SML (Strasser-Marigaux-Lemaire)

Founded:   January 12, 1935, by Charles Strasser, Jules-Appolin Marigaux and Lemaire.
Saxophones Introduced:   Between 1935 and 1937.
Saxophones Discontinued:   1981-1982 (King Marigaux stencil production continued to about 1986). Appx. 27,000 total horns sold.
SOTW SML Forum  Sax-on-the-Web.
SOTW SML Forum Archive  An archive of the 2nd or 3rd gen of SOTW’s forum.
The Woodwind Forum SML Forum  I’m an admin there and post my newest research there first.
Serial Number Chart.   A chart I made based on known purchase dates and the Super 43-49 horns and other data.
SML Articles on SOTW.   I wrote a couple.
SML Pages on Saxpics.com   The original articles I wrote on saxpics.com several years ago.
Stephen Howard Woodwinds   A review of the SML Gold Medal “II” from a repairman’s perspective.
(Vintage) SML Saxophones on Facebook   Some good pics and other info.
Marigaux Paris   Marigaux double-reeds. Still highly regarded horns.
SML Paris   They now just import/export saxophones. They don’t manufacture them.
Loose Picture Galleries   Small galleries around the web.
Saxophone.org Gallery   Some horns that were formerly on Saxquest’s website.
SOTW SML Picture Gallery   Sax-on-the-Web’s small gallery.
TheSax.Info Gallery   My small gallery.
The Vintage Saxophone Gallery   This is the direct link to the SML section of Saxpics.com’s Gallery.
Matt Stohrer Videos  Several really good videos concerning everything from overhauls to the PermaGold finish.
Misc. eBay Vids  Demos of about 20 or so SML horns on YouTube.
SML did have some stencil saxophones produced for them by Dorfler & Jurka, Beaugnier and others. This means you need to carefully check your horn’s feature-set to determine if you have an actual SML-made instrument.

Modern SML saxophones are Taiwanese/Chinese sourced.

The “Rev. A” etc. names are made up by me for convenience, based on feature similarity. A lot of SMLs didn’t have model names. I also consider horns without serial numbers ‘Prototypes.’

Standard models are “last year’s” model with different engraving. For example, if you got a Standard model with a Rev. D serial number on it, it will have all the features of a Rev. C horn.

 

Go to the Slideshow!


 

Rev. A Models
s/n 0 – 45xx (1935? – 1942)

Primax SML "Rev. A" model silver plated Eb alto.  s/n 333x (1940).  From saxpics.com.
Primax SML “Rev. A” model Eb alto. Silver plated. s/n 333x (1940). From saxpics.com.
 
Available Pitches: Straight Bb soprano, Eb alto, Bb tenor
Available Finishes: Silver plate, silver plated body with gold plate highlights, gold plate (probably)
Known Model Names: Alliance, AW2, Modele Standard, Primax, Progresse, Radiotone (probably more)


 

Le Strama Super (Split-Bell-Key Model)
s/n 1xxx – 45xx (1937 – 1942)

SML Le Strama Super split-bell-key models.  Silver plated Eb alto, sn 3817 (1941).  From Pavillonnoir-Musique.com.
SML Le Strama Super split-bell-key models. Silver plated Eb alto, sn 3817 (1941). From Pavillonnoir-Musique.com.
 
Available Pitches: Eb alto, Bb tenor
Available Finishes: Silver plate, silver plated body with gold plate highlights, gold plate (probably)


 

Coleman Hawkins Special (Rev. A)
s/n ca. 23xx to 45xx (1938 – 1942)

SML Coleman Hawkins Special.  s/n 366x (1941).  From KA Holm via Saxpics.com.
SML Coleman Hawkins Special. s/n 366x (1941). From KA Holm via Saxpics.com.
 
Available Pitches: Eb alto, Bb tenor
Available Finishes: I’ve only seen examples in silver plate


 

Coleman Hawkins Special (Rev. B)
s/n 45xx to 67xx (1942 – 1947)

SML Coleman Hawkins Special.  s/n 53xx (1944).  From Saxpics.com.
SML Coleman Hawkins Special. s/n 53xx (1944). From Saxpics.com.
 
Available Pitches: Eb alto, Bb tenor
Available Finishes: I’ve only seen examples in silver plate
 
The easiest-to-spot difference between the Rev. A and B is the switch from left-hand bell keys to right-hand.


