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Some Detector & Coil Comparison Results ... but incomplete.

June 22, 2019 07:32AM avatar
Due to variables, such as some people only making it there for a day, then hunting until dark-o'clock they were not able to gather together, plus some headed home due to it being Father's Day Weekend, or just different timing since we were scattered out to three or four town sites that limited a full-attendance gathering.

A few of us did gather to check out the detectors we were mainly using for our Relic Hunting needs, but that presented another issue. My intent was to have each individual use the detector and coil they wanted for working those old and very trashy (including a lot of iron) ghost town sites. We know the bulk of the good targets we are after are out-of-sight, and we also know that some might be favorably positioned while some are going to be partially masked by debris and we want a detector / coil combination to work well, and that also requires some of the most efficient settings.

It is seldom a good thing to keep pausing to tinker around with a detector's settings when intentionally searching. The time to do that is when learning a detector's potential, then making necessary setting changes to establish the better-performing results during a search. The reason for the Test Scenario's I use is to see HOW a detector performs in typical hunting conditions using all the settings already chosen to work as desired when Relic Hunting.

That way, using the set-up you think is going to work best it can help show the strengths and weaknesses of the detector/coil/settings performance. THEN, with that knowledge as a whole, a person can try a change or two to see if they can increase the performance overall and not just on a specific Test Sample. And, knowing that the deepest and most responsive area of the EMF is going to be in the center-axis of the search coil, I ask for a direct sweep of the coil completely across the Test Sample, not just a short little wiggle because that's not how we search a site.

Then I ask them to listen to the "direct-hit" audio response, glance at the display's VDI read-out if they want, and then simply tell us which targets they would consider to be trash and not recover, and which targets provided a decent audio and visual response that they would recover. Some had a jumpy display and/or a choppy audio response but would still say they would Recover the target because it kind-of sounded good at times.

Well, that's fine to do as I know I do that often myself, but usually after doing some Audio Target Classification techniques. But what I wanted all of us to learn is with the detector and coil selected, and with the main settings to be used, just how does the resulting performance translate to a potentially good or bad target simply based on how the detector responds on a direct-hit search coil sweep from the left and right.

The problem was some didn't quite understand what I asked for, ... to simply sweep the targets as directed with the already chosen settings, then report their Dig / No-Dig decisions based on a direct sweep. Also, some noted their detector didn't respond too well on some of the Test Samples (which were mostly in containers and out-of-sight), and started tweaking different settings to try and make one specific Test Sample sound better, and would make adjustment changes on multiple Test Samples. That tinkering then eliminated the goal of comparing different makes and models due to unnatural frequent changes in the search settings.

So, What Could I Gain from the Testing and Comparisons I Witnessed?:

As I mentioned a small number of us did a little group testing before our Saturday Evening Dinner, and I also did some Sample comparisons a few days before and another on Sunday with individuals. What I determined was the following:

As I already knew, there is no "perfect detector" in the mix because there's no such thing as a 'perfect' detector..

Most of the decent detectors for these hunt site challenges could provide respectful results and fit in a General Purpose category based o performance .... if they had functional settings and used the best coil for the task.

It was apparent that some detector manufacturers need to make a smaller size search coil, in the 5" to 6" diameter size range.

Some of the very capable detectors, by Make & Model, didn't perform that well due to 'Custom Program Settings' that caused them to not signal on some desired targets or struggle with some trash targets. I have always warned consumers to be wary of a 'Custom Program' and to make sure they do some in-the-field testing to ensure they get results in a very functional behavior so as not to experience good-target loss. I believe I saw three detectors that had 'Custom Settings' which degraded their otherwise good performance.

I also observed some individual's search techniques needed attention because they would.
1.. Sweep a search coil too quickly.
2.. Work a search coil too close to the ground, even to scrub the coil on the ground.
3.. The reverse was also apparent as a couple swept a coil too far from the ground.

