Contemplating equinox vs etrac
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Thread: Contemplating equinox vs etrac

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  1. #1
    us
    Sep 2018
    Western NY
    Garrett AT Pro, Nel Storm, Garrett 5x8, Nel Snake
    4
    2 times
    Metal Detecting

    Contemplating equinox vs etrac

    I have been using an At Pro for the past 3 years but I'm thinking of moving up to a minelab. I'm looking for better discrimination and technology to try and rediscover some of my older spots.

    When I hunt with my friends who both have etracs I feel like they are getting the deeper targets more easily than I am with my pro.

    When I look on ebay I can easily find etracs for the same cost or less than a new Nox 800. Is an etrac that much better than a Nox or is the new tech going to have better staying power in the fields.

    I hunt parks, woods and schools mostly so the waterproofing is only for rainy days essentially.
    I mostly coin shoot but occasionally come across some small relics.

    Pros and cons of both?

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    13,265
    17970 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    My Etrac cranked my elbow pretty quickly. The CTX, now my 800 do not. Heck of a lot of difference.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

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  3. #3
    us
    Apr 2008
    Forney, Texas
    613
    186 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Welcome to the forums. I'm sure you will get many opinions on this question, and mine won't be any different. It is based on my experience in my hunting environments. For pure coin hunting, I feel the Etrac will give a more accurate indication of what's beneath the coil. Primarily because of the dual target indicators of Ferrous and Conductive properties, not to mention that the Etrac has 1750 points of resolution compared to 50 on the Equinox. The Etrac is going to be heavier than the Equinox. The Equinox weighs right at 3lbs while the Etrac weighs 4lbs, 3 oz. That is on my postal scale. Also, the Etrac has the factory rechargeable battery in it at that weight. I believe that a small savings could be had using the lighter RnB rechargeable battery.

    The Equinox is a faster responding instrument compared to the Etrac which would allow you to hunt, and cover a specific area, faster than the Etrac would. I'm not in a race and never felt I was being too thorough when trying to hunt quickly. I prefer to hunt slower, and more methodically, but that's just me. I believe the Equinox should perform better in a heavy iron laden site than the Etrac will. The Etrac still performs well, just not up to the ability of the newer technology, and might be something to consider if you find yourself in that type of environment often. Most of the coin hunting I've done hasn't been in that kind of site except when I was specifically hunting frontier military relics in certain places. Otherwise, it's the modern trash that has given me the most grief when hunting coins. The higher target id resolution of the Etrac may give better results in that type of situation as the Equinox will tend to group a lot more targets in a particular id number.

    Both, of course, use multi-frequency transmit technology which a single frequency VLF detector lacks the versatility found in FBS, BBS and Multi-IQ technology. The Etrac will also give you many more options for setting up detecting patterns for specific site hunting, and will allow you to save, and exchange with other users, more custom programs. The Equinox is waterproof in case that is a consideration, which I believe you said wasn't for you. It should also do better on certain types of gold jewelry such as small earring backs, and small chains, if that's a class of target you are trying to find. The Equinox 800 will also allow you to do some nugget hunting in some environments, but perhaps not in the hottest gold ground.

    I'm sure there's a lot more that others will fill in for you. These are just some considerations that are important to me. Personally, I think the Etrac is still a superior coin hunter due to it's id accuracy. Your mileage may vary, as they say...
    jdiggs_treasure and Tedyoh like this.

  4. #4
    us
    Sep 2018
    Western NY
    Garrett AT Pro, Nel Storm, Garrett 5x8, Nel Snake
    4
    2 times
    Metal Detecting
    Thanks for the quick replies! I'm definitely thinking that the weight may be an issue. I'm swinging the storm coil now and it definitely takes a toll on my shoulders.

    I'm still not sure what I think of having to be tethered to a charger like I do now with my cell phone. I like the idea of being able to drop in fresh Batts and go.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Jan 2011
    Norman, OK
    Minelab CTX 3030, Minelab Equinox 800
    622
    856 times
    Metal Detecting
    I agree with what HighPlainsHunter said -- both are high-performing machines. I will add one more thing -- you will not be giving up depth if you choose the Equinox. This was a hotly contested subject prior to the Equinox's release (whether it could match the depth of FBS). I can now say with certainty that -- at least in my dirt -- the Equinox is every bit as deep as FBS (Explorer/E-Trac/CTX 3030).

    Steve

  6. #6
    us
    Apr 2008
    Forney, Texas
    613
    186 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by DrTFshr View Post
    Thanks for the quick replies! I'm definitely thinking that the weight may be an issue. I'm swinging the storm coil now and it definitely takes a toll on my shoulders.

    I'm still not sure what I think of having to be tethered to a charger like I do now with my cell phone. I like the idea of being able to drop in fresh Batts and go.
    Don't know about the AT Pro balance with the larger coil, but the Equinox and Etrac aren't bad with the 11" coil. You can't drop in fresh batteries with the Equinox as it uses a proprietary internal battery while the Etrac also comes with a AA battery holder besides the rechargeable...

  7. #7
    ca
    Hawks88

    Aug 2012
    Niagara falls
    Equinox 600, fisher gold bug pro.
    7,439
    10637 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Lots of good info. I’m a believer that “usually” the latest technology trumps the earlier versions. The equinox is newer, lighter, cheaper and is the latest in the minelab field of detectors. Minelab just introduced a new firmware update for both the 600 and 800. They set a record in sales for these two machines. I’ve also seen and heard great reviews on both machines. It’s like buying a computer or cell phone, every time you turn around they come out with one thats better than the last one. Just my two cents. Welcome to tnet from Niagara Falls.

