IM trying to decide on a Minelab/Etrac, or a GarrettATPRO? HELP!

TheRockDoc

Hero Member
May 28, 2011
622
5
Hello all, Chris again, I posted a thread a week ago asking for guidance and I got alot of good feedback. Great feedback actually and I gleaned alot of perspective from all of your opinions and veiwpoints. So where I am now, is that I have been doing as much reading and research as possible on different brands, reviews, and just whatever I can find online. I am pretty much to the point that I feel like if I buy anything different than the minelab Etrac, I will wished I had an etrac, (or at least wonder-what if?) Until I actually traded up and got the etrac. I am looking for any and all feedback on the etrac, when compared to other, say upper mid-level machines... (not sure exactly what upper mid-level is, I'll call it 400-800 price range.) But hopefully you guys get the point. What would some of you well versed MD'ists say if a begginner (never MD'd) asked you if he/she should buy the AT PRO or the Etrac? Bear in mind, that I 100% know for a fact that I will love detecting-and never quit, I will also guarantee that I will learn "my machine" as good or better than any other veteran/expert MD'ists out there ever have. Just how I am, i know I will love it, and I know I will master it and be the best based on what Im workin with.

Some of the biggest reasons for my thoughts on just getting started with the etrac is that I read many reviews from total Newbies like myself who profess it can be used "out of the box" successfully, and as you become more familiarized w/your machine, your finds get better and better as you are mastering the machine. Also, I read countless reviews from people touting the "depth" that the etrac gives, and how over and over again, they got targets, and dug coins that they and others had passed over a million times before. Basically, ease of use, depth, efficiency (best discrimination).-especially in Iron strewn fields... (that is what I read anyways.)-any thoughts?

Am I missing anything? Can someone out there save me some money by helping me to rationalize buying a different machine to start out with? I just want some guidance from some many experts here. Thanks you guys, I cant wait to get started. I have already started to compile a list of places I am gonna "clean out". 1 in particular that I am extremely excited about. I cant imagine it being virgin territory, but I would be absolutely surprise if has been "pounded" to death too...


Thanks in advance, I appreciate all of your thoughts and insight.

Chris.

Future MD'ing success story waiting to happen! - A huge one.
 
Upvote 0

sniffer

Gold Member
Dec 31, 2006
5,906
58
Kansas
Detector(s) used
XP DEUS
I started with a bounty hunter, stepped up to a white's prism V, then to a white's DFX and now I have a etrac. you can tell a big difference between the dfx and the etrac. the dfx is a good machine, but isn't in the same class as the etrac. the etrac finds things the dfx misses and does it easily
 

Smudge

Bronze Member
Jul 9, 2010
1,532
43
Central Florida
Detector(s) used
A Propointer tied to a stick
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Very few detectors cannot be used "right out of the box."

But every single detector has a learning curve, from the single knob Tesoro Compadre right up to the E-Trac. The problem most people have is that they aren't willing to put in the time needed to really use and understand a detector before they're switching out to something else.

If you are a total newbie, there will be a period when the experienced Compadre user will likely smoke you and your E-Trac. Why? They have more experience with their detector and understand theirs better than you understand yours.

If you have your heart set on an E-Trac then by all means get one. But understand it is going to take you a good deal of time, because you are so new at this, to get the maximum performance out the machine. The learning curve will be steeper because the E-Trac is a much more complex machine.

Hope it helps and good luck to you!
 

Swartzie

Hero Member
Mar 15, 2009
791
50
Tuscarawas County, Ohio
Detector(s) used
Tesoro Tejon
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
If you're going to be working a place that has been hit hard then consider something that has true all metal mode capabilities. True all metal is very sensitive and deep seeking. It will find the stuff that others have missed. There is a difference between true all metal and just plain old zero discrimination. The only downside with true all metal is there is no discrimination. You dig it all. Just listen for the deep signals.

But, whatever you get just remember it will take a long time to learn the machine and how to use it effectively. When I started with an Ace 250 it took me close to a year to feel confident that I knew what I was doing. After that I knew what I wanted in a machine and I knew what kind of sites I enjoy (relics) so I upgraded to a Tejon. This hobby requires a whole lot of patience. If it was easy or if there was a miracle machine then everybody would be doing it.

-Swartzie
 

DKinPA

Hero Member
Aug 21, 2005
895
48
Central Pennsylvania
Detector(s) used
Fisher F75 LTD, Minelab ETrac & Tesoro Silver UMax
I'll throw two cents in on this one...LOL!! I'm in my 6th year of detecting, my progression of machines has been: Whites Classic ID, Tesoro Silver Umax, Whites DFX, Fisher F75 LTD and now the Etrac. I'm in Central PA and most....I say most....of my dirt is fairly mild, but we do have some "hot spots" that are heavily mineralized.

