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Thread: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

  1. #76
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    Quote Originally Posted by usqebach View Post
    Not tying to stir the pot, but a scant few years back (5-8?) I was thinking that one could buy just about all the A-model mandolin one wanted for about $3000-$3500. What's happened to make $5500-$6000 the "new normal?" That figure used to be the range for all but the highest end F-models. Have the small shop builders "upped their game" that much? Has demand for higher end mandolins grown dramatically? Or has the notion of buying "the best A model available" supplanted some of the demand of the 'grassers who used to think "only an F-model for me."
    U, while i agree that in general prices have gone up, there are a few details that don't line up.Ten years ago a Collings MF5 (lacquer) cost $7200. In 2011 an Ellis A was $5800, and a Heiden A was more than that. At that time a $3500 A, like the Collings MT2 was finished in lacquer and had inexpensive tuners. The Ellis A was a varnish finished instrument with $500 Waverly tuners and $100+ James tailpiece. Heiden A mandolins were similarly finished. Today the Ellis starts at $6600. Almost everything costs more today than 10 years ago....

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  3. #77

    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    Yesterday my wife received her 43rd anniversary present, a stunning Northfield A5 Special, just delivered from TME. Yes, I know Northfield’s are generally considered on a lower level than an Ellis or Collings, but based on the list provided in post #68 above, her’s checks most of the boxes:

    Hand rubbed varnish finish — yes
    Waverly grade tuners — almost
    Fully bound - top, back, and fret board — top yes, peghead yes, and no on the rest
    One piece back — yes, absolutely beautiful
    Builder cred — growing with every mandolin they sell
    A really nice case to hold it — yes, the same case as is provided with their most expensive Artist series mandolins

    Plus:
    Master grade Italian spruce top — yes
    F5-type chop and volume? Yes, louder yet more even and smooth across the strings and up/down the fretboard than my Northfield Big Mon

    I don’t think you need to spend $6k on a lifetime A style, just my opinion. This Northfield is very close to an Ellis or Collings in terms of sound and the fit/finish on this one is beyond good. Please don’t pound me for suggesting this alternative, it’s just that this particular mandolin has it all at that competitive “better” level and is priced at $3,500.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #78
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobblecreek View Post
    Yesterday my wife received her 43rd anniversary present, a stunning Northfield A5 Special, just delivered from TME. Yes, I know Northfield’s are generally considered on a lower level than an Ellis or Collings, but based on the list provided in post #68 above, her’s checks most of the boxes:

    Hand rubbed varnish finish — yes
    Waverly grade tuners — almost
    Fully bound - top, back, and fret board — top yes, peghead yes, and no on the rest
    One piece back — yes, absolutely beautiful
    Builder cred — growing with every mandolin they sell
    A really nice case to hold it — yes, the same case as is provided with their most expensive Artist series mandolins

    Plus:
    Master grade Italian spruce top — yes
    F5-type chop and volume? Yes, louder yet more even and smooth across the strings and up/down the fretboard than my Northfield Big Mon

    I don’t think you need to spend $6k on a lifetime A style, just my opinion. This Northfield is very close to an Ellis or Collings in terms of sound and the fit/finish on this one is beyond good. Please don’t pound me for suggesting this alternative, it’s just that this particular mandolin has it all at that competitive “better” level and is priced at $3,500.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	EC7A6BFE-E472-4A5D-8FEF-239ACE312853.png 
Views:	29 
Size:	2.46 MB 
ID:	186303Click image for larger version. 

Name:	6309339F-DFFF-43F3-B580-56F9953DA8D1.png 
Views:	23 
Size:	2.69 MB 
ID:	186304Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BD3F1F8D-6F4F-459B-BDBD-A63534DF3911.png 
Views:	20 
Size:	2.64 MB 
ID:	186305Click image for larger version. 

Name:	B7766EA7-5E87-47FF-BE56-A31FBCE5D55C.png 
Views:	21 
Size:	2.17 MB 
ID:	186306
    Gorgeous!

  6. #79

    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    Congrats on your anniversary, your wife has excellent taste in mandolins! imho Northfields are "undervalued". Love the instrument that you folks can call yours now! Enjoy.

  7. #80
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    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Gorgeous!
    I agree! Who cares if someone else thinks it's not as good as another model. This is a beautiful instrument.
    "Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”
    – Lou Holtz

    “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
    - Jake LaMotta

    “Mandolin brands are a guide, not Gospel “
    - Data Nick

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  9. #81

    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    Appreciate the comments. It is replacing her 10-year old starter and she is thrilled.

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  11. #82
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    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Can you speak up, Mark? I can’t hear you!
    sorry. I said... "never say never"

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  13. #83
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreaming of a Great A5 under $6000

    I should have listed Northfield to begin with, but obviously there were many great makers I left off the list, and that was unintended in some cases. That is one beautiful mandolin and I wish to congratulate you on your anniversary!

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