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Design A Weber Instrument Giveaway

By Mandolin Cafe
February 24, 2011 - 5:45 pm

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Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments

Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments

Logan, Mont. — Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments and the Mandolin Cafe are combining efforts to give away an opportunity for some lucky individual to design their own instrument—mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar or resonator guitar—using Weber's innovative Design A Weber tool and receive a $4,500 credit towards an instrument to be built to the winner's specifications.

Through the Design A Weber process, individuals are allowed to design and order their own dream instrument made up of specs they choose using Weber's custom programming module on their web site.

Registration for an opportunity to win the chance to design this custom instrument will commence on the Mandolin Cafe on March 15, 2011. No purchase is necessary to participate and registration is open to all visitors. A winning entry will be selected on Friday, April 15, 2011.

"Working one on one with the player is my favorite way to build. With the help of the Mandolin Cafe I look forward to getting that one of a kind instrument into a lucky player's hands," said Bruce Weber.

Giveaway Rules

The winning entry will use the Design A Weber tools on Weber's web site and then have an opportunity to visit personally with Bruce Weber for assistance, questions or special needs regarding their custom instrument.

The winning entry receives only credit towards the instrument design process, not cash. Any amount in excess of $4,500 spent designing the instrument will be the responsibility of the winner, and any amount less than $4,500 will be forfeited (not refunded as cash).

The lucky winner will also receive a Weber hard shell case with their instrument.

Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments is a small band of luthiers under the direction of Bruce D. Weber handcrafting world-class mandolin-family instruments and guitars in a turn-of-the-century brick schoolhouse in Logan, Montana.

Additional information:
Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments

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Reader Comments

Jessbusenitz
February 24, 2011 06:36 PM
This is going to be sweet! Just one small hitch. I gotta win it
George R. Lane
February 24, 2011 06:42 PM
As the owner of 2 Webers, a great Vintage A and a new Yellowstone. I probably shouldn't enter this contest, but I do feel the need for a custom distressed Yellowstone A to fill out my little mando family. You just can't have enough Webers, in my opinion.
Charlieshafer
February 24, 2011 07:28 PM
I'm of the same mind as George. Already have three Webers, don't deserve another, I'm sure there's a needy guy or girl out there who should get this, but what the heck, I want another.
Ben Somerville
February 24, 2011 07:39 PM
Guys, I don't have any Webers! Just back out and let me have it, will ya?! ;)
Randi Gormley
February 24, 2011 07:56 PM
I've always wanted the chance to design an instrument but am waiting to win the lottery ... it would be nice to try for an instrument of this caliber -- thanks, guys, for another great contest!
Caleb
February 24, 2011 08:02 PM
Thank you, Weber. What a nice gesture!
Gary Watkins
February 24, 2011 08:04 PM
My wife just ordered a Weber Special Edition for me from THE MANDOLIN STORE. If I win this one, I'll give my Special Edition to someone that doesn't have a mandolin. Pay it forward!
richardbradford
February 24, 2011 08:50 PM
Wow! Thank you Bruce and Scott for such a generous giveaway of what is simply a beautiful work of art, regardless of the model or the design. Like many others I dream of owning a Weber. I wish everyone the best of luck...but just a slightly little less luck than me ;-).
George R. Lane
February 24, 2011 09:04 PM
Scott, Bruce & Mary

What a great gesture. I have had the great pleasure of creating 3 mandolins with Bruce, my first was a custom Gallatin F, the second is my Vintage A, my dream oval and now my custom Yellowstone F, all I can say is WOW.

So to whomever wins this dream prize, you will have a great experience creating the mandolin of a lifetime..

Good Luck to everyone.
JEStanek
February 24, 2011 09:18 PM
I gotta admit, a nice mandola or mandocello would be champion. F-style, A-style doesn't matter, free-style, Nice!

Jamie

PS. As a Moderator here, I won't enter. Dreams are nice give me 5 minutes with this fantasy, please. Thanks.
Jim Ferguson
February 24, 2011 09:53 PM
What an awesome giveaway. Thanks to Weber & Mandolin Cafe & good luck to all who enter.........:-)
Peace,
Jim
GRW3
February 24, 2011 10:01 PM
I've got a mandola in the pipeline now. I don't know if I could stand the anticipation. Oh heck, you bet I could.
Jill McAuley
February 25, 2011 02:05 AM
I LOVE playing around with the "Design a Weber" tool on their website - what an awesome give away this is going to be! I'm thinking Bighorn, no wait, a custom colour F, or how about custom colour and inlay on an A?...Choices, choices, choices - now all that's left is to win it!

Cheers,
Jill
Ryk Loske
February 25, 2011 05:35 AM
Many thanks to Scott & Bruce for this chance to dream. Probably my only shot at a mandocello.

Off to the Webber site!

Ryk
Santiago
February 25, 2011 07:15 AM
Weber makes some strong instruments. Great way to introduce the world to what they can really do as a shop -- both the tool and the contest. A little audio would be great, but then we'd never leave the site. smile
Rickey Noel Mitchell
February 25, 2011 07:17 AM
Designing a Weber Mandolin is my dream, and a Weber will be my next mandolin and the one that I play for the rest of my life. Too win one would mean I wouldn't have to wait a few years.
rsaunders
February 25, 2011 07:35 AM
I am a left-handed grandfather who dreams of playing the mandolin, but cannot afford a quality used instrument. Winning this contest would be like Christmas!
Badeye01
February 25, 2011 09:12 AM
Only a dream. I will enter but I have no luck !! I could enter 99 times with only 100 entries and still lose. But I can Dream.
GRW3
February 25, 2011 09:42 AM
I didn't notice last night that Scott had asked if anybody had used the Weber build it yourself process. I have and the instrument is in process. It is discussed in a thread titled "Moving on Up, to a Mandola". The actual process is pretty easy. It is available for every level of mando family instrument they make. A good thing about a custom mando is that, unlike some of the custom guitar programs (like Taylor, Martin for instance), you're not swiming upstream against economies of scale where even a slight modification means big bucks. Every Weber is almost a custom instrument so variations don't seem to require super premiums.

You step through page by page and every aspect of guitar is covered. If your choices require changes they are done automatically and you are informed. For instance, I chose a D hole for my mandola. Well, the standard Weber bracing is tone bars with X bracing optional. For the D hole however, only X bracing is used. That may seem obvious but I think it's good they point this out.

The MSRP roles up as you add items so you can experiment with your budget. At the end of the process you can submit it directly to Weber or generate a PDF to take to your Weber dealer. I made PDFs of several variations so I could consider them off line. I took the final version to my dealer. Be sure to review the order with Weber after your dealer submits it to be sure that the transmittal process went according to plan. I my case, the substitution of the Trad Brekke for the Std Brekke was missed.

The pictures of Ted E's mandola were very encouraging as I have almost the same instrument about a month behind his by order date.
Dan Margolis
February 25, 2011 09:51 AM
I spec'ed out a Bighorn mandola. The only upcharge that kind of shocked me was the hundreds of dollars that they want for a pickguard.
yellowbarber
February 25, 2011 10:47 AM
I don't understand how to enter...am I missing something?


Also, the "Design A Weber" tool only covers cookie-cutter trim levels and not wood selections. I like Bruce Webber's work, for a custom I'm more interested in the nuts-and-bolts of the build and not the bling.
George R. Lane
February 25, 2011 10:53 AM
The contest doesn't start until April 15. The rest of us are just all hyper about the announcement.
Rodney Riley
February 25, 2011 11:32 AM
Love to have mine with a wider neck. I'm with you Gary. Either find someone that doesn't play. Or a good player that can't afford an upgrade to my Weber Gallatin.
Ed Goist
February 25, 2011 12:43 PM
I'm with Jill...Bighorn all the way!
One with the Translucent Walnut finish...That would be so sweet...
Thanks to the fine folks at Weber for sponsoring such an exciting and generous giveaway.
-Ed
chasray
February 25, 2011 01:16 PM
Quote from yellowbarber: I don't understand how to enter...am I missing something?


