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Thread: Need help finding the right metal detector

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  1. #1

    Mar 2019
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    15 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Need help finding the right metal detector

    I used to go metal detecting many years ago when I was younger. Now I decided I wanted to get back into it as a new hobby. I would like to use it mostly for the beach and also parks and other places. I also have a place in the desert where I could also use it. I don't want a cheap unit as I would like a better one that would last me a long time. I have found a deal on a Whites Spectra V3i Metal Detector but have read it may be overkill for a newby. What unit is a good one for my needs? Is new or used better? Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2014
    Massachusetts
    Garrett: AT Pro, AT Gold & Infinium; Minelab: Explorer SE, II & X-terra 705; Tesoro: Tejon & Outlaw; White's: V3i & DFX
    23,012
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    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    If you found a good deal on the V3i you can simply purchase and use the stock programs. Then as you learn (practice, reading...etc.) adjust the many menu selections. This detector has a learning curve, since its not a beginner machine. I like mine...fun to use and the graphics are wonderful. For beach detecting it works since its multi frequency, but beware it is not waterproof and is a bit heavy. Enjoy the search for your new detector, there are many fine machines produced by the manufactures and all have a following here on Tnet.
    GL&HH
    TerryC likes this.

  3. #3

    Mar 2019
    6
    15 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Professor of Engineering View Post
    If you found a good deal on the V3i you can simply purchase and use the stock programs. Then as you learn (practice, reading...etc.) adjust the many menu selections. This detector has a learning curve, since its not a beginner machine. I like mine...fun to use and the graphics are wonderful. For beach detecting it works since its multi frequency, but beware it is not waterproof and is a bit heavy. Enjoy the search for your new detector, there are many fine machines produced by the manufactures and all have a following here on Tnet.
    GL&HH
    I am a woman so maybe if its heavy it may not be as good for me. Any recommendations?

  4. #4
    us
    Deep1

    Dec 2018
    Carolina Lowcountry
    Nox 800, Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II, Poor ole wore out Fisher 1266 that still finds stuff.
    97
    230 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    The V3I is a very good detector.
    If the price is right and you feel you could resell for what you pay, I would buy it.
    That way, if it's too heavy you can sell it.
    If you're mostly beach hunting, I think the Equinox 800 is a good choice as well.
    It is a good stable, deep machine on the beach.
    Even through the V3I is heavier to me, but it is better balanced.
    All of the higher tier detectors have a learning curve.
    There's not one out there that you're going to pick up and find the deepest, hardest to find targets without getting to know it.
    The factory programs are set for optimum performance in average conditions and will serve you well while you learn your machine.
    Once you get to know your detector better, you can start to customize programs for your conditions.

    Here's the V3I manual, all 62 pages, I know it seems overwhelming, it was to me and probably most people that read it:
    https://www.kellycodetectors.com/pdf...ion_manual.pdf

    Here's the Minelab 800 manual, all 69 pages:
    https://www.kellycodetectors.com/pdf...00_english.pdf

    There are other good detectors out there as well.
    These 2 are the ones I have most experience with.
    If the price is right, go with the V3I.
    Come on back into the great hobby of metal detecting, we're here to help you enjoy it.
    If it's old, I'll dig it, dive on it, detect it or sometimes when I get lucky just bend over and pick it up.

  5. #5
    us
    Jun 2008
    Vale, Oregon
    Nokta Impact (2), FORS Relic (3), FORS CoRe (2) Makro Racer 2 Tesoro Vaquero, Bandido II µMAX, Silver Sabre µMAX & Mojave Makro and Nokta Pinpointers Killer-B 'Hornet' headphones
    26
    23 times
    Relic Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton
    I used to go metal detecting many years ago when I was younger. Now I decided I wanted to get back into it as a new hobby.
    First, 'Welcome' to Treasure Net, and Second, 'Welcome back' into the wonderful world of metal detecting. Glad to hear you're taking it up again, but sorry to hear you've been out of it for quite a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton
    I would like to use it mostly for the beach and also parks and other places. I also have a place in the desert where I could also use it.
    Your desired uses still seem a little vague to me. Wanting you use it for Beach Hunting is understandable, and do you mean salt water coastal beaches, inland freshwater lake and stream beaches or both?

