I have some 5 Stars that I bought second-hand, and I really do love them. But I also have some wool felt (maybe blend) pads in the $80-$100 range as well and I use them pretty interchangeably. I do feel like the 5 Stars hold their compression better than Diamond Wool. I have a really old Diamond Wool and you can tell it's flatter in the areas of the saddle bars. The 5 Stars, which are probably just as old, aren't quite as compressed (in my opinion).
However I do really like Diamond Wool and the pad that is compressed is probably 20 years old, so I probably can't expect them to last forever. But the 5 Star I feel is a little more dense or has more rebound to it.
I have a couple of pads I bought from CAL Ranch, they are CAL Ranch branded, but I have a feeling they are made by Mustang as most of the pads at CAL Ranch are Mustang. Or maybe even Weaver? They carry a lot of Weaver products too, so it's hard to say, but those are a wool blend I think and I like them a lot. They have a lot more density that my Diamond Wools. So I actually think I like those better than my Diamond Wools.
Has anyone ever tried this? https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail....5-2DAFF0ED2E22
When they first came out, in the Valley Vet catalog I believe, they were being compared to 5 Star at a fraction of the price. Well, I don't know if they used the name 5 Star, but they said they were on par with any other pressed felt pads out there, or something like that. If I NEEDED another pad I would try one. But I have a whole stack of pads, hoarder that I am, so I have resisted the urge. But I would be curious what other people thought of them. The felt in the picture has that curious way of wrinkling in the same way the 5 Star pads do.