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2015
    Near Ground Zero for Insanity
    XP Deus with HF Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek Delta/Whites MXT/Garrett Carrot/Piranha Relic Shovel
    4,124
    6514 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Multi IQ is pretty much the future of ML multi frequency detectors. There is something to be said of all the target ID info the FBS detectors provide vs. the more concise VDI of the Equinox. And there is no doubt the FBS machines are great in their element, especially on IDing deep silver and cherry picking amongst modern trash. But the fact is, besides having faster recovery and Multi IQ, the Equinox is primarily a tone machine. Coming from Deus, I am a firm believer that you can get more information from the audio nuances than any number or complex series of numbers can give you on a screen and I think that is where Equinox excels vs. the ML FBS tech CTXs and eTracs. Furthermore, while folks can debate endlessly whether the eTrac or CTX can outperform (depth) or out ID the Equinox under certain narrow conditions for high conductive targets or that there may be more customizations available, I don't think that anyone can say that the eTrac or CTX or AT Pro for that matter are as versatile for a variety of targets (mid conductors) and site conditions (trash density and ground mineralization) due to the optimized and different Multi IQ frequency profiles and signal processing that occurs in each of eight Equinox search profile modes. Not to mention the variety of 5 single frequency detecting options from 5 through 40 khz.

    Regarding your eTrac detecting buddies, I think a lot of what you are seeing is detectorists who have put in the hours to really know their machine which greatly amplifies whatever detector performance advantage they have to begin with. Put in the same hours with an Equinox and you will certainly exceed even the dependable workhorse AT Pro in results and will close the gap on those eTrac guys if not beat them outright in those detecting circumstances where the eTrac cannot keep up with the Equinox like thick iron, high mineralization, and when chasing after mid conductors like CW relics and gold jewelry or simply detecting in the rain or swinging for hours (lighter weight machine).

    Regarding the rechargeable battery I have never come close to fully depleting it in a days worth of detecting and routinely take it out on multiple day short runs without having to recharge in between. If you ever do find yourself arriving at a site after forgetting to charge it, you can give it a 15 min quick charge and get an hour or so out of it maybe. You can easily charge it on the way to a site using a car adapter or power bank or you can actually charge it while detecting by strapping on a cell phone power bank to your detector stem (duct tape or velcro carry pouch). These power bank things are so ubiquitous you can actually pick one up at 7/11 for about the same cost as an 8 pack of AA's. Coming from Deus, I will never go back to a detector not having wireless audio and long lasting rechargeable power. . I have long departed from having to have the "drop in some AA's" security blanket from my F75 days and don't miss not having them in my detector bag any more.

    As with your AT Pro there are some advantages to having a waterproof detector even if you don't regularly water hunt as mild foul weather detecting or not having to rush back to the vehicle in a sudden downpour are options.

    Finally, while you may be able to get a used eTrac for about the same as an Equinox 800, check out the remaining warranty coverage on any used ML machine before you buy. I say why not get the full 3 year warranty coverage on a new 800 if you can get either machine at about the same price.

    That's my take.

    "V"
    Tedyoh likes this.
    "The future ain't what it used to be..."

  9. #9
    us
    Sep 2018
    Western NY
    Garrett AT Pro, Nel Storm, Garrett 5x8, Nel Snake
    4
    2 times
    Metal Detecting
    Wow! Thanks Vferrari! You bring up a lot of great points. My dirt where I am is always ground balancing on my At Pro in the mid 90s which is pretty high mineralization! I think these responses overall have made my decision easier. I'm going to go with the Equinox 800! I just think overall I'll regret not going with the newest technology. I don't want to end up wondering if I should have just gone new from the start.

    Thanks to everyone who responded to my question!
    vferrari likes this.

  10. #10
    us
    Aug 2018
    Slidell,Louisiana
    Nox 800,Garrett Pro AT, Lesche Sampson
    6
    9 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    I'm know that I'm the new guy here but I did own an AT Pro briefly before I sold it and bought a Nox 800. The only thing that I can contribute is that the discrimination and especially the audio appear to be much better. Besides that, if you are a Veteran or retired military Minelab offers 15% off which makes the Nox REALLY hard to pass up.
    vferrari likes this.

  11. #11
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Equinox 800, Treasure Probe IV, E-Trac, 3 Excal 1000's, White's GM3 V-sat. White's TM808, VibraProbe, 15" NEL Attack, 5X10 Joey, Steath 920ix and 720i, TRX, etc....
    9,659
    7289 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    I use them both and they are great machines. If you were going to do any shallow water hunting, I would say Equinox hands down. If you're just coin and relic hunting only, It's closer to a toss up with one having a slight advantage over the other and vice versa. I do like the wireless headphones of the Nox, but, I like the internal coil cable of the E-trac. (less tangle in flora) The battery situation is mute as far as I'm concerned, as mention by V. I still like the I.D. numbering system better on the Etrac. I still find it much easier to determine a bottle cap than with the Nox. Another consideration (at the moment anyway) is coil and accessory availability. You have the 11" and 6" coils for the Nox. that's it for now. Many more options for the Etrac, but, given time, that gap should narrow. I use a sling with the bigger coils on the Etrac, so, weight hasn't been an issue with me. I've taken it to England and hunted from dawn to dusk 7 days straight without arm problems using the Detector Buddy sling. Now my legs were a different story! Hunting iron, I agree, the Nox has the advantage with it's quicker processor. The Etrac is no slouch either, just not quite as good. Small (as in tiny) targets.....Nox is better. You'll have to evaluate what kind of targets you will be mainly looking for and decide which most suits your needs. Neither one is a bad choice and definitely a step up from an AT.
    vferrari and HighPlainsHunter like this.
    "jus cuz it's wrote down, don't make it so"

 

 

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