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Thread: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.

    1. Now that your company has new owners, how much control will you personally be able retain over your products and other aspects of the business?
    2. My perception is that you always had great pride in being a hands on businessman. For example, on your Web site it is stated that you personally select the woods used for your instruments and you do final voicing and tuning on the backs and tops of all carved instruments. How will this level of involvement be possible with you in Montana and your shop in Oregon? Would not not lose the personal touch that day to day contact with your staff and production brings?
    3. You also state on your Web site that you run your company on Christian principles. For those of us who like to support Christian businesses, will this be possible with new owners calling the shots?
    4. I might be wrong about this but I make the assumption that you will be sharing the same manufacturing facility in Bend, Oregon with Breedlove. True? If so, how will it work having two former rivals in the marketplace working under the same roof? I recall that when Fender had Tacoma and Guild sharing the same facility that ultimately the parent company chose one over the other. Are Two Old Hippies committed to continuing to keep both Breedlove and Weber in the marketplace?

    Please understand that I and others who might have questions are not trying to be negative. We love our Webers. Your company has always made those of us who buy your instruments feel like part of a family. Now with the change in ownership I suspect that many of us feel like we're losing that family feeling.
    Don

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

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  3. #52
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by Payit Forward View Post
    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?
    For the most part the line will stay the same and continue to expand with the exception being the line of Flat instruments which I think we'll phase out. At this time there are no plans to increase prices, but we'll probably be taking a look at it next year.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

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  5. #53
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by Payit Forward View Post
    OK, I have some questions:

    Will there still be the same level of customization available? Again - at the same prices?
    I love customization! That's one of our strong points. We're willing to do anything that doesn't compromise the structural integrity of the instrument, but I do reserve the right to be the taste police on Weber instruments.

    Customizations will stay the same and I hope to add some. For now prices will remain the same and be re-evaluated next year.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

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  7. #54
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by Payit Forward View Post
    OK, I have some questions:

    Will you be involved with the production of Breedlove mandolins now? If so, will there be changes in the Breedlove line?
    I've got my hands more than full with the Weber line, but I'm sure Kim and I will get to exchange a few ideas.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

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  9. #55
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by Payit Forward View Post
    OK, I have some questions:


    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?
    Change is hard, even if it's a change for the better. I've got incredibly dedicated luthiers, loyal to the Weber brand who are embracing this new chapter with enthusiasm. It will be hard not having Bruce Jr. around everyday, but he is the most excited of all.

    I will be spending a lot of time in Bend helping in the set up, but then will return to Montana to build high end customs and do R&D for TOH, with frequent trips to Bend to help where needed.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

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  11. #56
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Bruce,
    Thanks for chiming in on these points. I hope it puts to rest the negative feelings that sem to happen anytime there is change. I for one know that you take great pride in your work, it does have your name on the headstock. I am proud to be a member of the Weber mandolin family and I appreciate all you and the crew have done for me with my builds. I know everyhing will work out for the best for you and Mary, as well as the whole crew.

    ps - Just noticed this is my 1,000 post. No better thread than this to hit a milestone.
    Last edited by George R. Lane; Nov-11-2012 at 2:22pm. Reason: 1,000 post

  12. #57
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.

    1. Now that your company has new owners, how much control will you personally be able retain over your products and other aspects of the business?
    One of the great things about this joining was that Tom Bedell recognized the uniqueness of Weber and wants to retain all of it's flavor, changing nothing that would compromise that goal except the location. Along with Weber luthiers that will be relocating, I'll be heavily involved in insuring that the instruments are built to the high standards expected from Weber and I'll be on call for players, dealers and the folks in Bend for any questions and concerns.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

  13. #58
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.


    2. My perception is that you always had great pride in being a hands on businessman. For example, on your Web site it is stated that you personally select the woods used for your instruments and you do final voicing and tuning on the backs and tops of all carved instruments. How will this level of involvement be possible with you in Montana and your shop in Oregon? Would not not lose the personal touch that day to day contact with your staff and production brings?
    You are spot on. I do take great pride in being a hands on guy. Today I'm running down to the shop between answers here to make a little dust and catch up on some bench time.

    My son, Bruce Jr. and I have been working side by side for thirteen years, allowing me to impart my philosophy about voicing and building which he is a natural at. Proud Daddy talking. It will be hard not to lay hands on every instrument that carries the Weber name, but it's with great confidence I pass the torch on the day to day building over to Jr., Brett, and the others that will be responsible for Weber in Bend. I'll keep in touch with the guys on a daily basis and will make frequent trips to Bend.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

  14. #59
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Bruce I trust your judgement. From everything I have heard you are a principled guy, and I would imagine you have had many many opportunities to sell out or take an expedient way and you didn't.

    I don't pretend to understand your decision, and wouldn't have guessed it, but you have proven to the world that you know what you are doing. Good luck.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  15. #60
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.


