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Like UtahRich, I've trimmed my outfit based on their strengths ... for me.

May 12, 2021 07:58AM avatar
Let me comment on your current outfit of a lot of different makes and models. Quite a bit there to consider if you are trying to make some adjustments for detectors to 'complement' each other. Something I've done since lte '71 into '72.

There is a lot of discussion about choosing a brace of detectors that compliment each other. Sound advice, but what does it really mean?

Some detectors and / or search coils often work better for different applications. Examples are being able to provide 'ample' detection depth in more open, sparse-target areas --- ability to hunt close to metal structures such as metal fences, poles or jumbled areas of metal such as tot-lot play structures.--- contend with modern-day trash at urban parks, picnic areas, sports facilities --- take on a lot of dense Iron Nails and other ferrous debris in a remote Relic Hunting site --- be resistant to water intrusion for beach, wading or shallow diving places --- provide a 'quick-grab' ability for things like sidewalk repair, renovation work and so on.

My interests are primarily public parks and school lots, and a few older houses where people I know well enough to ask permission live.
I would also like to start wading around local swimming holes this summer.

I've adjusted my Detector Outfit to cover just those types of sites (Parks, Schools, Private Yards and Beach Hunting) as well as renovation work, tot-lots and old-use places for Relic Hunting activity.

We could look at my collection. I would group them into pairs that each are similar to.

The Anfibio Multi and Multi Kruzer are very similar; while they are intended for wading, they work very well on dry land.
To me, their weak points are chattiness and average VDI accuracy.

'Collection' is a good term, and I used to keep quite an array of detectors on-hand from more manufacturers than you have. Those days are over. There are quite a few detectors available today that I do happen to like, but I had to look at their differences and their weaknesses, for me and my needs, then start trimming away. In this example I have owned 3 Anfibio units and 2 Multi Kruzer units, and of those two, I definitely prefer the Anfibio Multi over the Multi-Kruzer. I liked 3 of the available search coils: The standard round 11" DD, the 7" round Concentric, and the 5" DD. Those could handle any type of location I chose to hunt. I didn't have any 'chatty' behavior, and I found the VDI numeric read-out to be quite accurate. Naturally, a lot will depend upon the settings used.

That is important to me when I want to notch out certain blocks of numbers, and the items I want to ignore come through anyway.
The Anfibio has its stock coil on at all times, and the 7" concentric stays on the Kruzer.

And here is where we differ in how we like to hunt and use Discrimination. I NEVER use an assortment of Discrimination notch segments. Depending upon the particular detector in use, I either have the Discrimination set at the ferrous / non-ferrous break-point or just enough to reject annoying Iron Nails ... OR ... I keep the Discrimination set low enough to just barely 'accept' Iron Nails ... OR ... I have the Discrimination at or close to '0' to accept all ferrous and non-ferrous metal targets.

Why do I hunt that way? These reasons might explain it:

• Most of our US Coins are made out of very exacting metal and therefore can produce a very tight or consistent numeric VDI read-out. That's for coins that are located in the surface to 4"-5" depth range, depending upon ground mineral make-up. Also, for coins that are laying flat-to-the-coil and not canted, or coins that are too close to some source of offending metal or discarded trash.

• Coins that are too-deep, canted, or partially masked by nearby metal or discarded debris will produce a 'blended' or 'errant' VDI response and will then produce a numeric VDI report that is typically lower-than, but also could be higher-than, a 'proper' Coin ID. If that Disc. segment is notched-out you will not hear or see that good-target response.

• The reverse also holds true. You might think you have notched-out, Discriminated, some type of annoying trash, and the detector might, if it is positioned properly to the coil and located on the surface or to perhaps 4"-5". But if the problem trash is st an odd orientation to the coil it could produce and errant higher-or-lower VDI which might then be in a Coin TID segment. Also, if the problem trash metal is close to some other metal or debris, that can also alter it's 'normal' VDI read-out and cause it to respond higher or lower in a desired Coin ID 'segment' or 'notch'.

• Unwanted 'trash' is not always made and shaped consistently like a US Coin. For example I have some Pry-Tabs that all look similar and came off of a beverage can. Most will produce a reasonably close VDI response and be similar to a US 5¢ coin. However, I have a same-looking Pry-Tab that produced a very tight and consistent VDI almost exactly like our modern US Zinc Cent.

• The more Discrimination used will also cause detectors to struggle a little more from the rejected behavior to recover and work well on nearby desired targets that are accepted. This is part of the response-and-recovery chore for the circuity design so I prefer to use the least amount of rejection in order to enjoy better performance, especially if the trash encountered happens to be ferrous-based metal. My settings cause less good-target masking.

Besides, rather that try to tinker with Discrimination notch settings, I prefer to simply rely on the visual and audio target ID system. When urban Con & Jewelry Hunting, a quick glance at the display provides me with a lot of 'visual' Discrimination and that lets ME make a dig / non-dig recovery decision, and I miss fewer fringe-reading targets. The audio response is also useful because most of my detectors feature Iron Audio Volume control. That lets me keep the loudness turned down on ferrous-range targets so they are less bothersome, but I am still able to her the presence of Iron junk and can slowly work around it to try and unmask any nearby 'keeper'.

The IDX and Racer 2 are for trashy areas and fence lines. They are not depth powerhouses, but, in certain situations that works to their favor.
I keep the 4" Snooper coil on the IDX and usually use the concentric on the Racer. If I had to go into a bed of nails, it would be with one of these detectors.

If I had those two models and planned to take on a 'bed of nails' or any dense amount of Iron debris, I would use the 'snooper' coil on the IDX Pro ... especially if it was a modified unit so I could control the Ground Balance for the coil mounted .... or I'd use a 'OOR' DD or 5" DD on the Racer 2. I do like the 7" Concentric coil on the Racer 2, and if I had one again I would only own two search coils for it. One of the smaller coils and the 7" Concentric.

Those are the same two coil sizes I would use the mot on an Anfibio or Kruzer as well, and if I was thinking about trimming some detectors and wanted to enjoy the Nokta / Makro circuitry performance between the three models from them, the Racer 2, Anfibio and Kruzer, that's the same order I would select them. I prefer the land-based Racer 2 with quick-to-change AA batteries as I can use Alkaline or NiMH rechargeable. Also, I prefer the audio sound or quality I get from a Nokta FORS CoRe or FORS Relic or Makro Racer 2 to the Anfibio or Kruzer. They have sort of a digitized-sounding audio.

That brings me to the XL Pro and Equinox. The XL is a 'specialty' machine nowadays. I don't think it was made for todays modern trash. However, it is the only detector I have that I feel confident about telling the shape of the object by the sound, up to 4"-6". VDI is also the most accurate as any of the others. I leave an 8" coil mounted on it most always.
My knock on the Nox is that it is downright frail looking and feeling compared to anything else I've used. Also, you seem to select the disc by whatever mode you are running in.
Everything else is all good so far. I do like to be able to completely ignore everything but coins when I get in that mood. It will pick up some small metallic bits, although none have been of the gold variety for me so far.
I have used the stock coil the most, but the 6"er is downright precise.

So far you mentioned 4 different models from three brands, White's, Makro and Nokta / Makro,and now you're adding another older White's model and a current Minelab offering. I agree, the White's XL Pro was not suited for the sites with a dense amount of trash, but it is an outstanding performer in a lot of wide-open locations, like a beach or big grassy parks and such, and so far, or all you own, the XL Pro is my favorite for, like you said, 'specialty use'. I would hang onto it and complement it with a very good slow-motion model with quick-response and fast-recovery. Something that can work well in a trashy environment, and also do well when a lot of Iron debris is present. Of the other models you have mentioned so far, Racer 2, Anfibio, Kruzer and Equinox 800, I'd take the Racer 2.

The XL Pro would keep an 8" Concentric mounted full-time to handle most of the tasks it is well suited for, and a 7" Concentric on a Racer 2 for general-purpose, day-to-day Coin Hunting. If I was to pick from the others, it would be an Anfibio w/7" for daily-duty, and a 5" for dense trash and round 11" for wide-open areas. The other might be an Equinox 800 w/6" DD for routine work and round 11" DD for more oppn areas.

So, am I using these to their strengths? Overlooking anything that might help me get more out of them?

Out of the models mentioned so far, the one challenge you have would be making use of the visual Target ID for routine Coin Hunting. The IDX Pro display is a simple 8-segment graph. The XL Pro's excellent needle-meter provides number slashes and words / initials and it is easier to learn irt and read it for visual Target ID into. (I also like the XL Pro because there are no Disc. segments to tinker with.winking smiley)

But the Racer 2 numeric VDI display is different from the Anfibio & Kruzer, and they are all different from the Equinox 800 when it comes to a numeric VDI read-out of our various US Coins. Grab any of these three different read-out units and you have to take a bit to remember how they differ from the others. And these are also different from the XL Pro's display read-out. What's the numeric read-out of a US 5¢, Zinc 1¢, clad 10¢ and 25¢ con? Do you know them ll well should you switch detectors on a hunt?

I bet everyone has their favorite groups of detectors. What are they?

Yes, I am sure we all do, and that's fine. We might have different health and mobility issues, different eyesight to read a display, different hearing that might find some audio designs better or worse than other people do. Weight and balance enter in for consideration, and we can even get down to how some detectors 'look' and heir color scheme, or even a name.

I can tell you that there are a lot of detectors that I do like, for various reasons or with certain coils in play, such as a T2 Classic or T2+, Omega 8000, F-5, F-44, XLT, XL Pro, MXT Pro, MX-5, MX-7, Racer 2, Anfibio Multi, Impact, ORX, and yes, maybe even the Equinox 800. I know I missed a few but these are all detectors (except the Eq-800) that I have enjoyed for a lot of Coin Hunting and some Relic Hunting applications over the past 11 years.

