View Full Version : Any Bitterroot Owners?

Feb-23-2004, 6:03pm
How do you like your Bitterroot? I just got one, with tone bars and mahogany back. Sounds great, and it is not broken in yet, but I think its sound now is from the back tone wood, sounds very mellow, but still pretty loud.

Very nicely made with great details. I wonder if these sound like flatirons, I never played one, but they are built by some of the same people. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Michael H Geimer
Feb-23-2004, 6:26pm

I picked up a used Custom Bitterroot - maple back and sides, and assorted glossy stuff. It was only about a year old then; I think it's about two years old now, but I've never checked the serial # for a B-date, so I don't really know for sure.

Its tone has certainly changed over the last year. I would say the change fits the common descriptions of sounding 'less tight', and 'more open'.

I'm not sure I would describe mine as being 'mellow'. Round, full, even warm ... but not mellow.

This thing is loud, bold, and focused. Lately the mandolin player in my group has been using the Weber at practice, and I find myself wishing he would hold back a little. It's like those cautionary tales where your personal firearm falls into the wrong hands and gets turned against you! LOL!

- Benignus

Feb-23-2004, 6:53pm
Congrats! thats a good choice in my book!
I have the same with a burst finish. Darn good mando. Keep playing it, they open up pretty fast. The volume and tone will come out even more. I have a Flatiron (80's) and in comparison, the Flatiron has a very complex tone, It has the classic Gibsonesque sound you would expect however the volume is not what I would call "big" #I have to get real in on the mic when I play it out. The Weber on the other hand has volume and a "spank" to is. The chop has less of the Bluegrass "quack" to it than the Flatiron has but, it is easier to play on the Weber. The bigger body on the Bitterroot works out better for me when playing live. In my worthless opinion I like the Weber better. even tho the Flatiron may be worth more and be more of the Loar spec F5, The Weber has volume tone and is just easier to play for me. You can't beat the quality and price on them. They are some of the best when it comes to customer service. I also have a Gallatin Mandola and a Hyalite. My only problem now is..... trying not to buy more Weber's

Cheers and enjoy

Feb-23-2004, 6:54pm
Hey Mike!
now how did I know you would beat me to the punch...
hope all is going good man!


Michael H Geimer
Feb-23-2004, 7:01pm
" Hey Mike!
now how did I know you would beat me to the punch... "

He he he ... because I can type at like ... 280bmp! (Wish I could play that fast .. sigh)

Russ, I thought your Bitterroot was maple-backed like mine. ?

I know what you mean about them opening up quick ... I didn't expect to hear any changes at all so soon. While I love the current tone, I also really like the direction these changes are heading, and wonder where she'll end up in a decade or so.

- Benig

BTW: I'm just settling up my summer plans for a NYC trip and have told my friends that we will be going to Mandolin Bros.!

Feb-23-2004, 10:36pm
I've got two Bitterroots. Both w/ flame maple b&s. One w/ burst finish and the other w/ weathered leather?. For the $ you can't beat the quality and sound. I've spoken to the folks in MT a few times and they could'nt be nicer. Besides it's one of the few things left still made in the USA!

Feb-23-2004, 11:11pm
I wish I had a maple back one, mine is same finish but with the mahogany back. Don't know when, but someday (when I sell off more gear or hit lotto) I will order up a maple back one with a bound radius fingerboard. They get better by the minute, its crazy when you open up the case, take it out and it seems it sounds even better than when you put it away the day before. Sometimes at rehearsal, Ill be tuning up and go off into a 5 min noodle session, just digging how easy it is to play and how great it sounds. This is even happening to me when I'm playing the (newer) Hyalite. Its smaller but has almost the same volume and possibly more bright and tight trebles.
Since your going to be heading my way, and it sounds like you may have some of your players in tow, we should book a double bill at a downtown club or cafe. It could be really cool. You will dig mandolin bros for sure! so much coolness. Beware the Mandocellos......Gotta run, I'm going to go cut up my credit card right now.
cheers man!

Michael H Geimer
Feb-24-2004, 10:27am
"...and it sounds like you may have some of your players in tow, we should book a double bill at a downtown club or cafe."

Sorry, no players comming with me. I'm long overdue to visit some good friends from here that now live out your way. But ... if you're playing a gig somewhere while I'm around, I'd love come out and hear you guys. I'll be sure to drop you line when the time gets closer. (End-o-July)

So ... now you guys really have me curious to hear a mahogany backed Bitterroot against this maple one here. With so many options available from Weber, it's a wonder they offer model names at all!

- Benig

Ken Sager
Feb-24-2004, 10:55am
I have one of the earliest Bitterroot's from '98. Celtic head like the Galatin, mahog back, fair amount of fret and pick wear, sounds terrific. I put a fossil ivory bridge saddle on it which seems to have given it a bit of spank without losing any tone. I'm contemplating putting it up for sale, as yet another mando is coming my way. Who needs 4 mandolins?


Feb-24-2004, 4:22pm
I pretty sure the maple back ones have a bit more in the bite and snap department to them but I'd sure like to hear and play it for myself too.
I hope your in town before the last week of July (29th is a fest gig for us out of town) but I do have show dates almost every weekend so It should work out....I'll bring an extra mando so we can con you into sitting in for a jam.

cheers man!