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Ball Review

Track: 400A Hook 46 • Length 16.5 • Breakpoint Shape 15

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Manufacturer’s Intent: “With every new Track release, our R&D depart- ment spends countless hours ensuring the quality and performance of our product,” says Track’s Rich Hanson. “The new 400A Special Edition is no dif- ferent. The goal in mind was to create something unique and special. By combining our DNA core with the highest grade resin possible in our new Luxury MA cover, we have taken class to a whole new level.”

Core Design: The 400A uses the same core technology as the 300C (August 2010). The medium-high 2.58 RG helps ensure easy length and the .055 Diff provides lots of track flare potential. We saw nearly 6 inches of track flare with our 4-inch pin layout positioned above the fingers, and 4.5 inches of flare with a pin positioned below the fingers at 4 inches from our PAP. Coverstock: The Luxury MA cov- erstock formula is colored in a white diamond pearl finish. Response time is moderate off dry, and oil traction is very limited with box finish, which is a 500 and 1000 sanding followed by polish.

The Ra measures 1.5 with an effec- tive surface grit of 5400. Test Results: The Track 400A is a conservative polished pearl designed for light to light-medi- um oil volumes. This is Track’s first American 400 series release. The inherent roll characteristic is long and smooth in nature. We saw no sudden move when encoun- tering friction on any of the test patterns. Length was easy and effortless as the polished pearlized surface got down the lane easily. Oil carrydown did present some oil wiggle near the end of the pattern with our lon- ger pin distance drilling of 5 inches, but our 4-inch pin-above fared slightly better. The key for successful encounters with the 400A was friction on the lane. In fact, the greater the friction, the better the reaction. When to Use: As with many high-RG polished pearlized balls, uses will be limit- ed when medium or heavier oil is present. But on lighter to dry patterns, the 400A is a strike-worthy performer. The later-rev- ving core created more entry angle for our lower rev rate tester, and allowed him to venture well left of third arrow and carry with the big-handed boys. Players can lay out the 400A with aggressive layouts and not worry about an early read or too much total hook.


Brunswick: Mastermind Hook 60 • Length 11.5 • Breakpoint Shape 15

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Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Mastermind was designed to be the most aggressive Brunswick ball to date,” says Billy Orlikowski of Brunswick’s R&D team. “The Honor Roll solid coverstock is a new base formula with the projection and friction additives to get through the front, but with stronger midlane and backend. It, along with the new core, make the Mastermind a special ball.” Core Design: The Brunswick Crown-inspired asymmetric core is designed for fast and strong revs. The RG is low at 2.48, the differential hefty at .052 and the PSA strength beefed up at .015. We saw more than 5.5 inches of oil-loving track flare from this core.

Coverstock: The Honor Roll solid reactive coverstock formula is designed for lots of total hook. Colors are a mix of black, blue and orange. The factory finish is sanded with 500 and 1500 Sia Air pads. The Ra level is 8.2 with an effective surface grit of 3700. Response time is moderate off dry, and well above average in oil.

Test Results: Holy hook, Batman! The Mastermind will cover boards like no previous ball from Brunswick. It is very strong in the midlane, but not too early through the fronts. The back-end motion is a strong arc with good continuation, providing the midlane doesn’t leave town. With a 65x3.5x45 dual angle layout, the new core design starts up quickly and displays equal amounts of track flare in the oil and in the dry. Our favorite

layout, a 40x4x65 pin below the fingers, works even better on fresh patterns of heavier oil volume. It creates more flare in the oil and a smoother move when leaving the oil pattern.

When to Use: The Mastermind will handle all medium-heavy to heavier oil volumes, thanks to its aggressive cover/core combination. Our speed- dominant tester commented on how securely the ball transitioned from oil to dry on longer Sport patterns. Slower speed or rev-dominant types will likely find the need to smooth the surface to encourage easier length and retain axis rotation longer. We found extended uses by shining the surface with either Royal compound or gloss finishes.

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