Mandolin Cafe News

New Music
Publications
Workshops
Builder News
Announcements
Special Events
Bill Graham
Interviews

News Search

Get Mandolin Cafe news headlines on your site. Here's how.

Subscribe to RSS News Feed

We recommend:
Mandolin Exercises For Dummies

Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

By Two Old Hippies
November 8, 2012 - 11:30 am

Email article Email article  Printer friendly Printer friendly

Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

Bend, Ore. — Two Old Hippies, LLC, American builder and designer of Breedlove and Bedell Guitars announce the addition of Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments to the Two Old Hippies team. Bruce Weber and Bruce Weber Jr. are official Co-Hippies and will continue to design, build and promote exquisite Weber instruments.

In addition to its recent launch of the only new acoustic instrument workshop in the U.S. in over a decade, the Weber acquisition reinforces Two Old Hippies' commitment to acoustic-minded musicians. Two Old Hippies' mission is to deliver instruments that excite, inspire and cultivate all players while creating the best environment for the best craftspeople to work.

Bruce Weber began handcrafting instruments at the Flatiron Mandolin & Banjo Company, becoming the lead luthier after Flatiron joined Gibson in 1987 in Bozeman, Montana. Ten years later he established his own workshop and Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments was born. Handmade in Logan, Montana, Weber mandolins, mandolas, octave mandolins, mandocellos, arch-top guitars and resonator guitars have earned a reputation as the finest such custom acoustic instruments made.

When Bruce Weber and Two Old Hippies owner, Tom Bedell met last summer it was clear they were kindred spirits in their passion for building extraordinary instruments. They also shared a philosophy in how they respected and cared for their teams.

Bruce Weber will oversee instrument development and quality, as well as guiding the build processes, ultimately continuing as the patriarch of all Weber instruments. In addition, this move will allow Mr. Weber to return to his first love: hand-building exquisite Weber instruments from his shop in Montana. In March 2013 Weber craftspeople will be relocating from Logan, Montana to Bend, Oregon to build Weber instruments under the guidance of Mr. Weber.

"My dream of creating a team to build extraordinary acoustic instruments is coming true," comment Bedell. "I get to work side-by-side with Kim Breedlove, Bruce Weber and a whole team of experienced and dedicated craftspeople that love building extraordinary custom instruments."

Weber added, "Our ability to create amazing and unique instruments will expand incredibly with the capabilities of Tom's new facility and the resources now available to us. I'm honored to be included in Tom's dream and admire his dedication in assembling a great team in a great location to build awesome acoustic instruments."

Weber production will continue in Logan, Montana for the remainder of 2012 and transition to Bend, Oregon over the first quarter of 2013. Dealers will continue to be served by Cameron Haag, who will be relocating to Bend on December 1, 2012.

Two Old Hippies is the culmination of the vision of Molly and Tom Bedell. As well as being the parent company to Breedlove and Bedell guitars, Two Old Hippies offers a line of clothing and accessories, and operates stores in Aspen, Colorado and Nashville, Tennessee.

For additional information, contact Ryan Bouslaugh at (541) 385.8339 ext. 337.

Additional information:
Two Old Hippies
Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments

---------------------------

Post a Comment

You may leave a comment if you have a Mandolin Cafe Forum account. Clicking "Post a Comment" below will take you to the forum where you can complete this action. Please note that once you have, your comment will appear both on this page and on our forum. YOU MUST BE LOGGED IN to your Mandolin Cafe forum account to comment.

» View Full Version of These Comments

Reader Comments

Rick Banuelos
November 08, 2012 12:21 PM
My best to all you guys out there in Montana; I can't wait to see what comes next.
MikeEdgerton
November 08, 2012 12:30 PM
Two Old Hippies seem to be buying up some pretty heavy duty brand names these days. cool
Clement Barrera-Ng
November 08, 2012 12:30 PM
I didn't see this one coming, and while part of me is excited to see what comes next, another part of me am not sure about this. I wish all parties the best of success wherever this journey takes them.

