Vincent Bach Mt Vernon 42B “Byron Peebles”

The Bach Model 42 trombone stands out as one of the most prominent and widely-used orchestral tenor trombones of this century. Originating in the mid-1950s, it was a fusion of components from other Bach trombone models already in production, notably the Model 36, 40, and the larger Model 45. Stories and myths suggest that Mr. Bach himself was not fond of the Model 42, believing his original design of Model 36 from the 1930s to be the perfect orchestral tenor instrument. However, with the rising popularity of the Conn 88H among orchestral professionals, Mr. Bach found himself compelled to compete, and thus the Model 42 was created.

Bach’s original Model 42s featured the same tapered bell as the Model 36 but spun to 8.5 inches, paired with a .547″ slide from his bass trombone, the Model 45 along with the bass Model 50 crook.

This trombone holds a special place in my heart. The core of it was my mentor, Byron Peebles, Mt. Vernon 42 which he configured at the factory in 1965 just after the move to Elkhart. There was a small cache of Mt. Vernon bells and parts left over that was reserved for prominent players. He was able to purchase this as a straight 42 which is why it has an 8xxx serial number. Upon his retirement from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Byron generously gifted this trombone to me… one that I always was enamored with during our lessons, eyeing it on the stand in his upstairs teaching studio!

Because the bell was made removable, I combined it with a Mt. Vernon 42B bell in yellow brass, originally owned by Tyrone Breuninger (of Philadelphia Orchestra fame), to create this unique configuration. The valve section itself, you’ll notice the resemblance to the famous Larry Minick wrap, was crafted by renowned LA brass technician George Strucel in the late 1960s as this famous open wrap configuration was actually developed by Strucel, whom Minick apprenticed with and later made famous on his own. The rotary valve was made by Bernard Marston (the same maker as Bach’s Mt. Vernon valves) in Anaheim, California and noted for his exceptional craftsmanship. Every bend in the F attachment, including the tuning slide, was meticulously handcrafted by Strucel. Notably, this trombone stands as one of the pioneering open wrap horns and among the first modular trombones produced.

Byron preferred the narrow slide width of Conn 88Hs, prompting Mr. Strucel to custom fabricate a hand-bent nickel-silver slide crook to match that width and rebuild the slide accordingly. While I still have the original crook in my possession, the current setup performs exceptionally well with this narrow slide variation. The original Mt Vernon 42 bell flare (not pictured here) underwent a unique acid thinning technique developed by Strucel before being silver-plated by Boyles-Snyder in Los Angeles, for added protection from the elements.

It is one of my favorite instruments in my whole collection as it brings along so many wonderful memories.