I have waited three weeks to post this review so that I could experiment a bit with this ball, but now the results are in, so here goes. Check my profile for my stats.
The Diesel Particle comes with about a 1200 grit sheen, which, after making some changes, I decided to maintain. I use the Ebonite Powerhouse Quicksand on it after cleaning, then use some Hook-It to remove the shine left by the polish. The ball has a 2 inch pin. It is drilled in a 4 x 4 set-up, with the pin just below my ring finger. The CG is swung over toward my PAP as far as possible without necessitating a weight hole. While this is a symmetrically cored ball and people do not usually think of such a ball as having a mass bias, I base my drillings of all balls on where the MB ends up more so than where the CG ends up. The MB on this ball is 3/4 inches inside my VAL, placing it about halfway between the stacked leverage position and the controlled back end position.
I bought this ball and set it up for a bowling center with wood lanes that are not in top notch shape, but not terrible either. The pattern is a fairly typical top hat, medium oil with a tendency to be spotty and break down fast, dry outside the ten board and a slight, but troublesome out of bounds in the breakpoint area created by bowlers pushing oil to outside there as play goes on. My preferred outside line gets me to the pocket here, but does not carry well. I play the line most tweeners play in this house--just a bit inside the oil, using the dry track to bounce the ball off of, but being careful to avoid drifting too far out and skating off in the out of bounds. That out of bounds and the spotty, fast breaking down condition and other factors that still have me flummoxed tend to keep the scores low. The best bowlers are shooting 210 here. For the type of top hat that gets badmouthed for artificially inflating scores....well, that doesn't happen here. That's the set-up. I bought the Diesel, drilled it, and prepared it specifically for this house after lengthy discussions with my pro shop operator, who is very knowledgeable and writes a BJI column every other month.
I know that this was a much lengthier prologue than is usually found in the reviews here, but I find most of the reviews singularly lacking in the type of information that makes a review meaningful, so there you have it.
First time out with the Diesel, a few things were immediately obvious. This ball can handle that out of bounds and the carrydown that is frequently in existence from open play before our league. It is a light load particle, but with extremely low RG and extremely high differential. All this suggests early burn, but even on the medium and fast breaking down condition, it gets down the lane very well. It makes it's turn in a very hard arc--almost a flip. The arc is toned down some when I drift it out into the out of bounds, but it still makes it back to the head pin where almost everything else I have tried fizzles into washout territory. The arc is also toned down on shots pulled into the oil. It holds pocket well on those, staying off the nose, but still hitting with power. It shows no sign of roll-out, and carries very well with a welcome tendency to take out the ten pin. Strikes come on flush and light hits. It hits so hard that high pocket hits are a bit dangerous. It will blow past the 9, but tends to trip the 4, leaving a makeable spare. I have been able to create substantially more area (margin for error) with this ball than with any others in this particular tough house.
My second week with the Diesel, carrydown was a serious problem. It was still effective, but somewhat less so. I took it back to the pro shop and had a small weight hole put on my VAL in the thumb positive quadrant just to tweak the flare up a bit. This was very effective. The ball is so effective on the lane condition that it is attracting some interest from other bowlers who normally pay no attention (or pretend to pay no attention) to the other bowlers'equipment.
In my other league the lanes are synthetic and much more heavily oiled. The Diesel works there, but has to be forced a bit. I have no doubt that if I took that 1200 surface to the 600-800 range the Diesel would line up quite well there. I haven't done that because I have another ball set up quite well to deal with that house, and I bought the Diesel for the tough house, where the results are excellent.
Don't shy away from the Diesel for fear of it's low RG and high differential. It gets down lane with plenty of energy and hits very hard. I plan to purchase another and tuck it away for when this one passes away, which will probably not be for some time--more on that below. It is very easy to tweak. Drill it in the way that works best for you on the condition you are going to face, and tinker with the surface and you will be very happy with it. My only caveats are that you should probably have at least medium speed and medium oil to use this ball. The only way a slow speed bowler could use this ball would be to polish it up to the max, and there is other equipment that would be better for you in that case. I would also not advise trying to use this ball on fried heads. There would be no sense in drilling the guts out of this ball and polishing it up to high shine to try to use it on dry when there are better choices for that. This is an excellent ball and I highly recommend it, especially as it is a medium price ball with premium quality.
Epilogue: There are a few interesting notes that should be made about this ball. It is very slow to absorb oil. With it's huge flare (I get close to 8 inches) this is not a problem, and in all likelihood will lenghen it's usable lifespan. Even after waiting for your next turn to bowl in league, the oil tracks are still on the ball. Wipe them off with one of those microfiber towels and the ball is clean and ready to go. It also has a slightly swirl textured surface. The swirl lines between it's two colors actually have a slight three-dimensionality to them. I have seen this on only three other balls--The Ebonite Timberwolf and Werewolf, and the AMF Bull Whip. Interestingly, these other three balls were all also very effective for me. This texture remains no matter what surface prep you use.
The last comments have to do with Hook-It. I use Hook-It on virtually all of my equipment. Those of you who use Hook-It have no doubt noticed that Hook-It is slow to absorb into a ball. It is exceptionally slow to absorb into the Diesel Particle. This probably has to do with whatever chemical characteristic of the coverstock makes it slow to absorb lane oil. I have also noticed that using Hook-It on this ball shortly before league increases the ball's back end substantially without causing it to hook any earlier. This leaves open the possibility that one could prep the surface to a slightly less aggressive texture than might be necessary, and if practice shows that the ball needs a little something, hit it with some Hook-It and you should be right where you want to be.
This ball is very responsive to speed changes and coverstock changes, but remains controllable and hard hitting even when there is some operator error. Highly recommended.
Addendum - 1/20/03
I just had my first opportunity to use this ball on a freshly stripped back end. It is just about too much for a freshly stripped back end, calling for more speed than I was comfortable with and a wider swing as well. It is the most effective ball that I have ever found on a tight back end caused by carrydown or poor lane cleaning, but the same qualities that make it effective on carrydown make it excessively overwhelming on crispy back ends. You may like the big back end reaction on a freshly stripped back end if you have high enough speed or perhaps medium speed with low revs.