I recently pulled out my old Mercedes II today after having played the my Xeno exclusively for the last 4 or 5 mos. The Merc actually sounds very good. Maybe better (or perhaps just different) compared to the Xeno. The Merc seems to project the sound further out whereas I hear more sound coming back at me with the Xeno. I think it makes the Merc feel as if it takes less effort to play because it throws the sound so far. The Merc II is also a bit brighter. My comparisons were done with the exact same 3C mouthpiece. Anyway, I'm just curious about a couple of things: 1. The Merc II has a shorter distance from the leadpipe to where the main tuning slide enters the 3rd valve (22.75" vs 23.75") but a longer bell (27.25" vs 26.25"). How does this affect the sound of a horn? 2. I'm guessing the Merc II is a "lightweight" horn. Does this cause the sound the be brighter or project differently? 3. Does anyone know how the bell flare on the Merc II and Xeno 8335S compare to the Bach Strads (i.e. 37, 43, 72, etc.)? I cannot see a visible difference between the Merc II and the Xeno except that the very end of the bell on the Merc II is smaller (4 5/8" vs 4 3/4").