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Thread: Weber, the best years.

  1. #26

    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Bruce made some beautiful mandolins under the Weber name. I had an early 2000's Bitterroot, spruce top and mahogany back and it was a beautiful mandolin with a lovely sound but so quiet which I was putting down to the mahogany back. I used to have to really attack it to hear myself at a session. I loved it for playing at home but I moved it on a few years back. Last year I got a 2005 Weber Bridger with cedar top and maple back and sides, and it covers all bases, rings out lovely when played gently and real loud when needed, delighted with it. Both mandolins had satin finishes which I love.

    Course I think theyre worth it alone just for the smell when you open the case! Heaven!

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by spud3 View Post
    I recently stepped up from my first mandolin (an MD315 that I really liked) to a mint 2000 Weber Bitterroot F. Spruce top, mahogany sides and back. It's wonderful...

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    Mine is a '99 with a cast tailpiece. I tried to sell it once, unsuccessfully I'm glad to say! While the mahogany-back don't show up for sale as often as maple-back, they are usually considerably lower priced.
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  5. #28
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    our family owned a 2003 spruce top/ mahogany backed F Weber Gallatin custom(tortoise binding on top and a nice peghead inlay) and it was a very easy to play, very nice sweet toned instrument. Anyone who played it loved it.

    I've only played 2 Bend Webers, but both were stellar in all areas(tone, ease of playability, build quality)-in fact, I own one of the two.

    d
    Bump! That is a gorgeous Weber, Daryl!
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  6. #29
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Iíve played a Weber Gallatin from I think 2015 or 2016 that was a very good mandolin and own a mandocello built in late 2016 thatís an absolute beast. Extremely well built, fit and finish are perfect, and itís an excellent balance of low end growl/thump and high end clarity. I absolutely love the thing, just wish I had Mike Marshall sized hands so I could really do it justice, lol.

    With Bruce being very hands on until the last couple of years (and now heís back!) I donít think thereís been a down period like the early Ď70s was for Gibson. And, based on my admittedly limited experience (and Trevor Moyle of TAMCOís opinion stated here on the Cafe), there doesnít appear to be a drop off in quality since the move to Bend.
    Chuck, Are you saying that Bruce is back building mandolins, or...? It sounds like he is back with his old company, but I doubt you meant it that way. I wondered how this impacts my interest in a Bend, Oregon made Bitterroot F5. Would you clarify? Thanks much!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
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    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

  7. #30
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Chuck, Are you saying that Bruce is back building mandolins, or...? It sounds like he is back with his old company, but I doubt you meant it that way. I wondered how this impacts my interest in a Bend, Oregon made Bitterroot F5. Would you clarify? Thanks much!
    Bruce is back with Montana Lutherie: https://www.montanalutherie.com/
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  8. #31
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Chuck, Are you saying that Bruce is back building mandolins, or...? It sounds like he is back with his old company, but I doubt you meant it that way. I wondered how this impacts my interest in a Bend, Oregon made Bitterroot F5. Would you clarify? Thanks much!
    Bruce is indeed building again at the Logan shop. I have a two point on order and hope to get it sometime this Summer.

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  10. #32
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Great George! I can't wait to hear how you like it. Montana Lutherie. Oh, thanks Pat!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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  12. #33
    Registered User taptuned's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    My Weber Absaroka signed by Bruce still fits my needs.
    My Flatiron F5 Artist signed by Bruce that I sold back in the day still haunts me.

