Sax on the Web - Forum Archive / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / What's it like?

User ID: 1592424
Oct 14th 9:51 PM
I have never actually seen an SML " in the flesh ". The pics on Ebay show it to be a very well constructed horn. Some are absolutely beautiful! Contributors in this area rave about the sound. Can anyone compare the feel, both physical and mechanical, to the Mark V1? Are the tone holes offset, like Selmer, or in line, like the older Conns? I assume that the left hand little finger area is not hinged. Am I right? Is the horn resistant or free blowing? These horns seem to be great instruments. Let me hear about how they play. I am especially interested in Tenor, but any comments about any SML horn will be read with interest.

User ID: 9182423
Oct 15th 8:18 AM
They are free blowing and powerfull They play like a dream and the finish as well as the workmanship is better than Selmers.
User ID: 0645514
Oct 15th 2:43 PM
I find the SML response to be a little tougher than the Selmer; the intonation a little less regular; the action not quite as smooth; the tone as big, dense, broad, and round as three Selmers put together. You pay your money, you make your choice.
By 'offset tone holes' -- you mean if you drew a line thru the RH tone holes and continued it, that line would NOT go thru the LH tone holes (of a Selmer)? On my SMLs the tone holes are not offset. I suppose this accounts for a different "hand feel" when swapping SML<=>Selmer.
When you refer to a hinged LH pinky area-- you mean the low Bb key? It is not Selmer-style.
K of K's
User ID: 9621663
Oct 15th 4:55 PM
The closest comparison of keywork on an SML would
be a King Zephyr. Right side bell keys but G# table not the convenient "Balanced Action" style.
Somewhat of an awkward angle on the G# table and
the G# hinged "unBalanced" i.e. opposite to the
left hand stack. However, a nice feature is the
defeatable articulated G# which gives a nice light
action on the low C#, B, and Bb. Wish my Zephyr
had this.
User ID: 1592424
Oct 20th 5:44 PM
Thanks for your input, folks. I hope I get to try an SML one day. As I said. I've never actually seen one other than pictures. Based on the low production numbers, these horns must have been almost hand made to order. I wonder who developed the original basic design for SML, or if it was adapted and improved from Conn or Buescher horns. It seems quite different from the Selmer products.
Tom S
User ID: 3668504
Oct 20th 6:43 PM
I just saw a SML sold for $2225 on E-bay!!! It looks like the good deals on SMLs are getting more difficult to find.