Northfield Mandolins

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Tonal Terms

Immediate - responsiveness, jumps off the top, Engelmann, "pop!, the lip smack. 

Knock knock - The percussive rap behind the note. the same sound/pitch as knocking on the bridge/top with knuckle? not as warm and rich as hickory nut

Hickory nut - related to knock-knock, compression, tongue clicking, warm and rich.

Openness - headroom, not tight, not new, played in, free harmonics, lightly finished

Sustain - Unhindered notes, efficiency, energetic, effortless

Rich - warm, buttery, evenness of tone, creamy, lush, round top end, 

Toughness - compression on the double stops, bon-bon - inner-ear compression, growl, bones, holds together, does not breakup/distort

Complex Harmonics - wide open, omni-directional, rich, airy, full spectrum

Bone structure - the power behind the note, the meat in the middle, a hard substantial mid, toughness, focus, strong mid-frequency signature

Puff of air - the sound movement from inside the box out the f-holes, a light chop that has responsive bark, I perceive this best at lighter playing levels, swell of sound out of the mandolin.

Thick glass - The clear, clean, strong, focused up the neck stuff

Parchment - a warm airiness, complex harmonics, crinkling paper.

Bloom - the note has a seeming swell in amplitude immediately after the string is plucked, some left-hand technique involved, Engelmann

Evenness  - The presence of balanced fundamental frequencies across the range of the instrument. Very important in the studio when tone is a lot more important than perceived volume.


Hollow - lack of mids, no definition, tubby, weak, no bones, 

Edgy - new, tight, stringy, distorting, brassy

Unfocused - no bones, no strong sonic space, washed out

Thin - too small harmonic signature, weak, overbuilt, lack of bottom end

Find a Store

Find a Northfield near you!
Take a look at our dealer list to find out where you can try out one of our instruments. Click here.

Contact Us

130 W Michigan Ave.
Marshall, MI 49068

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(877) 367-7304


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