Second metal detector guidance advice needed.

Cañedo

Greenie
Mar 14, 2021
14
15
Baja California
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro with 8x11 + 6x8
Garrett AT pro pointer.
CooB sand Scoop
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hi All

Currently have a Garrett AT pro with both DD coils available. They both cover all my current needs.

To be honest, AT pro takes time to understand those nuances people claim here, although I have nothing else to compare with, but overall has been a great MD, very reliable, very well built, batteries last a long time, good depth using 8x11, really good Target separation using the smallest 6x8 coil compared to 8x11. Planning to buy sniper coil as there is a local beach that is so trashy even for the 6x8 coil.

I know with lots of practice target identification will get better, am confident on that with this detector.

Dislike: Lack of backlight for those afternoon hunts. No control over hysteresis or threshold for very small targets. Single frequency, Not all metal mode. All this was known at the time of purchase this detector so I was aware what I was getting for the money I paid. At that time, there was no need to purchase a more expensive MD due didn't know if I was going to be hooked into this hobby.

No plans to sell this detector but actually to purchase another one. Which one? Here is where I need some advice.

So one of the detectors will be used by my wife, the easiest to use. I want to make her part of my hobby and get out and spend more time together, instead of : " hey, see you in 3-4 hours, bye". Working Home office some times is addictive.

Have a budget of ~$1k .
Live in Baja California so main hunting areas are the pacific coast in baja, dry and wet sand beaches, hunting for coins and jewelry. No plans to get into the surf, it seems too difficult to me. Also will be hunting in the desert areas which is the majority of the territory, but here will be looking for my first nugget, what size? I don't have any expectation, any nugget size will be a major achievement for me.

Have the following MDs in mind, with no particular order.
  • Minelab Equinox 800 + 6" coil
  • Fisher GB Pro with 2 coils package.
  • Minelab GoldMonster
  • Unfortunately Whites GM 24K is not available anymore but seems like a good machine


I don't want to play Garrett's game and buy AT Gold.
And Don't want to wait for garrett to release his MF AT version, their development cycles are way, way too long and by the time they release it, they may do the same as the AT line, build a great detector and then splitted into 3 different products, like if the cost and complexity of adding 2-3 LEDs, light guide, different frequencies, software features, deserves a different a different product forcing you to buy at least 2 products, one marginally better is some aspect than others, and remember when AT Gold was released, Fisher GB II was already in the market for years.

Don't take me wrong, I love my AT pro, and think a detector is as good as the operator. If they release later a serious MF AT version I maybe buy it but for now looking for a different brand, right from what I know about the Apex, it doesn't seem is going to be a good fit to me, too limited on customizations.

So open for suggestions for different detectors, or corrections on what I have in mind. Maybe none of the detectors will do what I need and may end up buying one that fits better wet salt beach and then another for gold nuggets.
Here the important is to get a second good detector and start hunting, get outdoors, make some exercise and have fun, MDing is a great stress relief therapy.

Happy hunting!.

Cañedo
 

ToddsPoint

Silver Member
Mar 2, 2018
3,999
7,854
Todds Point, IL
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Like you, I have an AT Pro and wanted a detector to compliment it. I bought a Nox 800 late last fall. I haven't used it but a few times but have high hopes for it this season. Good luck with whatever you choose to buy. Gary
 

MetalArchSC

Hero Member
Feb 14, 2017
606
1,976
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I’ve owned many detectors over the past 17 years or so. Found a good bit with the AT pro... fast forward a few machines including the Deus ... bought the Nox 800. Used it but frankly didn’t enjoy using it. Sold it. My go to is the Deus unless I’m looking for pits in highly mineralized soil.
I found that I was more comfortable using the DEUS over the Nox...and I found more good targets. I recently had my Deus with me on a trip to AZ. Just a matter of using the right settings for nugget hunting. ( I’m a relic hunter normally)

Check out the Deus ORX. Heard it works pretty good too for a lot less.
 

