June 7th, 2010 | Published in Ball Reviews
47 Hook 16 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape
Core Design: The symmetric hour-glass core supplies a medium RG of 2.51 and a Diff of .042 in 15#. The 14# has the same RG value with a higher .045 Diff. We saw 4” of track flare with both weights with a 4” pin distance and small weight hole in the lower quadrant.
Coverstock: This midnight beauty evolves from a fusion of black and blue pearls. The Shedder reactive pearl’s surface is abraloned incrementally from 800, 1000, 2000 and 4000 while finished with Ebonite’s high gloss polish. Response time off drier boards was quick while oil traction is limited with the factory surface. This cover is also used on the Hammer Burn.
Manufacturers Intent: Bragging about the new Vibe’s virtues is Jeff Ussery, Hammer brand manager: “Midnight Vibe is our latest entry in our extremely successful Vibe series. With the Shredder Pearl coverstock and our proven Vibe core, the Midnight is built for extreme length and a quick response right in front of the pocket. Keep this ball at home on medium-dry lane conditions, and you’ll see this Vibe excel.
Test Results: Ebonite’s FCC (finish-coverstock-core) rating for this new medium oil ball totals a perfect 10. The 10 is derived from a finish strength of 1, coverstock strength of 6 and a core strength rating of 3. The cover rating of 6 is relatively strong meaning surface changes of duller abralon sandings can greatly affect total hook and overall hook shape. Last month’s Hammer Backslash red/purple had a FCC rating of 2-3-2 (total of 7). This means the Vibe’s finish is tamer, the coverstock is potentially twice as strong and the core a touch stronger. We saw about 2-3 boards more backend hook with the Vibe and slightly better pin carry. When compared to an Onyx Vibe the Midnight showed easier length and a more angular breakpoint shape on many patterns.
When to Use: The Midnight will provide many uses on light-mediums to medium volumes when players desire length and an aggressive arc downlane. Heavier volumes will require surface adjustments or the use of stronger pieces such as Black Widows, Raw line balls or power Hammer Jigsaws. The Midnight Vibe continues the successful line of Vibe high performance at lower mid-price points.