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Thread: AT Pro - standing on the trade-it-in ledge

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  1. #1
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting

    AT Pro - standing on the trade-it-in ledge

    I bought the AT Pro this summer, as I saw a lot of positive reviews and really liked the show “Diggers.” I started off by using the Standard Coin mode given its simplicity. I found coins, including relatively modern silver, and some relics in that mode, but nothing spectacular. I more recently started using the Pro Zero mode and now regret having spent so much time in Standard. The Pro Zero mode is more effective and makes detecting even more interesting. I am still not an expert with Pro Zero mode, but I am improving and see the potential in it. In fact, I found my first colonial copper in that mode early last month (1723 Hibernia).

    Overall, I do like the AT Pro and believe it offers a lot of value for the money. However, I am having some buyer’s remorse and sort of hope someone can talk me off the “trade-it-in” ledge. What is the source of my angst? I enjoy viewing the Today’s Finds forum and it seems that none of the great finds are from AT Pro users, or they are few and far between. It seems the Equinox 800 is the common factor for so many of the finds. That led me to Google “AT Pro versus …” type posts, and it seems the AT Pro consistently comes up short. While some of the comparisons may not be fair, i.e., comparing a $600 AT Pro to $900 machines, it nonetheless makes me wonder what I might be swinging over and missing with the AT Pro. I realize that if you use its Pro-Mode settings properly and learn to understand its tones, it can get you some nice finds; however, I can’t help thinking that machines like the Equinox 800 take some of the guesswork out and can get you the deeper finds more easily and consistently. I am now thinking the AT Pro is great for finding clad, older U.S. coins like wheat pennies and Mercuries, jewelry, and some relics, but that it may not be so great for finding the deeper and older items, which I am now interested in digging, e.g., colonial coppers.

    So, what does everyone think? Is the AT Pro past its prime? Is the AT Pro a great machine, but just not well-suited for what I want to find, e.g., Large Cents, Seated Liberty coins, colonial coppers, etc.? Am I mistakenly thinking most colonial era finds or older U.S. coins are beyond the AT Pro’s depth capabilities (I don’t know how deep those finds commonly go)? Was my colonial copper a fluke, or do AT Pro users out there find coins like that somewhat frequently? Is something like an Equinox 800 overkill for the average or slightly above average user? Is there a machine that is comparable to the Equinox 800 in terms of depth capabilities, but perhaps has less capabilities to make it more affordable, e.g., non-submersible? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
    A2coins likes this.

  2. #2
    us
    Oct 2014
    florida
    3,056
    3723 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Sounds like you have had a measure of success with this machine....a more expensive unit won't gaurantee better results. First know your detector, lots of hours to put in.second, pass your coil over a good target. Without both of these factors, you will always have less than better results. I say, give your pro more hours and find a good spot and be patient.JMHO

  3. #3
    us
    Apr 2011
    Wisconsin
    Garrett AT Pro, XP Deus & BlissTool
    785
    831 times
    Metal Detecting
    I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses on this subject but it really comes down to personal preference and more importantly, how well you know the detector you're using. Yes there are other detectors out there with more bells and whistles but there is nothing wrong with the AT Pro. It is an excellent detector. I have had mine since it's inception and doubt I will ever part with it.

    Just as you stated above, use the Pro Zero mode and get to understanding it. You have already proven it can find those old coppers. And it really depends on how deep those targets are as well. You may find one coin only 2" down in the ground while another may be 14" down and out of reach. That's just how this hobby works. If you're worried about finding older coins & relics, I have found items from the Roman and medieval times with my AT Pro. Granted I was living in Germany when I found them but it's proof the AT Pro can sniff out those really old items.

    Bottom line: be patient and learn your machine (whichever one you may be using).
    Last edited by mindcrime1988; Feb 03, 2019 at 11:10 AM.

