The Model M may lack the cosmetic frills of its fancier siblings, but it has all the tone and playability Northfield is famous for. This example has a carved Engelmann spruce top and very nicely figured maple in the back and sides. (Are we sure this is Northfield’s entry level A-style?) This mandolin has simple binding with no purfling on the neck and top and no binding at all on the back or around the headstock, a choice that cuts down on the build time without compromising on the tone of playability. The spirit varnish finish has a semi-gloss surface, another time saver that still produces an attractive look. The Model M includes Northfield’s Airloom case, the same model their more expensive mandolins come in.