Can we start using the phrase 'Pre-Bedell Weber' now?
Mary Weber
November 08, 2012 01:11 PM
We are very happy and excited!
Bruce is open to any questions today, too. He's going back to work so it might take me awhile to get back with the answers.
As Tom and Molly Bedell say, 'Peace, Love, & Bluegrass'


TOH's Dave Palletier and Bruce in a Peaceful Celebration


Mary showing how you make it official in Montana
George R. Lane
November 08, 2012 01:26 PM
As most folks know I am a huge Weber fan and this announcement saddens me. I have to thank Bruce, Mary, Bruce Jr., Brett And all those fine folks who created my mandolin (Isabella). Having the shop just 70 miles away was great as I could just drop in when I was in the area. Now sadly they will be moving far away. I hope the tradition of building quality instruments will prevail and I am sure it will. As soon as the weather conditions get better (it is snowing sideways as I write this), I will travel to the shop for what will probably be my last visit. I hope only the best for them in their future endeavors. Good Luck and again thanks for the kindness and great mandolin.
Mary Weber
November 08, 2012 02:28 PM
Hey George, the shop will remain here until the end of February, then Bruce Jr. and several other luthiers will be moving over to Bend (they have great shop, and it's a beautiful area). However Bruce and I will staying in MT. where he'll be building Webers in his own work shop with TOH and be traveling over regularly to keep an eye on things. SO- you can visit anytime!
fatt-dad
November 08, 2012 02:34 PM
Well, I just want a sticker for my station wagon! Congratulations to you all. Exciting times for sure!

f-d
mandomedic
November 08, 2012 03:01 PM
That's wonderful news. Several workers at Breedlove were trained in my shop and I know what this must mean to them. I see a great relationship here and a great opportunity for Bruce to get back to what he loves without the distraction of running a company..
rowrep
November 08, 2012 03:06 PM
I'm Glad to learn that Bruce will be continuing to do what he loves and building GREAT mandos!!
DataNick
November 08, 2012 03:19 PM
To the Weber Family, Congrats!

Will Mr. Weber take a shot at building his own "take" on a "Loar" era F5 mandolin, now that he will be hand crafting his own mandos?
DataNick
November 08, 2012 03:25 PM
What I meant by "take" was a replica type Loar, similar to what Wiens and others have done.
greg_tsam
November 08, 2012 03:26 PM
How do I break the news to my Breedlove FF and my 3 Weber's that they're now related?
Mark Robertson-Tessi
November 08, 2012 05:04 PM
Quote from greg_tsam: How do I break the news to my Breedlove FF and my 3 Weber's that they're now related? End Quote

You don't keep them all in the same case at night, do you?
GRW3
November 08, 2012 05:16 PM
Not 'per-Bedell' rather 'Logan Webers'. I have two myself.

Didn't we have a thread saying the Breedlove mandos were getting some design enhancement? Early Bruce impact?
Mary Weber
November 08, 2012 05:25 PM
He just said he has lots of ideas that have been rolling around in his head. Not too specific I'm afraid...

ooops double post- not sure how to delete...
Mary Weber
November 08, 2012 05:28 PM
Quote from DataNick: What I meant by "take" was a replica type Loar, similar to what Wiens and others have done. End Quote

He just said he has lots of ideas that have been rolling around in his head. Not too specific I'm afraid...
Cliffdweller
November 09, 2012 08:00 AM
This news just makes me very sad on a number of levels.
nickster60
November 09, 2012 08:41 AM
Bruce and his staff have run a great company. It is a sad day in my eyes, there just isn't many company's today like Weber.
nickster60
November 09, 2012 08:56 AM
What about prior Weber customers and warranty issues or customer support? Seems there website is no longer working.
George R. Lane
November 09, 2012 09:17 AM
I spoke to Cameron yesterday afternoon and he told me that after March 1st all warranty work would be done in the Bend, Oregon facility. I would suspect that will also be true of the customer service. Knowing Bruce as well as I do my feeling is the brand willnot suffer any ill effects. Bruce is passionate about the instruments he and the crew build and with Bruce Jr. going to Bend he will be keeping a close eye on quality control. As far as the website it is probably down for a revampment to show the change is their status.
nickster60
November 09, 2012 09:35 AM
I have always liked dealing with small companies,that is one of the reasons I bought a Weber. They couldn't have been nicer and of course there customer service was always great. I will have to be happy with the one I have. I am not sure I want a Breedlove/Weber/Bedell
Mary Weber
November 09, 2012 09:54 AM
Quote from George R. Lane: As far as the website it is probably down for a revampment to show the change is their status. End Quote

