Your SML Story... - Page 2

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  1. #21
    papalooski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    I got the Bari bug a few years ago. I'm mainly a tenor player - I had to have a Bari so I rented a few horns to learn about Bari saxes before buying one. (A highly recommended process because its hard to sell a Bari sax if you find out you don't like it). It usually takes me months to really know whether I like a horn or a mouthpiece.

    I ended up rescuing a low Bb SML Bari from a great little companies rental stock. It had been through the war. A re-lacquer with a slightly bent main tube. Lots of professional solder repair work etc. but a sound I really liked. I could solo on this horn. It played rather well. I compared it to a couple of modern Asian horns and a Selmer Series II. Both of these I had rented for a couple of months. The rental company did not want to sell me their SML from rental stock. So I told them - go out and buy a new Asian horn - send me the bill and give me the SML. It worked.

    One key aspect of the SML sound is the upper register. It does not go thin and nasal like many Bari saxes. The top end of the horn plays much more like a tenor that other Bari saxes. It suited me just fine as I am a tenor player mostly. Check out the SML Bari review on Stephen Howards web site. I agree with his assessment. My Bari is from the mid 50's, brass and I use a Morgan vintage Bari mouthpiece. The Morgan warms up the sound nicely. It's not a perfect horn but works for me.
    Papalooski

  2. #22

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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Carmen Leggio played an SML for years and kicked *** on that thing

  3. #23
    Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contributor Jazzaferri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    I own 3 gold Medal 1's 2 tenor and 1 alto. My main horn gold medal is a most amazing example of the breed. Magic sax with decent intonation and a really full Sml sound. The other two are good horns with all the sml traits just not Magic.

    Magic horn has all 22 features and has about 98% of its lacquer. Other lack the in bell engraving. Combined with a metal Robusto 8 I get complimented on the sound coming out.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

  4. #24
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010 DaddyRabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    I know what you mean about magic. When I pick up my tenor after weeks of neglect, it seems to read my mind. It can fill in the gaps in my talent and still sound beautiful. That horn makes me BELIEVE I'm a good sax player. If you read my earlier post, you'll see that I started on an SML alto in 6th grade and took a 40 year hiatus from sax. I now play the tenor exclusively, even though I have a beautiful Rev D alto that I will be putting on the market soon. Sadly, I have not played it in over a year and I don't have the luxury of keeping things around that are not being used. Maybe with the proceeds, I can scrape together the funds to do a proper overhaul on my tenor from Curt.
    BTW, when I broke down and got a Phil Barone Jazz MP a few years ago, it literally almost changed my life. I know that sounds over the top, but it was as though I could finally stop fighting the MP and just let the sound flow.
    Last edited by DaddyRabbit; 01-30-2017 at 10:56 AM.
    "Everything that is really great and inspiring
    is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
    -Albert Einstein

  5. #25
    LowNoteSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by chubarry View Post
    I wasn't aware they made any Gold Medal Baritones! Any pics???
    I guess there are some Baris around from that GMII and GMI period, but they are not engraved with GMII (See http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&c=253 . I have one-nickel plated. Pics see under the link mentioned.
    .... I go for horns with good intonation!

  6. #26

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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Hi,
    My name is Stefan and this is my first message on this forum. I still own a SML Strasser-Marigaux alto and a Selmer baritone. I also used to own a Selmer tenor and a SML soprano. Because this is the SML forum I first want to confirm my love for this brand. In my youth I used to play in the Grani Big Band located in the Helsinki metropolitan area. At that time I was taking flute lessons from Erik Dannholm, the late great horn man. At some point he suggested that I should buy his alto, which used to belong earlier to Eero Koivistoinen, one of Finlands best sax players ever. The serial number is 23110, so you can check the model if you are interested, but it is obviously made 1973.
    Of all the saxes (or flutes) I've ever owned, this is by far my favorite instrument. The sound is so full and rich that it makes you feel a much better player than you are (I'm using an Otto Link mouthpiece). Somebody compared it to Paul Desmond and if any instrument makes that imitation possible, this is it.
    For the last 35 years I live away some 4000 km from Finland. When my son wanted to start sax classes, I took this instrument for service to redo the pads. The service guy was almost in tears when he saw the sax. Not because it was in bad shape, but he had studied instrument building at Strasser-Marigaux. I think he gave the instrument special love. My sons sax teacher said that he was the best equipped student he ever had. Unfortunately my son switched to bass, but my grandson is now taking up alt sax, so maybe he will inherit it. I'm not ready to part ways with it just yet so I bought him a beginners model at Amazon.
    The story of my soprano is an interesting one as well. That used to belong to "Paroni" Paakkunainen, one of Finlands great sax players as well. I sold it to my good friend who sadly died two years ago. I'm thinking about buying it back from his widow.
    Once in a while I find myself reading these tales of the great SML brand of saxes. This time I decided to share some of my personal experience. One thing is for sure: It is hard to beat the sound of these instruments. They may not be as ergonomical as the Selmers, but they certainly give you the sound that is second to nothing.
    Last edited by StefGrani; 04-18-2017 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Misspelled name

