After tens years of hunting with a PSE Mach Elite I decided it was time for a new bow. I used research and live testing of all the models I could find. I conducted live tests at two pro shops and Bass Pro shops. I wanted to find a smooth drawing bow that was quiet and at least as fast as my Mach Elite. Here is a list of bows that I shot along with the bow I ended up deciding on, The Martin Prowler SE.
Parker Hunter Mag--very smooth and quiet came in second. I would have been just as happy if I had chosen this bow.
Reflex Growler--smooth but excessive noise and vibration in grip--did not feel balanced.
Darton Fury--too much noise
Bowtech stalker--loudest bow out of the group, didn't feel right
Mathews Icon, lx, legacy--good balance, not nearly as smooth as many less expensive bows--all were quiet but I liked Hoyts, Parkers, and the Martin better still great bows, almost bought the Icon.
Hoyt Magnatec, Ultratec, Ultramag, Cybertec---Believe it or not but my favorites were the Magnatec and the Ultramag--cam .5 bows are very smooth. The Cybertec was the fastest. I couldn't have gone wrong with any of these.
PSE--Most of the lower-middle end PSE bows were not up to par with the other brands. The Primos bow is the only bow made by PSE that I have shot that I would consider. It was very smooth and quiet, the pro shop I shot it at offered it to me for $500 but I also shot the Ultramag along side it and liked it much better at $400. Overall I was very disappointed with the products PSE now carries.
Bear BuckmasterGL, trx, both were really good bows and would have been good choices. I didn't like the red all over the Buckmaster bow.
Martin Prowler SE, Cougar SE---both of these bows are awesome,,I chose the Prowler because out of the box it was the quietest bow of any tested by a wide margin. The Prowler was the only bow to shoot faster than IBO. I wanted to shoot a tracer magnum but everyone was sold out of that model. The Martins and the Parkers were also the smoothest drawing bows.
I brought my digital chronograph with me and used the same PSE cardon forse extreme arrows on all bows tested and the Martins, Hoyts, and Mathews were the only Manufactors whose bows came close to IBO,,my arrows were a little heavy at 375gr and had offset fletchings but I was consistent with weight and lengh at 70lbs-30" draw on most bows. I had to shoot 29" on the Ultramag and the Bowtech Stalker. I always brought a friend and had them shoot a few while I listened and watched arrow flight. I brought a notepad and took notes and returned to shoot a bow again if need be.
This process took about two months to complete but the end result is a bow that I'm very happy with and fits me. I hope to get ten years out of this bow. I think that most of the bows tested were incredible. I hope anyone looking to get a new compound goes out and looks hard before they buy. If the salesmen had it their way I would have spend twice the amount. Look hard there are excellent bows for less than $500.