For some reason the power went out in Manhattan (MT) where our internet provider/server is located. Could have to do with all the snow we got last night (I am taking a shovel break now). Anyway, they are the server for our website so that was down for awhile too- obviously on-line now, tho!
George R. Lane
November 09, 2012 10:00 AM
Quote from nickster60: I have always liked dealing with small companies,that is one of the reasons I bought a Weber. They couldn't have been nicer and of course there customer service was always great. I will have to be happy with the one I have. I am not sure I want a Breedlove/Weber/Bedell End Quote

I wouldn't jump to any conclusions right now. Let's see what happens down the road. I am positive that Bruce will see to it that a quality instrument will still be produced. I can't imagine he would want his name on a sub-standard instrument.
Mary Weber
November 09, 2012 10:07 AM
Quote from nickster60: I have always liked dealing with small companies,that is one of the reasons I bought a Weber. They couldn't have been nicer and of course there customer service was always great. I will have to be happy with the one I have. I am not sure I want a Breedlove/Weber/Bedell End Quote
Awe, come on give it a chance. We do know what you mean, though. Things will need to shake out but the general plan, at this time going forward, is that Bruce will actually be taking many of the actual instrument phone calls and will most likely be doing some repair at his shop. I think he and Helen always liked the challenge but also he can see if materials or workmanhship may have been behind it, or something.
He also has the temperament for it : )
Back to shoveling.
mfeuerst
November 09, 2012 10:08 AM
This merger will likely improve BL's customer service and also add some welcome strength to their mandolin line which IMO is not at its high point re: consistency or completeness (the Premier line). It looked to be neglected compared to their guitar line, and suggested they might even be moving away from mandolins but the arrival of TOH has apparently put that speculation to rest.
George R. Lane
November 09, 2012 10:28 AM
Liker Mary said give it a chance. It seems we always find the negative when something like this happens. I for one will keep an open mind and wait to see what the future of Weber instruments holds.
Nick Triesch
November 09, 2012 10:33 AM
All of this is really nothing new. Remember when Flatiron was the new kid in town? They were so good that they started making mandolins for Gibson. Then they were acquired by Gibson. Then some of the Flatiron folks stayed in Montana and started making Weber mandolins. Look at how many times Gibson changed owners. And Fender. Holy Smokes Porsche was absorbed by Volkswagen group a few years ago. The 2013 Porsche cars are the best ever produced.
Mary Weber
November 09, 2012 10:45 AM
Quote from Nick Triesch: All of this is really nothing new. Remember when Flatiron was the new kid in town? They were so good that they started making mandolins for Gibson. Then they were acquired by Gibson. Then some of the Flatiron folks stayed in Montana and started making Weber mandolins. Look at how many times Gibson changed owners. And Fender. Holy Smokes Porsche was absorbed by Volkswagen group a few years ago. The 2013 Porsche cars are the best ever produced. End Quote
Bruce & Helen were talking about all the changes, too...it's been a great 15 years but it can be fun to shake things up and keep it fresh. However there is continuity in that Bruce and the core builders are making the change, too.
sea sea
November 09, 2012 11:51 AM
I am proud to own 2 Weber mandolins, 2005 custom Yellowstone (my trusty workhorse) and a new Black Ice (so sexy!). They are top of the line (not a Dude or Gilchrist of course but who has $20k to drop......) in tone, construction and are just downright beautiful instruments. They stand out amongst any other instruments where ever or whoever I play with. I just hope that they retain the high quality craftsmanship, construction and customer service I have come to expect from Bruce Weber. I also respected Weber's faith and courage to take a chance and start his own company, and with the hardwork and talent, ended up becoming one of the best and respected handmade instrument companies in America. A lot of times when a smaller companies gets bought out a lot of the values which made them sucessful get left behind.....I hope not with this one. In time we shall see.....
CC
Larry S Sherman
November 09, 2012 12:18 PM
My first mandolin was a Weber Gallatin, and it was a wonderfully made instrument (smelled better than any instrument I've ever owned too), and played and sounded great. All my experience with Weber has been positive, and I wish them the best in their new arrangement.