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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Chuck, Are you saying that Bruce is back building mandolins, or...? It sounds like he is back with his old company, but I doubt you meant it that way. I wondered how this impacts my interest in a Bend, Oregon made Bitterroot F5. Would you clarify? Thanks much!
    They beat me to it...back in Montana and building again. I just meant that, because he was constantly very involved in Flatiron (pre-Gibson) and Weber until he parted ways with TOH, there’s never been a sustained period of time where quality was sub-par. I actually anticipated that TOH would eventually “corporate away” the quality, but they seem to have acquired Weber to be their mandolin flagship rather than to eliminate competition, which pleases me. I absolutely love my ‘cello. I wish they hadn’t eliminated some of the no frills/lower cost instruments that Weber used to offer, but I guess that’s what they have Breedlove for. I’m to a point where I’m slowly replacing budget instruments with fewer but better (and more expensive) mandolins, but it wasn’t long ago for me when $1500 was a fortune, and I appreciated having quality USA made offerings at that price point.

    Anyway, I don’t think any of this should impact your interest in a Bend made Bitterroot at all unless you want a mandolin signed by Bruce. Check out Bruce’s site, and if you’re willing to wait for a new build by the man himself, by all means, do so! If the pull of MAS is too strong, however, I believe you can buy the Bitterrot with confidence in its quality.
    Last edited by CES; Apr-29-2018 at 11:37am.
    Chuck

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  16. #35
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Looks like Fretted Frog has taken down the 25% off offering. I wonder if that one is BW signed. It seems to me it was on there site back when I bought my Renegade & it is signed by Bruce. Did anyone check it out?

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  18. #36
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Chuck, Thank you for your recommendation and for good reason: you have had a very positive experience with your 'cello. I am glad to hear your thoughts. And, THart, I didn't get up there to Pasadena, but I thought I was looking at a new instrument? Maybe I missed the used Bitterroot you were speaking of. Thanks for noticing it!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
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    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

  19. #37
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    I have a Bighorn ("F") from 2007 signed by Bruce. Wonderful instrument, can't say enough about it.
    John
    Long Island, New York

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  21. #38
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Chuck, Thank you for your recommendation and for good reason: you have had a very positive experience with your 'cello. I am glad to hear your thoughts. And, THart, I didn't get up there to Pasadena, but I thought I was looking at a new instrument? Maybe I missed the used Bitterroot you were speaking of. Thanks for noticing it!
    The one at the Fretted Frog is listed as new, just old stock. Good luck with your search!

    *I think I thought I was posting in the other thread where you were looking for a mandolin

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  23. #39
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Thanks friend! John, is that avatar your bighorn? Love that, man.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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  25. #40

    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    new question. how does Bruce sign his name now that he sold the rights to his last name Weber.

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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Thanks friend! John, is that avatar your bighorn? Love that, man.
    No, that's my Phoenix Neoclassical in my avatar.

    The Bighorn is incredibly beautiful as well. Hard to choose which one should be the avatar!!

    This is the back of the Bighorn -

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    John
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    new question. how does Bruce sign his name now that he sold the rights to his last name Weber.
    He only sold the rights to the name on the peghead, not his own name.

  29. #43

    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    what's the point in buying a new Weber mandolin, when its not what I would call a real Weber. that would be like Deering or Sullivan banjo selling there last name. just think Bill Sullivan would be turning over in his grave if his sons sold the rights to use his last name on a banjo. an please do not get nasty this is just the way I feel.

  30. #44

    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    The point would be if the new Weber sounded and played better than anything else in the store.

    I've played a few new Webers, and they sounded vey good. People that have bought them seem to like them.

    Building a company and selling it to enable you to do what you want on your own terms sent a bad thing. That the brand is your name is something for you alone to decide. I agree it is a trade off.
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  31. #45
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Would I be correct in saying that Bruce should be very proud of building a fine team that is able carry on building a mandolin that he is proud of (with “Weber” on the headstock)? If so, I hope that TOH makes money with the Weber name and lets that team continue the Weber tradition.