NOTE: Generally, the most efficient coil height from the ground should be ±2" and a sweep rate should be "slow and methodical." We each need to learn just what "slow" is as it relates to each brand.

Another thing some of the folks learned, or might have, is that using a single frequency, even selecting one with a "simultaneous" frequency model, can provide some improved performance and a cleaner audio response quality in some applications. I know I learned a few more things as it related to the XP ORX I have been evaluating when doing some side-by-side comparisons with George L. and his Minelab EQ-800.

So, here is what I noted, what I concluded about the detectors folks brought with them to use, combined with what I used and the results I enjoy with the detectors I have in my 'get serious' Relic Hunting gear for nasty iron debris sites as well as those that fit the 'General Purpose' category for working well in a wide-range of site environments:

#1.. I like to compare ANY detectors I own or evaluate or watch in action by others to see if they qualify to be grabbed to get acceptable results in most commonly-encountered old relic-type sites.

#2.. I start out by comparing any detector with the best available coil for it using my Nail Board Performance Test using an Indian Head Cent or a similar conductivity modern Zinc Cent. I figure with 8 possible hits using sweeps from the left and from the right along the 4 marked sweep routes, a detector needs to get at east 6-out-of-8 hits to 'Pass' the test. However, I prefer to only use a detector & coil combination that gives me 7 or 8-out-of-8 reliable hits. In short, a 'serious Relic Hunting' device, for me, has to match the performance I get from any of my long-proven, dedicated Tesoro detectors.

Are they the best for unmasking in a really ugly, dense-iron location? No, perhaps not up to the level that some of our modern detectors are, but they have served me well for 36 years in those iron-challenged old RR ghost towns, and have produced 8-out-of-8 on the Nail Board since I first encountered that specimen in a Southern Utah Ghost Town over 25 years ago.

And by 'proven,' I refer to the performance I have received using a Tesoro with a 7" Concentric or 6" Concentric coil in my long-favored and very hard-hunted town I call "Twin Flats" Utah. Hunting it at times since early May of 1969, but avidly searching it since mid-July of 1983 after Tesoro's Inca was first introduced which provided us with a slow-motion, quick-response and recovery performance circuitry. And progressing through the 'improved' Tesoro models until my last hunt at that site in about 2011 using my current top two Tesoro favorites.

I have worked several other makes and models in 'Twin Flats' for evaluation, and I have done quite well there. I have only been skunked once when I only allowed myself a short three hours hunt time. Skunked only Once! But that one townsite helped me fill four binders with carded 2X2' of found coins plus some yet not finished off to start another binder, and that accounts for hundreds of coins from that old site that has a lot of trash, including lots of nails and other ferrous debris. Hundreds of coins, and 92% to 95% of them all were found when hunting with a Tesoro I favored. Now that is definitely 'proven performance' and that is what I expect from any detector I consider to be a great pick as a get-serous Relic Hunting model.

My favorite two Tesoro's are the Bandido II microMAX and Silver Sabre microMAX and each keeps a 6" Concentric coil mounted full-time. These are each a constant-travel detector, always in my vehicle. I also keep three other detectors on the back seat and ready-to-grab, and those include my Nokta FORS CoRe w/'OOR' DD and FORS Relic w/5" DD mounted.. And now, after the WTHO out of Wells, Nevada last week and some prior hunting near 'home' here in Vale, Oregon, I am keeping my 'General Purpose' XP ORX w/5X9 HF coil mounted.

The two Tesoro models have the ED-120 Discriminate circuitry which I always keep at the minimum Disc. setting which rejects (silences) most ferrous debris, and the other three are kept at-the-ready with a low iron Disc setting to just barley keep nails accepted but in the Low-Tone Iron Audio range. The two Nokta models and the ORX can all match or better the performance I get from my Tesoro's on most of the Test Scenarios I rely on.

