Yea, if you're trying to roll out a string of eighth notes on the pinky keys, you are on your own!
Squeezing harder won't help with some leaks. G# and C#, side and palm keys etc. Low notes on a good set up shouldn't be a problem
My enlightenment came when I took my horn in to have the neck reswaged as it was getting a bit loose and lo and behold, my wonderful tech said, there is a tiny leak on the C# bell key and after a little tweak my sound down low returned to being effortless.
Squeezing harder won't help with some leaks. G# and C#, side and palm keys etc. Low notes on a good set up shouldn't be a problem.
I find the same on the tenor, Bb, C, C#, are there, B always wants coaxing or sneaking up on.
A trick I discovered as a kid was to play with the tongue kind of resting on the reed in a kind of muffling manner, this I fancied gave me a cool Ben Webster tone and usefully allows one to get the low notes on even a wrecked old leaky saxophone, like they all were in my world..probably not technically kosher but, hey.
For me, the long notes have become an enjoyable part of my practice whereas they were a chore. I like to subtone the low notes, pop them out, sustain a nice strong note and navigate my way around the pinky cluster quickly and accurately. Neglected this part of the sax so badly when I was a newbie, very stupid of me. Catch up is years long.Then again, lack of practice of those notes and long tones. I now have Pete's book and trying to apply myself to long notes, but it takes time