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Thread: Its down to Two machines. Help me make a choice.

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  1. #16
    Nov 2017
    DBP2010, eeTH, Felezjoo
    178 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I'd vote for f44 between the two. Hovewer, there are many fine detectors in this price range; Simplex+, Pirate, Golden Mask......
    RustyGold likes this.

  2. #17
    Jan 2019
    EQ800, T2SE
    297 times
    Metal Detecting
    I can appreciate your situation. It's hard to make a choice. From reading your original post it appears you want simplicity that works without a lot of playing with settings.
    First let's look at your 2 original choices.
    Ace 400-
    Cons: 1) For some, hard to see display. 2) NOT waterproof or weatherproof in any way. 3) Some say the Garretts perform poorly concerning unmasking good targets in the presence of iron. 4) Some hate the tones
    Pros: 1) Garrett has a good support reputation. 2) You can get aftermarket non-garrett coils to fit it, expanding capabilities. 3) The Ace line has proven to be reliable and long-lived.

    Fisher F44-
    Cons: 1)We already know that First Texas has shut down "hobby" operations due to COVID-19. That is a negative from a support perspective. 2) Not Waterproof (it is "weatherproof") 3)Users have reported problems with the keypad of certain Fisher and Teknetics detectors.
    Pros: 1) Can get aftermarket coils for it. 2)"Weatherproof" meaning it can take a light drizzle without damaging it (I guess) 3)Simple to operate with decent display

    Concerning the 2 detectors you mentioned above initially, I'd choose the Ace 400, even though my eyes can't see the display well. I must admit that Garrett is there for the customer, and that means a lot. The Ace line has been around a while, and people continue to find good things with them. Not my cup of tea anymore, but would be a good "beater"

    I would like for you to consider what others have mentioned. Namely the Minelab Vanquish 440 and the Simplex + with wireless headphones.
    The Vanquish is NOT waterproof. The Simplex is waterproof and includes wireless headphones (must make sure you get that model if that interests you).
    Vanquish is multi-frequency where the Simplex is not. Both the 440 and the Simplex can only use the factory available coils, no aftermarket choices currently.
    Minelab support once upon a time sucked bad, but is now very good. Nokta, I do not have enough info on, but hear they will take care of the customer also.
    Both Vanquish and Simplex are "new" and do not have the years in the field that The F44 and Ace 400 have. Initial Simplex shipments had bad coils, and some others reported issues. Nokta is heavily developing their firmware and supply updates regularly at this point, they are listening. It's mostly enjoyed by those that buy it. It is however a single frequency VLF machine.
    The Vanquish I've not heard of any large scale failure or major issues. Multi-frequency like the Equinox, just a wee bit neutered with very simple settings. This simplicity is what makes it attractive to those like yourself, who want to simply get out and hunt with a capable detector.

    Best advice is to go to the websites and download manuals. Thumb through them and see which one makes the most sense to you.

    My vote considering the pricing range if other detectors were up for consideration??
    Vanquish 440 1st choice. Simplex with headphones 2nd choice.
    I'd gladly hunt with either. The Simplex offers far more though for your dollar

  3. #18

    Feb 2020
    Minelab SDC 2300, Equinox 800/600, Vanquish 340, XP ORX, Teknetics G2+, Tek Point, Garrett Carrot, Gold Hog River Sluices and Flow Pan, Royal Mini High Banker.
    55 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    The Ace 400 and for the Ace, I would wait for the new Apex release.

    The F44 appears to be a relatively new detector. It isn't. It is a Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro/Teknetics Liberator in a newer designed control housing which actually is really nice. The F44 is a very light weight well designed detector and you get the 5 year warranty. First Texas will be reopening soon I'm sure. If you have low mineralization then you should be OK with the F44 but it is not a deep detector.

    Those that have mentioned the Simplex and the Vanquish are giving you good advice. You could also go with a Teknetics Patriot (which is the same as the F70) a Teknetics T2, or a Whites MX7 (really nice detector in low to moderate mineralization). The Simplex's big brother, the Makro Kruzer is a really good detector too.


  4. #19
    Feb 2010
    East Coast
    Fisher F75ltd,TDI Minelab Excailber
    820 times
    I loved my old xlt and kept moving up with whites; DFX, V3i and then switched over to Fisher F75. In good ground it works very well. I'm in iron infested sites most of the time.and use 2 tone. I like to get as many non ferrous targets as fast as I can. Fast pin point. fast ID and fast dig. I'm not in any rush but it works well for me and enjoyable. I believe the F44 is based on the same platform but do go by me, just ask my detecting friends.

