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  1. #1
    us
    Dec 2011
    26
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

    Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?


    Hello,

    I am brand new at this and have spent the past week researching everything about what kind of metal detector to buy. I have talked to Metal detector.com and Kelly company on the phone. I have seen countless reviews, videos, manuals and etc. I have just purchased a condo right on the St. Pete Beach in Florida. I am basically retired at 48 and will be there mostly as a snow bird. I plan on metal detecting instead of golfing everyday. My wife and I will be doing this together. I plan on going no deeper than waist deep in the ocean. All I know is I want a waterproof metal detector with a warranty. Also I will be doing wet sand and dry white sand from Key West Atlantic Ocean and Miami to St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Gulf Beaches.

    The consencious is Minelab Excalibur, Fisher CZ-21, Garrett AT Pro, Fisher 1280 and 5th place Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II. Now this is what I have been told in order basically by the "experts" for Salt Water submersion and beach combing.

    After another full day of researching and great expert advice, I am leaning towards purchasing the Minelab Excalibur 1000. Is the Minelab Excalibur the only metal detector I will ever need? Is the Excalibur 1000 better than the 800? Is the Minelab Sov GT a better detector, but just not waterproof? How reliable are they? Do they break down after the one-year warranty? What do repairs generally cost?

    Thank You

  2. #2

    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
    1,629
    135 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    You have answered your own question in a way by mentioning the Sovereign GT and coil sizes for the Excaliber. Most of the underwater detectors still have hard-wired coils and on miles of golden sand you will be more productive going to a larger coil size whilst at the top of the beach where rubbish contamination is very high smaller would be better.
    So the GT is better in that case especially as you could buy one and some extra coils for the price of an Explorer. You also have more adjustments with the GT which can further improve its performance.

    I don't know why the Fisher 1280 is on your list unless it does work better on Florida beaches but where I am it stays as it was designed as a fresh water machine. The Garrett's advantage is its cheap but it lacks in performance. I think the Whites Dual Field would be better. AT Pro I would discount in the water unless price is all because there's so much competition. You need to have the best.

    The best should be a pulse machine if you can put up with the lack of discrimination and you have to weigh up missing very little with the fact that a great deal of your time will be spent digging non productive holes at depth. If you can't cope with this then twin or multifrequency would be better.

    More repairs seem to be needed with the underwater models and because of the seals, cost more. I would not be happy with only having one u/w machine, you have to have a back up. So you could get an Excaliber for in the water and a GT for out (or a Garrett AT Pro which will allow a faster sweep speed so more ground covered in a given time).
    In the water you could substitute a CZ 20/21 for the Excaliber but you really need to try both for weight/design/balance. Or a CZ 5/6/6a or one of the 7's could replace the Sovereign out of the water. So much is down to personal taste.

    To cut costs you can get some real bargains with pre owned detectors which may have the balance of their warranties left (check if it will be transferred to you !) or many dealers give their own three month warranty. I would avoid buying an underwater detector secondhand off the web just in case its had a leak. Your not likely to get a free repair even if the detector is a week old if you or the previous owner have contributed to it happening.

    As it sounds like you will both be putting in the hours I can't stress enough weight/balance of a detector. You could be twelve months down the line with tennis elbow or worse. Some detectors will chest mount fine others won't. There's always bungy cord set ups to help but its always better to avoid health problems so if two detectors give similar performance I would go for the one I can use all day in comfort.

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
    Excal 1000, Excal II, Sovereign GT, CZ-20, Tiger Shark, Tejon, GTI 1500, Surfmaster Pulse, CZ6a, DFX, AT PRO, Fisher 1235, Surf PI Pro, 1280-X, many more because I enjoy learning them.
    11,988
    2109 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    EXCELLENT post Brian. I would only add that the CZ5,6 or 6a for the above water use can be hipmounted or hung from your neck and they are the land version of the CZ-20/21. The Sov GT with a WOT coil is great. But I still haven't gotten the WOT for mine. Instead I opted for the Sunray S-1 inline probe.
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    (C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
    "TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."