Also, the "Design A Weber" tool only covers cookie-cutter trim levels and not wood selections. I like Bruce Webber's work, for a custom I'm more interested in the nuts-and-bolts of the build and not the bling. End Quote

Yeah, you can choose top woods such as cedar, red spruce, etc. and one piece backs. Go through the process one step at a time. There's a lot you could miss.
woodwizard
February 25, 2011 01:33 PM
Awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!
wootis
February 25, 2011 01:47 PM
Perfect -to add the missing link of my collection of Weber Mandos-I need a Fern mandola to round out the group.
One piece flamed Bubinga back, 19" scale, 5 course set up, Tobacco with small burst- varnish finish- Port Orford Cedar top..............................................
Mary Weber
February 25, 2011 03:42 PM
This is going to be fun! If you decide to try out the Design a Weber while waiting to win (see that's fun to say : ) and have any questions about the program/features etc. just ask here or send me a private message through my profile. One thing I did want to say is that unfortunately we haven't gotten up all of the new pictures of instruments with the model changes we did last year, however the specs are correct. Your chosen standard model has a picture that will show all the way through your design and, for instance we still have old pictures of Gallatin and Bitterroot A-style mandos and the Traditional Yellowstone F and A-style mandos (honey tortoise mandos pics are of the new model)...and many of the larger instruments pictures haven't changed yet either. We'll be getting the Gall & Bitt A pics up pretty soon, but it takes awhile for a standard (with no customizations) to come through and then to catch them before they ship out of the door. Bruce will get with the winner and hammer out the details to make sure all is what is really wanted in sound/tone and looks.
FredR
February 25, 2011 04:16 PM
Bruce and the Weber folks are great! Thanks for sponsoring this contest and for building such great instruments. I love my gallatin more each day! Blessings to your company!
rsaunders
February 25, 2011 07:48 PM
Mary, Thank you so much for this exceptional opportunity! I live in the rural mountains of S.E. Kentucky, with our heritage rich in mandolin and fiddle/violin music. I have had a burning desire to play both instruments my entire life, but never dreamed that I would be presented with such a chance to own an instrument of the caliber you offer. God is great! I wish everyone the best of luck in the coming drawing.
Patrick Sylvest
February 25, 2011 09:41 PM
Wonderful! I don't know where to begin!
jn146mbi
February 27, 2011 09:50 PM
Sweet contest! Can't wait to see who wins. By-the-way I love my Weber Gallatin!
Scott Tichenor
February 28, 2011 02:11 PM
NOTE: the original version of this article I incorrectly stated the contest would start on April 15 and conclude May 15. That's an error on my part.

We're starting on *March* 15 and will conclude with drawing a winning entry on tax day, Friday, April 15. Seems only fitting.
Ryk Loske
February 28, 2011 07:25 PM
The SWEET after the bitter Scott! Waytuhgo!

Ryk
mee
March 01, 2011 03:04 AM
Quote from Gary Watkins: My wife just ordered a Weber Special Edition for me from THE MANDOLIN STORE. If I win this one, I'll give my Special Edition to someone that doesn't have a mandolin. Pay it forward! End Quote
I don't have a Weber mandolin....and I never win anything so if you give me your Special Edition, I'll give someone without one of my mandolins.....pay it forward!
Londy
March 01, 2011 08:36 PM
Wow, this is amazing! What a great prize this will be for the lucky winner! (but i hope the winner is me! ha!)
rsaunders
March 02, 2011 09:30 AM
I can't sleep until I get to register! If I win, I'll need a lot of advice from everyone! Good luck and God Bless!
Dan Margolis
March 02, 2011 09:37 AM
Finally! I can have that mandola I've been dreaming about. Maybe...
Jim MacDaniel
March 02, 2011 11:13 AM
Very cool contest -- but a bit of a dilemma for the winner: personalize one of their top end models with a few options, or chose several options and/or custom work, non-standard tonewoods and bindings, etc., on one of the less expensive models for a totally unique instrument. smile
Toycona
March 02, 2011 02:24 PM
A wanna 'dola, baby. F style!!!
Brent Haley
March 02, 2011 07:40 PM
As im just getting started i plan on getting a mando in about a week or so to start playing but If i win this ill donate what ever mando i get to someone who doesn't have one and wants to get into it as I am.
Bob Scrutchfield
March 03, 2011 02:31 PM
Thanks for offering the chance for some lucky person to own one of your treasured Weber Mandolins.
I hope I win!! If I won I would I would shout eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhaaaa!! and jump for joy!

Bob Scrutchfield
Russb
March 03, 2011 03:40 PM
Is this restricted to US residents, or can any-one enter?
Scott Tichenor
March 03, 2011 04:15 PM
No restrictions by what country you reside in.
Gwernen
March 03, 2011 05:01 PM
My mandolin cost me $62 about ten years ago. It sounds and plays like a $62 mandolin. I can't even imagine holding a real instrument....laugh.

Crossing fingers
Ed Goist
March 03, 2011 06:06 PM
The beautiful, limited edition, solid-body, five-string Weber Maverick electric mandolin does not appear in the model selection menu for the "Design a Weber" page.
Would it therefore be excluded as a selection for this contest?
e-mando loving minds want to know smile
Thanks again to the Cafe & Weber for this awesome promotion!
Brett Byers
March 03, 2011 07:00 PM
Ed, the Maverick was discontinued some time ago (1-2yrs, can't remember exactly when), and we have ceased production of solid body electric mandolins. There are some floating around out there, and occasionally you'll see one for sale, but not often.
Ed Goist
March 03, 2011 07:30 PM
Brett; thanks for the prompt reply...Of course this now really peaks my interest in the Maverick! smile
Oh well, I guess I'll have to settle for a fully bound Translucent Walnut Bighorn if I win...Tough life. smile
Brett Byers
March 03, 2011 07:41 PM
Quote from Ed Goist: Brett; thanks for the prompt reply...Of course this now really peaks my interest in the Maverick! smile
Oh well, I guess I'll have to settle for a fully bound Translucent Walnut Bighorn if I win...Tough life. smile End Quote

I just noticed that Mary wrote a blog post today saying that Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz has the last Weber Maverick that we made. It's in stock and available.
You'll need to get more creative on your Bighorn, Ed. What you described is just the standard model. If you win, go crazy! Maybe some tortoise binding, custom inlay, pickguard, armrest, bound f-holes, etc. smile
Ed Goist
March 03, 2011 07:51 PM
Brett; this is a funny coincidence.
The reason I thought about the Maverick in the first place was because I saw the picture of the Webers at Sylvan that was posted to your Facebook page earlier today.
That picture had me drooling...of the six mandolins pictured, there was the Maverick, the Bighorn, and three A-styles. It may as well have had "Ed Goist MAS jump starter" as the caption! smile
Jill McAuley
March 04, 2011 12:17 PM
Black Ice Bighorn with matching Black Ice pickguard and custom "claddagh symbol" inlay. Not sure if I'd go for oval or f-holes though, I'm really loving f-holes at the moment...

Cheers,
Jill
Ed Goist
March 04, 2011 03:43 PM
Okay, Brett & Jill have inspired me...
Bighorn (f-hole), Ivory inlay, ivory top binding, ivory accents all around, MOP large diamond markers, Engelmann soundboard, Hand Rubbed Varnish finish, and this custom headstock inlay:
http://www.mybelvedere.com/Images/autodecals/tribalanimallarge/bull%20TAR_9.png
Great, now I'll owe over $1,500 if I win! smile
Mary Weber
March 04, 2011 04:29 PM
OK, Brett. Show them a picture of what the inspiration is for the color of YOUR custom mandolin (that may someday be finished). I believe it's called 'Brindle'...
Jill McAuley
March 04, 2011 04:41 PM
Ah, brindle is one of my favourite coat colours in dogs, I could definitely appreciate a brindle coloured mandolin!