#3.. ALL of the five detectors I just mentioned that are regular "Travel Companions" also fit my 3-Poimts of Acceptance:
#1.. They are 'SIMPLE' to get into action and make any quick setting adjustments.
#2.. They are 'FUNCTIONAL' and only have necessary adjustment features and not a lot of added 'fluff' that can easily retard the results.
#3.. Their 'simplicity' and 'functional' behavior results in very reliable 'PERFORMANCE' afield in a wide-range of conditions.

#4.. I also have narrowed my carry gear to be lighter weight models that balance well for me to reduce fatigue and allow longer search time.

#5.. All models I use have their smallest-size search coil mounted for peak efficiency since I hunt in dense debris environments.

There are many very good detectors to pick from that do well in urban Coin Hunting environments and I have other makes and models for those tasks. And there are quite a few devices that can also serve the Hobbyist well for working tougher iron-challenges locations that I have also used with success over the past decade for "general purpose" hunting. For me those have included the Fisher Gold Bug Pro and F19 and the same-o Teknetics G2 and G2+ models. Teknetics T2 'family' from the original T2 to T2 SE LTD, T2 'Classic' and now the T2+. Also the White's earlier Classic ID and IDX Pro, especially when modified. The MXT Pro and All-Pro, and now the better offering, the MX-7.

All very good detectors for most of the needs we have on a Welcome-to-Hunt Outing to iron debris sites and they can serve folks well. But for me, with age and wear-and-tear on my body causing a lot of mobility limitations, I have worked hard to trim my current Regular-Use Detector Outfit to the five models I mentioned above. These five units, two being audio only with a single tone and no visual Target ID read-out handle my needs. None of them are 'perfect' for everything, but each has a strength or two they bring to the table and that works for me. Plus, they handlde my assortment of Test Scenarios quite well.

So, no specific answer regarding each of the specimens I saw at the outing, but I know some of them didn't do all that well, and most that didn't were more adjustable model and their settings were not all that efficient on a lot of the samples I used. I think the next time I do this I will eliminate one thing and that is having the owners handle them. I'll just ask for them to be set up the way THEY would search the sites then hand them to me. That way everyone can witness their use without tweaking for different Test Targets and all will be fair.thumbs up

Sorry to ramble but there's a reply. Sorry you two couldn't be there.


"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
Fisher: F-44, Nokta-Makro: FORS CoRe and FORS Relic, Teknetics: Omega 8000,
Tesoro: Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX, White's: XLT, XP: ORX
Killer B's 'Hornet' and White's 'Pro Star'
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

Question for Monte.

D&P-OR 150 June 20, 2019 06:00AM

Some Detector & Coil Comparison Results ... but incomplete.

Monte 171 June 22, 2019 07:32AM

Re: Some Detector & Coil Comparison Results ... but incomplete.

Digstrashtomuch 112 June 23, 2019 08:11AM

You brought up several points I agree with.

Monte 79 June 24, 2019 05:29AM

Reviewing detectors, 2019

glabelle 129 June 22, 2019 05:08PM

Re: Reviewing detectors, 2019

DesertRokon 59 June 28, 2019 05:50PM

Vic, I wish you thee best of success!

Monte 63 June 29, 2019 04:29AM

Re: Vic, I wish you thee best of success!

DesertRokon 51 June 29, 2019 11:22AM

Re: Reviewing detectors, 2019

glabelle 70 June 28, 2019 07:22PM

Re: Reviewing detectors, 2019

DesertRokon 47 June 29, 2019 10:19AM

George, 'Thank You' or clarifying your reply.

Monte 52 June 28, 2019 10:16PM

Re: Reviewing detectors, 2019

jmaryt 61 June 26, 2019 11:53AM

George, here are a few examples of what 'SIMPLE' might be.

Monte 68 June 25, 2019 10:39AM

Re: George, here are a few example of what 'SIMPLE' might be.

Cal_Cobra 56 June 26, 2019 02:37PM

A nice reply, Brian, and I generally agree.