Like many others it was their customer service that I was most impressed with, and I hope the move to a bigger organization does not mean losing the personal touch and customized features that have been the hallmark of this company.

While I don't currently own a Weber mandolin, I do have a custom Weber handmade TRC on my Brentrup M21:



Larry
multidon
November 09, 2012 12:44 PM
I bought my Bitterroot A a couple of months ago and it is one fine instrument. I love it to death and am proud to have it. It is difficult to imagine nothingwill change. For example Bruce usedto personally voice all the tops. So I know Bruce actually laid his hands on mine. Now when you buy aproduction line Weber it will not have that personal connection any longer.

I am having difficulty wrapping my head around the situation. I don't know the difference between a merger and an acquisition or which this is. Two Old Hippies two years ago never heard of them. Then they buy Breedlove out of the clear blue sky and now Weber. Where does all that capital come from. Is selling hippodrome clothes and jewelery along with guitars mostly made in China that lucrative? Maybe they will buy Gibson and Collings next!
Bill Valenti
November 09, 2012 01:06 PM
I have had the pleasure of visiting the shops/meeting the luthiers who made several of my instruments (Pat Huff of "Doc's Banjos" and Clint Bear of O.C. Bear Guitars, Mark Thibeault of Rayco Resophonics). Did not get around to making a pilgrimage to Logan after purchasing my Weber Bitterroot Mandola (nicknamed "Nelson") last year, but now that the shop is moving to Bend, I can just walk on over!
kirksdad
November 09, 2012 01:25 PM
Big Weber fan, and am very much enjoying my recent Oval Bitteroot F. This being said, the Weber family appears to be heavily involved in this merger, with Bruce Jr going to Bend, Bruce himself staying involved, perhaps continuing to build under the Weber name. That, I believe is significant.

Philip
George R. Lane
November 09, 2012 01:34 PM
Quote from Bill Valenti: I have had the pleasure of visiting the shops/meeting the luthiers who made several of my instruments (Pat Huff of "Doc's Banjos" and Clint Bear of O.C. Bear Guitars, Mark Thibeault of Rayco Resophonics). Did not get around to making a pilgrimage to Logan after purchasing my Weber Bitterroot Mandola (nicknamed "Nelson") last year, but now that the shop is moving to Bend, I can just walk on over! End Quote

According to Mary, she and Bruce will continue to live in Logan and he will have a shop there. So, I would say you could still make the trip to see Bruce.
Mary Weber
November 09, 2012 01:48 PM
Quote from Larry S Sherman: (smelled better than any instrument I've ever owned too) Larry End Quote

That is so funny that I had to comment. I have watched Bruce open a lot of mando cases that have come back for repair over the years, and the first thing he does is put the instrument up to his nose and take a big sniff. He is more wary now since he almost passed out from one that was totally moldy- toxic. He really hates over-humidification.
multidon
November 09, 2012 03:08 PM
In my previous post I meant to say "hippie clothes" not "hippodrome clothes". I cant edit it. I hate my tablet sometimes because it just seems to do random stuff like that to me!
CES
November 09, 2012 04:55 PM
Quote from multidon: In my previous post I meant to say "hippie clothes" not "hippodrome clothes". I cant edit it. I hate my tablet sometimes because it just seems to do random stuff like that to me! End Quote

It's alright, man, I thought it was pretty funny with "hippodrome!"

