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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I'm thinking of making a trip to try out some tenor Mauriats, and was wondering if any of you SML users had tried these new horns and compared them to the SMLs . I own a Gold medal series I and a Rev D, like both, favour the Gold Medal, but find the ergonomics of both a little taxing (tennis elbow after regular decent practise and find the right hand a bit of a stretch) so was wondering if these horns might provide a reasonable compromise given there have been decent reviews elsewhere on this site.
Thanks!
 

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rtm said:
Hello
I'm thinking of making a trip to try out some tenor Mauriats, and was wondering if any of you SML users had tried these new horns and compared them to the SMLs . I own a Gold medal series I and a Rev D, like both, favour the Gold Medal, but find the ergonomics of both a little taxing (tennis elbow after regular decent practise and find the right hand a bit of a stretch) so was wondering if these horns might provide a reasonable compromise given there have been decent reviews elsewhere on this site.
Thanks!
I wouldn't give up a horn like the SML in favour of a new Chinese made axe. Sure, the Mauriat looks good and feels good. I may even sound good, but surely not as good as an SML, right? I doubt their as well put-together as an SML and I'd be surprised if they retain their value as much as a fine vintage tenor.

I had a Rev D for many years and never found the ergos to be a problem. If you need to customise the keywork to your needs, I suggest you have your repairman give it the works with key risers and that sort of thing.

Final score: SML-10, P. Mauriat-0.
 

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mauriat

after playing a Mauriat..you'll wonder what took you so long. Also, you'll find out the SML isn't as special as you might think. {Played and owned hundreds! of saxes...currently playing Mauriats}
 

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BarrySachs said:
Final score: SML-10, P. Mauriat-0.
This is your estimation after having played examples of both? I agree on the resale point but I wouldn't put the PM at zero. I played a few examples of both types and think they were all excellent horns with different characteristics. I too have issues with the SML ergonomics (have a King Marigaux tenor), and felt much more comfortable playing a PM (of course I am used to a Mark VI, but the KM right hand is a stretch for me, too - it is a big and heavy horn!).

rtm, I would suggest you give the PMs a try if you have little to lose, especially if you are looking for more modern ergonomics. Some SML owners move the strap hook and thumb rests to improve the feel, so you may want to consider that (at the expense of ruining any original condition).
 

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from my perspective, the score looks like:

viral marketing - 3, rational thought - 1
 

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I've met saxhorn4 and he is a real player. If he says he prefers a horn, listen to him. Give it a try, what have you got to lose?(except the respect of Art Salt)
 

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backer said:
This is your estimation after having played examples of both? I agree on the resale point but I wouldn't put the PM at zero. I played a few examples of both types and think they were all excellent horns with different characteristics. I too have issues with the SML ergonomics (have a King Marigaux tenor), and felt much more comfortable playing a PM (of course I am used to a Mark VI, but the KM right hand is a stretch for me, too - it is a big and heavy horn!).

rtm, I would suggest you give the PMs a try if you have little to lose, especially if you are looking for more modern ergonomics. Some SML owners move the strap hook and thumb rests to improve the feel, so you may want to consider that (at the expense of ruining any original condition).
I have played about 6 Mauriat tenors and altos and I must admit, they were pretty good. I liked Mike Mannings new horn better, but none of them had the richness of the SML. True, the left pinky "spatula" array is somewhat jive on the SML but nothing that you can't deal with. All in all, the SML is a modern horn, left pinky "spatula" not withstanding. The horn is indeed heavy with a bigass bell, but it's worth the schlepp. I wish I still had mine.

If you want a semi-cheap but good Chinese horn, I'd recommend the new Buffett 400, or whatever it's called, or the RS Berkley mk6 clone.
 

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I forgot to mention one thing. The Mauriats, and other Chinese made axes, are new. No one knows how they'll hold up over the years. The SMLs have been around for a half century or more and they'll still be playing after we're all dead.

BTW, the entry-level Yanigasawa is a [email protected]#*er! That's a great value in a new saxophone. Although I must admit, I've only tried the altos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all your points. I'm not sure that anyone has compared the two directly? The only person who seems to have actually tried a PM has positive comments, but I agree they're a bit of an unknown quantity. I might look into changing the hook etc on my gm1 - it's the right hand stretch (i've small hands) that's the problem, not the left hand. I'm not so worried about changing original condition on that because, to be honest, I can't imagine ever getting rid of it. My rev d, however, is in amazing condition so i probably wouldn't mess with it, and i'm less attached, so maybe I'll give the PMs a try when I get a chance and I'll let you know, eastcoatghost, if it's up for grabs :)
 

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mauriat

If any of you know the Count Basie sax section \,check with them! They are all playing them {Mauriats] I personally sold a tenor to Doug Miller...He was playin Jr. Cooks Mark 6 . Don't ask who's Jr. Cook!
 