    Parks and "other places" is one place you lost me. By "other places" were you referring to other typical urban Coin Hunting places like Schools, Parking Strips, Sports Fields, Private Yards, etc., etc. that would be in the Coin Hunting group like Parks? Or by "other places" were you including out-of-the-way locations more associated with Relic Hunting old Homesteads, Ghosts Towns, Logging and Mining Camps, Stage Stops, old RR Depot sites and sidings, Pioneer and Military Encampments and the like?

    You added that you have a place in the desert which would indicate more of a fit to the latter category. I was born in Utah and have spent most of my life in Oregon and Utah, and a bulk of my favorite detecting sites are associated with High Desert Plateau regions of Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and the like, so when you say 'desert' I think of such places 'Out West.' You didn't indicate where, in general, you live, but if you can travel to the desert or the beach, then perhaps you'd be interested in traveling to Ogden, Utah May 9th thru the 12th to participate in a 'Welcome-to-Hunt Outing' based out of Ogden, or the WTHO based out of Wells, Nevada from June 13th -16th.

    I've been coordinating the WTHO's every year, starting in 2015, and we average 15 to 25 attendees per outing, including both male and female participants. Our 10th WTHO in Ogden is only six weeks from this coming Thursday and I'll be in the area a day or two before to greet arrivals. It will be the first Outing we've held that will involve 'city-type' Coin Hunting in a lot of good-sized parks, but will also offer an opportunity to visit a couple of ghost towns or hunt other places away from manicured grassy areas. Every outing we welcome a newcomer or two or three who want to learn about detecting the types of sites we search, or just wanting to learn about their detectors and how to get the most out of them, as well as learn about other makes and models folks are using.

    If you've acquired a detector by then it would be a good experience, and if you're still shopping and trying to figure out what to invest in, it would also be very helpful because several participants have an extra detector or two they can loan out for use. Additionally, I bring along most of my person Detector Outfit (which includes an assortment of 10 detectors, today, from Fisher, Nokta, Teknetics, Tesoro and White's) as well as bringing along a few new to 'as-new' used models I have available for sale, but also to use as 'loaner units' for folks who are unprepared or want to check some different models out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton
    I don't want a cheap unit as I would like a better one that would last me a long time. I have found a deal on a Whites Spectra V3i Metal Detector but have read it may be overkill for a newby.
    To me, a 'cheap unit' would be one that is of inferior build quality, limited features, and quite often poor in-the-field performance. I have been a very Avid Detectorist for 54 years now, starting when I built my first Metal-Mineral Locator in early March of '65. I have worked for or worked with several manufacturers since '74 evaluating prototypes, and I've worked as a Dealer and Distributor for several brands and have made it a point to try and get my hands on any detector that interests me to evaluate. I have or have-had some of the better upper-dollar detectors offered, especially over the past decade, and I also have or have had and use some that I bought used in choice condition or brand new just in the past six months or so that fit the 'affordable' category.

    I primarily spend my time Relic Hunting older, out-of-the-way locations, but still put in urban Coin Hunting time like I used to. I own and use detectors that work, and work well, for various applications, and not of them are high-dollar specimens. I've had those that cost big bucks, but I wasn't all that impressed by many of them. Now, since my name is Monte I should have to clarify that I'm a guy and not a gal, but between the two upcoming Outings I'll turn 70, and I don't get around like I used to in those glorious younger age years. But even those were restricted for me. Due to a bad on-the-job back injury and other limiting health concerns, I have been getting around with a cane since March of '93, just a couple of months before I turned 44. Because of that I have to be detector weight-and-balance conscious. All of my Regular-Use Detectors and preferred search coil choices fit those requirements, so I know that you might want to be cautious of trying to handle heavier, awkward devices.


