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#2→→ My comments on the 10 New Detector Models Tested ... Very Lengthy..

November 03, 2020 04:17PM avatar
Again, I'll just take them in the brand and Model Order. I'll tell you why I selected these models, what I expected, and what I experienced.

Fisher F44:
Okay, I know this model had a low score of only 22 Points, however it is a really fun detector to have on-hand. I got it for the multi-model evaluation because it is modern, has a lot of adjustment features for the price, and it is at a very affordable price to get people started in a great hobby. They can be older kids to adults and the F44 can provide ample adjustments and performance afield for most hobby applications.

What I expected from it at the going price was good Coin & Jewelry Hunting performance for typical parks and schools and other public-access places that have worked well for Hobbyists through the years. I had two of them and kept one until a month or so back to have a 'loaner-unit' on hand. I have 16 grandchildren and some have a detector in their home, but most of them don't Unfortunately for me, most of them live two states away and are scattered about so I see them rarely. But I also have a lot of friends with families who live closer and at times some of the younger one like to check out a detector with me, ... and I've managed to work the magic upward and get some parents involved in the hobby, too. The F44 is a good model for many to enjoy this sport, and then as they get into it more that have ample room to shop around and move up to a more featured detector.

I also used mine for Coin Hunting and in most typical urban environments it worked fine. Like many FTP products, however, it isn't the best pick for hunting in a lot of challenging sites that are 'over-supplied' with ferrous debris. That's why some lower scores with Iron Nails in the mix.

It is powered by 2-AA batteries, features 9 Disc. segments on the TID scale and also has a numeric VDI read-out. The Volume control provides adjustment for the Iron Audio Volume also, and it works fine. It and it also has a red Back-light for the display. You have control adjustment for the 4-Tone Audio ID and can assign the Tone desired to the 9 different Discrimination categories in the 'Custom' Discriminate mode. When turned 'Of' the 'Custom' mode settings are saved and easy to get started hunting again. In addition the F44 has a programmed Jewely, Artifact and Coin mode with different Disc. notch settings and assigned tones.

It shares search coils with other FTP models at the 7.69 to 7.8 kHz frequencies, but I personally don't care for the tear-drop looking coils. I ordered my first F44 with the 11" BiAxial coil and the 2nd F44 with the round 7" Concentric coil, which is the one I like on many of those models in those frequencies..

For me and my wants and needs, I wanted a smaller set-up as a loaner and ordered mine with the 7" Concentric coil. The F44 has an All Metal mode, and a Ground-Grab automated Ground Balance function. Also, you can do a Manual Ground Balance, if desired, with this model. My problem is that I have had too many detectors around and about a month-and-a-half ago I sold my F44 w/7" Concentric to a local gal who bought it for her adult son and family. I still had access for some evaluation work but it is now out of my inventory..I had, at the time, over 18 detectors around and my goal is to trim my detector group to 9 different make and models, so I sold it. But that was also because after showing her several detectors, it was the most impressive for the price point.

Do I have any negative thoughts or personal opinions? Just this, I do wish some of the FTP products, including the F44, could go a step beyond 'average' and do a much better job of taking on a dense Iron Nail contaminated site. Old ghost towns and similar sites that have closely-positioned nails, such as demonstrated with my Nail Board, are not easily conquered.

Fisher F5:
The F5 has a very respected history of in-the-filed performance. That's noted by the very high number of '38' Points it scored for me, using my preferred 7" Concentric coil. For the record, the 'standard' coil is comes with, the 10" elliptical Concentric, scored '33' Points. Why did I get it for this multi-model evaluation? Well, here's the story as to 'why.' I remember back in March of 2010 I had thought about checking out a detector or two, but had a flurry of e-mail and phone requests from people asking me what I thought about the Teknetics Omega 8000. Good questions ... but I couldn't answer them because I had not handled one, so with the pestering over a five day period I ordered in an Omega 8000 3-coil package. What does this have to do with the F5?

Well, at the time I had thought about getting an F5 to check out, but I already had the Teknetics T2, the Omega uses the T2 pistol grip, and a quick read let me know that FTP's design engineer, Dave Johnson, said he preferred the Omega 8000 over the F5. Then I also took on being a Teknetics Dealer at the time and enjoyed the Omega 8000 as my favorite urban Coin & Jewelry Hunting model with visual TID, and continued to for over 5 years. During that period I would see and handle a couple of F5's when I held some of my seminars and I got to handle them when I helped an attendee with theirs, but never got around to buying one.