I have found more coins in all my local fields with each progression of my machines and I'm convinced that the Etrac is the best I've used thus far. I ran the DFX for over 4 of my 6 years and was absolutely amazed at how many more coins I found when I got the F75 LTD in January of 2010. The F75 is a great machine, it's simple, lightweight, the batteries last for over 40 hours and it will find deep coins a lot of other machines leave behind. So why the Etrac you ask? There were several sites I hunted last year and early this year where I knew as soon as I turned the machine on that I was gonna get smoked by my hunting buddy with his Sovereign, those sites showed a high mineralization content on the ground meter on the F75. Now don't get me wrong, my hunting buddy has 40 years experience and knew every tick and grunt that Minelab made....but....I was not convinced it was all experience that was making the difference, there just seemed to be a pattern to when I got my butt kicked. I read and studied for months before I made the decision to make the jump to the Etrac and I can honestly say I have not been sorry one minute since June 3rd when the Etrac arrived.

I hunt for coins, not relics. So far I have hunted all dirt, not sand, not water. The Classic ID was a starter machine and I outgrew it quickly as I met more people in the hobby and found TNet. The DFX was my next machine, I bought it new/used on Ebay and it was unused with a blank warranty card. What DFX owners won't tell you is that it comes with an unadvertised feature, it's a voice in your head that keeps asking "Do I have all the settings right"....LOL!! That's how I felt for 4 years with the DFX. I picked the UMax up on Ebay just because I wanted a lightweight back up machine and I wanted to try a Tesoro. I think the UMax may be the king of underrated metal detectors in it's price range but I was now too used to having a visual ID and couldn't get comfortable with "beep and dig". I jumped to the F75 LTD for simplicity and would recommend it to anyone looking for a single frequency deep seeker.

In conclusion....if you have the money, the time and the passion for the hobby start with the Etrac and you will never be undergunned. The AT Pro's ONLY advantage is the ability to go under water if you need that feature, it's actually a machine that is still on my "someday" list because I really like the iron audio feature and the waterproof feature. Get the E, get Andy Sabisch's book, hit the default coin mode and learn while you hunt and study. My learning curve to become proficient with the E was no more than 20 hours, not that I'm not still learning (and studying) but I feel VERY confident in any site I step on now.

Good luck!! Enjoy the obsession and post your finds!!

Dave
 

joeman

Jr. Member
Mar 19, 2011
75
0
Detector(s) used
Garrett ATPro, BH 840 VLF-TR
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
ATPRO.... BEST BANG for the BUCK.
-Goes REAL Deep
-15Khz (great for Gold)
-VERY FAST Processing (almost twice that of the E-Trac)
-Quick Recovery and Great Pin-Pointing
-Better Shielding than the E-Trac, Teknetics, Fishers, etc.. (works far better near electrical lines and cell towers)
-Tone-Roll Audio
-Proportional Audio
-Excellent Target ID (even at huge depths)
-FANTASTIC performance for IRON Targets and 'Masked Targets' due to Iron
-Water-Proof (Submersible) and of course RAIN PROOF! (many people forget about that)
-New Style Cam-Lock, Cuff and Arm extension (a Huge improvement)
-GREAT customer Service should you need it (far better than Minelab from what I am told)
-1/3rd of the PRICE!!

I say buy an ATPRO and embarrass your friends with your 'MUCH LESS' expensive detector and once the 3D detectors come down in price, spend the extra money and blow away every other Detectorist. Remember, if you buy an ATPRO, you will have ALREADY saved $1000.00 towards a detector that will be leaps and bounds beyond ALL the current 'Top-Shelf' detectors...

:)
 

DeArmitt Pa

Full Member
Jun 7, 2009
124
7
Johnstown, Pa
Detector(s) used
E-Trac, F75 LTD
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
I am a E-Trac user and know this machine inside and out. The first is that this machine works perfectly near and under any EMI emitting source. E-Trac will not make a peep, not even near a GPX-5000. Most other machines go ape s*** near pulse machines. Once noise canceled, I can detect 5-10 feet away from a GPX with no EMI. A F-75LTD can't get within 25 yards w/o going crazy. I have experiance with this situation. F-75LTD is a good machine, but needs better EMI protection.

I will give the AT Pro the ups for being rain/waterproof to 10 feet. The E-Trac coil is waterproof. All you need for the box is a rain cover and your safe in the rain.

