We love this highly-playable Northfield Octave Mandolin! This carved-top beauty looks a lot like a small Martin archtop guitar from the 1930s in that it combines a typical flattop guitar's flat back with the fully carved spruce top of an archtop guitar. (OK, the back is slightly arched by the braces, just as on flattop guitars) An added advantage to this guitar-like design is the playability, as unlike most octave mandolins this one sits comfortably in your lap without the neck-heavy imbalance that plagues most mandolin-shaped octave mandos. The 22 inch scale also makes this an easier transition to mandolin tuning for guitar players (but an octave lower of course) . Wonderful gutsy tone, and for any mandolin ensemble a welcome balance to those piercing trebles. And on top of everything else, it's beautifully made with a high level of "fit and finish", including a lovely sunburst. Come with a hardshell case.