Cheers,
Jill
hank
March 04, 2011 04:45 PM
Thank you Bruce, Mary and Scott for the gift to our community. Would this be called a dream catcher?
Mary Weber
March 04, 2011 05:19 PM
I tried to catch the color of an instrument we have here, that is almost like his, but couldn't 'get' the brindle with my little camera. Hopefully Brett will put in the picture if he gets a chance.
Jim MacDaniel
March 04, 2011 06:21 PM
Quote from Brett Byers: ...If you win, go crazy! Maybe some tortoise binding, custom inlay, pickguard, armrest, bound f-holes, etc. smile End Quote

Brett and Mary, just how crazy can we get? Are there any boundaries or limitations to what you would take on? (e.g., a 10-string version of one of your mandolins; a red cedar over rosewood Alder with carved top, flat-back, wood bindings and custom inlay; an all blonde spruce over maple Bighorn with maple fretboard, maple headstock overlay, and custom soundhole(s); an 8-string or 10-string mandolin scale neck on an Alder body? ;) )
Brett Byers
March 04, 2011 06:44 PM
Jim,
None of those specs seems too far out, imho. We have done a few ten string instruments, we have done some rosewood Alders (that were very impressive), we've done lots of wood binding and custom inlay, we've done a few custom shaped soundholes. Our Sweet Peas have maple boards, and we've done quite a few maple peghead veneers. The only one that would be questionable would be the carved top, flat back Alder. Ultimately the decision regarding what we will or will not attempt is up to Bruce, but he's pretty open about stuff like that. If he thinks a certain customization would be detrimental to the structural integrity, playability, or tone, he may recommend an alternative. But the whole point of this contest is to let someone design the Weber instrument of their dreams, and we welcome challenging and creative ideas.
Brett Byers
March 04, 2011 06:55 PM
Quote from Mary Weber: OK, Brett. Show them a picture of what the inspiration is for the color of YOUR custom mandolin (that may someday be finished). I believe it's called 'Brindle'... End Quote


Ok, here's the original inspiration for some of the "double stain" finishes we now offer, some of which are referred to in-house as "that Lucy brindle color". Lucy is the 4yr old Mastiff on the left. Titus, on the right, is a new addition to our family. He's a 1yr old male Mastiff that we just brought home from the shelter last weekend. They're already best pals. I guess I better get busy on the new "that Titus brindle color" smile
Brett Byers
March 04, 2011 07:10 PM
regarding my personal mandolin, it is almost exactly like this Custom Elite that was ordered by Trevor at The Acoustic Music Co. in the UK. It has an Engelmann Spruce top w/ bound F-holes (my personal favorite choice for top wood, if the f-holes are bound. Binding the holes on an engelmann top stiffens it just enough to really make it explode with tone), black/white/tortoise binding on the top, back, sides, peghead, neck, and fingerboard. It will have this same color, with a hand rubbed spirit varnish finish. I have custom impressionistic fish-hook inlays for the fretboard markers, and I'll be making a custom pickguard with our "jumping trout" inlay. I spent quite a few hours digging through our wood piles and found the oldest, best piece of Engelmann I could find, and one of the oldest, craziest pieces of flame maple for the back. Should be a winner when it's done.

In order to make this rambling nonsense relevant to the topic at hand, I'll add that this is the kind of fun the winner of the contest will get to have. It can be somewhat maddening trying to nail down the perfect specs, but once it's done, you'll have an instrument that you can be proud to leave to your heirs.
Ryk Loske
March 04, 2011 07:33 PM
must .... not .... think ...about .... mando cello ......... wash-rinse-repeat

Ryk
George R. Lane
March 04, 2011 07:43 PM
I can attest to the binding of the f holes. Brett convinced me to do it with my Yellowstone and it is simply amazing, it takes only the lightest of touch and she (by the way her name is Isabella) sings with the sweetest tone and when you dig into her puts forth the most wonderful grumbling mid-tones. I sometimes gaze into her headstock and dream of green valleys and smokey mountains.

Uh, Sorry, I seemed to have gotten caught up in the moment.

Short answer - Brett is correct.
Brett Byers
March 04, 2011 07:51 PM
George, I remember that conversation. When you were at the shop deciding on the specs for your Yellowstone you mentioned that you were going with an Engelmann top, and I went off on a diatribe about how you just had to have the f-holes bound. I'm glad you did. I played your mando a few minutes after it was strung up and it already had the signature tone that comes from bound f-holes on an Engelmann top. I'm sure you're putting a lot of hours on Isabella, and I imagine that signature tone is only becoming more defined. You should bring her with you next time you head down our way. I'd love to hear how she's doing.
George R. Lane
March 04, 2011 09:27 PM
Brett,
Next time I head your way I will bring Isabella and my Vintage A, which sounds awesome with tomastiks.
I might even bring you a few of my special flies.
bratsche
March 04, 2011 11:46 PM
I want to win a Bighorn oval hole mandola! (sigh)
This is the first instrument giveaway contest here that has me absolutely drooling...

bratsche
hank
March 05, 2011 09:19 AM
George you and Brett are killing me with all this talk of trout fishing. I think spring fever is taking a toll on me. Could you post some photos of your girl friend Isabella and her grand mother Mrs. A? Hmmm, I already wanted bound F holes. Do you have a good thumpin bottom end as well with Engelmann?
rsaunders
March 05, 2011 03:59 PM
bratsche,
I second that emotion! I feel like I did as a kid and took the Sears catalog to the outhouse right before Christmas! And reading these other posts makes me want to win that much more, as well as realize how hard it would be to decide. One thing for sure, mine has to be left-handed!
George R. Lane
March 05, 2011 06:31 PM
Hank,
This will take youy to where I first posted photos of Isabella.
http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?63946-May-I-introduce-to-you

Sorry, I don't know how to make this a link
Charlieshafer
March 05, 2011 07:16 PM
Quote from Ryk: must .... not .... think ...about .... mando cello ......... wash-rinse-repeat

Ryk End Quote

no, it's ok, think mandocello. I'm loving my oval hole semi-custom vintage thing.

On another front, this has been going on for a while now... have I won yet?
Dan Margolis
March 05, 2011 07:23 PM
Mine would have to have a custom inlay of a sandwich on it.
Ryk Loske
March 05, 2011 07:24 PM
CHARLIE!!! I've pretty much worn out the Weber menu figuring out how i would do the same model. The lady of the house thinks i have a problem .... but she'll fight me to be first to play it when i win it.

Ryk
Brett Byers
March 05, 2011 07:25 PM
Dan, what kind of sandwich? smile
jasona
March 05, 2011 11:01 PM
Lovely! My GOM design will knock your socks off too! ;)
Charlieshafer
March 06, 2011 06:21 AM
Quote from Ryk: CHARLIE!!! I've pretty much worn out the Weber menu figuring out how i would do the same model. The lady of the house thinks i have a problem .... but she'll fight me to be first to play it when i win it.

Ryk End Quote

OK, this afternoon I'll put some pictures up, just to give you an idea of what I did, which is anything but over-the-top. Very conservative, but with really nice wood. I did have them make an extra sterling silver truss rod cover, which I'll get engraved as soon as I get a design in my head. The rest is far less exotic than I first thought I'd go for when I started planning. I did have the benefit of having an old-school luthier guy telling me what I was thinking was wrong. I'd say I want a walnut back, and he'd reply "that's stupid." Going down the whole list brought the same response. At least he's a nice enough guy to explain why. Anyway, the important thing is the sound absolutely blows me away. Tons o' fun.
GRW3
March 06, 2011 10:50 AM
I've been traveling but as of a couple of weeks ago Guitar Tex in San Antonio still had a Maverick in stock. I've played it a couple times and it's kind of cool. Not what I would like to do if I win but since there was interest. I'm thinking Octar myself.
hank
March 06, 2011 11:52 AM
Great looking mandolins George (Lane). Very unique Yellowstone.
Charlieshafer
March 06, 2011 05:58 PM
Quote from Ryk: CHARLIE!!! I've pretty much worn out the Weber menu figuring out how i would do the same model. The lady of the house thinks i have a problem .... but she'll fight me to be first to play it when i win it.

Ryk End Quote

Ok, Ryk, here you go, I think, or hope...

I threw in a regular F for size comparison, and the only real additions I made, besides the higher quality maple for the back and sides (which are well beyond my ability to photograph) are the pickguard and the bone saddle. The sound is simply great, hours of sustain great tone. Play a little, go make dinner, and you can still hear what you played while you're eating.
Ryk Loske
March 06, 2011 09:27 PM
Many thanks Charlie .... Well done!
Even with the infinitessimal chance at winning ... i figured an F to be out of the question. A ... tortoise bindings ... tortoise color and the bone saddle. I have a sense of what you're talking about relative to sustain. Lynne's Bridger octave is like that.
Thanks for adding fuel to the flame here in Vermont.

