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Thread: Weber Custom Vintage A

  1. #1
    Registered User Laurence Firth's Avatar
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    Default Weber Custom Vintage A

    Anyone have any experience with this Weber model, Weber Custom Vintage A? What do they mean by "Vintage"? I read somewhere that this indicated that they used "old" wood in the construction of this mandolin. I've located a music store near me that carries a wide selection of mandolins including Webers and they have a Weber Custom Vintage A in stock so I'm going to pay them a visit and try it and them all out myself but I just thought I'd do a little research here on the cafe first.

    Thanks!
    Mandolin : Weber Bitterroot F, Gibson 1907 A, Eastman 805 A
    Mandola : Weber Yellowstone A
    Guitar : Taylor 810

    Laurence

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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    I've played two. One for about a week on loan and the second one I owned for a year or so. Really beautiful instruments, probably the prettiest A model I've ever owned. They don't have that vintage Gibson A sound, it's a more modern tone with a long scale. The necks were very comfortable. I found the fingerboard extension got in the way of where I thought the "sweet spot" was. If I'd kept it I would have had it cut down, but that might just be me.

  3. #3
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    If you are looking for that hybrid F and oval hole sound, they work great. They dont sound like either as mentioned above, about 1/2 way in between.

    If you want an old Gibson oval sound, get one of those or an Old Wave oval.
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    They were built with the wood Bruce got from a retired luthier. I don't know if much of that wood is left. I just sold my 2008 Vintage A, it was great mando but due to arthritis in my hands it had to go. My Yellowstone has a wider neck and more bold neck profile. It feels more comfortable.

  6. #5
    fretboard roamer Paul Merlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    I've played 2. The first was a stock model at Elderly Instruments about 2 years ago. Out of all the mandolins on the wall, that was the one that I couldn't put down, even over a Bitterroot and old Gibson A's. It felt and sounded just right to me that day.

    Then I was the lucky winner in the design-a-Weber giveaway and had one custom made. I stayed pretty close to the standard specs, as far as wood types, and most non-cosmetic specs go. I did go with a single piece back, pickguard and armrest too. One standard option available is the use of old-growth spruce for the top. That's some of the tightest grain I've seen on any piece of wood.

    Anyway, I love the way it plays and think it sounds wonderful too. It just rings out to me, and seems like it sings with it's head back and arms spread wide open. Plus, a light touch can coax a big reverb and harmonic echo out of it in a quiet setting too. Sometimes I think I want to get another mandolin with f-holes for a punchier sound (sic), but that's really more out of curiosity than necessity.

    I certainly would recommend playing one yourself, and hope you like it too.
    Paul

    Weber Custom Vintage A
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  7. #6
    Registered User Laurence Firth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Thanks for the replies - very helpful. Hey Paul - how luck is that to win a custom Weber. I'm absolutely planning on playing a bunch of different models and builders. Not just Webers. I know that when I find what I'm looking for I'll recognize it.

    George - so the you are saying the "wider neck and more bold neck profile" made the yellowstone easier on you to play correct. I get that the wider neck would give more ease of play but I'm not sure what you mean by "bold neck profile". Can you describe that a bit more?

    Thanks
    Mandolin : Weber Bitterroot F, Gibson 1907 A, Eastman 805 A
    Mandola : Weber Yellowstone A
    Guitar : Taylor 810

    Laurence

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    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Hi Laurence,

    My main instrument is one of these CVAs and I have no intention of changing that. I find it a really satisfying instrument, and I think that is high praise indeed. As George pointed out, Bruce managed to get some really old tone wood from a retired luthier that was then used as the standard top for the CVA. Call the folks at Weber for more details on how old the wood was and whether or not they have any more. They are really good about answering questions and in fact, really love to talk about mandos.

    Best wishes, Bob
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Laurence,
    To me it feels a little thicker. The shoulders are a little fuller. It is not like some of Gibson baseball bat necks, just a little fuller.
    Hard to explain, it just feels good in my hand. Hope this helps. As Bob stated call Bruce or Cameron they will be better able to explain.

