Has anyone tried the Vandoren Optimum SL5? This past year, Vandoren expanded the Optimum range by adding "5" versions for soprano, tenor, and baritone. I assume this means that the AL5, which was introduced earlier, has been a success. Indeed, the AL5 is my favorite classical alto mouthpiece. It provides almost all the tone quality of the AL3, but noticeably more power.
However, a key to the AL5's performance, IMO, is the fact that it uses the same ML facing as the AL3. In contrast, the in-between AL4 uses an MS facing, which makes it a very different piece regardless of the tip opening. (I have an AL4 for sale if anyone wants one.)
I currently use the SL3 for classical soprano playing. This piece has an ML facing, like the AL3 and AL5. However, the new SL5 has an S facing, like the SL4. I wonder whether this means that it offers quite different playing characteristics than the SL3, and not merely a bigger tip opening. Also, the tip opening of the SL5 is 1.25 mm, while that of the SL4 is 1.23 mm. It seems to me that if the SL4 and SL5 both have an S facing, and their tip openings differ by only 0.02 mm, they are practically the same mouthpiece. Why bother? Can anyone elaborate?