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Got the pics-PM me if you want to see them-I will forward them to Pete on saxpics.
Seller thinks they are original with the 1955 horn.
States clearly that sml alto and tenor saxes had won gold medal awards in the international music festival at the Hague , Netherlands.

My conclusion:
SML rev D design won the gold medal for alto and tenor saxes. So only those 2 were later engraved as gold medal (the sop and bari never were)

SML made slight design modifications to these Gold Medal horns over the years. (NOT SURPRISING!!!! Selmer did the same with the mk vi's! The bores were not the same for all mk vi's. Play a 64K , next to a 86K next to a 178K mk vi and you'll hear it!-I have)

I did take measurements on the sml tenors I've seen/played (listed in prev post) and found the neck and main tubes to be the same, but the bow and bells changed.
I did notice that the neck from the king marigaux was 1/4 in shorter that the ones engraved SML .... but have also been told by someone in the know who works directly with designers and manufacturers that sometimes when instruments are imported, the company doing the importing 'improves' the design by doing small things.
 

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That all makes perfect sense to me (as I argued in a previous post). In any case, I will be offering my Rev D. (1954, I believe) alto 12xxx for sale soon. If anyone reading this thread is interested, PM me.
 

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Rev D won the gold medal; Rev D and GM are identical

Hi All, based on some measurements I have recently come across, I'm stepping back from my earlier position that the Gold Medal model, believing it to be a distinct departure from the Rev D model, was the one that won the gold medal.

At present, I agree with some of the others here who have suggested that it was the Rev D that actually won the medal in the first place, and that SML simply honored it with "Gold Medal" engraving. It seems the Rev Ds and GMs are pretty much the same saxophone as they share the same neck tenon, bore and taper measurements (a few features here and there not withstanding).

Merry Christmas to all!

Hafuch
 

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I agree with the last couple of posts, but decided to check it out. I happen to have my Rev D Tenor #1486X right next to my Gold Medal Tenor #1802X and guess what? The necks are interchangeable and the bores (measured at a three different spots) are exactly the same. There is a difference in final bell opening, with the Rev. D measuring 16.4 cm and the Gold Medal measuring 15.5 cm at the widest point. All parts except the bell seem to be interchangeable, though admittedly I haven't taken all the bits off to try them out. Also, if I take one neck, put the mp on and tune it to A=440 and then place the neck and mouthpiece undisturbed on the other horn, it is still perfectly in tune. There are a couple of other differences between my horns. For instance, the Rev. D has a swivelling LH thumbrest and adjustable (screw in) felt bumper pads while the Gold Medal does not. Overall, it seems to indicate that the Rev. D and Gold Medal are almost exactly the same.......except for the bell opening, the logo, the swivelling thumbrest and the adjustable pad felts!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Good research. I'm just wondering for argument's sake if it's possible that this competition was held more than once. If so, then it's also possible that the true Gold Medal could have won the Gold, too. As others have indicated, it's kind of a silly argument because the Gold Medal and the nameless model that preceeded it (Saxpics created the whole "Rev" nomenclature) are so very similar. In other words I always thought it was absurd that some people selling the so-called Rev D's tried to make this stipulation, implying that their horns were just as good as the Gold Medal, when actually the latter was an improved horn with more features including the larger bell flare. Indeed, I've always kind of thought that people selling these horns bring this fact up in an effort to get a higher price for their horns, which seem less fancy and more plain than the Gold Medals.
 

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Swingtone, what I have noted above is that my Rev. D is the horn with the larger bell flare and more features than my Gold Medal version. I don't have any axe to grind on the matter as I own both types and love 'em equally. Also, as I noted above, the bore and action seem to be exactly the same on the two horns. It may well be that SML over a period of time - to cut costs - started to remove features from the Gold Medal branded versions??

When I am looking to purchase SMLs, I do tend to look for horns in the Rev. D and later serial numbers, ie 83XX-202XX.

