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Apex w/5" Sharp NEL coil .... Ready for super trash!

December 11, 2020 09:08AM avatar
I've modified my Detector Outfit and settled on a good assortment of makes and models to serve my needs, be it the occasional Relic Hunting (now that I have to make the change-up back to urban sites) and the Coin & Jewelry Hunting I am planning for the future. The only steps left were to pick-and-choose which search coils I like best on different models to complement my outfit.

My two Special-Use Team of the Nokta CoRe and Relic with their small 5"ish DD coils that stay mounted are the best performing in really dense Iron Nails, only rivaled by the two Tesoro's I have with their 6" Concentric coils attached full-time. My XLT keeps a 6½" Concentric mounted in my Special-Use Team. It has been fun comparing the other makes and models I have, and like, to select which coil or coils serve me best. To reach my goal it meant adding a 2nd or duplicate detector just to sport a different coil. I've been doing that for decades so it isn't a major move on my part. Just finding the best coils for my needs to take on different tasks is important.

That brings me to my Daily-Use Team of detectors that I load in the vehicle for my daily travels, just to be ready for any opportunity I chance upon. Other than my Silver Sabre µMAX w/6" Concentric coil for quick-work in tot-lots, there are three models I really like. They are different enough to complement each other in some way. Those models are the Nokta / Makro Simplex +, the Minelab Vanquish 540 and the new Garrett Apex.

I really like the Simplex +, especially should I do any beach hunting or venture out on a rainy day. I have found their 5X9½ DD coil to be a terrific general-purpose performer for any daily hunt I might encounter, and it is the smallest-size coil Nokta / Makro makes for that model, so I keep that coil mounted full-time on my Simplex +.

Another detector I acquired earlier this year, thought about thinning out, but kept it and added to my Daily-Use Team, is the Minelab Vanquish 540 Pro Pack. That comes with wireless headphones and two coils: a 5X8 DD and 9X12 DD. I just bought a 2nd V-540 Pro Pack a week or so ago and keep the 5X8 DD mounted on my main-use 540, and now have the 9X12 DD mounted on my 2nd V-540 to use in plowed fields, wide-open grassy areas, pastureland or other similar locations. The Minelab Multi-IQ works well, and different, from other detectors I like and use.

And that brings me to the new Garret Apex. I know some folks have bought it, tried it, and sold it, and that's fine with me. That's how I acquired my 2nd Apex. smiling smiley No perfect detector made so we all should acquire and use what we like, if it does what we need it to do. The Apex is different from my other Daily-Use Team of detectors because it is not only a Simultaneous Multi-Frequency detector, but in addition to the Multi-Flex SMF operation it provides the user with Single-Frequency choices of '5' kHz, '10' kHz, '15' kHz and '20' kHz plus an 'MS' feature for hunting salt-water environments.

As I mentioned, I liked the Apex so well that I bought a 2nd Apex .... when they only had the one standard 'Viper' coil available. I figured there would be more to come and wanted to be prepared. Now, to be honest, I wasn't real keen on the 'blending' they suggested they did of the two coil sizes to end up with the 'Viper' which measures 6X11. Then, in use and putting it up against the other two models it travels with, the Apex & 'Viper' coil worked better than I thought. For a lot of Apex owners it might be just the ticket to cover most of their needs, and maybe they only need a smaller-size coil to work in places with a lot of modern trash to deal with.

For me, however, it kind of split in between the two coils I prefer, one a little smaller for trashier or brushier sites, and one a little bigger for a bit more depth-of-detection in open areas. My 'Viper' coil is at rest in my Accessory Coil Tote. My primary-use Apex I keep the 5x8 'Ripper' coil mounted full-time because it 'fits' in many places better for me than the 'Viper' coil, thus enhancing performance. My 2nd Apex keeps the bigger 8½X11 DD 'Raider' coil mounted for wide-open grassy areas, plowed fields, open range-land, or taking on a beach.

I removed that coil for a while last evening to mount the new 5" 'Sharp' DD coil from NEL.smiling smiley It arrived about dark so I have only been able to do some indoor 'testing' and comparisons with it. If I get lucky, we might get into the low 40's today, briefly, and I'll take it to the vacant lots I have been hunting before snow arrives this evening .... and on and off for a week or more. sad smiley

So, what can I say about the new NEL 5" Apex coil? Well, nothing bad, that's for sure. Like all the NEL coils I have worked with, I opened the box to find:

• A very solidly-built 5" coil.

• A heavy-duty coil cable.

• Thin, snug-fitting coil cover mounted.

• Coil cable connector protector cap.

• Included a connector bolt & nut, as well as the 'proper' Garrett lower-rod washers.

It measures exactly 5" in diameter. I guess that if there was one thing to complain about, if it is a complaint at all, is that the NEL 5" 'Sharp' DD coil is thicker than Garrett's three coils for the Apex, and due to the robust, solid build of the NEL coils, I noticed in side-by-side comparisons the 5" Sharp is just a wee bit heavier than the 5X8 'Ripper' Garrett coil. In the long run it doesn't mean much because it is a small coil, ideal to complement the standard 'Viper' or the accessory 'Ripper' or 'Raider' coils, and it's not like being a larger-size, overly-heavy coil that causes fatigue. It's just slightly heavier than the very light-weight 'Ripper' coil.

I was only able to set up the various Test Scenarios I use here indoors and run it through the paces, and I was not surprised to enjoy the performance it provided. The main 'testing' I did was with the NBPT and some other Iron Nails and Rusty Tin samples. For me, the long-term goal of any make or model detector I evaluate ... with regard to Relic Hunting conditions with a dense array of Iron Nails ... is to try and match a good Tesoro with a 6" or 7" Concentric coil on the Nail Board Performance Test. There is a possible 8-out-of-8 hits, and for me, I will only use a detector & coil in very Iron littered sites if I can get AT LEAST 7-out-of-8 good hits on the NB, and 8 would be splendid.

