Finally, Ken from best music got to work on my Pierret Artiste Competition horn. He definitely liked the horn. I play tested it in the shop per his request and, I must say, this horn must have been the victim of a horrid pad job because it played like a different horn. The notes that sung before still sung, but so did all the rest that I was having problems with. He didn't even replace the pads. He just put them back on correctly. The low notes spoke well and the tuning was even throughout the range! I absolutely love the tone of this horn. It is a really fun horn to play, and it's easy to reach the low and high notes. The action is sharp also. Ken did an excellent job and I am now very satisfied with this horn. I'd say it's a toss up between this horn and my reference, with the reference definitely being a lot louder and having a more contemporary sound. I just find this horn more fun to play. I'm glad I focused on the sound and not the cosmetics. One day, I may get the dents removed but for now, sound is all that matters.