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Vintage SML Rev D Tenor Sax in Great Original Perma-Gold Finish - Serial # 11657

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Product ID: 11657SMLTenor

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This is a mid 50's vintage SML Rev D model tenor sax, serial number 11657. This sax features the original perma-gold finish. Often mistaken for gold plate, this is actually a special finish applied over a silver plated horn which looks an awful lot like the real thing. It does have rolled tone holes, and is a bit of a “hidden gem” for this price bracket.

 

The perma-gold finish is much more fragile than traditional gold plate, so usually the finish is nearly completely gone by now. This tenor however still shows excellent coverage on the “front” side of the instrument, with more wear on the back where you can see the silver plating underneath. The only previous repair I can spot is on the bell-to-body brace. This appears to have been pushed into the bell at some point, with the entire assembly resoldered later. The original neck is good, and has never been pulled down.

 

Mechanically, this horn is sitting in very good pads, fitted with metal resonators. The pads have plenty of life in them, so we are going to do a full pro set up on the existing pads. We'll take it apart and clean it, reseat all the pads for a proper seal, and make any adjustments necessary to really make this tenor sing.

 

This tenor plays slightly brighter, with a bold voice that carries well. I found it be brighter than other SML horns I've played, but I didn't feel like it was piercing or brash, just very full and commanding. We've been finding good SML tenors lately, and this one stacks up with the best of them.