Jan 31 1951 - Aug 14 2009
Ted Weber... We all the know the name, we all know the work, and we will all miss him dearly. If you play music or work in the music industry it's most likely you've played or used Weber gear. The first amp I ever modified (which was the first piece of gear I ever hot-rodded) I upgraded with a set of Ted Weber's speakers. I'll never forget how stoked I was when I flipped the switch and heard how much sweeter my amp sounded, and for those of you who aren't on top of things it doesn't end with just speakers. There's much more than speakers, Weber offers everything from attenuators, custom cabinets, and amp kits, to amp tech tools, impendance correctors, amp switchers, and custom amp covering/tolex. It doesn't end there either, there are many more great quality products. So what drives a man to take it to this level? Simple, love and passion for tone, music, and sound. Recently I had a chance to chat with Ted's son about his father and his work. He shared some great stories on his father, and some insight on the life Ted Weber lived working to bring us players the amazing tools that are now available. Let's take a moment to look into the life of a visionary, legend, and artist. Ladies and gents, the life and times of Ted Weber.
Ted it seemed was curious cat at even a very young age. At the age of 5 he wired a telephone into his treehouse. Around 6th-7th grade he put together a hover craft as a science project, made of a lawn mower and sled. By the time Ted reached his teens he had neighbors, friends, family members, and strangers bringing him broken radios, toasters, and many many other random electronics. He would repair these gadgets and most of the time happy to do it in exchange for a candy bar or soda pop. As the years went on Ted would pick up skills here and there, pick up different hobbies and learn new ones. Another thing many people don't know about Ted Weber is that he played in a bunch of psychedelic and experimental rock garage bands. Pretty cool right? They would play shows that consisted of everything from school dances to university campus's. The little bit of money made from these band adventures was used to fuel the may projects that Ted had laying around or dreamt up. After high school Ted would attend technical school in Louisville, KY and graduated first in his class. He even ended up getting the highest exam score in the entire school's history. He would then be questioned on his scores only to retake them and blow them away a second time. If there's one thing that's for sure it's that the electronic bug was burrowed deep inside this cat. Later Ted would enlist in the Air Force, where he would have his first encounter with tinkering with speaker systems, and probably where his love for speakers was born. He was primarily assigned to work on communication lines, he would learn the ropes and take everything he could from the rules of sound. One time while on base he installed a series of speakers so that the fellas would have music to listen to while still on base. In 1976 Ted finished his Air Force duties and moved him and his family back to the town of Kokomo Indiana, where he had once resided. Once home he would land a job at Delco Electronics, work many different within the outfit, and eventually land a position as manager of research labs. It was at this time that he also worked a handful of side projects and small family business's from his home. It must have been great to get his feet wet and taste the thrill of running a family biz. It was around this time Ted's sister would marry a cat who's family owned and ran a speaker business. By this time the business was already 3 generations old. Of course Ted would end up working for this company and and up once again putting his ideas to work in the research lab. He would begin to put together his first speaker designs around this time, working both in the lab and in his home. It's obvious just how much of a passion he must have had, and the reason why he ended up building such killer products. His first speaker designs would go to friends, local bands, and cats that would find out by word of mouth. Everyone who had a chance to put one of his speakers through it's paces was always amazed with the feel and sound they produced. Once Ted had his solid following he would ask his son TA to join him in Kokomo. At first TA didn't dig the idea of leaving sunny Hollywood, California. Once he got a taste of his father's passion and work he moved back to join him and start Weber Vintage Sound Technology. This was in 1996, it started small, slow, ruff, and tuff. There was no way Ted was going to quite now, not after all he'd put into his passion and work. The next few years would pass and it would be lots of work, more learning, and more awesome creations. Five years into the business the paychecks would come rolling in, they were on their way. I can only imagine how great that must have felt. We all have dreams and all have that one little bug that pokes at us and pushes us to keep moving. That's what Ted had in him and this is what kept him going. You can call it what you will but in the end it is the love for the game that brings about our best work. Whether we're musicians, painters, singers, design effects, or build speakers, it is the love for these passions that makes us what we are. Ted was and his gear is innovative, influential, and inspiring. There aren't many cats out there in the last few years who have taken their dreams this far, and who knows why. maybe it's the technology or the competition. We must take a person like Ted Weber and let him be some drive for us, let his work show us that hard work pays off. Being able to turn his talent from hobby to business was a thrill for Ted. Even after retiring Ted would answer every email and be of assistance to his customers. If you did business with Weber chances are you got one of those late night or early morning emails. Customer service was always a huge part of Ted's way, this is how he liked it and hwo he became so popular. Lord knows I always appreciate it when I get a reply from the owner, designer, or builder of a product I use. Up until his last days Ted was still dreaming up and stirring ideas in his head, he felt he wasn't ready and that he needed to show us these creations. "Ted my friend, wherever you are, don't sweat it brother you did more than your part to deliver to us players an awesome collection of gear and musical products." This is only the tip of the iceberg, it would take a lot more to tell Ted Weber's story. If I've been able to show you some of what this man did for us, and a bit on how he lived that rocks. You guys cab always check out the Weber website to get a deeper insight on all the killer gear that he has brought us. Keep on rocking and may we remember those who give us the tools to create our musical voices. Rest in Peace Ted Weber.
For more info on Weber Speakers go to www.tedweber.com or visit the direct link in our sidebar. Stay tuned for some great reviews of Weber Speakers to come in the near future. Keep on rockin!