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Thread: Weber Bitterroot F

  1. #1
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    Question Weber Bitterroot F

    Hi Y'all!

    I think I'm in loooovvvveeeee!!!!!

    Went to my lesson this evening, and my teacher mentioned to me that he took a mando on consignment into his shop this week and wanted to see if I was interested.

    It belonged to a woman who recently relocated to our area after being widowed, and she needed to downsize. He said that her hubby bought it for her...she used to play but apparently doesn't anymore.

    I say sure, let me see what you have.

    He brings out a Weber Bitterroot F, honey/buckskin color. Serial # is 6282809, which as near as I can tell means it was made in Sept 2006. If anyone can tell for sure please let me know - I did find a link in an older thread here to Weber for serial number decoding, but it's no longer good. The top is, I believe, spruce. The sides are definitely maple, and the back is solid mahogany. You could tell that someone played it a lot....the finish on the back of the neck near the nut has been worn away, and there is a "spot" about the size of a 50 cent piece on the top where there is obvious finish wear from playing (no pick guard). There are a few minor scratches on the top as well, which I would expect from an instrument that was "loved" a lot and not kept hidden away in the case. There were no obvious cracks, splits, or repairs.

    I got to play it, and it was like the heavens opened up and a chorus of angels began to sing!!! Ok, well, maybe not quite that BUT the sound was amazing. It played like the "butter" I hear about so many times on this board. No buzzing, easy to fret, and every note was crystal clear. I still consider myself to be a beginner player, but WOW it made me sound like I might actually know what I'm doing a little bit! 100000000 times nicer sounding than my The Loar, which is no slouch in my opinion.

    It has the paper label inside (that's where I got the serial number), and it's signed by Bruce (forgot the middle initial) Weber.

    I checked Weber's site and see that brand new versions with maple backs/sides are about $4000 MSRP. The price on this one was $2300, and my teacher was going to see if he could negotiate it down some. It has the original Weber hard shell case, and inside is the warranty paperwork (unsigned) and what appears to be an extra bridge. It was odd...it clearly was a bridge (think it was ebony), but there was no way to adjust it...the top part where the strings would lay appeared to move (pivot point in the center) but there was no other adjustment noticeable. The bridge that is currently installed is an adjustable ebony bridge.

    Do any of you know anything more about these mando's? I did some searching via the interwebs and on the Café but didn't find a lot. I think, though, based on the name on the label that this is one of the Montana Bitterroots and not one of the Oregon ones (not that it really matters to me or apparently to anyone else in the comments I was able to find).

    Thoughts/comments/suggestions? I value y'all's input!! I really wasn't looking to purchase a mando, but I'm really feeling like this blonde beauty needs to come home with me soon

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Runnin' Free Theo W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    I've never heard of a bitterroot having a mahogany back. I thought they always had maple back/sides/neck. It's just a darker stain sometimes. I could be wrong though. I'd say go for it. I just bought a Weber Buffalo and I'm in love. $2300 seems little high. Maybe try to see if you could get it for a little cheaper... Maybe $1900-2000 due to the wear and tear. A two point Bitterroot went for $1800 on Ebay a while ago. But if you love that Weber sound, you love that sound. Good luck! Let us know if you get it.
    Theo Wecker
    www.theowecker.com

    Currently waxing poetic about:
    2008 Weber Buffalo
    2016 Martin D-18

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo B View Post
    I've never heard of a bitterroot having a mahogany back. I thought they always had maple back/sides/neck. It's just a darker stain sometimes. I could be wrong though. .
    When I checked Weber's site, it looks like you could custom order a mahogany back for extra $$ on the new ones. One of the articles I found online said something about the Montana made ones having that material on the back and that the ones made in Oregon are maple. The info on the interwebs is only as good as the source.

    Thanks for the input! That's what I enjoy so much about this site - folks here are so helpful!!

  5. #4
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    I have an 03 bitterroot custom with the faded leather burst and gloss. It's a great instrument. It has the type of feel, volume and tonal response that makes me want to keep playing it. I feel inspired behind it. It was twenty-two hundy to get into so the price on the one your talking about sounds fair to me.

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  7. #5
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    A bitterroot is a good mandolin, the bridge you saw is called a brekke bridge, it looks like a one piece bridge, but it does adjust. If you like it and can afford it, I think that's a pretty good price. So fair that I wouldn't even barter, that lady sounds like she's been through a lot and could use the extra cash. I haven't noticed a big difference between the Montana and Oregon webers. They're all great and have that more modern weber tone.

