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Thread: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

  1. #1
    bird and mando geek Rob Fowler's Avatar
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    Default New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Hi all,
    I am so excited to be finally getting a new mandolin after playing my trusty Collings basic MT for about 11 years now.

    A little backstory: almost 5 months ago I bought a used Northfield 2 bar Artist from The Music Emporium. The NEXT DAY our water heater broke and I took that as a sign that now was not the time for a new, and more expensive mandolin. I had never played a Northfield at that time yet. This used one was named "Bluster" and was, I guess the first 2 bar Artist Northfield released.

    Fast forward to late-June. I finally got to play a few Northfields at Gryphon Strings in PALO Alto: a wide nut Big Mon and an A5 special (also tried the MT2 they had). The A5 blew me away right when I picked it up and impressed me way more than the Big Mon. The chop and articulation of the notes just spoke to me and that chop was just almost thunderous on the A5 special. I thought about that mandolin every day for 3 weeks while I was helping out my folks recover from some recent injuries and a knee replacement. I was planning to go back by Gryphon on my way home from my folks and play the A5 special again and potentially buy it. Day before I left, it sold!!!

    I started looking at other Northfield dealers and found another A5 special at the Mandolin Store and Banjo Bens. Got the ok from the wife and bought the one at Banjo Bens! Unfortunately they were all on vacation for a week so it couldn't get shipped out for another week. No problem, I still enjoy my Collings I told myself. THEN another A5 special came in to Banjo Bens with white binding and a lighter sunburst. Long story short I picked that one out after Jake from
    banjo Ben send me a video sample of both of them and I should have it by tomorrow....HOPEFULLY. Been waiting too long for it already! Can't wait.

    Photo attached.
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  3. #2
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    I think you'll be pleased. I'm head over heels with my Big Mon
    2020 Big Mon
    2016 Skip Kelley A5
    2019 Weber Bitteroot F17
    2011 Weber Gallatin A20
    2013 Colling Mandola
    Richard Beard Celtic Flattop
    And a few electrics

    When learning an instrument, there are no cheat codes, short cuts or crash courses. It's simply a matter of practice! - Mr Jenkins (HS Music Teacher)

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  5. #3

    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Looking forward to hearing it!
    Girouard Concert A5
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  7. #4
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    congrats Rob, sounds like everything worked out well! Looking forward to hearing you pick it!
    Drew
    2020 Northfield 4th Gen F5
    2016 Skip Kelley Vintage F5
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  9. #5
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    That is a stunner and certainly the Northfield A5 Specials are consider top notch Mandolins. You have made a great choice. Can’t wait to see pictures and hear you play it! Enjoy!
    2020 Pava Pro A5 Torrefied Varnish
    2007 Weber Diamondback F5 Prototype w/fern inlay
    1930's Stradolin A5
    1912 Gibson A Oval

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  11. #6
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Congrats
    2 or 3 years ago I visited Elderly in Michigan and played every mandolin available. The best playing and sounding mandolin to my ears (including some high dollar mandolins) was a Northfield F style. I almost took it home but could not warm to the looks of a F Style. Had it been an A Style I would not own the Stiver I am currently enamored with.
    They make some fine mandolins that play above their pay grade.
    Stiver A style (A DREAMED FOR KEEPER)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
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  12. #7
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Verry Cool!

  13. #8
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    A real beauty!

  14. #9
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Fowler View Post
    Hi all,
    I am so excited to be finally getting a new mandolin after playing my trusty Collings basic MT for about 11 years now.

    Long story short I picked that one out after Jake from
    banjo Ben send me a video sample of both of them and I should have it by tomorrow....HOPEFULLY. Been waiting too long for it already! Can't wait.