Ryk
Charlieshafer
March 07, 2011 05:51 AM
Well, I'll be a hero and back out just so you can win. (if your luck's as good as mine, you'll lose even if there are two entries.)
Mary Weber
March 07, 2011 09:14 PM
OK- I asked Bruce about this one and he said the same old thing, "anything that's structurally sound, and doesn't violate my moral principles.' Sounds like he'd be willing with maybe a caveat on the inlay...
Ryk Loske
March 08, 2011 08:43 AM
Hi ... i'm Ryk ... i'm a Design-A-Weber-aholic .....
The drawing hasn't even started yet! April 15th will take forever!!!
Dan Margolis
March 08, 2011 08:52 AM
"Dan, what kind of sandwich? smile"

I love sandwiches but haven't eaten one for months, cuz I'm doing a low carb thing (over 12 lbs. lost, thank you). In honor of Mardi Gras (and because we just finished the first season of "Treme"), I'm gonna say a muffaletta: basically an Italian coldcut sub on a big round loaf with chopped olive salad as a spread. I'll have to ship some muffalettas to Weber for their research in order to do an accurate inlay. Weber, please don't let this offer of delicious sandwiches influence you.
AzRedShoe
March 08, 2011 09:59 PM
I have played a borrowed Weber and they are gold. My new mid range priced mandolin is clay compared to the Weber I played. I hope I win. :o)
Jim MacDaniel
March 11, 2011 07:41 PM
This is fun: when I win, I think I'm now leaning towards a Gallitin (since I like the loose scroll), with gloss cherry-burst finish, custom sound holes, custom headstock inlay, compound radius fretboard, and body binding. smile
bratsche
March 11, 2011 08:26 PM
Quote from Jim MacDaniel: This is fun: when I win .......... End Quote

Just jinxed yourself, for sure - hahahaha!

And in the HIGHLY UNLIKELY event that I should win (and all the more so because I've already won a MC cap in one of the "caption this photo" contests), I'll just say that it would be the first time anything good ever happened for me on an April 15th!

(For the non-USA readers, that is when our income taxes are due...)

bratsche
ChrisDevo
March 13, 2011 04:56 AM
How will the be winner chosen? Is it a random drawing or is it based on the best design? Will my being a lefty affect my chances of winning?

I lived in Big Sky for two years and for sentimental reasons I'd like a Gallatin (A or F). Any chance you could create a custom model called the Lone Peak or Shedhorn? The profile of Lone Peak would make a great fretboard inlay.

Best of luck to all!
TonyEarth
March 13, 2011 07:36 AM
wow, so many people talking about owning more than one weber... i only own what could be considered "half" an acoustic mandolin....... its a rogue. I used to love it, but now it just sounds horrible. so i better win this, seeing as those other people already have good mandolins. smile i kid, some people like having more than one mandolin, that's perfectly fine. if i could, i'd probably be that type of person. good luck to all when this starts.
ChrisDevo
March 13, 2011 04:12 PM
That should read, "how will the winner be chosen?"
jlubben
March 14, 2011 07:06 AM
Thanks Bruce thats nice to be winning
Scott Tichenor
March 14, 2011 07:58 AM
Quote from ChrisDevo: That should read, "how will the winner be chosen?" End Quote

It's a random drawing. I just make sure who is chosen isn't a spam registrant. We get those. Any place on the web where someone can fill out a form is bait for those cats.
George R. Lane
March 14, 2011 12:10 PM
Quote from George R. Lane: As the owner of 2 Webers, a great Vintage A and a new Yellowstone. I probably shouldn't enter this contest, but I do feel the need for a custom distressed Yellowstone A to fill out my little mando family. You just can't have enough Webers, in my opinion. End Quote

As my above quote states I own two great Webers. I have thought long and hard on this and have decieded NOT to enter the contest. I would rather someone who doesn't already own a Weber to have the great experience of working with Bruce and Brett on getting the instrument of a lifetime. So to ever wins, choose wisely and play the heck of her. Good Luck to everyone.
rsaunders
March 14, 2011 03:39 PM
George,
I can't imagine being lucky and bleesd enough to win one of your exquisite mandolins. I have dreamed of playing mandolin my whole life. Thank you all for the opportunity.
Andrew B. Carlson
March 15, 2011 01:11 AM
Maybe I just missed something obvious....where is the registration page/link/form?
rsaunders
March 15, 2011 10:28 AM
Andew, I'm unable to locate a link/form either. Does anyone else know where to find it?
snharper
March 15, 2011 10:53 AM
Yeah, where is the registration link?
Scott Tichenor
March 15, 2011 11:09 AM
Registration doesn't officially open until 5:00 p.m. my time today. The link will be accessible from the Cafe home page when registration is officially open.
Ben Somerville
March 15, 2011 03:41 PM
Thanks so much Bruce and the Weber folks for all your hard work to serve the winner and good luck to all!
rsaunders
March 15, 2011 05:01 PM
Thank you Mandolin Cafe & Weber! I'm registered. Now only one month of sleepless nights & praying! Good luck everyone!
Scott Tichenor
March 15, 2011 05:18 PM
Registration is now open.
Tom Wright
March 15, 2011 07:00 PM
May the most deserving picker win. Weber is a fine company and fine people.

(I'm just going to watch, not registering.)
Ed Goist
March 15, 2011 07:19 PM
http://www.mandolincafe.com/giveaway/
Dan Hoover
March 15, 2011 07:24 PM
can there be a german shepherd dog inlay?with tennis ball's on the fret board?
Cheryl Watson
March 15, 2011 07:48 PM
I played a Weber mandolin that I would have loved to have taken home with me. I'd surely love to win one. Thanks, Weber, for this giveaway!
Brett Byers
March 16, 2011 11:12 AM
Quote from Dan Hoover: can there be a german shepherd dog inlay?with tennis ball's on the fret board? End Quote

Dan, if that's what your heart desires, I'm sure we can make it happen.
Mary Weber
March 16, 2011 11:16 AM
How many people from 'outside' do you think will enter? And how many total entries? I am so curious. Overall the odds are pretty good it seems (esp. compared to the lottery or sweepstakes : ) However, I think the person who won the cap (comment above) will probably win. Ever notice how there just seems to be lucky people? JUST KIDDING!!! (altho my mom wins stuff all of the time, luckily she will not be entering this one) We have really been enjoying reading the Designs that have come in- and sorry if we haven't answered questions right away.
pickloser
March 16, 2011 12:03 PM
I surely do hope I'm due for some extraordinarily good luck. Thanks very much for the chance at a Weber!
woodwizard
March 16, 2011 12:50 PM
ALRIGHT !!!!!! I'm registered !!!! Woooooooooooooo !!! Hoooooooo !!!!!!!!
John Rosett
March 16, 2011 12:52 PM
Quote from Tom Wright: May the most deserving picker win. End Quote

Thank you, Tom!
Dan Hoover
March 16, 2011 02:40 PM
Quote from Brett Byers: Dan, if that's what your heart desires, I'm sure we can make it happen. End Quote
my heart,it does desire...i love it when someone say's "that's possible" to me..that is sweet..i even have a name for it...i've looked over the design site,imagine a child in front of the candy counter...couldn't do it,my wife told me knock it off..so tonight,i'm going back on the site,it may take awhile,so everyone else,please stay off the internets..thank you..
George R. Lane
March 16, 2011 02:49 PM
Quote from Mary Weber: How many people from 'outside' do you think will enter? And how many total entries? I am so curious. Overall the odds are pretty good it seems (esp. compared to the lottery or sweepstakes : ) However, I think the person who won the cap (comment above) will probably win. Ever notice how there just seems to be lucky people? JUST KIDDING!!! (altho my mom wins stuff all of the time, luckily she will not be entering this one) We have really been enjoying reading the Designs that have come in- and sorry if we haven't answered questions right away. End Quote

