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 mysterious SML clarinet
Author: PGJ 
Date:   2004-08-02 19:12

hello! I wonder if somone has information on my
Marigaux clarinet. I have seen posts on Marigaux
clarinets with different types of ´logotype´, King Marigaux,
Marigaux with a T below the logotype etc, but this one
whith the name (?) " ROCHER THOMAS"(?) inside the logo
and below,
have I not seen, and I am curious about it.
I have information that SML (Strasser, Marigaux
and Lemaire, 3 owners of SML) manufactured 3
quality-levels of horns where the Marigaux
represented the Pro-level which I very much
would like to have confirmed, ( we do like to know
we have a top horn to play!) but maybe more
interesting, ´Who is/ was R. T. ?
I have made a photo of the logo and for those
interested put it on the following URL

Tnx in advance for Your interest

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2004-08-03 00:12

Don't really know. The crest looks very similar to the King Lemaire crest used by SML. Roche Thomas is a name I associate with valve oil for brass. I've not seen this name on a clarinet before. It is quite interesting and maybe someone can post more information.


Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2004-08-03 16:17

I have a King Lemaire clarinet that has the same "crown" as your mystery Marigaux.

On a hunch, I did a Google search on Roche-Thomas, and was able to track down Warren Roche, one of the founders of that company. He is no longer involved in music, but suggested you contact his former partner, Michael Thompson [sic], the "Thomas" of Roche-Thomas.

Mr. Roche sent me several addresses, etc. for Mr. Thompson. I will forward them to you privately, since I doubt anyone would be happy to see that much personal information about themselves posted in public.

I'll just lay my wager right here that what you have is a King Marigaux, with some Roche-Thomas input -- have no idea what that might be, but if you find out, maybe you could post it here.


P.S. I just tried to forward the message, but see you have no email listed. If you want this information, please contact me at my email.

Post Edited (2004-08-03 16:18)

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: PGJ 
Date:   2004-08-04 18:46

Hello, Susan, tnx for Your help! You must have dedicated
a lot of time to get so far. I´m surpriced that my quest possibly
indicates an USA connection instead of the expected
´french connection`, but I understand there is more to
find out , the mystery remains!
My email address was to be found a few lines below the pix, I
intended to get it closer to the pix, but am not super on
site building, anyway- in a few minutes You will have an e-mail
with my address, and I´m eagerly waiting for Your info in return!
Again tnx, Susan and a big boquet of Your favorite flowers to You.
BTW, I seem to remember that You got Your SML horn not long ago,
how do You like it?
Greetings/ per

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2004-08-07 01:08

The same crown appeared on all "SML" clarinets distributed by King. The word 'King' was inscribed under the crown. Your clarinet doesn't have this marking. Model names (for SML) were: King Marigaux, King Lemaire and King Strasser.

Clarinets that were distributed through different channels were marked 'Made by SML' and the model name (Marigaux, Lemaire or Strasser). Some clarinets were simply marked "SML" without a model name indication. These usually were student level hard-rubber clarinets.

The "Marigaux" was a part of "SML" and the "Marigaux" was a pro model name in the SML line. 'Made by Marigaux' makes no sense to me.

IMO. "ROCHER THOMAS" is a model name and the "Made by Marigaux" is an indication that this is not a pro model. I might be wrong, but if I could see more than the logo (especially LH pinky-key linkage) I think, I could actually tell if this is a pro model or not.

Some members on this board have very high expectations for student level clarinets made by SML. They are nice but I'd think that E&S from the 60-70's or Yamaha 34 are better horns (IMHO of course). The King "Marigaux" is superb but their student line horns have completely deferent design.

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player

Post Edited (2004-10-06 03:58)

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: PGJ 
Date:   2004-08-10 12:33

I have added to the logopix-site, 5 new pictures of the LH pinkie-mech,
hope this helps evaluation.
More detailed pictures is no problem, just specify the area.

Reg´s /per


Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Gardini 
Date:   2004-08-11 00:29

I too have a mystery SML clarinet. It is just marked "france". John Butler identified it as a SML. (by the way he did a beautiful job of overhauling it). Any ideas why there is no logo or other stamps? What about the LH pinkie indicated pro model?

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2004-08-13 23:57


Nice horn! Can you add one more pic? I'd like to see trill keys on the UJ.

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: PGJ 
Date:   2004-08-15 13:53


You are welcome to take a look at some more pix
of the area You indicated.
Again if You want to see something more just define the object!