    Photo attached.
    Love my A5 Special

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  16. #10
    bird and mando geek Rob Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Wednesday and still waiting. Haven't had a shipping update since it was in Sacramento yesterday. Talked to Banjo Ben and they noted that they have never had issues with shipping as they have had starting this past week, with many post offices being closed due to lack of healthy staff, fed ex facilities being manned by skeleton crews, and backup drivers taking over for sick ones. Not to mention fires causing them to have to re-route from more direct routes. Covid sucks and I feel sorry for all those that are getting sick from the new Delta variant. I predict my mandolin should be here tomorrow, and if really lucky tonight but I highly doubt it. So hard waiting this long! First World problems, for sure.

  17. #11
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Tom Petty said it best!
    2020 Big Mon
    2016 Skip Kelley A5
    2019 Weber Bitteroot F17
    2011 Weber Gallatin A20
    2013 Colling Mandola
    Richard Beard Celtic Flattop
    And a few electrics

    When learning an instrument, there are no cheat codes, short cuts or crash courses. It's simply a matter of practice! - Mr Jenkins (HS Music Teacher)

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  19. #12
    bird and mando geek Rob Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Well it finally arrived around 10 this morning. Opened it up about an hour or so ago and am so enjoying this new sound for me. Obviously a little bit louder and fuller with greater bass response and more crystalline highs than my Collings MT.

    Here's some pics when I first opened the case. Can't wait to break it in for many hours today and beyond!! Will share a sound clip when I get a chance at breaking by it in a bit. Thanks!
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  21. #13
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    looks like a beauty... now play the hell out of it!

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  23. #14

    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Looks ace! Enjoy!

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  25. #15

    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Looks great. I like the bound headstock and fretboard on your A5 Special.
    Girouard Concert A5
    Trillium Mandola
    Dunwell B-1 Bouzouki
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  27. #16

    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    Congrats
    2 or 3 years ago I visited Elderly in Michigan and played every mandolin available. The best playing and sounding mandolin to my ears (including some high dollar mandolins) was a Northfield F style. I almost took it home but could not warm to the looks of a F Style. Had it been an A Style I would not own the Stiver I am currently enamored with.
    They make some fine mandolins that play above their pay grade.
    I had exactly the same experience a month ago at Elderly. The $3500 Northfield F-5 blew away the Big Mon (surprised me) and a $5k Collings gloss A

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  29. #17

    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Wow Rob, that's spectacular! Is that a soft V neck?

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  31. #18
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Rob, That bold flame on the neck and the back are phenomenal! Your new mandolin looks like it had a great deal of attention to detail in the making. Wow! I’ll bet it sounds amazing if it tops the reliably strong tone of an MT! Congratulations!
    2020 Pava Pro A5 Torrefied Varnish
    2007 Weber Diamondback F5 Prototype w/fern inlay
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  33. #19
    bird and mando geek Rob Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    Wow Rob, that's spectacular! Is that a soft V neck?
    It is and it's super comfortable. Much more rounded V shape than my MT but it took hardly any time for me to transition to this rounder profile.

  34. #20
    bird and mando geek Rob Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Rob, That bold flame on the neck and the back are phenomenal! Your new mandolin looks like it had a great deal of attention to detail in the making. Wow! I’ll bet it sounds amazing if it tops the reliably strong tone of an MT! Congratulations!
    Thanks Iflngpicker! It really is fully the next level above my MT in absolutely every way possible. I am so damn happy with my purchase!!

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  36. #21
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Mmm boy! There's so much flame you might burn yourself
    2020 Big Mon
    2016 Skip Kelley A5
    2019 Weber Bitteroot F17
    2011 Weber Gallatin A20
    2013 Colling Mandola
    Richard Beard Celtic Flattop
    And a few electrics

    When learning an instrument, there are no cheat codes, short cuts or crash courses. It's simply a matter of practice! - Mr Jenkins (HS Music Teacher)

  37. #22
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Northfield A5 special coming my way

    Very cool Northfield. Yes, I can see that being a step above the MT. And that is saying something. The wood and the sunburst finish on your A5 special is gorgeous.
    Peter Coombe #248, 2017 Northfield F5SA, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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