Tahts-a-dats-ago

Full Member
Apr 30, 2014
242
519
NJ
Detector(s) used
Multi Kruzer,
Anfibio multi,
Apex,
ORX,
Deus,
Compadre
Vista X
Vanquish 440
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Nokata/Makro AU Gold Finder

Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer

Teknetics G2+

Vanquish 540 or 440

I have no experience with any of the above mentioned machines. I mention them only because they might fit your needs and I figured you might wish to research them a bit.

I did own the Tek G2 (the original) and wish I had not sold it. It wasn't the deepest machine, but it was very good on nickels/jewelry and a blast to use. I never used it on a salt water beach, but I suspect it would do in a pinch.

I do own the following machines (other potential considerations)

Nokta/Makro Multi Kruzer

Nokta/Makro Anfibio (multi)

Both feature selectable frequencies. Both are waterproof to 16 feet. Both are fine for wet sand hunting - a bit noisy, but they are capable. I don't know that either is ideal for nugget hunting (no nuggets in NJ) but I suspect either will find nuggets that aren't super deep. Both have a lot of program customization available. With stock coils the Anfibio is the heavier of the two but neither is a heavy machine. The Anfibio is built like a tank. The Multi Kruzer is very well built. The included wireless headphones work very well for me. Both machines are deep, and both machines are fast.

Nokta (Dilek) has stated that their multi frequency (simultaneous) machine will be released sometime in 2021. Other than it being housed in the Simplex casing, I've heard nothing specific about the forthcoming machine.

I also own the Apex. I have not had it long so I'm still getting familiar with it myself, but I believe it is a much better machine than some are making it out to be. Very simple to use. Very light weight and easy to swing. Weatherproof, so it can't be dunked but hunting in the rain isn't an issue. I think it is a very good machine for its price category. It is not super configurable, but the user does have some ability to configure the machine to his/her needs. It has 4 selectable frequencies, or it can be used in simultaneous (MF) mode. It also has a multi-salt mode (that works very well on salt beaches - including the wet sand). I am very fond of the ability to change the iron volume to my tastes. The wireless headphones are fantastic.

There has been talk of 20kHz not being high enough to find nuggets (I don't know if that is true, or not) but not mentioned is the fact that the Apex isn't limited to 20kHz as the highest frequency - the designer of the machine stated (in an interview) that the Apex did go to frequencies (higher than 20kHz) in MF mode - but he did not say what those higher frequencies were. I can't say if the Apex can hit nuggets or not - I can say that it hits nickels very well.

Best of luck with whatever machine you choose.
 
OP
Cañedo

Cañedo

Greenie
Mar 14, 2021
14
15
Baja California
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro with 8x11 + 6x8
Garrett AT pro pointer.
CooB sand Scoop
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Hi ToddsPoint,

Yeah, AT pro is a good machine, let us know your thoughts when get back from using the Equinox.

MetalArchSC,
To be honest, had not considered any XP detector for beach hunting. Have heared good things about XP MDs, also that they are $$$. So took the advice, downloaded the orx manual and seems like it could be a good fit. But when downloaded the Deus manual... man, that thing uses X/Y mode!!, same as some oscilloscopes. I know how powerful the X/Y mode is on oscilloscopes so definitely will do more research on those 2 MDs. Also it looks very well engineered and elegant.

Tahts-a-dats-ago:
Same as with the XP, had not consider Nokta gold detectors, they seem quite good so definitely will do more research on those, liked all possible customizations.

Regarding the anfibio, from what I could see, looks amazingly rugged, definitively a step up from the ATPRO, not simultaneous MF but still MF with many customizable options. The only concern is what you mentioned about being noisy in wet sand.
As per some pictures and videos, the screen looks amazing under direct sunlight, really nice contrast, does it have glass in front of the LCD? Or is some kind of acrylic?

Also, did additional research on the Apex, there are many more features than the ATPRO, like backlight, simultaneous MF, salt specific mode, etc, but what keeps me from buying it and think is a step back is the lack of proaudio, didn't find it mentioned in the manual, that paired with the iron audio makes a fantastic bottle caps discriminator.
Do you know if audio is just binary like beep beep or there is some modulation?

Overall thanks to all feedback, will be doing a lot of research and will come back and post my decision, but more important, the reasons behind that desicion.

Have great days guys.
Cañedo
 

Tahts-a-dats-ago

Full Member
Apr 30, 2014
242
519
NJ
Detector(s) used
Multi Kruzer,
Anfibio multi,
Apex,
ORX,
Deus,
Compadre
Vista X
Vanquish 440
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Tahts-a-dats-ago:
Same as with the XP, had not consider Nokta gold detectors, they seem quite good so definitely will do more research on those, liked all possible customizations.

Regarding the anfibio, from what I could see, looks amazingly rugged, definitively a step up from the ATPRO, not simultaneous MF but still MF with many customizable options. The only concern is what you mentioned about being noisy in wet sand.
As per some pictures and videos, the screen looks amazing under direct sunlight, really nice contrast, does it have glass in front of the LCD? Or is some kind of acrylic?

Also, did additional research on the Apex, there are many more features than the ATPRO, like backlight, simultaneous MF, salt specific mode, etc, but what keeps me from buying it and think is a step back is the lack of proaudio, didn't find it mentioned in the manual, that paired with the iron audio makes a fantastic bottle caps discriminator.
Do you know if audio is just binary like beep beep or there is some modulation?

Cañedo

The Anfibio is very rugged; probably the most rugged machine I've ever seen or used. It is a hot-rod machine (as is the Kruzer) but can be quieted down considerably by lowering gain a bit. You can also increase isat, but at the cost of depth. For salt water hunting it is best to ground balance while in beach mode, then select the program you wish to hunt with. Ground balance is automatic, but it can be set/adjusted manually too. The screen is very good, but I'm not sure if it has a glass covering or just some really hard acrylic. Either way I haven't found the screen (on either the Kruzer or Anfibio) to be easily scratched and I do not use a cover.

There are videos of the Anfibio hunting salt water - including one (in the water) finding a very tiny gold chain at impressive depths. (Not my video).

There are multiple videos of the Simplex hunting wet salt beaches with the ground balance being manually adjusted to zero. In those examples the Simplex seems to be very quiet in the wet salt sand. I have not tried that with either the Kruzer or the Anfibio, but I think the results would be the same or very similar. I don't do much salt water hunting, but I've just adjusted the gain down a bit (Kruzer and Anfibio) so the machine is comfortable for me.

Garrett states the Apex has some sort of blended audio. I'm not familiar with the AT Pro's audio, so I can't say how the two compare. There is some modulation to the audio of the Apex though (deeper targets are fainter in sound). The difference in tone is still very evident - more conductive targets have a higher pitch/tone. The Apex has 5 tones that are not user adjustable. The Apex has iron volume and iron audio. The user can select the iron volume of his/her liking (0 to 8) and whether iron audio is on/off. Thus far I've found an iron volume of 2 to be comfortable; letting me hear the iron but not being overwhelming.

My understanding is that iron audio should NOT be on if hunting in zero mode - something about it pushing the iron range beyond the standard range and blending it in with the more mid-range targets.

As for bottle caps..

On all 3 machines they will often sound like a good target (dime or quarter) when swinging the coil directly over the bottle cap. The trick (with all 3 machines) is to "wiggle" the coil back from the target, so the nose of the coil just comes off the target. With iron audio on, the bottle cap will sound like iron while a coin still sounds good (the VDI numbers will drop significantly on bottle caps as well).

I'm still getting acquainted with the Apex, but it seems to me that bottle caps sound scratchy even before doing the wiggle back method. For the time being I am digging targets believed to be bottle caps - just so I become more acquainted with the Apex. Thus far if I thought the target was a bottle cap - it has been. I'm sure I'll get fooled as time goes on though.
 

Rad1sh

Full Member
Sep 22, 2019
162
239
Olympia, Washington
Detector(s) used
Nokta Makro Simplex White Coinmaster ( Burghandy)
Garret Ace 250 Tracker IV
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I would say the equinox 800 you can’t go wrong.
 

CASPER-2

Gold Member
Jan 3, 2012
16,863
18,863
NEW ENGLAND
🥇 Banner finds
1
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
6
Detector(s) used
WHITE'S XLT, PI PRO, GARRETT 2500, 3- FISHER CZ21s, JW FISHER 8X
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
get something good on land but good in your waters - more gold jewelry in waters than on land
 

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