    [QUOTE=Simpleton]What unit is a good one for my needs? Is new or used better? Thank you for your help. [/QUOTE] It's really tough for someone to offer up a single unit or two of what unit might be good for you. The best thing you can do is check some out, try them out and see how they fit. Are the comfortable for a short hunt or could you last for a few hours of searching? Are they heavy overall, or perhaps a lighter control system but a nose-heavy design to try and handle? Are the controls 'Simple' to access and operate and easy-to-learn, and do they seem 'Functional' for what your needs might be, or are there too many, or are they too confusing to want to try and figure out?

    I am using my 15 kHz Nokta FORS CoRe (Coin & Relic) that I got in January of 2015, and 19 kHz Nokta FORS Relic I got in January of '16 as my two primary-use Relic Hunting detectors. I also have a 2nd specimen of each of those models that I bought slightly used shortly after that I keep a different search coil mounted for areas of limited trash. My 10 kHz Tesoro Bandido II µMAX (pronounced microMAX) and Silver Sabre µMAX I acquired used but in choice condition. My 7.8 kHz Teknetics Omega 8000 I acquired last fall is also a discontinued model in excellent condition, and the 13.89 kHz White's MXT All-Pro I acquired from a friend this month is a refurbished unit that looks great. The only 'brand new' detectors I have in my current Outfit are a 7.69 kHz Fisher F44 and 13 kHz Teknetics T2+ and I bought both of them in the past month.

    New or used, they are an electronic device and if they are treated well, and I've pampered all my equipment for over half-a-century, they will hold up well and continue to provide exceptional service. I added the operating frequencies of what I have because that can sometimes be a consideration for what detector choice you make and the places you plan to search.

    As for the White's V3i specifically, I have a good friend who has one in his 3-detector team and he has learned it quite well. He also seems to be doing the bulk of his hunting with a newer White's model of half the MSRP. I was provided one a week before their original introduction as the Vision. It was a rush-to-market product that had numerous glitches and I went through a few repairs and replacements before they ever even changed the name to the Spectra V3. Then, in early 2012, I had a V3i to use along with my MXT Pro (which I definitely preferred at the time from White's) when I was a White's Master Dealer. I didn't care for the original version, nor the final revision after the glitches were fixed and it progressed to the V3i. It had a quirky sweep speed and sweep hesitation or delay required before a reverse sweep and other annoyances, and just didn't come close to the performance of their own MXT Pro or renamed All-Pro.

    I know some folks like them, and that's fine. If ANY detector satisfies someone and works for them and the types of hunting they do and site challenges they encounter, that's fine. Have fun and enjoy this great sport. But for me, the V3i was too over-priced and still has some operational quirks that don't fit MY wants and needs. Besides, it's more fatiguing than anything I own and use today.

    Be patient. Don't rush to purchase a detector until you're more comfortable with understanding what you expect in performance, what it can offer, and even read through the operator's manuals on-line to get to know some of the models you're considering. Unfortunately, we don't have the number of local detector dealers we used to have so you're limited on where you can visit to see them and handle them. As you work through the ideas and consider products, ask away on the forums, and I'd welcome an e-mail to my addresses below if you have any specific or personal opinion questions.

    Opinions and thoughts from Vale, Oregon,

    Monte
    Last edited by Monte; Mar 24, 2019 at 11:39 AM.
    TerryC and DizzyDigger like this.
    "Your eyes, the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"
    Stinkwater Wells
    Trading Post
    For metal detector and detecting information and knowledge.
    A 'how-to' source hosting seminars and helping individuals
    to learn and have fun today to create their own memories.


    monte@stinkwaterwells.com or monte@ahrps.org
    503-481-8147

  6. #6
    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....
    9,193
    6398 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    If you're looking for a new all around machine, You can't beat the Minelab Equinox for performance along with value. Get the 800 if you can afford it, 600 if you can't. Used machines would depend on model and price. There are some good deals out there, but, there are some dogs too. Getting a new detector, you're less likely to get a defective machine, and most dealers will offer tips on use, and have some after purchase support. Check here on Tnet with our supporting vendors for some good deals.
    TerryC and RustyGold like this.
    "jus cuz it's wrote down, don't make it so"

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2014
    Massachusetts
    Garrett: AT Pro, AT Gold & Infinium; Minelab: Explorer SE, II & X-terra 705; Tesoro: Tejon & Outlaw; White's: V3i & DFX
    23,012
    22038 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    When I detect with the V3i and some of the heavy Minelabs, I use a detector harness! The machines have virtually no weight and can be swung effortlessly for many hours.

