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Thread: Is New Detector technology any better than an older model?

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  1. #1
    us
    May 2012
    Candia New Hampshire
    A new Garrett AT PRO, Discovery 2000, Discovery 2200 and a brand new Bullseye II pinpointer
    13
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Question Is New Detector technology any better than an older model?

    What I want to know is, is a brand new detector a little better or a whole lot better (other than the features) Than a detector from 10 years ago?

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  3. #2

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    5,736
    1513 times
    Banner Finds (3)
    There has not been a lot of detector technology improvements over the past 10 yrs. Just bells and whistles. Heck, the Explorer is already 10 yrs. old now! That was a step forward in coin-hunting machines, as it lended such sweet tones (once you got used to the flock of geese sounds), deep depths, good TID's at depth, etc.....

    Contrast to the "10 yr. periods" between, say, 1965 to 1975, then 1975 to 1985, then 1985 to 1995, and so forth. In THOSE decades, you had a virtual dinasour if you didn't upgrade. The advancements were astounding each decade, at those times. But we seem to have hit a ceiling of limits of science & physics or whatever.

    But be aware, that even though you accept that there hasn't been much advancements in the past 10 yrs, yet there IS a lot of difference between different machines. So a 10 yr. such & such Whites, compared to a 10 yr. old such & such Fisher or Minelab, is not the same question. There are multitudes of differences and pro's and con's between each different unit, make, model, etc.... So that, for example, some machines from the 1990s will run circles around a brand new machine now. And it will depend on what your objectives are, where you're hunting (the type site, your skill, etc...). Diff. machines for diff. jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtminer View Post
    What I want to know is, is a brand new detector a little better or a whole lot better (other than the features) Than a detector from 10 years ago?
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  4. #3
    us
    May 2012
    Candia New Hampshire
    A new Garrett AT PRO, Discovery 2000, Discovery 2200 and a brand new Bullseye II pinpointer
    13
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks for the info

  5. #4

    Oct 2005
    XLT, Whites D.F., Treasure Baron, Deepstar, Goldquest, Beachscan, T.D.I., Sovereign, 2x Nautilus, various Arado's, Ixcus Diver, Altek Quadtone, T2, Beach Hunter I.D, GS 5 pulse, Searchman 2 ,V3i
    1,582
    107 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    New detectors tend to be lighter, some are better balanced, most are easier to use. But not much better and in many cases worse than the old classics as long as the older machine is used where it still excels. Old detectors had ground balance you would have to set yourself and then coil discipline had to be maintained ie sweeping the coil at a set height to avoid the detector sounding off.

    So a little more effort in set up is needed but the advantages are that the detector will not allow you to detect swinging the coil up and down losing depth.

    No filtering as with modern machines so no need to maintain a correct slow (2 filter), fast (4 filter) or extra slow FBS/BBS speed to maintain depth and discrimination.

    Consider the end of each arc as you swing. Most modern detectors are S.P.D. designs so motion is needed and at the end of your sweep the motion becomes insufficient for a four filter design and as the coil reaches the end of its arc there's insufficient movement for even the slow sweep detectors to work. So your not detecting efficiently or to the width you might think you are.

    True iron see through is limited to some older design's. Crown caps, that so many have trouble with today, were not such a problem with the old type discriminators.

    All metal as a mode remains the deepest seeking but most modern detectors have some degree of discrimination in use and so skip over the deeper targets. With many of the original VLF/TR discriminators you would search in all metal and flick a switch or press a button to bring in the discrimination circuit. This would either provide I.D. or not. If not then you knew a possibly good target was deeper than the discrimination could "see" so could then take off an inch or two of soil until I.D. was possible. Your modern motion detector would just not indicate the target in the first place.
    Those who didn't want to keep switching modes could select a model with a permanent all metal primary search mode with constant ferrous/non ferrous meter or audio readout.

    I think things are summed up in the phrase that new tends to be easier but not always better. The one major exception is twin/multifrequency as the old detectors did have trouble with wet salt beaches where you did need to have a dedicated machine.