Depth. I have not personally used a AT Pro, I know someone who does and he likes it. Depth on the E-Trac is out of the box, but with experience it gets even deeper. I have pulled largies at a foot easy, nice strong tone. I have pulled a 3 ringer at 11 inches. I operate with a low Iron Mask setting in trashy areas. In open fields I pretty much have it wide open. Even with the stock coil the machine has great trash seperation.

The processor is fast in the E-Trac, but with the multiple signals it sends in the ground it is better for the machine to have a slower swing speed. Most machines you have to swing the machine fast to get better depth, but Minelabs are the opposite. You don't need to swing ridiculously slow, but a comforatable swing speed. This all helps in those high trash ares where a fast swing speed can miss targets verse a slower one. I hunt old house sites with tons of trash, so this is desirable.

The AT Pro will have a smaller learning curve than the E-Trac. The bottom line though is what machine you think is best for you. The E-Trac is best for me. My suggestion would be try to find a dealers or other detectorists with these machines. Test them head to head with your hands and you will find the one meant for you.

John DeArmitt
Fort Bedford Metal Detectors
 

Bart@Big Boys Hobbies

Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Jul 24, 2005
4,423
1,088
Moore Oklahoma
Detector(s) used
Call for your Treasurenet special discount! Be sure to mention Tnet when you call!
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
joeman said:
ATPRO.... BEST BANG for the BUCK.
-Goes REAL Deep
-15Khz (great for Gold)
-VERY FAST Processing (almost twice that of the E-Trac)
-Quick Recovery and Great Pin-Pointing
-Better Shielding than the E-Trac, Teknetics, Fishers, etc.. (works far better near electrical lines and cell towers)
-Tone-Roll Audio
-Proportional Audio
-Excellent Target ID (even at huge depths)
-FANTASTIC performance for IRON Targets and 'Masked Targets' due to Iron
-Water-Proof (Submersible) and of course RAIN PROOF! (many people forget about that)
-New Style Cam-Lock, Cuff and Arm extension (a Huge improvement)
-GREAT customer Service should you need it (far better than Minelab from what I am told)
-1/3rd of the PRICE!!

I say buy an ATPRO and embarrass your friends with your 'MUCH LESS' expensive detector and once the 3D detectors come down in price, spend the extra money and blow away every other Detectorist. Remember, if you buy an ATPRO, you will have ALREADY saved $1000.00 towards a detector that will be leaps and bounds beyond ALL the current 'Top-Shelf' detectors...

:)

Good post!

The Etrac is hands down best in Silver coins! If your a coin hunter there is nothing better! If you looking for gold and relics and coins look into the AT Pro. Holler at me if you have any questions. I have used both allot. Feel free to call!
 

lookindown

Gold Member
Mar 11, 2010
7,089
4,932
Florida
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
ACE 250,AT PRO, CZ21...RTG pro scoop...Stealth 720
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
stoopstroop said:
joeman said:
ATPRO.... BEST BANG for the BUCK.
-Goes REAL Deep
-15Khz (great for Gold)
-VERY FAST Processing (almost twice that of the E-Trac)
-Quick Recovery and Great Pin-Pointing
-Better Shielding than the E-Trac, Teknetics, Fishers, etc.. (works far better near electrical lines and cell towers)
-Tone-Roll Audio
-Proportional Audio
-Excellent Target ID (even at huge depths)
-FANTASTIC performance for IRON Targets and 'Masked Targets' due to Iron
-Water-Proof (Submersible) and of course RAIN PROOF! (many people forget about that)
-New Style Cam-Lock, Cuff and Arm extension (a Huge improvement)
-GREAT customer Service should you need it (far better than Minelab from what I am told)
-1/3rd of the PRICE!!

I say buy an ATPRO and embarrass your friends with your 'MUCH LESS' expensive detector and once the 3D detectors come down in price, spend the extra money and blow away every other Detectorist. Remember, if you buy an ATPRO, you will have ALREADY saved $1000.00 towards a detector that will be leaps and bounds beyond ALL the current 'Top-Shelf' detectors...

:)

Good post!

The Etrac is hands down best in Silver coins! If your a coin hunter there is nothing better! If you looking for gold and relics and coins look into the AT Pro. Holler at me if you have any questions. I have used both allot. Feel free to call!
Best advice Ive heard yet. :icon_thumleft:
 

cosmic

Hero Member
Dec 31, 2006
882
50
Watseka, Illinois
Detector(s) used
Nokta Fors Core, X pointer, Sunrays
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Etrac the only machine I have purchased twice.. Should have never let the first one go..You could not give me a Atpro, I'd sell it and find a reliable machine!!Plagued with problems EVEN THE NEW ONES!!! Way overhyped!!!
 

joeman

Jr. Member
Mar 19, 2011
75
0
Detector(s) used
Garrett ATPro, BH 840 VLF-TR
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
cosmic said:
Etrac the only machine I have purchased twice.. Should have never let the first one go..You could not give me a Atpro, I'd sell it and find a reliable machine!!Plagued with problems EVEN THE NEW ONES!!! Way overhyped!!!