 

SML Standard Models
s/n 45xx to 202xx (1942 – 1968)

SML Standard "Rev A" Bb tenor.  Silver plate.  sn 5xxx (1943).  From JustSaxes.net via Saxpics.com.
SML Standard “Rev A” Bb tenor. Silver plate. sn 5xxx (1943). From JustSaxes.net via Saxpics.com.
 
Available Pitches: I’ve only seen Eb altos & Bb tenors
Available Plating: See each Rev. for finish breakdown
 
The Standard is essentially “last year’s model” re-engraved.
In other words, a Standard with the serial number of 5xxx (pictured), which would make it a “Rev. B” by my model chart,
actually has all the features of a “Rev. A” model. It’s an interesting marketing gimmick.

 
 

SML Standard Rev B Eb alto. Silver Plate.  sn 79xx (1949).
SML Standard Rev B Eb alto. Silver Plate. sn 79xx (1949). From saxpics.com.

 
 

SML Standard Rev C Eb alto.  Silver plate.  sn 9657 (1953).  From saxpics.com.
SML Standard Rev C Eb alto. Silver plate. sn 9657 (1953). From saxpics.com.

 
 

SML Standard Rev D Bb tenor.  Nickel plated.  sn 239xx (1975).  From shresthakimi @ www.ebay.com.
SML Standard Rev D Bb tenor. Nickel plated. sn 239xx (1975). From shresthakimi @ www.ebay.com.


 

Rev. B Models
s/n 45xx to 67xx (1942 – 1948)

SML Rev. B Eb Alto.  Silver plate.  s/n 49xx (1942).  From dubrosa22@SOTW.
SML Rev. B Eb Alto. Silver plate. s/n 49xx (1942). From dubrosa22@SOTW.
 
Available Pitches: I’ve only seen Eb altos & Bb tenors
Available Finishes: I’ve only seen examples in silver plate
Known Model Names: Alliance, The Duke, Radiotone (probably more)
 
The easiest-to-spot difference between the Rev. A and B is the switch from left-hand bell keys to right-hand.


 

Super Series
s/n 45xx to 73xx (1942 – 1949)

SML Super 42 Eb alto.  Silver plate.  s/n 4735 (1942).  From Johannes Fischer via eBay.
SML Super 42 Eb alto. Silver plate. s/n 4735 (1942). From Johannes Fischer via eBay.
 
Available Pitches: I’ve only seen Eb altos & Bb tenors
Available Finishes: I’ve only seen examples in silver plate, with the exception of the Model 49, which were available in lacquer
Known Model Names: Super 42, Super 43, Super 44, Super 45, Super 46, Super 47, Super 48/Super, Model 49
 
Note that the Super 42 has the “Rev. B”-style G#/C#/B/Bb cluster.

 
 

SML Super 43 Eb alto sax.  Silver plate.  s/n 5339 (1943).  From tubesdeluxe.com.
SML Super 43 Eb alto sax. Silver plate. s/n 5339 (1943). From tubesdeluxe.com.

 
 

SML Super 44 Eb alto sax.  Silver plate.  s/n 5382 (1944).  From saxpics.com via eBay.
SML Super 44 Eb alto sax. Silver plate. s/n 5382 (1944). From saxpics.com via eBay.

 
 

SML Super 45 Eb alto sax.  Silver plate.  From retro_woodwind @ eBay.
SML Super 45 Eb alto sax. Silver plate. From retro_woodwind @ eBay.

 
 

SML Super 46 Eb alto sax.  Silver plate (replated).  s/n 6xxx (1946).  From Paul Coats via Saxpics.com.
SML Super 46 Eb alto sax. Silver plate (replated). s/n 6xxx (1946). From Paul Coats via Saxpics.com.

 
 

SML Super 47 Eb alto sax.  Silver plated.  From http://tiendadelweb.es.
SML Super 47 Eb alto sax. Silver plated. From http://tiendadelweb.es.

 
 

SML Super Eb alto.  Silver plated.  sn 7xxx (1948).  From Morgan Witthoft via saxpics.com.
SML Super Eb alto. Silver plated. sn 7xxx (1948). From Morgan Witthoft via saxpics.com.

 
 

SML Model 49 Eb alto.  Lacquer.  sn 73xx (1949).  From saxpics.com.
SML Model 49 Eb alto. Lacquer. sn 73xx (1949). From saxpics.com.


 

Rev. C
s/n 73xx to 83xx (1949 – 1951)

SML Rev. C Eb alto.  Silver plate.  sn 757x (1949).  From Rick Mussi via saxpics.com.
SML Rev. C Eb alto. Silver plate. sn 757x (1949). From Rick Mussi via saxpics.com.
 
