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Thread: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    This merger will likely improve BL's customer service and also add some welcome strength to their mandolin line which IMO is not at its high point re: consistency or completeness (the Premier line). It looked to be neglected compared to their guitar line, and suggested they might even be moving away from mandolins but the arrival of TOH has apparently put that speculation to rest.
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  2. #27
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Liker Mary said give it a chance. It seems we always find the negative when something like this happens. I for one will keep an open mind and wait to see what the future of Weber instruments holds.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    All of this is really nothing new. Remember when Flatiron was the new kid in town? They were so good that they started making mandolins for Gibson. Then they were acquired by Gibson. Then some of the Flatiron folks stayed in Montana and started making Weber mandolins. Look at how many times Gibson changed owners. And Fender. Holy Smokes Porsche was absorbed by Volkswagen group a few years ago. The 2013 Porsche cars are the best ever produced.
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  5. #29
    Registered User Mary Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Triesch View Post
    All of this is really nothing new. Remember when Flatiron was the new kid in town? They were so good that they started making mandolins for Gibson. Then they were acquired by Gibson. Then some of the Flatiron folks stayed in Montana and started making Weber mandolins. Look at how many times Gibson changed owners. And Fender. Holy Smokes Porsche was absorbed by Volkswagen group a few years ago. The 2013 Porsche cars are the best ever produced.
    Bruce & Helen were talking about all the changes, too...it's been a great 15 years but it can be fun to shake things up and keep it fresh. However there is continuity in that Bruce and the core builders are making the change, too.
    Last edited by Mary Weber; Nov-09-2012 at 12:06pm.

  6. #30
    Registered User sea sea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    I am proud to own 2 Weber mandolins, 2005 custom Yellowstone (my trusty workhorse) and a new Black Ice (so sexy!). They are top of the line (not a Dude or Gilchrist of course but who has $20k to drop......) in tone, construction and are just downright beautiful instruments. They stand out amongst any other instruments where ever or whoever I play with. I just hope that they retain the high quality craftsmanship, construction and customer service I have come to expect from Bruce Weber. I also respected Weber's faith and courage to take a chance and start his own company, and with the hardwork and talent, ended up becoming one of the best and respected handmade instrument companies in America. A lot of times when a smaller companies gets bought out a lot of the values which made them sucessful get left behind.....I hope not with this one. In time we shall see.....
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  8. #31
    Brentrup Evangelist Larry S Sherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    My first mandolin was a Weber Gallatin, and it was a wonderfully made instrument (smelled better than any instrument I've ever owned too), and played and sounded great. All my experience with Weber has been positive, and I wish them the best in their new arrangement.

    Like many others it was their customer service that I was most impressed with, and I hope the move to a bigger organization does not mean losing the personal touch and customized features that have been the hallmark of this company.

    While I don't currently own a Weber mandolin, I do have a custom Weber handmade TRC on my Brentrup M21:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #32
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    I bought my Bitterroot A a couple of months ago and it is one fine instrument. I love it to death and am proud to have it. It is difficult to imagine nothingwill change. For example Bruce usedto personally voice all the tops. So I know Bruce actually laid his hands on mine. Now when you buy aproduction line Weber it will not have that personal connection any longer.

    I am having difficulty wrapping my head around the situation. I don't know the difference between a merger and an acquisition or which this is. Two Old Hippies two years ago never heard of them. Then they buy Breedlove out of the clear blue sky and now Weber. Where does all that capital come from. Is selling hippodrome clothes and jewelery along with guitars mostly made in China that lucrative? Maybe they will buy Gibson and Collings next!
    Don

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  11. #33

    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    I have had the pleasure of visiting the shops/meeting the luthiers who made several of my instruments (Pat Huff of "Doc's Banjos" and Clint Bear of O.C. Bear Guitars, Mark Thibeault of Rayco Resophonics). Did not get around to making a pilgrimage to Logan after purchasing my Weber Bitterroot Mandola (nicknamed "Nelson") last year, but now that the shop is moving to Bend, I can just walk on over!

  12. #34
    Registered User kirksdad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Big Weber fan, and am very much enjoying my recent Oval Bitteroot F. This being said, the Weber family appears to be heavily involved in this merger, with Bruce Jr going to Bend, Bruce himself staying involved, perhaps continuing to build under the Weber name. That, I believe is significant.

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  13. #35
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Valenti View Post
    I have had the pleasure of visiting the shops/meeting the luthiers who made several of my instruments (Pat Huff of "Doc's Banjos" and Clint Bear of O.C. Bear Guitars, Mark Thibeault of Rayco Resophonics). Did not get around to making a pilgrimage to Logan after purchasing my Weber Bitterroot Mandola (nicknamed "Nelson") last year, but now that the shop is moving to Bend, I can just walk on over!
    According to Mary, she and Bruce will continue to live in Logan and he will have a shop there. So, I would say you could still make the trip to see Bruce.

  14. #36
    Registered User Mary Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry S Sherman View Post
    (smelled better than any instrument I've ever owned too) Larry
    That is so funny that I had to comment. I have watched Bruce open a lot of mando cases that have come back for repair over the years, and the first thing he does is put the instrument up to his nose and take a big sniff. He is more wary now since he almost passed out from one that was totally moldy- toxic. He really hates over-humidification.

