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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little about me first to lend a modicum of credence to the testing conducted. I'm a AF colonel test pilot with a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering and have bow-hunted all over, from spot and stalk Caribou at the top of the world when I was in AK, to woodland waiting for Elk in NM, to traditional midwest tree stand hunting for huge whitetails in MI and OH.

My current bow is a Bowtech Captain, 70lbs, 28.5"DL, shooting Easton 28" N-Axis, 2" Blazer vanes @ 9.0GPI = 383.1gr total weight with 100gr field tip.

I am shopping for a new bow and have spent several weeks going to my local pro shop shooting all their bows to make a general down selection based on overall feel, shootability, backwall, drop into the valley, draw cycle etc, and have narrowed down my selections to: 1. Mathews Creed, 2. Bowtech Experience, and 3. Hoyt Carbon Element G3. So being an engineer geek, I decided to apply my education to actually testing these bows in semi-controlled environment to help me make my selection, since I'm equally torn between all three, and if I can help someone else narrow their choices in the process, great. I conducted a 5 shot arrow test on each bow with my 5 remaining Easton N-axis 400 spine arrows. The avg arrow weight was 383gr, with a std dev of +-1.2grs.
I recored the velocity at 6' through a chrono, and also recorded the SPL (sound pressure level) in db's at 1 ft with an assistant holding the SPL meter about 6" from the riser perpendicular to the shot. All bows were set up at the shop with a D-loop, Octane Hostage Pro rest, no peep, no stab, no quiver, no sight, set at 28.5"DL, and all limb bolts tightened to max weight on a 60-70lbs bow.

Baseline shooting was with a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, digitally calibrated with a airburst 20psig 100oz ball bearing to +-1.5 fps, and a standard GE SPL meter set with db(a) sound weighting to filter ambient sound. My Bowtech Captain was the baseline test subject and it tested at 286fps and 84db.

1) Bowtech Experience:

I) VELOCITY:
-- 310, 310, 309, 311, 310: MEAN 310FPS

II) SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL:
-- 72, 74, 77, 73, 74: MEAN: 74db

III) Factory Specs:
-- Price: $899
-- A2A: 32"
-- Mass: 4.2lb
-- BH: 7"
-- IBO: 335fps
***************************************************************************

2) Mathews Creed:

I) VELOCITY:
-- 292, 292, 291, 291, 292, : MEAN 291.4FPS

II) SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL:
-- 88.8, 92, 92.1, 91.5, 90.5: MEAN: 91.05db

III) Factory Specs:
-- Price: $799
-- A2A: 30"
-- Mass: 3.85lb
-- BH: 7"
-- IBO: 328fps
***************************************************************************
3) Hoyt Carbon Element G3:

I) VELOCITY:
-- 306, 306, 306, 307, 304: MEAN 305.8FPS

II) SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL:
-- 72, 72, 73, 72, 74: MEAN: 72.5db

III) Factory Specs:
-- Price: $1399
-- A2A: 32"
-- Mass: 3.6lb
-- BH: 6.75"
-- IBO: 332fps
***************************************************************************

All three felt good enough to own.
- Creed was the smoothest draw from start to finish, but was also the one that most wanted to fly out of my hand if I torqued my riser hand at all simulating shooting around a branch in a tree.
- Experience was the hardest to start pulling, but had the most even draw once it started moving into the valley. Good backwall, slight movement once stationary, solid and EASY to hold.
- G3 had a easy draw cycle, a bit of hump/drop into the valley, easy to hold, best backwall. Not as aggressive on the start as the Experience, but more so than the Creed.

- Not sure the G3 separated itself in the testing to warrant the nearly double price tag. I'd have a hard time spending that kind of money on a bow that performs just as good as the others. If you're #1 GOAL is weight and ease of draw---then go with CREED. IF you're GOAL is speed, overall solid bow for the $$, and all day holdability, go Experience.

Hope this helps someone out there in the same bow quandary I was in.
 

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Sweet, so the bowtech was the fastest, Hoyt the quietest, and Mathews slower and louder than both...

Which one did you enjoy shooting the most? "Smoothest" draw and most forgiving valley? How about the shot?alot of people are super concerned about the draw, but it seems not as much talk of what happens when you squeeze the release..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought the creed sounded the loudest when I did my initial shooting. I verified it actually an additional 5 shots after I recorded my 5 test shots with the pro-shop guy shooting the bow and me holding the SPL meter. The results were about the same ---mid to high 80's on the db's. Now, just because it was the loudest, that doesn't mean it's not a good bow or worth owning, but when I am about to spend ~$1000 on a bow and am torn between 3, all the data I can collect within my ability I'll do to help make an unbiased an unemotional decision. In the end, if the arrow isn't traveling the speed of sound, then after accuracy, the sound level over speed is an the most important factor (assuming you can shoot all the comparison bows equally accurate) in a hunting rig in my opinion.