Mary,
There were over 5,000 entries for the Northfield contest. I would suspect a whole lot more for a custom Weber.
Mary Weber
March 16, 2011 03:24 PM
Hi neighbor- is it snowing over there?
George R. Lane
March 16, 2011 05:48 PM
No, most of it has melted. Was just up in Ronan and there is still alot of snow in the Mission Mountains. Spring is sure coming in fast here in Helena. As I said get ready for alot of entries, because a gift like what you and Bruce are doing only comes once in a lifetime. Somebody is going to be extremely happy.
JEStanek
March 16, 2011 06:11 PM
Well, I can't enter but I did play the design your own and was able to make a Bridger A Mandola with a narrower neck and a custom neck profile in the Honey color under budget while leaving everything else standard. That would be a nice dola fer sure.
billkilpatrick
March 17, 2011 01:59 PM
Quote from Mary Weber: How many people from 'outside' do you think will enter? End Quote

if by "outside" you mean outside the united states, then i'm one (italy) ... but FEAR NOT! - if i win, i will be SO INCREDIBLY accommodating about delivery you won't believe it!
JEStanek
March 17, 2011 02:41 PM
Bill, how accomodating will Italian Post be? ;-)
Londy
March 18, 2011 09:53 AM
This is so cool! I think I need to win a Mandocello since I dont own one and I have really cool stuff in my studio and it would be the perfect addition. :-D
Cheryl Watson
March 18, 2011 01:37 PM
I'd choose a black-face, blond back mandola with f-holes, varnished too.
Tracey
March 18, 2011 03:27 PM
I've been playing with the design tool. It's a fabulous way to waste time on a slow work day. Were I to win I would focus on the upgrades that will affect the sound. The fancy inlays and bindings are nice, but don't add to the sound. Can anyone speak to how things like upgrading the bridge to fossilized ivory will impact the sound, tone? What other upgrades contribute to or enhance the "sound" of the instrument above and beyond the base package.
Ed Goist
March 18, 2011 03:47 PM
Tracey, I would say that the varnish finish upgrade (major $) would enhance tone more than any hardware upgrade (or even all of the hardware upgrades combined).
Before the shells start flying, let me say in advance that MANY folks (including many more knowledgeable than I) will disagree with me.
However, the dozen or so best sounding mandolins I've played all had varnish finishes.
Mark Hudson
March 18, 2011 05:01 PM
So, just to be sure I'm going to win :-)
...all I have to do is use the design tool to put my dream together and submit it, right?
Fern here I come!
Ed Goist
March 18, 2011 05:04 PM
Mark, actually entering is even easier than that...Just go here:
http://www.mandolincafe.com/giveaway/
and enter your name and e-mail address. I believe the winner will need to use the design tool to create the prize mandolin AFTER being selected.
Good luck!
Mark Hudson
March 18, 2011 05:49 PM
Thanks Ed! Somehow I missed that boat ;-)
GRW3
March 19, 2011 02:31 AM
I got my build-to-order Gallatin Mandola today (well yesterday technically, I guess). I was jammed up at work and had to wait four days to get it. That was a looong time...

When the brought that Gray Weber case out from the back I was excited but, oh let me tell you, that was nothing compared to the emotion I felt seeing my own design brought to reality. Oh! My! The playing was beyond my expectations too but that visceral feeling on first sight will never be forgotten. Beside a 'dream' mandolin, the winner of this prize is going to get that pleasure too.
300win
March 19, 2011 06:09 PM
Many thanks to Weber. I got my design submitted to ya'll now. If I win it will be a nice looking mandolin for sure. I do hope that someone on here wins it that needs a good mandolin, and deserves the win. Good luck to all.
dsanchezlared
March 20, 2011 05:04 AM
<-- inappropriate language removed by site owner. this is a family site, please -->

My mandolin's all old and broken, and I was just about to buy a nice Weber mandolin smile

Let's see if I get luckier this time, the past give-aways weren't good for me...
Mary Weber
March 22, 2011 12:03 PM
Here's one that's not (exactly) listed in the Design area...abalone, large dot fretmarkers. They made them large because abalone just doesn't show up against ebony very well.
jasona
March 22, 2011 01:21 PM
Hmm. Its not possible to make a guitar shaped octave via this system. Oh well.
Ryk Loske
March 22, 2011 01:58 PM
I didn't go through the entire process ... but it says on the Weber site that archtop guitars are available as both octave mandolins and mandocellos as well. Its a selection in string courses and scale length ... and at no additional charge.

Ryk
jasona
March 22, 2011 04:19 PM
Quote from Ryk: I didn't go through the entire process ... but it says on the Weber site that archtop guitars are available as both octave mandolins and mandocellos as well. Its a selection in string courses and scale length ... and at no additional charge.

Ryk End Quote

I tried via the guitar stream but I guess I didn't go far enough. Thanks Ryk!
JimRym
March 22, 2011 09:13 PM
Can't wait for my archtop guitar! -Jim
Mary Weber
March 23, 2011 10:04 AM
Scott said that there have been 3300+ registrations in the first week...everyone's odds are pretty good.
Mary Weber
March 23, 2011 10:11 AM
Ryk- there are a couple of videos up on our Players Page featuring arch top guitars with octave tuning...both are Bitterroots...just to tempt you
Ryk Loske
March 23, 2011 11:04 AM
No Mary ... you temptress ... i'm waiting to hear back from Bruce on some non-time important questions relative to mandocellos. F? A? Bighorn? ........... Well .... maybe ........

Ryk
Brett Byers
March 23, 2011 12:26 PM
Just wanted to remind everyone that you are NOT entered in the contest by going through the "Design a Weber" process on our website. You MUST enter via the Cafe homepage. The winner of the contest will then get to design their instrument. I'd hate to see anyone miss out on the registration because of confusion.
Jim MacDaniel
March 23, 2011 03:06 PM
I beg to differ: do not enter via the Cafe, or you'll decrease my odds of winning.
rsaunders
March 24, 2011 07:20 AM
I have my left-hand design saved on disc, all ready to submit when I win! Still can't sleep till the drawing!
Cathal Whelehan
March 24, 2011 10:03 AM
Quote from Brett Byers: Just wanted to remind everyone that you are NOT entered in the contest by going through the "Design a Weber" process on our website. You MUST enter via the Cafe homepage. The winner of the contest will then get to design their instrument. I'd hate to see anyone miss out on the registration because of confusion. End Quote

Thanks for this post to clear things up - I must admit I found some of the posts above a little confusing, e.g. about having already submitted designs etc. Played around with the DAW tool for a while, but couldn't help thinking the instruments just looked perfect as they were. If I win I'll have a Custom Vintage A off the peg please. Truly beautiful.

Good luck to everyone that's entered!
Mary Weber
March 24, 2011 11:59 AM
Quote from Ryk: No Mary ... you temptress ... i'm waiting to hear back from Bruce on some non-time important questions relative to mandocellos. F? A? Bighorn? ........... Well .... maybe ........

Ryk End Quote

Ryk, I sent a message thru mandocafe from Bruce in answer to your questions awhile back (?) Please email me at mary@soundtoearth.com and I will copy it over and email direct to you- sorry 'bout that!
Ryk Loske
March 24, 2011 12:36 PM
Just to clear it up for the Forumites .... the response from the folks at Weber is beyond fantastic. This posting from Mary is because she was unaware of the long informative email i already received from Bruce and mine back to him. These folks are ALL about sharing information. Given the Sobel discussion elsewhere in the Forum i do not want anything like that to be thought of relative to Weber.

Ryk
Cathal Whelehan
March 24, 2011 05:34 PM
"Given the Sobel discussion elsewhere in the Forum..."

Hmmm... I'm not sure why that got brought up here but seeing as it did, I feel I should add my own "clear it up for the forumites" post to remove the possibility of misinterpretation and unfair comparison. I'm certain the difficulties I experienced in communicating with Sobell recently have absolutely nothing to do with any reluctuance or outright refusal to share information on Stefan's part and that wasn't what I was suggesting in any case, I was merely blowing off frustration at the difficulty in getting in touch. Nothing more.

I'm sure SS is just as 'ALL about sharing" as it's possible to be - and in saying this it also has to be taken into account that Sobell is - I assume - a much, much smaller set-up than Weber where Stefan probably doesnt have the time to deal with every little thing. So whilst I don't know what the reason is that we didn't get together, I'm sure it will be have been a very simple one (overfilled order books, recovery from the injury documented elsewhere, off on holiday, computer busted, whatever). Whatever was behind it, I've moved on and there's certainly no grudge or ill-feeling on my part - he has a lot of rightly very happy customers and one day I still hope to be one.
Mary Weber
March 25, 2011 12:59 PM
I know I've posting a lot but couldn't resist these pictures-put them up on my blog but they're kind of hard to find: Custom BigHorn Mandocello that has a ways to go: back carved w/ab purfling, custom peghead inlay (with ab/purf), black ice color, and varnish finish (which will take several months in itself)
Mary Weber
March 25, 2011 01:02 PM
note: CW chose natural abalone over abalam...more colors, but more 'pastel'-vs-more blue/green and brighter...hard choice as both are pretty.
George R. Lane
March 25, 2011 01:23 PM
As I sit here playing my Yellowstone and reading this thread,I am overwhelmed at the generosity of Bruce and Mary Weber and the many other companies that have donated to the Cafe. Many companies give their instruments to professionals in endorsement deals, but to give possibly to someone just starting out. What a great gift. Yes, I am a Weber fan and consider all the folks there to be friends. But, what a gift to give someone. I am always amazed when I play either of my mandolins, the tone and clarity are inspiring. OK, I have gone on long enough. Good luck to the over 4,000 who have entered.
Mary Weber
March 25, 2011 05:30 PM
One more thing...this will also have a 27 inch scale (10 string), it's one of THREE of that scale length (other two are 8 string) that we are building now, and hadn't gotten an order for this length before. Things always go in bunches- we had to order special cases.
re simmers
March 25, 2011 06:26 PM
Thank you Webers for this generous gift. I look forward to designing my own Weber.