    And, as an owner of a pre-TOH Weber, I am eager to see and hear the latest fruits of Bruce’s mandolin efforts.
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  33. #46

    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Hi all. Came across this thread recently. Thought I would share my experience with Weber. I am fortunate to own a Gallatin F octave mandolin (08/2013)and a Gallatin F mandocello (06/2106)which I believe was the last one made before the change in their catalogue. Both are signed by Bruce Weber. Both are outstanding instruments. I tend to gravitate to the mandocello nowadays, just a dream to play.I have attempted to attach a picture of the two with an Eastman MD315.Not sure if it worked.
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  34. #47

    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Old thread, I know. But I have been hearing that the Weber shop has undergone improvements in the last year or so. Can anyone confirm this, or relate experience with recent builds? Thanks.

  35. #48
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Hi, Everyone:

    Great thread!

    I have owned two Webers, both of which were fantastic, a 2006 Maple/Gold Bitteroot and 2008 custom Fern. That Bitteroot was a true beast, although it took a heavy hand to pull the tone out of it. I was also a fairly new player back then and feel my technique has come a long way since pounding on that Bitteroot. The Fern was special, and I regret ever selling it. I still haven't heard such an exquisite tone as that Fern. My reason for selling was financial, but the neck was never the right fit for my hand which ended up being my justification for selling it. Still, I wish I had it just to strum an open G a few times. It was a great mandolin.

    From my recollection, the Sound to Earth shop started with a very unique approach to building and adapted to the market when as the years went on. It evolved without compromising their artistry, and it coincided with the now mythical three-year supply of 100-year old spruce acquired back around 2006 or 2007. Once that ball started rolling, STE was consistently churning out some really high-end stuff, kind of like the Collings shop, but smaller, more custom, and definitely more artisan due to the seemingly innumerable varieties of options Bruce and co. were fearlessly willing to pursue. It was always a great business and that boils to down to Bruce and Mary being the guiding lights. I was proud to own those Webers and to be affiliated with that family.

    I would like nothing more than to have Bruce build me one of his new A style mandolins, and was in touch with him about one. Unfortunately for me, it was a major stretch to get my MT2, even with a trade eating some of the cost, and Bruce's new mandolins are rightfully so in a bit of a higher price bracket. He is very kind and I feel he would have worked with me to see how we could make it happen, but I bailed on the idea because of my own financial situation. If I had just a little bit more wiggle room, an independently constructed Bruce Weber mandolin would be my number one choice for my next instrument.

    Disclaimer... It would look nice next to my MT2, with which I shall never part. ;-)
    Last edited by Kevin Briggs; Oct-28-2019 at 12:44pm. Reason: typo

  36. #49
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Didn't know they had a bad year. We've got an 03 and a 12 and they both hoss's.

  37. #50
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    Default Re: Weber, the best years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    Didn't know they had a bad year. We've got an 03 and a 12 and they both hoss's.
    I also don't think they had bad years in that they made bad mandolins for a year or period of time. It was clearly a successful company making great mandolins as intended. It really boils down to there being some Gibson guff when Gibson moved shop to Nashville and the Webers stayed home in Montana to create their own brand, with some of the same staff. I gleaned that a lot of the Weber-bashing back then was by some Gibson loyalists who had an emotional and possibly financial interest in Weber not being too successful.

    The truth is, Weber was a much different brand than Gibson at a time when - early on - Gibson was the dominant high-end American made, production mandolin. Weber and almost concurrently Collings made a huge splash in the mandolin market in the late 90s, early 2000s, which ate into an already niche mandolin market in which Gibson co-existed very well with independent builders. Weber came in offering Mahogany F styles and truly the most diverse line of high-end instruments on the market, and I feel like Gibson was like, "What the...!" So, it manifested on the Cafť as Gibson fans and employees poo-pooing Webers because they weren't all designed to be banjo-killing bluegrass machines.

    What I like about the story is Weber survived that period and evolved into a very exquisite line of mandolins, with the top end models really busting through and making significant headway in terms of tonal possibilities. I speak from personal experience with my Fern, which remains the loudest, throatiest, most tastefully complex mandolin I've ever played. Did I mention I wish I still had it, lol?

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