A very sad SML tenor....

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    Default A very sad SML tenor....

    Last night, I shared a few photos of a Otto Link Tone Edge mouthpiece that had come with an SML tenor I had bought unseen from a general antiques auction.
    A few folk asked to see pics of the sax itself, so please see below.
    Like I said, I bid on the basis of one poor photo in the auction catalogue - didn't look too bad - how bad could it be?
    Well, very, very bad is the answer. Luckily I paid next to nothing, and it may be that I've landed lucky with one of the mouthpieces that came in the case.
    I'd thought that it was an SML rev.C, but the serial number 8936, would appear to put as a rev.D. The sax does have all three names engraved on, including Lemaire.
    The alterations are quite extraordinary!
    It appears that the G-sharp cluster has largely be completely replaced, including a part made from an old spoon or fork - note the hallmarks!! Any techs ever seen anything like that?
    The tightening ring for the crook has be substituted with a jubilee clip! Can't say the guy didn't lack imagination.
    The neck is bent and broken.
    Is this really beyond reasonable repair? Strangely, the main body is not too bad, certainly a few dents, but nothing apparently major.
    Is seems a shame to condemn this lovely old sax to the scrapheap. I have a lot more photos, if required.
    Thoughts please.
    Many thanks,
    David.
    IMG_0445[1].JPG
    IMG_0446[1].JPG
    IMG_0448[1].JPG
    IMG_0450[1].JPG
    IMG_0462[1].JPG

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    yes,very sad....
    the neck receivers on these SML's are a poor design in my opinion,and i have had to replace one before....
    the G# cluster is rough to say the least....!
    and i always hate seeing bent/buckled and twisted necks.....!

    good luck with it,and if you were in australia i would buy it for parts....
    i do have an alto version of this one and have sold a couple of bits from it....

    cheers,philip

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    What a shame, these are really great tenors. Someone should restore it.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    It will probably be possible to get it fully restored. Either with use of a donorhorn or with custom made parts. The left hand pinky table for example only has the B touchpiece original by the looks of it, the rest isn't. But reparable, probably yes. Won't be cheap I think, so you, or someone, needs to decide about putting the money into the restoration and if it's worth it.
    Take a look at Saxwork Denmark for example, he does some major work with refitting to modern, custom key-builds etc. http://saxworks.dk/photos/modern%20mechanics.html You can also find some of his work on Youtube. At $20.000,- his Masterseries rebuilds come at a price though.
    Finding another Rev D (or maybe a Gold Medal or KM) in good condition is probably a lot cheaper if you want to go the SML route.
    De gustebus non est disputandum

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



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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Wow, you weren't kidding!
    At least the damage looks fairly localized, so it may be fixable.
    You could try to page Matt Stohrer (I think he goes by Abbadcliche on this forum) for advice, he certainly knows his vintage horns.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Blublub View Post
    Wow, you weren't kidding!
    At least the damage looks fairly localized, so it may be fixable.
    You could try to page Matt Stohrer (I think he goes by Abbadcliche on this forum) for advice, he certainly knows his vintage horns.
    Thanks Blublub,
    The neck needs a good bit of work, and of course, a full pad and total tidy-rods fixed/replaced, guards straightened- but the worst of the damage is fairly centred around the pinky cluster. I'm in Scotland, unfortunately (for these purposes, otherwise it's great!) so I'll maybe try a very good tech I've been told of in Edinburgh.My original thoughts had been to spend the £500-700 I thought it would need for a total repad etc., and sell my nice old True tone to pay for that. True tones go quite well in the UK. However, I don't know that I could really justify the extra this would cost to make playable. I'll maybe contact Mike Stohrer for an opinion, thanks for the suggestion.
    Cheers,
    David.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    I think another SML would be the cheaper option. Hope it can at least go to help put another one into playing condition.
    Cheers,
    David

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Thanks Philip. Hope I, or someone, can do something with it.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    no worries....
    probably not worth it....one can find these saxophones for around $1500 in good condition...
    i,personally would throw it in the shed and hopefully sell a few parts off it...
    otherwise,put it on feebay starting price of 1pound and see where it goes....
    i reckon you would get 150-200pounds for it...
    then selling the slant mpc,you will be way out in front...

    all just ideas of course...

    enjoy the life....
    cheers,philip
    Quote Originally Posted by jdofwalker View Post
    Thanks Philip. Hope I, or someone, can do something with it.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Yeah, I think that will cost more to fix up than it would be to buy one with all its parts and fix it up.

    If you want to sell it for "next to nothing" :-), I'd buy it to keep in my parts pile. SML parts are not easy to find, and I am sure over the rest of my career I could find a use for most of it.
    matt stohrer

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    All of this is just like, my opinion, man.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Horrible, but if you're interested in spending up to £700 then Roger Price would do the whole shebang for that I reckon, including fixing your neck. He has a very impressive workshop and can do anything. I had restored by him a beaten up 1930s Borgani, including a pulled down split neck, and he is terribly reasonable and a superb craftsman with proper metalwork shop capabilities. The Borgani restoration is a work of art.

    I disagree that SML neck tenons are not good - they are the best design of all saxes in my opinion, and easy to replicate. But they can come off, which perhaps happened here? Heaven knows what damage the replacement set up has created, and whether it's split the top of the cone, but one can only hope.

    If Roger needed a horn to use as the basis of reproducing the parts you need to have remanufactured, I'd willingly send my horn or bits of it to him as the basis.

    His details are here: http://www.rogerprice.co.uk

    Good luck.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Thanks Enthusiast65. Blimey, Just don't know what to do! Couple of folk have offered to take it for parts, but seems a shame. I'll have to have a long, hard think. Roger certainly looks like he knows what he doing. Many thanks, David.

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Hi David,

    I've just played my SML Rev D today after a period of time switched to Lupifaro (world-class modern interpretation of a Selmer SBA made in Italy) and I have to say the SML is EVERY BIT as good. They are incredible, massively undervalued instruments. If you can spare the money to have Roger turn it into a proper restored player, I would do it. It'll still be decent value all-in.

    Here's what he did for a pulled down neck on another tenor I restored with him that I found in a metal recycling plant (no joke!!) - in Nottingham of all places.

    Cut supporting nickel silver strips for the split neck and silver soldered the split

    neck_strips.jpg

    Having returned the old neck to shape, created a mould for the neck strips to form the precise shape of the original neck

    neck mold.jpg

    Attached strips and soldered

    attaching strips 2.jpg

    Finished neck in workshop

    neck finished.jpg

    On the restored instrument

    neck.jpg

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    And just to motivate you further, here's before and after of the Borgani thanks to the amazing work carried out by Roger.

    By the way you need to allow up to 6 months from when you send him the instrument - he's semi retired and one of a kind.

    BEFORE:

    borgani_trauma.jpg

    IMG_1495.jpg

    IMG_1497.jpg

    AFTER

    IMG_0049.jpg

    IMG_0041.jpg

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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....


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    Default Re: A very sad SML tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast65 View Post
    Amazing work! I unfortunately, decided that I just couldn't justify the outlay at the moment. this isn't my business, and I'm certainly not a professional player! I needed to free up any money I could to my actual business. I've now sold the sax on to Bjorn in Sweden, who is an SML fan, and is confident it will sing again. So, on one hand, I'm really sorry it's not going to be me getting the pleasure of playing it, at least someone else will. I'll keep puffing away at my old True Tone for now.
    I'm definitely going to keep Roger in mind for the future if another opportunity comes along and I'm better placed to go ahead with it.
    Thanks for all your input and encouragement.
    Cheers,
    David.

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