No doubt the machine has had it's challenges in the past, (after all, it's an AT detector) but you have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME when you say it's 'OVER HYPED'! ::)
IF it's SO over Hyped, then WHY in the world would Garrett come out with a BRAND NEW 'GOLD DETECTOR' which is (ALSO an awesome Coin Shooter and Relic Machine BTW..) based 'EXCLUSIVELY' on the ATPRO? C'mon Man,... Giver yer' head a shake! :laughing7: :tongue3:
 

cosmic

Hero Member
Dec 31, 2006
882
50
Watseka, Illinois
Detector(s) used
Nokta Fors Core, X pointer, Sunrays
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Average depth, plagued with problems, no resale value, and as I see it the new machine will be the same, just a different frequency.. Iron audio is cool, but in a extreme iron site confusing at best..Way better going with another manufacturers machine that isn't problem after problem.. I had Garrett's in the past and never a problem until this.. They should be ashamed for even putting it on the market until fully tested!! Hopefully they will submerge each one to find the leakers before sending them out..
As for the question asked, the Etrac is a hundred times the machine and twice the price.. But if he has the bucks go with the best and don't look back!!
 

Goes4ever

Silver Member
Jan 30, 2008
4,948
2,322
NorthWest Ohio
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab E-Trac, Equinox 600, and Tesorso compadre
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I started with an ace 250, then went to the minelab xterra 70, I couldn't believe how much better it was, then I went to the etrac. And now I KNOW what good is. Yes the etrac can be used by a beginner right out of the box, it is THAT easy....I know people who have got etracs for their FIRST machine and took to it so simply they were amazed. The etrac is USER friendly, extremely easy to operate. Get the etrac and you won't have to sit and wonder if you got the best and you won't have to upgrade again in a yr when you get tired of the other machine. Check out my personal website that I made to help new etrac users out, tons of good info on there, including videos, pictures and stories. Good luck, and if there is anything you need to know, feel free to PM me for help.
 

joeman

Jr. Member
Mar 19, 2011
75
0
Detector(s) used
Garrett ATPro, BH 840 VLF-TR
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
cosmic said:
Average depth, plagued with problems, no resale value, and as I see it the new machine will be the same, just a different frequency.. Iron audio is cool, but in a extreme iron site confusing at best..Way better going with another manufacturers machine that isn't problem after problem.. I had Garrett's in the past and never a problem until this.. They should be ashamed for even putting it on the market until fully tested!! Hopefully they will submerge each one to find the leakers before sending them out..
As for the question asked, the Etrac is a hundred times the machine and twice the price.. But if he has the bucks go with the best and don't look back!!

:laughing7: Man, I think you wrote this while you were asleep, cause' you ARE DreaminG!! :tongue3:
Your 'Bad Experience' with the ATPRO is DEFINITELY not representational of the 1000's and 1000's of us that use them every other day! I hunt with up to 16 people at a time (at least two with E-Tracs, V3i, Teknetics 8000, ect.) and I have DEEPER finds and WAY LESS trash than other users. I can pick up a 'Fish-Scale' (on Hella' small Silver Coin) at 8" to 9" and quarters and large copper MUCH, further than that. My finds speak for themselves and I would PIT my ATPRO up against ANY other detector with no problem and if you lived closer, I'd love to take you out and show you what I mean... Also, IF you can find a ETRAC for $1000.00 Bucks, that's a great price,... but you can't, can you ::) I'd say you're still 'Dreamin', cause' you'd be 'hard pressed' to find it ANYWHERE under $1500.00 - $1600.00 bucks.
Oddly, I bought my ATPRO through THIS VERY FORUM as Hush, Hush, 'MEMBER SPECIAL' and paid a mere $500.00 Bucks! I've used it for less than 4 months and it has paid for itself at LEAST 4 times... Of my almost 2000 coins, I must have almost $500.00 in CLAD, and my 'WATER RINGS' alone, once sold to ARA, would cover the detector EASILY a second time with change left over for Ice Cream! :laughing9:
 

joeman

Jr. Member
Mar 19, 2011
75
0
Detector(s) used
Garrett ATPro, BH 840 VLF-TR
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Goes4ever said:
I started with an ace 250, then went to the minelab xterra 70, I couldn't believe how much better it was, then I went to the etrac. And now I KNOW what good is. Yes the etrac can be used by a beginner right out of the box, it is THAT easy....I know people who have got etracs for their FIRST machine and took to it so simply they were amazed. The etrac is USER friendly, extremely easy to operate. Get the etrac and you won't have to sit and wonder if you got the best and you won't have to upgrade again in a yr when you get tired of the other machine. Check out my personal website that I made to help new etrac users out, tons of good info on there, including videos, pictures and stories. Good luck, and if there is anything you need to know, feel free to PM me for help.