I have not read the other 146 posts. I hope no one else knows I'll win. smile

Thanks

Bob
bratsche
March 26, 2011 01:18 AM
Quote from Mary Weber: ]However, I think the person who won the cap (comment above) will probably win. End Quote

That would be me.... and all I can say is, "from your keyboard to God's e-mail"!! I'll likely never in this lifetime be able to afford a used (or even abused) Weber instrument otherwise, especially if things continue for us in their current downward economic spiral...

bratsche
billkilpatrick
March 26, 2011 03:34 AM
Quote from bratsche: ... "from your keyboard to God's e-mail" ... End Quote

this is where atheists loose out - big time! - good thing i've got my lucky socks!
rsaunders
April 02, 2011 11:28 AM
Two weeks to go! Good luck to everyone! But I really want to win.Sorry.
lois
April 05, 2011 11:43 AM
Sometimes if I cant get to sleep at night I imagine designing a custom Weber with different woods, inlays and set-ups - more fun than counting sheep! I started learning to play on a Weber Sweetpea, and then progressed to my current instrument a Weber Galatin. What an amazing prize - I'd really really love to win this!
Brent Hutto
April 05, 2011 02:30 PM
Quote from billkilpatrick: this is where atheists loose out - big time! - good thing i've got my lucky socks! End Quote

You never know, Bill. Maybe He wants an atheist to win that Weber.
baiyongjie
April 06, 2011 07:49 AM
April 15th happens to be my birthday. I wonder if that jinxes me... But it'll be the 16th where I am when the winner is selected. This is a dream come true for whoever wins, especially those of us who don't have a Webber and can't afford one. Very cool opportunity, and I hope the good karma brings the people at Webber more business! My fingers are crossed for a Bighorn mandola!! Or should I go with a plain A and get it even more customised? Ah, winning might actually be stressful... haha!
Mary Weber
April 08, 2011 02:00 PM

Only one week to go!
I was going to put these on my blog, but thought it would give a little more food for thought in people's designs. This is our new model- the RawHide (red spruce top). Not up on our website quite yet, but first one sent out to Harvest Moon in Canada.
dcoventry
April 08, 2011 08:46 PM
Mary,

AHHHHH, HAAA. Whew. That is some beautiful work right there on the binding. Can we get a Jackalope on the headstock? Or maybe a wine bottle......yeah, that's an idea. Grapes for fret markers, a wine inlay and a wine bottle....yeah.....how much do we get??

HONEY!!! I have a great idea! Have you seen my credit cards?!?!
rsaunders
April 09, 2011 08:44 AM
One week to go! I've dreamed of playing the mandolin for many, many years, but never thought I would have the opportunity to win one, especially a Weber. Thank you so much for the opportunity, and good luck to everyone!
rsaunders
April 11, 2011 09:32 AM
4 more days! "Oh Lord, hear my plea.."
wildpikr
April 11, 2011 10:23 AM
Mandola, maybe Mandocello...drool...
Rickey Noel Mitchell
April 11, 2011 10:28 AM
I'm in desperate need for an octave weber as only Weber could create!
Ed Goist
April 11, 2011 12:25 PM
Only two questions remain:
* Bighorn: Lacquer or Varnish?
* Bighorn: f-hole or oval hole?
smile
Mary Weber
April 11, 2011 12:50 PM
Quote from dcoventry: Mary,

AHHHHH, HAAA. Whew. That is some beautiful work right there on the binding. Can we get a Jackalope on the headstock? Or maybe a wine bottle......yeah, that's an idea. Grapes for fret markers, a wine inlay and a wine bottle....yeah.....how much do we get??

HONEY!!! I have a great idea! Have you seen my credit cards?!?! End Quote

Yes, and instead of Herringbone, use cork purfling...
Tracey
April 11, 2011 03:22 PM
Oh Lord won't cha bye me a Weber mandolin...
My friends all play Gibson's I must make amends....
JeffD
April 11, 2011 04:20 PM
Quote from Tracey: Oh Lord won't cha bye me a Weber mandolin...
My friends all play Gibson's I must make amends.... End Quote


smile)
Lukas J
April 12, 2011 10:39 AM
Thanks to the Webers for their generous contributions to the mandolin world! I plan on my dream mandolin to upgrade from an epiphone in the next few months, and 4,500 would certainly augment my funds! My dream mandolin would be a Bitterroot with a stain and finish more like the Special Edition, with custom inlays in a "chicken" motif. Still dreaming!
Mary Weber
April 13, 2011 12:42 PM
Quote from Jazzfolkrocker: Thanks to the Webers for their generous contributions to the mandolin world! I plan on my dream mandolin to upgrade from an epiphone in the next few months, and 4,500 would certainly augment my funds! My dream mandolin would be a Bitterroot with a stain and finish more like the Special Edition, with custom inlays in a "chicken" motif. Still dreaming! End Quote

Tracey
April 13, 2011 02:25 PM
LOL that ain't right....
Mary Weber
April 13, 2011 03:01 PM
Quote from Tracey: LOL that ain't right.... End Quote
Brent Hutto
April 13, 2011 03:40 PM
A red chicken in one hand and a blond Weber in the other. Some people don't know how good they've got it!

Cool photo.
Tracey
April 13, 2011 04:11 PM
Can that fine lad pick Zack Brown's Sic em on a chicken?
Mary Weber
April 13, 2011 04:20 PM
Quote from Tracey: Can that fine lad pick Zack Brown's Sic em on a chicken? End Quote

OK- that one was taken awhile back and has always been one of my favorites. Here's one of him from 2007- there must be something about chickens. Here's his bio http://www.soundtoearth.com/player.php?temp=false&id=240&img=3
rsaunders
April 14, 2011 07:29 AM
One more day!
Ben Somerville
April 14, 2011 07:34 AM
ok i'm more nervous than i should be... Calm down Ben, don't get too excited... smile
300win
April 14, 2011 07:43 AM
I hope that the person who wins this is a younger cafe member who is already a pretty good picker who does not have the money to purchase a really great mandolin. I've always wondered how much better I would have been if I had owned a quality instrument when I first began playing music. If I was a wealthy man I would gladly purchase a high quality mandolin and give it to some kid out there that could really play but didn't have any way to buy one.
rsaunders
April 14, 2011 08:14 AM
I changed the rules. In order to win, you must be a left-handed grandfather, who doesn't own a mandolin, but dreams of playing, and can't afford a quality instrument. Just Kidding!
Ben Somerville
April 14, 2011 08:23 AM
Quote from 300win: I hope that the person who wins this is a younger cafe member who is already a pretty good picker who does not have the money to purchase a really great mandolin. I've always wondered how much better I would have been if I had owned a quality instrument when I first began playing music. If I was a wealthy man I would gladly purchase a high quality mandolin and give it to some kid out there that could really play but didn't have any way to buy one. End Quote

Me too! ;)
albeham
April 14, 2011 01:25 PM
SO..if I win..I'll need to come up with the other 4500.00 for a mandolin?

AL

Just asking.. .
Andrew B. Carlson
April 14, 2011 03:17 PM
Quote from albeham: SO..if I win..I'll need to come up with the other 4500.00 for a mandolin?

