2017 PSE Bowmadness Epix Review

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2017 PSE Bowmadness Epix Review

Hey everybody it’s Dalton Vaughn from Better Outdoors and here we have the 2017 PSE Bowmadness Epix. Now this is the successor to the Bowmadness 32 and they did make quite a bit of changes to the 32 platform and they really upgraded it. I am really happy with what they’ve done this year. It’s a super sharp bow especially just by aesthetics.

So to get down to the specs, it’s still a 6-inch brace height, 32 inch axle-to-axle and we’re still at 80% let off. We’re 4 pounds bare bow or 5.58 pounds with the pro RTS package which we’ll get into later. It's also still got a 24 to 30 inch draw length range and you can only do this bow in a 40 to 60 pound or a 57- 70 pound.

Now price this year believe it or not stayed the same and you get a lot better accessories with this bow. Bare bow’s gonna be $599.99 and your RTS Pro package, which is the only offer they have for a package, it's gonna run you $749.99.

Unfortunately guys, this really broke my heart to tell you this, it's a right hand only. Reason for that from what I’ve been told is cost. They can build so many of these right-hand bows and they don’t have to make tooling for a left. So there’s your answer. You can vent to the guys at PSE for that one, I don't make the rules on that one. So anyway right hand only unfortunately, but still yet plenty of still appeal left on this.

To get into the package though because we mentioned that a few times, it comes with just the killer RTS pro package we’ve seen that in some of the other reviews. You’re gonna get a AMP micro-adjust sight that actually has micro adjust clicks so you can adjust your elevation and windage.

It has a lot included with it. It also has the PSE Phantom dropaway rest which I’ve become quite a fan of since I started to play with these just a few year’s ago and for a basic rest basic dropaway rest it’s made extremely well, got ball bearings in there and everything. So really good design on the rest, I am happy with it.

It also comes with a small cable clamp from the factory for timing, but I prefer to serve mine in if possible. You also get into a spire stabilizer which like I discussed last year it’s really more just a vibration dampener and kind of completes the look. I would recommend go straight to bee stinger or something equivalent to actually stabilize the bow. But to start out with it does kill a little vibration so that’s good.

You also have a neoprene sling just like last year, nothing new there, and of course a 1/4 inch red peep and a D loop bar you attach from the factory, and of course my favorite Raven quiver already on the bow for the package. So pretty good package there, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Now let’s move onto the features on the Epix.

 

2017 PSE Bowmadness Epix

The Epix this year has some really good features and it differentiates itself from the Bowmadness 32 quite well in that we’ve got a lot nice riser and a few other little tweaks. But to get into it, start with the easy part.

It’s still got PSE X-Force limbs which you can find out more about on their website on the X-Force technology, it’s pretty revolutionary for sure. It’s also got the Bowmadness cams from last year that we found on the 32 and 34 and the Brute Force also continuing this year with the Brute Force Lite, the Vendetta and the Epix.

An excellent cam system, I’ve been a huge fan of it for a while, it’s really easy to tune and if you have any nock travel issues it’s easily resolved since the Epix bows are so adjustable. That’s something that’s a little bit different about PSE. You can really fine-tine your nock travel.

At any rate, moving on to the next part, when you get to the riser that’s when you start to see a big difference. We’ve got a Super-style, B-style, whichever way you wanna look at it. It’s a machine aluminum angle plane riser and that makes it stronger throughout the riser especially at the top and the sight window area where they're typically a little weaker, having to make this bend.

Right there is a lot beefier than it was and that makes it of course stiffer and also takes vibrations out by being stiffer. It really feels a lot more dead in the hand this year than the Bowmadness 32 did due to that.

Now another things is they did change the limb angle slightly so that helps out as well. Getting down to the limbs though back there, we’ve got polymer limb pockets of course on the Epix and that’s of course a cost-cutting and time-saving method to manufacture.

Honestly guys, we’ve had some of these dudes get handled pretty rough. The bows last year that had only the Brute Force, Drive R, things like that and honestly we’ve never had issues with the polymer pocket and I’ve never heard of a documented issue with the polymer pocket either. So not really concerned there.

You know, wherever they can cut a dollar they will and still remain a very attractive bow a quality product because Lord knows in this day and age everything’s going up but PSE got it figured out. They're keeping their costs reasonable.

