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Saxophones SML Rev C- any good?

Yanno

Member
Messages
119
Hi all,
Im looking into acquiring a SML Rev C Alto- silver plate.
Bit worn- but overall nice looking sax. I'm off to test it next week, but was wondering if anyone had some opinions about these- i know the top model's (Gold Medal etc) can be worth thousands. But im just curious to see if it's a good investment, as well as a good player.
Thanks
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Some of the Selmer mystique seems to have rubbed off on them since the maker was pushed hard on SOTW a few years ago. Should be a good horn.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,923
I have not test played a REV C myself (just Rev D, Gold Medal and Standard) but I asked my friends who are playing SMLs. They think it's a good sax. I can't say if it's a good investment or not but SMLs are fine "players".

For some reasons most SMLs here in Sweden are Rev D, Gold Medal and Standard models. So it's saxes from mid 50's and younger.

Two guys in our Rock & Blues Sax Project are blowing SML tenors. They are playing Dukoff S8 and Berg Larsen ss 110/1 on thier saxes. Big and loud sound.

Thomas
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
943
I have owned a Rev C alto and a Rev D Tenor: both very fine horns. The differences between the Rev C and D are minor and the Rev C seems to have all the better refinements of the SMLs (rolled toneholes, etc.).

If the price is right and it doesn't major work I would definetely invest in one. The one complaint I had of both horns, was the placement of the thumb hook, too much to the right, so it pushed my hand in a rather uncomfortable position, I subsequently heard from other SML owners who have had the thumb hook moved to a more comfy position.
BTW, IMO the major difference between a Rev D and a Gold Medal (mark I) is the engraving on the bell and the price tag!

Cheers,
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,923
One other thing I would like to add. The SMLs I have been playing, sounded roughly in the same way when it came to tone/sound. I guess SML didn't change so much on the bore and taper over the years. Also good intonation.

Thomas
 

sirspinbad

New Member
Messages
10
my afficionado friend Andy Farber says starting at the C they are all good.... im considering pushing the barrier(1 year) and picking up a super 47(made in 48).the rev. C began in 49
 

peterpick

Member
Messages
505
i absolutely recommend the 'super' series. the best alto i have (and i have several including a mk 6) is a super 46. the best tenor i have is an SML gold medal mk 1. i would personally recommend the 45 and 46, before (in 47) they started using sheet metal keyguards. i don't know why but they sound a bit shriller after that.
 

Tomasz

Member
Messages
543
All SMLs are good. You see, SML never made bad horns. Therefore, if the price is right than it's a goer. Even more so if it were a tenor, but of course it's an alto you're talking about.

I can't comment whether you'd actually like the SML sound because it's such a personal thing and there are no right or wrong answers.

At the end of the day remember that there's a finite supply of SML horns because they ain't making them any longer. So long as the one on offer is in pretty good condition and you don't pay over the odds then you won't lose money on your investment in the future. SML are a bit in a "niche" compared to other makers, but they're definitely recognised as a high-quality brand of vintage horn among collectors. As a result, you wouldn't struggle to sell it in the future, if you ever wanted to.
 

Bruce Grove

Member
Messages
35
I've played a few SML's from the 1930's La Strama model through to Gold Medals. They are marvellous instruments, extremely well made, in tune etc etc.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,676
They are all at least good horns. I have two GM1 tenors 400 serial numbers apart. I is a good horn quick response decent intonation, that great SML sound, the other is simply a magic horn. Similar but better in every department. I have no idea the factors involved.

Having said that, I have never played a bad SML or one of the stencils they produced
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,923
The SML's are good saxes. The brand is rather common her in Sweden so I could buy them for less money in the 70's. My friend and tech worked (on the line making saxes and guarantee repairs) for SML in Paris 68-71. In 1969 Strasser sold the company and moved to USA.
 

Tomasz

Member
Messages
543
They are all at least good horns. I have two GM1 tenors 400 serial numbers apart. I is a good horn quick response decent intonation, that great SML sound, the other is simply a magic horn. Similar but better in every department. I have no idea the factors involved.

Having said that, I have never played a bad SML or one of the stencils they produced

The same holds true of Beaugnier horns. I'm a real sucker for Beaugniers. Every time I see one on sale I get itchy fingers. I've never played a Beaugnier that I didn't like. They were all good. Every single one.

It saddens me that Beaugnier et Cie are now dead and gone. Their factory was just a 5 minute stroll from the Henri Selmer factory in Mantes-la-Ville to the west of Paris. I've done a virtual overflight of the address where Beaugnier was located and there's not a single trace left that even hints that musical instrument production might have taken place there once. I suspect that everything got demolished, and at least some of the workers decamped to Selmer down the road. Given that that the Beaugnier & Selmer factories were so close to each other, I strongly suspect that there was some kind of "communication" going on e.g. a Selmer worker changing jobs and going to work at Beaugnier or vice versa, or simply via friends who worked at either factory socialising and chatting about the techniques they used.
 

peterpick

Member
Messages
505
for sure there was a lot of exchange. at one point a lot of the selmer workers left and moved to the other companies locally during a strike. i like beaugniers too - i've got a special perfect tenor for sale if you want it. and a couple of altos. really nice tight horns. ever tried a pierret? excellent!
 

Tomasz

Member
Messages
543
for sure there was a lot of exchange. at one point a lot of the selmer workers left and moved to the other companies locally during a strike. i like beaugniers too - i've got a special perfect tenor for sale if you want it. and a couple of altos. really nice tight horns. ever tried a pierret? excellent!

Thanks, but I've already got at least 2 "Special Perfect" Beaugnier tenors, together with several "Special Perfect" altos in my collection - and that's not all the Beaugniers I've got. Like I said, I'm a real sucker for Beaugniers. Don't have any Pierrets, but nearly got a really sweet one late last year, but unfortunately it "escaped" my clutches.
 

peterpick

Member
Messages
505
oh, you sound like me.... except i've got some pierrets... a super artiste alto, a competition, a model 42, and a tenor which arrived bent. oh dear.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,923
SML saxophone produdtion was small and the buildings were also small. Strasser sold "SML" to a holding company and in 1975 they bought R. Malerne company so I guess they expand the production? Hard to find info about "SML". Was the first model a stencil? How about the baris? Dörfler und Jörka made a saxophone stamped/engraved with "SML". A small production and offering sopranos, altos, tenors and baris ...... . But most of the "SML" saxes are good. Some are very good. They don't need to be "pumped up". But not so many pros or semi-pros here over who are using thier SML's. Here is a picture of the Scanish poet Jaques Werup (RIP). Play and enjoy your SML's.
Skånesax.jpg
Skånesax.jpg
 

peterpick

Member
Messages
505
an SML 'standard' from the 'rev c' period has just turned up at auction - gardiner houlgate of corsham. estimate £50! the 'standard' will not have rolled toneholes and the suggestion is that they used last year's tooling/design - actually this one has my beloved wire guards, so is modelled on an older sax than 'last year's'..... from what i can see on the picture it looks a very shiny well-preserved lacquered brass alto. warning - the auctioneer will charge you an extra 27% or so as the buyer. still could be a bargain. link. if it works.
 
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