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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanna start playing tenor sax again. I started on a Yanagisawa T500 and then moved on to a silver plated SML gold medal. I really liked the dark fat tone on my sml. Later I sold it and stopped playing.

Should I go for a sml again or a 10M. The sound that I like, is dark and fat.

I know it also has to do with the mouthpiece.

I am a big Fan of Dexter Gordon's early ballads.
 

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10Ms are fantastic, but I really recommend you try one (or at least hold one) before buying, the key layout is very different from most tenors.

I had a mid-50s 10M that was fantastic so I put up with the ergonomics. Then I found a NWI and that was that. I have larger hands and the NWI is more comfortable for me.

Take your time and find the horn that is right for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I have been reading about the Conn 10M, and now I am even more confused. Can someone explain how the sound of the 10M changes from the early to the later horns?
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I love Conns but I also love SML’s.
One thing to consider is that some folks (not myself) have reported intonation issues with the earlier 10m horns.
This is unlikely to be an issue with the SML Gold Medal horns.
Another thing to keep in mind is the availability of each.
There are way more Conn 10m’s around than SML’s.
Personally I’d prefer an SML over a Conn 10m, especially a later 10m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

Thanks,B Flat. I loved the SML, that I once had.
I read somewhere that the later 10m had a even darker tone - that surprised me. Dont know if it is true.
I want a tenor with rolled tone holes again, and I like the vintage feeling.
Another thing that confused me is about the gold medal. Some say that the perma gold was the their top of the line, other said the opposite. Anyway, the gold medal is a fantastic horn.
I miss my old horn!
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

The Gold Medal and rev D are essentially the same horns.
But all of the SML’s from the early rev A models right through are excellent.
They will likely be a little harder to come by though.
And would also be more expensive than a later 10m.
Their build quality is exceptional.
Good luck with your search.

On a side note: I have two excellent tenors and would not consider having another unless I could find an early SML rev A or B.
Particularly a Hawkins Special model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

Yes, as i remeber it, rev d won the gold medal. After that they where named gold medal.
Think I will stick to the SML horns then!
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I have played both, and concur that if you like the SML, the Conn will not fill the same niche. Go for what you know to please you.

Enjoy the quest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I have played both, and concur that if you like the SML, the Conn will not fill the same niche. Go for what you know to please you.

Enjoy the quest.
Thanks, Doc. Yeah, better stay to that brand.
 

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ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I also like the tone of SML more than Conn, but I can’t reach the pinky table on the SML because of my small hand. Conn’s ergo also never work for me, don’t know what’s wrong, but not comfortable. I feel SML has a darker tone. If you played SML before and like it, then go with SML. The price of 10M at its prime period goes a bit too much, IMO. Having said that, my Conn are from 1960s, not those between 40s and 50s.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I love Conns but I also love SML’s.
One thing to consider is that some folks (not myself) have reported intonation issues with the earlier 10m horns.
This is unlikely to be an issue with the SML Gold Medal horns.
Another thing to keep in mind is the availability of each.
There are way more Conn 10m’s around than SML’s.
Personally I’d prefer an SML over a Conn 10m, especially a later 10m.
You should try my 1950 10m then......
The sml are more quirky on the intonation front in my experience, YMMV though.
Ergonomics wise it comes down to taste.
For tone my conn is one of the best sounding tenors I’ve played, thanks to Kritavi for that one.
The SML will likely have more focus in the sound. I have 2 SML altos, love them and would take them over a 6m any day. It’s the opposite for tenors though.
It really comes down to an individual horn vs horn thing, not a conn vs SML thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

"It really comes down to an individual horn vs horn thing, not a conn vs SML thing." - I totally agree with you!
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

You should try my 1950 10m then......
The sml are more quirky on the intonation front in my experience, YMMV though.
Ergonomics wise it comes down to taste.
For tone my conn is one of the best sounding tenors I’ve played, thanks to Kritavi for that one.
The SML will likely have more focus in the sound. I have 2 SML altos, love them and would take them over a 6m any day. It’s the opposite for tenors though.
It really comes down to an individual horn vs horn thing, not a conn vs SML thing.
I had a 46 10m with rolled tone holes for a while, it was a great horn but as you pointed out, maybe a little too spread for my liking.
While I haven’t owned an SML Tenor, I have had on loan a friends rev B.
It was really something special.
Not dialled in like a Yamaha but still pretty good for a horn of that vintage.
More focused than the 10m though which is probably what I liked about it.
I preferred the ergonomics also as I’ve always struggled with 10m style pinky table.
The rev B is more like that of my Selmer Super.

Edit: actually it may have been a rev A Tenor (I’m not sure).
The pinky table was similar to that of my rev A Alto’s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I had a 46 10m with rolled tone holes for a while, it was a great horn but as you pointed out, maybe a little too spread for my liking.
While I haven’t owned an SML Tenor, I have had on loan a friends rev B.
It was really something special.
Not dialled in like a Yamaha but still pretty good for a horn of that vintage.
More focused than the 10m though which is probably what I liked about it.
I preferred the ergonomics also as I’ve always struggled with 10m style pinky table.
The rev B is more like that of my Selmer Super.

Edit: actually it may have been a rev A Tenor (I’m not sure).
The pinky table was similar to that of my rev A Alto’s.
When I changed from the T500 to a GM, a new world of sound opened for me. I have nevet tried a 10M.
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

When I changed from the T500 to a GM, a new world of sound opened for me. I have nevet tried a 10M.
You may very well love the 10m sound then.
I love the way others sound on them, but not the way I did.
I’ve had similar feelings about different mouthpieces that were supposedly more spread also.
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I’d look for another old Yanagisawa unless you’re a fan of carpal tunnel and getting smacked in the mouth.
Both times I’ve had a 10M I’ve ended up getting rid of them. My biggest complaint is that the sound changes when You go from G to A and the octave key on the neck opens.
I think if I go for a vintage American sax I’d go for a Martin or maybe Buescher.
 

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Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I've never played an SML, but I had a Buffet Super Dynaction that had a very nice sound plus very nice key-work. I wonder if that might be an alternative to the SML. And I'm also wondering how Dr. G missed an opportunity to mention the modern Borganis that reputedly sound like a 10M and have excellent modern key-work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: ShouldI boy a 10M or a gold medal

I've never played an SML, but I had a Buffet Super Dynaction that had a very nice sound plus very nice key-work. I wonder if that might be an alternative to the SML. And I'm also wondering how Dr. G missed an opportunity to mention the modern Borganis that reputedly sound like a 10M and have excellent modern key-work!
Thank you for the input, guys. What Borgani model are you referring to?
 
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