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It kind of depends on the road we select.

November 21, 2020 07:58AM avatar
Fast-lane / Slow-lane, Straight-road or Curvy-road, Smooth-road or a Bumpy, Rocky-road. And along the way it won't always be fair weather and we might encounter rain, mud, snow or ice just to keep us on our toes, so we make sure we are properly outfitted and have control of what we are commanding. It applies to detectors as well.

Ok Monte,Monte - I'm going to have to leave the heading AS IS simply because YOU have a SMF Vanquish and if I connect the dots, that would mean that there is more to the Vanquish that just a pretty red housing - or you wouldn't have kept it. winking smiley

Going back to 1996, I have almost always had at least one SMF in my Detector Outfit. Whether a SMF or Single-Frequency or Selectable Single-Frequency detector, to make the cut to be in my personal Detector Outfit they need to be able to make the grade, pass the tests, and graduate with honors ... or at least be upper-class for what ever 'Team' they are going to play in.

If I get a detector in-hand there are several 'pop-quizzes' they get before I continue on to the challenging exams. The pop-quizzes are things like build-quality, fit-and-finish and that continues on to balance and a comfortable fit, then things like search coil types and search coil sizes, to include standard and accessory coils. To get to know this new student I take a look at their behavior when I ask or tell them something, or in detector terms, check out their available control features and functions, I want to see if they respond and how well.

Most of this can be handled indoors to get to know what I am about to take afield. By this point I have either determined that a particular device just isn't worth it to me. Too lazy, not responsive to demands, and unable to show much down-the-road potential, so no sense in investing a lot of time to try and educate it beyond the basics. Not all humans are going to make the cut and do well with a higher education, and the same applies to metal detectors. Those that haven't been expelled will then get to hang around for a while while I get to know them, they get to try and impress me, and we have an agreement to continue on and keep trying to work together to enjoy the day and achieve some goals.

The Vanquish 540 Pro Pack made it through to the point where it is higher-education time and it is put to work to see if it can pay its way to stay enrolled, learn more from tougher 'testing' at various site conditions, and earn a degree for employment qualifications to be a long-term employee for me. I have hung onto the V-540 longer than the older Equinox 800 because, for what they both can do, for me, and for my wants-and-needs where I generally hunt, I was satisfied. I have used both of the two coils Minelab made available for it in the Pro Pack, and for a lot of applications I enjoy using the Vanquish, we get along together just fine, and in the coming few months I'll decide if it stays put, or if I let it go .... but with a very good letter of recommend.

It is a very comfortable detector to use, only has one or two design glitches that I can deal with, and when it's working for me, it works well depending upon the site I confront.

I Had some time to go through your response and thoughts and I get an overall feeling of a soft NO.

MY opinion, regarding a SMF or Single-Frequency choice, is just this: Consumers need to learn all they can before and after a detector is acquired, and I encourage them to use a bit of caution and not get too caught up in 'marketing', be it from a manufacturer or from product reviewers or various posted comments made by some overly-biased users.

Some SMF models can serve a lot of people just fine, depending upon the types of sites they hunt, the trash environments they deal-with, and the amount of time the individual puts in to learn and know their detector well to get the best out of it. Many Hobbyists seem to just do the everyday urban Coin Hunting and many SMF's will work for them, but even that calls for different level of education and ability. Think of the different types of places for them to hunt coins around town. Parks, schools and public places, tot-lots, parking strips, perhaps private yards or maybe a long-vacant lot, or some renovation work like sidewalk repair, demolition sites, and the list goes on.

Just from that assortment we can all see where one particular make or model might make a better choice, and not all SMF's are going to be an ideal pick. That's why many Avid Detectorists, like you and me, usually keep at least two regular-use detectors in their outfit so they can pick-and-choose the better detector and coil for the task-at-hand. My 'soft No' is simply a suggestion or reminder for folks to take the time and select and use whatever they want, single or multi, but know their strong and weak points and not be deceived.

