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For the player who likes to do a bit of everything, picking out the "right" mandolin can be a real challenge. But where sheer versatility is concerned, we believe the Northfield NFM-A5 stands apart from the pack and pushes the boundaries of what an A-style can sound like. With a tone that almost seems to change in response to the player and the tune, the A5 can be bright or dark, powerful or delicate, and brassy or mellow depending on what the music calls for. An Engelmann spruce top combines with a figured maple back, neck, and sides for an almost vintage-like openness in all registers, and it's exciting to know that this mandolin will only continue to break in as time goes by. Northfield complete the package visually with a "Spirit" varnish finish that lets the figuring in the wood shine through, and subtle touches like cast hardware and the ebony pickguard lend it an understated grace. Included in the price is an Airloom Recurve hard-shell case.