Sax on the Web - Forum Archive / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / Players, models, experiences - part 3

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Harri Rautiainen
May 12th 3:45 AM
SML follow-up here.

Discussion of users rating sax dealers and who and how it should be done in the "Saxophone market place".
Dean J. Silliman
User ID: 9921013
May 13th 12:27 AM
Express (Bill Geiler) is cheating sellers and potential buyers on eBay. For two SML horns in the last week he has induced a seller to unexpectedly end the auction early. I don't know if he is paying them the small amount listed as the closing bid (in which case he's cheating the seller and other potential buyers) or if he's making a side deal to pay more (in which case all the above AND eBay are getting cheated). In any event, it's not fair and he's generating quite a negative reputation among those who know what he is doing. Play within the rules.

PS - I couldn't give a damn that he is concerned that his name is being "bandied about" here.
Bob May 13th 5:44 AM
Dean You say Play within the rules, You should be aware that the rules of ebay auctions state a seller can close an auction early. Its done all the time and I have closed auctions early. it is defineately within the rules. Generaly a seller receives an offer that is much higher than the current bid and closes the auction. it is within the rules and a common practice.
Many people do not bid until near the end of an auction so as not to drive the price up. If people that were interested in an item bid early sellers would have a better idea of where the price was going. I watched that sax for a week and it was at $500 with less than 24 hours to go.
As you don't know what the final agreed to price price was between buyer and seller the seller might have gotten a lot more than if he let the auction close.
Either way its within the rules. Next time bid early or if you really want something contact the seller and make them an offer,
Dean J. Silliman
User ID: 9921013
May 13th 11:59 AM
Maybe I was a *little* harsh. Imagine my frustration after coming home from dinner and seeing that the auction had been closed for $8xx when I was going to bid more. And yes, I could have bid earlier. I started on eBay doing that and got crushed every time at the last second (sometimes literally). :-) So last time I learned and bid late like everyone else and won. Market is still achieved while minimizing overhype.

However, while the early closing is within the rules, I hope you'll agree that such practice (and having side-deals going on) undermines the purpose of a public auction. Especially in the case of the SML tenor above, the seller is often completely clueless about value and relies upon the bidders to set it. Granted, the price is not prefect because of auction hype or, conversely, an unjustified lack of interest. However, the close would approximate market. I have no problem privately buying a horn for cheap (you'll note prior posts here where I said I recently picked up a near-mint SML alto for $350). However, it seems to be a different animal when the horn is at auction but gets steered to a private sale by scaring the seller that "horns often get sent back as unacceptable" or "there are defects you probably cannot represnt to a seller because you don't know" etc. That tactic takes the horn and seller out of market. Traders can make plenty of money by buying in the market, rehabing the horn, and selling at a trader's premium. -
User ID: 9182423
May 13th 12:31 PM
I too watched that auction and can understand first hand how dissappointed you were when it closed early. I contacted the seller and they said the high bidder contacted them and suggested that they change the catergory to woodwind as the saxophone had gotten only 3 bids. It was listed in the antiques catergory, was due to close shortly. The high bidder also told them that there was another sml sax currently listed on ebay that was on for only a day, had 16 bids and had already acheived a higher price than theirs.
They were reluctant to close the auction as they would have to bid on it themselves. So the high bidder placed a bid and the auction was closed.
I believe it will be relisted after they get it checked out. They said there were some offers made after the auction closed out and the high bidder told them they would do better by getting it adjusted and relisting it.
Dean J. Silliman
User ID: 9921013
May 14th 10:09 AM
RETRACTION RE BILL GEILER (EXPRESS): I guess I got myself involved in this and have now heard from the seller of the tenor SML and from Bill. I had it all wrong based upon perceptions from outside the deal. As to the tenor, anyway, Bill was helping the uninformed seller by advising her in the last day of the auction that the horn was not listed well and that they should check into the true value of the horn before letting it go. Someone else was high bidder and the auction could not be proper closed, so Bill become high bidder (and agreed to not demand the horn) so the seller could close the auction and investigate or relist the sax. In short, he was helping the sellers (confirmed by all accounts). Boy do I feel bad. I guess perceptions can be very deceiving. You have to admit that things looked bad from the outside. I was also caught up in the competition for the horn. I've now spoken will Bill and he's a nice guy who seemed concerned that this was all being taken the wrong way (that he was trying to help and got stung). My sincere apologies for flying off the handle. And no, this was not written at his request or demand (I always wonder about that when I see retractions). I would do business with Bill.
User ID: 9844073
May 17th 8:02 PM
There is a SML tenor sax for sale on ebay it looks like it might be a good one. Its ending in a few days and it is currently at $1200. I thought someone might be interested
Rick (Switzerland)
User ID: 9928103
May 18th 4:19 PM
Hi Eddy. I've been on your site to watch the pics of the SML factory in Paris. You can't imagine how disappointed I was to see the building and surrounding in bad shape. I was planning to go to Paris this summer with my bike and try to get some more infos about my old SML tenor. Do you think there is no chance to meet somone who might know something?
User ID: 8562343
May 18th 6:38 PM
I talked to someone who knows the SML tenor on ebay now. It is a bi-color Gold Medal. It is missing the collar to tighten the neck sleeve. (A SML I looked at was missing this same collar. Is this an expected problem on SML's?) Otherwise, this SML is a solid sax, but not among the best they ever made.
Joseph Jaeger
User ID: 0854544
May 19th 12:14 PM
Eddy and Rick:
Regarding visiting the SML factory. I too plan to visit the SML Atelier (in late June). I agree that, judging from the pictures that you posted on your site, it looks a little daunting.But its worth a try. This is not there only site. They have a place in La Couture as well. Eddy,any information on who you spoke to would be very helpful. When I get back, I will post what I learned, if anything.
User ID: 2261164
May 22nd 10:20 PM
Greetings , this is my first post.
Thanks to all for such a great site.

