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Thread: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

  1. #26
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    The Japanese use a combination of alphabets (Katakana, Hiragana), which are phonetic, and characters (Kanji), which were originally imported from China, which are pictograms, and not phonetic. Many names and "old words" in Japanese are written entirely in Kanji. In such cases, it's hard to tell Japanese from Chinese. In fact, the characters used to write the word "Japan" (indicating a rising sun, or source of the sun) are identically written in Chinese and Japanese -- as are many other words. So it's hard-to-impossible to tell, in some cases, if a 3-character name is in Chinese or Japanese.

    At least we can all rest assured now (as I'd pointed out) that the presence of Chinese or Japanese characters on the bottom of a mandolin bridge does not imply that the work was done overseas! Not that it should matter very much, anyway. It's all about the quality of the workmanship, to my way of thinking.
    Last edited by sblock; Oct-01-2015 at 12:30pm.

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  3. #27
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Folks who have been following this thread might be intrigued by the picture of another Weber bridge, seen from the underside. This one is a Brekke-type bridge, and it shows the serial number (2727) and model name (Bitterroot) of the mandolin, from 2006. Just like the OP's picture, the marking was done in a light (silver) ink, to be seen better against the dark wood. It's apparently signed with the initials by "RB" (but maybe that just means "Regular Bridge"?), and if you look in the middle, you'll see a picture of a treble clef (click on the picture to magnify it)! I wonder which Weber technician used that as his or her icon?

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  4. #28

    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    I'm thinking the treble clef indicated the treble side of the bridge? My Weber Hyalite bridge didn't have any cool stuff written on the bottom. All it had was an arrow pointing toward the treble side. I wonder what's under my Bridger bridge ....

  5. #29
    Registered User Brett Byers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    That would be Rick Banuelos, former Weber set up tech and sales manager. The treble clef indicates the treble side of the bridge.

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  7. #30

    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Riley View Post
    When I contacted Weber to have the broken neck on my Gallatin replaced. My first contact person's name was Ngan Le (pronounced "None Lee") He moved to another department before it was completed and returned to me. Maybe he was fitting bridges at one point of his career.
    @Brett Byers, Hi Brett. Thank for taking time to clarify some of these myths about Weber mandolins. These quirky artist signatures add a degree of uniqueness, and gives us a little more understanding of the art/beauty/craft that goes into each instrument coming out. Can you tell us if None Lee is still working with Weber? I spoke to him about a finish that you did on an older Fern that I purchased through TMS. He mentioned that you were the "man" when it came to doing finish work, and spoke very highly of your craft. My mandolin was purchased in 2007, with a custom Desert Dawn Finish from Dennis @ TMS. Just wanted to get clarification on if he's still around. I've seen his name on other forum topics, and I'm not sure what he does with the TOH company.

    I will say that he was very pleasant to talk to, and spoke highly of your time there. He was very informative, and just a "cool" guy that new his music, and practiced humility when "build/craft" was brought up as he was adamant that we was not a luthier. Could've fooled me! Nonetheless, thanks for your time Brett, just seeing if he was actually the Chinese migrant worker Rodney seems to think he is. Thanks again for doing great work, and for filling in the missing dots.....

    Cheers,
    Nathan..AKA SIGMA

  8. #31

    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Bump

  9. #32
    Registered User spufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Might be better sending him a pm
    Blow on, man.

  10. #33

    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Good Call Spuf! I'm new at this, lol. Hopefully, Bret will chime in

  11. #34
    Registered User Brett Byers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    I don't know if Ngan is still with TOH. He was still there when I left for good in July of 2014. He was working customer service and warranty claims during my time with TOH, not out on the floor in production. Ngan is a wonderful guy, a great musician, and very knowledgeable about instruments, but was not fitting bridges for Weber or doing other building processes. Ngan is an American from Oklahoma, not China.
    As with all my TOH and Weber friends in Bend, I wish them nothing but the best.
    Thank you for the kind words Nathan. Desert Dawn was one of my favorite colors, and I named it after the String Cheese Incident song of the same name. (I'm a big jam band fan, hence the color names Desert Dawn (SCI) and Scarlet Fire (Grateful Dead)).
    Last edited by Brett Byers; Nov-18-2015 at 3:26pm.

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  13. #35

    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Thank you kindly Brett. He was too well spoken to be a "migrant" worker from China. I called the consumer service rep Paul, and he mentioned that Ngan is still with the company, and is actually his boss and also runs the shipping/logistics department.
    I have his extension/email still, so I may give him a buzz about some music we are playing in the Bay Area.

    Thanks again for the clarity Brett, as always, greatly appreciated!

  14. #36

    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    BTW, Paul said he's a hoot to work with! And as Brett stated, is from Oklahoma, but also claims Montana as his home.
    I guess that explains the Weber connection. Dots filled in....

  15. #37
    Registered User Brett Byers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by sigmahigh View Post
    BTW, Paul said he's a hoot to work with! And as Brett stated, is from Oklahoma, but also claims Montana as his home.
    I guess that explains the Weber connection. Dots filled in....
    Ngan and I were both residents of Bozeman back in the early 2000s, but Ngan did not work for Weber in Montana. He came on board with TOH after we moved the company to Bend. I believe he had been living in Bend for several years before we moved out there from Logan. There is a large contingent of Bozeman area folks who have transplanted to the Bend area over the last fifteen years or so, completely unrelated to anything other than outdoor adventure and climate.

  16. #38

    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Thanks again Brett! From our talks, he sounds like a musician w/ a love for the outdoors! I've never been to Bend or Bozeman, but I'm sure they're beautiful places. Regardless, I really appreciate your insight. So grateful to have an insider on the boards
    Brett, what kind of music are you into? Do you play much?

  17. #39
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Just so everybody understands, when you log onto the Cafe we get your IP address and that identifies your location. Keep that in mind when posting. Thanks.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  18. #40
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Re: "Not that I want to resort to unfounded conjecture, but is it possible that since being bought by Two Old Hippies, which also has Eastman, that there has been some outsourcing of parts production? And even if it were as simple as the bridge coming from China, why would it have its original markings if it had been fitted to the instrument in the US?"

    What does that mention of Eastman mean? Eastman has been a Chinese company making and a US company marketing. What do TOH have to do with that? Something change?
    Stephen Perry
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  19. #41
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Nothing has changed, Two Old Hippies doesn't own Eastman. The person that said that was simply wrong.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  20. #42
    Registered User Brett Byers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by sigmahigh View Post
    Thanks again Brett! From our talks, he sounds like a musician w/ a love for the outdoors! I've never been to Bend or Bozeman, but I'm sure they're beautiful places. Regardless, I really appreciate your insight. So grateful to have an insider on the boards
    Brett, what kind of music are you into? Do you play much?
    I used to play in a rock n roll jam band in Bozeman for a few years. After leaving TOH and returning to Montana I am now a full time nursing student, so playing music has pretty much evaporated from my life these days, although I constantly listen to music. My favorite is The Grateful Dead from '73-'77, but lots of Phish, jazz, bluegrass, funk, and soul thrown in for good measure. I do miss playing an awful lot and hope to get back into it once I finish my degree.

  21. #43
    Site founder Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    User sigmahigh membership privileges have been removed from this forum for posting under false pretenses.

  22. #44
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Markings on bottom feet of bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Nothing has changed, Two Old Hippies doesn't own Eastman. The person that said that was simply wrong.
    Sorry, I was thinking of Breedlove when I said that, not Eastman. It's a moot point now anyway. My question was answered satisfactorily.

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