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Sax on the Web / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / SML Bari's - a casual opinion

StevenW
User ID: 0833354
Oct 8th 12:17 PM
Posted in the SML Section - just because it makes sense to have it here too!

In response to a question in the BASS Sax thread in the Baritone Section:

"Dr. Inconspicuous
User ID: 0610144 Oct 3rd 6:41 PM

asked:

So what's your opinion of the SML bari? I've never been able to get a real review. "


I've ended up with Morgan's old SML Bari - hooked up an Otto Link Super Tone Master and found it to be a real bell ringer! I'm coming back to playing regularly after a long hiatus and am approaching perhaps the %40 point in getting things back together, so temper my opinions accordingly!

This ex-Morgan SML Bari is a Bb horn, and plays very well indeed. Very free playing, expressive, rich toned, consistant... The action is fast with the only complaints being the exposed rod-work down the left-side of the horn can bind up if pulled against you. Classical work is easy, do miss low-A and high F# keywork for jazz charts.

Intonation throughout seems outstanding. Dynamic range excellent, from wispery fluffs (the "red velvet" sound) to thunder-horn it can do it! Magical the wonderful full vibrato you can irk out of it!

Still working on Altissimo that I can manage consistantly though - but its me, not the horn.

The across the break C-C#-D-Eb tonal consistantcy is a suprise, as most baritones seem to exhibit more tonal variation across the C#-D break.

Haven't played anything I'd rather have (yet?) - sold my old French Noblet Bari once I played this SML, and have compared this SML to a new Yamaha, a Mk VI and a couple other vintage horns - I'm darn pleased with this SML Bari and would rave that if the example I obtained from Morgan is representative that an SML Bari is a real unsung hero of a Baritone Sax!

Morgan has some mp3's of him playing it, if you ask him!

regards,

StevenW
morgan
User ID: 0784604
Oct 8th 8:39 PM
Glad you're enjoying it and, lest the guys out there think I'm crying in my beer over losing that thunderhorn - - the money went to good use, enabling me to visit my sick mum and travel long distance to a dear friend's wedding. A fair trade!
StevenW
User ID: 0833354
Oct 8th 9:02 PM
Hi Morgan,

Do we really own anything anyway? At least I remember being puzzled over this question when quized by a Prof at lecture in Cumbria - of course this chappy made a name for himself by logically disproving his existance.

Don't you still have your "Big B" Bari?

Really do appreciate the SML Bari - it sounds like what I was carrying in my mind.

Now if I could find a matching tenor.....

best regards,

Steve
Larry
User ID: 7852033
Oct 8th 10:32 PM
I LOVE my Low-A SML Bari, the biggest, "boomiest" bari I've ever played, with a sweet upper register sound. I wouldn't part with it for anything!
Thomcg
User ID: 0115944
Oct 17th 8:00 PM
I got a King Marigaux by SML low Bb bari for sale.

Very good condition, laquer is 90%. Its all the horn that StevenW describes. An all around great player with a HUGE sound.

Email me for info at: Thomcg32@altavist.com