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Author Topic: Fanatic BTU Pearl  (Read 8627 times)


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Fanatic BTU Pearl
« on: July 27, 2017, 04:46:06 PM »
Ball NPS Score: 100.00 has the largest selection of bowling balls
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The Brunswick Fanatic BTU Pearl bowling ball combines the Low Differential I-Block Symmetric core with the BTU (Better Than Urethane) pearl coverstock to offer a "urethane" ball reaction with better consistency. This core and cover combo offers more length, smoother ball motion, control at the pocket, and bigger hitting power when facing high friction lane conditions. Get the smoothness of urethane but with more!

Color: Silver
Coverstock: BTU (Better Than Urethane) Pearl
Core: Low Differential I-Block Symmetric (14-16#)
Finish: 500; 4,000 Siaair Micro Pad
Hook Potential: Medium 120 (scale: 10-250)
Length: Middle 130 (scale: 25-235)
Breakpoint Shape: Smooth Arc 40 (scale: 10-150)
RG: 2.631 (for 15# ball)
Differential: 0.030 (for 15# ball)
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium to Light Oil



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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 08:26:42 AM »
Diamonds may be a girls best friend, but I'll take Silver any day!  When we first got this ball our biggest question was “Will it be as strong as the original BTU?”.  It took 1 shot for us to tell that the new reformulated pearl cover gives us exactly what you want out of a urethane ball, but with so much more!  It is clean through the front with some teeth down lane, making it the fastest slow-response ball we've ever seen.  No overreaction, no super early roll, just tons of power and a smooth look no matter the condition you are on or what kind of style you use to throw the ball.  Even though its silver, we give it FIRST PLACE!


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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 02:29:36 PM »
When I got the Brunswick Fanatic BTU Pearl in the mail, I took one look at it and thought "retro". It's got that classic silver look you would see back in the 70s. OK - it looks nice :-)

Knowing the specs on this ball, I wasn't entirely sure if I was really going to find a place for it in my arsenal. I'm not a high rev player so why would I want something that goes really long and really straight?

But after practicing with it, this ball definitely has a very specific place in my arsenal and here's why. It's super straight in the front part of the lane because of its cover and low differential symmetric block. When I'm bowling on a high friction pattern where the right handers get left and into the left handers' lay down point, this ball will work well for me as long as the back ends have friction.:

Type: THS

Likes: Very straight through the front and continuous motion through the pins even for a guy like me with a lower rev rate.

Dislikes: This ball definitely needs friction.


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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 08:45:43 PM »
Pin Length: 3.5

Starting Top Weight: 2.3 oz

Ball Weight: 15 lbs 4 oz


Ball: 65 x 5 x 35

X Hole No Hole


Rev Rate: 375 rpms

Ball Speed:17.5 mph off hand

PAP/Track: 4 3/4 over 3/4 up


Grit: 4000 Siaair

Type: (Matte, Polish, Sanded): Sanded


Lengths of patterns: 41 foot house

Volumes: Moderate

Type: house


Length: Clean through the front with a strong and smooth backend

Back End: strong arc

Overall Hook: mild

Midlane Read: smooth with length

Breakpoint Shape: arc


Likes: Length and predictable motion

Dislikes: none

The Fanatic BTU Pearl is the newest compliment to the successful Fanatic BTU.  This version is a little longer and has a bit more of its reaction down lane.  I went with a quicker transitioning layout to better compliment the differences in this ball compared to the original.  Out of the box, the ball was a little stronger than I had in mind so I sanded the ball down to 4000 Siaair finish.  This one has not disappointed and so far, has allowed me to play a little straighter and further right than my original BTU.   The BTU Pearl is a little stronger on the backend and recovers a little better on errant shots wide on our house condition.  I plan on using my original BTU on fresher shorter conditions and transitioning to this one later in the blocks.  If you are looking for a better option on drier conditions than Urethane and you like a little extra movement on the backend, check out the BTU Pearl.
Chris Garrett
Upstate Pro Shop
Greenville, SC  864-248-4737

Brunswick Regional Staff
Vise Regional Staff

Brandon Riley

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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 01:46:29 PM »
My pin down BTU is a mainstay in my tournament bag and I wanted a complimentary ball which would allow me to stay even straighter so I drilled my Fanatic BTU Pearl 55x4x50 (pin in ring) with no xhole.

My initial reaction to rolling this ball was surprise at just how tame it was.  For the first time in a long time I was playing right of the 2 arrow on a fresh THS with both hold and surprisingly good carry.  As the day went on, my moves were small and it was apparent that I would have to throw a horrible shot to get less than 9.  On Challenge patterns (Beaten Path and Abbey Road) without the defined dry boards, this ball has been too weak for me to use effectively.  I can generate hold from the track, but with sketchy carry and little recovery right.  The original BTU gives me a better look on these patterns, but ultimately I need more bowling ball to deal with the extra oil in the track.

