SML T400? whazzat?

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  1. #1

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    Default SML T400? whazzat?

    I recently spotted a SML Tenor T400 in mint condition. I can't seem to find anything on this model Does anyone know what this model can be? It looks like a newer model with no fancy engraving on the bell (but Bell keys adjestment screws, as far as I can see). The serial appears to be 901xxx. It's a very strange bird and I'd be happy to know more about it? Is it some kind of taiwanese SML copy, or what> Has anyone played this horn?

    Thanks.

    Y.

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    Sounds like it could be a Parker or a Heimer... see:
    http://www.saxpics.com/sml/sml_stencils.htm

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    Well, I don't know about these ones but I'm referring to a tenor that has
    the big SML logo written on the bell. It does not really look like a stencil.

    Yaucante

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    Where does it say T400 on it?

    901xxx is way out of the SML serial number range... are you sure there are that many digits?

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    Does it look like this one: http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...category=23298?

    I didn't know what to think when I saw this auction, the seller claims the sax has only been played some hours, I gather it was bought new not so long ago.

    Doesn't look like an SML at all, maybe some clever Asian manufacturer has "created" a new brand. Or it may even be that the conglomerate which owns Marigaux now (JA-Musik) has noticed the appeal of the brand name, it could be a relabeled B&S then.
    I don't know what the legal situation is when you "borrow" an abbreviation like SML (would the three letters alone be protected as a brand name?).

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    jotteff seems to be absolutely right. The thing doesn't look at all like a SML, not even like a copy of one.

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    Thanks guys, I think you answered my question. This is the horn I was talking about. I was not even interested in buying it as I'm not a tenor player but when I saw this, I was just wondering what U.F.O it could be.

    Y.

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    So how did you find out it says T400? By emailing the seller? Maybe the seller could tell you more about the brand name and country of origin?

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    Made in Taiwan. Note the logo which is cleverly designed to "remind you" of the real thing but be different enough that they can't quite be nailed on copyright, trademark, or counterfeiting statutes.


    http://home.austin.rr.com/witthoft/s...terfeitSML.jpg

  12. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jason DuMars's Avatar
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    Default hmmmm...

    maybe it stands for Saxophones Made Lousy?

    There have also been a rash of Mark VI/Balanced copies on the market of late.

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    That's where that circular logo comes from!

    I've always seen it here:
    http://www.saxontheweb.net/SML/OnGoing.html

    but never in quite that form on an actual SML (or, until now, on any instrument of any kind).

    Where did you find that picture Morgan?

  14. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jason DuMars's Avatar
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    Default Waaaaait a minute...

    It just dawned on me that this horn probably IS a true and bonafide SML! I bet the company in Germany that owns the SML name is importing Chinese-manufactured horns just like Keilwerth is doing for their student model horns. If this is true, it will be the same sad demise that happened to Couf horns, Keilwerth and other pro horns that sank into mediocrity. How sad... someone with some German chops should contact the company and see if indeed they are importing these saxes. My guess is they are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max

    Where did you find that picture Morgan?
    Asked the seller for a better photo please

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    Ah - that makes sense, which is why I didn't think of it...

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    Jason, Morgan and all,

    I didn't find any direct contact address at Ja-Musik's web site, they're only referring to the separate companies.

    But SML is acting as the french distributor for all their brands, so I had a look at www.sml-marigaux.com but didn't find any indication of an official "resurrection" of SML as a brand name for saxophones.

    I sent them a mail asking for their comment on this topic (had to write in English though, because my French is so bad).

    I'll keep you updated.

    Btw.: I was really astonished when I saw that closeup. If this is some cheapo asian horn, that's really brand piracy. Like selling Golden Eggs with the General Electric logo...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jotteff

    SML ...www.sml-marigaux.com ...
    I sent them a mail ... (had to write in English though, because my French is so bad)...
    Let me know if you need an interpreter/translator

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    Default Re: Waaaaait a minute...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason DuMars
    ... probably IS a true and bonafide SML! I bet the company in Germany that owns the SML name is importing Chinese-manufactured horns ...
    Certainly a puzzling decision from the Marketing Guys. After all, 99.7% of the population has never heard of SML and for them the brand name carries no promotional value; the other .3% are vintage horn enthusiasts who are OFFENDED rather than tempted by the recycling of a name.

    Strange marketing.

  20. #18

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    I don't think SML is importing horns from Taiwan or China. Although they
    ceised to produce saxophones, they have maintained a good quality on their oboes and I looked up their site...could not find any mention of a SML-brand saxophone. On top of that, the instruments they produce are labeled Marigaux and this suggests they might have lost the rights to use SML on their logo. If you need me to write them, I speak French by the way. Also, they must have a lot of saxophone-related questions as shows in the list of their FAQs...but it's sad to see those big companies have lost the knowledge of their own history of instrument-making...

    Y

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    Well guys, I haven't got any reply yet from SML-Marigaux, so those of you who master the French language might try their luck.
    The address I wrote to is contact@sml-marigaux.com, it's hidden under the "ecrivez-nous" link on the FAQ page, I didn't go via the webmail contact form.

    One really wonders what's in a name: SML-Marigaux acts as the French distributor for the JA-Music brands, the oboe brand name is Marigaux (with their own website www.marigaux.com), the postal address is the same for both...

  22. #20
    Forum Contributor 2011 Pete's Avatar
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    This is what happens when I don't check this thread for awhile!

    * This T400 definitely is not a "classic" SML design. It's a completely different horn.
    * SML ceased saxophone production back in 1981 or so. The last few horns produced were quite probably just labelled "SML".
    * The Parker/Heimer horns were made with the Gold Medal tooling, although with cheaper materials, so they were low-quality student horns but looked almost exactly like the Gold Medal (there's a suggestion that there were some Heimer prototypes that actually used SML parts, but that's not germane to this discussion). The Heimers were also given the model name of "AS500" or "TS500".
    * I tend to agree with morgan that this horn is a B&S model, because they do look somewhat similar, especially the Guardala models and the keyguards.

    I'm gonna write B&S an e-mail and ask them, too. Anyone get further info from SML?

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