One reason was that they were not in my budget at the time. It was available with one of two search coils. An F5 w/open-frame 10" Concentric elliptical was $549 and with the 11" BiAxial it was $599. Today, Detector Electronics has the F5 'package' w/10" elliptical Concentric for only $299.95, and that also comes with a 4" Concentric coil and a few other freebies. A great price for a versatile, proven performer, so I bought one for the evaluations ... and because now, ten years later, I was still interested in what the F5 might provide me.

While I do like the elliptical 10" Concentric coil that came with my new F5, I already had a Fisher 7" Concentric in my Accessory Coil Tote and have enjoyed that size and lightweight feel, so that's the coil I mainly wanted to use on the F5. The F5 comes with 2 Eveready 9-V batteries, and provides a lot of adjustment functions I also enjoy. The visual display has a good-size VDI read-out and other displayed information is also easy-to-see, It operates at 7.8 kHz, is comfortable and well balanced, and uses a combination of control knobs and touch-pads.

The knob-adjust controls are for: On/Off and Sensitivity level; Ground Balance; Threshold level; and the Discrimination level which can be clicked into an All Metal mode. The variable Discrimination uses a numeric read-out in the display as well as showing a Disc. 'segment' being rejected (using a lined-out segment when the Disc. gets to that limit).providing some visual indication of how much Discrimination is in use.

As for the Threshold control, it allows the operator to set a proper Threshold hum in All Metal, but it is also adjustable for the Disc. mode and can provide a little extra edge in some applications. The Ground Balance control lets the operator make a Manual Ground Balance in All Metal if they would like to tweak it just a wee-bit positive or negative to their liking. Even better, for those of us who like to have more control of important settings ... and Ground Balance is one of them ... you can Manually GB the F5 while in the motion-based Discriminate mode!

The 'settings' section in the lower-left of the F5's display will show you the GB setting and adjustment as well as tweaking the GB setting when in the Discriminate mode, and remember, the GB is tied in with the Threshold-based All Metal Pinpoint function. Also note that the GB control has felt 'soft-clicks' in the adjustment, and the display will show the 2-digit whole number for the GB. But there are 10 clicks or settings-steps between each number which allows fine-tuning the Ground Balance even better. For example, I might GB at one location that registers '83' when it is spot-on, But if I increase the manual GB control knob 4 clicks and it then shows a setting of '84', that means my initial GB was actually '83.6' and the increase of 4 clicks took me to 83.7, 83.8, 83.9 and then '84.0'. For me, I like to have that type of useful, functional control and knowledge of an important setting.

The touch-pads include one labeled 'Phase Lock' which functions as a Ground-Grab for a quick, automated Ground Balance (Ground Phase) setting. One is labeled 'Tone' to select from the 4 different Tone ID Discrimination audio options. 'Notch' to easily scroll through the Discrimination segments to Notch Reject or Notch Accept most of them, as desired.. It doesn't allow rejection of the 10¢ segment or the 25¢ segment. The last is 'Freq.' which allows modest Frequency off-sets to help counter EMI. One good observation is that the Fisher F5 is one of the least EMI troubled models I've been using in the evaluations in some very EMI prone conditions, so I never had to use that control feature.

Looking back, I now kind of regret not picking up an F5 a decade ago. Looking ahead, however, this is the one important new model I wanted to evaluate that is not going to go up for sale as I will be making use of it in the days ahead. A very handy urban Coin Hunting device for many of my needs.

Do I have any personal gripes or thoughts about the Fisher F5? Only one, but it can't be helped. I wish it had Iron Audio Volume control, but it was made before that newer adjustment function became popular, and while I wish it had it, I can get along in most applications without it.

Garrett Apex:
This is Garrett's newest model entry, and you won't see me using the 'Ace' label for it as it doesn't have the Ace-series performance. This is a completely different critter and I feel they ought to drop the 'Ace' association. Okay, done with that word.

Now I'm sure many of you have watched a few videos recently by 'Calabash Digger' that didn't reflect the Apex favorably. Fine. That was his test of the Apex against a few other models and was mainly a 'Depth Test' in his ground on what he called a 10" buried Dime. He had a borrowed Apex and then he bought one to test, which he then sold after a depth test on a 10" coin.

I got my first Apex because I was very curious what the folks at Garrett Metal Detectors had finally brought us after several years of very little. I was hoping for something new and different. A lighter-weight detector with functional controls. and hoping for a couple of adjustments I would like to see in a new model entry. Plus, it wouldn't hurt if it also provided me with some in-the-field performance.

I bought one of the first I could get my hands on at introduction and was well pleased. Very light, impressively compact, and has useful adjustment features. I have models that can go deep, if I want or need them to, and quite honestly, I don't expect most detectors to hit on a US Dime at 10" because, well, that's just not what normally happens where most folks go detecting. Especially when they encounter a lot of trash and you can't achieve 'depth' in the first place.