But to move on to the next step of this, we’ve got a new grip as you can see this is a lot similar just a bit smaller than the Super and the Beast as well so they carried that on. That's kind of their universal grip this year. You’ll see something similar on all the rest of the line that’s new this year.

Also they’ve done away with the rubber cut outs here and the dampers and they’re gonna be going with just the PSE etched into it which looks pretty cool actually.

Now something I like about the grip is it’s got a really nice spot for your thumb to rest in right in here, so that’s really nice right at the bottom of the shelf. That’s something to me that means a lot, so I’m really happy with the grip on this bow for sure. It’s really nice, really comfortable.

 

Moving on from there though, we've got the LiveWire strings which are new this year from PSE. They’re a proprietary process by PSE to make strings and acutally have a CNC-style machine except it’s made to make strings where the human hand gets tired the machine doesn’t. So what they're saying is this definitely helps on string life, longevity, and keeps them from stretching and creeping as bad, ‘cause they're already  pre-stretched from the factory

So far I’ve been happy with the string quality. They look good, they’re still gray this year. I’m happy with that. I’m actually shooting those on one of my bows, the stock strings, I’ve been having great success with them for what that’s worth.

Now we’ll move onto the next part and that would be the new carbon rod string stock which you’re seeing on all the bows, which is just a piece of carbon basically looks like an arrow it's clamped in the riser. It’s got a new little damper on it. Something I did want to note with that is that you can’t use last year’s color kit on this smaller carbon rod. It's a little bit different sized.

Something else too, speaking of dampers, you've got your new riser dumbbell dampers right in the riser, which help a little bit on vibration. A lot of companies have been doing it for a lot of year’s so that’s nothing just major revolutionary, but kind of new for PSE.You’ll see that on a few other models as well this year.

Also you can change the color of those. Your local dealer or we do have the different colored dumbbells so put whatever you’d like in there. They got a whole slew of colors so that’s pretty cool.

Another damper, we’ve still got the limb bands from last year on the limbs. They’ve been great for a lot of year’s which I don’t really see a need to change there. Even up to the shock mod, I’m fine with the little limb band. That’s good with me.

We’ve also got the Drive style, what I would consider Drive-style cable guard clamp system which is another area they've reduced machining time reduced weight, width right there. I mean I never really had any issues with it. Just make sure they’re tied out of the box and rock and roll, they're good to go. That’s a pretty good design, I’m pretty happy there, nothing major there to discuss.

We've also got this bow of course comes in black bare bow only, SkullWorks 2 or Country Camo. Now that said, you can get a bare bow in any of the three colors, but you can only get an RTS Pro package in SkullWorks or Country Camo.

Still, we retain a 340 fps bow at $749 ready to shoot with all this cool stuff built in to it. A lot stiffer riser than the Bow Madness 32, lot nicer grip and it even shoots and draws better. That said, it’s time to do the shooting and drawing part on the Epix. So bring the target out shoot a few arrows through the Epix.

 

PSE Bowmadness Epix Shooting Test

Now we’re preparing for our shooting test. We’re going to shoot a few arrows and get a feel for the draw cycle, the valley, the let off, string angle, things like that, and what it’s like to shoot this Bowmadness Epix. Here we go, let’s get into this.

Right off the bat, just like with the Brute Force Lite and a few of the other models, it’s got a fantastic grip in my opinion. It’s a little bit narrower than the Bow Madness 32 and 34 from last year. I really liked that grip but where it’s built up at the shelf on the top where your thumb sits reminds me of my XPression and Beast and things.

Honestly the grip to me, it’s probably one of the best ones I’ve picked up especially on a price point bow. The grip is definitely something you guys are going to like. It’s built for basically any size hand. It is a bit narrower than what I personally shoot. That said, it’s gonna fit a wide variety of hands and I’ve got pretty big hands so that’s good with me, but feels good there but now to draw.

Start with the draw cycle. It’s smooth to me, it doesn’t stack weight, doesn’t build a lot of weight. It really feels good get all your weight up front then it just slacks off to the let off in the valley and it’s real nice after that. As you can tell I’m holding it quite a bit here. Pretty comfortable on that end.