I know Bedell developed an extremely successful business focusing on outdoor activities (fishing/lures/flies/rods especially), if I remember correctly. I think that TOH's business ranges beyond the music and clothing industries, though I haven't looked into it in a number of years...

Our business is going through some substantial changes at the moment as well, almost all of which I think are positive. That doesn't take away the apprehension many of our employees feel at the moment, though. I understand both Mary's optimism as well as the concerns voiced at the moment, and only time and the overall business plan of TOH will determine how things go. I know that I love my Weber OM, though it doesn't smell as good as my Silverangel (which has really old cedar bracing...Mmmmmm). smile
Bill Bradshaw
November 09, 2012 05:44 PM
How exciting for Bruce and Mary. I can only imagine the excitment, anticipation, worry, joy, and maybe trepidation as they embark on this new adventure together. They've done so much for mandolinst the world over. I hope the transition for all the incredible folks at Weber works out well, and bet that Bruce and Mary have done everything they can to ensure so.

Bill
eadg145
November 09, 2012 06:11 PM
So what does this do to the perceived value of a Weber downstream? Do they become sought-after like the "pre-CBS" Fender guitars, or does the name go the route of, say, Epiphone once they started importing instruments from any of a number of eastern/Indonesian countries?
While I have absolutely no intention of ever parting with my Breedlove mandolin, this is important to me. I have a rather high-end Breedlove mandolin, and since I managed to capture it I have seen Breedlove become a go-to brand for entry-level mandolins. It kinda changes the initial perception of the instrument (until you play/hear it!)

Oh, and my Weber also smells awesome! smile
Kevin Briggs
November 09, 2012 08:13 PM
Hi, everyone:

It's nice to see you all posting comments about Weber/STE on here. It's also very nice seeing comments from Mary, who is always a great representative for Weber.

Weber/STE has simply been one of the special companies in the mandolin industry. the mandolins are outstanding, but it's the approach to building and the strength of Bruce's, Mary's, and Bruce Jr.'s values that have really made a difference. To be so ethical in a market that features Gibson, Collings, and a slew of premier independent builders is remarkable.

I wish everyone involved good luck. Things change, whether we want to change with them or not. Bruce and Mary's comments about keeping things fresh is, as Bill Monroe might say, a true statement.

Sincerely,
Kevin
Gregory Tidwell
November 09, 2012 11:56 PM
[quote="MC"]Bruce Weber will oversee instrument development and quality, as well as guiding the build processes, ultimately continuing as the patriarch of all Weber instruments. In addition, this move will allow Mr. Weber to return to his first love: hand-building exquisite Weber instruments from his shop in Montana. In March 2013 Weber craftspeople will be relocating from Logan, Montana to Bend, Oregon to build Weber instruments under the guidance of Mr. Weber[/quote]

I'm confused. Sounds like Bruce Weber is going to have something to do with the new line of "Weber" mandolins, but I don't see how that is really going to happen if he is in MT working on hi-end Webers.

And they both are going to have the Weber badge on them? I guess that could work, but if I sold the rights to someone to make The Tidwell line of mandos, but also kept making them on my own, it probably would not be too long before I got pissed at them for screwing up the quality and ruining the name of the mandos I was still making.

And is this a retirement plan for Bruce Weber? Or part of a pre-retirement slow-down process? Seems like this is more work then running your own line from your home.

Like I said; confusing, and I'm not sure how it all adds up.
almeriastrings
November 10, 2012 12:06 AM
Quote from multidon: Two Old Hippies two years ago never heard of them. Then they buy Breedlove out of the clear blue sky and now Weber. Where does all that capital come from. Is selling hippodrome clothes and jewelery along with guitars mostly made in China that lucrative? End Quote

Run some Google searches for Tom Bedell and "Pure Fishing".....

