very classy mandolin!

    d

  9. #8
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Very nice looking mando. Was thinking about trying to order one before getting the Collings MT. The bound headstock is a really nice touch on that one.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 1941 Strad-O-Lin, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 1950's Californian
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    That baby has back! I've said some disparaging remarks about Northfields in the past and I used to own "one of the first F-5 traditional serial #50 something that was great-sold to a friend as I had better mandolins at the time but I sold it while it was basically new and WoW he's put hours of play in it and I'd have to say it has the sound/tone of a mandolin 10G+ "I liked it better than some Ellis mandolins and Collings-the higher end stuff!" I guess what puts me off is ALL the models and choices! But that can be said with any brand/builder as they have to cover all the bases to make $ from every model pointed toward a certain style/player! You should see and hear me in the grocery store on all the different brands of the same thing! Its not pretty some of my rants!

    I'm an avid Gibson mandolin lover and enjoy all the old different models, also the many old pre-war budget brand mandolins, I'm a Fender Tele guy and enjoy all the old and newer different models, I'm also a fan of ALL the old Martin and Gibson and budget pre-war and post war acoustics "So who am I to say anything about any brand is what I'm getting at!" Its a life's work with a hothead just ask my wife!

    Hey I'm trying to do better with keeping my KOOL-so that may be what one calls progress!

  11. #10
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    I do like everything about it! The black binding and the finish color work well together. I love stories about early Christmas presents to ourselves!

  12. #11
    Registered User archerscreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Looks great. There seem to be so many quality instruments being made out there. This has to be the good ol' days for the mandolin.

  13. #12
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    I was the second owner of the #2 Model M. Its tone surprised me with its depth given its price.
    The neck was maybe the most comfortable narrow radiused neck I've ever played.
    Very nice mandolins and great value.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  14. #13

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    The bound headstock is a really nice touch on that one.
    I think the headstock looks cool, too. But it’s not actually bound. It’s a painted line along the edge, which creates a nice effect.

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  16. #14
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    That is beautiful!

  17. #15

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    That’s a really nice looking mandolin!

  18. #16
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Looks great! Although I do prefer the slightly darker varnish looking sunburst they usually have, similar to some red diamonds I've seen (pictures of). Got any video?
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
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  19. #17

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    Looks great! Although I do prefer the slightly darker varnish looking sunburst they usually have, similar to some red diamonds I've seen (pictures of). Got any video?
    I’ll work on some videos — I’m experimenting with my recording setup. I like the darker burst too, but I also really like the standard Model M finish, and this burst was consistent with that color scheme and seemed somewhat unique to me.

    I checked out your videos and blog — good stuff. How’s life in Mozambique? I’m envious. I lived in West Africa for three years, and they were some of the best years of my life. I’m heading to east Africa for the first time next year and can’t wait.

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  21. #18
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentKooper View Post
    I checked out your videos and blog — good stuff. How’s life in Mozambique? I’m envious. I lived in West Africa for three years, and they were some of the best years of my life. I’m heading to east Africa for the first time next year and can’t wait.
    Thanks! It's hot and dusty here, but very much less stressful than American life. I've figured out that I can't really give an accurate answer because I've lived here my whole life so I have no other reference to compare it to.
    That's awesome, where in west Africa were you? And where in east Africa are you visiting?
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
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  22. #19

    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    Thanks! It's hot and dusty here, but very much less stressful than American life. I've figured out that I can't really give an accurate answer because I've lived here my whole life so I have no other reference to compare it to.
    That's awesome, where in west Africa were you? And where in east Africa are you visiting?
    You've had an interesting childhood/young adulthood then! I taught at a public high school in Guinea on the west coast. Visiting Tanzania in the summer.

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  24. #20
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentKooper View Post
    You've had an interesting childhood/young adulthood then! I taught at a public high school in Guinea on the west coast. Visiting Tanzania in the summer.
    That I certainly have! Cool! I actually still haven't been to Tanzania despite the proximity cuz visas are expensive
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
    Free backing tracks:
    https://backingtrackers.wordpress.com/

  25. #21
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield Model M

    Doggone nice looking A5! Wow, love the color, that one piece flame back and great sunburst! Impressive looking and I bet it sounds even better. Congrats!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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