Ernst Heinrich Roth Violins

November 21, 2004 at 12:52 AM · I have been searching for a violin and found a Ernst Heinrich Roth model, 1925 that has a sound that I really like. Since this is my first experience purchasing a violin I want to be sure that the violin is a good value and that I am not paying too much. Can anyone share any information about this type of violin? Thanks very much

Replies (101)

November 21, 2004 at 01:26 AM · I thought about buying a Roth two years ago. I ultimately found that the sound was just too pervasively dark, and that it wasn't capable of much variety. Also, the sound of that instrument was very appealing at the time, but had little depth, and was unlikely to reveal new dimensions as I grew as a player (I was only 15 at the time). All that said, I think they're solid instruments, and obviously my experience only pertains directly to that particular violin. Where did you find it? If I remember correctly, the one I was looking at was at Williams and Gengakki in Atlanta. Good luck in your search.

November 21, 2004 at 02:20 AM · There's a span of grades in the Roth line. The grades are tied to the "date" of the violin copied--the closer to 1737 for a Strad model, the better the grade; the closer to 1700, the lower the grade. Good examples of the higher models made in the 20s sell for as much as $6500, but the lower models would be worth less--much less for the lowest ones.

November 21, 2004 at 05:26 AM · The one I looked at was overpriced at 6500-- the final reason I took my business elsewhere. I ended up with a much nicer instrument for only 5000.

November 21, 2004 at 05:48 AM · Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :-)

November 21, 2004 at 10:29 PM · I want to get a 20's roth myself, they dont seem to be too hard to find

November 22, 2004 at 12:25 AM ·

There are really quite a few of them, and as much as I hate to say it, they are usually quite beautiful--especially the varnish, and to my taste, the f-holes.

Some very famous (later on) violin makers were working in the Roth shop at the time making them, and the only things wrong with them tend to be excessive amounts of wood in the worst wrong places (for instance, the ribs are usually 50% thicker than any violin maker makes his ribs). Once that's taken out and they're graduated to more normally (and I don't mean by that "thin") graduations, with a new bassbar and setup, they can be dynamite violins.

I've done several for clients, and every one was worth doing, though I don't, myself, think the cost of the operation is in scale with the value of the violin, since the work makes them better players (and easier to sell) but doesn't increase the sales price a bit.

November 22, 2004 at 12:27 AM · Thanks for all your input. The main problem I have right now is the asking price for this violin which is $7400. I looked online and saw Roth violins of similar vintage with a wide range of prices from $4,000 up to to $8500. This one is a Strad Copy 1925 - it has a beautiful one piece back and the varnish is very attractive. The sales person at the shop said that older Roth violins are becoming more popular and are commanding much higher prices than in the past. Is this true? I really am in a quandary since my budget does not allow me to go any higher than $7500 and I haven't played any violins that I really like any better than this one. Oh well maybe I better keep searching...thanks again for all the advice and information.

November 22, 2004 at 12:55 AM ·

Just because the salesman has chosen YOU to set a new world record price, it doesn't mean you have to play along.

Your willingness to move onward to something else is the best of all possible leverages you could have in this situation. I'd suggest you offer to him a price somewhat below what you feel comfortable with, and see if he can't find some way to make a sale he undoubtedly wants to make, by compromising. By leaving a bit of room for you to move up, you can even make him feel like he "won" when you do, since no savvy salesman will take the customer's first offer. :-)

Just set a limit, and be prepared to walk. Who knows--you might save yourself $1000 with 20 minutes of work. :-)

November 22, 2004 at 03:28 AM · Great responses! As a violinist, you can't put a price on finding the violin of your dreams. Of course you want to get a good deal, but you must search and play a lot of violins. Also be careful on if the violin sounds only good to you under the ear. Make sure that you have someone else play it for you. Roth violins are excellent instruments. However some of them are on the thin side. If it has been played a lot and doesn't have a wolf tone or slightly muffled tone it's probably stood the test of time. If it's newly set up be carefull. The brightness and response may only be temporary. If the one you like has a label and a separate brand on the inside, then it was made by the old man. It should be an orange-brown color. Provided that it's healthy and in mint condition Buy it!

November 22, 2004 at 03:26 AM · Greetings,

I have got to admit the way people buy violins these days seems a litlte odd to me. I think things have chnaged becuase of e-bay and more efifcient delivery servcies or somehting?????

For what ts worth I would buy a violin as follows:

Find a reputable dealer ythrouhg your teacher and other players (such as this site) althouhg don@t necessarily trust just one opinion.

Walk into the shop and ask to see between five and ten instruments in your range. -Never- more expensive unless it is just for fun.

Spend about three hours playing all of them over and over again. When one really clicks ask to take that one home for at least a week. You may have to pay soem kind of deposit. Then show your teahcer and as many oothers as possible.

If you can@t pracitce in the shop for a long time, they dont have instruments to compare or they won`t let you try it for a week, smile politely and go elsewhere.



November 22, 2004 at 03:30 AM · Even if the price is high, the value is there. There are some Chinese violins that sound great, but the value is not there. If you can get one for $500-1000 that sounds better isn't that more important. But the Roth is also an investment. It might be high now but in 20yrs. you won't be able to get that violin for that price.

November 22, 2004 at 04:58 AM · I just got a chance to check in on this thread this evening. Personally, I happen to think that Roths can be amazing fiddles, and it is true that the prices for them have jumped somewhat in the last few years. Funny thing is, in Europe they can be sought-after instruments, because so many of them were exported to the U.S. that they're pretty rare in Europe.

That being said, everything

Mr. Darnton said before is true -- they can be thick in exactly the places you don't want. But that usually translates into a sound that you don't want too, so if the sound is good, then the dimensions are likely to be fine as well.

Pricewise, in Europe they are going for as much as 6000-7000 euros these days, which is a considerable amount of money ($8000-9500 US). But that's mainly because the dollar has fallen so dramatically lately. I would agree that $7400 seems a little high, especially if the salesman knows that you can spend $7500. He might be tailoring the price to your budget, the way a car salesman will figure out what monthly payment you can make and then offer you cars that fit that, even if they're a higher total price than you're looking for. If you really want the instrument, a little haggling certainly wouldn't hurt.