There's your answer.
H.P.
November 10, 2012 09:44 AM
"Two Old Hippies" What's in a name? Hard to take this name seriously.
Tim Anderson
November 10, 2012 12:21 PM
Maybe Breedlove and Weber under T.O.H. would do a giveaway of one of their instruments next Christmas season as a kick off to their new collaboration? As long as the quality stays why not build the business? Congratulations and blessings.
CES
November 10, 2012 12:47 PM
You should, though...they've done a remarkable job of marketing and growing their respective endeavors. Nfi, btw.
sachmo63
November 10, 2012 08:25 PM
i'm sorry, i'm confused. Is this a merger or did BL buy weber or did the hippies buy weber or did weber buy everybody.........i'm confused
Bruce D. Weber
November 10, 2012 09:19 PM
Hey Folks, Been a long time! Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments was purchased by Tom and Molly Bedell (Two Old Hippies) on Thursday November 8th. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
Payit Forward
November 11, 2012 08:28 AM
OK, I have some questions:

Are you planning to keep the same line-up of models that you currently have? and will prices remain the same?

Will there still be the same level of customization available? Again - at the same prices?

Will you be involved with the production of Breedlove mandolins now? If so, will there be changes in the Breedlove line?

How do your people feel about moving to Oregon? Will they be building the standard models, while you do the custom work in MT? It sounds like you will help get the operation started in Oregon, and then will be on your own back in Montana?

I have always thought that Weber offers the best value, especially in the ability to customize even low end models without greatly increasing the price. I am hoping that remains the same.

Best of luck to you.
northfolk
November 11, 2012 09:04 AM
multidon
November 11, 2012 11:27 AM
I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.

1. Now that your company has new owners, how much control will you personally be able retain over your products and other aspects of the business?
2. My perception is that you always had great pride in being a hands on businessman. For example, on your Web site it is stated that you personally select the woods used for your instruments and you do final voicing and tuning on the backs and tops of all carved instruments. How will this level of involvement be possible with you in Montana and your shop in Oregon? Would not not lose the personal touch that day to day contact with your staff and production brings?
3. You also state on your Web site that you run your company on Christian principles. For those of us who like to support Christian businesses, will this be possible with new owners calling the shots?
4. I might be wrong about this but I make the assumption that you will be sharing the same manufacturing facility in Bend, Oregon with Breedlove. True? If so, how will it work having two former rivals in the marketplace working under the same roof? I recall that when Fender had Tacoma and Guild sharing the same facility that ultimately the parent company chose one over the other. Are Two Old Hippies committed to continuing to keep both Breedlove and Weber in the marketplace?

Please understand that I and others who might have questions are not trying to be negative. We love our Webers. Your company has always made those of us who buy your instruments feel like part of a family. Now with the change in ownership I suspect that many of us feel like we're losing that family feeling.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 12:39 PM
Quote from Payit Forward: OK, I have some questions:

Are you planning to keep the same line-up of models that you currently have? and will prices remain the same?

End Quote
For the most part the line will stay the same and continue to expand with the exception being the line of Flat instruments which I think we'll phase out. At this time there are no plans to increase prices, but we'll probably be taking a look at it next year.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 12:46 PM
Quote from Payit Forward: OK, I have some questions:

Will there still be the same level of customization available? Again - at the same prices?

End Quote I love customization! That's one of our strong points. We're willing to do anything that doesn't compromise the structural integrity of the instrument, but I do reserve the right to be the taste police on Weber instruments.

Customizations will stay the same and I hope to add some. For now prices will remain the same and be re-evaluated next year.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 12:56 PM
Quote from Payit Forward: OK, I have some questions:

Will you be involved with the production of Breedlove mandolins now? If so, will there be changes in the Breedlove line?

End Quote I've got my hands more than full with the Weber line, but I'm sure Kim and I will get to exchange a few ideas.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 01:14 PM
Quote from Payit Forward: OK, I have some questions:


How do your people feel about moving to Oregon? Will they be building the standard models, while you do the custom work in MT? It sounds like you will help get the operation started in Oregon, and then will be on your own back in Montana?