AHAHAHAHAH... :laughing9: :laughing9: :laughing9:

Are you SERIOUSLY trying to say that the ETRAC is a 'Turn on and Go' detector? Heh, heh... Man, Not even 'Cosmic' will buy that one! ;D
 

Goes4ever

Silver Member
Jan 30, 2008
4,948
2,322
NorthWest Ohio
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab E-Trac, Equinox 600, and Tesorso compadre
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
joeman said:
Goes4ever said:
I started with an ace 250, then went to the minelab xterra 70, I couldn't believe how much better it was, then I went to the etrac. And now I KNOW what good is. Yes the etrac can be used by a beginner right out of the box, it is THAT easy....I know people who have got etracs for their FIRST machine and took to it so simply they were amazed. The etrac is USER friendly, extremely easy to operate. Get the etrac and you won't have to sit and wonder if you got the best and you won't have to upgrade again in a yr when you get tired of the other machine. Check out my personal website that I made to help new etrac users out, tons of good info on there, including videos, pictures and stories. Good luck, and if there is anything you need to know, feel free to PM me for help.

AHAHAHAHAH... :laughing9: :laughing9: :laughing9:

Are you SERIOUSLY trying to say that the ETRAC is a 'Turn on and Go' detector? Heh, heh... Man, Not even 'Cosmic' will buy that one! ;D
yes, and BELIEVE what you want....I'm not gonna argue with anyone, I PERSONALLY know newbies who bought it and found silver the first day.....I could care less if you believe me
 

Shambler

Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2008
261
15
Under the Trees
I can't believe you can ask questions like this and be taken seriously - then when you state the obvious someone will chime in to fight about it. I think the whole lot of you should by Garrett products, and I think all Minelab users should just stay quiet about what the machines are capable of.... more for us.
 

Keppy

Gold Member
Nov 19, 2006
8,315
2,860
N.E. Ohio on lake Erie
Detector(s) used
** WHAT ONE I FEEL LIKE ON HUNTING DAY *****
Primary Interest:
Other
cosmic said:
Etrac the only machine I have purchased twice.. Should have never let the first one go..You could not give me a Atpro, I'd sell it and find a reliable machine!!Plagued with problems EVEN THE NEW ONES!!! Way overhyped!!!
But what i see about most Minelabs and this is most models not just one model............ IS they don't work new out of the box............
 

joeman

Jr. Member
Mar 19, 2011
75
0
Detector(s) used
Garrett ATPro, BH 840 VLF-TR
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Keppy said:
cosmic said:
Etrac the only machine I have purchased twice.. Should have never let the first one go..You could not give me a Atpro, I'd sell it and find a reliable machine!!Plagued with problems EVEN THE NEW ONES!!! Way overhyped!!!
But what i see about most Minelabs and this is most models not just one model............ IS they don't work new out of the box............

You are ABSOLUTELY Correct! Of the users I know that use the ETRAC, ALL of them had problems picking up 'Clad' (certainly CAN clad) until they figured out how to set up the machine correctly. The other thing about using the ETRAC for the first time, is that most NEWBS swing it too high and too fast... Slower Swing speed with the ETRAC is the KEY due to the processing that must occur and even a 'moderately impatient' person would get mediocre results.

Regards,
 

Hosensack

Hero Member
Apr 20, 2007
752
107
Mertztown, Pa
Detector(s) used
Minelab Etrac, Safari,X-Terra 705, Tesoro Tejon, Whites DFX, Garrett AT Pro, GTI 2500, 250, Fisher Gold Bug DP,F75 Limited
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
As always depends on what you want to do with it. With the AT Pro you only need one detector, the Etrac has it's limitations terrain wise(water). Etrac can and will do fine out of the box, just get Andy S. book and read it first to get you started, then learn and read it again repeat repeat. The ATP will have you finding things almost immediately while you are learning and will continue to get better. The Etrac when mastered will out perform it( I will refrain from using any adjectives here).

So with the ATP you'll have everything you need and will fully enjoy it right away, with the Etrac you will be learning alot(I happen to like that part) one benefit of that is you don't need to keep finding new spots as you get better you'll find more in the same location.
 

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