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  16. #37
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    In my previous post I meant to say "hippie clothes" not "hippodrome clothes". I cant edit it. I hate my tablet sometimes because it just seems to do random stuff like that to me!
    Don

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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    In my previous post I meant to say "hippie clothes" not "hippodrome clothes". I cant edit it. I hate my tablet sometimes because it just seems to do random stuff like that to me!
    It's alright, man, I thought it was pretty funny with "hippodrome!"

    I know Bedell developed an extremely successful business focusing on outdoor activities (fishing/lures/flies/rods especially), if I remember correctly. I think that TOH's business ranges beyond the music and clothing industries, though I haven't looked into it in a number of years...

    Our business is going through some substantial changes at the moment as well, almost all of which I think are positive. That doesn't take away the apprehension many of our employees feel at the moment, though. I understand both Mary's optimism as well as the concerns voiced at the moment, and only time and the overall business plan of TOH will determine how things go. I know that I love my Weber OM, though it doesn't smell as good as my Silverangel (which has really old cedar bracing...Mmmmmm).
    Chuck

  18. #39
    Registered User Bill Bradshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    How exciting for Bruce and Mary. I can only imagine the excitment, anticipation, worry, joy, and maybe trepidation as they embark on this new adventure together. They've done so much for mandolinst the world over. I hope the transition for all the incredible folks at Weber works out well, and bet that Bruce and Mary have done everything they can to ensure so.

    Bill

  19. #40
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    So what does this do to the perceived value of a Weber downstream? Do they become sought-after like the "pre-CBS" Fender guitars, or does the name go the route of, say, Epiphone once they started importing instruments from any of a number of eastern/Indonesian countries?
    While I have absolutely no intention of ever parting with my Breedlove mandolin, this is important to me. I have a rather high-end Breedlove mandolin, and since I managed to capture it I have seen Breedlove become a go-to brand for entry-level mandolins. It kinda changes the initial perception of the instrument (until you play/hear it!)

    Oh, and my Weber also smells awesome!
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  20. #41
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Hi, everyone:

    It's nice to see you all posting comments about Weber/STE on here. It's also very nice seeing comments from Mary, who is always a great representative for Weber.

    Weber/STE has simply been one of the special companies in the mandolin industry. the mandolins are outstanding, but it's the approach to building and the strength of Bruce's, Mary's, and Bruce Jr.'s values that have really made a difference. To be so ethical in a market that features Gibson, Collings, and a slew of premier independent builders is remarkable.

    I wish everyone involved good luck. Things change, whether we want to change with them or not. Bruce and Mary's comments about keeping things fresh is, as Bill Monroe might say, a true statement.

    Sincerely,
    Kevin

  21. #42
    Infrequently Smelt Gregory Tidwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by MC
    Bruce Weber will oversee instrument development and quality, as well as guiding the build processes, ultimately continuing as the patriarch of all Weber instruments. In addition, this move will allow Mr. Weber to return to his first love: hand-building exquisite Weber instruments from his shop in Montana. In March 2013 Weber craftspeople will be relocating from Logan, Montana to Bend, Oregon to build Weber instruments under the guidance of Mr. Weber
    I'm confused. Sounds like Bruce Weber is going to have something to do with the new line of "Weber" mandolins, but I don't see how that is really going to happen if he is in MT working on hi-end Webers.

    And they both are going to have the Weber badge on them? I guess that could work, but if I sold the rights to someone to make The Tidwell line of mandos, but also kept making them on my own, it probably would not be too long before I got pissed at them for screwing up the quality and ruining the name of the mandos I was still making.

    And is this a retirement plan for Bruce Weber? Or part of a pre-retirement slow-down process? Seems like this is more work then running your own line from your home.

    Like I said; confusing, and I'm not sure how it all adds up.
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  22. #43
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Two Old Hippies two years ago never heard of them. Then they buy Breedlove out of the clear blue sky and now Weber. Where does all that capital come from. Is selling hippodrome clothes and jewelery along with guitars mostly made in China that lucrative?
    Run some Google searches for Tom Bedell and "Pure Fishing".....

    There's your answer.
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  23. #44
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    "Two Old Hippies" What's in a name? Hard to take this name seriously.

  24. #45
    timandolinerson Tim Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Maybe Breedlove and Weber under T.O.H. would do a giveaway of one of their instruments next Christmas season as a kick off to their new collaboration? As long as the quality stays why not build the business? Congratulations and blessings.
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  25. #46
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    You should, though...they've done a remarkable job of marketing and growing their respective endeavors. Nfi, btw.

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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    i'm sorry, i'm confused. Is this a merger or did BL buy weber or did the hippies buy weber or did weber buy everybody.........i'm confused

  27. #48
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Hey Folks, Been a long time! Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments was purchased by Tom and Molly Bedell (Two Old Hippies) on Thursday November 8th. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

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  29. #49

    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    OK, I have some questions:

    Are you planning to keep the same line-up of models that you currently have? and will prices remain the same?

    Will there still be the same level of customization available? Again - at the same prices?

    Will you be involved with the production of Breedlove mandolins now? If so, will there be changes in the Breedlove line?

    How do your people feel about moving to Oregon? Will they be building the standard models, while you do the custom work in MT? It sounds like you will help get the operation started in Oregon, and then will be on your own back in Montana?

    I have always thought that Weber offers the best value, especially in the ability to customize even low end models without greatly increasing the price. I am hoping that remains the same.

    Best of luck to you.

  30. #50
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    <political content that violates forum posting guidelines. please take it elsewhere.>
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