Aaaaand either a) I've been sent a wrong piece else b) it will be going on ebay soon :3 This is a handmade, custom piece that I just got on Tuesday, but I've been having brain crunching days at work, which leaves me too mentally exhausted to do more.
Today though, I spent a fair bit of time with this new piece, and after much comparison with the V5, decided it was not for me. Hopefully I was sent a wrong piece, and I do want to use a custom built piece (yes I am vain). This piece plays very similar to the Vandoren V16, so a meyer styled piece. The low to mid register is absolutely delicious - low Bb to high E play beautifully extremely easily, and this mouthpiece actually fixes my middle D intonation issues! Unbelievable.
Downsides include a wildy sharp palm key notes, and the higher notes feel very thin. This is exactly what I felt with the V16, so it's basically a souped up V16.
I still decided on the V5 for the same reasons as before: The tone is good enough for what I want, all register play with good intonation - middle D can be fixed by adding the palm D key - and the tone feel nice and thick even at the palm keys.
This is the basis of what I need - an instrument that I do not need to fight. Reasonable intonation, and evenness of tone. I do not need to achieve "Saxophonist X's sound" etc etc. I sound like me and I'm bloody pleased with it.
One positive aspect came out of this. Because the new piece has a slightly wider tip opening, I had to put in my Legere Signature #2.25s, else I would wear out my embouchure in minutes.
Recordings show that the low register plays very evenly (and easily), unlike the V5 which I tend to need more puff to get the low notes to speak - and this causes the low notes to sound louder and more pronounced compared to the higher low register notes. On a whim, I switched the #2.25s on the V5, and wow, now the low notes play way easier (still not as easy as the new mouthpiece but) and the palm keys seem to play easier.
Need a bit more practice see if there are any downsides to this switch, but yeah, I was quite surprised how going down a 1/4 strength makes such a large improvement.
EDIT: To be sold ;-)