Sax on the Web - Forum Archive / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / SML Tenor vs. Selmer Balanced Action

Bob Miner
User ID: 9405543
Sep 4th 9:00 AM
I play a Selmer Balanced Action tenor,vintage 1947. It plays out of tune on low notes (C on down). Steve Goodson says he can remedy that,but I do not have the time now to ship horn to him. A friend has what he calls a top of the line
SML tenor he wants to sell. He has not given me the particulars on it ,as he is back east and will be bringing the horn where I am the end of this month. I hope to hear from him soon about what model and so forth his SML is.
My question is... Is the SML as good a horn as the Balanced Action (or better). ... and does it have any quirks,such as not being in tune on the bottom end? I love my B.A. .other than the above mentioned problem.
Thanks for any input.
Steve Duncan
User ID: 2365684
Sep 7th 7:09 PM

Please let me preclude this by saying that Iíve only played a Balanced Action once, so Iím probably not the best source for comparing the two.

What I can say is that the SML horns, of which I have two, are some of the richest sounding around. They are THE sleeper horn of the market and donít get the recognition they deserve. Selmer is simply a more marketed brand, but as you Iím sure will agree, that doesnít guarantee that everything they produce is perfect.

My only advice is give your mates SML a blow and like a blind wine test open your mind. Hopefully if itís a well made piece you will be pleasantly surprised and impressed in how a company can produce a pro horn of such quality and still remain relatively unknown.

The bottom range, which I know you're interested in knowing about is unreal. The bells are larger then standard and richer sounding. Both of mine are fantastic, no compliants.

Last word: I think itís pretty cool when people come up to me and ask me what kind of horn Iím playing, why does it sound so strong and why havenít they heard of SML before.

Steve Duncan
Bob Miner
User ID: 9405543
Sep 8th 8:10 AM
Steve,thanks for your opinion. I agree with you about Selmer completely. As to SML ,until my friend told me about how good they were,I had never heard of them.I do both combo and big band work,and I can stay away from low long tones in the combo...but big band is another story.I have to put a mpc. cap in the bell and drop the lip to get close to in tune on those low notes.
I will look forward to trying the SML, and try to be objective. Its hard when all you hear is Selmer is the greatest.

Bob Miner