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Thread: Northfield F5S arriving soon

  1. #1

    Default Northfield F5S arriving soon

    I purchased a new Northfield F5S and should arrive this week. I had a chance to hear it on a video clip. Iím hoping it will be the Mandolin that I keep. I purchased the Northfield from Banjo Ben Clark and feel good buying from him.

    It was somewhat difficult to make a decision because of the price point .
    Given the cost of buying new , the price starts getting close to Gibson and Weber in the used market. In the past I have owned several used Gibsonís and Weberís and for one reason or another never really seemed to be completely satisfied. I know finding the right Mandolin is a process but it sure does get frustrating and expensive. Iím always looking for a deal or a value when it comes to buying used from Reverb and Ebay. Maybe thats my down fall. Perhaps a deal is to good to be true and perhaps the reason they were for sale is they really werenít the greatest instruments to begin with. Everybody makes a few that are not stellar instrument. Donít get me wrong they werenít terrible just not in my opinion worth the deal cost as they were just okay, nothing that would knock your socks off.
    I know a factor is me and my limited playing ability, however after 20 years of on and off again playing I know what I like both sound and play.

    Over the years I have spent a lot of money on set ups, tail pieces and work on fingerboard buying used. I know buying any instrument without playing is risky business but I am really limited to mandolin access in my area. When buying used itís always nice to go through a dealer or seller you know or trust. Hopefully buying a new Northfield I will be satisfied but only time will tell.

  2. #2
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Hi Sloppy Joe! Listen... I think you will be VERY happy with your new Northfield. I have had several of my students move up to this particular model and they are all in love with their mandolins. The setups are always fantastic and the tone, appearance and playability are always second to none. You can not find a better F-style mandolin at this price point.

    Banjo Ben Clark is a straight-shooter by the way... a great Northfield dealer.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    I appreciate the information and feedback! I always thought having an instructor would be great support especially when investing into a new instrument. Thank you!

  4. #4
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Congratulations! I played a lot of mandolins in the past year, looking for an upgrade, and the F5S models were consistently excellent. I’m looking forward to your initial impressions.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315
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  5. #5
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    At the moment I (like many others) are doing lessons online using Skype so give me a holler if you'd like to do a lesson sometime...

  6. #6
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    You will not be disappointed in the F5S.... (see my avatar)....
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

  7. #7

    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    I feel good about buying the Northfield. I appreciate the feedback and suggestions about on-line lessons. Like I said the Northfield price point was in the range that I could have bought a nice used A model from some great builders . The Northfield does meet my price for a new F style model and hopefully my expectations. Northfields seems pretty consistent in quality, play and for the most part sound. I was trying to find the best Mandolin for me at what I had to spend. Appreciate your support and nice to have a forum to get affirmation and support!
    Last edited by Sloppy Joe; Apr-22-2020 at 7:19pm.

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    I was in a similar situation to yours last fall. Finally decided to pull the trigger on a Northfield F5S after dumping money into one upgrade, than another and another... Spent more than my playing justifies, but wanted a keeper and was done with the search for the holy grail at my price point. I love the Northfield and I like how Northfield does business. Mine will most likely be a family heirloom - because it sounds great and is a joy to play and I doubt I'll be in a position to spend more that 3K on a mandolin. I just put new strings on last weekend and man it sounds better than ever. Congrats on the purchase, you won't have any remorse!

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Sloppy...you bought that honey amber F5S they had had on their site didnt you? Have had my eye on that one so good for you! Was looking at that as my “move up” mandolin purchase but never pulled the trigger. Please post pics and impressions as I hope to purchase one this summer.

    Excited for you...enjoy!
    The Loar LM600VS

  11. #10
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Heya, Sloppy:

    This is exciting news! I recently bought a new Northfield F5S as well and am digging it very much. Like you, I also made the rounds through a variety of builders, and although I got rid of some mandolins I wish I had back, the Northfield purchase feel good, as the price point is unbeatable. What I think you will feel good about are the tone, the buttery playability, the great craftsmanship, and the bang for the buck. It's likely a great instrument that would likely cost twice the amount if it another company made it.

    Congrats! Let's hear it!

  12. #11

    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Yea, I purchased the Amber Northfield. I too have been eyeing for a while and thought I better pick it up because who knows when you’ll find another for sale. I watched a couple Video lessons where Ben used the Northfield and it sure did sound and look good to me. Hoping this will be the Mandolin that helps me to bridge the gap between price and quality. I sure do like a lot of other builder but struggle to find one in my price range that really catches my interest.

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  14. #12

    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    I find it encouraging and appreciate hearing your satisfaction with your recent Northfield purchase! Really making me glad I purchased it. It’s in the mail and looking forward to having it in my hands.

  15. #13
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Ooh keep us updated with how you like it!! I've been seeing that one on his videos a bunch, it sounds great on video
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  16. #14

    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Northfield arrived today! Ben Clark is a great dealer, he packed the Mandolin very secure. Fast shipping and gave me a very nice leather Mandolin strap to match the Northfield. My first impression was how nice the neck feels. I really like the contour shape. I could play this Mandolin all night without fatigue. I only had a short period of time to play it however it does not take long to figure out these Mandolins are special. The notes ring out and plenty of sustain. Reminds me of a really high end Mandolin Master Model. The play is so nice. Seems like with other builders I have owed I had to work hard to get the sound I was looking for. There is no fight in this Mandolin. It’s not as woody as let’s say a Gibson, but has a very nice bass. The Mandolin responds to your touch with shimmering sounds ,articulate notes and seem loud enough for personal and professional use.
    I owned a Gibson F9 that I sold to fund a Gibson Banjo. The F9 was more broken in and did something’s really well. The Northfield so far exceeds my expectations. Out of the box I love the playability and sound which will only get better with time.
    The Amber finish was a little darker almost a shade from natural. I thought it might be a bit more glossy however it is a flat lacquer like finish and has a certain eloquence about it. The construction is quality and weight feels right. Always thought my F9 felt a little fragile. The lacquer on the Northfield looks strong and should hold up to every day play. The wood pattern has some figuring on the back and neck.
    The finish shows some wood patterns. I would say it’s not what I would consider to be highly flamed but does show nice figuring. I’m not really big on over the top figuring so it’s a nice mix. As a a cost saving model it really is the nicest and reasonably priced Mandolin I have seen from any builder. The Amber finish sort of reminds me of the look of the Gibson Goldrush. Northfield really has something special going on and I’m glad I’m part of it.
    Last edited by Sloppy Joe; Apr-24-2020 at 8:39pm.

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  18. #15

    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    I forgot about the very nice standard grey tweed Airloom case. Seem very solid and should provide more than adequate protection for every day use. The case opens completely so no heavy lid crashing down on your mandolin. Nice hard shell feel, mandolin fits securely. Really happy that I don’t have to buy another case for protection or looks. The pocket has enough room for your stuff. Latches seem pretty good. Different look and feel. As good or better than most high end to moderate cases, it’s no fiberglass Airline protection case, but very good for a standard builders case. Easy to carry, not bulky or heavy.

  19. #16
    Registered User Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Welcome to the club! I purchased my F5S 5 years ago. It sounded great on day one and just kept getting better each day thereafter. Enjoy.
    Northfield NF-5S
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  20. #17
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    Default Re: Northfield F5S arriving soon

    Congrats! Play it long and hard!

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