The string angle’s good. The peak needs to be adjusted for me personally, did come out of the box, but the string angle’s good, let’s go ahead and shoot this one.

Building tension on the wall, it doesn’t have any give on it on the back end, it’s really a solid stop. It’s what I would consider a notch below a limb stop bow, it’s that solid in my opinion and I like to have the cable stop bow honestly for the way I shoot. I really like the back wall on it and it’s the same or better than the 32 or 34 so it’s something I’m comfortable with anyway.

Now to touch on another piece of this puzzle, the feedback on the shot, it’s just barely there.  Like I’ve said in the past, any kind of stabilizer at all, whether that’s a real deal Bee Stinger, Doinker, anything that’s real deal, it’s gonna eat up any of that vibration real quick and make it aim better so that always helps.

Now let’s shoot another shot, see how it draws. Of course we’re gonna start at peak weight, peak weight, peak weight, slacks off, slacks off, into the valley. Just like with the other Bow Madness cam bows, you build weight til about half of the draw then it starts to slack off pretty quick. You don’t ever feel it change as in fall into the back and wanna make you jump and buck,  but it just eases back so it’s a really nice feeling cam.

A really nice feeling cam as you come back. You get about half the draw cycle then it starts to roll over and it’s really easy to draw after that so you could take this bow and really shoot well with it. I feel like just from the draw cycle it doesn’t really punish you.

Now speaking about not punishing you, let’s look at that valley and let off. OK let’s anchor off here and get comfortable. Now let’s get lazy with it were getting lazy with it. I’m holding on a big old buck, I’m having to hold it here as long as I can, still gettin lazy with it. Oh, it wants to go.

So what I can tell and the way it feels, you got about two inches to play with. And right here I’m just almost on the wall. You’ve got a pretty deep valley to play with for a cable stop bow, for a bow set up this way with the hybrid cam.

So it’s easy to hold back, it’s easy to draw. It feels like you’re drawing the weight that it’s on. It’s not one of those bows that feels like you’re drawing less, but it’s actually more. That being said, for the speed you’re pulling out of this bow, I really doing think that’s much of an issue.

It definitely appeals to a wide range and we’ve sold these bows or similar bows the 32 and 34s to people with all different backgrounds from people with shoulder issues to old age to just an assortment of things and honestly never had anybody that said it punished on the shooter to draw or to hold.

It’s a really nice shooting bow. I would definitely recommend this one. I know it’s one-sided to say, but from draw cycle to the way it feels I would recommend it.

Now see one more shot, see what kind of string angle we have still, do my test here. Lift my head straight up, see if I can get to my anchor point with it. Yep I can do it. Bring it up on my jaw line, nose on the string, I feel good with it. I’m good with that for sure. Got a pretty little grip going too down there.

So it’s a really good shooting bow that’s for sure. But that said seems like it’s fairly quiet but the decibel meter won’t lie to us so let’s get that out here.

 

Bowmadness Epix Sound Test

Now were moving onto our sound test on the Bowmadness Epix. We’ve got our decibel meter set right at 5 feet away and we’re gonna shoot three 450 grain arrows through this bow to get it in its quieter range would be with a little heavier hunting arrow. Let’s get into it.

 

Bowmadness Chronographic Test

Now we’ve got the Bowmadness Epix with the chronograph set up we've got the 350, 400, and 450 grain arrows to shoot through in that order. We’re set at the 29 3/4 inch draw with the 60 lb setting. Drawing a little bit longer on draw than normal. We usually see 29 1/4 but I tested this over a few of these bows right out the box and all drew about 3/4 of an inch longer than the module says. Keep that in mind for the test, probably gonna be about 5 feet a second faster than what 29 inches would be right around that. So here we go!

Gonna start with our 350 grain arrow. 314 fps. Woah, that’s smoking.

Now for our 400 grain arrow. 291 fps with a 400 grain arrow. Wow, this thing is definitely smokin.

Now for the 450 grain arrow. 277 fps with the 450 grain arrow. Gotta say, that’s some impressive numbers and we’ve not done anything to this bow except for breaking out of the box, set the draw point timing, and bring it over here for review. Nobody’s even shot this bow. This is literally straight out of the box the numbers we got out of this particular model. We’re getting similar numbers on all the ones we’ve tested so far and sold. I’d say the IBO on this is true maybe understated a little.