  4. #4
    us
    Apr 2014
    NJ
    Whites Spectra V3i, Whites MX5, Whites BH 300, Whites MX Sport, Tek Europro, Tesoro Compadre, Makro Multi Kruzer .......... No longer own....... Etrac, CTX3030, G2, Fisher F4 Tesoro Bandido
    115
    255 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    While I can’t prove it I would venture to guess that the AT Pro has found far more of those kinds of items than the Equinox has; if for no other reason than the fact that the AT Pro has been in use for far longer (and the AT Pro has been a very dominant seller).

    The Equinox has all sorts of buzz surrounding it. That will change when the next “greatest thing since sliced bread” comes out. That could be this year, or the next, or whenever, but it will happen. And when that machine comes out there will be Equinox owners who wonder if their machine is letting them down.

    I have no doubt that the Equinox is a capable machine, but part of the reason you’re seeing so many finds with the Equinox (posted here) is that it is a popular machine (lots of them bought) and many of the hard core hunters are using the Equinox. Not only are those hunters likely to hunt more frequently – but they’re more likely to really know the machine they’re using.

    I suspect those hard core hunters are also more likely to do the research necessary to find quality locations [to hunt]. I’d go even further and guess that those same hard core hunters would be posting the same finds (mostly anyway) if they were using a different (well made and capable) machine.

    I do believe the machine matters, but it is (in my opinion) the least important of the three main factors – location, hunter knowledge (knowing the machine used) and machine used. No matter how good the machine is, or how well the hunter knows the machine being used, if the location doesn’t have good targets that hunter won’t find any good targets.

    You can’t find what isn’t there.

    Only you can decide if the Equinox is the right machine.. for you. It could well be the right tool, or it could be a step in the wrong direction. Whatever the case may be, it will be you that makes the difference between success or not.

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2018
    North Atlanta
    Equinox 800, 6" coil, ProFind-35 pinpointer, sold: AT Pro with stock coil, Nel Thunder, Garrett 5" x 8" coil, Garrett Carrot.
    427
    723 times
    Relic Hunting
    I had the AT Pro for 3 years. Very good machine. Easy to learn and a solid performer. I now have owned the 800 since March 2018. to get the most out of the 800 you really have to study and practice. Yes will will do well in the standard modes on the 800 when you pick for your type of hunting like Park1,2 - field 1, 2, beach,1,2, gold 1,2. it is like having four separate detectors. But to get the best out of this truly good machine you have to apply yourself more than you would on the AT Pro. With this being said, if you do apply yourself, you will have a better machine than the AT Pro and be a much better hunter.
    Ogre1190, lenmac65, dts52 and 2 others like this.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Sep 2018
    Rhode Island
    Current-Deus. Past-Equinox, CTX, F75, AT Pro/Max, F44, Patriot.
    234
    368 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Im not going to sugar coat this. The Equinox is 2018 technology. It is super fast, deep and has adjustable iron volume. If you are serious about the hobby the AT series is outdated compared to not just the Equinox but most newly released machines. If you want relics and i see your from Mass (i am in RI) which means cella holes loaded with iron then you benefit greatly with an adjustable iron volume and fast recovery speed. The good thing is that the AT Pro still sells well on ebay and you can upgrade if you choose to. This is just my opinion but i hunt similar terrain, have had the AT Pro and Max and figured i would chime in.
    lenmac65, A2coins and sandmartin like this.
    iffy signals - youtube

  7. #7
    us
    Dec 2012
    lower hudson valley, N.Y.
    safari, ATPro, infinium, old Garrett BFO, Excal, Nox 800
    2,453
    2470 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I wouldn't worry about your ATP, it will find pretty much what an Equinox will find. I have friends in MA who use ATPs and they have some fantastic finds on early coins and relics. The Nox's multi-freq is way better in hot soil conditions and the salt beaches but MA soil is not that hot and I don't think the ATP will have any problems in your soil. No machine will find anything unless one gets the coil over a target, and getting your coil over good targets is the whole game. If you are patient I think you will do as well with the ATP as the Nox, and I have both. One thing I really like about the ATP is that there are many coil options available for it, and coils make machines more versatile.
    Last edited by gunsil; Feb 03, 2019 at 07:40 AM.
    Ya won't find nuthin' if ya don't hunt