My main gripe with most weaker pearls is that although they may hold the line well in oil, most (my Alley Cat for example) have the potential of going dead sideways if they see dry boards or really clean backends.  The BTU Pearl is nothing like that as it gives me some good length but with a very controlled safe shape off of the friction.  I haven't seen a ball motion like this from Brunswick since the Avalanche Urethane Pearl (although the BTU Pearl has a little more length, shape and hitting power) from my college days.  Against the original BTU solid, the Pearl typically has my feet a couple boards further right and my angles much straighter through the fronts which is what I like to see on dry house patterns.  The solid gives me more mid lane recovery and is a better option on fresh oil.

One of my biggest pet peeves in bowling is hearing typically older bowlers complain that the lanes are dry so they bring out their old trusty 1980's urethane ball that they use to pick spares, camp in the track and shoot at buckets and 10 pins for the remainder of their league set.  This ball fills that void by offering much more length than urethane, but also just enough down lane motion to offer some pin carry.  Bowlers with softer speeds and higher rev rates will get the most use out of this ball, but anybody on low volume patterns or worn out lane surfaces will be thankful to have one of these in their bag even if it isn't a piece that you don't expect to use on a nightly basis.
Brandon Riley
Brunswick Regional Staff


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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 04:04:07 PM »

Ball Weight: 15 lbs


Dual Angle: 70 x 4 x 65

X Hole (if there is one): No


Rev Rate: Medium , between 250-275 rpm

Ball Speed: 17-18 mph

PAP/Track: 5 1/2" over and 1/2" down


Grit: Box Finish

Type: (Matte, Polish, Sanded): Pearl

The BTU pearl is the stronger pearl urethane I thrown.  The BTU core wrapped with the pearl cover makes it super clean and continuous on the backend.  I drilled mine for burn heads and midlane and maintain backend motion and flip extremely hard.  The BTU Pearl is outstanding for broke down house shots and a life saver in your bag

Charles Withers II
Brunswick Advisory Staff


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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2017, 10:40:21 AM »
I love this ball. Ive had it for a few weeks & been on SUPER oil & SUPER dry
I have a slight pin down & it acts like Urethane on oil conditions & lets me play down & in with a consistent break point & if its dry I can hook the lane where my Radical Primo & Ridiculous pearl are way too much. The most versatile ball I own. My Motiv Rebel tank is the best on Sahara dry lanes, also pin down.
Not a sponsored bowler. I am a 2 hander so I can get the revs to make this move when needed. May not be enough ball for those without revs.


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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2017, 01:01:24 PM »
Style: Cranker
Speed: 16.5 mph (break point)
Rev Rate: 450+
PAP: 5” Right 3/4" Up
Low Tilt, Moderate Axis Rotation

Ball Layout: 65 X 4-1/2 X 65
Surface: Box, scanned at 4500

Hi All,
Figured I’d start with where I wanted this piece to fit. My Friday night league lays out what feels to be a pretty thin short THS. Most my equipment is heavily geared towards solid rolly ball reactions to help control breakpoint shapes bowling on sport. Normally this type of equipment has done well on THS where I can find ample oil in the center to push the ball down lane… The problem I’ve struggle getting my solids in all finishes to the break point and roll 1-3-5-9 correctly. I wanted something I could use all 3 games and stay away from the mess created by everyone “attempting” to open the lane up.

Enter the Fanatic BTU Pearl. First off I would like to applaud Brunswick for accurately marketing this ball, it does everything as advertised. Very easy length with an almost unnatural controlled breakpoint given it’s ease through the heads. The closest ball I can compare with limited equipment is the Storm Supernatural, this being stronger overall in shape. Rolling the BTU Pearl on this “fresh” I’m able to play a soft 10 to 5 line in the track area when bowlers of all kinds are struggling with controlling the hook phase. Moves were small and hand positions minor playing the same part of the lane for all 3 games. 

Overall Reaction I think you’re going to feel even more comfortable with this ball when there’s more friction to bump off of opening up the lane. Carry fell off when missing left but the ball was still in play laboring to make the turn, left a bucket once but also missed it at the bottom. I was able to use it on fresh given the makeup of the pattern. I might try knocking the surface down a bit more with a 3000 abralon or a fresh 4000 to see if I can make it a touch more playable for this house specifically.