The SMF's just haven't been a best or even a good choice for the type of detecting that has filled your soul with passion since this all started for you so many years ago. There is no sense in trying to squeeze your foot into a boot that isn't right for your foot or pretend that you enjoy the taste of something you really don't.

My first 4 years of detecting was mainly in the Coin & Jewelry Hunting category. Then from my first ghost town hunt, I spent the next 14 years primarily Coin & Jewelry Hunting big-city metro sites, working saltwater beaches when I visited the Oregon coast but more freshwater hunting a couple of large river beaches and some lakes and reservoirs and fitting in occasional Relic Hunting time in ghost towns, pioneer and military encampment s and fort sites, the homestead or two that I chance upon, etc. Many of the old and long-vacant city lots and old picnic groves and resort sites also fit into that Relic Hunting category due to the site conditions and amount of ferrous debris, but they were more-or-less an extension of my urban Coin & Jewelry Hunting.

Then in mid-'83, and for the following 37 years to the present, my dedication of time was easily split with about 85% devoted to taking the less-traveled bumpy dirt roads to 'Twin Flats' and many, many other ghost towns, more out-of-the-way and long-forgotten resort sites, picnic groves, dance halls, old encampments and forts, the homesteads, stage stops, RR depots and sidings, and a longer list of entertaining places to hunt, old coins and trade tokens and small neat stuff to be found, and better still, for me, two other things I enjoyed:

1.. Far fewer people around me and I was in a more colorful, cheerful and enjoyable surrounding. And ..

2.. My success rate was very impressive starting thirteen years before I got my first SMF detector. Many good Single-Frequency detectors brought me that success, and for 24 more years they have continued to excel, for me, in those very ferrous contaminated sites I have worked 85% of the time. The other 15% of the hunting I put in was Coin & Jewelry Hunting, and the SMF's I had were not stand-out winners on the lower-conductive gold jewelry, nor did they work that great when I hunted in and around a lot of high-production sites with metal structures. I had SMF's, but Single-Frequency units just worked better in most applications, for me.

Today, time has changed and reality has started to direct my course of travel. Few bumpy roads in my future as I've had to commit to switching things around for more of an 85% Urban Coin & Jewelry Hunting and 15% of the time I might try to get away for a little easy-going Relic Hunting.
Age, physical impairments and mobility issues are all limiting the time I can hunt and how well I can get around. I've had to realize that I'm nearing the point where memories of times-past are going to occupy my metal detecting time as I get to the point I ease myself into the recliner and go online to enjoy how everyone else is getting along.

My travels are shorter, hunt sites are closer to home, and I've been adjusting my 'Daily-Use Detector Team' to a few select models and coils that are light and comfortable, and that can handle the detecting opportunities I can take advantage of. I still have my 'Special-Use Team' for those periodic needs, but my 'Daily-Use Team' of detectors that will be in the car and travel with me are what I am picking-and-choosing at the moment. I am leaving room in my selection to add one more detector in the near future. It's likely to be a new SMF that will work well for a variety of Coin & Jewelry Hunting applications and still be comfortable and maneuverable.

It will join my final selection of 'regulars' that are with me, and those include one of my two Single-Frequency 10 kHz Tesoro's, a 12 kHz 'Single' with the Nokta / Makro Simplex +, another 'Single' with the 7.8 kHz Fisher F5, and a SMF Garrett Apex. And looking ahead to new coils coming out, I can move the detectors from my back seat to the back area where there is also room for another Single Simplex + w/different coil and another Multi Apex also with a different coil to make a very complementary team of outfitted models. Some Single, some Multi. And ALL of them will get to see regular use so there's no real bias one way or there other. Most of the time it will be site-dependent on which comes out in my hand..

If you had found a passion in detecting the salt water beaches or civil war battlefields or old parks and they had become your primary destination instead of twin flats, you would have likely have other preferences in your detectors. But your life's path went through twin flats and it left an indelible mark on your detecting world.

Just an observation.


I don't swim, I don't care for a lot of saltwater beach sand everywhere, and I don't frequent or live close to those beaches. However, when I hunted them periodically, I did well and without a problem with several different Single-Frequency detectors I chose. Usually matching or bettering the 'locals' with their Multi-Frequency detectors.

