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Calhoun Mandolin

Making mandolins is something we know how to do. Making mandolin PLAYERS is something that drives us - into the future as a community and as a company.  


The Calhoun Mandolin

Designed with a nod to the entry level mandolins of the early 20th century and a clear understanding of the limitations often associated with them, the Calhoun is not a mandolin exclusively targeted to be inexpensive. It was created to make Northfield Mandolins more easily accessible to our growing demand among beginners and interested school programs, without sacrificing a whole bunch of things that make mandolins work well.

The appointments are simple but elegant with nothing hiding. They sport the same tuners and tailpiece as found on our S series F models. The bridge is adjustable and there is a two-way truss rod. Plus, a few ways to customize them.

Standard Specs

  • Top: Red Spruce

  • Back, Sides, and Neck: Figured Maple

  • Pickguard: Michigan Koa (optional, for upcharge)

  • Bridge and Fingerboard Material: Black Walnut

  • Finish Material: Spirit Varnish

  • Nut Width: 1 - 3/32" (28mm)

  • Neck Profile: Soft V

  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.5" (394mm)

  • Scale Length: 13.9" (353mm)

  • Width of Body: 10" (254mm)

  • Length of Body (w/ heel): 12.5" (318mm)

  • Depth of Body: 1.7" (43mm)

  • Total Length: 25.5" (648mm)

  • Finish Color: Natural, with slight amber

  • Tuners: Gotoh, with black buttons

  • Tailpiece: Cast Tailpiece

  • Case: Not Included (See Options in store)

  • Made in Michigan



Introductory Price From: $795


We’re using all high quality materials including red maple and black walnut from Michigan along with well seasoned Italian spruce we’ve resawn ourselves.


We picked the flattop design because it’s possible for us to make in larger batches in our new shop while keeping production costs lower than a carved top instrument. But we haven’t scrimped on the woods. Everything is solid and well seasoned. For the fingerboard, bridge, overlay, blocks and lining we’re using some fantastic old walnut we found stacked up in a local barn right out behind Adrian’s home.

We didn’t just have the novice player in mind either. We’re coming at this from many years of experience in the vintage marketplace, having played a lot of the “pancake” style instruments. We know there’s a love for the sound these can produce and we were mindful of the strong heritage and the following among enthusiasts. So we put on our thinking caps about how to improve the lifespan and enjoyment of this style of instrument. We added a slight top radius and internal bracing that compensates for the heavy string tension and downward pressure. A quality truss rod, adjustable bridge and elevated fingerboard extension provide a comfortable playing surface. The low profile heel allows for playing in the higher registers on a neck joined to the body at the twelfth fret. 



The Calhoun Mandolin


Representing the full circle for Northfield, especially for two of its founding members, the Calhoun is a project that combines many of our experiences and interests.

In 2003 Kosuke and Adrian met in a factory far away from either of their homelands charged with the task of inspecting and fixing instruments destined for the world market. All of them were “affordably” priced and intended for the beginner or amateur performer. Many of them had issues that would force an immediate and deep immersion into many facets of large scale manufacturing and international business. What they learned would stay with them and would prove integral to the development of Northfield and all of its instrument models, especially our new Calhoun.

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