    3. You also state on your Web site that you run your company on Christian principles. For those of us who like to support Christian businesses, will this be possible with new owners calling the shots?
    Tom and I have had some great conversations about how we believe our luthiers, players, dealers and people as a whole should be treated by our then separate companies and now one. I would never have considered joining the TOH family if I didn't believe that Tom believes strongly in the golden rule. However, where people are involved weird things happen despite our best intentions and how we deal with those situations matters too.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

  16. #61
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I am happy that Bruce has joined in here and offered to answer questions. I do have a few myself.


    4. I might be wrong about this but I make the assumption that you will be sharing the same manufacturing facility in Bend, Oregon with Breedlove. True? If so, how will it work having two former rivals in the marketplace working under the same roof? I recall that when Fender had Tacoma and Guild sharing the same facility that ultimately the parent company chose one over the other. Are Two Old Hippies committed to continuing to keep both Breedlove and Weber in the marketplace?
    I've got quite a bit of past experience with that scenario and have the scars and T-shirt to prove it. We built Flatiron and Gibson under the same roof with the same people for years. Unlike the past situation, Weber being adopted into the TOH family will be run quite differently. Like a family, Bedell, Breedlove and Weber will be living together, using the same kitchen and bathroom, but tucked into our own area with luthiers dedicating all of their time to Weber just as Breedlove will have it's own dedicated luthiers.

    Weber and Breedlove instruments have unique attributes that serve players diverse tastes. Weber leaning more towards the traditional and Breedlove, contemporary. Going forward both will be offered to satisfy our MAS afflictions.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    I would like to thank Bruce for his excellent answers to my questions. He has done much to help me feel better about this move and I hope the same is true for those who are following this thread. I am sure I asked the same questions that were on many other minds.

    I especially liked that you are kind of using this as an opportunity to pass the torch to your son. You should be commended for that.

    If Weber is for "traditional" and Breedlove is for "contemporary", where does that leave me? I have one of each and I love them both!
    Don

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

  18. #63
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    I think that makes you a mandolin renaissance man.

    Thanks for the support and great questions!
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

  19. #64

    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Coming at this from a slightly different angle, I own a Bedell guitar which is a wonderful instrument and gets lots of comments from other players about how good it is. I've had very good luck with their customer service and responsiveness to emails.

    Actually, I will point out that when I bought my guitar they had a $200 rebate program on it. I had my $200 in hand in less than a week from buying the guitar--and that includes mailing the rebate form to them and them mailing the check to me. I'm quite happy with Bedell and if Weber is going to be under new owners, Tom and Molly Bedell are an excellent choice.

  20. #65
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Congratulations to Bruce, the immediate Weber family, and the extended Weber instruments family!
    Big things happening. I'm sure you guys are excited.

    To this day I think the best sounding mandolin I've ever played was a custom varnish finish Gallatin at Craig's music in Weatherford, TX.

    Lots to be proud of, good luck to the whole team!

  21. #66
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Will Weber remain 100% American made or will TOH have some instruments made off shore?

  22. #67
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Tom Bedell is dedicated in keeping the line as is, 100% American made.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    What will differentiate a factory made Weber from one you build entirely yourself in MT? Will you make a seperate web page for your side business?

  24. #69
    Registered User Bruce D. Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Players and dealers can contact me directly to exchange info on the instruments they want; appointments, tone, the genre and setting they'll be playing in the most, and on, and on. Anything to attain the WOW factor I hope to achieve in every instrument I build. Being a one man shop will give me the time to do all the little tweaking and tailoring that time constraints haven't allowed lately.

    I'll still be 100% TOH, building Weber and doing R&D, and we're still working out a bunch of details. The great thing about this is I can now leave those web site issues to the people that have particular skill.
    Bruce D. Weber
    Montana Lutherie LLC

  25. #70
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Bruce, all the best to you in your new endeavor. I only own one Weber, a 1999 Big Sky that I bought new from FQMS. It's been a good one! Nice to have one from "the old days".

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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Bruce - I just acquired a Bitterroot and have been trying to get in touch with Weber, which now calls go to Two Old Hippies. No one can give me information about my instrument and answer some questions about it and possible work I need done. Who should I contact and how? Phone, email?

  27. #72
    Registered User Brett Byers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments Joins Two Old Hippies

    Bruce and Cameron are at the NAMM show, so they might not see this. Give Joann a call at the shop here in Logan at 406-284-4390. She should be able to provide all the background info on your mando, and answer questions about repair work. Welcome to the Weber family!

    Quote Originally Posted by Highstrings View Post
    Bruce - I just acquired a Bitterroot and have been trying to get in touch with Weber, which now calls go to Two Old Hippies. No one can give me information about my instrument and answer some questions about it and possible work I need done. Who should I contact and how? Phone, email?

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