PSE Premonition HD Review
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The compact PSE Premonition HD is a high quality, feature loaded Pro Series model bow for working mans price tag at $599 for the bare bow. The Premonition HD does not feature all the wonderful technology PSE has for 2015 because of the price point, but it is still a lot of bow for such an affordable price. The Premonition HD makes a wonderful bow for anyone including growing teenagers, female shooters with the Stiletto Package, and anyone else interested in a shorter axel to axel hunting bow. Some shooters may shy away from the 6 1/4/ -inch brace height, but with speeds up to 345 feet per second, the bow will still be plenty forgiving. Many PSE fanboys have requested a higher let off, more solid back wall, and the HD cams deliver just that. The HD cams have 80% let-off, an adjustable valley, two cable stops, and an option for an added limb stop for an even more solid back wall. For those wanting a great value bow with plenty of performance in a compact design, the Premonition HD is a winner.
FinishStraight from the factory, the Premonition HD is offered in three finish options. The PSE dipping process does a great job covering the entire bow, including the multiple cut outs featured in the riser. Mossy Oak Break-up Infinity is the only traditional camo pattern available, but shooter can also choose Skullworks or solid black. PSE also has a custom shop option that will allow shooters wanting the Premonition HD in a more unique color can choose from a much larger variety. Using the custom shop will have an uncharge to keep in mind as well. The accent colors and limb decals are red, but everything but the name plate and limb decals can be replaced with a color kit if desired. The Stiletto version is also available, for shooters wanting an out of the ordinary look. The Stiletto version is a shiny purple finish with a pink color kit. Although this option will more than likely appeal to female shooters, it looks great and does not require an up charge like other unique finish options do through the custom shop.
RiserThe Premonition HD riser is pretty compact to help with the shorter overall axel to axel measurement of 30 5/8-inches. The cutouts are large in appearance, and looks very similar to the DNA riser. There is a initial tuning mark located on the riser shelf to help give the proper arrow placement. This mark is simply a reference, and may vary a bit, but it is nice to have a solid starting location for setting the bow up initially. The overall mass weighs in just under four pounds timing the scales at 3.9-pounds bare bow. It would be nice for the shorter framed bow to be a bit lighter, but the weight will help keep the bow a little more sturdy holding on target given its shorter frame. The Backstop string stop system is easily adjustable, but the factory setting should be fine right out of the box. The rubber dampener stopping the string is pretty durable, and can be swapped out for a different color if desired. One feature missing on the Premonition HD that is on other Pro Series models is the Flex guard cable guard system. The Premonition HD does not have the Flex Guard, and simply has the traditional cable slide system. There is nothing wrong with this system, but it is something other PSE bows have the Premonition does not.
GripLike other PSE grips, the Premonition HD grip is narrow and comfortable. It will be cold in hunting conditions as an integrated part of the riser, but there is a sleeve shooters can buy to make it a little warmer. The rubber inserts do not serve much of a purpose when using the correct hand placement, but it does not impact the size or feel of the grip. Like all the other rubber pieces on the Premonition HD, shooters have the option to swap out for a variety of colors.
LimbsPSE highly stress split limbs store the HD cams energy on the Premonition HD bow. The highly prestressed limbs are constantly under pressure, and the geometry works well to cancel extra vibration after the arrow is shot. The maximum draw weights are available in 50, 60, and 70-pounds, and the Stiletto of the Premonition HD is offered in 40 and 50-pounds. The vibration dampening bands on the limbs are easily removed and work well keeping the vibration of the bow to a minimum. The limb pockets hold the limbs in place with great tolerances. With the riser cutout designs, the limb pocket is able to contact the the limbs in more than one location creating a more sturdy platform. The composite pockets are durable and work well without being a focal point in the design of the bow.
Eccentric SystemThe HD cams are a popular system for PSE in 2015 featured on several bows including the Premonition HD. On the Premonition HD package, the HD cams shoot up to 345 feet per second with a 6 1/4-inch brace height. The draw length can be adjusted between 24-30-inches in half inch increments. The Premonition HD adjustments can be made without the need to purchase draw length modules or even having a bow press. The rotating module has all the draw lengths from the shortest to the longest adjustment and the laser engraved markings make the adjustments clear and simple. Perhaps the most desired feature shooters are raving about is the high 80% let-off. The HD cams also have adjustment features making it a different shooting experience depending on how it is set up. The valley can be altered, and shooters have an option to add a limb stop to the two cable stops already in use firming up the back wall significantly.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Premonition is a compact bow, but never feels too small. Those at the top end of the draw length range may find the bow a bit on the small side, but the string angle is a preference thing, and may not be an issue for some shooters. The Premonition HD is not a heavy bow weighing in at 3.9-pounds, but with its smaller size, shooters may be thrown off by how heavy it is at first thinking it may be a little lighter. The added weight is a nice feature though because it helps this smaller rig hold steady on target. In 2015, virtually every bow has a smooth draw cycle and the HD cams truly are a smooth drawing system. The valley and the back wall are favorable with the factory settings, but they are adjustable as well. When the cams roll over into the back wall, shooters can pull as hard as they want without any give with the two cable stops. Those wanting an even firmer back wall can then put the limb stop in place giving the bow an even different feel. The solid back wall combined with the high 80% let off gives the HD cams an incredible feel at the end of the draw cycle. Shooters can even relax a bit without the bow wanting to jump forward. After the shot, the bow sits very well in hand after a slight jump forward. The Premonition HD has little to no hand shock, and with additional accessory weight, nothing is felt. Along with the vibration free release, the bow is pretty quite as well. Many shooters get nervous with a brace height around 6-inches, but those shooting the Premonition HD have no reason to be concerned, The geometries used on the Premonition HD and the speed it hits allows a great deal of forgiveness as well.
Usage ScenariosThe PSE Premonition HD should appeal to growing archers wanting a hunting bow. Although this bow may appeal to experienced hunters, the ease of adjustment, short frame, and nice draw cycle make it a great bow for shooters with a little growing left to do. The Stiletto option also means the Premonition HD will be a nice bow for female shooters as well.
PSE Premonition HD vs. PSE Premonition
Shooters not buying the PSE Premonition get an even better cam system from the HD cam offered on virtually the same platform as 2014. The HD cam system is generally more preferred for most shooters giving the bow an even smoother draw cycle and comparable speeds. Both bows are fine options in the price range and deserve a closer look. However, the HD cams are an upgrade in most opinions.