Roth Trombones

The Roth trombone was originally manufactured by Ohio Band Instrument Co., a subsidiary of F.A. Reynolds, as part of the Roth Band Instruments line that Scherl & Roth sold through their dealers and distribution channels. The Roth line was originally a step up from the basic Regent models, but when the Regent was discontinued and the Emperor line introduced as an intermediate Reynolds model, the Roth line was repositioned as a sturdy, value-focused student instrument. Eventually the line was replaced by the Medalist instruments introduced in the early 1960's.

The “Tone Tempered” nickel-silver bell flare was introduced on a Roth model c.1948, but designated as the new Emperor model cornet when that model line was launched c.1950.

1940-c.1949

Ohio Band Instrument Co. (Cleveland, Ohio)

The Roth trademark application claimed first use in September 1940. Advertisements for Roth instruments also exist from 1940, but the earliest documented Roth trombone is SN 37638 (c.1946).

Model 320

Roth Tenor Trombone (example c.1945)

Brass bell and body; unique brace joins on bell; shown with counterweight and Roth mouthpiece.

Model 320 (SN 34927; photos used with permission from eBay ID: dealz4yinz)

Model 320

Roth Tenor Trombone (example c.1946)

Brass bell and body; unique brace joins on bell; shown without counterweight.

Model TBD [SN 37638]. Photo source: eBay.

c.1949-1952

Ohio Band Instrument Co. (Cleveland, Ohio)

F.A. Reynolds Co., a division of Scherl & Roth (Cleveland, Ohio)

Circa 1949, Reynolds redesigned several aspects of their trombone lines. New bell bracing patterns bear more than a passing resemblance to those made by Olds (where founder Foster A. Reynolds was working after leaving Reynolds in 1946) rather than the previously modeled King trombones. The distinctive "R" counterweight was introduced, though there are some examples of the new braces without the new balancer. Perhaps also inspired by Olds' "Brilliant Bell" feature, the "Tone Tempered" nickel-silver bell flare first appeared on Roth models c.1949 before becoming part of the Emperor line.

Scherl & Roth dissolved the Ohio Band Instrument business c.1950 and Roth instruments were engraved "Made by F.A. Reynolds" for a brief one- or two-year period. Roth instruments in this period also take on the vertical monogram-style bell engraving of the F.A. Reynolds instruments.

Model 320

Roth Tenor Trombone

Bore: TBD
Bell: 7½" brass
Materials: brass bell with nickel-silver braces; brass “R” counterweight
Slide: brass outer slide with brass sleeves and trim, nickel silver braces with brass ferrules; chrome-plated nickel silver inner slides
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer or silverplated with gold-plated bell

Model 320 [SN 52764]. Photos used with permission from eBay Member: eBay Member: rohbockras2 .
Roth Trombone, SN 57111. Photo(s) courtesy of Harry Myers (eBay Member: hmviolins).

Example of "Made by F.A. Reynolds" engraving with vertical monogram lettering.

Model 420

Roth Tenor Trombone with "Tone Tempered" bell flare

Bore: TBD
Bell: 7½" brass stem with nickel-silver bell flare
Materials: brass with nickel-silver braces; brass “R” counterweight
Slide: brass outer slide with brass sleeves and trim, nickel silver braces with brass ferrules; chrome-plated nickel silver inner slides
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer (no silverplate option)

Model 420 [SN 53659]. Photos used with permission from QuikDrop of Boise (eBay Member: quikdropidboi).

In a modestly priced trombone you naturally expect to get that kind of value and no more.

Yet, this is not so with a Roth Trombone. Here is all the smooth, full-round tone you would ask for in a more expensive instrument.

It has the slick slide action, the big, lush tone, the balance and comfort and enjoyment of playing that every trombonist desires, whether beginner or advanced.

Pick up a Roth Trombone. Lay it on your shoulder. "Heft it," play it through all the registers, then see whether you'll be satisfied with anything else in its price class. Yes, the Roth Trombone is class for its price!

c.1949 F.A. Reynolds catalog

1952-1961

Roth-Reynolds (Cleveland, Ohio)

Roth trombones made c.1952 and later are marked "Made by Roth-Reynolds" instead of "F.A. Reynolds". In addition, the main bell engraving changed to a lengthwise script that simply says “Roth”. Roth instruments became the new entry-level models in the combined Roth-Reynolds catalog and were made primarily of brass components with minimal nickel-silver trim.

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.

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.

1953 Roth-Reynolds catalog

Model 320

Roth Tenor Trombone

Bore: .500"
Bell: 7½"
Body: brass bell and braces; brass “R” counterweight
Slide: brass outer slide with brass sleeves and trim, nickel silver braces with brass ferrules; chrome-plated nickel silver inner slides
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer

Model 320 [SN 83463]. Photos used with permission from eBay Member: deanspawn.

Model 370

Roth Tenor Trombone with F attachment

Bore: .520"
Bell: 8½"
Body: brass bell with nickel-silver braces
Valve: rotary valve with F attachment tubing
Slide: brass outer slide with brass sleeves and trim, nickel silver braces with brass ferrules; chrome-plated nickel silver inner slides
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer

Model 370 [SN unknown]. Photos used with permission from eBay Member: winghunters.

1961-1964

RMC/Reynolds (Cleveland, Ohio)

Sometime after Richards Music purchased Reynolds in 1961, the product catalog was renumbered. The old numbers were replaced with a new scheme that reflected the type of instrument. To the best of knowledge, the instrument specifications did not change, just the model numbers.

Model TO-56

Roth Tenor Trombone

Bore: .500"
Bell: 7½"
Body: brass bell and braces; brass “R” counterweight
Slide: brass outer slide with brass sleeves and trim, nickel silver braces with brass ferrules; chrome-plated nickel silver inner slides
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer

Model TO-56 [SN 77311]; photo source: eBay.

Model TO-##

Roth Tenor Trombone with F attachment

Bore: .520"
Bell: 8½"
Body: brass bell with nickel-silver braces
Valve: rotary valve with F attachment tubing
Slide: brass outer slide with brass sleeves and trim, nickel silver braces with brass ferrules; chrome-plated nickel silver inner slides
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer

The purpose of this website is to preserve the history of the F. A. Reynolds Company and the distinctive qualities of its brass instruments. Contempora Corner and contemporacorner.com are not related or associated in any way to the former or current F.A. Reynolds Company.

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