Sax on the Web - Forum Archive / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / Players, models, experiences

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Harri R.
Administrator
Jan 4th 4:32 AM
Purchase dates, serial numbers, prices, experiences.
Please list here as much as you want to volunteer.
Harri Rautiainen
Moderator
Administrator
Jan 5th 3:48 PM
Starting off this thread:

SML tenor sax: serial # 20195.
The engraving says "Gold Medal". However, Fred Cicetti describes "two-tone model was a Gold Medal with nickel-plate keys and guards". I can recognize my horn in that category, i.e. two-tone model.

I bought it used from Millbrook Music in Helsinki on May 2, 1997 after one-week pondering. It was fully re-padded and overhauled. I paid FIM4950 (EUR 825, USD 1000) and thought that was a fair price. It came with a Keilwerth mouthpiece that I am still pleased with. Normally I use Rico Royal 2 1/2 reeds.

Player: Harri Rautiainen
Alex Jan 6th 2:02 AM
Many thanks for offering this site Harri!

I purchased a used SML tenor, serial # 16XXX in February of 1998. The engraving on the bell says "Standard" which I recognize from Fred Cicetti's article.

I was so impressed with the voice of the Standard that when I had the opportunity to purchase a model with rolled tone holes, I jumped at it. Its serial # is 14XXX and it has much more elaborate engraving than the Standard model. Interestingly, the engraving does not give a model name (e.g. "Gold Medal") although I recognize a number of the "22 improvements" that Cicetti lists. According to the information I received when I purchased the horn, it had been purchased about 1965 by the original owner. This date may not be correct, since the owner himself was deceased and the information came from his family.

I play a vintage Otto Link #5 hard rubber mouthpiece with Roy Maier 2 1/2 reeds. I've also experimented with a new Meyer #8 large chamber rubber mouthpiece and Rico Royal 1 1/2 reeds. The quality of sound is similar. I'd like to try it with a metal Link #5 and see what happens.
Alex Jan 6th 2:06 AM
The only player I know of who used an SML (tenor) is Carmen Leggio who played with Woody Herman. I have seen a solo CD by him (and recognized the horn by the neck tenon in the cover picture), but I don't have a title and I can't find it listed at amazon.com. Can anyone help? The sound on the CD was wonderful!
Bob Jan 20th 11:21 AM
I have King Marigaux alto #26530. I play it against everything I find at the trade shows every year, and I'm convinced I'll never need another alto!!!!
I bought her used around 1985 for about $1000. "Standard" or "Gold Medal" is not engraved anywhere.
Fred Cicetti's article is the best source I've seen for SML info -- perhaps a link, reprint, or at least the address would be appropriate for here.
Eric Jan 20th 7:16 PM
I have a question about King Marigaux and rolled tones holes. Were there models w/ and w/o rolled tone holes?

I know of a King Marigaux tenor *without* rolled tones holes. Were they all that way? Or is this a lesser model?

Are there any differences between King Marigaux's and the SML's?

If the horn lacks rolled tone holes, are there other differences as well compared to the "Gold Medal" model?
Admin. for Gunnar
Administrator
Jan 23rd 3:01 AM
Gunnar posted on Dec 12th in "Saxophone makes"::

I have an SML alto, serial number 12943. Does anyone know in what year it was made?
for Joseph Jaeger
Administrator
Jan 23rd 3:07 AM
Joseph posted on Jan. 22, '99 in "Saxophone makes":

I own a SML tenor, 13XXX. I believe that it was made in the early 1950's. This is based on the style of the original case and Fred's article. I am very interested in learning more about this company, because I think this horn is incredible. As my wife is french, we travel to France (and Paris) often. I intend to try to visit the SML company, which I believe is still in business making classical instruments other than saxophones. I intend to try to talk to some of the people there. I understand that actual records with production dates may not be "available" but there must be some interesting information that some of the employees have. Maybe I can take someone out to lunch.