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Rtm,

While I have not played an SML, I have owned several PM horns. While they are great players (and lookers), they are still Taiwanese modern horns; in fact, they are Selmer copies with character and tonal richness and varieties, and that is what puts the PM above some of its competitors, e.g. Cannonball.

But, as someone said, the SML is one of the finest vintage French horns after all. And as such, the value and resale of the SML will go up over time, while that is unlikely to be the case with the PMs!

The fact is, as good as the PMs are, they have not yet passed the test of time. In other words, it remains to be seen if the PM will, in the end, be a fad in the sax world.

The SML Gold Medal is named as such because - you guessed it - it won a gold medal in a musical instrument contest somewhere back in the 1950's and was played by some giants back then, including Coleman Hawkin.

So, I think you are comparing oranges and apples. The PM is a good modern, Taiwanese horn, whereas the SML is a reputed French vintage horn.

So, try a PM and see how you like it, but I would not put it in the same league as the SML!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, good advice, thanks Yellowhorn. If nothing else, the resale value should urge caution, I suppose. I may try some PMs if the opportunity arises, but first I'll investigate making a few changes to my GM - if anyone knows anyone in the UK (London area) who does this sort of thing well please give me a shout!
 

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OK! Now we are talking about modifying a horn to suit your ergonomics needs...do you think the modifications will affect the resale value negatively or positively? A/B your horn against a PM66R. My bet is you will gladly trade your horn in on the PM - even!
 

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rtm said:
Hello
...find the ergonomics of both a little taxing (tennis elbow after regular decent practise and find the right hand a bit of a stretch)....
Thanks!
RTM: I own and play lots of different horns (I am a collector, not a professional player) including two SMLs (a King Marigaux alto and a Rev. D tenor). The SMLs are substantial -made of fairly thick and heavy brass - so you may want to try a yoke instead of a neck strap or try resting the bow against the front of your leg instead of off to the side to relieve some of the weight. Personally, I find the ergonomics of many horns challenging (I have relatively small hands) and it is always fun to switch between horns with very different keying systems from 7 or 8 decades apart!!! Initially, I thought the SMLs were a bit tough ergonomically, but my favourite tenor is now the SML. The intonation is near perfect and it has a very rich, full sound. In fact, I like them so much I am trying to find a soprano and baritone.

I haven't tried the Mauriats, but have tried and owned other high-grade Taiwanese horns. Unlike many folks, I think the best of these compare favourably to modern Japanese and European horns - particularly when taking into account value for money. Most of these are produced with CNC machinery and the output product is quite consistent in quality. Some are almost exact copies of the Mark VI or other favoured vintage instruments. For instance, I own a Jupiter JPS-847 model soprano and it has stunningly accurate intonation and every note speaks easily. However, I don't care for the large pinky table (a problem with most all modern sopranos) so I mostly play vintage sops.

Good condition SMLs are getting harder and harder to come by. I would keep the ones you have if you can afford to - even if you buy another horn.
 

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SML vs P Mauriat

I have played a Mauriat 67R alto.It was a good horn but nothing like the hype I have been reading about them.Compared to a good SML is like comparing a Pinto to a Ferrari.From build quality,materials used,and especially tone,the SML (Gold Medal I) blew away the Mauriat and everything else as far as that goes.SML GM has a sweet lush tone that can`t be beat and response down to low B flat is as good as it gets!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all your comments. I drove a very helpful London saxophone shop (Howarths) a bit bonkers by trying out a whole range of horns, including the Mauriat. The Mauriat really wasn't for me. I can see the appeal, but it just didn't compare tone wise to the sml. What did the job, though, was a yanagisawa 992, which does mean I'll have a rev d. tenor and rev c. alto (both silver plated) to sell, probably through the shop...
 

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SML vs Mauriat

Thinking about selling my minty Yanagisawa SC 902 curved bronze soprano for $2300.As most know this is a veritable world class horn with tremendous feel and intonation.It plays hugh and can be heard a mile away if so desired. Email me at [email protected] if interested.
 
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