AL

Just asking.. . End Quote

Maybe the next giveaway will be $4500 towards a Michael Kelly mandolin.
Lukas J
April 15, 2011 02:07 AM
Alright, it's after midnight pacific time....
Ben Somerville
April 15, 2011 06:52 AM
Nervousness!!! =)
Gary Watkins
April 15, 2011 08:35 AM
WTG to "PAUL"!!!
rsaunders
April 15, 2011 09:44 AM
Congratulations Paul! I'll keep dreaming, but thank you Weber for the opportunity.
George R. Lane
April 15, 2011 10:07 AM
Congrats Paul,
You are going to have a wonderful experience working with Bruce on the mandolin of your dreams. I know this because I have done it 3 times. You are one lucky guy.
Paul Merlo
April 15, 2011 10:41 AM
Hi everybody. I want you to know that I'm the Paul that was the lucky winner in the Weber Giveaway and I couldn't be happier! I was completely shocked when I saw Scott T's email this morning notifying me that I was the winner, and was still in disbelief when we spoke on the phone to confirm that I am, in fact, an actual worthy human being who entered the contest. I'm so very grateful to both the Mandolincafe website and to Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments for sponsoring this giveaway, and must say that this truly is a dream come true (as I'm sure it would be for any of you). Plus, we just bought a new house and it will be a fantastic addition to the dedicated music studio that I'm setting up in the spare basement bedroom.

Now comes the fun part – designing it. In case you're wondering, I do plan to keep it forever and have absolutely no desire to ever sell or trade it. As far as the actual instrument, I had a few thoughts (inspired by so many of your ideas too) about a mandola or something really unique like an archtop guitar bodied octave mandolin, but it's going to be a mandolin. I picked it because that's the instrument that I play the most these days, and also because this is the Mandolincafe. I haven't quite decided on the final model yet tho. I'll have to pick from the best ideas from the several model spec sheets that I already filled out on the design-your-own page at Weber's website. Oh, what a chore that will be ;-)

Anyway, I hope you're happy for me, and I'll be sure to keep you updated with the progress over the next several months, because I certainly enjoy reading about other people's dream instruments while they're being made too, and because I'd like to share as much of this experience with you as you'd like.

Again, my enormous gratitude goes out to both Weber Instruments and to Mandolincafe.com for this.

Paul
pickloser
April 15, 2011 10:46 AM
I'm happy for you Paul. I'd really enjoy reading about your choices. Congratulations!
Jeff Budz
April 15, 2011 11:00 AM
Way to go Paul. What an awesome opportunity for you. Hope you design a sweet little mandolin and keep it for life. Please let us know what you decide on, and post pictures and videos once you get it.

I would have chose a blonde, F-Style octave mandolin with oval hole and a 23" scale / long neck. And no binding.

I wonder how many people entered the competition. Can't wait for the next one.
Jim Ferguson
April 15, 2011 11:48 AM
Paul........congrats to you & may you enjoy this whole "Weber building experience".........WOW!!!!! What an exciting undertaking this will be for you. Please post pics of your new mando when you finally get it in hand.
Peace,
Jim
JEStanek
April 15, 2011 12:01 PM
Congrats Paul. I hope you find the build experience rewarding now and with fond memories for years to come.

Jamie
Ben Somerville
April 15, 2011 12:16 PM
Congrats Paul! I hope your new mandolin will serve you well for many years!
Brett Byers
April 15, 2011 12:38 PM
Congratulations Paul! I can't wait to see what you come up with
Mary Weber
April 15, 2011 01:04 PM
Congratulations, Paul, from the Weber shop!!!! Bruce is raring to go on this and looks forward to talking with you. I know everyone is interested to see what you will pick and we will photo/video the process and post. Thanks to everyone who participated, too. It was very interesting reading the comments and the Designs that were sent in- seeing what players are thinking. Long live Mandolin Cafe!
Markus
April 15, 2011 01:27 PM
Congrats Paul.

Hopefully your little one will play it eventually. Enjoy!
Jill McAuley
April 15, 2011 03:23 PM
Well done Paul - congratulations! Now the fun part begins!

Cheers,
Jill
Nonprophet
April 15, 2011 04:03 PM
Congrats Paul, you lucky dog! Please do keep us posted with updates and pics and all that. You couldn't pick nicer people to work with than the folks at Weber, so have fun!!

NP
Charlieshafer
April 15, 2011 05:19 PM
did I win yet?
Ed Goist
April 15, 2011 05:36 PM
Paul; congratulations on being selected the winner!
I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say we can't wait to see what you and Weber design as your prize!
Also, thank you for your thoughtful and gracious 'victory post' above...Well said!
Please keep us posted regarding your selection and design process, and of course the build!
Scott Tichenor
April 16, 2011 09:30 AM
My thanks to the folks at Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments for their generous support of this wonderful event, and especially to Mary Weber who I got to know a little better through our phone conversations and emails. And to Paul, congratulations! We'll look forward to seeing what's created as a result.

To everyone else that participated, many thanks. If you didn't win this time, I can in fact confirm that another giveaway is in the cards in the future. Yes, someone does win every time. The odds are slim, but the price is right!
Caleb
April 16, 2011 10:21 AM
Congrats, Paul. And many props to Weber for the contest!
Eric Charles
April 16, 2011 11:00 AM
Congrats to you, Paul. Props to Weber for the excellent contest. I hope you enjoy the heck out of the design process and that the end result puts a smile on your face every time you brush plectrum to string
Charlieshafer
April 16, 2011 11:05 AM
I didn't win? Really?
Paul Merlo
April 27, 2011 08:52 PM
Hi everybody, I'd like to update you all about the mandolin that Bruce and the good people at Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments are going to build for me. I tell ya, everybody 'thinks' they know what their dream instrument is, but it takes some real focus when you could literally have anything you want. Those second guesses just kept coming and coming...

So, I'm getting a Weber Custom Vintage A (oval hole) mandolin just like I wanted. I had a great conversation with Bruce on the phone about the mandolin, and he was very helpful and enthusiastic about educating me what all the different options would do for the sound and aesthetic design. It was so much fun. I had a design concept idea already, and wanted something that was unique and reflects my style too. I certainly appreciate the classics, but my tastes in art and architecture lean toward the abstract and modern side of things.

I'm very happy about the final design, and Bruce thinks it's a real winner too. It's going to have an aged sitka spruce top and curly maple sides and back. I had told him that my best friend growing up moved nearby to Montana about a dozen years ago and that this is a great excuse to visit him, plus take a tour of the Weber shop. I could even hand pick the woods for my mandolin! Alas, we just bought a new house and it was either that plane ticket and unpaid time off work, or a new gas range for the wife. Maybe next time I guess. But, Bruce sent me pics of several choices for the back panel to choose from. Here's a couple of them. The carved ones have dust rubbed on them to make the grain more visible in the pics. (see pics below)

They were all exactly what I was looking for, and after much hemming and hawing, I finally chose the one-piece curly maple back you can see in IMG_0154. Right now, the top, sides and back are all going to be the Honey color you'd see on a Yellowstone HT, but since the color is the last thing in line, I have plenty of time to change my mind (maybe something a little darker, but unlikely). I think that Honey color will look great against black outer binding with an ivory inner highlight.

Part of my design concept includes accessories that will adhere to the color palette, as well as provide some features that will enhance the playability and function too. I like the Weber armrest design, and Bruce highly recommended one too. Plus, I think it will balance well with a pickguard. Since the armrests come unbound, the pickguard will also be unbound. Both will be ebony to match the binding. And, since I'm having a K&K Twin pickup installed, an ebony Nymph Harmonic Suppressor fits in right along with a traditional ebony bridge.

I also prefer the 'dogbone' style headstock (as seen on a Bitterroot A model) veneered in ebony with matching binding and a custom inlay of 10 stars in a triangle pattern. The fingerboard will be black bound with no extension, but a tail detail to match the dogbone profile. The hardware is all nickel finish, including the strap peg on the heel.

Well I think that about covers it. Needless to say, I'm incredibly excited about this mandolin and can't wait to get progress updates from Bruce as it takes shape. I'm sure you would be too, and I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'll be sure share more with you as it comes. Again, I want to express my gratitude and thank the Mandolin Cafe and Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments for this opportunity.

