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How's My Apex ?

October 22, 2020 01:23AM avatar
I've been reading the . . . . . . discussion . . . . . . going on at the Findmall forum by Monte and his East Coast Associate, Calabash Digger (John) regarding the new APEX Multi-Frequency detector recently released by Garrett. There seems to be some varied opinions on the APEX.

As some of you know, Kickindirt was able to get an APEX headed my direction early on only to have it sit on the workbench in the shop until a couple nights ago. OregonGregg has been poking me with a sharp stick as occasion permits hoping to roust me to a level of 'wakefullness' sufficient to remove the APEX from the box and get it assembled. Seems he's wanting an opinion. My opinion.

I have 1 hr of checking / bench testing and 4 hours of hunting - so be warned.

Let me lay a little ground work here, The World of Detecting According to Rich.

First. I've typically used higher end detectors since I started in the mid-70's. And I typically had 1 at a time, meaning I bought what I thought was a really good detector to hunt the yards of old homes, old parks and old schools and I learned how to use it as best i could. Today, that has changed a little bit. Now, I have 2.

I've been pretty much the same way until the last 5 years when I've branched out some to other areas of detecting. Prior to that, having multiple detectors wasn't an option.

Five years ago I would not have bought this detector. Why? well, there are better, more capable detectors out there for me to use. I own 2 of them, an Equinox 800 and an XP Deus. I have a few other old detectors, three Tesoro's; a Golden Sabre, a Bandido and a Mojave ┬ÁMax which I keep for my Grandson. And a recently acquired PI detector for the beach. Except for the PI, they won't be used by me. Why? Back to the original point, I have 2 other detectors much more capable and I don't think it smart on my part to head into the field with a lesser capable detector when I have a MORE capable detector sitting right there.

So Rich, why the APEX ? There a few reasons.

First - I have a sense of curiosity about Garrett's leap into the world of Multi-Frequency where some Manufacturer's fear to tread. Minelab is the big name in multi-frequency; Sovereign, Explorer, Etrac, CTX-3030, Equinox and now Vanquish. Fisher was in the game at the beginning as well with the CZ-6. There hasn't been much movement on their part since the introduction of the CZ-6, a diving version and a newer version with the Target ID categories tweaked (CZ-3D). For the most part it has remained unchanged. White's joined in with the DFX and the Vision / V3i series. Advancements were engineered for the V3i, but for whatever reason, White's management held back their hand and they never hit the production line. And now there is the new APEX. I started with the CZ-6, then the CZ-6a, then the Explorer XS, an Etrac and now the Equinox. There was a Sovereign or two in there somewhere. I am a fan of MF.

Second - My daughter enjoys doing outdoor activities like rock hounding, 4-wheeling, exploring and yes, even metal detecting. Her boys enjoy the out-of-doors as well and frequently ask me to take them metal detecting. While I keep a Mojave for my oldest grandson, my previous loaner, an MXT all-pro, somehow ended up at Gregg's house. So, reason #2, a good easy to use loaner for family and friends that want to tag along.

Third - Something to switch off to when I get those long days out at a ghost town, when my ears and brain have been pummeled to mashed pototoes by the screeching audio of a million pieces of rusty tin and nails in my ears. A change is as good as a rest. Gregg and I talked about this one. It seemed like a valid reason at the time. Not sure if it still holds water, but it sounded good when we were talking about it.

So, what are my initial impressions? Easy to use, well made, excellent design and ergonomics. Very likable. good performance. Is the APEX going to knock my Equinox off of the podium at my house? No. eye popping smiley Good performance is . . . . good. Great performance is above that.

What - ?? I didn't expect to be replacing my 800 or Deus with the APEX. However, I think most of us have the deeply seated hope that we find a budget detector, a sleeper, that performs at 800 or Deus level (choose your favorite high performing detector and insert here xxx ), but at a Mojave' price; $251.10.

So I took the APEX out to a shallow water site I've been detecting the last couple years. It has given up a good HANDFUL of rings that have paid for my equinox so I hit the areas hard with my 800 previously. Did I find anything that I missed with the 800? Yes, both an arcade token, quarter sized, brass, from a defunct galleria and a clad quarter at several inches. Some zinc pennies from a spill i intentionally left last spring and a few fishing lures (the blade of a spinner and a two spoons). I also found several .22 casings and a dozen pinch weights for keeping fish bait on the bottom. Depths were hard to measure accurately due to water. But the token and quarter were several inches deep as were some of the corroding zinc pennies.

