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Thread: Weber Bridger Octave vs Weber Bitteroot Oval Octave?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Lancaster, PA.

    Default Weber Bridger Octave vs Weber Bitteroot Oval Octave?

    Anybody ever have a chance to A/B these two instruments?

    I've wanted a Bridger Octave for years but they are very hard to find. Sometimes Bitteroot Oval Octaves become available.

    Any insights or opinions as to differences in sound quality, incl. volume, etc.?


  2. #2
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pacific Northwest, USA

    Default Re: Weber Bridger Octave vs Weber Bitteroot Oval Octave?

    I don't know if this will help, because I haven't played either of those instruments and I hope someone who has, will chime in. However, I do have a Weber Yellowstone F octave (an early one I think, with Bruce's signature), and it's a great instrument. Punchy and dark tone, great fit and finish. I was fortunate to find it secondhand at a good price.

    I guess what I'm saying here is that if you've researched Weber OMs enough to narrow down these choices, you'd probably be happy with whatever Weber OM you find. The differences in fit/finish and timbre between the different versions is probably less than between Webers and other OM builders. Many of whom also make great instruments, they're just different. All the Weber OMs are quality instruments, and you can't go wrong if you find a used one at a good price.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Conneaut Lake, PA

    Default Re: Weber Bridger Octave vs Weber Bitteroot Oval Octave?

    I also have not played either instrument, but I do know a bit about the Weber instrument lines. The Bridger is no longer a current model, and hasn’t been made for some time now. Both models are carved top, but the Bridger used their “Celtic” body shape, more of a teardrop, while the Bitterroot is more of a regular A body shape. Therefore, my feeling is that the Bitterroot is probably capable of more volume, it just has a bigger box. Weber used to make a mandolin called the “Hyalite” that also had that Celtic body, and I have played those. I always thought they sounded more quiet or muted compared with a Gallatin or Bitterroot.

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  4. #4
    Registered User spufman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Central CT

    Default Re: Weber Bridger Octave vs Weber Bitteroot Oval Octave?

    I absolutely love the tone of the Bridger in the Sierra and Uldry youtube videos. I’d love to try one some day. I recently bought a Sage #1 and it’s a wonderful instrument, really a joy to play. Not the loudest mandolin in town, but it sounds very nice. I see on Reverb there is currently a Sage #1 and a Hyalite oval octave listed for sale.
    Blow on, man.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Weber Bridger Octave vs Weber Bitteroot Oval Octave?

    Like others, I have never A/Bed those two. But I owned a Weber Sage 1 Octave and still own a Bridger Mandola. The Sage -- a well built, although simple flat top -- was a nice instrument, wish I had kept it. The Bridger mandola is a wonderful sounding and playing mandola, and it's a looker too. I suspect I will keep it forever. It's a pleasure to play.

    Point is, I suspect a Bridger Octave and Bitterroot are very similar depending on woods and scale length. I have seen one Bridger Octave for sale in the past year or so, wish I had jumped on it. I've seen several Bitterroots for sale. If buying used, you'd have a chance to try a Bitterroot without a lot of risk, being able to sell it for about what you paid. So many of the newer Weber Octaves are 20" scale, which is a bit short for me. 20" seems to be popular though.

    I personally prefer the look of Bridgers, but that is not the main consideration. My guess is that you could be waiting a long time to find a Bridger Octave.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either. Good luck.

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