I play in several community bands and a community orchestra. There are other BC players in most of these groups, and we all joke about the fact that no one else notices us, and conductors seldom pick on us; I noticed that in NJ State Band in the 1950s---we used to chuckle about it even then. Few paid attention to us; we figured they didn't hear us...we were all playing school instruments: pre-war Conns.
I think it's partly the instrument. I've been asked to other groups when other players haven't, and it isn't technique; they're at least as good as I am. But many of my co-players remark on my beautiful tone, and it does tend to ''come through'', not in loudness, but in type of sound. Conductors love it (the few times we solo)! There really is nothing that can compare to the sound that comes out of a Buffet BC, and loudness has little to do with it.
As someone who, way back when, played with 3--3.5 reeds on a clarinet, I could never seem to get above a 2.5 on the BC. I would lose tone depth on harder reeds. 64 years later that still holds. The trick, of course, is getting a reed soft enough for the lowest 2 registers, and still play above the register change without squeaking or sounding like an alto sax. I expect professional BC players can get into harder reeds, and they also know how to play around with them. I do some reed adjustment, but in my doddering old age I prefer to spend my limited time on earth in other ways.
Definitely practice long tones daily.