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Thread: Solid vs. Pearl versions of the same ball Compared Sanded and Polished

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    Default Solid vs. Pearl versions of the same ball Compared Sanded and Polished

    Okay Rob this one is for you! This video compares the Solid and a Pearl versions of the same bowling ball. it showed that there is no real difference between Solid, Pearl (and most likely Hybrid since they weren't tested) versions of the same ball other than surface texture. (which isn't really what they were trying to show I think, they were just talking about sanding/polishing and shilling trucut product but thats what it showed anyway.)

    They used the robot to throw them and specto to monitor how they performed. It doesn't say what balls they used, I don't recognize it right offhand.

    Of course they didn't test different companies balls or ones with different pearlizing agents etc. But at least now we(you) have some kind of documented testing done with the robot to eliminate variables etc to point to and reference when saying there's no difference between solids and pearls except texture.


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    I saw this video the other day and it reminded me of Rob's comments regarding the various coverstock types.
    I have two balls with similar ratings from Bowling This Month: Storm's Son!Q and Intense Fire.
    OOB finish was the same: polished. The Son!Q is a symmetrical pearl and the Intense Fire is a asymmetrical hybird. Took the polish off both balls as neither ball seemed to pick up the friction well. Used 2000 and 3000 grit pads. The Son!Q didn't appear to work all that much better without the shine, but the Intense Fire started picking up much earlier and the number of boards it crossed was immense. I've taken the Fire and used a 4000 grit pad on it. Hope it calms down a little...

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    Bowling Guru Amyers's Avatar
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    Nice video Bowl1820. I've always thought the difference between pearl/solid was more in people heads than anything if used at a similar surface. Any difference are below the average bowlers ability to detect
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    The balls are the statement and the statement Pearl from Hammer. With the CTD videos I feel they are too focused on saying the key phrases of their products and not explaining the meat of the argument. As people have discussed on this board so many companies come out with a solid and pearl version of a bowling ball - In my bag alone I have four balls that have been re-released with only a surface change - Roto Grip Hyper Cell (Hyper Cell Skid), Hammer Gauntlet Fury (Gauntlet), Roto Grip Idol (Idol Pearl), Hammer Cherry Vibe (Onyx, Blue, Orange). I am not against buying the multiple versions since you cannot change your surface during competition, but the amount of people who I see purchase this original and then are disappointed with the re-release [I'm specifically referring to the Idol / Idol Pearl with what I have seen] is amazing. For $5 you can essentially polish up or sand a ball to the surface you are thinking of buying, test drive it, and see if it provides what you are looking for (or close enough that drill pattern can get your desired reaction).

    I personally did this with the Idol - polishing it up to see the reaction and can tell you I am not a fan [my teammate who is also not a fan bought the idol pearl without doing this and basically wasted $200]. Going further than that (and more in line with Rob in regards to using RG and Diff to make decisions) - I can change the surface on all of my equipment, play with these surfaces, and get a pretty good idea if I would like to fill my arsenal with another piece at the altered surface with those numbers and then adjust my old equipment back. Many of us don't purchase a ton of equipment and this is a small insurance to protect against making a bad decision.
    Last edited by ALazySavage; 07-03-2019 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Added content
    Currently in the bag: Roto Grip Hyper Cell (@2000), Hammer Gauntlet Fury (@1000 polished), Roto Grip Idol (@2000), Hammer Cherry Vibe (@1500 polished), Hammer Black Widow Urethane (@1000), Jet Blackbird

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    As a former marketing executive, I can honestly say that being able to sell three of the same product with nothing more than cosmetic differences would have been like dying and going to heaven!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowl1820 View Post
    It doesn't say what balls they used, I don't recognize it right offhand.
    Based on the spec sheet itís the Statement pearl and solid from Hammer

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    Eeengghhh....may...be...

    1) Let's point out the obvious...CTD is a company that is solely interested in selling you some finishing tools...at a tremendous mark-up.

    2) They actually didn't say there wasn't a difference...they said you can surface a ball to make them the same....which we already knew...that surface trumps most every other ball spec...which was proven by the USBC robot years ago.

    3) As the only chemist in the discussion (I think)...the differences are NOT simply cosmetic. Colors and scents...yes. But Solid and Pearl coverstocks ARE chemically different. HOW different? I don't know....I don't work for a bowling ball company....maybe BowlVersity will know since they actually make bowling balls.

