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Good questions, and I guess I have my answers.

November 20, 2020 11:16PM avatar
... First, I'll give a simple answer to your 'other question'

Since it is the BEGINNING of the down season for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought it would be a good time to bring up this subject, at the recommendation of a fellow detectorist, (no names here). By doing this at the beginning of the winter break, rather than in the middle or end, we give ourselves plenty of time to answer this question completely.

Rich, maybe your subject heading of: "Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting.........."

Could have been a more open question such as: "Is Multi-Frequency a Must-Have in Detecting, and if so, Why?"

(If you agree I'd be glad to change it for you.winking smiley )

My answer to this question . . . . is another question . . . . . . Why have simultaneous multifrequency detectors, like the sovereign / excalibur, explorer/etrac, equinox / vanquish, Fisher CZ-series and White's V3i, been so popular as detectors and such high producers in the field ? thinking

Rich -

Let me add the Apex to your list since it is the latest SMF, and I am certain we'll see more SMF entries on the market come springtime, but the answer to this is really a kind of simple one-word summation of any and all reasons ..... Marketing.

I look way back in time a couple of decades, plus, and I have owned Fisher CZ's, White's DFX and V3i, Minelab's Sovereigns, several, and a good number of their FBS devices, and had an Equinox 800, and currently have a Vanquish 540 and a pair of Apex units. So over a quarter-century, I have had and currently have SMF detectors. During this same SMF 'era' I have owned and used more Single-Frequency detectors, and found far more old coins, trade tokens, good gold and silver jewelry, and a lot of modern coinage, mainly w/o the assistance of SMF detectors.

I filled four binders of 2X2 carded old coins and still had some to clean and card just from one ghost town I call 'Twin Flats', and I started that count on May 4th of '69, long before we had much of anything 'modern', and of those hundreds of coins, I can only think of one I happened on with an Explorer II. Everything else was a 'Single-Frequency' design,. Not only that, but the 'Marketing' of visual Target ID and audio Tone ID wasn't in use most of the time, either, because 95% of all those coins from one townsite came my way with a Single-Frequency detector with a Single-Tone .... and those models I used all excelled over most of the SMF's you referred to because I could handle the dense iron nails and rusty tin better. Much better.

And through the years, well over 55 of them now, search coils in the ±5" to 7" diameter have accounted for probably 90% or more of the tens-of-thousands of coins I have recovered. From the hey-day of the latter '60s and into the early '80s when coins were so plentiful, and getting out very often, such as most days of the week, rewarded me with years when 60K to 70K coins was easy. Still no SMF's around, and most 'standard' coils were in the 7" to 8" diameter range and round-shaped. They worked for me and they worked for most folks ... and they still can and do.

Then some Australian outfit came on the scene and started selling detectors with a more-or-less 'standard-size' coil at the time, but then they started to promote a bigger-size 'standard' coil of about 10" diameter. We had some active detectorists hunting Civil War relics and similar places with big areas to hunt and mainly looking for bigger-size targets, and by the late '70s we had the 7"-8" 'standard' coils and manufacturers usually offered 10" to 14" bigger accessory coils for those looking for coverage and depth ... for bigger-size targets. To start '88 out we had White's go to a larger-size 950 coil on most models, the start of a trend, mainly promoted by ... Marketing! Minelab was on that train with their 10" and then bigger-size 11" 'standard' coils, and their 'Marketing' hype is what pushed that trend. The Teknetics T2 in '06 with their 7¼X11¼ DD, and the Marketing that encouraged folks to BUY BIGGER and to GO DOUBLE-D and all it was, for the most part, .... 'Marketing'.

Now you read all sorts of posts on Forums, which have been a free-and-easy form of 'Marketing' because people could push what they like and brand-supporters, aka Loyalists, can push what they like .... by often making statements they can't support, or are simply words they have read or heard others say which, sadly, suckers a lot of consumers to spend more, buy stuff they don't need, invest in some detectors that are not as good are, or clearly inferior-to, some of the units they already have / had for their desired hunting .... all because of 'Marketing.'

I got started with a simple answer and I guess I've ended up answering the question as I would have started this by touching on the different aspects of marketing that have brought us to where we are. Bigger search coils, mainly DD type coils, and for a while bigger and heavier detectors, but fortunately that trend has now changed to much more comfortable and lighter-weight detectors. Thankfully, some of the other manufacturers DID follow some 'Marketing' trends that shifted things that direction and now so many detectors offer a lot of features, decent performance, and weight less. So some marketing moves have been good.

But why the big trend towards SMF detectors? There are some elements in this industry who like 'high-tech' and for them SMF seems important, so they brag and boast about how their multi-magic machine works. Fine. Then there are the gullible-guys who will buy into all sorts of big claims, hype, and manufacturer's slick brochures and ads ... aka 'Marketing' .... who purchase a new-to-them SMF detector, simply because somebody else says it's a great unit. Finds a lot and more than they ever have. Goes deep! Has excellent Target ID at depth! Isn't bothered by EMI! Handled really bad mineralization well! Works the best on a salt water beach! ... and on and on and on. We hear it and read it all the time, and I have for decades now.

Can some SMF's do okay at some of these suggested strong points? Yes, some can, on occasion, but not all the time and not everywhere. I can't tell you ('you' as in everyone not you specifically Rich) how many times I have been out hunting with a Single-Frequency detector with a few hunting buddies who only use a SMF model, and often with an 11" to 15" search coil, and have checked out a target they question, had them check out something I got a good hit on before recovery, and ended up holding the better-performing device ... for that location and those environmental challenges, and taking on severe salt water conditions, high mineralization, and/or extreme ferrous challenged conditions.