Like I said, when they come into European shops they can fly off the shelf because they're quality instruments at a decent price. If you can find one in great condition, they're certainly worth hanging on to.

In the same vein, a top-level Heberlein is similar in quality. A Kreisler 'del Gesu' copy from the Heinrich Th., Jr. workshop can be every bit as good as a Roth, and usually a couple thousand dollars cheaper. You might also look around for one of those too, although they're harder to find.

November 22, 2004 at 05:03 AM · There was an article in the Strings magazine not too long ago where they featured an american collector of German trade violins like the Roths. In that article, he stated that the reason the Roths, and other similar German made violins was getting a bum rap about their sound being too dark is because they purposely make these violins with a thicker graduation to withstand shipping. Apparently, since these violins where brought to the U.S. shore by ship, they tended to crack on their way here (US), thus make them unsellable. The solution German makers came up with was to make the graduation thicker. I don't have a way to vouch for this theory, but it was a String article, hopefully someone else could confirm.

November 22, 2004 at 05:42 AM · As I commented on another thread recently, violin prices don't mean the same thing as prices in the markets one typcially deals with. This is confusing to many novice buyers, who think (implicitly) that prices of instruments have been set by the interaction of many buyers and sellers. That is only partly true in this market. To a great extent, sellers set the price. They are quite happy to ask more than a maker's instruments have ever sold for in the hope that someone will pay it (in which case this becomes the new "market price" for maker x's instruments).

I have myself heard this line from dealers -- maker X is up and coming and you should pay more for the instrument than your research would indicate. They are looking to see if they can entice you into making a bad decision. My recommendation is to offer what you can pay or what YOU think is a fair price. You may be surprised to find out that they will sell for this price. I have seen instruments sell for 50% of a dealer's original asking price.

November 22, 2004 at 04:27 PM · The best Roth I ever played was (I believe) a 1957 and was priced at 2200 USD. It blew away a couple of Roths from the 1920's which I had previously seen.

November 23, 2004 at 01:05 AM · Probably a stupid question: 1998 Roth worth much?

November 24, 2004 at 01:12 AM · I have a 1928 Roth Strad Copy (1718), and I've been very happy with it. It is indeed quite a solid instrument, but not so far that the sound is compromised. It is gorgeous with a one piece back. Its sound isn't as deep and complex as I might look for when I upgrade again (sometime in the distant future..). But the sound is pure and quite beautiful, provided that I'm playing well :)

I did pay top dollar for it, about what the one you like costs, Shelia. However, the violin was in pristine condition, I loved it, and my parents were it was worth it.

My teacher at the time thought it might have been a master instrument, made by Roth himself. Like Gregory mentioned, it has both a label and a separate brand on the inside. However, I was recently told that Roth didn't make any after 1926. Does anyone else know this for a fact, or have information about this? How much more are master violins worth as opposed to others?

November 24, 2004 at 01:27 AM · oh wait.. on the other hand, I just took a closer look at the label. The writing is kinda hard to read, so I can't tell if it says 1928 or 1925. Hmmm......

November 24, 2004 at 02:44 AM ·

November 24, 2004 at 12:43 PM · I just looked at the inside of the instrument and there is a brand right above the label that says Ernst Heinrich Roth and a number below it. Does this make the instrument more valuable? Once again thank you to everyone for providing so much information. I have been playing the instrument all week and really love it. I am going back to the shop on Friday armed with all your suggestions and I will attempt to get a better price. I really appreciate all the feedback!!

November 24, 2004 at 12:47 PM · No--it just helps confirm it's real. I don't believe what was said above about Roth himself making the branded violins--there are far, far too many of them. I'd question whether he had any meaningful hand in production at all: given the size of the operation and the number of violins, it's not possible that he did much more than sign the paychecks. I believe I remember reading once that his production might have been a few dozen violins and that's all. Essentially, he was a businessman trained as a violin maker.

November 24, 2004 at 04:19 PM · I’ve had my 1925 Roth for 2 years this week. Hearing myself in loud orchestral music is a problem, otherwise I love it.

December 8, 2004 at 10:30 PM · First, "thanks" to all who have contributed to this discussion of Roth violins; I have learned a great deal.

My questions are in regard to my newly acquired 1922 Ernst Heinrich Roth. First, does anyone have information regarding the labeling of early Roths? Mine is the first pre-1924 Roth I have seen and it has neither the commonly seen lables including the maker's name in script; My label simply reads "Ernst Heinrich Roth" and, beneath that, "Markneukirchen 1/S", and beneath that "Anno 1922" and beneath that "Copie: Antonius Stradivarius" Has anyone seen similar labels?

Also, the instrument is very powerful, but strung with Dominants seems a bit harsh and bright with little warmpth or depth to the sound. Does anyone have recommendations regarding string makers and types for this instrument? It seems to make sense that instruments of a certain age were crafted for gut or lower-tensioned strings? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Rgds., Robert

December 9, 2004 at 12:10 AM ·

December 9, 2004 at 01:23 AM · Just fyi, I was just talking to the fine instruments department at Shar and they mentioned a Roth, 1920s, for $6500. Why not give Shar a call and ask to set up an appraisal. They will send the violin to you. (I think you pay $35 for that, and you are responsible for the return shipment if you don't buy it).

December 10, 2004 at 04:25 PM · I just bought a 1920 Roth (1718 Strad model) for my son a couple of weeks ago. We paid at the upper end of the market ($7000) but got a very early one in pristine condition. We tried more than a couple of dozen violins over six weeks and finally settled on this one for its strong, even tone. I've also seen a pretty big range in price with a 1930 listed right now at Johnson's in Boston for $8500.

I would add my words to one of the previous notes to encourage you to take the instruments home and play them for a while. This one had not been played in many years. It opened up considerably after a few days. We also found the Dominant strings not to be a good match. Right now we're using the new Thomastik Vision.

The person who sold it to us is a German restorer who went to violin-making school with EH Roth IV. She's given me copies of pages pertaining to my violin from the book "The Master Violins Made by Erst Heinrich Roth".