I hunt more debris-filled locutions and I was honestly surprised when I put the Apex and the only search coil available for it (then) to work on the evaluation Test Scenarios and got an impressive score of '37' Points with a 6X11 DD coil. The only coil Garrett or anyone had at the time. By the way, I reported the results using the 'MF' choice for SMF operation, but also had similar results in most of the Single-Frequency options, too.

I was so impressed that I purchased a 2nd Apex because I already had an extra set of their MS-3 Z-Lynk headphones and I wanted to be ready for when they get a smaller-size coil out for this device. Garrett has now announced a mid-size and larger-size coil for the Apex, and NEL also shows a full array of search coils, to include a small round 5" and a small 'Snake' elliptical coil. Both ought to be good and it will join the Viper coil options ... the 5X8 DD Ripper and .8½X11 DD Raider.

Now, to the Apex and what it offers consumers. The default Operating Frequency is '15' kHz, and you can select Single Frequencies of '5' kHz, '10' kHz and '20' kHz, also. One main selling points for the Apex is that it features Garrett's Simultaneous Multi-Frequency design called 'Multi-Flex' with two operations: MF for land-base searches, or MS which is for Multi-Salt environments that helps counter the challenges of working a saltwater beach.

It is powered by a rechargeable built-in Li-PO battery, and the 'standard' search coil, they call the 'Viper', is an open-frame 6X11 DD design. The unit is adjusted using touch-buttons to turn it On or Off, and one to scroll through the Discriminate mode selection. Those modes are labeled Zero for accepting All Disc. notches or segments, or other modes such as Coin, US Coin, Jewelry, Relic and Custom. In Custom you can adjust the various Disc. segments as desired and the Custom settings are retained in memory at turn-off.

There are Left and Right arrow keys for adjusting the Discrimination segments using an Accept or Reject touch key. Also, the arrow keys can adjust the other Settings features. The setting key scrolls through the Sensitivity, Volume, Iron Volume, Search Frequency, Frequency Adjust, Back-Light and Wireless Connection features. I bought my first Apex from Joel, aka 'Kickindirt', with the MS3 Z-Lynk wireless headphones. Another excellent Garrett product and they make the Apex one of the most pleasant detectors to use due to the audio performance and very comfortable headphones. An added benefit is that I already had a Garrett Pro-Pointer AT w/Z-Lynk technology so they also pair-up and respond in the headphones so I can easily hear the response.

Another Touch-Key is for the Automated Ground Balance which is also a very fast-acting function. The Display isn't real large, but it is very sufficient and the numeric VDI read-out is definitely a useful size, and is bold and clear. The Apex is certainly a very worthy detector consideration in the under $550 category, and it is much lower even with the wireless headphone system. If it wasn't a decent detector, I wouldn't own two of them, if that's a hint.

Do I have any gripes or negative thoughts regarding the Garrett Apex? Yes, only one with the detector circuitry design. It will not hit on my 'SS' or 'Short-Stack' of Silver Coins. It is mainly a circuitry design matter, and there are many other well-known and popular detectors that also don't do it. The Teknetics T2, Fisher F75, and others from Nokta / Makro and more. A few will hit on the 'SS' using a Concentric coil but not with a DD coil.

Otherwise, the only gripe is that I don't have a couple of other coils for it, but that's not a detector issue, it's an accessory issue. But some have just recently been announced by Garrett as well as the after-market coil maker, NEL. I need a better mid-size coil for the Apex, such as Garrett's announced 5X8 'Ripper' DD, and I want to get a smaller coil for the worst trash environments I generally hunt. With the performance I've been enjoying with the Apex units so far, the versatility of better coils to match up with different site challenges is going to make it an even better general-purports detector.

Makro Racer 2:
The Racer 2 was introduced in early 2016 and has proven itself very well afield, and I mean both urban Coin Hunters and serious Relic Hunters have learned to appreciate the performance-based Racer 2. I happen to like the open-frame 7" Concentric coil for typical day-to-day Coin Hunting or working a fringe area in a Relic Hunting environment where there's a modest amount of iron debris. With my preferred 7" coil the Racer 2 scored '31' Points. But when I swapped to the highly efficient 5" DD for dense targets, the Racer 2 scored an impressive '39' Points,

The Racer 2 operates at 14 kHz and is powered by 4-AA batteries. The standard search coil is a 7X11 DD, but I have those bases covered and bought a Racer 2 with only the 7" Concentric and 5" DD coils which is why you don't see a scoring tally for it with the standard coil. The Makro Racer 2 provides an All Metal mode, plus a 2-Tone, 3-Tone, Beach and 'Deep' mode, and in every case I have found these different modes to work extremely well. You can adjust the Threshold level in All Metal, and the Discrimination is a full-range adjustment for each of the Disc. modes.

