Many years ago while visiting the local pro-shop I ran into
the owner who was excited to show me a new product. He claimed the little
rubber-like gizmo in his hand made a huge difference in his shooting experience.
As usual I was a touch skeptical but open minded enough to give them a try. At
the time I had no idea that the product in my hand was about to change the
whole archery industry – it was of course a set of Limb Savers by Sims
Vibration Laboratories. (Weg site: SIMS)
That night we put the Limb Savers on a Darton bow and when I
fired the first arrow my jaw hit the floor about as hard as it did when I first
shot a Mathews MQ1! The difference was simply amazing.
Recently I was given the opportunity to again evaluate products
from Sims Vibration Labs. The items tested were the new Mini S-Coil, X-Press
Stabilizer (Mini S-Coil combined with the stem and module from the Modular
Stabilizer) and Stabilizer Enhancer.
Mini S-Coil Stabilizer
The Mini S-Coil measures approximately 3.5” from the riser
connection to the front end, weighs in at a light 3.6 oz and has a maximum
diameter of 1.6”. The Mini’s bigger and very popular brother, the S-Coil, is
4.45” long and weighs 4.9 oz. One of the advertised benefits of the Mini is the
ability to keep it attached to your bow while in most bow cases. A small nut at
the base of the attachment stud allows the Mini to be secured tightly to your
bow. The heart of the Mini is SVL’s patented NAVCOM (Noise and Vibration
Control Material) material, which has been responsible for their impressive
success in many industries. *Taken from SVL’s website* - NAVCOM is an elastic,
amorphous, rubber-like substance. It has a very low natural frequency that is
lower than the audio frequency bandwidth. The peak amplitude at its internal
resonant frequency is relatively low and the curve has a sharp fall-off, far
lower than the audio frequency bandwidth. This makes it ideal for the purposes
of sound deadening, since the effect of energies between the frequencies of 10
and 30,000 hertz is minimal.* NAVCOM is found in products that are employed by
the auto, recreation, aerospace, recording studio and consumer electronics
industries. The Mini S-Coil is available in black or camo.
SVL’s X-Press Stabilizer System employs the same Mini S-Coil
as described above with the addition of the stem and one module from Limb
Saver’s Modular Stabilizer. When combined they span 6” and weigh 6.71 oz with a
max diameter of 1.6”. The X-Press is advertised to fall between the Original
S-Coil and the Sims Modular Stabilizer in terms of weight, length and
performance. Additional modules can be added as needed. Two flat spots on
opposite sides of the stem allow the system to be tightened onto the bow. The
modular stabilizer stem, modules and other added items connect through a series
of 5/16”-24 studs.
Tipping the scales at a mere 34.9 grams, SVL’s Stabilizer
Enhancer is only 1.45” long and has an overall diameter of 1.66”. Two pieces of
hardware (included) allow the Enhancer to fit into any 5/16”-24 or ¼”-20 bolt
hole or onto a ¼”-20 stud. Together with the NAVCOM material, its shape and use
of some of the S-Coil’s technology the 2006 Enhancer significantly reduces
shock and vibration over the original Stabilizer Enhancer.
To begin I went over the three SVL products looking for
quality craftsmanship, fit and finish. Each piece was visually perfect with no
apparent flaws whatsoever. The machined aluminum parts were without any
machining marks and the anodized finish was smooth and even. The molding process
used to manufacture the NAVCOM portion of these items is such that it produces
one identical part after the other. Unless there is a mold problem there is
virtually no chance of a defect.
Installation and removal were simple as expected but you have
to watch which end of the stud you put into which threaded hole. For instance,
if you were to put the end of the stud that has the hex wrench receiver on it
into the open end of the stem and it gets stuck you will have a tough time
getting it out. However, if you leave that same end out and it connects into
the module and it gets stuck you can loosen it with a hex wrench via the
thru-hole in the module.
Four bows of different grades and price points were used to
test the SVL products. One of these rigs, which is on the lower end of the
price point scale, had what I perceived to be a significant amount of string
noise. After attaching the Mini S-Coil the change in audible vibration made it
obvious that much of the noise was coming from somewhere other than the string.
There was a noticeable drop in noise. An even greater reduction in noise and
hand shock occurred when the X-Press Stabilizer System was mounted on the same
bow. For the length and weight this was certainly my favorite combo. On two of
the upper end bows the decrease in hand shock and noise was much less – not
because the SVL products weren’t performing but because there just isn’t that
much shock and noise to cancel out. These bows are particularly quiet and shock
free right out of the box. Still, there was enough benefit to using the X-Press
and Mini on these models.
I found the relatively small Stabilizer Enhancer to have the
least impact when used on the end of a good stabilizer or stem and module. It
does however make a significant difference on the end of a stabilizer that
doesn’t perform well. By itself the little Enhancer even registers a reduction
in noise and vibration attached directly to the riser of the lower end bows.
Overall, the Limb Saver Products are superb performers and well
worth their cost. SVL has gone to great lengths to make their products
versatile and affordable. If you are low on cash and your stabilizer isn’t
quite doing the job you can go out and purchase a relatively low cost
Stabilizer Enhancer that will do wonders for your rig. A few more bucks and you
will have yourself a set of limb savers, which are little miracle workers! My
favorite stabilizer from Sims is the X-Press with two modules. It is exactly
where I want to be in terms of weight, length and performance. It will make a
difference on just about any bow and an impressive difference on many bows.
I have one bow in particular, an 04 Darton, which is
completely decked out in SVL products and wow - it is a dream to shoot! It is
as shock free and quiet as many of the brand new 06 models on the market today.
Limb Saver Products are worth every penny – plain and simple.