i wonder if you were playing as well though. no immediate comparison doesnt seem like a good test. if you played that horn for a while and then compared to the other that would seem to account for "thats just what im accustomed to"factorI just came back from my holiday, and picked up my tenor with slow springs and high action, leaving the Ferrari (best MKVI ever, perfect setup) in the case: all the issues disappeared!
As long as you do not have an immediate comparison, everything is fine.
Pads need to be replaced when they leak excessively.