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Flynn Cohen’s Mandolin Setup
 
Peghead Nation instructor demonstrates the Northfield F5S and other gear that he uses on tour.
February 23, 2023
 

Flynn Cohen is a New England-based multi-instrumentalist who teaches Peghead Nation’s Irish Backup Guitar course. While his Martin 00-18V typically takes center stage when he’s performing, Flynn also plays a lot of mandolin, including a 1921 Gibson A-1 that he likes for Irish music. When playing live, his mandolin of choice is a Northfield F5S, which is on a long-term loan from Boston-area musician Howie Tarnower. Flynn was recently in the Peghead Nation studio shooting lessons for a new Irish Flatpicking Guitar course (which will be available later this spring), so we took the opportunity to have him do a video demo of his Northfield F5S, and to discuss the L.R. Baggs pickup, Bluechip picks, and Elixir strings that he uses.

Northfield’s S series, which includes an oval soundhole mandolin (F2S) as well as the f-hole F5S, offers slightly simplified versions of the company’s acclaimed Master model instruments. Built with Adirondack or Engelmann spruce tops and figured maple backs and sides, the S series conforms to Northfield’s high standards of materials and craftsmanship. The maple on Flynn’s mandolin’s back is beautifully figured, and the nitrocellulose sunburst finish gives it a classic vintage appearance. As an instrument that has seen years of constant gigging, it has a few scratches and signs of wear, and its ivoroid binding has aged to a lovely beige color.

“I have relatively high action; it’s sort of a bluegrass setup,” Flynn says. As an Elixir endorser, he’s been using their medium-gauge strings on the instrument, which he’s had refretted with golden Evo fret wire. “They’re almost as hard as stainless steel; they don’t wear out, but I prefer the tone over stainless steel frets,” he says. 

The mandolin is outfitted with an L.R. Baggs Radius pickup mounted behind the treble side of the bridge, and Flynn runs it through an L.R. Baggs Venue DI preamp when amplification is needed. 

In this video, Flynn starts out by playing John McGann’s “Shetland Jumper,” then discusses the instrument and its setup. 

To study with Flynn, enroll in his Irish Backup Guitar course now!

northfieldinstruments.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 PegheadNation.com