As part of the "S" Series, the NF-F2S is the oval hole version of their popular NF-F5S.
The main structural difference between the two mandolins is the F2S's oval sound hole. The F2S also has a darker stain on the back, sides, and neck.
Tonally, Northfield's oval hole and F-hole mandolins are in the same family, so if you like one you'll probably like the other. That said, we feel the oval hole models have a subtly warmer, fuller tone with a bit more low end.
While oval hole mandolins typically don't produce as much volume or "chop" as their F-hole counterparts, many solo players love them for their sweet, overtone-rich character.
The "S" Series
Northfield's "S" Series mandolins are simplified versions of their Big Mon and Artist Series instruments. They offer Northfield's signature tone, playability, and build quality in a more budget-friendly package.
"S" Series mandolins are built by the same team responsible for Northfield's higher end mandolins. Each instrument is made using select North American tone woods seasoned and matched in Marshall, MI. The assembly is performed by a small group of four craftsmen in Northfield's Qingdao workshop, and the final setup and inspection take place back in Michigan.
We feel Northfield mandolins have a warm, open, throaty tone that really captures the "broken-in" sound of older Gibsons we've played throughout the years (including a handful of Loars).
The Northfield tone strikes a nice balance between power and sweetness, making them equally capable in a bluegrass jam or a solo session on the couch.
The qualities of a standard Northfield mandolin are enhanced by the Big Mon body size, which is only found on Northfield's higher end Big Mon and Artist Series mandolins.
Northfields don't just look and sound great--they play like a dream. The compound radius neck, large frets, and a killer factory set up give Northfields a buttery smooth feel straight out of the box.
Most players love the way they play right from the factory, but we're always happy to adjust the action to meet your needs.
Adirondack is very stiff and hard compared to other spruce species, resulting in a crisp, bright tone and great projection.
Adirondack also has plenty of "headroom," meaning it will maintain clarity and single note definition even when played aggresively. This makes it it popular among bluegrass and country players who need lots of power and "cut" to avoid getting buried by the rest of the band.
While Adirondack excels in the volume department, players seeking a bit more warmth and sweetness may want to consider Englemann, the other top wood commonly used for Northfield mandolins.
Northfield mandolins come with their Modern setup by default. Features of the Modern setup include:
Neck has a slightly more pronounced V shape, which many players prefer for faster contemporary play styles
Wider frets with a taller crown give the instrument a feel that's more in line with other modern acoustic instruments
A compound radius fingerboard (5.7" to 7.7") increases comfort and helps reduce fatigue
The fingerboard extension is shortened and scooped, making it easier to avoid hitting the fretboard during play
Most players love Northfield's factory setup, but we're always happy to adjust the action to suit your tastes.
Northfield offers a "Vintage" setup by request, which has a fuller neck profile, full-length fingerboard extensions, flat fingerboard, and narrow frets.