  7. #27
    Forum Founder Harri Rautiainen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Stefan, thanks for your fascinating story.

    First of all, it is very interesting to find another Finnish SML owner. Secondly, your connections to famous Finnish pro sax players is mind-boggling. I think Eero Koivistoinen is the most known internationally.

    Welcome to this Fenno-Canadian saxophone forum!

  8. #28
    Forum Founder Harri Rautiainen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    The original SML story. My two-bits (two sentences) is a part of that.

    http://www.saxontheweb.net/SML/thestory.html

  9. #29

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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by Harri Rautiainen View Post
    Stefan, thanks for your fascinating story.

    First of all, it is very interesting to find another Finnish SML owner. Secondly, your connections to famous Finnish pro sax players is mind-boggling. I think Eero Koivistoinen is the most known internationally.

    Welcome to this Fenno-Canadian saxophone forum!
    Thanks Harri!

    During the years I have tried to find every possible source on the internet on the SML brand. I have to say that it is not easy, so I felt good to finally encounter these pages (and in my native Finland!). Of those Finnish sax players I only knew Erik Dannholm well. Sometimes he was not in the "mood" for a flute lesson, so we just listened to jazz records (his and mine). He also once came to play with the Grani band. Absolutely breathtaking. What an undervaluated musician.

    The soprano once belonging to "Paroni" I bought from a band mate (2nd tenor) in the Grani band. I still have a decision to make about buying it back and if I do buy it back, I'll keep you updated. Meanwhile I try my luck in posting a couple of pictures of the alto.
    Images attachées Images attachées

  10. #30
    Forum Founder Harri Rautiainen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by StefGrani View Post
    Thanks Harri!
    .........................
    The soprano once belonging to "Paroni" I bought from a band mate (2nd tenor) in the Grani band. I still have a decision to make about buying it back and if I do buy it back, I'll keep you updated. Meanwhile I try my luck in posting a couple of pictures of the alto.
    Stefan, I gather the soprano is not in Finland right now?

    Thanks for the SML alto pictures.

  11. #31

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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by Harri Rautiainen View Post
    Stefan, I gather the soprano is not in Finland right now?

    Thanks for the SML alto pictures.
    Hi Harri,

    It actually is in Finland (in fact in Kivenlahti). The person having it works at VTT in Otaniemi.

  12. #32
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010 DaddyRabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Wonderful story! Thank you.
    "Everything that is really great and inspiring
    is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
    -Albert Einstein

  13. #33
    Forum Founder Harri Rautiainen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by stellutz462 View Post
    Carmen Leggio played an SML for years and kicked *** on that thing
    Carmen Leggio & SML: http://www.saxontheweb.net/SML/GreatSaxman.html

  14. #34
    Grumpie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by Harri Rautiainen View Post
    More Carmen Leggio, interview transcript....http://contentdm6.hamilton.edu/cdm/r...n/jazz/id/1031
    De gustebus non est disputandum

    YTS62 Purple Logo - Sakshama Shorty.........thinking about getting a soprano.....



  15. #35

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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    Quote Originally Posted by LowNoteSax View Post
    I guess there are some Baris around from that GMII and GMI period, but they are not engraved with GMII (See http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&c=253 . I have one-nickel plated. Pics see under the link mentioned.
    Hi LowNoteSax,

    I'm sure that you have discussed this already on this forum, but I noticed your footnote. I have a Selmer baritone that, according to its serial number, should be MK 7 (with low A). However, from what I have read, Selmer never produced MK 7 baritones or sopranos. Do you have anything on that?

  16. #36
    LowNoteSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SML Story...

    .. I play a Selmer baritone of the same period, still MKVI type, no MK7 features. I use a Gloger Handkraft neck which enhances the tone a lot...
    .... I go for horns with good intonation!

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