Sax on the Web Forum / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / standard vs. ?

artking
User ID: 2909434
Jan 24th 10:58 AM
hello everyone, I have jumped both feet into the world of saxes and ebay with some good and bad experiences and finally ended up with two keepers: a nickel plate standard in beutiful condition (see saxpics sml standard rev b) and a rev d in pretty bad shape, needs a little soldering , its been refinished and needs a full overhaul.
now the thing I'm wondering, I look at them both, play them both , listen to them both and It appears to me they are of the same quality , same construction . the standard does not pale in comparison to the rev D. If anything the standard sounds better but plays stiffer(most likely due to the recent overhaul). I can't find anything about the standard to make it appear to be anything other than a top level pro sax.
the sml soprano had neither rolled tone holes or adjustment screws everywhere but noone would assume it was less than pro because of this.
so my question is this: does anyone anywhere have any information or experience or knowledge that would lead someone to think the standard was anything other than a pro instrument.
saxpics
User ID: 2804914
Jan 24th 11:25 AM
Hey, Art! I know you e-mailed me, but I'll post here, too, for comment.

... At the very least, the original Standard models appear to be made with tooling from earlier models of SML (for instance, a 79xx Standard on my 'site has wire keyguards and looks unlike a Rev. C SML: you've gotta call it a Rev. B Standard!).

I'd assume, considering I've heard of Standards back into the 5xxx range, that the earlier ones also follow in the same mold. You can also argue that the lack of adjustment screws on the Rev. D Standards may indicate that they were made with an early Rev. C SML's tooling and the APPEARANCE of some adjustment screws on the Gold Medal "Rev. I" Standards points to the use of early Rev. D SML tooling.

The lack of rolled tone holes doesn't really bother me much. It has been established elsewhere that these were harder to produce and can be filed down, if necessary.

It's even possible, I suppose, that when SML came out with a different model, they used the remaining older bodies for their Standards.

In any event, the lack of adjustment screws defintely doesn't point to a non-pro horn. A Conn 6M isn't an intermediate pro horn, it's a full pro. A 26M just has the adjustment screws and costs more.

Remember: the Bundy II had some adjustment screws.

I've received dozens of e-mails from owners of Standard and non-standard SML models and I can safely conclude that both are high quality horns, but the Standard isn't quite as "pro" as a regular SML: it's a 6M compared to a 26M or a Yamaha 62 compared to a Custom 875 -- and generally you can't tell the difference and all are considered "pro".

As far as lower quality control goes, I think it's probable: there's higher quality control on a Yamaha 875 than there is on a 62, etc. I don't think, however, that SML would produce a "junk" horn, like some of the Conn stencils in the 20's and 30's.