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New Clarinet!

Hi! I just purchased a new clarinet, a wooden one this time. Problem is I don't know the brand and I've never heard of it before. I'm a regular lurker here and i know you guys can help me hehe

It's a Bb clarinet, branded "International Musical Chicago Instrument Corp"


I'm afraid, I wasted my money, once again...

Any ideas?

Thank you ! :)
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Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Oh Noes! My Post/Thread Says Its Being Sent to the Moderation Queue! (i.e. why I deleted your duplicate post)

Anyhow, I'd recommend that you ask before buying a horn. A lot less expensive that way :p.

My Google-Fu is strong.

According to this, it's a horn made by SML. SML is Strasser-Marigaux-Lemaire, a company that's most famous for making oboes and other higher-voiced double-reeds. They used to produce a variety of woodwinds that were of very good quality. A couple folks on this forum, including me, have SML clarinets and/or saxophones and I think we're all pretty happy with them. They more-or-less quit producing anything but double-reeds in 1981/2 and all horns that they sell now, other than double-reeds, are produced by other companies. They just resell.

A few cautions:

* I'm not the world's best clarinet researcher. A lot of clarinets look like, well, clarinets to me. That means, I'm going by someone else's evaluation that the horn's made by SML.
* I can't see any major damage to the horn in the pics. If you see cracks that have been pinned or cracks, in general, it's probably not going to be worth it to repair.
* The pads do look a tad old. The cork on the thumbrest is no big deal. I don't know about springs, felts, and corks.
* You'd probably want to get some bore oil and work it in. I know a couple of folks recommend immersing old wooden horns (after the keys, pads, felts, etc. are removed) to "restore" them. I dunno about that ....

I do not know if SML had a separate serial number chart for saxophones and other instruments. If they didn't, the serial maps to 1937.

Oh. The mouthpiece is a Brilhart, not a Bruhart.

I think the real question is what you want to do with the horn. Provided there's no major damage and provided it's an SML, I'd definitely think about it or at least get a quote on getting it into playing condition, then deciding.
Hi! Thank you very much for your response and for the info of course!

Definitely, I wasn't planning to sell it, I'll try to get it in working condition and keep it for me since it's time for the Ol' Normandy to retire!

Anyhow, you certainly spared me a headache. Thank you very very much for your time!


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
You may be right, TT. I've done more research on their saxophones than anything else. I re-read an interview with Nora Post, the (former?) president of SML, and she did say that they were producing 1500 clarinets a year in mid-1982.

EDIT: I can even do a couple steps better. The good ol' Internet Wayback machine has the SML website archived. As of February 14, 2003, SML lists clarinets (clarinettes, if you want to be French about it). They have 6 models, the 200, 201, 300, 301, 351 RS Symphonie, and the 352 RS Symphonie. The archive from March 24, 2003 doesn't list clarinets.

Hey! I either learned something or remembered something I forgot. Thanks!