Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

  1. #1

    Question Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    Can anyone offer any thoughts/opinions/reviews regarding the Weber Bitterroot "F", specifically with a Cedar top? As I recall, Weber's fit and finish is generally pretty good. How is the tone? What effect does the Cedar top have, as opposed to Adirondack or Englemann? Very few You Tube demo videos of the Bitterroot w/Cedar.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    No. California
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    I haven't played any Bitterroots since Bruce sold the business, and I only played spruce-topped ones back then. So, I'll offer this to tide you over until others reply with more current info.

    I always thought that the Bitterroots had a woodier tone than the Gallatins or Yellowstones did. So, I would guess that a cedar top would take that a step further.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  3. #3
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    2,123

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    I once owned a 2006 Weber Yellowstone F5 with a Western red cedar top, which I purchased used on the Mandolin Cafe. The Weber Yellowstone model was a step up from their Bitterroot. Cedar wood has a unique, warm tone all its own, and its response is claimed by some to be "livelier" than spruce. Webers with cedar tops have received some rave reviews here on the MC. To my ear, cedar sounds a bit less harsh than spruce-topped instruments, and produces a sweeter tone, with somewhat cleaner trebles up the neck. Plus, it smells so nice!

    Having said all that, in the end, this was not the mandolin for me. I eventually discovered that I preferred the punchier, sharper tone that you tend to get from spruce tops. I also had a 2009 Weber Bitterroot F5 (with a spruce top, but mahogany back and sides) that I liked much better. They played almost identically, but sounded rather different. In the end, I sold the Yellowstone to someone who loved cedar tops. He was happy and I was happy.

  4. #4
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    2,427
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    Hey there....

    I used to own a 2003 maple/gold Bitteroot that was a real beast. It was one of the loudest mandolins I ever played, although I could never figure out the action so that it played with ease. It also could have been my technique.

    Once, when I was getting a repair done by Sound to Earth/Weber, they sent me a cedar topped Yellowstone A model to play as a lone (great customer service). It didn't have to big boom of the Bitteroot, but it was extremely responsive and did not lack core volume. I wish I never got rid of that Yellowstone A. Back then, cedar was all the hype at Sound to Earth. I think the way they used cedar is what revitalized the brand after some early challenges regarding some of their innovations (all-wood Brekke bridge, i.e.).

    With that said, I haven't been as inspired by Webers I've played after the Sound to Earth/Two Old Hippies sale. I feel Sound to Earth had it really dialed those last few years, to the point that Webers were surging to the top of the small factory mandolin market. Two Old Hippies have reeled the Webers in and attempted to normalize. The result is still a good brand, but a little less innovative - tonally - than the previous incarnation of the business.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    Can’t speak for cedar-topped mandolins, as I’ve knowingly played one. However, cedar-topped guitars tend to have a darker, warmer sound than one spruce-topped ones.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Greer, SC
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    I've owned 2 cedar top mandolins. One Weber Coyote model which was a dandy mandolin and a Girouard A which was ok but lacked the response I was looking for. The sound is good but drier and not as sweet as really good spruce IMHO. Let me say that in every way the Girouard A was a superbly made mandolin. The problem if any with it is my lack of really loving that cedar sound. Fir and finish the A was an amazing thing of beauty. I would love to try more Girouard mandolins, but is kind of hard to do in this most unusual of years.
    Last edited by Bob Buckingham; Jun-24-2020 at 2:02pm.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,244

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    I've owned 2 cedar top mandolins. One Weber Coyote model which was a dandy mandolin and a Girouard A which was ok but lacked the response I was looking for. The sound is good but drier and not as sweet as really good spruce IMHO. Let me say that in every way the Girouard A was a superbly made mandolin. The problem if any with it is my lack of really loving tcrisby clearhat cedar sound. Fir and finish the A was an amazing thing of beauty. I would love to try more Girouard mandolins, but is kind of hard to do in this most unusual of years.
    I have two Girouard mandolins and one of which is a F4 with a Port Orford Cedar top . To my ears the oval sound is Crystal clear with a lot of sustain. Love the sound that PO produces and workmanship is second to none !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  8. #8
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    when I got my custom weber Big Horn two point back in 2004 someone at the shop also had a two point Big Horn that was cedar topped. Both had the all wood Brekke bridge. The cedar top just sounded better at the time, to me it was like it was already broken in, but I liked the spruce better anyway because of the sound profile. This is just my opinion but with the Cedar there was a sweeter sound, not as much cut or brightness. I remember thinking I was glad I didn’t go with cedar since I mainly play bluegrass. But I wanted that sweetness also and just hoped the spruce would “break in” at some point. It eventually did...

    I thought my spruce topped bighorn was a bit “tight“. I struggled through some trials with bridge modifications (I tried bone inserts) but ended up sending it to weber to get one of the new brekke traditional bridges installed. Thank god I did, because I was almost ready to sell it and move on. When I got it back with the new bridge it sounded so much better. With the age and playing time it has now it finally come into its own. I do feel weber was overbuilding their mandolins a little; they were building heirloom instruments that are intended to age. I don’t know about the new company.

    I wish I could play both my bighorn and the cedar topped one with the new bridges today to compare them. My spruce top has aged so beautifully and picked up a sweetness,
    I wonder how the cedar has aged.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  9. #9
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    3,036

    Default Re: Weber Bitterroot Cedar Top

    I have 2 western red cedar mandolins - a Morris hybrid F4 with a single transverse brace and a Cricketfiddle (Tom TJ Jessen) F5. Both are plenty loud, warm and sweet and have lots of sustain.

    I also have a Cricketfiddle F4 octave mandolin and custom 10 string Hardanger viola that also have WRC soundboards. Wonderful sound. It is my favorite tonewood.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •