Equinox ownership poll. 600 or 800?

Which model Equinox do you have?

  • 600

    Votes: 28 32.9%
  • 800

    Votes: 61 71.8%

  • Total voters
    85

Jason in Enid

Gold Member
Oct 10, 2009
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The 600 doesn’t have 20 or 40khz at all.

It does. They are part of the multi-frequency spectrum used. Minelab has repeated stated that the 600 and 800 both use the exact same frequencies in multi-IQ settings.
 

cudamark

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Mar 16, 2011
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It does. They are part of the multi-frequency spectrum used. Minelab has repeated stated that the 600 and 800 both use the exact same frequencies in multi-IQ settings.

That's my understanding also, even though the manual seems to indicate it doesn't have the higher two.
 

JackalopeZL1

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Nov 22, 2014
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Obviously both great machines, But for me the 800 is a no brainer. If you don't want the headphones and wireless module you can sell them and be into a 800 for less then you can buy a 600, but with the extra features.
 

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
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XP Deus with HF/x35 Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML Tarsacci MDT 8000 GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek G2+/Delta/Whites MXT/Nokta Simplex/Garrett Carrot
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Have both (including a second 800 for backup and dedicated salt beach use and a 600 for family beach excursions).

The 600 IS a solid machine and if thousands of detectorists at one time considered the AT Pro a capable workhorse detector for the masses, then at the same (or better) price point, the 600 literally blows the AT Pro (and AT Max for that matter) out of the water IMHO.

However, I found whenever I used the 600 for beach or backup use after having primarily used the 800, I really missed the User Profile button which does not exist on the 600. I use that frequently to quickly switch between modes on the fly or when interrogating targets (I like to occasionally hit iffy targets with a second mode, different than the one I am searching with, often gold mode or a deep single frequency Park/Field mode to see if I can make the signal pop or confirm likely iron).

Also, to further clear up a misconception, the 600 DOES use the exact same MULTI IQ frequency SPECTRUM (roughly 5 through 40 khz) and Multi IQ signal processing as the 800 for the modes that are common between the 600 and 800. Neither the 600 nor the 800 transmits all five frequencies into the ground simultaneously in Multi IQ, it most likely transmits two or at most three of the five base frequencies and uses the properties of frequency multiplication and harmonics to roughly cover the spectrum from 5 to 40 khz that it monitors on the receive end. Electromagnetic physics shows that you would need ridiculously high transmit power to have enough energy to transmit all 5 discrete frequencies into the ground simultaneously to get the same signal response amplitude of a single frequency VLF detector. The two or three base frequencies used are dependent on the mode selected so that the frequency weighting is consistent with the desired primary target objective of the search profile/mode. This has been verified independently by folks who have hooked up oscilloscopes and frequency analyzers to their Equinoxes and ML implies as much in their Multi IQ literature posted to their site.

I suspect that in the name of keeping things "simple" and perhaps with a little spin doctoring from the marketing department to differentiate between the 600 and 800, ML correlated the five discrete single frequencies that they selected for the Equinox 800 single frequency modes to the multi IQ "cloud" diagrams in the manual and marketing materials. Once they decided to remove 2 of those 5 single frequency options from the 600, then confusion reigned supreme regarding the 600 and 800 multi IQ capabilities. I blame ML for trying to get a little too cute with the Multi IQ explanations and causing confusion because of what they refuse to reveal about how Multi IQ really works to protect their intellectual property from the competition.

In my opinion, instead of stripping some key features to artificially create a perceived "streamlined" 800 with the 600 (it is really no simpler to operate than the 800 because they are BOTH simple to operate), they should have just provided the same 800 detector features in both and just differentiated the models by excluding the wireless accessories to provide the price deltas. I don't see how you actually make a cheaper to manufacture detector by excluding some performance features (e.g., non-ferrous tone breakpoint customizatons) that are simply implemented in software with exactly the same hardware and electronics, but I digress...

Regarding 800's "gold mode", well I have never had the opportunity to use it for prospecting and as Jason has stated above, it is a completely different animal in the way it processes signals (not just the frequencies it uses) and provides the audio information to the user in a much different manner than the other "standard" modes on the Equinox and I have found it to be a killer in both highly mineralized or even mild soil conditions in thick iron to pick out some sweet deep keeper relics and coins and have even used it to success for jewelry on dry sand at beaches. So if you don't think you need gold mode because you don't prospect, then think again about how that mode can be used. On the flip side, the "2" modes on the 600 and 800 are optimized for mid-conductive targets and you will snag plenty of yellow stuff out of the ground using those modes on the dirt.

Having the wireless audio hardware already in the 800 box rather than having to get it from third parties or from the overpriced accessory store is a bonus and little things like being able to modify the non-ferrous tone breaks and tone pitch, variable brightness backlight and the ability to manually select the quietest EMI noise cancel channel should not be overlooked.

The 600 is a GREAT machine and a great value and has and will make for some happy detectorists, but the 800 just takes it to another level IMO. Sometimes you don't know what you are missing until you have used both.

HH
 
Last edited:

glabelle

Jr. Member
Apr 21, 2011
24
9
"Neither the 600 nor the 800 transmits all five frequencies into the ground simultaneously in Multi IQ, it most likely transmits two or at most three of the five base frequencies and uses the properties of frequency multiplication and harmonics to roughly cover the spectrum from 5 to 40 khz that it monitors on the receive end."

All 5 frequencies are transmitted in every single mode, on both the 600 and the 800. I have both and have measured the field of each with a spectrum analyzer.

Minelab's "secret sauce" is obviously in how they analyze the return signal.
 

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
4,910
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Detector(s) used
XP Deus with HF/x35 Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML Tarsacci MDT 8000 GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek G2+/Delta/Whites MXT/Nokta Simplex/Garrett Carrot
Primary Interest:
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"Neither the 600 nor the 800 transmits all five frequencies into the ground simultaneously in Multi IQ, it most likely transmits two or at most three of the five base frequencies and uses the properties of frequency multiplication and harmonics to roughly cover the spectrum from 5 to 40 khz that it monitors on the receive end."

All 5 frequencies are transmitted in every single mode, on both the 600 and the 800. I have both and have measured the field of each with a spectrum analyzer.

Minelab's "secret sauce" is obviously in how they analyze the return signal.

glabelle - I cannot refute that is what you are seeing with your FA traces and you should believe what you want to believe but I have also seen several Oscilloscope and FA traces and they are all over the map because folks are measuring different things, coil current, voltage fed into the coil, magnetic and electric fields emitted by the coil and everything in between and it is hard to differentiate whether there are actually 5 frequencies transmitted or whether the prominences from the effects of combining two or more frequencies are being measured and whether one is talking about the power being put into the coil and the power that is transmitted into the ground. I do know it takes a lot of power to transmit 5 discrete frequencies into the ground and still get usable return signal. And quite frankly, it doesn't really matter and can be debated endlessly. So I will let you duke it out with all the other folks who have posted their traces that contradict each other's claims in addition to ML's own statements that they limit the number of frequencies transmitted in any single mode to the minimum necessary*.

Instead, I will stick with what we can probably both agree on and what really matters to the detectorist, namely that Multi IQ works well (primarily because of ML's excellent signal processing algorithms as you mentioned) and Multi IQ is implemented identically in the 600 and 800 and frankly has little to do with the 5 discrete frequencies that the 800 spits out in single frequency mode (or the three that the 600 spits out or the two that the 800 spits out in gold mode single frequency). Minelab has just created a ball of confusion trying to inexplicably conflate the discrete single frequency capabilities of the detector with the spectrum that results from transmitting two or more signals of different frequencies simultaneously.