The Racer 2 also features Frequency Shift settings for EMI, and Iron Audio Volume adjustment to reduce the loudness of the ferrous-range targets. It has a Ground-Grab type Automated Ground Balance, yet it also provides Manual GB adjustment as well. The 'Deep' mode on the Racer 2 allows the operator to use a little slower sweep-speed rate in order to process the ground as well as gain some deeper depth in a favorable environment,

Evaluating the Racer 2 did bring out some bias on my part because I have enjoyed using this model since I worked with the pre-production prototype test-unit, and while the in-the-field performance is very, very close to what I get from my 15 kHz CoRe and 19 kHz Relic, it is still just a little different. When used in really tough conditions an alert Detectorist can pick up subtle differences, but overall the Racer 2 offers an impressive amount of performance, especially with the small-size 5" DD coil, when working dense Iron Nail and other nasty conditions.

However, since I tote the CoRe and Relic to those types of sites with their small coils already mounted, I set out to find a different size coil that worked well in a wide range of daily-use conditions on the Racer 2, and Nokta / Makro brought that coil out in early 2017 as the open-frame 7" Concentric. That's why, for me and the locations I generally search, those two coils are all I would need for a Racer 2 and it fit in well for working 'fringe areas' or for 'scouting' purposes with the Racer 2. And the detector, as mentioned, has ample adjustment functions for any applications. Nokta / Makro also make a wide selection of search coils for this detector, too.

So, with those good comments, is there anything that annoys me about the Racer 2? Yes, there is. The biggest issues I have with the Racer 2 and several other detectors I like is the 'Overload' audio. I get into too many older places and there can be a lot of medium-size junk, or when trying to work in and around some annoying ferrous debris, the 'Overload' is too responsive and doesn't let me work a search coil very close. It's maybe because I have spent so many decades of not hearing an overload audio report that it's simply more of a 'get-used-to-it' condition for me, but ....

Minelab Vanquish 540 Pro-Pack:
The Vanquish 540, or I'll just call it the V-540, comes standard with a 9X12 DD coil. I hunt trashier places in urban environments and especially devote a lot of hunt-time to very brushy, and very trashy, older-use and out of the way locations where a smaller to mid-size coil is a must. Therefore, since the V-540 Pro Pack was in the determines Under $550 price range, I bought the Pro-Pack version because it comes with a 2nd coil, a nice 5X8 DD. Both search coils are open-frame design and both are very light-weight and comfortable to use.

For my wants and needs, most of the time, I keep the 5X8 DD coil mounted for most general-purpose use. Note that the V-540 w/5X8 DD scored a very acceptable '35' Points in my evaluations. By design, the V-540 is a SMF design and only functions in Multi-IQ and doesn't have a selectable Single-Frequency option. Also, here is no Ground Balance control for the V-540. Thus, Frequency and GB are controlled by the detector's circuitry design which could have an influence on some of the performance behavior based on site conditions or objects encountered, but we'll never know.

The '35' Points is a very good score and, for me, is about where I draw the line between a detector making the cut for my own personal-use detector selection for a Daily-Use Detector & Coil combination. How does the V-540 make the cut for me, because it is not only a very comfortable detector package, the physical design, but it is 'simple' and works very well. There are buttons on the control face to select one of 4 Discriminate modes: Coin, Jewelry, Relic and Custom. You can make changes to the three programmed Discriminate modes, but when you turn the detector on next, they are back at their 'default' settings. It turns on in the last mode used.,

If you make adjustments to the Discrimination segments you want to Accept or Reject in the 'Custom' mode, those are retained in memory and will be there whenever you turn the detector or or switch between modes. Also, when you want to set up the Discrimination initially for the 'Custom' mode, you can do that in one of the three factory default modes, then you 'save' in the 'Custom' mode slot. That way you are not only selecting the Discrimination patter you want, but also 'saving' the default mode's Recovery Speed. Coin and Jewelry are a faster recovery than Relic, for example, so you get that benefit also when saving a 'Custom' set-up.

The buttons on the control face are: On/Off, Back-light, Wireless pairing, Mode select, Volume level, Sensitivity level, left-right scrolling of the Disc. segments and another to Accept the Disc. prompt selection.