  6. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Yarnell,AZ and Titusville,FL
    Right now: Garrett GTA 500, ACE 250, Fisher Impulse 8, Gold Bug 2, Whites GMT, Vibraprobe 570, and Falcon MD20
    4,137
    1432 times
    Coinshooting, Gold prospecting, and Nuggetshooting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    The newer detectors are better than the old... older than 20 years. But I still like my older detectors. TTC
    At home the ground was covered with snow, and I was covered with sweat. My younger brother called me a killer and my daddy called me a vet. Still in Saigon. Charlie Daniels Band

  7. #6
    us
    It's dangerous to be right when those with a thimbleful of perceived authority are wrong.

    Mar 2012
    Michigan
    White's MXT, DFX, GMT and Fisher F5
    811
    121 times
    Metal Detecting
    No. Detector technology has changed little in 10 years. Depth? No. Discrimination? No.

    More bells and whistles, fancy displays and computer interfaces to make us THINK they have? Yes.
    U.K. Brian and leprechaun like this.

  8. #7
    us
    what hath god wrought

    Feb 2009
    Gateway to the 1000 Islands
    Sometime(s)
    3,814
    585 times
    tectin crap
    My buddy just got a silver dime from a hammered trash filled park, the machine was a 1984 garrett. Yes, the new machines are much better than an old machine. Much, much better.
    Diggit likes this.
    Federal Bureau of Governmental Redundancy Reduction Agency

  9. #8
    us
    Jun 2011
    Gulf Coast Fl.
    whites' Pi Pro, Dual Field, and fisher labs' Cz21 , BH Land Star, BH 3300 ,Garrett GTI 2500
    679
    221 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    They seem to be just a little lighter but I really don't think I find any more today then I did back in the day . ( seems hard to believe, dating back to the 70's . I remember digging very deep silver barbers and buffalo nickels way back then with those old Garrett detectors.)
    herb

  10. #9

    Oct 2005
    XLT, Whites D.F., Treasure Baron, Deepstar, Goldquest, Beachscan, T.D.I., Sovereign, 2x Nautilus, various Arado's, Ixcus Diver, Altek Quadtone, T2, Beach Hunter I.D, GS 5 pulse, Searchman 2 ,V3i
    1,582
    107 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Those who push the new is better line always seem to ignore that old time U.S. brand of Nautilus that managed to win the G.N.R.S. year in year out for years with a design that hasn't changed in 25 years ? (O.K. they changed the shaft for better balance). My old Deepstar P.I. still beats the pants off all the Whites, Garretts, Tesoro's etc. Only problem is getting an older machine that still works to spec. rather than something that's been on and off E-Bay every year for the last fifteen years.

    The other problem is that if your use to switch on and go you may not like having to work for your finds.
    Muddyhandz likes this.

  11. #10
    us
    May 2012
    Candia New Hampshire
    A new Garrett AT PRO, Discovery 2000, Discovery 2200 and a brand new Bullseye II pinpointer
    13
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks everyone

  12. #11
    us
    Oct 2009
    4,297
    1777 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    The biggest change that has come down in the latest years is the multiple frequency detectors which are much better at mineral rejection than standard single frequency machines. But even this technology is over 10 years old. Very few companies are using this feature though.

    I believe some new leaps are coming for the PI detectors. Minelab has been doing good thing with it for gold hunters and it looks like Garrett is releasing their answer to those. Hopefully a competition will force all the players to take the current machines and advance them.

  13. #12
    us
    Oct 2009
    4,297
    1777 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by U.K. Brian View Post
    Those who push the new is better line always seem to ignore that old time U.S. brand of Nautilus that managed to win the G.N.R.S. year in year out
    You also have to consider the goal in mind. If you are looking for simple raw depth, that is one thing. Most detectorists are looking for coins in heavily trashed parks and home sites. Correctly identifying coins among other garbage non-ferrous and abundant ferrous targets HAS improved in many of the newest detectors.

  14. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA
    E-Trac Fisher 1260X Garrett Deepseeker ADS III White's Coinmaster Tesoro Royal Sabre Garrett Pro Pointer
    2,792
    2197 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I've posted this quite a number of times. My circa 1985 Fisher 1260X blew the doors off my Ace 250 - not even a comparison there.