    4) As was previously mentioned...ya can't save money by buying just one ball...and surfacing it as the lanes transition...that's illegal...and almost impossible unless you own a pro shop at the center. So if ya have to buy three balls anyway...???

    One difference I HAVE noticed between Pearl and Solids are related to oil absorption (which makes sense if you understand the differences in the chemistry). If you ever try to de-oil a ball...you'll notice a great deal more oil coming out of a solid than a Pearl...even a sanded Pearl. My reasoning (hypothesis) is that the chemistry difference creates microscopic channel differences...solids have larger channels for oil to absorb and more easily escape during de-oiling. Again, I can't prove that because I don't work for a bowling ball company...but it makes logical sense.

    So what does that mean? I dunno. Probably nothing. I'm a "systems" person...so I have a matrix for arsenal selection where coverstock (Pearl, Hybrid, Solid) is one of EIGHT factors. Do I currently have a Solid, Hybrid, Pearl arsenal? No. My current one is a Pearl, Hybrid, Pearl...and the previous one was a Pearl, Pearl, Pearl. As the video shows...SURFACE can be applied to fine tune ball movement...so having one of each coverstock is unnecessary. But REMEMBER...we've also seen videos on how FAST surface changes...so if you're going to rely HEAVILY on surfacing...you better have a ball spinner or your own pro shop...and a decent pocketbook...because the surfacing materials are NOT cheap. Brunswick Factory Compound runs about $30-$40 a bottle...those pads they are advertising...which are just some light sandpaper attached to foam...are about $8/piece. And a quality ball spinner runs $250-$2000...plus maintenance/parts expense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    Eeengghhh....may...be...

    1) Let's point out the obvious...CTD is a company that is solely interested in selling you some finishing tools...at a tremendous mark-up.

    2) They actually didn't say there wasn't a difference...they said you can surface a ball to make them the same....which we already knew...that surface trumps most every other ball spec...which was proven by the USBC robot years ago.

    3) As the only chemist in the discussion (I think)...the differences are NOT simply cosmetic. Colors and scents...yes. But Solid and Pearl coverstocks ARE chemically different. HOW different? I don't know....I don't work for a bowling ball company....maybe BowlVersity will know since they actually make bowling balls.

    4) As was previously mentioned...ya can't save money by buying just one ball...and surfacing it as the lanes transition...that's illegal...and almost impossible unless you own a pro shop at the center. So if ya have to buy three balls anyway...???

    One difference I HAVE noticed between Pearl and Solids are related to oil absorption (which makes sense if you understand the differences in the chemistry). If you ever try to de-oil a ball...you'll notice a great deal more oil coming out of a solid than a Pearl...even a sanded Pearl. My reasoning (hypothesis) is that the chemistry difference creates microscopic channel differences...solids have larger channels for oil to absorb and more easily escape during de-oiling. Again, I can't prove that because I don't work for a bowling ball company...but it makes logical sense.

    So what does that mean? I dunno. Probably nothing. I'm a "systems" person...so I have a matrix for arsenal selection where coverstock (Pearl, Hybrid, Solid) is one of EIGHT factors. Do I currently have a Solid, Hybrid, Pearl arsenal? No. My current one is a Pearl, Hybrid, Pearl...and the previous one was a Pearl, Pearl, Pearl. As the video shows...SURFACE can be applied to fine tune ball movement...so having one of each coverstock is unnecessary. But REMEMBER...we've also seen videos on how FAST surface changes...so if you're going to rely HEAVILY on surfacing...you better have a ball spinner or your own pro shop...and a decent pocketbook...because the surfacing materials are NOT cheap. Brunswick Factory Compound runs about $30-$40 a bottle...those pads they are advertising...which are just some light sandpaper attached to foam...are about $8/piece. And a quality ball spinner runs $250-$2000...plus maintenance/parts expense.
    I think more the point here are people who wait to purchase because they believe they want the solid or the pearl version of that ball or those misguided people who own both versions. Owning the solid or pearl versions do not reduce your ball upkeep expenses. 1000 grit surfaced ball requires the same amount of sanding to stay at 1000 grit if it's a pearl or not.
    I am a proud member of Bowlingboards.com bowling forums and ball contest winner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amyers View Post
    I think more the point here are people who wait to purchase because they believe they want the solid or the pearl version of that ball or those misguided people who own both versions. Owning the solid or pearl versions do not reduce your ball upkeep expenses. 1000 grit surfaced ball requires the same amount of sanding to stay at 1000 grit if it's a pearl or not.
    Agreed.

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