  8. #8
    us
    Jun 2015
    NW CT
    Equinox800 / AT Pro / AT Gold / Makro Racer Vibra-probe / TRX pp
    1,052
    1360 times
    MD & NA artifacts
    Great advice from all the responses to your post. I've hunted with the AT Pro for about 10 years. Let me say that I do not have the luxury of spending hour upon hour MDing. I get out when other duties allow, so I am not spending more than 3 hours max on an outing. I think I've gotten to know my AT Pro pretty well, here in CT I usually hunt in Pro Zero mode with disc set at 35 or so, iron audio off unless used to better identify a trash target. While I've never had a banner find and probably never will, I've come up with some interesting finds as well as several coppers toasted beyond recognition. I, along with many other people, got swept up in the Nox craze and I bought the 800. It's a great machine but, at least in my case, is very challenging in terms of interpreting signals. I grew frustrated and eventually reverted to my Pro as my primary machine. I use the smaller coil and I think that it helps me identify better targets. Keep in mind that my wife accuses me of being tone-deaf (she may be right) and coupled with hearing loss, I'm not the guy who can read "subtle" targets as they are called on this site. I will make an effort to learn the Nox better and I look forward to hunting the salt water with the Nox. I learned early on that the Pro is nearly useless in salt water.

    In terms of depth, I agree with the others - you need to get the coil over the soil in order to find things. In my VERY limited experience with the Nox, I didn't notice an appreciable difference between the machines.

    And for those of you who think you might see an opportunity here, my Nox is NOT for sale!

    HH
    dts

  9. #9
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by villagenut View Post
    Sounds like you have had a measure of success with this machine....a more expensive unit won't gaurantee better results. First know your detector, lots of hours to put in.second, pass your coil over a good target. Without both of these factors, you will always have less than better results. I say, give your pro more hours and find a good spot and be patient.JMHO
    Thanks for your thoughts. I am definitely giving it more time, as I do like the machine. Finding good spots is a challenge, though I do have a few in mind.
    .
    Davers and villagenut like this.

  10. #10
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by mindcrime1988 View Post
    That's just how this hobby works. If you're worried about finding older coins & relics, I have found items from the Roman and medieval times with my AT Pro. Granted I was living in Germany when I found them but it's proof the AT Pro can sniff out those really old items. Bottom line: be patient and learn your machine (whichever one you may be using).
    Thanks for the insights. This particular comment I find especially encouraging.

  11. #11
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Tahts-a-dats-ago View Post
    I have no doubt that the Equinox is a capable machine, but part of the reason you’re seeing so many finds with the Equinox (posted here) is that it is a popular machine (lots of them bought) and many of the hard core hunters are using the Equinox. Not only are those hunters likely to hunt more frequently – but they’re more likely to really know the machine they’re using.

    I suspect those hard core hunters are also more likely to do the research necessary to find quality locations [to hunt]. I’d go even further and guess that those same hard core hunters would be posting the same finds (mostly anyway) if they were using a different (well made and capable) machine.
    All very good points. It is just hard to ignore the number of finds posted using the Equinox. I don't necessarily think the Equinox is the right machine for me; I am just looking for greater assurance that the AT Pro is reasonably effective and capable of finding some of the older finds if I am lucky enough to get access to a good spot. Thanks again.
    dts52 likes this.