    And then there was my '81 Garrett DeepseekerADS III, those whispers of silver at 8"-10"....

    The key remains, period !!!! = know what your machine is telling you !!!!

    The Fisher beat the Deepseeker by the way it handled the mineralized soil. Otherwise, they were equal in depth. There was a park in Monroe, MI where my Garrett couldn't search, the Fisher went right through it, found a Walking Liberty in a spot I'd already tried to cover with the Garrett, but couldn't.

    Those are the types of things you find with new technology. Even today, we are not getting all that much deeper. But what we are getting is a clearer understanding of what we are hearing + a better ability to hear through different types of soils.

    You can do just about as well with a good antique detector, as with a new one - provided you have put your time in understanding the language of your machine.

    But, of course there are the exceptions of cheap technology ......
    Tom_in_CA likes this.
    "He jests at scars, who knows no wounds" c.s.lewis - 1941

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  15. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    Mr.

    Aug 2013
    Roswell, NM
    Ace 250, GTI-2500
    233
    107 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Oh geez! A good time to rant!

    Here is a factoid that all but us really old detectorists will dispute: Assuming non-minerialized soil conditions, a BFO detector will easily out perform a TR machine! The trick is knowing which side of resonance ferris and non-ferrous material will be detected, as well as setting the threshold just right!

    The next factoid, is the assumption that digital is better than analog. Well..... Analog detectors have almost infinite discrimination. Digital machines only offer preset selections. Sometimes that difference, in the hands of a skilled operator, will make the difference of rich vs. trash.

    Digital machines determine what's under the coil by measuring the shift in frequency and the phase angle change in the transmitted signal caused by the material being detected (ferrous/non-ferrous). This signature is compared to a preset table, and that information is relayed to the operator in a variety of methods. Analog machines require a lot of determination of the signals (discriminating tastes as it were) by the operator. Depending on the skill of said operator, an analog machine can easily out perform a digital one.

    Then there is computing power. Most detectorists would steer away from a machine that costs a couple of G-notes, and only got 4 to 6 hours of operation on a battery charge. As a result, manufacturers have to weigh weight, computing power, battery life, selling price, and a dozen other factors when introducing a new machine, whatever it is.

    I will stick my neck out a bit. Typically, the price you pay is very close to a logical performance ratio. But lets not forget, that any performance ratio tends to be an inverted function. In other words, doubling the price doesn't double the performance!
    Tom_in_CA likes this.

  16. #15
    us
    Oct 2009
    4,297
    1777 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I would like to add a few notes to A-As post. Everything he said was correct, however...

    There is no such thing as "non-mineralized" soil. Some soil is really low, some is really, REALLY high and most is somewhere in between. The the effectiveness of the bfo ranges from mediocre to terrible for most places. This is why the TR stomped the bfo out of existance.

    Analog (non computerized) can give a LOT of information to the well trained ear. I could determine silver from clad with about 90% accuracy on my old Garrett Master Hunter. But the discrimination was highly limited. You turn the dial and eliminate everything below that point. Digital detectors can allow to eliminate any point along the scale without sacrificing target lower on the conductive scale. The Minelabs introduced the conductive grid which meant you could eliminate variations on the conductive scale.

    I completely agree with the last statement. You generally DO get more with more you pay, but it is NOT a direct linear relationship.


    In the end it all really comes down to 2 factors. Can the machine handle the soil mineralization? and Are you willing to dig when it beeps? Analog detectors let people make some incredible finds because it was a "dig it all" situation. The modern improvements let people ignore a lot of non-ideal signals and miss some great items while at the same time allowing them to find good targets in heavy iron that many older machines couldn't. It's a mixed bag.
    Last edited by Jason in Enid; Sep 09, 2013 at 05:32 PM.