Available Pitches: I’ve only seen Eb altos & Bb tenors
Available Finishes: Silver plate, Perma-Gold (a “gold tone” finish), nickel plate, lacquer
Known Model Names: Model 260
 
The easiest-to-spot difference between the Rev. B and C is the switch to sheet-metal keyguards.
Note that some baritones produced during this time have “Rev. B”-style keyguards.


 

Rev. D
s/n 83xx to 150xx (1951-1957)

SML Rev D Eb alto sax.  Lacquer.  sn 12238 (1955).  From prosaxoholic @ eBay.
SML Rev D Eb alto sax. Lacquer. sn 12238 (1955). From prosaxoholic @ eBay.
 
Available Pitches: Straight Bb soprano, Eb alto, Bb tenor, Eb baritone
Available Finishes: Silver plate, Perma-Gold (a “gold tone” finish), nickel plate, lacquer w/nickel keywork (“two-tone”), lacquer
 
The easiest-to-spot difference between the Rev. C and D is the engraving. A harder-to-spot difference is all the adjustment screws.
Note that some baritones produced during this time have “Rev. B”-style keyguards.


 

Gold Medal “Mk. I”
s/n 150xx to 20xxx (1957-1967)

SML Gold Medal Eb alto sax.  Lacquer.  sn 15609 (1958).  From eBay.
SML Gold Medal Eb alto sax. Lacquer. sn 15609 (1958). From eBay.
 
Available Pitches: Straight Bb soprano, Eb alto, Bb tenor, Eb baritone
Available Finishes: Silver plate, nickel plate, lacquer w/nickel keywork (“two-tone”), lacquer


 

Gold Medal “Mk. II”
s/n 20xxx to 27xxx (1967-1981)

SML Gold Medal Eb alto sax.  Silver plate.  sn 25985 (1979).  From eBay via Saxpics.com.
SML Gold Medal Eb alto sax. Silver plate. sn 25985 (1979). From eBay via Saxpics.com.
 
Available Pitches: Straight Bb soprano, Eb alto, Bb tenor, Eb baritone
Available Finishes: Silver plate (matte and burnished), nickel plate, lacquer w/nickel keywork (“two-tone”), lacquer
Known Stencil Names: Alexandre, (Reynolds) Contempora, Jen Co Harmonia, King Marigaux, Lucerne, Pichard, Vedette, Woodwind, many more
 
The easiest to spot difference between the “Mk. I” and “Mk. II” is that the “II” does not have rolled tone holes.


 

King Marigaux (Gold Medal “Mk. II” Stencil)
s/n 20xxx to 27xxx (1967-1981)

King Marigaux SML Stencil Eb alto.  sn 25883 (1979).  From miscmarketplace08 on eBay.
King Marigaux SML Stencil Eb alto. sn 25883 (1979). From miscmarketplace08 on eBay.
 
Available Pitches: Straight Bb soprano, Eb alto, Bb tenor, Eb baritone
Available Finishes: Silver plate (matte and burnished), nickel plate, lacquer w/nickel keywork (“two-tone”), lacquer
 
This stencil is listed seperately because it actually is a bit different from the Gold Medal; later models have an altissimo F#.
These horns may also have been available longer than the Gold Medal; until maybe 1986.


Loose Picture Galleries Around the Web …

DoctorSax

GetASax

USAHorn

Misc.



Slideshow Gallery

[flagallery gid=1 align=center name=Gallery]

PC/Mac Navigation Help:

  1. Click the “FS” button for BIG images (heartily recommended).
  2. Click the “SL” link for an automatic slide show.
  3. Click the “Info” button for info on the pic, a link to the full gallery and my witty banter.
  4. Click the left/right arrows or thumbnails to navigate through the pics.
  5. Click the “thumbs up” button if you liked the pic or my commentary — or both :).

Apple iDevice: click on the “SML” title, then click on a pic.
You might have to do it a couple times.

Pete Hales Written by:

2 Comments

  1. September 7, 2015

    Is a Lucerne a SML stencil or a Dolnet stencil please ?

    • thesaxinfo@gmail.com
      September 7, 2015

      While you might hate this answer, it’s the most accurate: if it looks like an SML, it’s an SML. If it looks like a Dolnet, it’s a Dolnet. You can e-mail me pics if you’re not sure. thesaxinfo at gmail.com.

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