    Good Luck in you metal detector research and purchase.
    TerryC, RustyGold and sandmartin like this.

  8. #8

    Mar 2019
    6
    15 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thank you everyone for all your information. After reading what your thoughts were I have decided against the used Whites V3i, I was a bit concerned buying a used one that was still a bit pricey but seemed like a good deal from what I have found ( $1000.00). Seems like from what I read on here it really wasn't that great of a deal and zero warranty. I used to go metal detecting with my Aunt and Uncle many years ago when I was young kid. Now that I am older I needed a new hobby and I remember how much fun I had with them at the beach metal detecting. I live in Southern California and would like to go metal detecting at the beaches here and also parks, houses, urban places basically. I also have a house in Lake Havasu City, AZ where I find myself spending more time at and the lake there would be a fantastic place to metal detect also. I would like to find a fairly good unit that will work great and fit my needs. I can budget approx. $1000.00 and I would like to get a good one that would last me awhile. I've seen some metal detectors here for sale but not too many unless I'm looking in the wrong place. New or used I would just like a good unit that will last and won't get outdated too quickly with all the new technology constantly changing. Thoughts from anyone would be great, and thank you for all the responses and info.
    devldog, TerryC and RustyGold like this.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Yarnell, AZ
    Ace 250 (2), Gold Bug 2, Tesoro Cortes, Garrett Sea Hunter, Whites TDI SL SE, Fisher Impulse 8, Minelab Monster 1000, Falcon MD20, Garrett pinpointer.
    6,463
    6588 times
    Metal Detecting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Welcome to Treasurenet! Check with a reputable dealer. Suggest You start with Kellyco in FL. Or any of the dealers that are listed here. IMPORTANT to use the dealers listed here as they must live with your critique of how they treated you here. Keep it in the family, so to speak. I have been detecting since '70 and have used MANY detectors. I have detected all the surfing beaches your way from Seal Beach up to Manhattan Beach back in the '80s. I have had and used PI machines, BFOs, and VLFs. You are asking quite a bit for just one machine. Do some calling and talk to dealers about Garrett, Fisher, Minelab, or any other major brand. Maybe a low end (but reliable) Ace 300 or 350. A name brand unit will hold up to all but the harshest abuse. Expect to get a weight of about 3 pounds minimum. If heavier, get a unit that allows you to put the "box" on your waist (when I was doing this I dedicated a belt to the unit) so the coil and arm was not so heavy. A well balanced unit is easier to swing for longer detecting sessions than those that seem "front heavy". Your manner of swinging the coil also has a lot to do with the perceived weight. You got a lot to learn so sit down and do the research. PM me for more info if you wish. AZ is a good place to detect for relics and gold but not so many tot lots (coins). TTC
    RustyGold likes this.
    I can't change what happened yesterday. But today, I will work on a better tomorrow.

  10. #10
    us
    Mar 2019
    Southern California
    Minelab Equinox 800
    63
    152 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    I went with Equinox 800

    I know your dilemma. A few months ago, I decided to get into metal detecting. I scoured the forums and Youtube, and narrowed my choices down the Minelab CTX 3030, XP Deus, Minelab Equinox 800. The White V3i was a distant 4th. I finally decided on the Minelab Equinox 800. The main criteria that favored the Equinox 800 was its cost, waterproofness and ease of use. I've only had it a week now, starting off using one of the stock settings (Park 1). I've already found myself already starting the tweak the settings, from the info found on Treasure Net, and using a 3-tone setting and a coin detecting setting You can see here what I've already found on my property in just a week's time using the Equinox 800 here:

    First day finds with the Equinox 800

    Oh, by the way, I'm also in Southern California.
    TerryC, AllenJ and RustyGold like this.
    Mineland Equinox 800

  11. #11

    Mar 2019
    6
    15 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Seems like alot of people here are leading me to the Equinox 800. Please keep me posted since you are a newby like myself and have had this for a short time you could give me some good opinions. Also where did you buy yours at and did you buy a package or just the unit? I need to watch some more Youtube videos to learn more. I just discovered this website and have learned so much already thanks to all you wonderful people!

