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Thread: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

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    Default Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing


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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Well, poop emoji, though I get it.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Wow
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Looks like a great opportunity for private sellers of Weber mandos. Guessing pre-owned prices will be elevated through the coming months.

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    I'm surprised. But maybe I shouldn't be.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Quote Originally Posted by A-board View Post
    Looks like a great opportunity for private sellers of Weber mandos. Guessing pre-owned prices will be elevated through the coming months.
    I would be real surprised if that happened on a larger scale. They are well made mandolins so I expect them to act like the rest of the used market. The question is what happens to the brand in the future?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Just speculating but I wouldn't be surprised if Weber returns as an upgrade to their Crossover mandolin. Designed in Bend and produced offshore. There may be a market for a 1k type of carved top. They would compete with Eastmann. They already have the facilities that produce the Crossover.

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    Love my Weber and hope they can bring production back at the end of a short year.

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    Right from the very beginning, when it was announced that Two Old Hippies was “merging” with Weber, I said that this was the beginning of the end for Weber mandolins. They actually called it a “merger” at the time, but it was nothing of the sort. It was a takeover. Just like what happened to Breedlove mandolins. Tom Bedell does not like USA made mandolins because they are too labor intensive. He said as much in his comments above. Four guitars for every one mandolin! How inefficient is that? He’d rather off-shore the mandolins if he’s going to offer them at all. I’ll bet the same thing happens to the Weber brand. After the takeover, the first nail in the coffin was the elimination of many models. The second nail was the elimination of customized options in the lower priced models. One of the cool things about the old Weber was that you could order a lower priced model like a Bitterroot, pay extra for options, and end up with an instrument that had many of the features of the higher priced models at a savings. No more. Now this is the third nail in the coffin. Does anyone really believe that this move is “temporary”? I’ll bet those Weber guys are just so happy that they learned the fine art of carving and graduating so that they can work on a flat-top guitar assembly line.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Who knows, maybe Weber will become a Bruce Weber instrument again.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Right from the very beginning, when it was announced that Two Old Hippies was “merging” with Weber, I said that this was the beginning of the end for Weber mandolins. They actually called it a “merger” at the time, but it was nothing of the sort. It was a takeover. Just like what happened to Breedlove mandolins. Tom Bedell does not like USA made mandolins because they are too labor intensive. He said as much in his comments above. Four guitars for every one mandolin! How inefficient is that? He’d rather off-shore the mandolins if he’s going to offer them at all. I’ll bet the same thing happens to the Weber brand. After the takeover, the first nail in the coffin was the elimination of many models. The second nail was the elimination of customized options in the lower priced models. One of the cool things about the old Weber was that you could order a lower priced model like a Bitterroot, pay extra for options, and end up with an instrument that had many of the features of the higher priced models at a savings. No more. Now this is the third nail in the coffin. Does anyone really believe that this move is “temporary”? I’ll bet those Weber guys are just so happy that they learned the fine art of carving and graduating so that they can work on a flat-top guitar assembly line.
    While I don't have a horse in this race and really do not care...........I do find it interesting that while they claim to want to cash in on guitar sales they are totally blowing off mandolin sales completely. Then "temporarily" moving the higher paid mando builders to building guitars while they could have hired entry level folks to take care of more of the base chores at the guitar shop. Temporarily for at least a year while the mando shop sits empty and not paying its overhead.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Barnett View Post
    Who knows, maybe Weber will become a Bruce Weber instrument again.
    Bruce is already building again, under his new Label, Montana Lutherie, https://www.montanalutherie.com
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Well, Bruce makes a dandy bridge. I've bought several now, each one fitted and installed by Skip K. on my mandolins.

    I wish all the best in these trying times.

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    Interesting question: What happens to the limited lifetime guarantee? Maybe we just ran into the “limit”?

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Barnett View Post
    Interesting question: What happens to the limited lifetime guarantee? Maybe we just ran into the “limit”?
    Depends on the definition of lifetime, and who's lifetime, state laws, etc.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Barnett View Post
    Interesting question: What happens to the limited lifetime guarantee? Maybe we just ran into the “limit”?
    Depends on when you bought it.

    The warranty:

    https://webermandolins.com/support/warranty

    The last big discussion of the subject:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Weber-warranty

    Bruce Weber weighed in here:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...=1#post1686446

    Tom Bedell's previous statement was here:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...=1#post1685601
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; May-22-2021 at 10:11pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Hmmm. It looks like Collings is now the only US manufacturer building mandolins in large numbers, since Gibson no longer builds more than a few.