End Quote Change is hard, even if it's a change for the better. I've got incredibly dedicated luthiers, loyal to the Weber brand who are embracing this new chapter with enthusiasm. It will be hard not having Bruce Jr. around everyday, but he is the most excited of all.

I will be spending a lot of time in Bend helping in the set up, but then will return to Montana to build high end customs and do R&D for TOH, with frequent trips to Bend to help where needed.
George R. Lane
November 11, 2012 01:21 PM
Bruce,
Thanks for chiming in on these points. I hope it puts to rest the negative feelings that sem to happen anytime there is change. I for one know that you take great pride in your work, it does have your name on the headstock. I am proud to be a member of the Weber mandolin family and I appreciate all you and the crew have done for me with my builds. I know everyhing will work out for the best for you and Mary, as well as the whole crew.

ps - Just noticed this is my 1,000 post. No better thread than this to hit a milestone.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 01:45 PM
Quote from multidon: I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.

1. Now that your company has new owners, how much control will you personally be able retain over your products and other aspects of the business?
End Quote
One of the great things about this joining was that Tom Bedell recognized the uniqueness of Weber and wants to retain all of it's flavor, changing nothing that would compromise that goal except the location. Along with Weber luthiers that will be relocating, I'll be heavily involved in insuring that the instruments are built to the high standards expected from Weber and I'll be on call for players, dealers and the folks in Bend for any questions and concerns.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 02:16 PM
Quote from multidon: I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.


2. My perception is that you always had great pride in being a hands on businessman. For example, on your Web site it is stated that you personally select the woods used for your instruments and you do final voicing and tuning on the backs and tops of all carved instruments. How will this level of involvement be possible with you in Montana and your shop in Oregon? Would not not lose the personal touch that day to day contact with your staff and production brings?

End Quote You are spot on. I do take great pride in being a hands on guy. Today I'm running down to the shop between answers here to make a little dust and catch up on some bench time.

My son, Bruce Jr. and I have been working side by side for thirteen years, allowing me to impart my philosophy about voicing and building which he is a natural at. Proud Daddy talking. It will be hard not to lay hands on every instrument that carries the Weber name, but it's with great confidence I pass the torch on the day to day building over to Jr., Brett, and the others that will be responsible for Weber in Bend. I'll keep in touch with the guys on a daily basis and will make frequent trips to Bend.
JeffD
November 11, 2012 02:38 PM
Bruce I trust your judgement. From everything I have heard you are a principled guy, and I would imagine you have had many many opportunities to sell out or take an expedient way and you didn't.

I don't pretend to understand your decision, and wouldn't have guessed it, but you have proven to the world that you know what you are doing. Good luck.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 03:07 PM
Quote from multidon: I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.


3. You also state on your Web site that you run your company on Christian principles. For those of us who like to support Christian businesses, will this be possible with new owners calling the shots?

End QuoteTom and I have had some great conversations about how we believe our luthiers, players, dealers and people as a whole should be treated by our then separate companies and now one. I would never have considered joining the TOH family if I didn't believe that Tom believes strongly in the golden rule. However, where people are involved weird things happen despite our best intentions and how we deal with those situations matters too.
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 03:49 PM
Quote from multidon: I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.


4. I might be wrong about this but I make the assumption that you will be sharing the same manufacturing facility in Bend, Oregon with Breedlove. True? If so, how will it work having two former rivals in the marketplace working under the same roof? I recall that when Fender had Tacoma and Guild sharing the same facility that ultimately the parent company chose one over the other. Are Two Old Hippies committed to continuing to keep both Breedlove and Weber in the marketplace?

End QuoteI've got quite a bit of past experience with that scenario and have the scars and T-shirt to prove it. We built Flatiron and Gibson under the same roof with the same people for years. Unlike the past situation, Weber being adopted into the TOH family will be run quite differently. Like a family, Bedell, Breedlove and Weber will be living together, using the same kitchen and bathroom, but tucked into our own area with luthiers dedicating all of their time to Weber just as Breedlove will have it's own dedicated luthiers.