For the previous question about labels: the book shows two authentic labels. 1) Roth's full name in script over Markneukirchen 19--, (over) Reproduction of Antonius Stradivarius Cremona 17--; or, 2) Copy of Antonius Stradivarius made by Ernst Heinrich Roth (no date, not in script) Both should have serial number and full name branded on back above label.

December 13, 2004 at 12:56 AM · Troy, thanks for the additional detail regarding Roth labels. I have seen the 1924 documentation with the two types of Roth labels commonly found in instruments post 1924. I have had an experienced luthier authenticate my 1922 Strad copy, but have been hoping to find other examples of my label. (my 1922 also has the Roth branding in the wood)

For all who may have additional expereince with Roths, was there a different label used before Ernst Heinrich's son, Heinrich, headed for the US in 1922?

My 1922 has the name "Ernst Heinrich Roth" printed in a German gothic block font in a curved fashion similar to the name branded on the back. (The label also includes the information listed above in my previous post.)

All assistance appreciated.

December 13, 2004 at 05:56 AM ·

December 15, 2004 at 12:44 AM · Regarding stringing and labels, I have learnt the following in the past three days.

Keith, you are certainly correct about strings! I went to another luthier who is very familiar with old Roths and he claims that the Dominants are simply the wrong string for many older Roths, especially those with a slightly higher projection of the fingerboard and, hence, a higher bridge. He re-strung my 1922 with the new Zyex (mediums) strings and moved the soundpost about a millimeter toward the bridge. The result has been remarkable. Gone is the rasp and narrowly developed tones; present are clear and warm tones, with virtually no reduction in volume, with a wonderful ringing "e". He offered me the Obligatos and then mentioned that these are very similar and less expensive.

Also I learnt that there is another legitimate label for Roths as described in my earlier post. He has seen about half a dozen in his thrity years working on violins and remembered that they were all on very early Roth instruments.

Keith, my instrument does not have a serial number branded on the back, but does have the number "87" written in light pencil under the right "F". Should I learn more about such markings, I will post my findings.

December 17, 2004 at 10:33 PM · The I/S indicates "in Saxony" as far as we've been told. We presently own an Ernst Heinrich Roth with a burnt brand in the center of the back with the former name on top and Markneukirchen underneath in an oval manner. Directly underneath is a paper label with :Ernst Heinrich Roth

Markneukirchen I/S. Underneath that is Anno 19 printed with 23. handwritten. Under that is "Copie: Antonius Stradivarius" There is no year. This violin is completely original, pristine condition and has a beautifully flamed one piece back. It has a very powerful sound - set up with Evah Pirazi strings.The price on these instruments seems to be a matter of opinion. The real price is what is offered and what one is willing to pay. Condition and sound being the most important factor to the player.

January 19, 2005 at 04:33 AM · I am wrting in regards to my mothers violin. I have it in my possession. She played it in her youth and she is now 85. I am not familiar with the instrument and it needs what appears to be minor repair. I've read some of the discussions on your site that makes me feel that it would be worth repairing. It is a E H Roth 1926 on paper Label and reproduction of A.S. Cremona 1774. I did see a number by the stamp on the wood that looked like 2088. There are 2 bows 1 is about 4" longer than the other marked Germany with what appears to be mother of pearl inlay. The instrument has been in it's original case for many years.

Is it something I should have repaired and if so, how can I be sure it is done by a reputable repairer? I am new to this area.

January 19, 2005 at 04:55 AM · Hi Karen,

Unless you play there's no pressing need to have it brought back into playing condition, but judging by what we've read here I'd definitely quit storing it the shed out back.

Since you're new, I can say you might try emailing Mr. Avagliano or Mr. Darnton if they don't see your question.

January 19, 2005 at 04:13 PM · Karen,

I would take it to a qualified luthier and have it looked at. If you're not too far from the Boston area, you could bring it to Reuning or Johnson. They would be able to give you an accurate assessment of its value and needs for repair.

January 21, 2005 at 08:39 AM · The book *German and Austrian Violin-makers* by Paul Hamlyn (Published 1967) shows two paper labels on Ernst Heinrich Roth voilins.

One paper label has centered fancy script text surrounded by scalloped border design:

Ernst Heinrich Roth

Markneukirchen 19 (--)

Reproduction of

Antonuis Stradivarius

Cremona 17 (--)

The other has centered bold Germanic text surrounded by solid/dashed border:

Ernst Heinrich Roth


anno 19 (--)

Roth, Ernst Heinrich (I); Markneukirchen b. 1877 d. 1948. Violin maker. Son of Gustav Robert Roth.

Roth, Ernst Heinrich (II); Bubenreuth b. 1938 (no death date given in 1967 publication). Manager of the workshop founded by his forefathers. Son of Albert Gustav Roth.

I have also read somewhere that some Roth violins (like mine) have the brand stamp with different mystery numbers, like this:




... while others do not have brand stamp. lists a Roth for $1200US. Problably a Roth student model, but may be worth checking out. I purchased a Roth for $500 with a very bad crack in the front soundboard, which I am now having repaired. Even with the awful damage, it sounded great--better than some new $3000-$6000 violins I auditioned.

January 22, 2005 at 04:16 AM · Your question about a Roth - I have a Roth marked Jacobus Hornsteiner - 1929 hand made copy of Antonius Stradavarius and branded Jacobus Hornsteiner. I have been offered up to $8000 for this instrument and wouldn't part with it. Good luck with your search.

January 26, 2005 at 02:31 AM · Somebody gave me a Ernst Heinrich Roth bow to try out today. It has L29 and a star and Germany stamped on it also. It sounds good but feels weak. At least it's straight :-)

January 28, 2005 at 10:06 PM · I have a 1972 Roth and it is very dark, but easy to play and NO wolftones. I use Infeld Blues to brighten it.

February 17, 2005 at 03:04 PM · Hello

I found a Enrst Heinrich Roth violin that I would like to give to my grand daughter. I not sure if it is real or a copy the tag says

Enrst Heinrich Roth (Dark Printing)

IMPERIAL VIOLIN (looks to be part of label design)

Markneukirchen 19(27) Dark Pringting)

The 27 is hand written. After reading the postings on this page I looked for other markings and didn’t find any.

