Northfield Artist Modell #144
Variation 2 - 2 bar - focused strong projection!
Top: Premium Italian Alpine Spruce
Back / Neck / Sides: 1-piece birds eye maple back
Bridge / Fingerboard: Ebony
Tailpiece: Nickel-plated engraved Gilchrist/Northfield
Binding: Top and Side Triple-Bound
Pick Guard: Bound Black Phenolic
Headstock: Torch Inlay
Nut Width: 1-1/8" (28mm)
Fingerboard Radius: 5.7" at nut, 7.7" at 20th fret
Finish: Spirit Varnish
Strings: Northfield Medium Phosphor Bronze
Case: Airloom Tra Deluxe - 3k Woven Carbon Fiber
About the Artist Modell from the Northfield Web Site:
In August of 2014 at the Swanannoa Gathering we met Mike Marshall and quickly recognized a kindred spirit. Mike’s artistry on the mandolin, both as a performer and educator, is widely known. He’s considered by most as one of the best mandolin players ever. We were thrilled to see how enthusiastic he was about our mandolins. But after about 5 minutes of talking shop we recognized his vast understanding of the instrument—with adept interests in mandolin design, construction and sound analysis. For decades, Mike has been experimenting with the mandolin and much like his adventurous approach to music he has never stopped trying out new things—set-up (bridges, strings, nut materials), internal design, neck shapes and other details. He has commissioned many instruments with challenging designs and has amassed quite a collection of unique mandolin family instruments. He’s not afraid to wield a rasp or file to shape a neck or make a nut. Even his own iconic Lloyd Loar signed F5 that he’s played for more than 30 years has undergone many alterations to make it more responsive and play better. There was a synergy to our meeting and before we knew it we were having a research session at Mike’s California home.
We met at Mike’s home in California where he performed a recording test that he had used on many mandolins. It’s a way to listen to the tone, separate from volume, and pick out specific frequencies that contribute to the overall character of the sound. We set up a recording session in Mike’s home studio with 2 prototype Artist Series Models as well as his Lloyd Loar F5. We scrutinized the tracks in our frequency analysis software. We were able to pin-point the strength and balance of the fundamental frequencies as well as the harmonics of each mandolin. The session opened our ears to the tonal character of these mandolins, we set some targets for improvement and went on with the next batch. We continued like this for eight months—globetrotting, testing, performing, recording, analyzing… cooking (just seeing if you’re still with us) and finally arriving at two variations to move forward with.