I have an FFT app on my iphone and I think my next test will be to shoot them again testing sound and plot the bode, or FFT, of the sound level and see where the frequency of the highest peak resides--that also has a factor in real world field use. IF the sound level is high, but in a frequency band that is outside the main audible alert range, then it's not as significant factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I apologize, the one thing I forgot to calculate was the % off from advertised IBO speeds. Here's the math: approx -10fps per -1" DL off 30" IBO std. approx -1fps per +5gr arrow wt over 350gr IBO std.

I was shooting 28.5" DL - 30" IBO = -1.5" x 10fps = -15fps. 383gr arrow - 350gr IBO = +33gr/5gr = 6.6 x -1fps = -6.6fps. Total off IBO ~= -21.5 fps adjusted

1. Experience: IBO = 335fps - 21.5fps = 313.5fps adjusted IBO. Mean chrono'd velocity = 310fps. Delta = 3.5fps for a 1.1% error.
2. Creed: IBO = 328fps - 21.5fps = 306.5fps adjusted IBO. Mean chrono'd velocity = 291.4fps. Delta = 15.1fps for a 5% error.
3. G3: IBO = 332fps - 21.5fps = 310.5fps adjusted IBO. Mean chrono'd velocity = 305.8fps. Delta = 4.7fps for a 1.5% error.
 

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Do you have access to any other bows you could perform these tests on and would you be willing to do so? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have access to a few others within bow tech, mathews, hoyt. No PSE, Bear, Martin, Elite etc that I know of around me.

There was no freak thing that happen to Hoyt, it performed well, I just couldn't justify the $1400 price tag for a bow that was marginally quieter and slower than the bowtech. If you meant the Creed, I don't think it was a freak thing, I shot two different Creeds to verify the reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Don't arrows fly backwards in Australia, something to do with the water in your crappers spinning against gravity :)

On a serious note, spent a few months in Australia when I was a young Lt, the ladies were quite friendly from what I remember!!!
 

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Don't arrows fly backwards in Australia, something to do with the water in your crappers spinning against gravity :)

On a serious note, spent a few months in Australia when I was a young Lt, the ladies were quite friendly from what I remember!!!
Yes the ladies are sweet down here. I have seen a lot of the world and must say our girls would hold their own against any others.
My son is a pilot in the RAAF and has his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering, he was thinking of doing a test pilot course in either the US or England.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good deal. TPS is a good deal, tough but good. I went to the National TPS in Mojave after I finished my Masters in Aero at the AF Institute of Technology. The British TPS is a good school as well from the exchange RAF folks I've talked with when I was stationed at Eglin AFB with the 33rd Test Wing and the Seek Eagle Office. Best of luck to him!!!
 

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Good test man. I like to see tests like those.

If I may, the only thing that could very well be a main factor is the tune of each bow. Can't really go off of a factory tune, and can't really say that a certain persons tune job is good enough either.

But overall, good posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good points---so I guess you get to the point where the test turns from a field test back to lab test right? I was trying to perform a field test on these bows to aid in my selection by keeping as many parameters consistent as possible. Does that mean that each bow could've been fine tuned to get a few more FPS, yes? Could addition of string dampeners or vibe absorbent stabs tone down some of the frequencies where the higher noise NRG levels were, yes?

--BUT, each bow was treated the SAME.....no dialed in DL, no dialed in tuning. The DL's were set as if you were buying it, you measure YOUR DL, and the pro-shop sets the DL to that DL based on the cams/mods. I guess if the mods/cams are way off and a 28.5" set DL was actually 27" then there's bigger manufacturing issues than a loss of a few FPS. I trust the mgfers by now can pretty well nail the DL within +_ .25" or less.

-- As far as super tuning vs factory tuning, the bows were set up so everything was within acceptable tune limits as far as could be done with a simple Octane Hostage rest bolted on. No different than if any of you were going to your local shop to "kick the tires" and shop around and shoot a bunch of bows. The shop isn't going to spend time tuning a bow perfectly for you to test drive, but rather they're going to set it up with a rest and make sure the DL, weight, and basic tune is acceptable and safe and that's where I wanted to do my tests---with minimal after market intervention.
 
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