Although some repair is needed it sounded great when tuned. I’d say a deep warm tone.

Any information would be appreciated

February 18, 2005 at 02:19 PM · I very much appreciate the string references & recommendations on this thread. The previous owner of my 1925 Roth came to the conclusion that the only string brand that works on the instrument is Eudoxas. The one short-coming of my violin is that it does not project very well so that hearing myself in orchestra is often a problem. I’d like to try some different string brands, possibly brighter-sounding ones, to see if I could compensate even just a little.

February 18, 2005 at 04:53 PM · It's my understanding that different Roth models are patterned after different classic's possible that strings which work well on one 1920's Roth might not be the best for another.

February 24, 2005 at 10:05 PM · Mine (1972) is easy to play and has no wolftones. It is a good instrument.

The Roth's from the 1920's are considered to be the best.

February 25, 2005 at 10:48 PM · anyone interested in purchasing a roth?

mine's a 1929 guarneri del gesu model

March 8, 2005 at 04:09 AM · Hello everyone, my first journey on this web site. Sorry for my english.. I'm a french canadian..

About six months ago, I purchased an Ernst Heinrich Roth copy of a 1914 Strad. So far, I'm pleased with his sound as a amateur student who love violin so much. I litteraly fell in love with it.. and since then, it's a love story. The sound is deep, clear, full of emotions. My teacher was stumpted when she tries it. (For you who want to buy a violin, it's good to bring someone who REALLY knows how to extract the best sound of a violin!) The sound is beautiful, and the varnish.. dark red/orange with a 2 pieced back. I just like it 100%. As for the question of finding a good luthier, just talk with them, ask lots of questions.. you'll fell it. Mine is Jean-Marc Forget in Montreal. If anyone know Angele Dubeau, he's the one who takes care of her second violin.. the french one. Anyway.. My violin is in minth condition, I like it a lot, and have nothing but good things to say about it. For someone who discovered violins at age 17, and that is age 20 now.. I tell you, there is no age to start discovering a passion!!!


March 10, 2005 at 04:26 PM · I am looking for an Ernst Heinrich Roth model(new or not too old). Since there are no many options around Chicago’s violin shops (Actually, I do not know much about the violin shop in Chicago area), I look through the Internet. There are several models available in online stores “Music 123” and “”. I hesitated to buy a violin without playing. Any experiences and comments on where and how to get a good one in this situation?

April 3, 2005 at 01:40 AM · Help, I have been ask to sell two violins from an Estate. On one label "Antonuis Stradivarius Germany" and other words I didn't write down. It is in original box about 25 3/4" long and have two bows. with mother of pearl dots. The other label " Faciebat Anno 17 Germany". It is all there, in original box, but pieces are loose. I was told this was from around 1880. It is 22 1/4" long.It has one bow with this violin that looks like it has Tiger strips and marked "Louis". Are these worth anything? Just point me in a direction to look for value. Thanks

April 23, 2005 at 03:46 PM · This is my first time posting to this site:

I have several violins that were my great grandfathers, that were later played by my grandfather. None have been played in probably fifteen years. Only one has a case and bow, the rest probably were lost in a fire over thirty years ago. My question is this:

I want to begin taking lessons, but i know very little about were to go to get the violin cleaned. The instrument that i plan on using is

---branded into the violins back inside----

Ernst Heinrich Roth



-----paper label--------

Erush heiurich roth

Markneukirchen 1928


reproduction of

josef guarnerius

cremona 1734

It is a beautiful orange-brown colour

with a solid back with stripes that remind me of a tasmanian tiger.

I really would appreciate and information of this model, it seems very difficult to find any info on a roth reproduction of a josef guarnerius.

April 30, 2005 at 05:00 PM · Your Roth violin is a Model II-R, being the next to lowest grade made at that time. DON"T attempt to clean the violin yourself or have it cleaned at a "music store". This should only be done by a qualified luthier at a violin shop.

Dan Lawrence

May 2, 2005 at 08:09 PM · I have located a Roth violin that is stamped and reads Ernst Heinrich Roth Markneukirchen 1924 Reproduction of Josef Guarnerius Cremona 1736. It has a two piece back. Any ideas what this may be worth. It is not set up so I have no idea how it sounds. Thanks.

May 4, 2005 at 08:45 PM · Here is a Japanese site that gives the relation of "copy dates" to the quality of the Roth. You don't need to know Kanji to understand this.

May 8, 2005 at 07:20 PM · Hi Everyone, I'm brand new to this discussion, and the group. So...greetings from San Francisco,I'm Cindi. I wanted to get some opinions on the EH Roth issue. I just bought a viola (I play viola and violin - don't hate me!) by EH Roth 1957. It has the stamp Ernst Heinrich Roth Bubenreuth - Erlanger and the serial # 1507R.

Then underneath is the previously discussed label in script with the date 1959, and says it's a reproduction of a 1700 Strad. I found it in the paper, and thought I'd try it out just for fun. I know it will need some adjustments, but I was amazed at how good it sounded immediately( after not being played in 5 years, with a crooked bridge, and terrribly old strings.) I paid $550 for it, and felt like it was a very good deal. I've tried other instruments in the $5-7K range that didn't sound half as good. Any thoughts?

May 25, 2005 at 11:41 AM · In regards to the Roth violin. My Father gave me one in 1969 when I was in middle school. At the time he paid $357.00 for it. I remember that because he never let me forget. Anyway, I played it all the way through college. After not having even looked at it since 1980 I have decided to pick it up again. I had an old teacher of mine put new strings on, put up the bridge (original bridge, 37 yrs. old), and put up the sound post. I was thrilled. Well, the first time I started playing or should I say tried to start playing the bridge snapped in two and the sound post fell. I've ordered a bridge through Shar but now am at a loss as to where to get it fitted. I live in a small town in IOWA. Any suggestions?

While I'm on the subject of my Violin. It's a 1968 Roth and the number stamped inside is C8 0526. The label also says Cremona 1734 and Josef Guarnerius. Does anyone have any idea of the history or quality of this violin. My Dad says he just went to the music store and said he wanted the best they had. Of course remember this was in 1968 or 1969. I have always been told it has an incredible sound. Any ideas?

