Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

  1. #1

    Default Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    Considering moving on from my Kentucky KM-900. Do you guys think the Northfield M is a worthy step up? I'm looking for a less dry, sweeter tone. Will be used mainly for recording.
    Price of a new M is right in my range. Thanks.


  2. #2
    Registered User Jcdraayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Boulder CO

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    My experience with Northfields is that the do lend themselves to a more modern, sweet tone with plenty of punch and “bones” in the notes. Their build quality is also top notch, and as a small company, they are wonderful to deal with. I doubt you’d be going wrong with a model M.

    If your Kentucky is a particularly incredible specimen, well, YMMV

  3. #3
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bellingham, WA

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    I think you will find the NFM to be the superior mandolin in every way. Fit, finish, playability, intonation and setup will be nearly flawless. As mentioned above the tone between the two instruments will be quite different. I feel the model M is the more versatile tone and no Kentucky I've owned or played (a lot of 'em) can match a good sounding Gibson. So unless you're a hardcore bluegrass player I'd say go with the NF model M. If you can play them both the proof will be in the pickin'...

  4. #4
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Durham, NC

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    Every Northfield I've played has sounded really good, but each is unique and every player is look )listening?) for something different. I'd play before I'd buy, but sight unseen would choose a Northfield over a Kentucky every day.

  5. #5
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Forest Grove, Oregon

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    Perhaps a Zeta would be appropriate for recording.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow Jazzbo
    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Gibson F5L
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    San Diego CA

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    I've had both Northfield and KM-900, and can agree that the Northfield has a much more complex and modern tone than the Kentucky. While I don't have any of them anymore, I do wish I had kept one of the KM-900. It's a well-made mandolin with a very strong voice, and especially considering what I got them for at the time (almost a third of what the Model-M went for). All I'm trying to say is: Yes the Northfield will be a wonderful upgrade, but don't let go of that Kentucky just yet. You may regret it one day.

  7. #7
    Old Guy Mike Scott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Bend, OR

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    Well if you figure price plays into the tone quality-why ask the question? if not well then.......... I have a KM950; Ive had much more expensive mandos, but I think the bang for the buck can't be beat for the 950. YMMV and its only my opinion....

    Kentucky Km-950
    Big Muddy M-2
    Big Muddy MW0-Primative - the traveler

  8. #8
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Auburn, Washington

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    My experience with the two brands...

    I've played 3 Northfields, all of them were extremely wonderful instruments that were well set up to play smooth like butter.

    Of the hand full of higher end Kentuckys ($1000 and up) some were wonderful instruments and some just weren't. Some sounded thin, some were a little clunky, etc. One km606 (well under a thousand) that I should have pulled the trigger on still kinda haunts me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Northfield M, a Step Up From My KM-900?

    Thanks for the responses. Truth be told, I almost forgot that I started this thread.

    I've only played one KM900, and that's mine. So not sure how it rates among several. Very dry, strong fundamentals, cuts through an arrangement very well, but a little thin sounding. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing it's suited more for bluegrass. I like bluegrass, but I'm not a bluegrass player. Sweet, is not a descriptor I would apply to it.

    I really appreciate the feedback. Now if I could only find an NF M to play.

Posting Permissions

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