Some of the better slow-motion, quick-response and recovery 2-filter type analog detectors we used to use could handle the Nail Board, but as we progressed into the wonderful world of more digital circuitry, the results haven't been very impressive. There are various reasons for it, but one boils down to the detector's circuitry design. They might be a very good urban Coin & Jewelry Hunting set-up to handle modern trash that is mainly non-ferrous, but so many of those good Coin Hunting detectors fall on their face on the NBPT due to the challenging array of Iron Nails. They can't recover from the Iron response and effect on the EMF.

Today, test comparisons are different from before because six years ago next month I got one of the 'digital' type circuitry Nokta FORS CoRe devices in my hand, and with their small 4.7X5.2 DD coil, that I call an 'OOR' coil, it easily matched the performance I got from any of my Tesoro's with a 6" Concentric coil on the Nail Board. That was soon followed with the original Racer and it, also, handled it quite well with its 'OOR' DD coil. And a year later, in January of 2016, the Nokta Relic w/5" DD and Racer 2 w/5" DD showed off their abilities on the NB and the Relic and CoRe became my primary-use, modern detectors with visual TID and 2-Tone or 3-Tone audio ID, that are specifically assigned duty for Relic Hunting those dirty-bad-nasty Iron contaminated places.

Back to the Garrett Apex and the NEL 5" 'Sharp' DD coil - - - -

As I have stated, I was impressed with some of the Apex performance from the start, and surprised at how well the 'Viper' coil worked in Iron debris. I was, and am, equally impressed with the 'Ripper' and 'Raider' coils on the Apex for taking on more congested locations, or the more open and less littered sites. One thing that impressed me was how well Garrett's stock and accessory coils handled the Nail Board and generally got 7-out-of-8 dig-worthy hits with a slow and methodical sweep. To be honest, I was kind of hoping the NEL 5" DD would go one step farther and produce 8-hits, but it didn't. It was still 7 digable hits, and the toughest sweep route was #2 since the Iron Nails are just so close to the centered 1¢ coin. It boils down to circuitry design, mainly.

That said, the Apex & NEL Sharp handed all the other tests I did quite well, and the depth of detection (I know, an 'air test') was also good for a 5" coil. I was up until about 2 AM doing a lot of tests, including switching through all of the SF options as well as MF.

Surveying my selection of detectors and coils, and contemplating the many different site challenges we can face based upon the locations we plan to hunt ... both urban and rural ... my Special-Use Team of the CoRe, Relic and Bandido II µMAX, using their smaller coils, have not been replaced due to the 5" NEL coil. However, for some of the Relic Hunting locations where I want a smaller-size coil to fit in tight or brushy areas, and where the Iron Nails are not too terribly bad, the Apex w/NEL Sharp will see some use. Also, it makes a great small coil to complement the mid-size 'Ripper or 'Viper'' or 5X8 or 5X9½ DD coils on an Apex, V-540 or Simplex+ when I confront some dense modern trash around picnic groves or bowery areas, as well as some renovation sites where it will make a better 'fit'.

It did leave me with a dilemma, however, of how I am going to make it work in my Daily-Use Team of detectors.thinking The 'Ripper' coil, a 5X8 DD, is my main-use match on an Apex, so it isn't coming off. My 2nd Apex has the 8½X11 DD 'Raider' coil mounted because I also like to have that ready-to-grab when I get out to hunt a plowed field or a wide-open grassy area, etc.. I could leave the 'Raider' coil off and in my Accessory Coil Tote and grab it when desired .... but I do not like to mess around changing search coils back-and-forth, plus I like the comfortable size, feel and performance of the 'Raider' coil, also.

So, I've decided the best way to make use of the new NEL 'Sharp' 5" coil as a working part of my Daily-Use Team of detectors is to take the 1-2-3 approach: I'll load-up 1-Simplex + w/5X9½ DD coil, 2-Minelab Vanquish 540's w/5X8 DD and 9X12 DD, and 3-Garrett Apex devices w/'Ripper', 'Raider' and 'NEL 'Sharp' coils all at-the-ready. Pretty simple!thumbs up

Now all I need to do is sell or trade one of the many brand new detectors I bought for the evaluations I did in order to get a 3rd Apex w/Wireless headphones. I know, some might think I'm a bit daffy, but if you saw how I organize my detectors, headphones and needed accessories for each you would (maybe) understand.

It looks like winter is going to force me to make a wintertime detecting trip into a dry and warm climate for a few days so I can work all of these detectors and coils for some field-time. I sure wish it was springtime.


"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now 'back home' in Farr West Utah
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my chosen makes and models, with the best coils mounted for the tasks I'll take on.
F-19 .. Racer .. Vanquish 540 .. FORS Relic .. Silver Sabre µMAX .. Bandido II µMAX .. XLT
Pinpointers: Garrett AT Pro-Pointers .. Headphones: 'Hornet' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk .. ML-80
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2020 04:53AM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Apex w/5" Sharp NEL coil .... Ready for super trash!

Monte 659 December 11, 2020 09:08AM

Re: Apex w/5" Sharp NEL coil .... Ready for super trash!

Timbertodd 411 December 11, 2020 06:19PM

Search coil selection and favorites.

Monte 448 December 12, 2020 09:55AM

Well darn

OregonGregg 435 December 11, 2020 09:53AM

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