I have a SML tenor 10XXX that I purchased second hand about 16 years ago. I paid $400 Aus. It was recommended to me by my music teacher/repair tech. as a "good instrument to learn on". I had him re-pad the instrument and I took lessons for about 2 years.
Soon after my interest dropped and it has been sitting in its case for the past 12 years. Now that Iím older and wiser I decided to study sax again and have been taking lessons (soprano) at my local conservatorium for past 18 months .

So a few months ago I brushed off the dark tan colored case and pulled out a heavy tenor sax with SML engraved on the bell. I started to search to see if I had a good quality horn. Then I came across this site, you can imagine my surprise to find out how good SML's are and that I have a pro quality sax.

My sax is still in great condition (no dents ect) but needs a re-pad. Does anyone know the correct type of pad/resonator to use as I want it to sound the way it is supposed to ?

Also (I know this is a long shot, but) dose anyone know the correct pad heights for the tenor?

Thanks Lyndon

PS. The engraving on the bell is different from pictures I have seen of other SML's. What's the go?
Alex May 25th 12:57 AM

I was just looking through the Saxophone Makes, subhead Cannonball saxe's (sic) and I noticed that Barry has what he is sure are the original pads on his SML. He describes the resonators as being "flat, plastic and oversized."

Hope this helps. By the way, your case sounds a lot like mine. Does yours have an oval brass SML badge on the outside?
Fred Cicetti
User ID: 0526904
May 26th 10:01 AM
Heard there's an SML bari available at USA Horn.
If you're interested, e-mail

Fred cicetti
Alex May 26th 11:02 PM
Joseph, if you read Fred Cicetti's new article you'll know he had planned to interview SML's remaining sax expert on his visit but the guy stood Fred up. Would you consider contacting Fred for the guy's name and take a second shot at interviewing him? Perhaps if enough of us make the trek to Paris, one of us will get lucky;-)
User ID: 9182423
May 27th 7:33 AM
I just purchased an SML alto saxophone after trying many horns I feel in love with the tone and power of this sax. I tried several Mark vi's and felt the SML was a better playing horn. The metal and finish on the SML seemed far superior. The power was incredible and it seems to take less air to play it. Its probably just my imagination as the size and engineering on all alto sax's seem similar. All I can tell you is this one seems to blow easier and louder. I waited a long time to get a Mark vi only to decide on this relatively unknown horn.
I use a Selmer C** MP and i am looking to try some different MP's and reeds.
I was hoping some of the players in this forum who play SML's could advise me on new and vintage MP's that work well with this sax.
Thank you
Joseph Jaeger
User ID: 0854544
May 27th 11:38 AM
Alex/Fred: Yes, I would like to try and contact him. I think if he doesn't want to take the time to meet, prehaps I could speak to him by phone. Fred, I will contact you via email. Incidentally, my email address is:
User ID: 0624334
May 27th 1:30 PM
Kerry -
Yes, I remember a discussion on mpcs in an earlier thread. I use a Morgan "M", 7 with 2.5 V16's and find the same thing about how easy it is to blow and get a big, powerful sound. As youmay know, the Moprgan's are based on Adolph Sax's original dimensions, so it truly is a "vintage" sound. Good luck with your alto.
User ID: 8562343
May 27th 5:09 PM
Well, I think some of the Morgan's are way too bright without depth to the tone. That is as far as one can be from the original Adolphe sound.
User ID: 0624334
May 27th 10:07 PM
Bones -
Do you mean the Excalibur model? My experience with the M model is that it gives a very mellow, dark sound. What's your setup on your SML?

Dean J. Silliman
User ID: 9921013
May 28th 2:24 AM
For you budding SML historians, check out - an old interview that primarily concerns oboes, but there is some interesting company history and some saxophone references.
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