Then there is a button for Pinpoint, and finally a dual-function button with a Horseshoe on it. That's the All Metal select button, and if pressed and held momentarily, it will turn On or Off the Low-Iron Bias function. In operation the V-540 turns On with a High Iron Bias but allows a 'Low' setting if desired.

As I stated, I bought the Vanquish 540 Pro Pack and that includes the two search coils, and it also includes their ML-80 wireless headphones. They are light and very comfortable, and even with my impaired hearing the audio report is very good! I use my ML-80's all the time, but what's interesting is that they are rechargeable, and the V-540 came with 4-AA NiMH rechargeable batteries and charger, so you get two charging cables to make sure both headphones and detector can be charged up as needed.

Now, do I have any gripes or something I don't like about the V-540? Yes, two things. The simple one is that the red display Back-light isn't very bright, and personally I prefer a white light. Okay, a minor thing. The min issue I HAD with the V-540 is that the 'Horseshoe' button is referred to as All Metal because when pressed it then Accepts ALL of the Disc. segments in order to respond to all ferrous and non-ferrous targets. Good concept, if it worked well.

However, due to the SMF design the V-540 was designed with a preset GB that functions differently between the Disc. mode. In two of them, Coin and Jewelry, if you activate the 'All Metal Horseshoe button, then sweep over dips or humps of ground, or holes, or go over very mineralized rocks, or raise and lower the search coil from the ground, you'll have to deal with a negative GB effect in the Relic mode, and use of the Horseshoe results in the opposite misbehavior because it then has a too positive GB response in the Coin or Jewelry mode.

Now, don't be too alarmed because very few people really use and understand many of the makes and models made today if they use a 'zero' Disc. type function that can cause similar false responses due to ground minerals if the GB is 'off' a little. All i did was use my 'Custom' mode and I Accept all of the Discrimination segments except the first two. I leave those rejected and I never use the Horseshoe button .... and I also never have had to deal with issues from bad ground, problem rocks, and I get good responses on all non-ferrous targets and most of the ferrous-based junk as well.

Oh, and since I mentioned ferrous junk, they had a simple update for the Vanquish models to add Iron Audio Volume. I did so on my V-540 and although it was not bad hunting in iron trash before, it is very pleasant now.

Nokta / Makro Midi Hoard:
I know, I know, you're wondering why I spent $$ on this 'Kids Detector' and the answer's simple. I was curious. Now, in addition to that, I also have some younger grand-kids, very few that young, but I do have friends with young children who have an interest in what it is we are doing to have fun. There isn't a lot to say about the Midi Hoard, but it does call for explanation when you note that it scored '32' Points in the evaluations. I'll tell you right now, I was more than surprised. Not a detector I would want to use, but the concepts are there that make it functional and useful for younger people to get a good start in this hobby.

Nokta / Makro, while working on an upper-end SMF detector, also figured out how to introduce two low-end models for 'kids.' The Mini Hoard and the Midi Hoard. The Mini has a simpler display and adjustments and comes with a fixed 6" Concentric coil. The Midi Hoard is, i guess you could say, 'more featured' and retails for $119.95, has a functional 3-segment display, and, while 'basic' it actually works. The Midi has a fixed 7" Concentric coil. It is powered by 2-AA batteries. I'll give it credit for being colorful, and that can capture a youngster's attention, too.

I was also bit surprised with how they made the Visual and Audio reporting, too! The display has three segment 'windows' that show an image of a category find, such as an Iron Nail for the lower-conductive left 'window', a Ring for the center 'window', and a Coin for the higher-conductive right 'window' display. Also, there is a Red LED that lights up for the Low-Conductive Iron range targets, and a Green LED lights up for a Mid-or High conductive target. If all three Disc. 'segments' or 'windows' are shown, or accepted, you see a Low, Medium and High Conductivity 'window' display, and a Red LED to suggest 'Stop' and not go after Iron trash, or a Green LED for 'Go! to recover that target.

But they didn't stop there. You will also hear three distinct Audio Tone ID responses to accompany the three 'window' Disc. displays. There is a processed Low-Tone for Iron range readings, and a processed Mid-Tone or targets that respond in the Mid-Range of conductivities. Those targets that high-conductivity and report in the right-hand 'Coin' 'window' produce a VCO Enhanced Tone-ID.

The display is 'Kid Friendly' and simple, the audio response is 'Kid Friendly', and most of the physical design is very good, too. The search coil is 'fixed' and the coil cable runs up inside the rod so it won't get snagged, and the lower-rod is fully adjustable using the modern compression-type rod-lock rather than the old-fashioned push-button snap-lock design. The very simple display is easy-to-see, and there are three buttons on the control face below the display.