Paul
Ed Goist
April 27, 2011 09:14 PM
Paul, thanks for the post. Very well written and informative.
We all look forward to seeing your Custom Vintage A Oval come to life!
Please post pics all along the journey!
Again, congratulations.
Mary Weber
April 28, 2011 02:18 PM
Bruce mentioned something this morning, but I didn't catch that 'the decision' had been made, until I saw this post!!!! Sounds great, and I will be sure to help get pics and vids out as it goes along. Thanks to you, Paul.
Mary Weber
June 10, 2011 01:48 PM
Finally the first pictures coming through (my peghead pics are a bit shakey and blurred the MOP inlay I noticed- sorry!), plus a little video of Bruce working on the peghead- go to my Profile and my blog, or here: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/entry.php?434-The-Weber-Winner-s-%28Paul-s%29-Peghead-Video
Rodney Riley
June 10, 2011 02:08 PM
Bee You Tea Full...
Paul Merlo
June 10, 2011 08:53 PM
Thanks for the pics Mary! That video is pretty exciting too
my fingers are itchin to do some pickin...
Mary Weber
June 27, 2011 01:47 PM
Here are a couple of pictures of Paul's mando after neck fit, and before detailing...
timothy.richard.parker
June 27, 2011 05:23 PM
Love it; so far, that is exactly what I would have chosen - so I'm especially pleased for the winner. Looking forward to the next instalment to see the progress and the detail.
Paul Merlo
June 27, 2011 08:32 PM
Thanks for putting those pics up Mary. The excitement is sure building up now!
Mary Weber
August 26, 2011 01:46 PM
OK- Paul's instrument shipped out Wednesday- thought we'd wait until he received it before posting pictures...hope he LOVES it.
Paul Merlo
August 26, 2011 02:25 PM
Quote from Mary Weber: OK- Paul's instrument shipped out Wednesday- thought we'd wait until he received it before posting pictures...hope he LOVES it. End Quote

Thanks for holding out on those pics Mary! I've got until noon tomorrow before I can open it. And let me tell you, staring at this box is both an exercise in restraint as much as it is torture! ;-)

Ed Goist
August 26, 2011 02:27 PM
I'm so excited for you Paul!
Congratulations, I can't wait to see it.
-Ed
Santiago
August 26, 2011 02:38 PM
I love it already! What a box.
Mary Weber
August 26, 2011 02:43 PM
Quote from merlopj: Thanks for holding out on those pics Mary! I've got until noon tomorrow before I can open it. And let me tell you, staring at this box is both an exercise in restraint as much as it is torture! ;-)

End Quote
Yes, we decided it would be a good idea to apply several of those infamous 'Do Not Open' stickers...
Bluejunco
August 26, 2011 03:15 PM
Did I win? 
JEStanek
August 26, 2011 03:17 PM
Bluejunco, nope.
Jamie
pickloser
August 26, 2011 03:21 PM
Oh come on. It's been there a couple hours already. OPEN IT.

...you know you want to. Just do it. Who'll know.
Andrew B. Carlson
August 26, 2011 05:00 PM
I just got my new one today too. Luckily it had sat in the post office for 2 days and was already climatized.
crazymandolinist
August 26, 2011 05:33 PM
That packaging gives me tinglies all over
Dan Margolis
August 27, 2011 01:25 PM
Why wait a day?
Gerard Dick
August 28, 2011 05:16 PM
Tomorrow was yesterday. Where are the pic's??
JEStanek
August 28, 2011 05:42 PM
I suppose he's been too busy playing. That's a good thing too.

Jamie
Paul Merlo
August 28, 2011 07:06 PM
Sorry for the delay on pics folks. Obviously I've been more than busy since yesterday and have barely been able to put 2 hours of playing in yet. (Honey! set the DVR tonight, I've got other plans...) Anyway, here's a few snapshots of it that can't do it's beauty justice. This mandolin is just incredible and I love it more every note and chord I play. I'm going to post the full story and my first impressions later on when I get a few minutes, so enjoy these pics until then.

Ed Goist
August 28, 2011 07:18 PM
Congratulations, Paul!
Absolutely gorgeous! Just stunning.
Enjoy.
Lukas J
August 28, 2011 08:38 PM
Wow, that neck has some gorgeous figure. What a beautiful, one-of-a-kind mandolin! Well done.
JEStanek
August 28, 2011 08:40 PM
What a great choice and execution. Congratulations and enjoy it.

Jamie
Jill McAuley
August 28, 2011 10:12 PM
Gorgeous! Enjoy that thing!

Cheers,
Jill
John Bertotti
August 29, 2011 06:54 AM
Great top color!
pickloser
August 29, 2011 09:01 AM
What a beauty! Weber is one class act. I'd be flipping it over and looking at that back between every tune. Congratulations, and I wish you many years of happy playing, you lucky dog.
John Kinn
August 29, 2011 12:00 PM
Lucky you! Love that one piece back...what specs?
Mary Weber
August 29, 2011 12:02 PM
We are very glad you like it! Last time I saw it was in buffing and really couldn't tell what the back looked like- I think you picked the right one seeing your pictures. Our photographer got some pictures also, and I'll post them tomorrow. Keep us updated, Paul- and the Nymph is on the way.
Jim MacDaniel
August 29, 2011 04:44 PM
Very nice choices on instrument, finish, and binding - that is absolutely gorgeous.
Jim Ferguson
August 29, 2011 06:57 PM
Mouth watering for sure!!!! Congrats Paul.
Peace,
neebee
August 30, 2011 07:30 PM
Hey Paul: I live in the 'burbs of the motown 'burbs. Congrats on a great looking mandolin. I joined the Weber family this past June.
Paul Merlo
August 30, 2011 08:18 PM
Quote from John Kinn: Lucky you! Love that one piece back...what specs? End Quote

My mando is a Weber Custom Vintage A. Here are the final specs for it.
Consider the specs their standard unless noted differently below:

Sitka Spruce Top
Maple Rim and Neck
One piece Maple Back
Dogbone Headstock
Black /Ivory Bound Ebony Veneer headstock
"WEBER" Mop Script Inlay
Custom 10 star Veneer Inlay
1 1/8" Nut width
Black bound fingerboard with no cut-a-way
3mm dot fret markers
Double bound rosette
B/I bound Top and Back
Honey color
Gloss Lacquer
Nickel Hardware
Ebony Arm Rest
K&K pick-up
Traditional Bridge (I'd stick with the Traditional)
Nymph
Strap button in heel
Unbound ebony pick guard

And I want to thank everybody for all the kind words and for sharing your enthusiasm with me. They are very much appreciated and it goes to show what a great community we have here too. I'll try to get some sound clips up soon so you can hear it too.
Ed Goist
August 30, 2011 10:27 PM
Thanks for the specs Paul. Very interesting.
The fretboard must have the standard Weber 10" radius, right?
I think Weber's neck set-up (neck shape & thickness, 1 1/8" nut width, 10" radius board & 80X40 frets) makes for fantastic playability!
Enjoy it!
neebee
August 31, 2011 08:05 PM
Hey Paul: Congrats, I'm in the 'burbs of the motown 'burbs....just got a Weber of my own in June...great company, great products.
Mary Weber
September 01, 2011 02:57 PM
Here are the pictures that Dan, our photographer here in the shop, took before shipping:
Mary Weber
September 01, 2011 03:12 PM
Might as well post them all!

JEStanek
September 01, 2011 03:19 PM
Just lovely.

Jamie
JGWoods
September 01, 2011 03:30 PM
I would need a shirt made out of case fur so it never gets damaged. Probably be warm too. smile
Kate D.
September 02, 2011 04:59 PM
wow. What a beautiful instrument that is. A little jewelbox of a mandolin.
Scott Tichenor
September 02, 2011 05:06 PM
Ditto. That's a gorgeous instrument. Love the color. And that one-piece back!
Mary Weber
September 02, 2011 05:46 PM
Quote from Scott Tichenor: Ditto. That's a gorgeous instrument. Love the color. And that one-piece back! End Quote
Thanks, Scott- and thanks for sponsoring this. You guys are the best!
Ed Goist
September 02, 2011 07:34 PM
On top of the stunning appearance, I'm sure it sounds heavenly and offers exemplary playability.
In my opinion, the Weber set-up of large frets, friendly nut width and neck profile, and that wonderful 10" radius on the boards, makes for glorious playability.
Wonderful instruments in every way!
Irénée
July 14, 2014 09:15 AM
I Should like a 10 string mandolin CC-GG-DD-AA-EE with extended 29 frets onte AA & EE, A or F style (preferred A style) with Mapple back and side smile
Best Regards...
Best continuation in your beautiful and high quality production smile
Ted Eschliman
July 14, 2014 11:32 AM
Three year-old thread closed to eliminate confusion.
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