Civil War Battlefields? Nope, they wee not on my radar. But I did hunt some of the military and Indian battle sites, military training and encampment sites, and several old fort sites 'Out West' and came up with cartridge cases, spent bullets, dropped bullets, uniform buttons and insignia, and all sorts of similar-period keepers and artifacts of interest. Similar old stuff, different side of the country.

As for 'old parks,' I hunted a lot of them in Utah where I'm from, and in the greater Portland Oregon metro area where I lived most of my life. I was working old parks and they accounted or a lot of my satisfying old coins, to include places like Washington Park, Mt. Tabor Park, Columbia Park and ... oh, that old resort park where 'zincoln' has been brush-hunting the hillsides to find a gold coin and other great keepers to make 2020 a very memorable year. I started working all of those and many other 'old parks' in Utah from '68 to '71 then on periodic vacations, but those older parks in Portland area since 1972.

Yes, 'Twin Flats' did alter my hunt-site selection a lot, but I also didn't ignore city locations that were all around and close, and I have devoted a lot of time walking around behind a detector.

Along the way I made my choices, and changed the when desired for better equipment, and I'm making adjustments now that will include more SMF use than I used to put in, and that's because we have better, more comfortable, and improved versatility in some of the SMF's that are available today.


"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.
Apex .. FORS CoRe .. FORS Relic .. Impact .. Inca .. Bandido II ┬ÁMAX .. Silver Sabre ┬ÁMAX .. MX-5
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive Pointer and AT Pro-Pointer .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

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

UtahRich 317 November 20, 2020 07:12PM

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

Kickindirt 165 November 25, 2020 02:52PM

XP Multi-Freq.

Remfire 170 November 26, 2020 12:20AM

Re: XP Multi-Freq.

Kickindirt 176 November 26, 2020 12:54AM

Re: XP Multi-Freq.

Dan'o 174 November 26, 2020 09:08AM

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

Timbertodd 215 November 21, 2020 04:56PM

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

diggindeep 220 November 21, 2020 11:38AM

No particular reason.

UtahRich 208 November 21, 2020 10:50PM

Very correct about some of the Minelab behavior.

Monte 250 November 22, 2020 12:25AM

Another round of cut backs gets the Vanquish 540

UtahRich 199 November 22, 2020 07:32PM

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

Monte 166 November 25, 2020 05:38AM

Re: Another round of cut backs gets the Vanquish 540

diggindeep 210 November 22, 2020 07:48PM

Follow the leader . . .

UtahRich 196 November 23, 2020 11:48PM

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

Monte 267 November 21, 2020 01:55PM

Ahhhh HAAA! my word --OPERATOR!

dixiedigger57 194 November 24, 2020 11:34AM

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

D&P-OR 187 November 21, 2020 12:46PM

Good questions, and I guess I have my answers.

Monte 257 November 20, 2020 11:16PM

The Road LessTraveled

UtahRich 213 November 21, 2020 03:08AM

The Road Not Taken

UtahRich 209 November 22, 2020 01:11AM

Re: The Road LessTraveled

Kickindirt 208 November 21, 2020 01:24PM

Re: The Road LessTraveled

jmaryt 207 November 22, 2020 09:17PM

That would be a YES Vote.

UtahRich 182 November 22, 2020 09:36PM

Re: That would be a YES Vote.

jmaryt 185 November 22, 2020 10:19PM

No, not quite correct.

Monte 219 November 21, 2020 02:29PM

Re: No, not quite correct.

Kickindirt 183 November 21, 2020 03:17PM

It kind of depends on the road we select.

Monte 244 November 21, 2020 07:58AM

Quick Response - grinning smiley ..

UtahRich 192 November 20, 2020 11:26PM

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

OregonGregg 239 November 20, 2020 07:34PM

A must have ? You sure ? .

UtahRich 241 November 20, 2020 08:10PM

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

OregonGregg 219 November 21, 2020 09:01AM

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

Digstrashtomuch 230 November 20, 2020 07:24PM

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