Greetings / Per


Reply To Message
 Marigaux - manufacturer name or model name?
Author: eskil 
Date:   2004-08-26 22:44

Hey, Vytas!

Regarding the Marigaux being the top-of-the-line of SML's clarinets - didn't SML stop using the model names Strasser and Lemaire towards the end of their clarinet making days, instead calling all their clarinets Marigaux, with model numbers signifying if it was a student's model or a pro model? I have heard of a Marigaux S200 or something, that seemed to be a younger relative of my Strasser student model - which definitely is a students model, the mechanism looks a bit like "it will get the job done so let's leave it as it is - it doesn't have to look perfect", and the sound is very nice but doesn't really go that much further than that (I'm one of those who had high expectations and even if I'm not really disappointed, I had hoped for more!). This guy I spoke to bought this Marigaux S200 (or whatever its model number was) new several years ago as a student clarinet, and I think the top-of-the-line models had a model number around 800 or so? My idea was to upgrade from a Strasser to a Marigaux, but this particular Marigaux seemed like not much of an upgrade.

My thought here is that SML nowadays perhaps thinks of Marigaux more as a manufacturer name than as a model name? And that this "made by Marigaux" would mean about the same as "made by SML"? Their oboes all seem to be called "Marigaux" plus a model number, without any mentioning of SML at all, nowadays. So this mystery Roché-Thomas could be a stencil made by SML, with the name Marigaux merely signifying that it was made at SML, and not signifying that it is a pro model?

Just a thought, and not much of a help for Per (but judging from your pics, it looks like a well-manufactured horn - it is hard to tell for sure, but it looks better built than my Strasser, and it certainly isn't as worn).

regards, Eskil

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2004-08-26 23:57

Strasser Marigaux & Lemaire was founded in 1934 by three partners: Charles Strasser, a businessman who was born in Switzerland; Marigaux, an instrument maker who trained at Buffet-Crampon and Lemaire. After the death of Lemaire many years ago, Strasser and Marigaux bought their partner's shares and the company became known as "Strasser-Marigaux." Marigaux died in the early 1970s, leaving Strasser the sole owner of the company. Strasser then sold SML (it continues to use these initials) to a holding company -- Strasser-Marigaux S.A..

Up to this point in the SML's history (around 1980):

'Strasser' was a name for student level instruments
'Lemaire' – intermediate
'Marigaux' – professional level instrument.

It seams that during 1980's and 2002 company's clarinet business was drastically declining. At some point they stopped making 'Strasser' and 'Lemaire' models.

Marigaux models for 2002:
Marigaux clarinet 200, (S-200) Standard model, Bb, nickel-plated keys
Marigaux clarinet 201, (S-200) Standard model, Bb, silver-plated keys
Marigaux clarinet 300, (S-300), Professional model, Bb, nickel-plated keys
Marigaux clarinet 301, (S-301), Professional model, Bb, silver -plated keys
Marigaux 351 Clarinet "RS" Symphonie, top of the line, in the key of Bb
Marigaux 352 Clarinet "RS" Symphonie, top of the line, in the key of A

The highest clarinet Model/Number I've worked on/seen is Marigaux 355 T.

The clarinet "ROCHER THOMAS" Made by Marigaux is semiprofessional model similar to the Marigaux S300 series models. "ROCHER THOMAS" I believe was made in the early 80's.

Marigaux (S-200) = basically a Strasser
Marigaux (S-300) = similar to Lemaire

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Drake 
Date:   2007-12-08 21:06

I have an S.M.L clarinet that I just recently bought. I noticed that it does not have a crown, but instead has what looks like a banner with 'made by' inside it. I do not know the age of the instrument, but I have been told that they are rare.

If anyone has any idea about the mysterious banner, I'd love to hear about it.


Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Drake 
Date:   2007-12-08 21:13

More detailed description of my S.M.L. Again, there is the banner which spans over the words,

In that order. I'll see if I can upload some pics of it.


Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2007-12-08 22:25

I've already mentioned in my first post that the crown appeared on all "SML" clarinets distributed by King. The word 'King' was inscribed under the crown. Model names were: King Marigaux, King Lemaire and King Strasser.

Your clarinet has nothing to do with the King company that is why it does not have a crown.

Vytas Krass
Clarinet Repair
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Drake 
Date:   2008-08-26 02:05

Okay, thanks for telling me that. However, I'm still curious as to why mine only has the aforementioned banner spanning over the maker name. I also have another question. My clarinet is marked with S.M.L on the bell only. I have not found markings anywhere else on the instrument. Is that common for S.M.L clarinets? Answering this question might help me understand if mine is truly an S.M.L made instrument. A little off topic, but it has an amazing tone. It's made of wood, too. I use it as my concert instrument. I use a Selmer for marching band. I just want to find out more about my S.M.L.



Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Bill S 
Date:   2008-09-17 17:04
Attachment:  clarinet1.JPG (434k)
Attachment:  P9170109.JPG (329k)

I too have a SML Paris France clarinet. It has a banner over the 'SML', with the Paris France beneath. The imprint is on the bell only. The serial number is 9711. It has been in my household for at least 45-50years putting it manufacture date about 1958 or before. It likely was purchased used at that time.

[ Edited - GBK ]

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Drake 
Date:   2009-08-23 02:24

I purchased mine used from my lesson instructor, who was selling it for one of his other students. The serial number on mine is 11068. It is made of wood, which means it is not a student clarinet. I do not know how long the previous owner was in possession of the clarinet, but I do know that the repairman they payed to overhaul it needs to be more careful. It cost me nearly $100.00 to repair what he did to it while working on it, which brings the amount of money I spent on the clarinet to around $300.00.

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2009-08-23 02:49

Slightly off-topic but somewhat relevant -- during the early 1980s the Woodwind & Brasswind mail-order company had a one-time-only sale on Marigaux S-200 clarinets, ostensibly a student line as Vytas describes. It was such a good deal that I bought one, and it played so much better than my Buffet R-13 (which had been selected a few years previously by my instructor) that I happily sold the Buffet for twice what I paid for the Marigaux -- and have not bought another Buffet since then.

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Carmalita444 
Date:   2009-08-25 16:15

I would like to try and get some information on a clarinet that I have had for a few years, reading all the descriptions above seem to have gotten more confused. I have a wood clarinet that has the Crown with the word KING under it, then below that with in some sort of a circle is the word Marigaux then below that are the words Paris France, there is a four digit number on each of the valve pieces not sure if that would be the serial number. Can anybody enlighten me on what I have here. I can send pictures if need.

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Alvar41 
Date:   2013-09-21 15:37

I bought my Marigaux in 1957 or -58. It was said to be regarded as really good instrument, and I remember it to be more than twice as expensive as my old one (both new). It is marked with "Marigaux", below is the "banner" with "Made by" in it, below that SML/Paris/Fance. Manufacturing number nis 1135 or (1165)

It is still working well.

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: ddsand2006 
Date:   2015-08-29 02:19

Did you ever find out more about the King Marigaux. I just picked one up second hand for my son who is just learning. I was happy to see after purchasing it that it should be a nice clarinet. Just wondering if you found out more.


Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: aishe 
Date:   2017-02-19 13:35

I am so happy to find this thread. Especially the message from Bill S because finally I found something related to my clarinet.

I bought a Strasser SML Paris France Bb clarinet in Den Haag. It's number is 8430. I have been looking for so long, but now I know somebody here has one of the series.

Now I have an issue though. I need to buy a mouthpiece, but don't know how to choose a suitable one for this SML. I am a beginner, so I'm so experienced with choosing a mouthpiece. I had to sell my beginner's clarinet so the mouthpiece is gone.

What do you guys suggest for the SML I have? What should I be careful with? Thank you!

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2017-02-23 20:23

S M L also extended over to saxophones as well. I have an older SML clarinet from the late 60s...did they make A models as well?

David Dow

Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Freefall40 
Date:   2018-10-15 16:24
Attachment:  UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_265a.jpg (324k)
Attachment:  UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_265b.jpg (323k)
Attachment:  UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_265d.jpg (331k)
Attachment:  UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_265e.jpg (292k)
Attachment:  UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2659.jpg (326k)

I just aquired this one. Any info, please?
Serial is 1513 as far as I can tell.
Is it worth to restore / totally overhaul it?
What would it be worth after overhaul?


Reply To Message
 Re: mysterious SML clarinet
Author: Windy Dreamer 
Date:   2018-10-16 18:23

Your next step should be to take it to a local repair shop for a free consultation. The full restoration of an old or well used clarinet is in most cases not economically practical due to the cost. As an obsessive recycler I believe most are worth the cost of being made playable. Made playable means you can get sound out of all toneholes but the precision tuning and mechanical functions may be off substantially.
No clarinet should ever be thrown out. As a hobby restorer I pay $20.00 to $50.00 for every clarinet I find.I obtain great pleasure from bringing unrestorable clarinets to a playable condition.

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