Okay, so am I saying a SMF is NOT what everyone ought to own. Yes, I guess so, because quite often there can be more to learn and more to understand about some SMF devices and, honestly, a lot of hobbyists just don't get it. However, for those who do try to learn about any make or model detector they want to own and use, then Yes, a SMF model just might be something they should consider. But, which one? Who makes the best SMF? Which model is the better SMF? Which SMF handles the best, balances the best, has the least amount of in-the-field failures, and so on and so on.

Of course to answer a lot of questions we tend to go back to Marketing Hype, and in-the-end ALL SMF detectors do have one thing in common.. ALL OF THEM! Each and every SMF out there, regardless of size, shape, weight, balance, be them a weather-poof or submersible waterproof design, regardless of what part of the world they are made in .... ALL of them have one thing in common. And what is that One Thing they have in common? Well, select any of the following:

[ ] None of them are 'perfect.'

[ ] None of them can handle all hunt site challenges without a failure to perform well from time to time.

[ ] None of them are going to make a perfect 'fit' for everyone's size and comfort.

[ ] None of them are going to work with 100% performance and outperform all of the Single-Frequency detectors out there.

[ ] None of them have all of the right adjustment functions and appealing numeric VDI display to satisfy everyone.

That said, there are these considerations regarding an SMF detector:

[ ] Some of them just might have the best features, weight, balance and search coil selection to make a workable 'fit' for someone, somewhere, to handle a reasonable variety of hunting needs they might have.

[ ] In some cases, a SMF might make a good 'primary-use' detector, or a functional 'back-up' or 'complementary' detector to have in a detector outfit.

Currently, I have a Minelab Vanquish 540 and two Garrett Apex SMF devices in my detector outfit. They join a White's, three Nokta / Makro's, two Tesoro's and one Fisher to make a really versatile 'team' for me. Do I have my favorites among this bunch? Yes, but you'll know which they are when you see me out detecting. Am I satisfied with the SMF models I like, Yes, partly. And do I plan to have a better up-line SMF in the future? Yes, I do, because this industry has seen enough companies go out-of-business while other companies are obviously working hard to stay on top or ahead of the game. There is no doubt in my mind that we are all going to see some new and creative products in the upcoming new year, and I'm certain that a new SMF is going to become one of my group favorites when the time comes.

But I still do not think everyone NEEDS to own a SMF detector now or in the future. We have some really great Single-Frequency detectors on the market now, have had a few in very recent years, and the Single-Frequency detector has it's place as well and is here-to-stay. And remember, a lot of the SMF's also feature a selectable Single-Frequency option and that, alone, can be very important for improved performance under certain conditions.


"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. ***

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2020 11:54PM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting..........

UtahRich 95 November 20, 2020 07:12PM

Re: Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting..........

Kickindirt 33 November 25, 2020 02:52PM

XP Multi-Freq.

Remfire 28 November 26, 2020 12:20AM

Re: XP Multi-Freq.

Kickindirt 27 November 26, 2020 12:54AM

Re: XP Multi-Freq.

Dan'o 24 November 26, 2020 09:08AM

Re: Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting..........

Timbertodd 45 November 21, 2020 04:56PM

Re: Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting..........

diggindeep 56 November 21, 2020 11:38AM

No particular reason.

UtahRich 50 November 21, 2020 10:50PM

Very correct about some of the Minelab behavior.

Monte 76 November 22, 2020 12:25AM

Another round of cut backs gets the Vanquish 540

UtahRich 46 November 22, 2020 07:32PM

For now, with winter upon us, 'Red' will hang around.

Monte 31 November 25, 2020 05:38AM

Re: Another round of cut backs gets the Vanquish 540

diggindeep 48 November 22, 2020 07:48PM

Follow the leader . . .

UtahRich 45 November 23, 2020 11:48PM

And to what you said, Andrew, I agree ... to a point.

Monte 70 November 21, 2020 01:55PM

Ahhhh HAAA! my word --OPERATOR!

dixiedigger57 45 November 24, 2020 11:34AM

Re: Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting..........

D&P-OR 42 November 21, 2020 12:46PM

Good questions, and I guess I have my answers.

Monte 70 November 20, 2020 11:16PM

The Road LessTraveled

UtahRich 50 November 21, 2020 03:08AM

The Road Not Taken

UtahRich 36 November 22, 2020 01:11AM

Re: The Road LessTraveled

Kickindirt 40 November 21, 2020 01:24PM

Re: The Road LessTraveled

jmaryt 34 November 22, 2020 09:17PM

That would be a YES Vote.

UtahRich 25 November 22, 2020 09:36PM

Re: That would be a YES Vote.

jmaryt 28 November 22, 2020 10:19PM

No, not quite correct.

Monte 47 November 21, 2020 02:29PM

Re: No, not quite correct.

Kickindirt 29 November 21, 2020 03:17PM

It kind of depends on the road we select.

Monte 52 November 21, 2020 07:58AM

Quick Response - grinning smiley ..

UtahRich 40 November 20, 2020 11:26PM

Re: Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting..........

OregonGregg 67 November 20, 2020 07:34PM

A must have ? You sure ? .

UtahRich 56 November 20, 2020 08:10PM

LOL not sure of anything.......

OregonGregg 43 November 21, 2020 09:01AM

Re: Why Multi-Freq. Is a Must Have in Detecting..........

Digstrashtomuch 47 November 20, 2020 07:24PM

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