Since I have an old 72 with lightweight bell, I have attest I have NEVER found any group with mics I could not cut w/o a mic if I wanted to. I vote for either you need to have someone who is in FRONT of the horn tell you you are indeed "lost in the crowd" or you need to "Give 'em more attitude". I have seen several young players who sound so tentative. Like timid biys instead of men. I usually ask if I can try their horn. it usually sounds like a completely different instrument. Something that helps me get a fuller sound is to practice outside, pointed at the woods. Not only does it help but it is such a beautiful sound.