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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys

Need another advice from you on another purchasing topic.
I was looking to buy an alto saxophone for me to play in band.
Therefore I search on the used market and found 2 instruments that
are in my price range and i heard good thing about. Unfortunately I could
only test play no 1 as the second one is an online auction.....
Now I'd like to have your opinion on this.

1.) SML Gold Medal Prototype
Sold from a repairman.
Great condition and nice tone.
Needs a mouthpiece that fits me and the horn as
intonation, when checked against tuner was really off (too high to be exact).
When he played it, the tuner showed that he's perfectly in tune so its really me.

2.) Buffet Crampon SDA
Seller is a private person.
Full overhaul and tuning done (with receipt).
Unfortunately I cannot try the instrument prior to buying as the seller is
too far away.

Both horns cost the same. However I do not know what the best thing to do is.
If I decide for the SML I need to find a mouthpiece that fits me. As a tuning and overhaul
was done on the Buffet I can be sure that it'll be in tune, however this can also change based
on my playstyle. Also I do not know how it sounds.....

What do you guys think ?
Thank you for your help !
 

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I'd pick the known saxophone - the one you have already seen (played?). Mouthpieces are a dime-a-dozen - many good choices out there. DAVE
 

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+1. If you like the tone and it's in good shape, finding a mouthpiece is the easy part.
 

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What is an SML Gold medal “prototype”.?
Is this just a way of trying get more for a Rev D?
SML horns generally have good intonation as a rule.
The ergos are quite different between the two, so this is something to consider.
Particularly the left pinky table.
Buffet might be considered more modern as it is Selmeresque but the SML pinky table is easy to navigate after spending some time with it.
Personally I would rate any SML higher than a Buffet horn.
But that is only my opinion of course.
 

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Ize, I’m not understanding why you think that the Buffet will be in tune. That’s a standing joke with one person in my section “How can I be out of tune? Wasn’t this tuned at the factory?” It doesn’t work that way with horns - as you’ve already experienced with the SML. What they are probably trying to say is that the key heights were adjusted for good intonation from note to note - it is no guarantee that the horn is 100% in tune with any mouthpiece, with any player.

Speaking of the SML: What is different between the mouthpiece that you use and that of your tech? Might you have just put your mouthpiece in the wrong location on the cork? Was the whole horn sharp, or just certain notes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ize, I';m not understanding why you think that the Buffet will be in tune. That';s a standing joke with one person in my section “How can I be out of tune? Wasn';t this tuned at the factory?” It doesn';t work that way with horns - as you';ve already experienced with the SML. What they are probably trying to say is that the key heights were adjusted for good intonation from note to note - it is no guarantee that the horn is 100% in tune withh any mouthpiece, with any player.

Speaking of the SML: What is different between the mouthpiece that you use and that of your tech? Might you have just put your mouthpiece in the wrong location on the cork? Was the whole horn sharp, or just certain notes?

Well my mouthpiece was a standard selmer c*. He used a zinner metall moutpiece. When playing against the tuner every note i played was too hight by a very good anount. So i was guessing its a mix between me not knowing the instrument and not having a fitting mouthpiece. Is rhat possible?
 

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they are both great saxophones and both much less appreciated that they ought to be.

in the NL the Buffet cannot shake off their image of being a classical horn (which is undeserved ) and SML is very little known among most players.

Having said this, there are some SDA that are marked as such and they are really S1, these would ten d to have a more modern mechanics more similar to Selmer.

Sound-wise, I have played and owned both, they are very nice. At this point I own a King Marigaux SML tenor. Even though it would need an overhaul it is a very nice horn.

Perhaps I would prefer an SML.

For both horns there are slightly difference in the mechanics deviating from the more widely accepted Selmer but nothing that I would consider of any importance for the experienced player.

SML tend to have (if and when you meet someone who knows about them) an higher desirability than Buffets (in my part of the world).

As for tuning some Buffets were tuned at A=442Hz. I am not convinced that that is a real issue but some people are.
 

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Well my mouthpiece was a standard selmer c*. He used a zinner metall moutpiece. When playing against the tuner every note i played was too hight by a very good anount. So i was guessing its a mix between me not knowing the instrument and not having a fitting mouthpiece. Is rhat possible?
If EVERY note is sharp, then the mouthpiece is too far on the cork, and you need to pull it out a bit. Please understand that the amount of cork showing is arbitrary - what counts is the pitch coming out of the horn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If EVERY note is sharp, then the mouthpiece is too far on the cork, and you need to pull it out a bit. Please understand that the amount of cork showing is arbitrary - what counts is the pitch coming out of the horn.
Well I tried that and it helped a bit, but not so that i can say its in the "green zone" of the tuner.
 

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the tuner is not a good way to play in tune.

But anyway, your selmer might very well be ill suited to your saxophone in fact , i’d suggest to try something of a bit larger and shorter design.

Also biting is an issue especially with soft or old reeds. Intonation is more often than not a players problem than it is an instrument problem.
 

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Well I tried that and it helped a bit, but not so that i can say its in the "green zone" of the tuner.
How could it help only "a bit"? Can you not adjust it more such that most of the notes are in/near the green zone?

Please also understand that you may need a mouthpiece that has an internal design more like the piece your tech used - as Milandro mentions, a piece better suited to that horn will have a somewhat larger chamber (internal geometry).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How could it help only "a bit"? Can you not adjust it more such that most of the notes are in/near the green zone?

Please also understand that you may need a mouthpiece that has an internal design more like the piece your tech used - as Milandro mentions, a piece better suited to that horn will have a somewhat larger chamber (internal geometry).
Well they came a bit down, but not far enough. I suppose it's me causing the problem as I am used to play bari...could that be ?
 

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Well they came a bit down, but not far enough. I suppose it's me causing the problem as I am used to play bari...could that be ?
As Milandro wrote, biting is one reason that you may be going sharp. The other is the matter of the mouthpiece not being a good match to the horn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As Milandro wrote, biting is one reason that you may be going sharp. The other is the matter of the mouthpiece not being a good match to the horn.
You both were right. I was biting and therefore my tones were too sharp.
But also my mouthpiece is not suited for the horn itself.
I got the horn to test for a few weeks before I have to decide. Gonna try some different mouthpieces on it.

Thank you guys !
 

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I would pick the SML because it sounds better. The buffet will feel more comfortable under your fingers though.
 

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You both were right. I was biting and therefore my tones were too sharp.
But also my mouthpiece is not suited for the horn itself.
I got the horn to test for a few weeks before I have to decide. Gonna try some different mouthpieces on it.

Thank you guys !
Glad you are able to understand that - awareness is the first step to correcting a problem.

I’m bettin’ that you’ll come to love that SML.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Glad you are able to understand that - awareness is the first step to correcting a problem.

I’m bettin’ that you’ll come to love that SML.

Thank you for getting me on the right path :).
Played a few notes now with different mouthpieces. Found that a Berg Larsen Gold Series Ebonite suits
it pretty well. Anyhow wanna try the Theo Wanne NY Bros aswell, you got any suggestions on mouthpieces
I could try ?

I also tried an Otto Link Tone Master 6*. Wasnt the right for me.
Berg Larsen Metal Mouthpiece wasnt satisfying me either.
 

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On my SML King Marigaux I play a L.A.R. Italy hard rubber mouthpiece, it's the best match with this horn for me (tried and I keep trying many others but this one get the best tone from the SML)
Not an easy to find piece though
 
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