The left-button adjusted the 3-Level Sensitivity and Volume, and the right-button turns the Midi Hoard On or Off, and a quick-press will reject the left Iron Disc. window-segment, and pressed again reject the middle Ring or US 5¢ coin Disc. window-segment, and a quick third press restores those two Discrimination ranges. The other button, in the lower center is the Pinpoint button. Yes, all the Tone ID features and even Pinpoint on this $119.95 MSRP Kid's detector that is also waterproof to 3 Ft.

How in the world could I find fault with this model? Well, it's easy. I tried to us it. The grip is narrow, but can work for a really younger kid, and the upper-rod and arm cup are all a one-piece design. There is a cleaver rubber arm cup fitting that slips down over the sides on the 'cup' to provide some cushion, if needed, from the plastic arm cup. The idea would maybe be better for a regular full-size arm cup for older hobbyists. But as cleaver as that slip-on piece is, the issues I have are really two: One is that the arm-cup-to-grip distance was OK for the very youngest kids I asked to check it out, but it was too short for the kids who were a little older and could share and discuss their opinions of the product.

The biggest issue I have is the arm cup itself. it is short-sided and small. My friends have seven children and the 13 and 15 year old can use my Simplex + or any other full-size model just fine. The arm-cup and grip-reach are too small and too short for them. Their 10 year old is a little taller and also prefers to grab any of my detectors that fit okay and can be handled well. Those 8 and younger can hold and handle the Midi Hoard OK as they have smaller-diameter arms that are shorter. My youngest grandchild turns 8 in just two months and it's kind of at the limits to help her have some fun and join a hunt, but it won't be long before the arm cup and grip reach will be out-grown.

Nokta / Makro Simplex +:
Where else can you find a well-built, comfortable, submersible waterproof detector with: An All Metal mode, Two 2-Tone modes with one for Beach (saltwater) conditions, Two 3-Tone modes, Automated GB as well as Manual GB, Volume control, Iron Audio Volume control, Full-range Disc. segment control, Variable-adjust Display Back-light, frequency Shift, and more. More includes wireless headphone capability, and a nice momentary 'Mute' function when needed, plus a very good Pinpoint function, excellent display with big, bold VDI read-out, and it comes with a round 11" DD coil that is not heavy, and all this is powered by a built-in, rechargeable Li-PO battery. .... AND get it with an MSRP of $299.

This is an excellent detector that operates at an ideal 12 kHz and is so comfortable and versatile and 'affordable' that makes it a good reason I own two Simplex + devices. I keep one at-the-ready with the stock 11" DD coil for wide-open parks, plowed fields an other more open areas like freshwater beaches, and my regular-use Simplex + sports their open-frame 5X9½ DD coils. It's one of my Daily--Use Team detectors that rides on my back seat to be ready or any detecting opportunity i might chance upon.

This detector is not a budget-buyers low-end detector, but is a very efficient-performing model as noted with the '39' Point score in my Multi-Model Evaluation, using the 5X9½ DD which is my preferred Coin & Jeweler Hunting coil that also serves reasonably well in most ghost town or other Relic Hunting applications, too. I have been amazed with the performance I have enjoyed since I got my first Simplex + in November last year, and even more-so with the handy 5X9½ DD mounted.

Okay, you're wondering if there is anything I might complain about, and Yes, there is. Nothing big, just one small thing .... I want a smaller, 5' type round coil for it. Nothing wrong with the detector, the only gripe i have is I still want/need a smaller-size coil for the nastiest of debris sites I frequently hunt. Otherwise, all I can say is I'm proud to be a Simplex + owner nd user.

Teknetics Omega-8500:
This model operate at 7.69 kHz and is powered by one 9V battery. My experience with the Omega series since March of 2010, and owning several of them, is that they provide an impressive run-time from a single battery. The 'standard' search coil is the 11" BiAxial which scored '29' Points and with the 5" DD I got '31' Points. The Omega 'physical package' is one that I really like and is also used by the Teknetics G2 and G2+. What makes it nice is that it uses the T2's grip design and that is very comfortable.

The Omega 8500 uses touch-pads for Ground Grab automated Ground Balance, and on the right is one for Menu with Up and Down arrows for adjustments. The Menu scrolls through the following: Discrimination adjustment using individual VDI numbers. Notch selection of the rejectable 8 Disc. segments that are shown at the top of the display. Volume, for the master Volume or Loudness, and Notch Volume that allows the operator to reduce the Volume level of the 8 different Notch segments as desired and to whatever level of reduction per-notch. Discriminate mode, and there are 5 different Tone ID choices. Frequency shift for any EMI issues. Three 'Deep' settings. Display Back-Light with '0' for Off or 1-to-5 intensity levels.

