Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments' origins can be traced back to Flatiron Mandolin and Banjo Company in Bozeman, Montana. Several partners started the company around 1987, just before Flatiron become part of Gibson Guitar. The "Montana era" of Gibson/Flatiron is remembered for consistent, high quality instruments.
In 1996, Gibson decided to move Flatiron to Nashville. Bruce Weber, the general manager and head luthier of the Gibson/Flatiron Division founded Sound To Earth, Ltd. in order to pursue his own vision and to remain in Montana.
In March of 1997, Bruce Weber, Joe Schneider, Bob McMurray, Steve Birch and Paula Lewis created the Sound to Earth shop in Bruce's barn, excited to build acoustic instruments their way. They were soon joined by Helen Beausoleil and Vern Brekke and others who had worked with them over the years.
In 1998, with orders coming in and an expanding line of mandolin family instruments, Bruce moved the shop into an expanded area in Belgrade, Montana. It was a time of enormous creativity and around 20 different models of mandolins were established, as well as a mandola, octave and mandocello in each model. These models cover the entire range of
music genres through instrument design. Weber acoustic instruments cover many price ranges by offering models that are simplified to the basics, als the way highly ornamental instruments with special woods. Every instrument we make receives the same, painstaking attention to detail in building and tonal excellence. There is always room at Weber for new ideas, while keeping the beauty and integrity of the traditional.
In 2004, the Weber shop moved to the old Logan school which is located about 25 miles west of Bozeman. The spacious school building, built in 1922, had many big windows, wood floors and the Gallatin River right across the road. With the extra space came new acoustic instruments. Bruce designed and built his Archtop and Shallow Carved Guitars introduced in 2005. Next, a core group with Bruce in the lead, designed and introduced the Weber line of resonator guitars in 2007.
Over time, Weber mandolins, mandolas, octave mandolins, mandocellos, arch-top guitars and resonator guitars earned a reputation as the finest such custom acoustic instruments made.
Bruce Weber and Two Old Hippies owner, Tom Bedell met in 2011, and it was clear they were kindred spirits. They shared a passion for building extraordinary instruments and a similar philosophy in how they respected and cared for their teams.
In 2012, Weber officially joined the Two Old Hippies family. Bruce Weber continues to oversee instrument development and quality, as well as guiding the build processes, continuing as the patriarch of all Weber instruments. This move has allowed Bruce to return to his first love: hand-building exquisite Weber instruments. In March 2013 Weber craftspeople were relocated from Logan, Montana to Bend, Oregon to build Weber instruments under Bruce's guidance.
Bruce commented about the transition, "Our ability to create amazing and unique instruments has expanded incredibly with the capabilities of Tom's new facility and the resources that are now available to us. I’m honored to be included in Tom’s dream and admire his dedication to assembling a great team in a great location to build awesome acoustic instruments."