Sax on the Web - Forum Archive / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / New King Marigaux tenor

Jive Dadson Jun 21st 12:39 AM
Reading over these messages I noticed someone wondered what kind of resonators SML's came with originally. I can answer that question, and perhaps some others.

I just bought a new King Marigaux tenor. I'm quite convinced that it's actually new old stock, in part because of the accessories that came with it -- original looking case with keys, new hard rubber mouthpiece marked "Paris SML", King neckstrap and cork grease, and a small three-color care booklet and catalog from King. (More on the booklet later.) There's not a scratch on the horn, not even inside the neckstrap ring. The pads are almost certainly original. They have plastic domed resonators that look identical to Selmer Mark VI resonators.

I noticed also that there is some question regarding which serial number correspond to which years. The booklet is titled, "Facts About Your New King Instrument" or something like that. (I don't have it with me at the moment.) It covers other King instruments in addition to saxophones. It is dated 5-5-71. The serial number of the horn is in the low 23000's.

Of course, the booklet might have been old when the King people put in the horn case, but I find that unlikely for the following reason: The booklet contains advertisements for a large number of accessories. Such catalogs are typically updated at least annually, frequently quarterly. New products are introduced, old ones dropped. Marketing people need to justify their existence. Conversely, it is unlikely that the horn is much older than the booklet. The SML people probably shipped the horns as soon as they finished them, in order to collect their money from King. The King people would naturally inspect the horns as soon as they received them. (Mine was inspected by Number 3.) Incoming inspection would be a logical time to put the booklet in the case. Thus, I figure that the 23,000 range probably begins around the printing date of the booklet, mid 1971.

Jive Dadson Jun 21st 12:47 AM
Correction. I just looked at the horn again. The serial number is 23,5xx.

Jive Dadson Jun 21st 4:36 AM
Sorry to follow up my own message, not once, but twice. I know that's bad form, but I made another goof. I was so excited about getting the horn that I went off half cocked.

On closer inspection, the resonators appear to be flat metal. The light must have played tricks on me in the office.

Man, I want to tell you, that horn plays GREAT! I have a fine Selmer Mark VI, and I kind of planned on using the King Marigaux as a backup. I think I'll have to reverse that plan. It will take some getting used to the klunkier keywork, but the SOUND! It is lush, and almost unbelievably powerful. You can hear the overtones singing distinctly, and they are right in tune. When I get the time, I think I'll put an osciloscope on it.

I oiled and polished it tonight. It is gorgeous. Stunning.

I also fixed some very small leaks, (understandable after 29 years in the case). With the Mark VI, I had gotten used to fixing leaks on one side by bending the key ever-so-slightly. The keys on the King Marigaux are so sturdy that I decided that was not an option.

bill kasper
User ID: 1509104
Jun 21st 10:24 AM
thanks, jive. my sml soprano and alto are both in the 235xx range, so it's good to know their ages. i get my alto back from steve fowler in the next week; totally overhauled. i can't wait!