Thanks Tess

May 25, 2005 at 01:31 PM · Tess, there are Roth student model violins and then there are E.H. Roth handmade violins...there's a huge diffence in quality and value and there are lots of the student instruments scattered around. Perhaps your teacher who re-strung it for you can tell you which you have. Good luck, I hope it's the real deal.

May 25, 2005 at 03:58 PM · Teresa,

I think it's a middle range Roth, made in Bubenreuth/Erlangen. There are two things i can tell you:

1. Those made in Bubenreuth/Erlangen (since 1960s) are generally not as good as those made in Markneukirchen (before 1960).

2. The model 1734 Del Gesu is in middle range of Roth's lines. I think if yours is in excellent condition, your Roth is about $3000-$5000 retail.

Last year i sold my 1966 Stradivari 1700 model Roth in excellent (perfect!, almost new) condition for 1700$ because i'm in need of money (to buy my Nurnberger bow, which i have sold recently). The buyer was happy with it.

It happens to me again now and i will sell my violin and my Pfretzschner bow soon in Ebay to purchase my new commission. Although i don't like my new violin much like my noname Markneukirchen violin (better than my Roth too) but the new violin is a souvenir for my old story so i must keep it.

May 26, 2005 at 12:53 PM · Hi,

Thanks for the info. My violin is in the shop now so I can't actually look at it. But I do remember having a certificate stating that it is a genuine handmade Roth. I haven't been able to find that though. I seem to remember it was made in Bubenreuth/Erlangen. It has been played quite a bit. Soon after I got it the teacher had us all leave our instruments in the instrument room at school and when I got my violin at the end of the day someone had scratched it on the back. It didn't go all the way to the wood but I know it's there. There is some wear on one side but nothing that would be considered rough. I have no intention of selling it right now but I'm more interested in the value for insurance purposes. Anyone know where to get this appraised?

At the music store here they didn't even know where to find the make of it. Thank god they sent it away to be fixed. When my husband dropped it off the guy at first thought it was a rental, then didn't know where to find the serial number or make, my husband (who by the way has never played an instrument) had to show him. Thank god my husband had the for thought to get a copy of the work order before he left. Otherwise who knows where it would end up.

Now one more question. How do I preserve this violin? As I said before I live in Iowa. I have always kept it in the bedroom closet or under the bed. Never in a shed or garage or attic or basement. I will be playing it again. I've heard about humidifiers but have never used one. Any suggestions would be great?

Thanks again.


May 26, 2005 at 01:29 PM · In Iowa, humidify only during heating season...and do it through keeping it in a humidified room. Keep it out of heat, sun (summer car) or cold. Also, keep the bridge square (basically) to the top. Tuning tends to gradually bend the bridge making it curl. There are lots of sources on care of the violin. Try Maestronet discussion forum and do some searches. I have a Roth, and have always liked it. Mine is a 1961 Roth strad copy.

May 26, 2005 at 02:19 PM · Teresa,

I have found some websites with the new Roth model Del Gesu 1734 avaiable. They sell them for about 2500$-3000$, so i think yours is about 2500$-3500$. This model is the serie II-R/53 of Concert line from Roth. They have Concert, Master and Classics lines. The Classics line is the most expensive line, then the Masters.

You could know more about them at their website, write the name "Ernst Heinrich Roth" in Google and you will immediately find them.

May 26, 2005 at 03:39 PM · I have a Roth made in the 1950's and it has a powerful, dark tone that I love. I will never buy another violin. It is a Guarneri del Gesu

copy made in Babenreuth, Ger. I encourage you to purchase the Roth that you have 'found' ! God bless, or as they say in southern Germany, Grus Gott.

June 3, 2005 at 03:35 PM · Hello,

I have my grandparent's violins. I would like to know their value. The labels read:

(The 1st violin has a 2 piece back)

G.A. Pfretzschner, Markneukirchen


Antonius Stradvarius Cremonae

faciebat anno 1716 Germany

(the 2nd violin has 1 piece back)

Roth's signature is on the violin

Reproduction of the

"Carol of Wilton" Amati

Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1664

I had the latter one repaired and fixed by a violinmaker. That cost me $500. This is the violin I play. I would never sell them, but I'm curious to see what their value is. I don't know who to call to get them appraised. I live in Cleveland, Ohio.

Thank you, Debbie

June 27, 2005 at 09:34 PM · I found a nice used 1700 model completed in 1954. It is very well crafted, easy to play and sounding better every day. It came in the original case, had the certificate of authenticity and has that all telling brand inside on the back. It must have sat idle for a lot of years because it looks new.

I am curious what distiguishes the 1700 model from the others. Are they just not made as well? Lower quality woods? Or are they just not as fancy?

June 29, 2005 at 10:52 AM ·

July 2, 2005 at 07:42 PM · I am selling an Ernst Heinrich Roth 1927 violin. It is in excellent condition and has a very clear tone. I am a violinist in San Francisco and have played it quite a bit in the 8 years that I have owned it with professional orchestras and chamber music groups, and people have been quite surprised that it is a German violin. I am a little sad to be parting with it and have been told that maybe I should keep it even with the purchase of a significantly more expensive instrument because it's been very good to me, but I am trying to gauge interest. Any thoughts? Do people have advice on where to list and post to get the most interest? Thanks.

September 4, 2006 at 04:34 PM · I am having trouble finding information on a violin from my father that was made by

Erush Heinrich Roth

Markneukirchen 19(24)

Reproduction of

Antonuis Stradivarius

Cremona 17(25)

A handwritten index card in the case says that Roth. - A family of violin makers in Markneukirchen, Germany still in existance. Hundreds of instruments in different qualities; $50 - $350. Known for reproductions of Stradivarious and Guarneri(?), Erush Heinrich Roth (born 1877) is the most important. The others worked more or less commercially. From "Known Violin Makers" ? H. Fairfield, July, 1942.