  5. #20
    Aug 2016
    Middleburgh, NY
    Whites: Spectra V3i, MX Sport, Bullseye TRX. Fisher: F75 LTD, 1280-X, F2. XP: Deus. Minelab: X-terra 70, Garrett: AT Pro, Ace 250, Propointer II. Tesoro: Compadre. Bounty Hunter: LRP, QDP, 3300, 2200,
    180 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Out of the 2 you mentioned I would go with the F44. Reasons being you'll get equal depth, but better target separation, better ergonomics, and some more advanced features to help distinguish junk from keepers. The F44 is also weatherproof. You really can't go wrong either way, but I see those factors as King makers in this scenario. That aside, I do have to echo what so many of these guys are saying here. Simplex or Vanquish models provide far more for your money. Many people have been so impressed with the Simplex at as little as $254 that they strongly believe it belongs in the top tier of performance. I don't know this to be true as I've not had one in my hands, and since my collection of machines are already top tier I haven't given in to curiosity enough to buy and try. I do have an Equinox 800 and can tell you that Multi-IQ, which is also the base technology for the Vanquish (starting at $199) is amazing. So consider those machines as well. I second Loco's advice on Pinpointer, even if it's bare bones. They are that helpful. After having tried all but the new Makro Pulsedive my favorites are the Whites Bullseye TRX and the Teknetics Tek-point (or Fisher F-Pulse).

  6. #21
    Aug 2016
    Middleburgh, NY
    Whites: Spectra V3i, MX Sport, Bullseye TRX. Fisher: F75 LTD, 1280-X, F2. XP: Deus. Minelab: X-terra 70, Garrett: AT Pro, Ace 250, Propointer II. Tesoro: Compadre. Bounty Hunter: LRP, QDP, 3300, 2200,
    180 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just to echo another sentiment of Loco's, don't be afraid to buy used to get more for your money. Many, if not most people buy a machine, never touch it or run it a couple of times and then sell it for relatively nothing when they get tired of moving it around or seeing it in their closet. The only machine I've ever bought brand new was the Equinox 600 until a used 800 became available. So if it weren't going to be something like a Simplex or Vanquish, look for used. Just to give you an idea how much you can save, I bought a CTX-3030 for $1,100 (saving over $1,400), a V3i for $700 (saving $800), Equinox 800 with Profind 35 for $500 (saving $500+), and in the past I've bought machines in the mid to low range at well below half off retail. Ive bought machines like the XLT you mentioned for as little as $125. Garrett Ace 350 for as little as $100. It pays to look around a bit.

  7. #22
    Sep 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    Garrett AT Pro, AT Gold, ATX, MH7 (oldie!) Minelab Explorer SE Pro, EQ800
    4066 times
    Find a great deal on a used Garrett AT Pro for le$$ than you were going to pay for the ace 400.

    I know...this probably isn't helping but you only get to spend that money once!

  8. #23

    Jul 2018
    Eastern Connecticut
    Garrett AT Max/ Garrett AT Pro/ Garrett Ace 400/ Garrett Pro Pointer 2 / Garrett Z-Lynk AT Propointer
    3216 times
    Metal Detecting
    I can't really rate the F44, never having one but my girlfriend had an F2 and it LOVED deep cans and you couldn't detect if you were ANYWHERE near a cell tower. I have an Ace 400 that I use as a backup unit to my AT Pro and for the money it's a good detector, having hit on sterling rings at up to 9 inches deep. I'd vote for the Ace 400.

  9. #24
    Feb 2014
    Ohio and Florida
    CTX3030 w 11" and 17" DD coils, Minelab Excalibur II w 10" coil, Equinox 800 w 11" and 15" coils, Troy Shadow x2 w 7" coil, Pointers; Garrett Carrot, Pro Find 35, Vibra-Tector 730 w 4" coil
    1832 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Between the two I'd get a Vanquish 440 or 540 since you're in that price range. Also, if you EVER want to hunt salt water beaches the Vanquish is the ONLY way to go. Just saying.
    Metal Detecting Goal in Life is to Find Wife a 2ct Diamond Ring (so she'll be quiet about all my metal detecting).

  10. #25
    Nov 2017
    DBP2010, eeTH, Felezjoo
    178 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I know Minelab ia a reputated company, non the less i would give the Vanquish line mor time for the true performance to crystal out, somethimes a well designed single frequency machine gives better results. Just saying...


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