Now we’re gonna move onto my final thoughts on the Epix.

 

PSE Bowmadness Epix – Final Thoughts

The Bowmadness Epix this year has definitely improved over the 32. It has some really cool stuff going on, really cool riser. Shoots really good just like last year’s Bowmadness did so I wasn't expecting no changes there. Draws smooth, got a nice draw cycle and it’s got a ton of speed.

You could take one of these bows legitimately on 50 pounds and shoot faster than a lot of the stuff people are shooting right now at 55-60 pounds, it’s really quick, Like our speed test showed the truth of that matter. We shot 314 with a 350 grain arrow, we shot 291 with a 400 grain arrow, and we shot 277 with the 450. So those are pretty good numbers especially for a bow with this price point. For $599 bare and $749 loaded it’s gonna be hard to go wrong.

Like I said I do recommend this bow, but I recommend a lot of bows this year, so here’s the kicker: you gotta figure out which bow fits your needs. Do you hunt out of a ground blind? Tree stand? Do you shoot a lot of 3D? Do you not shoot a lot of 3D? Do you have to walk a long ways? What’s your draw weight, what’s your draw length gonna be?

There’s a lot of questions there to ask yourself and to ask us or your local dealer to see which bow really fits your need because they all shoot really good, they all honestly in this range shoot a lot similar, not the same, but pretty similar. So you’ve gotta kind of see what you need for your needs not just general this is the greatest bow ever can buy. You know I don’t roll that way. But for a good bow for good money this is where you’re gonna want to start at for sure.

To go back to our test results a little bit too, our noise test we had pretty good levels there. We had 67.7, 72.7, and odd 88.3, but the 67 and 72 were definitely right in the wheelhouse of this bow. I found that between 65 and 70 is a pretty good place to start and that’s when you can start adding string leeches and other little dampeners across the bow, more limb dampeners, pull the quiver off. There’s a few things you can do to make them quieter really fast, so that passes my test on the noise level. I am happy there.

We also checked the specs after we got done shooting this bow and typically in our reviews like we always have done we shoot about 100 shots so 100 shots later from start to finish with our video, we’re still drawing 29 3/4 and still drawing right at 60 pounds. Didn’t change any, dead on 60.

The LiveWire strings I believe will hold up. Like I said this bow’s only been shot the 100 times. We shot it here on camera, here filming. It’s obviously not gonna show wear but on the models we have shot quite a bit, we’ve been really impressed with. They've not got any signs of extra wear, they stay together really well. An upgrade I’d probably make on any of these bows when you call in to order them is to put the roller glide on there so you have a roller cable slide instead of the standard plastic one and I think you’ll be a lot happier that way honestly.

To sum it all up, the Bowmadness Epix for this kind of money, fantastic deal. There’s a lot of bows on the market, a lot of good bows from a lot of brands, but not a lot of good bows that are not a lot of money and this bow here it shoots like it’s a $1000 bare bow it really does.

Now I’d challenge all to go out and shoot it see for yourselves, but realistically this bow’s a performer, that’s my thoughts on it. I think it’s gonna be great but like I said everybody’s got their need in a bow, gotta see what you need for what you do ant the way you hunt and the way you shoot. That’s probably the main thing to keep in mind.

To close it off, if you want to order one, need some more information, maybe on the fence about purchasing or need to figure out which bow’s for you, you can give us a call at 870-475-3337. You can also visit our website where we offer ready-to-shoot packages, you can build your own package from the ground up, you know you can get this package here, anything you want we can make it happen. And that’s at www.betteroutdoors.net Also if you want to stay up with our live feeds, our cool pictures, we do a lot of cool stuff, you can find us on Facebook at Better Outdoors Archery and Bowhunting as well as Better Outdoors Archery on Instagram. So check us out on Facebook and Instagram a lot of cool stuff that comes up there that you won’t see on YouTube. Speaking of YouTube, make sure to hit that subscribe button, like this video, leave your comments, and share it to a friend.

As always guys I’m Dalton Vaughn, we’re Better Outdoors Archery and we appreciate you guys for watching. Thanks everybody!


1 comment

  • Wilko

    Thanks Dalton. Excellent review. Brought the bow to life for me.

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