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Thread: Northfield 4th Gen F5

  1. #1

    Default Northfield 4th Gen F5

    This post is mainly just to give some love to Northfield’s 4th Gens. Ordered one last March and I received 4th gen #34 in the mail a few days ago and man I’m just blown away by this thing.

    I had previously owned an F5S for a year and honestly wasn’t sure how the 4th gen could sound *that* much better. I might be a moron for wondering that but had never played a top of the line mandolin or even seen one up close in person before for that matter. And really, my F5S sounded awesome. It was a fantastic mandolin so I just didn’t really know. But oh my goodness the thing that I noticed from the first pick and strum on my 4th gen was just how darn loud it is. The power in it just completely blew me away. And the tone is just great. So woody and so pure already only being played for a few days. And wow is it a looker. It’s got a one piece back that’s just incredible. I’ll post a few pics below.

    Any other 4th gen owners out there that are in awe of their mandolin as much as I am?

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    Last edited by chelsea22nick; Sep-26-2021 at 1:38pm.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Congrats! I have secretly coveted these for years

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Well I don't own a Northfield, but that is a gorgeous mandolin. Congratulations and happy picking. Really like the Peg head inlay.

    Adam

  5. #4

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Thank you!

  6. #5

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Thanks Adam! Yep, they call it their "river's edge" inlay. Such a pretty design

  7. #6
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    very nice all the way around... interesting to see how you ordered yours with a "top bound", front facing binding. I do prefer that look to their original design on this model. and of course that inlay is about as elegant as it gets. sir, I do believe you've got a keeper there... play on, play on!

    one more thing... think about it folks... this mandolin with case and upgrades probably cost about $7,500 or so... maybe a bit more if he had to pay taxes on it. now I don't know how many of you have had one of these in your hands, but all I can say is that these are a hell of a lot of mandolin at any price... and at their "list" price (around $6,700 these days) these are just an incredible deal. I believe you would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful varnish finish and such exquisite build quality at any price.

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  9. #7
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Just broke my jaw when it hit the floor. That thing is gorgeous. Congrats, and may you enjoy it for a very long time.

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Iím always impressed with not just the design of this headstock inlay, but the artistry of the material placement within it. (I.e. different colors in the cattails, etc.)

    Obviously, sound and playability are paramount (and they always seem to get that right too), but I appreciate the level of detail and care they put into their work.

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  13. #9

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Wow, that's a beauty! Love the headstock inlay!

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  15. #10
    Resident Hack
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Another beautiful one-piece back!
    Great mandolin. Thanks for sharing
    What I play
    2021 Skip Kelley Two-Point
    Eastwood 'Ricky'
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  17. #11
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Nice looking mandolin, congrats!
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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  19. #12

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    As a F5S owner myself, who thinks the sound exceeds many if not most of the pricier mandolins ive gotten my hands on, your post is definitely eye opening. Id love to take a 4th gen or a Master Model for a spin. That headstock inlay is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorites ive seen. Enjoy!

  20. #13
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Congrats! It's beautiful!

    I have 4th gen #21. I was impressed with it out of the box, but let me tell you, 8 months or so later and it is so much better believe it or not! The tone is just so full and it has gained more "bark" over time. Absolutely no regrets about this purchase, and I had a pretty dang good mando before this too.
    Drew
    2020 Northfield 4th Gen F5
    2016 Skip Kelley Vintage F5
    2003 Flatbush V4
    2015 Eastman MDA815 (mandola)
    2019 Northfield Flat Top Octave
    https://www.instagram.com/pilotdrew85

  21. #14

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Egerton View Post
    Congrats! It's beautiful!

    I have 4th gen #21. I was impressed with it out of the box, but let me tell you, 8 months or so later and it is so much better believe it or not! The tone is just so full and it has gained more "bark" over time. Absolutely no regrets about this purchase, and I had a pretty dang good mando before this too.
    Thanks Drew! I've seen your number 21 on NF's instagram and also heard it on artist works and I have to agree it's so sweet! and the back on yours is gorgeous. One of the prettiest backs I've seen! I can't wait to see how mine evolves over the coming months and years.

    Cheers

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  23. #15

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveNils View Post
    As a F5S owner myself, who thinks the sound exceeds many if not most of the pricier mandolins ive gotten my hands on, your post is definitely eye opening. Id love to take a 4th gen or a Master Model for a spin. That headstock inlay is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorites ive seen. Enjoy!
    Thank you Dave! Yeah man, F5Ss are so fantastic. I adored mine and always felt like it punched way above its weight. But I have to say the 4th gen is just a level above. Itís just so sweet sounding and like I said in my post, just really damn loud. If you get a chance to test one out definitely do! Cheers

  24. #16

    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    I had a 2016 Big Mon and what a fabulous mandolin. Lockdown had me playing at home only and I found myself enjoying an old F4 I have. I ended up selling my Big Mon but after 50 years of handling all levels of mandolin, it was the best ever. I should have kept it but I've that sort of thing before.

  25. #17
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    I've had 4th Gen #14 for around 6 months. I bought it sight unseen (something I previously swore I'd never do again) based on some rave reviews here on the Cafe more than anything else. It was fairly stiff when I got it, but has opened up considerably. I like it quite a bit, though it has a different tone than I'd imagined. Not quite as dry and "Loar-ish" as I expected, with a bit more of a rounded or modern tone.

    I don't have much to compare a good mandolin to here in south MS, so I've taken the NF to Carter Vintage a couple of times and A/B'd it with their inventory. My conclusion is that it hangs tough with anything on their wall up to the $11-12k point, where an Ellis and a Kimble in that range showed a clear edge. Since I can't get near a $10k mando and figure that I have a little over $5k in my NF (partial trade deal), I came away happy. I can put stickers on my case now

    Barry

  26. #18
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield 4th Gen F5

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy powells View Post
    I had a 2016 Big Mon and what a fabulous mandolin. Lockdown had me playing at home only and I found myself enjoying an old F4 I have. I ended up selling my Big Mon but after 50 years of handling all levels of mandolin, it was the best ever. I should have kept it but I've that sort of thing before.
    2016 was a special year for the Big Mon model. They were doing a beautiful golden brown finish then and the necks were perfection... much more comfortable than the profile they've been using for the last several years. One of my students has a 2016 it's one of the finest mandolins you'll ever see/hear/play. Yep...

    Oh yes... I believe they were using a true varnish finish in that era whereas now it's a varnish/lacquer hybrid.

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