  12. #12
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by pulltabfelix View Post
    I had the AT Pro for 3 years. Very good machine. Easy to learn and a solid performer. I now have owned the 800 since March 2018. to get the most out of the 800 you really have to study and practice. Yes will will do well in the standard modes on the 800 when you pick for your type of hunting like Park1,2 - field 1, 2, beach,1,2, gold 1,2. it is like having four separate detectors. But to get the best out of this truly good machine you have to apply yourself more than you would on the AT Pro. With this being said, if you do apply yourself, you will have a better machine than the AT Pro and be a much better hunter.
    Very helpful. I agree the AT Pro is easy to learn, so I guess I am glad I did not start with the Equinox. I am still pondering whether to get a newer machine though, but I am calming down a bit about my AT Pro though. Thanks!
    Slowtaknow likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Iffy Signals View Post
    Im not going to sugar coat this. The Equinox is 2018 technology. It is super fast, deep and has adjustable iron volume. If you are serious about the hobby the AT series is outdated compared to not just the Equinox but most newly released machines. If you want relics and i see your from Mass (i am in RI) which means cella holes loaded with iron then you benefit greatly with an adjustable iron volume and fast recovery speed. The good thing is that the AT Pro still sells well on ebay and you can upgrade if you choose to. This is just my opinion but i hunt similar terrain, have had the AT Pro and Max and figured i would chime in.
    Thanks! Luckily, I can handle the truth. Given the Equinox is newer technology and a higher end model, I suspected it is superior to the AT Pro. I don't get to put the time in and don't have a lot of cellar hole spots yet, so maybe the Equinox is not a good choice for me. However, if anyone knows of a model similarly priced as the AT Pro but with the more recent technology and depth greater depth capabilities, I am open to suggestions. Submersible is not important, as I do have the AT Pro, though I have not used it underwater yet. Thanks again, neighbor.
    Iffy Signals and Slowtaknow like this.

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by gunsil View Post
    I wouldn't worry about your ATP, it will find pretty much what an Equinox will find. I have friends in MA who use ATPs and they have some fantastic finds on early coins and relics. The Nox's multi-freq is way better in hot soil conditions and the salt beaches but MA soil is not that hot and I don't think the ATP will have any problems in your soil. No machine will find anything unless one gets the coil over a target, and getting your coil over good targets is the whole game. If you are patient I think you will do as well with the ATP as the Nox, and I have both. One thing I really like about the ATP is that there are many coil options available for it, and coils make machines more versatile.
    Thanks for the reply. I do find those insights encouraging.
    gunsil likes this.

  15. #15
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro
    160
    438 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by dts52 View Post
    Great advice from all the responses to your post. I've hunted with the AT Pro for about 10 years. Let me say that I do not have the luxury of spending hour upon hour MDing. I get out when other duties allow, so I am not spending more than 3 hours max on an outing. I think I've gotten to know my AT Pro pretty well, here in CT I usually hunt in Pro Zero mode with disc set at 35 or so, iron audio off unless used to better identify a trash target. While I've never had a banner find and probably never will, I've come up with some interesting finds as well as several coppers toasted beyond recognition. I, along with many other people, got swept up in the Nox craze and I bought the 800. It's a great machine but, at least in my case, is very challenging in terms of interpreting signals. I grew frustrated and eventually reverted to my Pro as my primary machine. I use the smaller coil and I think that it helps me identify better targets. Keep in mind that my wife accuses me of being tone-deaf (she may be right) and coupled with hearing loss, I'm not the guy who can read "subtle" targets as they are called on this site. I will make an effort to learn the Nox better and I look forward to hunting the salt water with the Nox. I learned early on that the Pro is nearly useless in salt water.

    In terms of depth, I agree with the others - you need to get the coil over the soil in order to find things. In my VERY limited experience with the Nox, I didn't notice an appreciable difference between the machines.

    And for those of you who think you might see an opportunity here, my Nox is NOT for sale!

    HH
    dts
    Nice post with some helpful insights and humor. I agree that I got a lot of thoughtful and helpful responses to my post. I think I am calming down a bit, and will take the time to continue to develop my AT Pro skills. I am still open to another newer machine though; however, I don't think I will be able to "swing" the Equinox ($$) . Like you, I don't get to dedicate big chunks of time for detecting, as I have four younger boys at home and am still years away from retirement. That said, the Equinox might be a bit intimidating to learn. Maybe there is a more affordable machine with newer technology than the AT Pro that is not so intimidating - perhaps something like a Teknetics t2 if I eventually step off the ledge?? Thanks again!

 

 
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