The Roth trombone was originally manufactured by Ohio Band Instrument Co., F.A. Reynolds’ student instrument manufacturing division. Advertisements for Roth instruments in general exist from 1940; the earliest recorded Roth trombone is SN 37638 (~1945/46). After the corporate sale to Scherl & Roth in 1946, Reynolds continued to produce Roth instruments under the Ohio Band name until 1950, then briefly under the “F.A Reynolds” label (see below) until they were rebranded as “Roth-Reynolds” instruments circa 1952.
|Roth Tenor Trombone | Body: Brass bell; no counterweight; note the original King-style ferrules on the bell bracing | Slide:TBD | Finish: TBD|
The distinctive “R” counterweight was added around 1946 and most likely reflects Roth’s new ownership of Ohio Band and Reynolds (the “R” counterweight appears around this time on all other Reynolds trombone models as well).
The Roth “Tone Tempered” model with nickel-silver bell flare was introduced in the mid-to-late 1940s, but was soon thereafter designated as the new Emperor model trombone when that model line was launched c.1950.
After Scherl & Roth eliminated the Regent line from Ohio Band’s catalog, they appear to have consolidated the remaining Roth line into the Reynolds catalog. Roth instruments made between c.1950 and c.1952 are marked “Made by F.A. Reynolds”.
The Roth trombone with F attachment was introduced in the mid/late 1950s as an inexpensive option compared to the other available F attachment models at the time (Contempora, Professional). Despite its “student” positioning, those who have played the Roth tenor trombones find them surprisingly flexible and playable in a variety of settings.
It is likely that any Roth instruments sold after 1961 under RMC ownership were existing stock from previous production rather than newly manufactured. The RMC shield was added to the engraving pattern.
Notes and Quotes
1953, 1958, 1959 Roth-Reynolds catalog: “The greatest value of all trombones. A professional trombone within the price range of a student instrument. Easy to blow, fast and most responsive slide action. Slides are made of one-piece nickel silver, chrome plated finish. Scientifically balanced for easy holding. Ruggedly built – strikingly designed and carefully made by Roth-Reynolds craftsmen. Complete with French style, shaped case.”
1958: “The ‘Professional’ and ‘Roth’ models are ideal for lead or bass trombone work and a popular favorite with school bands.” (listed with Bass Trombones)
1959: “Rich, full, responsive tone — superb intonation — excellent ease of playing. These remarkable qualities are embodied in our popular Tenor Trombones with F attachment and it is, therefore, that Roth-Reynolds also leads in this category.”