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Thread: My Northfield Artist Model, “Old Dog”

  1. #26
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Northfield Artist Model, “Old Dog”

    By the way, this James tailpiece is the greatest thing.
    I have never had one before.
    It is worth every penny, if you are thinking of adding one to your mandolin.

    Changing strings is suddenly a breeze.
    I changed strings in about 10 minutes yesterday.
    You just open the hinged door, catch the string loop on a hook, and then close the door.
    The door holds the string while you string it up.
    It is so simple, but it makes life so much easier.

    Also, the little rubber grommets inside automatically dampen the strings, so you don't really need another dampener between the tailpiece and the bridge. Any mandolin I get in the future will probably have a James, although I do like the Allen tailpiece on my JBovier. It is pretty nice too.
    Mandolins: Northfield 5-Bar Artist Model "Old Dog", J Bovier F5 Special, Gibson A-00 (1940)
    Fiddles: 1920s Strad copy, 1930s Strad copy, Liu Xi T20, Liu Xi T19+ Dark.
    Guitars: Taylor 514c (1995), Gibson Southern Jumbo (1940s), Gibson L-48 (1940s), Les Paul Custom (1978), Fender Strat (Black/RWFB) (1984), Fender Strat (Candy Apple Red/MFB) (1985).
    Sitars: Hiren Roy KP (1980s), Naskar (1970s), Naskar (1960s).
    Misc: 8 Course Lute (L.K.Brown)

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  3. #27
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Northfield Artist Model, “Old Dog”

    +1 on the James. Have one on my own Northfield, also on the Ellis. They are simply superb.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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  5. #28
    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Northfield Artist Model, “Old Dog”

    What strings and gauge have you found you like the best on your Northfield?
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  6. #29
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Northfield Artist Model, “Old Dog”

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
    What strings and gauge have you found you like the best on your Northfield?
    Hey Kevin,

    I have found that each new mandolin I get seems to like different strings and picks.
    I started out with EXP74s on this Northfield, as it is what I have been using for a while on my other mandolin, and I was very happy with the sound.
    I recently ran out of EXP74s but had a set of the EXP-74CMs hanging around, so I put those on. Now I prefer the EXP74CMs (they have a heavier E and A string, like the J75s).
    I feel the EXP74CMs are strong, bold and more even across the courses on this particular mandolin. I feel this mando is a bit louder with the 74CMs too.
    On my JB the 74CMs choked the sound a bit, but not on the Northfield.
    The regular 74s are great too, but I find when I play hard I tend to pull the E & A out of tune sometimes. With the EXP74CMs this is not a problem, as they are a bit tighter.

    I would certainly love to hear from other Northfielders as to what string they are enjoying on theirs. I am always open to trying new things, as a string change is an easy and relatively cheap adventure.

    I have also found that my regular pick choice may not be the ultimate pick for this particular mandolin. I have been a diehard BlueChip pick guy, as they definitely sound the best on my old mandolin, a J Bovier F5 Special.
    With this Northfield 5 bar Engelmann top model, which tends toward a dark tone, I have been experimenting with other picks, just to see what it likes.
    I still lean toward the BlueChip CT55, as I like the way it feels in the hand, and the way it glides through the string. I was surprised though by how much I like both the Wegen TF140 and the translucent Primetone 1.4 on this mandolin.
    Neither of those sounded great on my JB.

    The BlueChip sounds great, and has an awesome feel when playing, but it seems to accentuate the dark tone on this mandolin, and accentuates the wooden "knock" sound from the strings. I like the "knock" sound but I don't really need it accentuated, as it is naturally quite strong on this particular mandolin.
    The Wegen has a slightly brighter, more gritty tone, that makes it a little better for straight bluegrass tone wise. For me, the Wegen is not as grippy to hold as the BlueChip though, which pushes me back to the Bluechip.
    The Primetone (the see through one with the grippy nubs in the middle) has the brightest tone, and it rather good for bluegrass too.
    I have been leaving all three out, switching in between to experiment, and I have not come to a conclusion as to an overall winner.
    The Primetone is the surprise one, as I have never really used it for any mandolins or guitars since I bought them. I did use it a bit on an old Gibson L48 Guitar, but that is about it. I keep a bucket full of different picks I come across so I can test them out with new instruments.

    Every day I like this mandolin more and more.
    Northfield is just killing it with these instruments.
    The F5s and the Big Mon are awesome, but the Artist series just rocks the house.
    Beautiful instruments in every way.
    I dont think you can go wrong with a Northfield.

    Some day I would love to own an Ellis F, and a Gilchrist, but until then this mandolin is just stunning and so satisfying to play.
    Mandolins: Northfield 5-Bar Artist Model "Old Dog", J Bovier F5 Special, Gibson A-00 (1940)
    Fiddles: 1920s Strad copy, 1930s Strad copy, Liu Xi T20, Liu Xi T19+ Dark.
    Guitars: Taylor 514c (1995), Gibson Southern Jumbo (1940s), Gibson L-48 (1940s), Les Paul Custom (1978), Fender Strat (Black/RWFB) (1984), Fender Strat (Candy Apple Red/MFB) (1985).
    Sitars: Hiren Roy KP (1980s), Naskar (1970s), Naskar (1960s).
    Misc: 8 Course Lute (L.K.Brown)

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