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The SML Super Series

In addition to all these models having "Super" engraved on the bell (excepting the "Model 49"), this is truly the transitional horn on the SML model chart from the Rev. B to the Rev. C.

    These horns have:
  • "Rat-trap" keyguards -- until the Super 47 at s/n 65xx or so, then they have Rev. C sheet-metal keyguards.
  • SML logo with two 5-pointed stars engraved on bell starting in 1947.
  • The wire bell-to-body brace of the Rev. B, that is replaced over this model's life to the heavy-duty "T" brace of the Rev. C.
  • A name on the bell ("Model 49", "Super 42", etc.) that tends to logically indicate that the number is the year the horn was produced. This makes for a more accurate serial number chart -- from 1942 to 1949, at least :)

Probably the most significant leap over the Rev. B is in keywork design. Between the Super 43 and 45, the famous G#/C#/B/Bb cluster that any SML lover can spot from a mile away was introduced -- but the switchable articulated G# didn't appear until the Model 49. The layout of the pearl keys also appears a bit more in-line with the horn and the C/Eb keys are more sculpted than the Rev. B.

I think that the bell size is actually a bit smaller than the Coleman Hawkins models, but it does appear larger than a "standard" Rev. B, meaning there may be bore-size differences.

Recently, a gentleman with a Super 42 model sent some pictures my way. This is a beautiful horn that looks like a "standard" Rev. B, but it has additional keywork: an altissimo D# trill key and a G# trill key, as well as a working forked Eb assembly. The additional keywork may indicate that the "Super" series of horns was intended as a "Super Pro" line of horns.

I do have some problems with this categorization of "Super Pro", not primarily because of the low production of SML, but because of the fact that the Coleman Hawkins and other Rev. B models were obviously available at the same time as the Super 42 through possibly the Super 44 -- and the other Supers lack these features. Things that support the "Super Pro" hypothesis, though, are that later Rev. B horns do not have the "standard" G# cluster and the bell-to-body brace on the Supers and Model 49 is different than that on the Rev. B.

Finally, the owner of the Super 42 & 47 pointed out to me that the necks on these horns have somewhat different angles, while the bell and body tube dimensions are the same. IMHO, this is a case of "neck droop", but I include the information here for you to ponder.

I believe that all Supers were only available in silver plate. I'm more than willing to have someone send me pictures and prove me wrong :)

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