What would be helpful for me is what questions should I ask? If anyone has any questions or observations about their instrument, I will try to get additional information for them. Personally, My interest is with the metal processing that they used during the production of these horns, because I believe that this is what makes them special. Ideally, I would like to find someone, who once worked there. Probably now retired. I won't have a lot of time. But I will be back next year as well.
In the meantime Vive La France.
Joseph Jaeger
User ID: 0150524
Jan 25th 1:51 PM
I need to correct the previous 1/23 message. My tenor SML has a 8xxx serial number. I still believe that it was made in the early 50's.
Hans Holfeld
User ID: 9614573
Jan 29th 3:55 AM
I bought my SML tenor ap.1989.in Munich/Germany S/N = 1750x.
The engraving says:
SML / Gold Medal / Strasser Marigaux 144146 Boul. de la Villette / Paris / France; some sort of flowers engraved around the bell.
I use a newer O.Link 7* w. VanDoren Java 2,5 reeds
I bought it from a friend, that had it since years not playing it anymore. She got an offer of 1000 DM (= 500 EUR). I saw it and bought it (didn't play sax nor know anything about saxophones at that time, just liked the look and had the new Michael Brecker record in my ears...).
I never did an overhaul what seems to be necessary now (the pads seem ok but it's very noisy - sounds like an old typewriter - and has some problems with pitch (high C# !) what I considered to be a result of my lack of techniqe in the beginning, but the high c# -f range is REALLY low. Maybe a prof. adjusting can fix this
-(is this problem common to other SML tenors ?)-
Any Info about the age of this horn are welcome!
Thanx to Harry and Fred for their work
Dio Feb 3rd 12:58 PM
Alex asked about a Carmen Leggio album. I think he may be referring to "Sax After Midnight,For Lovers." I received this album as a promotional bonus when I purchased some mail order music books. It may not be obtainable from retail stores. However, you may want to contact the company appearing on the album jacket: GOOD MUSIC RECORD CO. 223 KATONAH AVENUE, KATONAH,NEW YORK 10536
As a point of interest, I have met Carmen on several occasions when he played a club in Cold Spring, New York. Being a sax player myself, I was most attentive to his playing, and during his breaks he sat with me at my table. I asked him about his tenor, and although he did not say it was an SML, he said he had it made for himself in France and liked it because it was a heavy horn. Whatever it was, it did have a beautiful tone.
P.S.Carmen gets a gorgeous,lush tone on the album too.
Alex Feb 3rd 9:42 PM
That's the one! Thank you for the information. I'll see what I can find out.
Larry Brown
User ID: 9928103
Feb 6th 11:58 AM
I have an SML Low-A Bari s/n 20723.. I LOVE it, it's the best Bari I've ever played. Heavey, but great sound. Anyone know how old it is? I use a Dukoff D9 with Rico Plasticover #3's for big band, and save the slightly weaker reeds for small group stuff.
Joseph Jaeger
User ID: 0150524
Feb 6th 2:28 PM
Regarding the age of SML's. I saw a Tenor SML, gold medal, for sale on a webb site,Ser# 92041 and it was described as being purchased originally in 1965. This does not fit with Alex's entry (Jan. 6th))14xxx (1965). One thing is clear to me. Based on the serial numbers that I have seen, there were not many SML's made.
Tim Feb 7th 6:34 PM
I am in need of a couple SML parts for my gold medal tenor. Can anyone offer any suggestions as to where I might find them?˙tek001@alpha.morningside.edu
Alex Feb 7th 10:48 PM
Joseph,

I purchased the tenor you describe (2/6). The serial number had been entered on the website erroneously. The correct serial number is 14XXX. For more details about that instrument, see my post above, dated 1/6.

If anyone is interested, I see that www.vintagesax.com has a gold plated alto, S/N 11XXX for sale.
Brian
User ID: 1314254
Feb 8th 10:19 PM
I purchased my SML alto about four years ago in
'95 from a local retailer. all that I knew was that it was old. A friend knew that I kneeded a professional level horn. I was very pleased to find this site. I have recognized mine as a Gold-Metal model with the serial number 9xxx.
Can anyone tell me about how old this Saxophone is. It has been completely refurbished and I love the way it sounds. I prefer it to a SA80 that I have played. If anyone finds any tenors or bari's for sale please inform me.
Anders Gahnold
User ID: 1725214
Feb 10th 7:50 AM
Since about 1967 I have tried out all brands and models of alto saxophones. And I'm certain there is no greater alto saxophone design than the SML. No other make comes close to the open tone of this instrument. Maybe it's cause the cone of it is wider than other makes.
I have a SML Gold Medal from about 1968 and I use the original mouthpiece wich I find unusually responsive and flexible.
Anyone tried the baritone? I have'nt and I'm glad to read any responce. Would like to find one for myself.
And Harry, thanks for good site!
DAVID WILLIAMS
User ID: 3104274
Feb 10th 4:37 PM
I play a Couesnon alto made by SML in the mid-60s Has a double walled neck socket, rib-mounted post construction, rolled tone holes, hard green felts where corks would be, a G# that can be disarticlutated, and a astonishingly huge sound! Serial No. is 12,xxx. It's tone is much better than my 32' 6m Conn, or my 92' S.A. 80 ser.II I'll NEVER sell this alto!!!!!!!
Alex Feb 11th 1:39 AM
Anders,

Did you purchase your alto new around 1968? If so, what is the serial number? To get started dating these horns, we need to identify serial numbers with year of purchase.
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