Monte 48 June 26, 2019 06:08PM

Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

UtahRich 98 June 22, 2019 06:52PM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! ! Nope!!

Kickindirt 68 June 23, 2019 04:38PM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! ! Nope!!

jmaryt 61 June 25, 2019 11:05AM

The Equinox 800 isn't all that expensive for what it offers.

Monte 64 June 25, 2019 05:27PM

Re: The Equinox 800 isn't all that expensive for what it offers.

Cal_Cobra 44 June 26, 2019 02:18PM

Similar to what I had to pay for early Tek. T2 upgraded versions and a couple other brands

Monte 39 June 26, 2019 06:11PM

Re: The Equinox 800 isn't all that expensive for what it offers.

jmaryt 51 June 25, 2019 08:56PM

Re: The Equinox 800 isn't all that expensive for what it offers.

Cal_Cobra 45 June 26, 2019 02:20PM

Somebody say Tesoro ? .

UtahRich 66 June 25, 2019 09:05PM

Re: Somebody say Tesoro ? .

Cal_Cobra 45 June 26, 2019 02:39PM

I have no concerns about my Tesoro models. And they very seldom need repair. N/T

Monte 36 June 26, 2019 06:13PM

Re: Somebody say Tesoro ? .

jmaryt 48 June 26, 2019 08:38AM

Models costing less than $300? Sure!

Monte 54 June 26, 2019 01:13AM

Re: Models costing less than $300? Sure!

jmaryt 43 June 26, 2019 08:40AM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

WM6 96 June 23, 2019 03:55PM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

Cal_Cobra 61 June 25, 2019 11:00AM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

jmaryt 50 June 25, 2019 08:59PM

The EQ-800 is a good unit, but the questions to make a selection are:

Monte 64 June 24, 2019 08:44PM

A Deeper Beeper -

UtahRich 75 June 23, 2019 07:43PM

?? A Deeper Beeper ?? - You have three of them.

Monte 59 June 24, 2019 08:59PM

Three Detectors Walk Into A Bar . . . . . .

UtahRich 53 June 24, 2019 11:51PM

- - - - and the new guys asked, "Who's that old guy and what does he do?"

Monte 58 June 25, 2019 09:05AM

Re: - - - - and the new guys asked, "Who's that old guy and what does he do?"

jmaryt 44 June 25, 2019 09:26AM

Re: A Deeper Beeper -

WM6 67 June 24, 2019 02:21AM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

glabelle 73 June 23, 2019 05:08PM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

Cal_Cobra 35 June 26, 2019 02:45PM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

Sodbuster 51 June 24, 2019 11:23AM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! !

WM6 60 June 24, 2019 03:37AM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! ! WM6 measurements

glabelle 53 June 24, 2019 11:24AM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800 ! ! ! ! WM6 measurements

WM6 68 June 24, 2019 02:41PM

Re: Detector of the Year - EQ800, but prob not for long

OregonGregg 92 June 23, 2019 01:52PM

Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

UtahRich 68 June 23, 2019 06:20PM

Re: Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

OregonGregg 101 June 23, 2019 06:48PM

Re: Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

D&P-OR 47 June 25, 2019 05:37PM

Greg buy a Minelab or XP ?

UtahRich 40 June 25, 2019 09:01PM

Re: Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

OregonGregg 65 June 25, 2019 06:05PM

Sent you a p.m. Gregg.---------Del

D&P-OR 46 June 26, 2019 06:21AM

Re: Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

NWCindy 64 June 23, 2019 08:01PM

Re: Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

Sodbuster 49 June 24, 2019 02:48PM

"Have fun. H. H." smileys with diet Dr. Pepper float ... Quite true, we should be having fun with what we do.thumbs up N/T

Monte 38 June 24, 2019 09:01PM

Re: Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

WM6 59 June 24, 2019 03:44AM

Re: Pick a detector, Go Hunt.

NWCindy 47 June 24, 2019 03:33PM

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