I assume Erush is the brother of Ernst. Any insights would be helpful. Thank you -- Gus

September 4, 2006 at 04:32 PM · It's Ernst, but the type on the label does make it look a lot like Erush. And you basically have the info, except that prices are a lot higher now. The ones made during the 20s are definitely factory type instruments, and the best of that type, ever. The 1725 Strad model is one of the middle models.

They're selling for quite a bit of money these days--$5000-8000, or more, if in perfect shape.

September 4, 2006 at 07:23 PM · Thank you Michael for your response. The violin is in really good shape. What is interesting is that label inside the violin is simple,clearly typed, and spells out the name Erush. There is the number 9 hand written inside...looks like it was written with a thicker lead pencil. There is either another number or letter preceeding it which is partially covered by the label. There is also some black thread attached to one of the posts inside the body. I am going to try to find a copy of the "Known Violin Makers" by John Fairfield to see if it identifies Ernst and Erush separately. -- Gus

September 4, 2006 at 08:22 PM · Take my word for it--there's no Erush, but that's a very common misreading.

September 4, 2006 at 08:47 PM · Hi Michael,

Do you know when the labels were placed within the violin? Was it done after they were assembled since it appears to be written in English? I see in a previous posting Ernst was born in 1877. No chance he had a twin brother...-- Gus

September 4, 2006 at 10:10 PM · I would guess that the labels were put in just before the violins went out the door, because it wouldn't be known what it should say until that point. It is not uncommon to find some diffusion of names among German violin shop/factories, as if when one was short for an order, he went to a friend to get something.

The thing to remember about this is that Roth was a large shop, with many makers, making different levels of instrument. A Roth would have been made by Roth to the same extent that a Henry Ford would have made your Ford. Which doesn't detract at all from the violins--some of the Roth shop makers subsequently went on their own later to become well-known makers.

September 7, 2006 at 04:31 AM · Hi, I'm new here. I'm a luthier who has been working on violins for about five years now. I thought I'd join your group to get a bit more inside knowledge from the people that actually matter.

Our shop recently acquired an EH Roth and I'm having difficulty establishing its caliber. I can't find any information for it on the net. I'm certainly not looking for an appraisal but rather its place among the quality of instruments made by Roth. It has both the paper lable with the Ernst Heinrich Roth signature and a signature on the wood above the lable. There are no dates or serial numbers visible although there is also a tiny "Made in Germany" lable that is slightly obscuring the signature on the wood and there could be writing under it. The paper lable reads Reproduction of the "Earl of Wilton" Amati. There is a crest to the left and under it reads VIRTUOSSO. Structurally, the violin is perfect but the finish on the top has been neglected and there is finish missing. The sides and one piece back are in good condition. It had the remains of broken unwound gut strings, no bridge, and a rotten tail gut when it arrived. The fingerboard is best quality ebony and its condition compared to the top was such that I suspect it had been replaced in the past and the fit along with the nut, indicates it was accomplished by a professional. Setting it up with a new bridge, strings and tail gut went without incident. The sound post looks like its about perfect and I'll have one of our violin teachers test drive it tomorrow. I'm hoping that the information I've provided may be enough to establish whether this is a student model or one of better quality. Any help will be appreciated. Hopefully I may be able to contribute to this group in the future.

September 28, 2006 at 01:13 AM · Hi, I'm a heathen university student who loves her electric 'Zeta' violin more than her classic 'Roth', and is now looking to sell. I'm wondering if anyone has much of an idea for what it's worth. Original brand stamped 596, and tag inside says Ernst Heinrich Roth, 1954, Strad. copy Cremona 1714. How do you tell if it's a student or a better version? I've been reading postings and googling Roth, but there doesn't seem to be much info out there. Also; for those of you who have owned Roths... Did you see much of a difference in sound clarity/playability after changing strings from the basic Dominants? I've heard that this is a good idea... and I might keep the instrument if it weren't so darned hard to play:)

September 29, 2006 at 02:53 AM · Katrina, I play a 1971 Roth and I know what you are saying about being hard to play. It seems that you have to be right on to be in tune. There is no forgiveness in these instruments. Also they have a chunky neck. I was lucky in the fact that my instrument had been shaved down which makes it easier to play. Also I have been using Larson strings for the past six months and they have made a world of difference. I actually enjoy playing my Roth now.

As far as price goes its hard to say. From what I have seen I would hazard to guess around $3500. The older Roths (1920's) are worth the most money. But like anything you have to find a buyer willing to pay the price.


September 29, 2006 at 10:40 PM · [quote]

The book *German and Austrian Violin-makers* by Paul Hamlyn (Published 1967) shows two paper labels on Ernst Heinrich Roth voilins.

One paper label has centered fancy script text surrounded by scalloped border design:

Ernst Heinrich Roth

Markneukirchen 19 (--)

Reproduction of

Antonuis Stradivarius

Cremona 17 (--)

The other has centered bold Germanic text surrounded by solid/dashed border:

Ernst Heinrich Roth


anno 19 (--)


My Roth bears a label exactly like the second one mentioned above. It is in bold Gremanic text and the model copied was not mentioned at all.

Is tere any grade difference in using which label?

I personally like the script version better, and I am under an impression that Roth usually sounds on the bright side. Mine is quite on the dark side.

September 30, 2006 at 02:08 AM · Katrina - I use Obligatos on my Roth viola. I like them but the sound is a little too warm, so I'm going to try Evah Pirazzis next.

I don't really feel like mine is difficult to play. It's actually a kind of narrow instrument, which is good because I've got small hands, and sometimes the bout of a viola can be very hard to reach around. I love this viola. It's from 1955 but it's in such good condition that it looks almost brand new. It's almost always in tune, and the sound is warm and coplex, but powerful and clear in the upper registers (which is not always the case with violas). I'm really happy with this intrument - my last one was a mediocre Student model from Southwest Strings, so this is definitely a step up.

October 30, 2006 at 07:27 PM · What a wealth of information I have stumbled across here!

I have a 1971 Roth violin--apparently a low-end student model--that I would like to sell. I currently live in Gettysburg PA and will be moving soon to Dayton OH. Can anyone point me to an appraiser and or dealer in either of those areas? I checked two shops in town and the best info I got was that it was worth $1000 or more and that I should have it appraised by someone more qualified. Thank you all for being so generous with your knowledge.