The Omega-8500 has a good size display that is bold and easy to read with good-size VDI read-outs. It also uses two control knobs. The one on the left is the On/Off switch and adjusts the Sensitivity level, and the one on the right clicks out of the Disc. position into All Metal mode and adjusts the audio Threshold level.

It is a comfortable detector design and it works well. I used Omegas for several years as my main-use Coin Hunting detector and had great success. Do I have a complaint? No, not really. The Omega 8500 works as the Omegas and many other FTP products do in that they make great Coin & Jewelry Hunting devices, but most of them do not handle dense Iron Nails and other ferrous that well for me to consider them top performing Relic Hunting devices. It's a combination of Circuity design and search coil choice when in a tough Nail condition.

In the case of the Omega-8500 recently had a manaufacturer's price cut. You can see here TkneticsDirect all their recent model prices, The Omega 8500 had a $599 MSRP but they dropped that price to $399 when you use the Dealer's Code. (Shopping? I have the brand new Omega 8500 here ... spotless ... for a bit better deal.)

Teknetics T2+ GWP:
In 2006 I got my hands on the first T2, and through the years I have owned and used several T2, T2 'Classic', T2 Ltd., and T2+ models, and of them all my personal favorite was the T2+. Looking at the $550 price-point I used to select brand new detectors from, there was no doubt a T2+ would be in the mix, especially selecting the 'GWP' package that include the Tek-Point Pinpointer. This well know and very proven detector series operates at 13 kHz, comes standard with an 11" BiAxial search coil, and is powered by 4-AA batteries.

With all the performance praises the T2's have received, there is one thing even more special about the T2, and that is the simplicity of control adjustments, and the wonderfully well-engineered physical package. It's winter season coming our way, for most of us, and that means sweaters, jackets and coats that can be a problem with a lot of the arm cup designs, but a T2, or F75, use a good-size arm cup with tall sides to stay in place and accommodate bulkier clothing.

There's a rear-located On/Off Volume control on the speaker and battery housing, and on the control display there is 1-Knob, 1-Push-Button, and 1-Trigger Toggle. That's it! With the Trigger Toggle you'r in the selected search mode in the center position, flip and hold it forward to bob the search coil for the automated Fast-Grab Ground Balance, or pull the Trigger for Pinpointing. At turn-on you are in the motion-based Discriminate mode. The display shows the All Metal mode menu on the left and the Disc. mode menu on the right. Use the Push-Button to scroll down the Dis. mode menu for Disc. Mode Sensitivity, then down to Discrimination Level, press it again to select the Discrimination Tone Function. At each Disc. 'menu' function, use the Knob to adjust the level or setting desired.

In the All Metal mode, use the Push Button to go down the 'menu' for All Metal Mode Sensitivity, Threshold Level, and then to Manual Ground Balance. At each menu selection, use the Knob to increase or decrease to the desired setting. Very straight forward and function. Simple to do, and the Disc. mode of the T2+ provides several Audio Tone ID choices, such as 1, 1+, 2+, 3, 3b, 4, dP (Delta Pitch or "full tones" or 'multi-tones'), and bP (which is Boost Process, a 'Boost' or 'Deep' mode, that allows a slower sweep-speed to better process the ground mineral signal and target signal to increase detection depth).

The T2+ has two added functions not found on the original T2 or the T2 'Classic'. It retains they nice dark green metal color, but it includes DST (Digital Shielding Technology) function that is built-in and not user controllable, and the 'bP' function for the 'Boost' or enhanced 'Depth' ability.

The T2+is the most expensive 'new' detector I purchased for this review, and it is well work the money invested for most people to take-on most applications. I used a 5" DD coil the majority of the time on each of my T2 series units because the smaller coil handles common trash well, and the T2's quick-response and fast-recovery made it a very functional model to have in a detector outfit.

White's MX-7:
I felt this was perhaps the best of all the land-based detectors at a reasonable price from White's. It is powered by a slide-in tray with 8-AA batteries, operates at 14 kHz, and comes with their popular '950' round Concentric coil. That's a good coil for working beaches or open grassy parks and such, but my personal favorite coil for the MX-7 is their 6½" Concentric that they call the 'Six Shooter'. That's the coil I used for the evaluations.

The MX-7 scored '29' Points and to some folks that sounds terrible. Well, no, it wasn't the highest-scoring set-up, but this was simply a selection of several Test Scenarios I use that can be rather challenging for a lot of detectors, and I mean far more than those I selected for this evaluation. Well, there are reasons, and some of that is due to the number of Iron Nail tests I used, and the other is due to the 'overload' factor, just like I had with the Makro Racer 2.which only scored '31' on these Tests's with a 7" Concentric coil.