  4. #4
    us
    Dec 2011
    26
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    I sure appreciate your insight and time. The more I research and read posts; the more confused I get. Two things I want for sure are 1.) warranty 2.) waterproof metal detector. I may buy 2 metal detectors, but that's even harder trying to figure out which two. What concerns me is if I buy the Excalibur as my Only unit what happens if it is a lemon or needs repair? I have read review after review saying that 2 out of 10 Excaliburs are broken or you need to modify this or that or send it back to the manufacturer and it takes months to get back. That's not where I want to be. To have a waterproof metal detector is a small list. The Sov GT will eventually get wet, sprayed or dropped in the water and that is the end of a not completely waterproof metal detector. I really want the best (Excalibur), but not sure I can buy 2 detectors, because of the expense of the Excalibur.
    I keep thinking Garrett Sea Hunter and the Garrett AT Pro together is basically the same price as the Excalibur. And that is with two coils for the Sea Hunter. What I like about that is one's pulse and known for underwater and the AT Pro has readouts and lots of features and is water proof. Would a Garrett dealer give a good package for both detectors? I have talked to several dealers and they all are wanting to sell units now.
    I keep hearing about the Tesor Tiger and Sand Shark one is pulse the other VLF? I like it that they both have lifetime warranties. I plan on metal detecting 3-5 hours a day 300 days a year at least. So what machines hold up?
    The only machine I have had in my hands is the AT Pro and it feels good. I just don't understand how some reviews say not good in the salt water and some say great in salt water. Is the Garrett Sea Hunter dependable? It reminds me of a "Tank".

    Thank You for any input.

  5. #5
    lt
    Jun 2009
    minelab explorer xs
    430
    8 times

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    stop worrying, listen for people who spend tone of time in metal detecting--like me If you green to metal detecting by ONE just ONE detector and start detect to understand if this hobby for you. gold will not pop up in first day ore week ore month. Buy Excalibur, because I think its best compare with others producers models, buy second hand, dont worry if its 800 or 1000 they are the same. yes exist better under water detectors, but they are hand made buy people who knows what they are doing and made from Minelab Explorers or Etracs. But this is extreme and you dont need it, at least for now.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Big Boys Hobbies

    Jul 2005
    Moore Oklahoma
    Call for your Treasurenet special discount! Be sure to mention Tnet when you call!
    3,105
    385 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    Quote Originally Posted by U.K. Brian
    You have answered your own question in a way by mentioning the Sovereign GT and coil sizes for the Excaliber. Most of the underwater detectors still have hard-wired coils and on miles of golden sand you will be more productive going to a larger coil size whilst at the top of the beach where rubbish contamination is very high smaller would be better.
    So the GT is better in that case especially as you could buy one and some extra coils for the price of an Explorer. You also have more adjustments with the GT which can further improve its performance.

    I don't know why the Fisher 1280 is on your list unless it does work better on Florida beaches but where I am it stays as it was designed as a fresh water machine. The Garrett's advantage is its cheap but it lacks in performance. I think the Whites Dual Field would be better. AT Pro I would discount in the water unless price is all because there's so much competition. You need to have the best.

    The best should be a pulse machine if you can put up with the lack of discrimination and you have to weigh up missing very little with the fact that a great deal of your time will be spent digging non productive holes at depth. If you can't cope with this then twin or multifrequency would be better.

    More repairs seem to be needed with the underwater models and because of the seals, cost more. I would not be happy with only having one u/w machine, you have to have a back up. So you could get an Excaliber for in the water and a GT for out (or a Garrett AT Pro which will allow a faster sweep speed so more ground covered in a given time).
    In the water you could substitute a CZ 20/21 for the Excaliber but you really need to try both for weight/design/balance. Or a CZ 5/6/6a or one of the 7's could replace the Sovereign out of the water. So much is down to personal taste.