November 15, 2006 at 05:28 AM · I was reading this post form From Teresa Vanderpol

Posted on May 25, 2005 and found my very same story! I too was given the same violin as Teresa Vanderpool has described here: "In regards to the Roth violin. My Father gave me one in 1969 when I was in middle school." [At the time he paid $357.00 for it.} My father paid $500.00 for mine. I too have not looked at it much since 1980 I decided to pick it up again.

My violin is also a 1968 Roth and the number stamped inside is C8 0560. The label states: a reproduction of Josef Guarnerius Cremona 1714 . Does anyone have any idea of the history or quality of this violin. My Dad says that he went to the music store but he actually played them (not a professional) and bought the one with the richest sound. I agree that this instrument has an incredible sound! I find it odd to find this post with my name also being Teresa???!!!

Twilight Zone thoughts.....

I an curious as to the value of this violin, I know that you are going to suggest that I get it appraised. I will, but it is great to be able to ask questions here!


November 15, 2006 at 05:39 AM · I hope you get a more complete response to this, and I hope I'm not wrong, but:

my understanding is that there were two families of Roth violins(same family, two generations).

The earlier Roths 'I think' were preferred over the latter ones.

I think, there is still someone using the Roth lable?


December 24, 2006 at 02:33 PM · Hi, I am a violin student and new here. I am hoping that I can get some information about the violin I recently bought. Its a 1960 Ernst Heinrich Roth, reproduction of Josef Guarnerius Cremona 17-34 Bubenreuth Erlangen H-1278

Anyone know what model it is? I understand that the Roth Strad copies could be graded by the year of violin copied. But how about the Guarnerius copies? Could they be graded the same way?


December 24, 2006 at 11:14 PM · I orginally thought the year of the model (say Guarneri 1732 etc) determines the grade. But then I recently found that actually in their student grade they also have Guarneri 1734. I think the grade by Roth might be a better indicator after all.

January 21, 2007 at 10:59 PM · I have a Ernst Heinrich Roth violin that I got in 6th grade, in about 1961. The cost then was $125, including case and bow. The markings are as follows:






(label - all text in Germanized script)

Ernst Heinrich Roth

Bubenreuth-Erlangen 1956

Reproduction of

Antonius Stradivarius

Cremona 1700

Nowhere on the labels or anywhere on the instrument does it say "made in Germany" or "made in Western Germany" like some of the labels that I have seen.

Several years ago I paid to have it professionally set up -- fancy bridge and soundpost adjustment. I've tried both Dominant and Helicore strings on it. However, no matter what I do, the sound seems "thin" and no match for my Gliga workshop fiddle (GEMS-1, 2005, factory set-up, Evah Pirazzi strings) that I recently bought on e-Bay for $400. I will say that the Roth is reasonably responsive and somewhat brighter than the Gliga.

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who might know a bit about my old fiddle. From the thread above, I assume that the date of 1700 means that this is a bottom-of-the line factory-made Roth. What does the absence of "made in Western Germany" mean -- perhaps that it was made for the European market and then it somehow found its way to the U.S.?? Is there a web site that summarizes the different Roth models made during the 1950's? Does anyone have suggestions for improving the sound quality?

Thanks for any info that you can share.

January 21, 2007 at 11:41 PM · I don't have a lot to offer, but I think it's interesting that your violin and my viola were made in the same shop, only a year apart, and both were modeled after "Stradivarius 1700" instruments. I bet they were worked on by the same people!

Oddly enogh, while you think that yours sounds too thin, I think mine sounds too thick. It's been driving me crazy all day. Other than that, I think it's a good instrument. Mine was 3000, but it was in very good condition. What kind of condition is yours in? It might be worth a LOT more than the $125 you paid.

January 22, 2007 at 12:45 AM · My old Roth violin was unfortunately in the inconsiderate hands of a jr-high schooler (me), so it's quite banged up, and I expect that the resale value is seriously diminished. I saw a similar instrument at a local shop about 8-10 years ago marked at $1000, but it was in excellent shape.

There's a 1955 Roth violin on e-Bay right now. The buy-it-now price is $3750. The ad does not give the model number, so it is hard to tell if it is the same as mine.

March 13, 2007 at 03:28 AM · Well it depends on if it's the original or a son made one. I recently purchased mine in Winter and it's a 1906 EH Roth. It works really well for any song. It reaches the high notes and makes it sound so beautiful. Right next to the tailpiece is inscribed 06. The ones made by the father are the best.

March 13, 2007 at 03:32 AM · Oh for those of you who live in Washington try RL Rays. He is very fair and have really nice instruments.

March 13, 2007 at 05:36 AM · i believe that is a good year, i think thats an ernst heinrich roth the first violin my teacher had an ernst heinrich roth the second and it sounds great. get more opinions

March 13, 2007 at 02:58 PM · I was permitted by a respected dealer to try a Roth made by the father, last year. Yes, a nice violin, pristine, but way overpriced @$10k, for the sound quality. For considerably less money, I bought a Dietrich that completely outshines the Roth. Sweeter highs, excellent lows, even tone on all strings, and powerful.

March 14, 2007 at 01:41 AM · $10K!? That is way overpriced mine was only $4500 and I only payed $3500.

March 14, 2007 at 05:10 PM · we all have opinions. mine is that the Roth's are highly over-rated. $4K for the best Roth would seem a fair price though.

March 14, 2007 at 05:54 PM · Yeah, but I'm sure there's a huge difference between instruments actually made by EH Roth and instruments from the workshop.

March 14, 2007 at 09:53 PM · Well mine is actually made by his hands and it's a wonderful instrument.

March 30, 2007 at 08:05 PM · Hi,

I'm thinking about buying their very basic model 120R that reads inside "Ernst Heinrich Roth Bubenreuth-Erlangen 1965 Made in West-Germany Reproduction of Antonious Stradivarius Cremona 1700."

Does anyone here know if these supposed "student" models that different in sound to their more fancier grade violins? This instrument comes with a paper guarantying that it was "Completely Handmade." By the way the instrument is in very clean near mint condition and selling for $1,200.00

Any help would be appreciated,


April 17, 2007 at 09:52 PM · Hi

I'm being offered an E.H.R. violin from 1923 for the approximate equivalent of $4700 (SEK 33000).