*“How many simultaneous frequencies?” you may ask, wondering if this is a critical parameter. Minelab has been carrying out detailed investigations into this in recent years. Just as you can colour in a map with many colours, the minimum number to differentiate between adjacent countries is only 4 – a tough problem for mathematicians to prove, over many years. Similar to the map problem, it’s perhaps not the maximum number of frequencies needed to achieve an optimum result, but the minimum number that is more interesting. When it comes to frequencies in a detector, to cover all target types, how the frequencies are combined AND processed is now more important, with the latest detectors, than how many frequencies, for achieving even better results.

The above from ML's Treasure Talk Multi IQ series part 2 here: https://www.minelab.com/usa/go-minelabbing/treasure-talk/equinox-technologies-part-2

Seems to me that if ML was actually transmitting 5 discrete frequencies simultaneously into the ground, they would want want explicitly trumpet that feat to the masses because in addition to being an incredible technical accomplishment based on the transmit power levels required to put that energy into the ground discretely with a hand-held detector, it would sound really neat to the marketeers trying to sell the thing. Instead we get the ambiguous, infamous, confusing and perhaps even misleading "cloud diagram" that just happens to line up with the discrete single frequency mode settings which should actually have nothing to do with each other. Weird.
 
Last edited:

glabelle

Jr. Member
Apr 21, 2011
24
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An oscilloscope measures voltage vs. time. Not the right instrument to measure what frequencies are being transmitted by a device. A spectrum analyzer displays what frequencies are present and is the correct instrument to use in this case. I used a coupling coil to pick up the field from the detector's coil, and fed it into a spectrum analyzer. If you would look at the more recent measurements on Geotech you would see earlier measurements were not good, but later ones corroborate what I found.

You can take Minelab's marketing jargon and use it any way you please. I actually measured the units, particularly because of the argument over whether the 600 output the same 5 freqs. as the 800 in multi - even though it does not allow you to use 20 or 40KHz independently. I have both, as I bought the 600 when I couldn't get the 800. I also observed that single frequencies are transmitted when they are selected. So I'm quite confident of my results.
 

vferrari

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Jul 19, 2015
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XP Deus with HF/x35 Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML Tarsacci MDT 8000 GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek G2+/Delta/Whites MXT/Nokta Simplex/Garrett Carrot
Primary Interest:
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An oscilloscope measures voltage vs. time. Not the right instrument to measure what frequencies are being transmitted by a device. A spectrum analyzer displays what frequencies are present and is the correct instrument to use in this case. I used a coupling coil to pick up the field from the detector's coil, and fed it into a spectrum analyzer. If you would look at the more recent measurements on Geotech you would see earlier measurements were not good, but later ones corroborate what I found.

You can take Minelab's marketing jargon and use it any way you please. I actually measured the units, particularly because of the argument over whether the 600 output the same 5 freqs. as the 800 in multi - even though it does not allow you to use 20 or 40KHz independently. I have both, as I bought the 600 when I couldn't get the 800. I also observed that single frequencies are transmitted when they are selected. So I'm quite confident of my results.

Fair enough, I will remain a skeptic, however. I neither believe the ML convoluted marketing materials any more than I do traces posted to forums without verification as to how they were generated. And referring to the website you referenced shows there is still plenty of debate on the subject so nothing is settled in that regard. Regardless, it is neither here nor there as the actual way in which ML executes Multi IQ probably shouldn't affect people's 600 vs. 800 buy decision nor the way they use their machines. Thanks for the additional info nevertheless.

