"I think there is a way to rig up something that you dont have to finger a Bb to get an A, but i wouldnt try it myself personally."
It involves adding a linkage lever between the A key (actually closes the Bb key cup) and the Bb key (actually closes the B key cup). Send me your horn, I'll do it for .... email me - email@example.com
The low A prototype looks like cr@p, but it works. I'll finish the first one by next month. It will look good
MKVI vs. Yam 52, or anything else. Just like their smaller brethren, there are great mk6 bari's and dogs. I had a great one, that I bought in....1979 and played in European recording studios. There were guys playing Conns, Keilwerths, etc, but I became the most in demand bari player because of my sound. I'm a tenor player, and bari was a double. I got a Lawton 8*b and I was set. They do a LOT of recording in Munich (Bavarian Radio and other studios) and they have every Neumann Microphone imaginable - sparing no expense. I couldn't figure it out at first, you know. I didn't care that much about bari, but it was a gig. I got a good horn/mouthpiece combination. OK. But when I played in the studio, the guys in the booth started jumping and dancing around like crazy. This happend frequently. One of the best free-lance engineers came up to me one day and explained it - "that's the best sounding baritone we have ever heard." What's the explanation? It's partly the player - focus and an ear for sound, and he played with intensity, but mainly - the MK6 has a tight core, a focused frequency range that records very well. A recording engineer has to place every instrument in a limited 2 (modern mixing=3) dimensional field. A tight focused sound saves them a lot of work fixing eq. All the trumpet players in LA play Calliccio trumpets. They are made for recording, having a tight core and a focused sound. If you hear a guy playing live with one, say in a big band, mixed with Yamahas, Bach, etc. the sound thin and tinny, But Jerry Hey sounds GREAT on any recording he's on with the same horn. It's a different market with different requirements.
I like a Selmer for recording (larger groups) but the Martin has the core + more meat . It can do everything.
Conns are great too. I'm rebuilding two 12m's and a Pan American (is actually made better than the 12m's)
I'd say Conn for combo/solo work
Martin for larger ensemble. I haven't decided if I'd have a Conn of the side for solos or not at this point.