I have come to the conclusion that any ball that I have with polish just does not agree with me. 4000 seems to be the desired grit for balls that are normally polished.For the Hy-road and Hy-road Nano both are around 4000 but are completely different due to the actual cover material.
Today I ordered some Stadea Diamond pads instead of the normal Siaair or Abralon that I have used before. I thought I would try these see if they hold up longer. Anybody ever used anything other than ABralon or Siaair pads?
I ordered some Tru-Cut pads recently. As I do everything by hand I can't give you info on how long these will last; however, I can say that even their 5000D pad gives a pretty good cut into the ball unlike Abralon or Siaair at 4000 grit. Based on the info on the Creating the Difference website these pads should last quite a while as they don't tend to get clogged up as easy as other designs.
I used tap water with the pads and they seemed to give me the kind of surface I'd like to see.
I bought some of Motiv's Power Gel polish not too long ago. It's rated for 5000 grit according to the ads and the label on the bottle. This is what Storm's Reacta Shine will give you and I think their Step 2 compound will give you that kind of finish, too, with a ball spinner. I've been using Reacta Shine for several years now, but the Power Gel is a little less expensive and in a larger bottle. Good stuff... Hope this helps.
By the way, I picked up a Hy-Road X the other day. I found that it's a bit more controllable and seems to drive it's way through the pins very nicely. A sold cover with Storm's 1500 polished surface.