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It's been 7 years since I owned a Minelab ... and now the Vanquish.

March 14, 2020 07:27PM avatar
I had a few Sovereign's with my favorite being the XS2a Pro. And then there were the 6 or 7 FBS Explorer series models, of which I favored the Explorer II. The problems for me, however, were their awkward weight and balance that was very fatiguing for me, and while they had their strengths for urban hunting of higher-conductive silver coins, most of my hunting since the early '80s has been in older, rural or remote locations where I need to deal with Iron Nails and other dense trash. Those detectors just are not good for that.

So I parted with all of the Minelab's and had several other brands/models that excelled in the heavy ferrous debris, but I am always interested in any newer models that might bring something along that interests me. A couple of years ago the Equinox was introduced and it got my attention, but not enough to buy one. They finally came out with a smaller 6" coil which, again, sparked my interest a little, but I had a good working battery and figured I'd just follow the forums, especially keeping in touch with friends who own and use the Equinox 800 and 600. It has been interesting hearing the complains about build quality, and a mix of reviews about performance, and adjustable functions.

As most readers know, I like detectors that fit the categories of being 'Simple', 'Functional;' and providing 'Performance' without a lot of excess controls/settings. Also I wanted a well balanced detector for me to hang in the game for a while to address mobility issues. I've been trimming my Detector Outfit and was doing fine when I finally got the urge to buy a new Vanquish 540 Pro Pack as I have mentioned before.

I had a very good idea what to expect and anticipated an issue or two regarding the Ground Balance, performance field, and lack of user controls to adjust the fixed or preset GB. I was right, and had the issue isolated in the first 10-15 minutes after I assembled the V-540. I got out and used it for a few days that first week I had it, just to better understand their design glitch, yet still hunt some challenging sites with ample iron to annoy anyone. I was only using the smaller-size coil in the Pro Pack, the 5X8 DD, and really liked the looks of the coil, the balance and feel of the 540 design and coil, and the performance I got in a variety of trashier places, both locally in park-type settings as well as at a ghost town.

I came to two conclusions:

One.. I really like the Vanquish 540's comfortable weight, grip, adjustable design, sturdy feel, and control face adjustments (except for lacking a GB feature). I also like the smaller-size 5X8 DD coil, and the in-the-field performance enough that I felt it would make a really good 'Cross-Over' unit in my Outfit, and could be very handy for working side-hills and fringe areas around the old sites I like to hunt. Also, it will make a very good 'Scouting Unit' as well. I had a place for it, and a useful need for it, so it was going to stay.

Two.. I also concluded that with the design issue, which affects all four Discriminate modes, I was hoping a service tech could fix-the-glitch, or if it was something in software and beyond his abilities.

I called Minelab USA and got a quick answer by a gal who was very courteous. Listened to my gripe and request for service. Then she quickly followed up to provide me the shipping label, an RMA number, and information to get it into the service department. We printed out the label and I got the Vanquish 540-1 mailed off to Minelab, via Priority Mail.

About this time you might wonder about my 540-1 and just what model that is?

Well, it is a twin to the Vanquish 540-2 that I bought right after sending my first 540 off to Minelab. My 1st and 2nd 540 Pro Pack units. smiling smiley Why, if they have a glitch, did I buy a 2nd Vanquish 540? An easy answer here, because I do not like to fuss around making search coil changes, especially if I am out hunting somewhere. I like a detector to be ready to grab-and-go. Generally I only use smaller-size coils in the 5"-6" size, or mid-size coils like a 7" Concentric or 5X8 or 5X9½ DD.

Too often a larger coil than that I have less use for, and often they are too heavy or poorly balanced. Other than my Simplex+, all my other detectors keep a smaller or medium-size coil mounted, as will my 1st 540 when it gets returned this coming week. My new 540 is going to keep the 9X12 DD mounted for those times when I want to work a plowed field, open pastureland or rangeland, or a wide-open grassy park or perhaps a beach.. When my achy, falling-apart body lets me enjoy an hour-long hunt with a bigger-size coil, that's an impressive event.thumbs up And I can with the Vanquish w/9X12 DD. It balances and feels that good.

I wrote up 5 or 6 pages and sent the description of the issue in with my 540. They had it and I called every day this past week and left one to three messages each day. No one ever answered the phone, and the only time a guy called was in the 15 minute window when I was out of cell service on the way down to hunt a CCC camp with the 2nd 540 and bigger coil. I got the message and called back, but no answer. Where was the Minelab service I got on my first call and the gal answered?

So I called again last Monday, and left a message, then called again on Tuesday a couple of times and just finished a long message when I got a call from them. I answered and it was the fellow who missed getting ahold of me and left a message the week before. He told me that they had checked my detector, and had sent a copy of my instructions about the design glitch to the home office. Then told me my detector would go out 'tomorrow' which would have been Wednesday. I asked if they would send me a Tracking Number, and he said yes.

Wednesday ... nothing. Thursday ... nothing, except a generated e-mail telling me they had received my detector for service. !!!eye popping smiley

On Friday I got a call and then the Tracking Number as it was sent out on Friday the 13th ... so now I just hope they didn't misdirect it on that day! Anyway, my 540 will be back from their service department this coming Thursday and I'll see what they have to say and if they were able to correct the design glitch or not.

If it is correctable, I'll send my 2nd 540 in, and if it isn't correctable, then I'll have to live with it. It just means the Horseshoe button for All Metal is useless for that option, but if I accept all of the Disc. segments except the first 2 and save it in the Custom mode slot, it still works quite well. I just have to hunt a bit more and decide, for sure, which of the three factory Default modes I want to use to set up my Custom mode for each unit based on the search coil used.

Likely it will be the Relic mode that is a slower-response and recovery but deeper-mode for the 9X12 DD, and more than likely use the Jewelry mode and custom set the Disc. for use with the 5X8 DD since it is sort of a 'blend' of the Coin and Relic modes.

Sorry to ramble but my nice new Vanquish has been gone during some of the better detecting weather and I'll be excited to get it back in my Outfit. It will join the twin Vanquish 540 and another new detector I got from Joel, 'Kickindirt', but I'll talk about it on the Nokta / Makro Forum.

I hope everyone is learning and adjusting to any new detector they have acquired, or might, before better detecting weather arrives, and especially by the WTHO in Nevada the first of June.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my favorite makes and models, with the best coils mounted, for the tasks I'll take on.
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive & ProPointer AT .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk .. ML-80 .. N/M Green edition
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

It's been 7 years since I owned a Minelab ... and now the Vanquish.

Monte 344 March 14, 2020 07:27PM

I'm infected ....

Monte 275 March 16, 2020 10:04AM

'Thank You' UtahRich and Kickindirt ... I got the 'OK.'

Monte 219 March 17, 2020 06:55AM

Re: I'm infected .... me too good luck mr N/T

Kickindirt 208 March 16, 2020 07:20PM

Good luck with the permission . . . thumbs up N/T

UtahRich 194 March 16, 2020 01:41PM

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