Weber prototype F-style, 2006, acoustic. $2,800.
Here's an F-style mandolin by Weber, from the company's days in Logan, Montana. It's labeled as a prototype and has a simple "Weber" script in the headstock, rather than the standard company logo or any decoration. But in other respects it has standard F-style appointments, with a root beer–colored matte sunburst finish, F holes, and single-ply dark binding on the top. The back is flame maple and unbound. Extended fretboard, Brekke bridge, and standard nickel cast Weber tailpiece. It has an adjustable neck with a truss rod cover.
     There are some light surface plectrum marks from enthusiastic picking, but no significant wear on the frets. The mandolin will be shipped with a new set of D'Addario J74s.
     Weber has built many, many different models and variations of F-style mandolins over the years, and I don't know exactly which model this prototype might be associated with — or if perhaps it's something that never went into production. The full body scroll and extended fretboard would place it somewhere in the upper middle of the Weber line; it seems to have characteristics of both the Bitterroot and the Yellowstone without conforming entirely to either model. The Weber label says "Prototype 2006" and has Bruce Weber's signature.
     These days Weber Bitterroot F-styles start at $3,999; you can save a few bucks on this one if you're willing to go with something a little out of the ordinary. Includes a deluxe rectangular hardshell Weber case.
     See more photos, hear a clip, or for more information. $2,800 plus shipping. 48-hour approval period.