    To cut costs you can get some real bargains with pre owned detectors which may have the balance of their warranties left (check if it will be transferred to you !) or many dealers give their own three month warranty. I would avoid buying an underwater detector secondhand off the web just in case its had a leak. Your not likely to get a free repair even if the detector is a week old if you or the previous owner have contributed to it happening.

    As it sounds like you will both be putting in the hours I can't stress enough weight/balance of a detector. You could be twelve months down the line with tennis elbow or worse. Some detectors will chest mount fine others won't. There's always bungy cord set ups to help but its always better to avoid health problems so if two detectors give similar performance I would go for the one I can use all day in comfort.
    Great post Brian!! I agree as well.

    If your not going to get in the water the Minelab Sovereign GT makes much more sense! Holler for a great deal on either!



    Contact us for fastest and best service around!

    We will beat any price or deal. Have questions on a machine?
    Bart@BigBoysHobbies.net or Call or text 405-206-9010
    Minelab Metal Detectors, Whites Metal Detectors, Garrett Metal Detectors, XP Deus, Fisher Metal Detectors, Teknetics Metal Detectors


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  7. #7
    OBN
    OBN is offline
    us
    83+ on the CB List, Hammer time

    Dec 2008
    Ocean City / Chesapeake Bay
    ViperII / Diablo titanium scoops
    2,529
    1027 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    My Opinion, 90% of the good finds in Florida, are in the water (Knee to Neck). Get a water detector..preferably a Excalibur, or a CZ21, (10 inch coils). Sovereigns are great if your hunting up the East Coast where the water is ruff and people stay in closer to the shore, Florida, people go out in the water, deep. Get a long shaft for the Excalibur or hip mount it..same for the CZ. Stay away from a PI for your first detector....You have some Beautiful Clear water beach's to hit,
    don't put a limit on your hunting area's..be flexable.


    After another full day of researching and great expert advice, I am leaning towards purchasing the Minelab Excalibur 1000. Is the Minelab Excalibur the only metal detector I will ever need?
    Once you start finding treasure you will want different and more..it's called addiction

    Is the Excalibur 1000 better than the 800? Is the Minelab Sov GT a better detector, but just not waterproof?
    Each detector has it's own strengths on different beach's...Florida, West coast..10 inch excal


    How reliable are they? Do they break down after the one-year warranty?
    Sun and Salt are yours and the detectors worst enemy's, take care of them..wash off, silicon spray your new detector top to bottom, body coverage from the sun is best for you.

    What do repairs generally cost?
    CZ21, new insides, 375.oo.....Excalibur's 875.oo headphones CZ21...135..........excal........195. excal new coil...390.oo range

    On buying a used detector, I have bought 5 Excalibur's used, off the net, some threw members of the forums, a few off ebay..never had a problem...yet

    Advice on the wife's, buy her something VERY lite, weight is the issue for most women

    48 and retired, you are Blessed.........


  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
    Excal 1000, Excal II, Sovereign GT, CZ-20, Tiger Shark, Tejon, GTI 1500, Surfmaster Pulse, CZ6a, DFX, AT PRO, Fisher 1235, Surf PI Pro, 1280-X, many more because I enjoy learning them.
    11,988
    2109 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    Why some view the AT PRO as no good for saltwater is because it is a single freq unit and most run it with max sensitivity when it can't handle it. Salt concentrations with black sand vary at different locations, even day to day so what works good at one beach could get bad reviews from some others. Listen to OBN.
    (C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
    "TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."

  9. #9
    us
    Nov 2008
    PA
    Minelab CTX / XP Deus
    125
    15 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Is the Minelab Excalibur the best overall saltwater and beach detector?

    Listen to OBN. thumbsup

    OBN can probably give a review on just about anything to do with beach metal detecting. From detectors to scoops he has been lending his personal experience of the equipment here on the forums. Listen, Learn and Save Money!
    Swinging a detector on a beach is about as good as it gets

 

 

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