Weber and Breedlove instruments have unique attributes that serve players diverse tastes. Weber leaning more towards the traditional and Breedlove, contemporary. Going forward both will be offered to satisfy our MAS afflictions.
multidon
November 11, 2012 06:46 PM
I would like to thank Bruce for his excellent answers to my questions. He has done much to help me feel better about this move and I hope the same is true for those who are following this thread. I am sure I asked the same questions that were on many other minds.

I especially liked that you are kind of using this as an opportunity to pass the torch to your son. You should be commended for that.

If Weber is for "traditional" and Breedlove is for "contemporary", where does that leave me? I have one of each and I love them both!
Bruce D. Weber
November 11, 2012 07:24 PM
I think that makes you a mandolin renaissance man.

Thanks for the support and great questions!
GDAE
November 15, 2012 06:41 PM
Coming at this from a slightly different angle, I own a Bedell guitar which is a wonderful instrument and gets lots of comments from other players about how good it is. I've had very good luck with their customer service and responsiveness to emails.

Actually, I will point out that when I bought my guitar they had a $200 rebate program on it. I had my $200 in hand in less than a week from buying the guitar--and that includes mailing the rebate form to them and them mailing the check to me. I'm quite happy with Bedell and if Weber is going to be under new owners, Tom and Molly Bedell are an excellent choice.
jackmalonis
November 16, 2012 11:30 AM
Congratulations to Bruce, the immediate Weber family, and the extended Weber instruments family!
Big things happening. I'm sure you guys are excited.

To this day I think the best sounding mandolin I've ever played was a custom varnish finish Gallatin at Craig's music in Weatherford, TX.

Lots to be proud of, good luck to the whole team!
kidgloves2
November 18, 2012 08:45 PM
Will Weber remain 100% American made or will TOH have some instruments made off shore?
Bruce D. Weber
November 19, 2012 10:47 PM
Tom Bedell is dedicated in keeping the line as is, 100% American made.
kidgloves2
November 22, 2012 08:17 PM
What will differentiate a factory made Weber from one you build entirely yourself in MT? Will you make a seperate web page for your side business?
Bruce D. Weber
November 27, 2012 09:08 PM
Players and dealers can contact me directly to exchange info on the instruments they want; appointments, tone, the genre and setting they'll be playing in the most, and on, and on. Anything to attain the WOW factor I hope to achieve in every instrument I build. Being a one man shop will give me the time to do all the little tweaking and tailoring that time constraints haven't allowed lately.

I'll still be 100% TOH, building Weber and doing R&D, and we're still working out a bunch of details. The great thing about this is I can now leave those web site issues to the people that have particular skill.
Buck
December 06, 2012 08:26 PM
Bruce, all the best to you in your new endeavor. I only own one Weber, a 1999 Big Sky that I bought new from FQMS. It's been a good one! Nice to have one from "the old days".
Highstrings
January 24, 2013 11:34 AM
Bruce - I just acquired a Bitterroot and have been trying to get in touch with Weber, which now calls go to Two Old Hippies. No one can give me information about my instrument and answer some questions about it and possible work I need done. Who should I contact and how? Phone, email?
Brett Byers
January 24, 2013 11:47 AM
Bruce and Cameron are at the NAMM show, so they might not see this. Give Joann a call at the shop here in Logan at 406-284-4390. She should be able to provide all the background info on your mando, and answer questions about repair work. Welcome to the Weber family!

Quote from Highstrings: Bruce - I just acquired a Bitterroot and have been trying to get in touch with Weber, which now calls go to Two Old Hippies. No one can give me information about my instrument and answer some questions about it and possible work I need done. Who should I contact and how? Phone, email? End Quote
The Loar MandolinsJustStrings.comEastman MandolinsKentucky MandolinsElderly InstrumentsFolkMusician.com - Acoustic Instrument OutfittersCollings MandolinsAcoustic Music CompanyThe Music EmporiumMorgan MusicEllis MandolinsThe Mandolin StoreD'Addario StringsCapo's Music StoreMandolin World Headquaters
© Mandolin Cafe