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How would you compare the Gibson mandolins to the similar Weber model?

Dave F

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I've been pick'n around on my cheaper mandolins and have decided to move up to a better playing, sounding instrument.

Since I have a history of not keeping some of my instruments very long, I always try to get quality products that I may want to keep forever and if I want to get rid of them have a decent resale value.

I'm trying to stay around the 3k range.

I would defintely like to find a nice used F style Gibson but I never see them around these parts and I don't know enough about them to be buying one off the net.

Locally a dealer has a NOS Weber I can get a a decent price.

What's everyone's thoughts?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gibson mandolins and Weber mandolins sound nothing alike. Living in Montana and wanting to support the local shop, I bought 3 Weber Yellowstones (at different times) looking for a good bluegrass mandolin. I now have a Gibson F5G and an F9. I'm finally satisfied. The Gibsons just have more of what everyone refers to as that dry, woody, bluegrass sound than Webers. Weber mandolins are a bit sweeter sounding, with a little more sustain, not necessarily better or worse, just not the particular sound I was looking for. To me, Webers are better suited to styles of music other than bluegrass. I've also found the Gibsons to be easier to play, especially up the neck, but that's probably just me.


The Gibson mandolins being produced now (and since about 2008 or so, are probably some of the best mandolins they've made since the 1920s. And, yes, probably even better than when the late Charlie Derrington was running mandolin production (unless you've got 10 or 15K to spend on one of his Master Models). Unfortunately they aren't building very many of them for the past few years. New ones are hard to find that you can try before you buy. Used ones are probably around, depending on where you live. Here in MT, we hardly ever see them, especially ones that were built after they moved production from Bozeman to Nashville. They changed the way they were building them after the move to Nashville, and I much prefer the ones made in Nashville to the Bozeman ones.


As far as the fit and finish goes, you can't do much better than the Webers that were built in Montana while Bruce Weber stilled owned the company. They are now owned by a group out of Oregon and are built there as well. I haven't seen or played one since they moved. I'm guessing the one you're considering was made in Montana.

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  • 5 months later...



While its true that Bruce Weber sold the company to Two Old Hippies (owners of breedlove, most notably), Bruce is still very much a part of the company. He still builds the higher end mandolins and custom jobs, and his son has moved to oregon to head the main shop. I dont think there will be a drop in quality myself.


The above post pretty much got it right though, i own a weber yellowstone f. i love it because its more versatile than a similar gibson model. But for just bluegrass? give me the gibson everytime, gibsons have more volume, and generally a better chop sound.

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