    If you like it grab it! I had a Yellowstone for awhile and loved it, can't go wrong with a weber

    There are definitely some with hog backs, i believe the originals came with hog standard
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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  9. #6
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Hello TC

    I have two Webers (one is an OM) and absolutely love each of them. I believe LBV is right, that is the Brekke bridge. I have it on my OM. It adjusts easily. $2,300 sounds OK to me for a Bitterroot F. Not a steal, but OK. You've had a chance to play it and check it out. If it's the one for you, why not go for it?

    Please let us know what you decide and if you get it, let's see a picture.

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    I believe about that time the Bitteroot had cedar tops and mahogany back and sides. The bridge you describe sounds like the original brekke bridge they put on them back then. Somewhere around that time they switched to maple/spruce. Check the café here, there are numerous threads on this, as well as how to decode the serial number.

    2.3k sounds a bit high. I had bought a mahogany/cedar top built in 2006, for 2k on ebay. I had to return it due to the damage in shipping, and ended up buying a new Bitterroot instead.

    Gary
    Girouard Custom Studio A Oval
    P.W. Crump OM-III

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  13. #8
    Runnin' Free Theo W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Brekke bridges are the best. On many Webers you can adjust the bridges under full string tension with an included wrench.
    Theo Wecker
    www.theowecker.com

    Currently waxing poetic about:
    2008 Weber Buffalo
    2016 Martin D-18

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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    I want to start by saying THANK YOU for all of the feedback!!

    I was able to get the price down to $2200 out the door (including tax), and feel that I got a good deal. I am super happy with the new addition!!!! Pics to follow!

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

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    Not sure yet how to resize these, so I apologize if they're a little big...

  18. #11
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

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    Ok...I guess the size isn't too bad....

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  19. #12
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

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    It's not in perfect condition, but that's OK. At least I don't have to worry about putting that first scratch/ding on it!

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  21. #14
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

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  22. #15
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    That is one fine mando bro congrats!

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  24. #16
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    ...and now the items that came with it....

    ...the case - in great shape!! Came with 2 keys and the lock works!

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    ...a Brekke bridge. Unfortunately, it appears to be cracked. But, I'm sure it would've been original to the mando which is why it was in the case...

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    ...paperwork on the one-piece tail piece and a tool...

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    It also came with an unidentified leather strap and the paperwork for the warranty.

    Is signed by Bruce D Weber, too!

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  25. #17
    Registered User spufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Nice Older Bitterroot. I have an older Gallatin F in maple that is simply a joy. I am well bonded with it, after the last 16 months. Enjoy your Weber!
    Blow on, man.

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  27. #18
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Congrats! An older used weber is a very good value for what you Get. Yep looks like mahogany to me
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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  29. #19
    Runnin' Free Theo W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Looks like it found a good new home. Enjoy! The spruce top looks great.
    Theo Wecker
    www.theowecker.com

    Currently waxing poetic about:
    2008 Weber Buffalo
    2016 Martin D-18

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  31. #20
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    You can send Webers back to them for re-certifed and extend the lifetime warrenty.
    Weber Bitteroot Custom
    Eastman 905D 2 point
    Scott Cao 850
    Taylor NS34CE
    "You have to go out on a limb, that is where the fruit is"

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  33. #21
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo B View Post
    I've never heard of a bitterroot having a mahogany back. I thought they always had maple back/sides/neck. It's just a darker stain sometimes.
    Older Bitterroots were standard mahogany back and sides, one with maple back and sides was a custom order.

    -proud owner of a 2001 Bitterroot 'Custom Gold' (maple back and sides and gold hardware)

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  35. #22
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    my daughter has a spruce top/mahogany BitterRoot F from around 2006 era. Its a very nice, sweet sounding mandolin. Sounds and plays excellent.

    enjoy your new axe
    d

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  37. #23
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Quote Originally Posted by TC-in-NC View Post
    ...a Brekke bridge. Unfortunately, it appears to be cracked. But, I'm sure it would've been original to the mando which is why it was in the case...

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    I believe that is actually a "Breakey" bridge.

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  39. #24

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    Looks like someone really played the heck out of that mandolin. I have a Bridger and a Bitterroot custom order, both have similar beauty marks. Enjoy your new mandolin..

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  41. #25
    Registered User John Garcia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot F

    I absolutely love my Bitterroot. I've had it about 4-5 months, and it is a keeper. I like the satin finish and radius end fretboard especially
    AKA "golfunit"

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