I used the search coils that I would prefer to use for day-to-day Coin & Jewelry Hunting, and I also used the Sensitivity Level settings I use, and that was one of th challenges I had. On the Racer 2 in 2-Tone it is '95' and in 3-Tone it is '99'. With the MX-7, I have my turn-on Sensitivity set at '8' out of '10' and this detector is a rather powerful and deep-seeking unit. Because of the high gain they operate at, and with an '8' Sensitivity level, there is going to be a lot more chance for 'overload' with some of these Test Scenarios due to the number of targets under or close to the search coils. Thus, the recover caused a problem on the P-N-P, N-P-N and Separation Stick tests resulting in fewer numbers.

When used afield, th MX-7's I have had in the past, using the 6½" Concentric coil, worked great in most locations, and provided me with some of the better depth-of-detection I got on the deeper-located old coins ... and that was using the 6½" coil.

DONE !!!

I know this was a very long post, and it took me and my two middle fingers to get it typed out over the past two days. I am sure there are some typos in there and I'll try and track them down later. Now I have to go shopping then come work on #3→→ and then #4→→ to try and get them finished so I can put in a little detecting time before the windy, wet and colder Friday on gets here.

Questions? Drop me an e-mail.

Shopping? Most of these brand new detectors are now For Sale so shoot me an offer. Cash or US Postal Money Orders work just fine. Trades?? Honestly, I am thinning out all of these and a couple more because I just have to cut back. The ONLY detectors I might consider taking in trade would be a Tesoro Silver Sabre µMAX or possibly a Bandido II µMAX, and in the current model category a Minelab Vanquish 540 Pro Pack. (I have friends and family who have other models but want to add these to their detector outfit.) I need to move them out. Any offer or trade should represent a very fair and reasonable deal.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now located in Clyde, Texas
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 .. N/M Green edition
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2020 04:18PM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Some fun evaluations of 10 Brand New Detectors you can buy for $550 or Less.

Monte 457 November 01, 2020 07:56AM

#4→→ The Compass Coin Hustler and why the '42' Point high score?

Monte 209 November 05, 2020 04:55AM

Re: #4→→ The Compass Coin Hustler and why the '42' Point high score?

D&P-OR 166 November 05, 2020 10:50AM

#3→→ GROUND BALANCE --- Some can be, some can't. ... Another Lengthy Post.

Monte 228 November 04, 2020 11:03AM

Rambling a bit about: Ground Balance ... Target ID ... Search Coils.

Monte 175 November 07, 2020 11:42AM

GB, Target ID, Search Coils.

UtahRich 149 November 07, 2020 05:08PM

Re: GB, Target ID, Search Coils.

Monte 170 November 08, 2020 07:32AM

Great Post

OregonGregg 174 November 05, 2020 06:40AM

Re: #3→→ GROUND BALANCE --- Some can be, some can't. ... Another Lengthy Post.

EL NINO 161 November 05, 2020 03:36AM

'Thank You' for the kind comments. ---- I put 'SAT' on my to-do list.thumbs up N/T

Monte 156 November 05, 2020 03:50AM

Re: #3 another Lengthy Post. Great post Monte thumbs up Thanks for that informative lesson!!!!! N/T

Hombre 192 November 04, 2020 10:26PM

Randy, my pleasure. As always, I learned things myself.

Monte 152 November 05, 2020 03:47AM

#2→→ My comments on the 10 New Detector Models Tested ... Very Lengthy..

Monte 214 November 03, 2020 04:17PM

Re: Some fun evaluations of 10 Brand New Detectors you can buy for $550 or Less.

WM6 140 November 02, 2020 06:03AM

Re: Some fun evaluations of 10 Brand New Detectors you can buy for $550 or Less.

diggindeep 171 November 01, 2020 11:02AM

Back to you, Andrew.

Monte 182 November 01, 2020 02:30PM

Re: Some fun evaluations of 10 Brand New Detectors you can buy for $550 or Less.

Timbertodd 175 November 01, 2020 10:35AM

A quick reply to you 'Timbertodd.'

Monte 170 November 01, 2020 12:46PM

#1→→ Evaluation Scores w/Detectors and Coils ... plus the 100% performer.

Monte 241 November 01, 2020 09:38AM

Re: Follow-up #1.. Evaluation Scores w/Detectors and Coils

Kickindirt 160 November 02, 2020 12:31PM

Joel, an interesting guess .... but wrong. Let me comment.

Monte 191 November 02, 2020 01:37PM

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