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 King lemaire clarinet
Author: Anthony Greenwood (
Date:   2001-05-23 06:38

Does anybody have any info about these clarinets? Are they intermediate or pro models?

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 RE: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Fred (170.85.18.---)
Date:   2001-05-23 12:47

This is an intermediate level horn made by SML and marketed through the old King brand. The corresponding pro horn was the King Marigaux. SML tends to make pretty good horns, and your Lemaire is probably equivalent to a high level intermediate today. They are very worthwhile instruments.

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 RE: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Mark Charette (
Date:   2001-05-23 12:58

Try a search with "king lemaire" as input. There's a few posting here already about it.

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 RE: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Antonio (
Date:   2001-05-24 06:57

Ihave some experience with SML saxes, they are great. As far as I know they stop produce saxes because could not compete with Selmer and try to concentrate in what they do best, CLARINET!!!!!!!!!

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 RE: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Fred (170.85.18.---)
Date:   2001-05-24 13:02

Almost right, Antonio. SML did indeed stop making their wonderful saxes because they couldn't compete volume/pricewise with Selmer. However, clarinets are only a small diversion for them. They are famous as makers of world class oboes, though are more heavily distributed in Europe than in the U.S. Still, their clarinets are quite nice; I played my King Marigaux last night at rehearsal and I still wonder why these horns (SML's) don't get more notice. I do know, of course . . . they don't make very many of them and therefore don't get much following. Again, they are probably more common in Europe, as I don't know who might distribute them in the U.S.

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 RE: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Antonio (
Date:   2001-05-25 22:22

Dear Fred

You are absolutely right, I'm learning. My experience with saxes make comfortable to trust SML's , but really hard to find on ebay or other auction online.

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 RE: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Fred (
Date:   2001-05-26 14:37

Antonio, on ebay things seem to come in waves. There were several SML saxes available within the last couple of weeks. If you are interested, make sure to do separate searches for SML and King. As you know, there are some good SML products out there with King's name on them. Watch for King Marigaux (pro) or King Lemaire (intermediate). And of course search all the renderings of saxophone, sax, saxaphone (sic), etc.

Good Hunting . . . it's fun, isn't it?

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 RE: King lemaire clarinet
Author: jasperbay ( - (CenturyTel Internet Holdings) Friday Harbor, WA United States)
Date:   2010-11-07 03:17

I wanted to add to this thread for a couple reasons, but mainly just wanted to add my two cents to our digital database for future searchers. I own several SML Marigaux clarinets and a couple 'King' Marigaux versions marketed in the US by King. Very nice clarinets one and all.

Conventional wisdom in the various SML, Marigaux, and King Lemaire threads in the BB archives holds that the King Lemaire clarinets are an 'intermediate' offering from SML. It seems almost sacreligous to suggest otherwise, since Lemaire is the "L" in SML. Nevertheless, looking at several detailed digital images of two separate King Lemaires (I can't say where these images are due to BB rules) show me, at least, that the King Lemaires have notably "Noblet" jump/trill keys! The cases look 'Nobletish' also. This makes some sense, as Noblet was at least as prolific in the 'stencil' business as SML, some Beuscher wood clarinets also have these Nobletish jump keys. Of course, the King Lemaire would still be considered a fine 'intermediate' clarinet, but anyone looking for spare parts might have to look to Noblet parts donors rather than SML.

I have several Noblet 45's also, so I do know their keywork.

Clark G. Sherwood

Post Edited (2010-11-08 21:57)

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 Re: King lemaire clarinet
Author: David Spiegelthal ( - (The Aerospace Corporation) Chantilly, VA United States)
Date:   2010-11-08 12:41

In the sax world, while King Marigaux saxes were indeed made by SML (Strasser Marigaux Lemaire), the "Lemaire" saxes were actually made in Czechoslovakia, presumably by Amati. It wouldn't surprise me if the King Lemaire clarinets were outsourced as well.

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 Re: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Chris P ( - (America Online) , (null) United Kingdom)
Date:   2010-11-08 12:58

The only differences between Amati saxes and King Lemaire ones were the logos and the existing sheet metal keyguards (without screw adjustable felts) had extra decoration in the form of a metal rod running down the entire length of the inside edge and an 8ve key pad cup forming a bridge in the gap formed between the metal rod and centre point of the inner edge of the keyguard.

Otherwise they performed just like the old Amatis (or Corton/Lafleur/B&H 400 in the UK) which were entry level and rather outdated instruments.


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 Re: King lemaire clarinet
Author: Wes ( - (Verizon Internet Services) Redondo Beach, CA United States)
Date:   2010-11-08 19:37

Earl Handlon of the Minneapolis Symphony imported Marigaux clarinets in the late 40s which he made available to his many students. He played on a Buffet in the symphony, however. For $100, I bought a special Noblet instead, with a resonance key on the F/C key, a beautiful white leather case, and a case cover, as I could not afford the more costly Marigaux instrument.

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 Re: King lemaire clarinet
Author: jbutler ( - (Windstream Communications) Sugar Land, TX United States)
Date:   2010-11-10 22:48

The posts on the King Lemaire and SML clarinets are quite distinctive and do not resemble Selmer, Buffet, or LeBlanc. I think one could identify SML products best by the posts (or pillars as some of you call them) better than by the key design. I have seen King Lemaire clarinet keys as described by Mr. Sherwood in the above post but definitely a SML product.
John B

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 Re: King lemaire clarinet
Author: jasperbay ( - (CenturyTel Internet Holdings) Friday Harbor, WA United States)
Date:   2010-11-11 03:36

Dang, hate to admit I was wrong, but got out my 10X Optivisors and Mr. Butler is correct! The posts on the King Lemaires are SML style (with the small "collar" under the ball end, and a wider than usual base flange); not Noblet. While the jump keys are similar to Noblet/Leblanc, it now (with Mr. Butler's help) looks like the jump/trill keys on the King Lemaire (SML) are actually fairly unique, kind of a 'fastback' Noblet look, and quite different from the more traditional looking keys on the SML 'Marigaux' line.

Now I wonder which type keys the 'Strasser' line used?

Clark G. Sherwood

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