  17. #16
    us
    I deal in reality

    Mar 2010
    Maryland
    XLT , surfmaster PI , HAYS 2Box , VIBRA-TECTOR
    7,195
    1465 times
    Rather than making a brash statement, lets learn by actual results. As mentioned above, different levels of different brands will give different results.
    I will use my current detectors, that are all at least 12 years old.
    Whites XLT: You can adjust anything in the computer, you have preset: turn on and go programs already set, You have program sites for your own custom programs, You have a target ID#, you have a bar that indicates the likely target, You have a pinpointing/ target dept that is exact: that is you can push a probe down in the center of the coil and touch the target, it is that accurate. It has a slide in AA battery pack. It will go down to 2' for a large target, and has no trouble with gold, silver, relics, nuggets etc. Now why do you think I am still using this detector?

    Whites Surfmaster PI: What can I say! It has pulled a boat anchof from the sand at app.3', It has pulled a gold/emeral ring from 10" in the sand, It has found the elusive fine gold chain. It has found coins in black sand.

    Hays 2 Box detector. I bought it used, It's probably over 12 years also. It will go down over 6' as proven by it's latest find. It will detect 6' sideways to check stone walls as proven by a find. Why would I want to blow more money for a newer one?

    The trick is buying high end equipment and taking care of it. it doesn't have to be newer to be better! Just my experience. Frank...

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  18. #17
    ca
    Jul 2012
    In da bush
    Fisher's 1266X, 1270X & 1280X
    482
    459 times
    Exploring the country side, away from all the madness; living my dream one hunt at a time. Meegwetch
    I've responded to this subject in depth before and rather than repeat myself, I'll mention one thing that I haven't before.
    My old machine can pinpoint the eye of a needle and that's WITHOUT even using the pinpoint toggle.
    Most of the new machines nowadays are just terrible in that department.
    If someone could get a graph showing the handheld pin-pointer sales in the last decade I bet it would be staggering.
    People swear by them and say it has made their lives much easier.
    I'm sure it has, if your new machine can't pinpoint very good.
    Is this important?
    Um, well, due to the massive plugs left everywhere that are not even from just newbies, I'd say it's important.
    That's my rant for the day. Lol.
    Cheers,
    Dave.
    A metal detector can only do so much..........
    It's up to you to do the rest!

  19. #18
    The biggest and most important improvement... for me anyway, over the past 10 years, is the weight and recovery speed, out of all the detectors I have used over the years, the best with out doubt is the Tesoro lobo Supertraq, but they failed to upgrade it and make it more user friendly.

    SS
    Don't piss down my back, then tell me it's raining.

  20. #19
    Charter Member
    us
    Mr.

    Aug 2013
    Roswell, NM
    Ace 250, GTI-2500
    233
    107 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Jason, your comments are correctly stated, and I agree with them.

    When I first got into detecting (circa 1963), I used a home brew BFO machine. I lived in Kansas City, at the time, and it worked very well there. My second attempt was also a BFO but used a 12 inch coil, rather than a 7 inch one. I can't say it was any better, but ground conditions effected it more.

    When I moved to the Denver, area, the old BFO still worked, but only so-so due to the minerals in the soil—primarily pyrites. I built an analog TR machine off some plans I downloaded from UU net site. It did work on the bench, but work load sort of halted the project. After that, everything I have owned has been Garrett except for an F75 Fisher, which brings up another related subject you and others alluded to.

    The F75 uses a DD coil, which I have learned to dislike. Just previous, I purchased a DD coil for my Ace 250. The original coil pinpointed very well all considering, but with the DD coil you were lucky to get within 6 inches! The same was true of the F75, although it was a bit better at it. So I agree with the analogy about pinpointer sales as well. From my experience with DD coils, my opinions are: They don't work any better than round ones; They aren't any better with mineralized soil; And they're lousy when it comes to pinpointing.

  21. #20
    us
    Oct 2009
    4,297
    1777 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Ehh, I disagree that DD coild are bad at pinpointing, you just have to learn to use it. When I first got my E-Trac, I couldn't pinpoint a pie-plate, but I kept at it and now I can put a probe (the old school metal kind) straight down and often touch the coin. The thing that DOES mess up pinpointing with a DD is if the coin is on edge. The angled face of the coin really throws that signal sideways!

 

 

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