I just bought a couple of SML sopranos (not yet in hand) and when I get those I will compare the earlier and later versions in a similar fashion to see if there was a trend by SML to remove features.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Neither do I, and I'm willing to admit when I was wrong, as I was when I first posted this thread. I'm just glad that my inquisitive nature helped rejuvenate this issue to the point where we finally have a pretty clear answer.

I'm just a little surprised that your Rev. D has a larger bell flare than your GM. I owned a 1953 SML tenor (which would be a Rev. D according to saxpics) earlier this year and though it had a fairly large bell, the flare was noticeably smaller than on my 1967 King Marigaux, which is essentially a Gold Medal with the King name stamped on it. However, if you get technical the KM is actually a stencil of what saxpics calls the GM II, which may have had a larger bell flare than the GM I?

In the end I do not claim to be an expert, but I owned both the Rev D and Gold Medal stencil at the same time, and the latter had a huge bell flare, most likely the same as the one that Carmen Leggio talks about in that article posted somewhere on SOTW (I never measured it because I'm not a natural techno-nerd, I guess--I'm mainly interested in making beautiful sounds on the things). Also it was always my understanding that the 6 1/2-inch bell flare on the Gold Medal was one of its famous 22 features, and if so, it seems odd that it would've also been a feature of the Rev. D.

Oh yes, the only other difference I noticed is that the necks were not interchangeable on the two horns above.

Yes, I am even less interested in these horns now that I sold both of them last year. What do I play now? A 1934 Selmer "Super," a 1936 Buescher Aristocrat and a 1956 King Zephyr, all tenors.

Right after I sold George Keith's King Marigaux (I have written about it in past threads), I had a pang of seller's remorse. However, the Paypal was already in the bank, and I had to go through with it. But really, I am quite happy with the horns I have right now. This may sound funny but all of them are of a comfortable weight; whereas the SML's just felt like leaden weights after about an hour of practicing. Though they are heavy horns, I think this problem would've been alleviated if I had had a second neck strap hook installed further down, more toward the center of gravity on these horns.
 

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Swingtone, your King Marigaux has given my son an excellent start. So, if it gives you comfort, he's been taking good care of it. It has given me great pleasure to hear him practice and learn. Interestingly, I found a Zephyr alto today and we're looking forward to that one too.

George
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Wow! Small world! And glad to hear that.

BTW one of the members who posted in this thread was Keith's former student and the person who sold the horn on consignment through Tim Glessman's saxalley.com. I will PM you the details shortly, since he may possess some additional documentation/provenance (photos, etc.) regarding the horn that he can share with you.
 

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Neither do I, and I'm willing to admit when I was wrong, as I was when I first posted this thread. I'm just glad that my inquisitive nature helped rejuvenate this issue to the point where we finally have a pretty clear answer.

I'm just a little surprised that your Rev. D has a larger bell flare than your GM. I owned a 1953 SML tenor (which would be a Rev. D according to saxpics) earlier this year and though it had a fairly large bell, the flare was noticeably smaller than on my 1967 King Marigaux, which is essentially a Gold Medal with the King name stamped on it. However, if you get technical the KM is actually a stencil of what saxpics calls the GM II, which may have had a larger bell flare than the GM I?

In the end I do not claim to be an expert, but I owned both the Rev D and Gold Medal stencil at the same time, and the latter had a huge bell flare, most likely the same as the one that Carmen Leggio talks about in that article posted somewhere on SOTW (I never measured it because I'm not a natural techno-nerd, I guess--I'm mainly interested in making beautiful sounds on the things). Also it was always my understanding that the 6 1/2-inch bell flare on the Gold Medal was one of its famous 22 features, and if so, it seems odd that it would've also been a feature of the Rev. D.

Oh yes, the only other difference I noticed is that the necks were not interchangeable on the two horns above.

Yes, I am even less interested in these horns now that I sold both of them last year. What do I play now? A 1934 Selmer "Super," a 1936 Buescher Aristocrat and a 1956 King Zephyr, all tenors.