* Easy detector to like as I use it. (5 stars)
* Comfortable to swing. (5 stars)
* The display is easy to read, even in the sun. Available backlight (5 stars)
* Menu is intuitive and easy to navigate.(5 stars)
* Buttons are in the right place, easy to thumb either lefty or righty. (5 stars)
* Display numbers and settings are sized for easy reading even for older eyes. (5 stars)
* Audio is pleasant on the ear. but stuck with 5 tones. (3 stars)
* Wireless headphones I bought the wireless headphone version. They are excellent. (5 stars)
* Ability to hunt using MF or individual frequencies and to offset frequency if needed (5 stars)
* Rechargeable battery. (location of recharge port is immediately under the coil cable connection; awkward (3 stars)
* Good Target ID on recovered targets. (4 stars)


* Falsing, even after ground balancing and adjusting the sensitivity to 6, (8 is max). i experienced some recurring falsing. The falsing increased in frequency with the coil underwater. I ground balanced at 48. And rebalanced several times just to see changes. The owners manual warns of falsing in wet ground. recommends switches to MF-S (salt) and decreasing sensitivity. I wasn't in a salt water environment. The balance number was within a few numbers of 48 above or below. I could have hunted with the sensitivity lower, but the falsing at 6 was tolerable.
* No optional coils yet.
* Depth of detection is good, but not great.
* Stuck with 5 tones audio
* break points for the 5 tones are not adjustable.
* No adjustment for recovery / reactivity rate.


* Like other brands, Garrett included the USB cables to recharge both control housing and headphones, but you supply your own USB Hub/charger./base

Need to do more testing on separation / sorting between various targets. No conclusion here.

In defense of Garrett for some of my CONS; increasing the number of settings and options could easily bump this detector from the easy to use category, to a more difficult to use category. Concepts like recovery, iron audio, break points, and so on can be difficult concepts to grasp for newer users. I wouldn't think of loaning out my Deus to a noob, as to me, it is an advanced detector. Same would go if I take a easy / intermediate detector and add advanced features to it.

Once you've become accustomed to using advanced features, giving them back is a difficult action.

Future plans for the APEX ? Learn it better and see if i can learn more of the Garrett way of Multi-Frequency.

I'll add additional thoughts under this post as I can.

Rich -


'Tis the Season for Silver and Gold

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2020 01:29AM by UtahRich.
Subject Author Views Posted

How's My Apex ?

UtahRich 655 October 22, 2020 01:23AM

Falsing - Question about a Search coil cable / connector -

UtahRich 424 November 02, 2020 10:52PM

APEX headed to Garrett

UtahRich 434 November 06, 2020 11:07PM

Re: APEX headed to Garrett thumbs up

EL NINO 445 November 07, 2020 05:26AM

Further thoughts on the APEX -

UtahRich 547 November 07, 2020 07:13PM

Apex back in hand

UtahRich 407 November 09, 2020 09:54PM

Rich, I am not surprised. A very caring company, for sure.

Monte 405 November 10, 2020 12:42AM

So What Now?

UtahRich 550 November 10, 2020 04:43AM

Yes, different or distant locations, and shorter daylight hours, too.

Monte 438 November 10, 2020 07:13AM

Very Huntable at the House today Attachments

UtahRich 439 November 10, 2020 02:16PM

Re: Apex back in hand

D&P-OR 373 November 09, 2020 10:22PM

Re: APEX headed to Garrett thumbs up

Timbertodd 417 November 07, 2020 10:54AM

Rich, I liked your comments about the new Garrett Apex.thumbs up

Monte 442 October 22, 2020 09:49AM

The Garrett Apex.

UtahRich 431 October 22, 2020 04:08PM

UtahRich, my week-delay follow-up.

Monte 434 October 29, 2020 11:05AM

Re: The Garrett Apex.

jmaryt 430 October 22, 2020 06:31PM

A Sharp Stick...

OregonGregg 453 October 22, 2020 06:37AM

Comfortable Shoes -

UtahRich 421 October 22, 2020 03:52PM

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