The violin has the following brandstamp:

Ernst Heinrich Roth


The label says:

Ernst Heinrich Roth

Markneukirchen 1923

Reproduction of

Antonius Stradivarius

Cremona 1714

There is no serial number or "mystery" number as far as I can find.

From what I understand from the earlier posts in this thread, this would not be a top-of-the-line instrument, given the "copy date" of 1714.

Does anyone have an idea of the approximate level (in the E.H.R. line of instruments) of this instrument, given the information above?

Thank you


April 18, 2007 at 12:47 AM · Jesper,

Here is a listing I copied from a post concerning Roth violins. I believe the order implies the "level" of the violin, but I'm not positive.


The IR to XIR has the fancy dated label. The model can be told by the year and maker's name of the original that was copied.

IR Strad 1714

IIR Guarneri 1734

IIIR Amati 1670

IVR Strad 1718

VR Ruggeri 1685

VIR Guarneri 1732

VIIR Red Strad 1722

VIIIR Strad 1724

IXR Guaneri 1736

XR Strad 1725

XIR Various made to order violins with the handwritten signature across the label.


I hope this helps.

Larry Samuels

April 18, 2007 at 07:51 AM · Larry, thank you for your prompt reply!

It seems then that the instrument I'm looking at would be a "bottom-of-the-line" model.

Although I like it, and a couple of pros who have tried it said that it is a nice violin with very even tone and direct response, this would indicate that the asked price would be somewhat high, I guess.

But then, of course, the US and Swedish markets may not be directly comparable.

Thank you


July 16, 2007 at 10:36 PM · Has any consensus developed on the name Erush Heinrich Roth? I have a violin that belonged to my dad which has two labels: the script name, dated 1932, copy of Josef Guarneri 1736, and a second label that states is was made especially for Mischa Mischakoff, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony.

August 30, 2007 at 03:13 AM · I'm strongly considering purchasing a Roth Guaneri 1724 model, circa 1928. The price is 6500; within my budget. Just wondering if anybody else had any more comments before I pull the trigger...

September 26, 2007 at 05:09 PM · I spent 3+ months looking for my first "Good" violin after playing on a student model for 4 months that I quickly outgrew. I bought a 1925 Roth Guaneri copy in pristine condition for 10K. It sounds wonderful, at least to *my* ears, and I feel it's worth the price I paid. It blew away alot of the modern Italian junk I played that cost double, if not more $$ than the Roth. It projects well in Orchestra, and I fall in love with it everytime I pick it up to play.

I've been playing guitar professionally for many years. The world of electric guitars is full of "myths", as in the violin world, with 59 Les Paul "Bursts", and "pre-CBS" strats holding the same mythic status as the Strads and Amati's coveted by violinists. If you buy an instrument with your ears, you can't go wrong. The name on the label or country where it was built means nothing, in my humble opinion. If you like the Roth, and it speaks to you, buy it.

Just my two cents :-)

September 26, 2007 at 06:00 PM · ^ soo true.

October 2, 2007 at 06:05 PM · Anne, did you ever get an answer to you July inquiry about your Roth Guarneri 1736? It appears to be an XIR model (see April 18 post above.) The Roth 1924 catalog stated, "There are a number of well known violinists who are not in position to purchase an old vilin which would meet with all their requirements, for such violins are in most cases too costly and not within their reach. For these vinstrumentalists Ernst Heinrich Roth has concented to make violins to order which will generally be classified as No. XIR, and made according to specifications demanded by the artist in both Guarnerius and Stradivarius models. Every one of these instruments is the handiwork of Ernst Heinrich Roth from beginning to end and requires from four to five months time to be completed. Each violin bears the written signature Ernst Heinrich Roth across the label. That these signed violins are exceptional in every respect need not be emphasized."

Roth died in 1948 and the firm was taken over by his son Albert and later by his grandson EHR II.

October 28, 2007 at 06:31 PM · Hello,

I just had a bridge & strings replaced on the violin that was purchased for me as a young teen. Mom was visiting, and she was wondering what quality of a violin it was. She paid about $400 for it back in the 70's, and we upgraded from a 3/4 to a 4/4 size. Here are the violins specs.




This information was stamped



Then on a label was the following.

Eruth Heinrich Roth

Bubeureuth Erlanger 1959

made in West Germany

Reproduction of Antonius Stradivarius

Cremona 1700

I haven't picked up the violin since the early 80's and was amazed at how much I retained in how to finger/find notes and such. I think that part is amazing.

Gail Barger

October 28, 2007 at 10:27 PM · A very reputable dealer in town is selling a "EH Roth, Markneukirchen 1929" violin for between $8,000 and $12,000. (I assume near $8,000.) So $7,300 MAY be a reasonable amount to pay for that 1925 violin you are considering, since you say the sound is so good.

But nobody can know for sure and nobody can decide but you. As I like to say, "That's why they pay YOU the big bucks." Isn't it fun?

By the way, that same shop also sells a "E.H. Roth XV R made in 1974 for between $4,000 and $8,000.

The good thing about an instrument like the one you are considering is that, if you have to sell it, the market will be more "liquid" due to the fact that the maker is well-known. Things like that do affect the market value. Also, it could appreciate in value.

There is no guarantee, but if everything else checks out, such as the physical integrity of the instrument and trustworthiness of the seller, you probably would be making a good purchase.

You did say it was a 1925 violin with really good sound.

November 3, 2007 at 06:52 PM · I also just discovered in an old newsletter from two years ago that another reputable dealer (who I think is trustworthy) was selling a 1928 Roth for $7,500. That seems to be the established fair market price for a Roth violin from that period IF it has a good sound and the condition is fine.

Also, that doesn't mean that there may not be better deals out there.

February 24, 2017 at 08:39 PM · I purchased a Ernst Heinrich Roth 1928 which is a reproduction of

Amati Cremona C1670

Any reccomendations on the violin and whether I should get strings changed or bridge moved and any one who works on Roths and are familiar with what works best for them

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