Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

  1. #1
    George Wilson GRW3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    1,335
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    This is part of a longer thread in the Miscelaneous section. Got a suggestion to put this part in the picture section. So here it is...

    A while back, Guitar Tex (San Antonio, TX) sent an e-mail with the first picture below enclosed with the simple message: “It’s here”. I knew it was on order and I was really curious about it, even if I am a ways from being in the buying mode. I love to see, touch and play any new instrument. It goes into my mental database for future reference. A new Weber is always a special treat. A new type of Weber is cause for extra excitement.

    I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed. I did not know what to expect of that smaller body. Would it be real tinny? Overly bright? Well there is no denying that it is higher pitched but the sound is really full, in its range. My thought was sort of like a uke on steroids. It’s tuned an octave above a mandola, C G D A. I have a mandola so I knew what was what. Other than reducing my hand span at the nut (kind of automatic pilot, it seems) I did not have any problem playing it. I routinely play up the neck on my Big Horn so I can deal with narrower spacing. Once going it plays easily, which is my experience with well set up Webers.

    This particular mandolin is the F style Gallatin with a couple of Weber add-on bells and whistles. I’m sort of neutral on scrolls but I have never cared for the proto-scroll that Weber uses on Gallatins. However, I thought it was very much appropriate for this downsize mandolin. I’m a real fan of this dark rich, chocolate color. It really seems to emphasize the workmanship. This particular Weber comes with a factory arm rest (classy but I would prefer a McClung) and a wood nymph string damper. ($2.2K)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Piccolo Troll.jpg 
Views:	495 
Size:	176.1 KB 
ID:	98370   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Piccolo GRW3 Playing.jpg 
Views:	411 
Size:	115.1 KB 
ID:	98371   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Piccolo Top.jpg 
Views:	408 
Size:	108.5 KB 
ID:	98372  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Piccolo Scroll.jpg 
Views:	217 
Size:	113.6 KB 
ID:	98373   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Piccolo Headstock.jpg 
Views:	216 
Size:	99.1 KB 
ID:	98374   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Piccolo Body.jpg 
Views:	240 
Size:	138.8 KB 
ID:	98375  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Piccolo Back.jpg 
Views:	192 
Size:	110.7 KB 
ID:	98376  
    George Wilson
    Weber Bighorn Mandolin
    ca. 1900 Clifford Mandolinetto
    Martin Guitars

  2. #2
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,440

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Hello George,

    Thanks for the useful re-post and review. This is an instrument I'd love to try. It appeals to me on a number of levels. I'm afraid it would stir up an irresistible case of MAS though, and that's the last thing I need right now. Still, I think I'll ask my local Weber Dealer if he might get one in sometime.

    Thanks again, Bob
    Purr more, hiss less.

  3. #3
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,913
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    I am really curious what the future plans are for the Weber Sopranino project, after the merger. I have talked to the folks at Weber about it a while back and got all excited and started a coffee can for it (coffee can economics).

    I don't know of any contemporary maker that is making piccolo mandolins, and I think there is a place for them. I hope Weber/TOH continues with the idea.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  4. #4
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    3,999

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Very very cool!

    I'm curious, is the top bound or just all rounded off? Whatever it looks very nice indeed.

  5. #5
    Resonate globally Pete Jenner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Mt Victoria, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    3,546
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    Very very cool!

    I'm curious, is the top bound or just all rounded off? Whatever it looks very nice indeed.
    A friend brought a full sized weber mandolin around to my place on Sunday that he bought in New York. It looked like this piccolo - same colour too. No binding - just rounded off.
    The more I learn, the less I know.

    Peter Jenner
    Blackheathen

    Facebook

  6. #6
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,913
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    From my discussion with the Weber folks a while back that was the whole point. They were going to make some of their existing models to miniature dimensions, tuned CGDA an octave above the mandola. And, if I am not mistaken, charge the same price for them.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  7. #7

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Very cool concept. What's going on with the finish on the back?!

  8. #8
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    5,190

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    I've never played a piccolo mandolin but I'm not sure what I'd use it for. Aren't we mandolin players often looking for MORE bass and depth to the tone?

  9. #9
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,913
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Well Shaun, that too. I am not planning to give up my mandolin for a piccolo, or to not get a mandola someday. I am just saying the mandopiccolo has its place in the continuum.

    I will give a great example. I just finished a Civil War gig, where we played Battle Hymn of the Repbulic. If I had a piccolo I would do some great soaring harmonies emulating the brass parts as when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs it.

    In a jam I would love, on occation, to fly above the fiddles.

    And for playing at home or solo it would be a real hoot.

    I don't think it would ever be my main instrument, but it would have a unique place in the stable.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  10. #10
    George Wilson GRW3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    1,335
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Weber Gallatins are unbound.

    I'm not sure about the question about the back. It's a dark chocolate satin finish over a one piece back. I thought it was classy that they still carved in the scroll lead lines on an unbound mandolin.

    I find that Weber mandolins typically have a pretty strong tone in the lower registers, particularly the Bighorns with their (rumored) slightly larger body cavity. The picollo wouldn't be my choice for a primary mandolin but I think it would be great for duets. I'd love to hear somebody with the requisite technique do the picollo part from the Stars and Stripes Forever. Maybe a mando orchestra will get inspired.
    George Wilson
    Weber Bighorn Mandolin
    ca. 1900 Clifford Mandolinetto
    Martin Guitars

  11. #11
    Registered User Mary Weber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Logan, MT
    Posts
    77
    Blog Entries
    138

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    I got a Google Alert for this thread! Thought I'd throw in that the new Weber website recently posted a sound room and there is one of the Gallatin Soprano.

    Also I believe Eva, of SHEL, will be doing something with the one she recently received. Here is what she said, in part...The sound of it makes me cry, and holding it is like holding a beautiful little faun.'
    Delightful description! There's more, but I'll let her tell it later.

  12. #12
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,913
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Weber View Post
    I got a Google Alert for this thread! Thought I'd throw in that the new Weber website recently posted a sound room and there is one of the Gallatin Soprano. .
    Ohhh mannnnn. I just tossed another five into my soprano coffee can account.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  13. #13

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Mary-The sound room is very nicely done. There is some great tone to be heard there!

    Scott

  14. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,096

    Default Re: Weber Sopranino – Piccolo Mandolin – Test Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Weber View Post
    Thought I'd throw in that the new Weber website recently posted a sound room and there is one of the Gallatin Soprano.
    Very nice. That tune is Giuseppe Aonzo's Ninna Nanna Lullaby played with mandolin fingering, right? It might be nice to list the tune names that are being played.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  15. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


Posting Permissions

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