Right after I sold George Keith's King Marigaux (I have written about it in past threads), I had a pang of seller's remorse. However, the Paypal was already in the bank, and I had to go through with it. But really, I am quite happy with the horns I have right now. This may sound funny but all of them are of a comfortable weight; whereas the SML's just felt like leaden weights after about an hour of practicing. Though they are heavy horns, I think this problem would've been alleviated if I had had a second neck strap hook installed further down, more toward the center of gravity on these horns.
Swingtone:

An interesting development here locally, as I got another collector interested in SMLs and he has now purchased several, including two Gold Medal tenors. They are both two tones and both have the same (large) bell as my Rev. D two tone model, unlike the smaller bell on my own Gold Medal. So it looks like SML supplied Gold Medals in two sizes of bell... We are going to get all four horns together and see if the Rev. D still has the most features or if one of his Gold Medals also has them all.
 

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I think this problem would've been alleviated if I had had a second neck strap hook installed further down, more toward the center of gravity on these horns.
Is the sling-ring position something that SML eventually changed as they made improvements to the line? I know that Couesnon moved their strap ring lower in the later years.

It's always surprising to me how many manufacturers put the ring up so high. This must have been done to facilitate playing while seated. It certainly makes standing and playing a chore.
 

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This thread has me curious about bell size. My alto Rev D (10***) has a bell flare of 4 7/8. My tenor Rev D (11***) has a bell flare of 6 3/8. I always thought those were big compared to most. Anyone care to throw out their measurements? (And they say size doesn't matter.):?
 

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Same. See below for models.
 

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The last picture shows a marker tag (not sure if the term is correct) stating SML won the prices at The Hague. It came with a Rev.D tenor serial 11xxx.
Excellent work man!!! That pretty much does solve the riddle...I think :). Any guesses on how much it will go for?
 

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More evidence to the 'Revision D' won the Gold Medal theory, I found this link via the Facebook SML page (https://www.facebook.com/SmlSaxophones), from SOTW Member GetASax:

http://www.getasax.com/product_info.php?cPath=21_28&products_id=1013

An amazing Perma-Goldplated Rev D alto sold originally in 1955 which includes the original guarantee/receipt and a pamphlet outlining the models available through their NY distributor and the Awards won in The Hague, Holland in the 'Summer, 1951'.

"FIRST PRIZE Gold Medal Award to S.M.L. for Tenor Saxophones
FIRST PRIZE Gold Medal Award to S.M.L. for Alto Saxophones
SEVEN Awards to S.M.L. for each individual instrument entry
Judged the "FINEST" by independent expert juries
at the International Wind Instruments Competition,
the Hague, Holland"​

Gold-plated Alto = $350
Gold-plated Tenor = $425
Lacquered Bari = $750

I've cropped out and 'restored' the photos of the pamphlet here but hopefully Brian may supply some higher-resolution copies for the aid of historical interest? :)
V

SML_pamphlet_circa1955_colour.jpg SML_pamphlet_circa1955_colour_award_crop.jpg sml_1950s_promotional_ad_DSC_6859_1600.jpg
 

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I recently came across a 1955 Rev D tenor with the original tag flaunting the gold medal awards. Photos and transcription are here: Thread: Original "Gold Medal" tag from SML Rev D tenor


The tiny reprinted certificates on the tag are dated July 1951. It seems most likely that the then-new Rev D models were the ones judged and awarded the medal, but that date even raises the possibility that the sax models SML took to the Festival were what we refer to as Rev C.
 

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Fortunate enough to have one of the last Rev D's made (14,98x) and a relatively early GMI (16,0xx). Necks are interchangeable between the two and the bell opening diameter is identical (6 3/8"). The Rev D doesn't have the bell lip engraving, but all the other features are there. The engraving on the bell is significantly less extensive than the GM1.
 
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