I just ordered some Tru-Seal pads to try. I have higher hopes for them compared with most synthetic pads because I spoke with someone (a repairer) who has been trying them for about a year now, on his own saxophone and on some customer instruments.
In the hopes of eventually eliminating all animal products, sax pads are the biggest problem. I've tried and seen more than a few different types and so far haven't found anything I liked. The best I found had imitation leather, in fact they are better than leather sax pads (the same but the material is more durable), but they still have wool felt, and they are special order and unfortunately more expensive than the already expensive pads I stock.
The more rubbery ones (several types of these) have always been too hard and/or springy.
Softer ones worked poorly on sax tone holes, developing a deep seat and "grabbed" the rim, has a poor feel, among some other issues.
I've been using synthetic pads regularly on clarinets for a long time and for the last couple of years I recommend them as the best option, but so far not for saxophones.
From what I've been told about the Tru-Seal pads I have high expectations that they will reduce or even eliminate most of the problems I found with other synthetic sax pads, but they supposedly have their own quirks to consider when installing, compared with regular pads.
I'd know more after I try them.
In the video in Milandro's post, as you said there is obviously key noise in the leather pad key, since it's much noisier when opening it too. I does sound like there is some noise from the pad itself, but it's impossible to tell much since it's in a video and not compared with a known noise (plus the key noise makes it more difficult).
I like the "noise" from medium or firm leather pads. I have some very quiet synthetic pads on my clarinet and they are ok, but not my favourite ("the cobbler walks barefoot" is what we say here). On saxophone any of these soft pads always felt terrible to me, to simplify it's like playing a sponge.
On clarinets, good synthetic pads aren't that much quieter than leather or bladder pads, sometimes about the same really.
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