I would highly recommend this ball for slower ball speeds and rev dominate players, anyone trying to square up with the lane or just trying to avoid urethane when there's still some shape to the pattern.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 01:10:40 PM by HighRevvin »
Just an unbiased bowling enthusiast trying too enjoy the game with each set.


don coyote

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Re: Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2018, 03:59:02 PM »
Drilled 35 x 5.25 x 30. I wanted something beneath my Hectic but above my Blue/Green Centaur. This ball is perfect! I am truly shocked how it hits - even more importantly carries. 

Very smooth transition into hard turn into the pocket. I bought 3 when I heard Brunswick was discontinuing them.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 04:01:05 PM by don coyote »


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Fanatic BTU Pearl
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 07:46:15 AM »
Style = Stroker/mild tweener, right-handed
Speed = ~14-16 mph
PAP = 5" over & 7/8" up (high track)
Axis tilt = ~20°
Revs = ~275-325 RPM at release



+ = Pin
# = CG

I frequently encounter rather light to medium conditions in league, and my lower ball speed and the high track make balls roll rather early. Most reactive balls are just to strong for my game, resulting in a fight with the equipment's lack of length or carry, or both.

Urethane pieces with a lower RG core and medium differential have turned out to suit my game well (e. g. a black Pure Hammer or a Lord Field Burning Up), but I am still looking out for a mild reactive piece that offers more traction than these.
Brunswick’s Fanatic BTU balls looked promising, and the BTU Pearl (esp. because of its lower differential) appeared to fill that gap between the urethane pieces and conventional mid-range reactive balls in my arsenal, so I gave it a try.

I was lucky that my trusted pro shop owner and ball driller was able to find a NIB piece for me (the ball had just been taken out of Brunswick’s catalogue), and we chose my standard 4.5x4.5 layout, which placed the pin above my ring finger and the CG 1” under it. No balance hole was necessary, and I kept the ball OOB (4.000 grit), which is a sheen surface, but not glossy.

Well, two words to describe the Fanatic BTU Pearl:“Smooth”and “Strong”. Brunswick promised a mild, arcing ball, and this is what I definitively got - even though "mild" rather describes the hook and breakpoint shape than the hook potential! Despite the “go-long-and-hook-late” layout on my specimen, the ball turned out to be quite rolly – some will say that this was a typical Brunswick trait, but I rather think that this is just the coverstock and its properties, which (successfully) mimic a urethane reaction shape.

After a good number of games on various oil patterns (recreational and sport) I feel that the ball is very predictable and steady, not jumpy at all. But, at least with the OOB finish, it reads the lane well and quite early – it is, at least for me, much stronger than expected, and handles more/longer oil than I frequently encounter and which I’d call light to medium conditions.

The ball also reacts well to release changes – even though it is, when the oil condition simply does not allow it or the lane surface is very clean/grippy, hard to get enough/more length out of it.

However, when compared with urethane pieces, the extra grip is very effective on spotty back ends – the Fanatic BTU Pearl is a very good control piece.

Concerning the ball’s durability, things look good. The OOB finish does not wear out too quickly, and overall the ball shows only minor signs of wear and tear, with no discernible track area or change of reaction (but I clean it frequently and wipe the ball clean before every shot).

I haven’t experimented with the surface, yet, because I fear that a high gloss finish will make the ball jumpier, so that it loses its great controllability.

A good ball, smooth but stronger than expected (and advertised). This might depend on the player’s style, but for me the Fanatic BTU Pearl is a versatile medium condition ball that covers a wide range of lane conditions. Its biggest selling point is IMHO its steady, unspectacular and rather arcing reaction on the lane, as well as its good reaction to release changes. The silvery-white material with light blue engravings is also a quite extraordinary design.
But beware: it is certainly not a dry lane ball, unless you have no revs or a very low track.


Length/through the heads:
Easy *****X**** Needs head oil

Breakpoint shape:
Arc **X******* Angular

Hook potential:
Low ****X***** High

Stable *X******** Erratic

Poor *******X** High

Suited for…
Dry ***X***** Oily

Range of utility/lane conditions:
Limited ooooXooooo Broad

Subjective overall rating of this ball:
Poor oooooooXoo Excellent

This scale is inspired by popular rating methods and the results ultra-subjective. Surface prep, layouts and different playing styles will change the results for sure - it is just personal experience with the reviewed ball at OOB finish

LANE UTILITY CHART (Pattern length vs. oil volume)

|S M L
|h e o
|o d n
|r . g
|0 X X| Light volume
|+ X +| Medium volume
|+ 0 0| Heavy volume

X = Best suited with effective control & carry
+ = Fairly suited (works, somehow, but can lack control and effectiveness)
0 = Unsuited (ineffective, either slips helplessly or burns up)

The chart’s concept is borrowed from Storm's 2003 print catalogue. Surface prep, layout or a different playing style will change the result.
DizzyFugu ~ Reporting from Germany