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Author Topic: Raven  (Read 10537 times)


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« on: April 22, 2015, 12:59:52 PM »
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Type: Reactive Particle Pearl
Core: Orge HDC
Coverstock: Implex LP
RG: 2.53
Diff: .049
Finish: 2000 Abralon


Matt C

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Re: Raven
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 10:52:35 PM »


Volume: heavy

Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc): THS.  Modified Easy Street


Likes:The Raven, VPB's newest release features a modified OGRE core.  They wrapped the ball with a sanded pearl cover with a light load of particle. Drilled mine 30 * 4 * 30 to get it started up a little early with the volume of oil I see each week.

Strong move off the dry and provides plenty of hitting power.  See video below of the Raven in action.



RIP Visionary Bowling Products...


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Re: Raven
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2015, 11:26:32 PM »

Length: 41

Volume: Medium

Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc): THS


Likes: Cover, core, cover, reaction, cover, versatility, cover.  Did I mention the cover?

Dislikes: That this ball didn't come out five years ago.

My specs:
Left handed, ball speed around 16 MPH, rev rate around 300 RPM, axis rotation of around 60°-70°, and axis tilt around 0°-5°.

It has been quite a while since my last review.  This is mostly because Visionary’s covers last so long I just don’t buy many balls.  I’m still using balls that I reviewed back in 2007!  But when Visionary introduced the Raven, I just had to try one.  I’ve always had a soft spot for my trusty Ogre Particle.  When I saw that the Raven had a modified Ogre core with a light load particle pearl cover at 2000 Abralon, I just couldn’t get my hands on one fast enough.

My first impression when I pulled it out of the box was that this is a really sharp looking ball.  The dark wine/silvery oyster swirl looks like nothing else out there.  Close inspection showed those little black particles.  I knew that the modified core had lowered the RG somewhat (2.59 down to 2.53) and raised the differential substantially (0.029 up to 0.049), but what excited me most was the cover.  I was envisioning something that would give me good length, the back end of a scuffed pearl, with the particles to blend out the oil pattern and avoid over/under (something that plagues a higher rotation/lower tilt player like me).

I drilled it up 60° x 4” x 30°, fingers deep, and used a 31/32” “double thumb” balance hole.  I finished drilling it, ran a few errands, and headed off to league.  My first several practice shots surprised me.  I had expected some substantial movement on the back end, but the ball was very, very smooth.  Strong, but smoother than I had expected.  It still had excellent hit and continuation through the pins, but given the drilling pattern I had expected a little more “pop” on the back end.  Then I intentionally tried to throw one through the break point.  The ball made it to about the same break point, but the angularity I had expected suddenly appeared.  I then realized that the ball wasn’t as smooth as it appeared, but was so strong that it was bleeding off some energy.  It was the continuation that had fooled me.  Usually when I have a ball burning up, it’s pretty obvious due to the substantial deflection.  Not with this one.  I decided to keep up the speed and see what it would do.

As the night went on, I became more and more confident with it.  Reaction was perfect, and I had some “miss room” both right and left.  Shots pulled into the oil held pocket, and shots “leaked” outside recovered, but didn’t “boomerang”.  I had one shot in particular that was pretty wide.  As in “Whoops – area check” wide.  It recovered smoothly, barely made it back to the pocket, but still continued through the pins to carry.  For a ball this strong to spend that much time in the dry and still show continuation was very impressive.  As the shot broke down, the ball never grabbed early or jumped through the nose.  It just lost a little of the angularity, still hit the pocket, and still had continuation.  It is a very rare ball indeed that can tell me when it’s time to make a move without a scoring penalty.  All I had to do was pay attention to the reaction and make simple “2 and 1” moves.

Bottom line for the night?  268, 269, and 279 for a tidy 816 series right out of the box.  Yeah, I think I’ll keep this one.  I’ve had some terrific balls from Visionary, but this just might be their best one ever.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 11:28:37 PM by tomf »


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Re: Raven
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 02:29:37 AM »

Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc):


Likes:I love Visionary bowling balls, always have.  The Wonders family are bowling gurus, and they are all about quality.  They do not rush to manufacture a certain number of bowling balls a year, they simply work on a ball until they have something they feel is worthy of the Visionary name.  The Raven is an incredible piece.  I actually have it in both 15 and 14 (health issues have effected my speed this year, so if I'm not feeling strong I have a couple 14s ready) and in both cases the ball is an absolute beast.  When I think of Visionary innovative weight blocks and thick robust coverstocks come to mind.  They have produced probably the greatest two piece reactive balls ever, the Ogre, and the Warlock XVs come to immediately to mind.  Even their three piece balls have very thick coverstocks.  Visionary bowling balls exemplify control on the lanes and power in the pocket.  They have never needed to put out a low RG hook monster to attract attention.  From what I gather that would be the equivalent of writing a hit single that was nothing like the music on the rest of the album.  The Wonders do not sell out, and the Raven is an astounding ball.  I have one at 55x4x35 and one where I simply put the Pin right above the bridge.  The result is the even tempo roll that comes with a particle ball and a nice strong finish typical of a pearl.  The pins explode when the ball hits the pocket.  Honestly I don't even bring my spare ball out of the bag as leaving a 7 pin is so rare.  It might happen once or twice over a 3 game set at league. 

It's a fantastic ball, the Ogre core was so far ahead of it's time when it first came out.  They increased the density which resulted in an R.G. of 2.53 as opposed to the 2.61 (I think) that came with the original Ogre.  At the current moment the only other ball I am using regularly is the Raven Invasion when the lanes dry out.

Dislikes:  I have no dislikes that are specific to the Raven itself.  I am currently bowling in 3 leagues, and two of them are on wooden lanes.  The city I live in is surprisingly not much of a bowling town at all.  Generally speaking Particle balls do not roll very well on wooden boards.  I find that Particle balls with an RG below 2.55 that are not polished will not hook at all on dry wooden lanes, and under perform on wooden lanes even with a decent shot laid out.  It seems that 2 piece particles work fine as do higher RG and polished particle balls.  I do not want to polish my Raven because it is a thing of beauty in my synthetic league, and still carries very well on wood even if it isn't always pretty making it's way to the pocket.

I have not written many ball reviews which is probably evident here but I tried.  I have the new Raven Attack Solid on the way.  I am excited to try that out and will write up a review after I have worked with the ball a bit.



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Re: Raven
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2015, 07:38:00 PM »
I've been using Visionary Bowling Products since the blue/green Centaur. I keep an arsenal of 6 balls, and as I get a new one I give an old one away. The Raven is a little stronger and a little more angular than my Gladiator solid. I really like the Raven. I like the reaction, and the appearance of this ball.
I'm right handed, old school down and in player. 15.5 mph, 15^ tilt, 30^ rotation and 300 rpm. I use 15# balls and keep all of them drilled with pin and cg stacked above/below the ring finger.
I bowl once a week on old synthetics with a medium volume ths. The Raven lets me move inside and swing the ball, for a nice even shot which arrives at the pocket with plenty of pop.