The Northfield flattop octave mandolin has a rich, woody tone with lots of sustain. It has a shallower, more tapered body than their carved top octave mandolins, which makes it a very comfortable instrument to hold. This guitar-like design sits easily in your lap without the neck-heavy imbalance that plagues most mandolin-shaped octave mandolins. The 22 inch scale also makes this an easier transition to mandolin tuning for guitar players (but an octave lower of course) And on top of everything else, it's beautifully made with a high level of fit and finish. This example has a maple back with an Italian spruce top, which produces a bright, clear ringing timbre. Includes a hardshell case.