Repair Rates Instruments for
& Piccolos Mouthpieces
SML Tenor Saxophone
Serial Number 9100
Date of Manufacture: 1951
Photographs are below.
June 10th - I recorked the neck. Here is
one picture and here is another.
Okay...the best first: This horn plays like a house-a-fire. It has that bottomless, big-bore sound.
I am usually very conservative in my assessments of the tone or timbre of horns...it just varies so much with the player and the
But I have no reservations saying this is a professional quality horn...solid, rich tonality; stalwart construction.
While the serial number of 1900 dates to 1951, which is the year of transition from Rev. C to Rev. D, I feel comfortable
that this is fully a Rev. D.
- Adjustment screws on the stack bars and on the keyguards
- Switchable G# linkage
- Clothing guard
- Extensive engraving
- Rolled toneholes
- Big bell
- Banded 4-slit neck receiver
A few of the keys shapes might be a little older (see the last three pictures)
and the LH thumbrest not pivoting...but those are pretty immaterial. differences.
Keyguard feet are different.
This particular horn has:
Custom cork riser on left-hand palm D key.
One patch of corrosion on the bell side of the bell brace.
Neck cork is maybe marginal.
Bottom of bow nice and round (not flattened).
Neck in great shape (not pulled down or dented).
The ergos might be best suited to someone with medium-to-large hands.
The Gold Medal "22 Features" (with comments):
1. Removable neck lock. A 4-slot ring exerts an even pressure on neck without leakage.
2. Improved octave key features a bearing-type, rocker-arm mechanism for faster action. Facilitates wide jumps and
assures a full-bodied middle D, especially on tenor.
Not sure about this, probably so.
One browser wrote to me: "I thought the rocking octave mechanism was a sporadic Gold Medal dealie- not a D feature at all. "
I confess...I am not sure. I thought they were talking about the 'teeter-totter' style mechanism (as pictured).
3. All screws are made of first-grade tool steel. Pivot screws are hardened to blue grade for long life.
I assume so.
4. All key mechanisms are hand forged.
If they say so. They are all nicely sulpted and appear handmade with care.
5. Individual screw adjustments permit perfect key alignment.
I think these are the adjustment screws for the stack keys...it has them.
6. Properly cupped pearl buttons are scientifically located to encourage flying fingers.
The pearls seem good.
7. Ribs of key cups (tone hole covers) reinforce entire cup diameter.
8. D, D# and F keys are mounted on a single plate for security of posts in fastest passages.
9. Main actions are anchored to a single plate for greater strength.
10. Optional articulation feature with adjustable G# lock permits both group and individual execution of G# to C#, B-Bb.
Makes entire action easier!
11. Side and main action rods are hand-ground ("swedged") for precision fit.
I would never say the 'hand-ground' means "swedged", but the keywork is nice and tight.
12. Set-screw adjustment for G# key.
Check...adjustment screws on arm going from lower stack F# to G# and Bb bis.
13. Extra large (6.25") bell (tenor only) affords unusual carrying power and clear, pure pianissimo.
14. Set screw permits a better adjustment on lever that operates Bb key.
This goes with Number 12. What they call a 'set-screw', I would call an adjustment screw.
15. Clothes guard on back of instrument eliminates possibility of catching clothes under keys.
16. Entire bell, from opening to bow, is exquisitely hand-engraved.
17. Removable key guards allow easy access to low pads.
18. Low B and Bb handle smoothly because of special SML jam-proof rollers.
Not sure if they are jam-proof, but it does have rollers there and they do roll.
All the rollers in the fingertouches also all roll.
19. Drawn tone holes with precision-rolled thin-gauge edges allow maximum air passage without leakage or cutting of pads.
Check (if they mean rolled toneholes).
20. Adjustable bumper felt pads to permit tuning adjustments on low B, Bb, C and Eb.
21. Brilliantly hand-burnished from bell to neck. Protectively coated with a flawless lacquer finish
applied by the exclusive Multi-Coat Process.
If they say so.
22. Precise intonation in the entire range!
The intonation is indeed good. Might be shakey with a high baffle mouthpiece, I don't know.
Despite having some 50 photos here, I managed to neglect getting a good picture of the engraving on the side of the
bell opposite the bell keys.
Comes with a very nice Selmer case into which fits the horn like the proverbial glove.