  12. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    TerryrSoloman.com

    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
    Minelab GPZ 7000; Equinox 600 -- Tesoro Mojave -- Grave Digger Tools Nemesis shovel, Sidekick hand digger -- Bunk's Hermit Pick
    16,394
    21591 times
    Metal Detecting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I have been dealing with Keith at Fort Bedford Metal Detectors for over a year now - got my Minelab Equinox from him. Unless you plan to hunt gold nuggets, get the Equinox 600. I use it on the beach on Long Island, NY, in the farm fields and woods upstate, and in parks and tot-lots. If you are going to nuggetshoot, the 800 is your machine. Good Luck!

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Travis Mitchell

    Feb 2016
    Elizabethtown, IN
    Whites V3i, Whites MX5, Fisher F22
    327
    439 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    If you can afford the extra money for the 800 there are more features than just the nugget hunting.
    - Tone break
    - Back Light Settings

    May or may not be important to you. The 600 & 800 are both lightweight machines that you can swing for hours.

    - I think you did good by passing on the V3i. I have had both and there is a world of difference in weight & battery life also bought my V3i from Keith at Fort Bedford.
    TerryC likes this.

  14. #14
    us
    Mar 2019
    Southern California
    Minelab Equinox 800
    63
    152 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton View Post
    Seems like alot of people here are leading me to the Equinox 800. Please keep me posted since you are a newby like myself and have had this for a short time you could give me some good opinions. Also where did you buy yours at and did you buy a package or just the unit? I need to watch some more Youtube videos to learn more. I just discovered this website and have learned so much already thanks to all you wonderful people!
    I bought my Equinox 800 new from Big Boys Hobbies (BBH) and Bart gave me a discount price. BBH is a sponsor of Treasure Net and a highly regarded dealer.

    I did not get the bundle because in my research, I determined that I wanted different accessories than what was provided in the bundle. You'll need a pinpointer, digger and shovel in addition to the metal detector. For the pinpointer, I went with Garrett Pro Pointer AT, which is pretty much the consensus choice for a top-of-the-line pinpointer. For diggers and shovels, Lesche is a great option. Though I wanted double serrations down the sides of the blades, which cuts through roots like butter, which I now really appreciate since my yard has lots of tree and grass roots. So for the digger I went with Whites Digmaster digger. For the shovel, I went with the Piranha by Predator Tools (founded by George Lesche & wife). Predator Tools has a huge - and overwhelming - selection of shovels - with different lengths, handles & weight, so you can choose the one that fits you the best. Shovel selection is a whole different topic.
    eman1000 and TerryC like this.
    Mineland Equinox 800

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Aug 2013
    OC, CA
    XP Deus, Equinox 800 & 600 720i Stealth Scoop
    6,927
    6255 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    I’m a SoCal beach hunter and no other detector that would be perfect for your other than the Minelab Equinox.
    I’d get the 800 over the 600 for the extra features.
    The Equinox detectors are very lightweight and can handle the wet/damp sand and saltwater. Perfect for our SoCal beaches.
    You will need a sand scoop and I recommend the Stealth 720i with a long CF handle. The scoop is a high quality Stainless Steel and add to it the Carbon Fiber handle and you will have an extremely lightweight scoop for the beach and water.
    The features on the 800 will allow you to nugget hunt for gold where as the 600 doesn’t have the full feature set that the 800 has.
    I hunt Bolsa in Huntington Beach. If you would like to try the Equinox for yourself, I have a new second Equinox 600.
    Best of luck and welcome to TreasureNet!
    Rusty
    cudamark and TerryC like this.


    We are not what we take, we are what we leave.

 

 
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