  10. #9
    Registered User Laurence Firth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    George - I had a chance to play a Gibson A from the 1920's (sorry I don't know exactly what year and model) this afternoon. Very interesting mandolin. It played well but had a very different sound than I expected. It was a lot thiner than I thought it would be. The neck had a very different feel too. Chunky. Then I came home and read your post here about the "baseball bat necks" and I thought that is perfect description. I also played a vintage Gibson f4 - now that was a nice mandolin to play. And loud. The mandolins I played today were not for sale but did give me some perspective. The shop near me that caries Webers is a bit of a drive so I'm planning a trip later this month. Half the fun of getting a new mandolin is playing as many different instruments!
    Mandolin : Weber Bitterroot F, Gibson 1907 A, Eastman 805 A
    Mandola : Weber Yellowstone A
    Guitar : Taylor 810

    Laurence

  11. #10
    Registered User Dan Forney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    I have George's old CVA - really great mandolin. I've posted a couple of videos with it if you'd like to hear it. The latest was on the Tune of the Week social group - Lark in the Morning. I agree with the notion that the sound is old-timey, but not too old-timey. And it is loud, which I like.

    Anyway, I have two mandolins with 1 1/8 nut width; the CVA and a Skip Kelley. While the fingerboards are almost identically sized, the amount of wood behing the boards is very different. The CVA feels very thin and skinny compared to the fuller profile of the Kelley. I think that is what George is talking about. I don't know if they are all like that or if that's just the way this CVA is.

    Hope that helps....

    Dan

  12. #11
    Registered User Laurence Firth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Thanks for the info Dan. I'd love to hear the online clips - are they here on the cafe or posted else where?
    Mandolin : Weber Bitterroot F, Gibson 1907 A, Eastman 805 A
    Mandola : Weber Yellowstone A
    Guitar : Taylor 810

    Laurence

  13. #12
    Registered User Dan Forney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    The latest one is on the Cafe social group Song of the Week....also on youtube here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynEcV...1&feature=plcp

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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Dan,
    You make her sound great. The neck shape on that particular CVA is what they called the Slim Tapered Vee. It is not the normal shape for that model. Back in 2008 my arthritis wasn't near as bad as it is today. That is why I went to the wider neck and fuller profile.

  15. #14

    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Has anyone played a CVA with f holes-just curious? I'm looking to order a CVA(with a red spuce top). I play about 90% Irish Traditional with an informal group: fiddle, flute/whistle, guitar, and me. I'm looking for LOUD in my next mandolin, at least loud enough that I can hear it when I'm playing with them without amplication. Your thoughts and opinions will be appreciatrd.

  16. #15
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    One of the loudest Webers that I have heard and played was a Bighorn with f holes. It was so loud I was intimidated until the owner told me to dig in. I did and it was one of the loudest instruments in the entire jam.

    I've also played a Collings A model with f holes. It had a lot of volume.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    I've been told that Bruce has used up all the old wood for the Custom Vintage A's. Has anyone played one of the latest ones made from newer wood?

  18. #17
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Hi Paire-Berline,

    Have you talked to the folks at Weber? They are really honest in their appraisals of their instruments, and if you asked them that question, I am sure you'd get a straight answer. Plus, any time I talk with them, I learn things I hadn't even been thinking about. My suggestion is to give them a call. I am sure you'll have an interesting conversation.

    Best wishes, Bob
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

  19. #18
    Registered User Laurence Firth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Custom Vintage A

    Thanks Bob - I'll do that. Planing on playing as many Webers as I can get my hands on too. Played a few so far and each one has been an outstanding instrument while at the same time each having its own strengths and character. I will not be ready to make a purchase until next month so in the mean time I'm having fun "shopping"!
    Mandolin : Weber Bitterroot F, Gibson 1907 A, Eastman 805 A
    Mandola : Weber Yellowstone A
    Guitar : Taylor 810

    Laurence

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