    I wonder if Bill Collings ever guessed his company would be at the top of the heap when he first introduced mandolins back in 1999. I remember when they first came out. A student of mine was looking for a good instrument and Gruhn's had just gotten their first batch of Collings mandolins. They were good. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago.
    Last edited by rcc56; May-23-2021 at 3:18am.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    No surprise here.
    Last edited by Frankdolin; May-23-2021 at 7:38am.

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    There was never a takeover of Breedlove or Weber by Two Old Hippies. This is a false narrative. Hostile takeovers are designed to use big money on top of big money to make a lot of money through force. We're talking building guitars and mandolins here, and in case this is news, hardly an industry you get into to wildly prosper. Breedlove and Weber were independently sold by agreement. Bruce addresses his sale of the company on his web site.

    There has never been a plan to move Weber's manufacturing overseas, another false narrative now dating back almost 10 years.

    The entire manufacturing industry is struggling and has been severely impacted by the panemic. This was never a financially viable industry to make a lot of money. But it has always done well enough and people that do this for a living do it because they love stringed musical instruments.

    During the pandemic it's known a number of guitar, mandolin, banjo companies downsized and let employees go, permanently. Two Old Hippies was not one of them. The business changes they've made over the years saw to that. Say what you want to about Tom Bedell, but he knows how to manage a business, and the continued employment of his people is a priority. The changes going on at TOH are happening right now in one shape or another to almost all companies with more than a few employees, only they aren't being announced. Collings will produce a fraction of mandolins in the next few years compared to the past.

    Guitars keep the lights on: at Weber, Collings, Gibson, Eastman and many, many others. And yes, a mandolin is quite more difficult to build than most guitars and the latter a better profit margin. Should go without saying I love mandolins as much as anyone, but at the end of the day, people need to eat, and they need employment. What Weber is doing here is little more than ensuring their continued success.
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; May-23-2021 at 3:06pm. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    well said, Scott.
    Russ Jordan

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Until recently, our largest US manufacturers were producing 100,000 instruments a year; mostly guitars. I always thought that production at that rate was unsustainable, especially with the rise in quality of imported instruments. Indeed, several manufacturers had already scaled back production a couple of years ago. The supply problems and work environment problems caused by the epidemic have merely served to hasten the inevitable.

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    While I hardly consider myself a capitalist ideologue, I think in this case, the invisible hand is going to take care of the mando market. If lots of people want luthier-level American made mandolins, and demand exceeds supply, some other company is going to get into that market. Maybe Gibson will up its production, or Zeta will introduce less expensive acoustic models, or the folks who bought the Gallagher guitar shop will start making mandos, or a bunch of local luthiers will try it out.

    Who knows? Maybe in these crazy times, Martin or Larrivee will start making mandolins again or Taylor will see an opportunity. Northfield certainly already has.

    How many luthiers were relatively unknown until some famous player used their instrument and then they ended up with long waiting lists just a few months later?

    This will sort itself out and anybody who wants a good mandolin will be able to find one, new or used, somewhere, with the usually caveat that cheap, good and fast usually don't all go together.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    Say what you want to about Tom Bedell, but he knows how to manage a business, and the continued employment of his people is a priority. The changes going on at TOH are happening right now in one shape or another to almost all companies with more than a few employees, only they aren't being announced. Collings will produce a fraction of mandolins in the next few years compared to the past.

    Guitars keep the lights on: at Weber, Collings, Gibson, Eastman and many, many others.
    For these companies, I guess the key stat is dollars of sales per hour of labor. I always assumed that that stat was pretty similar in the guitar and mandolin worlds, since a mandolin is far more expensive than a guitar of comparable quality and requires far more time to build. (A new Martin D-28 still goes for under $3K.) Apparently, it's not similar enough to make it worthwhile for TOH to produce both. So it goes. I'm a huge Weber fan, but that brand may become the Studebaker of the mandolin world. At least Montana Lutherie is still in business.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Well I glad I have my Weber Yellowstone. It is awesome.

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    Default Re: Article: Weber Announces Pause in Mandolin Manufacturing

    Since I don’t work for TOH nor own stock, my life hasn’t changed. I’m surprised people have strong opinions on this.

    Doesn’t impact my 1998 Absaroka either.
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