Created a separate thread for more in depth discussion of this topic here: http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/e...-equinox-multifrequency-sort.html#post6192653
 
Last edited:

Doug H

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May 23, 2014
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Equinox 600
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I have a 600 as I was on a budget. Had I had the money I probably would have bought the 800. I would like to ask on this subject why so many folks seem to have a 600 and an 800. If you like either or and bought another of the same for a back up then I understand. But if you can afford an 800 what would be the purpose of owning a 600 as well.
 

vferrari

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Jul 19, 2015
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Detector(s) used
XP Deus with HF/x35 Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML Tarsacci MDT 8000 GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek G2+/Delta/Whites MXT/Nokta Simplex/Garrett Carrot
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I have a 600 as I was on a budget. Had I had the money I probably would have bought the 800. I would like to ask on this subject why so many folks seem to have a 600 and an 800. If you like either or and bought another of the same for a back up then I understand. But if you can afford an 800 what would be the purpose of owning a 600 as well.

There are a couple of logical reasons for getting the 600 and 800 vice 2 x 800's.

If you are intent on getting one as a backup or as a loaner for a friend or family member, the 600 is capable as a backup or loaner and you can save a few bucks rather than getting 2 800's. Others get a 600 as a dedicated water/beach machine and an 800 as their primary land machine allowing the less expensive 600 take the abuse that comes with salt water detecting. Also, the wireless audio accessories that come with the 800 can be shared with the 600. HTH.
 

vferrari

Silver Member
Jul 19, 2015
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XP Deus with HF/x35 Coils and Mi6 Pinpointer/ML Equinox 600/800/ML Tarsacci MDT 8000 GPX 4800/Garrett ATX/Fisher F75 DST/Tek G2+/Delta/Whites MXT/Nokta Simplex/Garrett Carrot
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600 here, no place for prospecting in upstate ny.

Joe - you made a great choice with the 600 but just wanted to clear up a common misconception about gold mode being useful ONLY for prospecting and to also point back to a thread I started around the time the Equinox came out that goes into detail about the differences between the 600 and the 800 for those wrestling with the 600 vs. 800 decision.

Alternate uses for gold mode are discussed in this post which appears earlier in this same thread:

http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/equinox/607525-equinox-ownership-poll-600-800-a.html#post6191275

In summary, Gold mode is very useful for relic, jewelry, or coin hunting anywhere on land, especially in thick iron situations or in highly mineralized soil because it uses a pitch based audio scheme vice tone ID whuch allows tiny or faint targets to be heard better in some cases. It is useful to be able to toggle back and forth between gold mode and one of the other modes, like Field 2 when trying to interrogate or characterize a target signal (also something you can only do on the 800 using the user profike button which is absent on the 600).

http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/e...mportant-thing-missing-600-a.html#post5733256

In summary, a lot more differences than just gold mode between the 600 and the 800 with some features and settings adjustment capabilities that are only present on the 800 that some might find very useful and regret not having.

That being said, I think the 600 is a great machine that can get almost any job done for any detectorist.
 

sgoss66

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Jan 11, 2011
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800 and 600 here. 800 as my primary, 600 as a backup. Though there is one thing I haven't seen mentioned, that drives me nuts about the 600 (that I didn't know about) -- and that is that you can't adjust threshold tone/pitch. I know, that seems like a TINY thing, but... I bought the 800 first, as my primary machine. I adjusted the threshold pitch to the tone I preferred, and it happened to be a very low pitch (similar to where I used to run the threshold on my Explorer). Then, I bought the 600, and unfortunately discovered that the 600's threshold pitch is set to a very high pitch. And so, since it can't be adjusted, it is really "obtrusive" to me; I have SO many hours on the 800, and got SO used to that very low pitch on the background threshold, that switching to the 600, where the threshold pitch can't be adjusted, it's like a constant "burr in my saddle" listening to that pitch. It totally throws me out of my "zone!" It's so annoying to me, that I may just swap the 600, for an 800...

But, as for the important things, a 600 is great machine, for the price, and just as capable as the 800 in terms of raw performance. Had I started out with my 800 set to high threshold pitch, I would have no complaints about the 600 (other than the user profile button).

Steve
 

detectorben

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Both. 800 is primary and 600 for backup or loaner for hunting partners
 

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