But I have had to make some changes in my detector outfit because, due to health limitations, I just can't get out and put in the time or handle the terrain of the Relic Hunting locations I have long enjoyed. Instead, this year I have shifted back to about 85% of my time Coin Hunting and what special-pick Jewelry Hunting sites I can work in. There will be times I'll take on a freshwater beach with firmer ground make-up instead of loose sand where I struggle, so I have one model for those needs that can also be used for dry land-based hunting.

In the last year I have owned, liked some of, yet parted with an Omega 8000, F-44, F5, MX-7, MXT Pro, XLT, T2 Classic and T2+, Vanquish 540 and Equinox 800, Racer 2, Impact, Multi Kruzer, Anfibio Multi and probably a half dozen others. I worked with them all and compared them all but have trimmed my current Detector Outfit to the following:

► Tesoro Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX, each with a 6" Concentric coil mounted because that's the only coil I use with a Tesoro. Both work well for tot-lots, sidewalk repair, and are handy for some renovation work as well. If I had to select only one it would be the Bandido II µMAX for the versatility of having manual GB.

► A Nokta FORS Relic w/5" DD mounted as my 'specialty' unit for ghost towns and other similar sites with an over-supply of Iron Nails and other ferrous trash.

► Nokta / Makro Simplex + that keeps their 5X9½ DD mid-size coil mounted for any Beach Hunting I might do, or to grab when I am hunting a site on a rain-threatened day. A far-more versatile detector than many imagine, waterproof, and comfortable to use. I also use their wireless headphones.

► And my primary-use,set-up is the Garrett Apex. I own 3 of them. My main unit keeps their 'Ripper' 5X8 DD mid-size coil mounted for day-to-day hunting. My 2nd Apex I grab for hunting a wide-open beach, plowed field, big grassy areas, etc., and has the 'Raider' 8½X11 DD attached. A 3rd Apex currently has the NEL 5" DD 'Sharp' mounted for trashier places where I would want Target ID & Tone ID. I use the Garret Z-Lynk MS-3 headphones with all of these.

So I have 1 pair of Tesoro's that are non-display single-tone. Then 1' Nokta Relic that is 'specialty-use' unit and while I might glance at the display, it isn't relied on because I am working in some much debris that it's often inaccurate. Mainly for some wading use or rainy-weather preparedness, I have 1 N / M Simplex +so that's one model to learn the VDI read-out for Coin Hunting. And then my 3 Garrett Apex units, each with a different coil mounted so I simply grab the coil that I feel best fits my needs.

But all 3 of them are the same detector, have my same Custom Discrimination settings, the same Sensitivity, Volume & Iron Volume settings, which makes it really good for me because all three offer MF for SMF selection or I can select 5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kHz or 20 kHz single-frequency operation on-the-fly .... AND ... all three of the Apex devices are going to have the very same VDI and Audio TONE ID performance. I don't have to try and remember this one from that one that is a different brand and TID design.

Thus, while I have those 7 individual detectors, I really don't have to tote them all along and I only keep one Tesoro and one or two Apex units in my vehicle for my Daily Travel Team. Then, if I am off and a multi-day adventure or might include some Relic Hunting or Beach Hunting in my travels, I load the Relic and / or Simplex +, and maybe the Apex with the bigger coil for open areas. Other than a Tesoro and my primary-use Apex w/'Ripper' coil, I just select what I think I might need in addition.

If you had to liquidate, which one of your detectors would be the last to go?
For me, it would be the XLPro, hands down. Not that I use it all that much, but everything else is replaceable.

That would be tough to do. I could limit it to two detectors, and since I am now doing 85% or more urban Coin & Jewelry Hunting, it would be 1-Tesoro & 1-Apex .... but that would include coil changes for the Apex. So I'll just limit myself to my current Garret Apex set-up using 3 different coils that are all kept mounted. Same detector, and I don't have to fuss around with swapping out coils.

Everyone over 50 years old nowadays knows things used to be built better. One thing I really like about some of todays machines is the rechargable batteries.
Also, upper mid level detectors in the category as some I have were at the same dollar amount 10 or more years ago. We all know the dollar value is less today than back when.
Does that make todays detectors a better bargain?

I now some detectors used to be built better, but many today still are ... and they are also lighter-weight and better balanced than those older models.

I have some 9-V and AA-batteries on-hand for my Tesoro and Relic units, but my Simplex + and three Apex devices all have built-in Lithium rechargeable batteries, and all of them have a very decent run-time.thumbs up

I think you could trim your current outfit, and maybe pick-and-choose some models for certain tasks and just keep a favorite-use coil mounted full-time.

Now, it's almost 8 AM, Daily Travel Detectors are always in my rig, so I am off to get breakfast and try to find some place to hunt 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 .. Bandido II µMAX .. Silver Sabre µMAX
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

Detector strengths and weaknesses

scottwyl 235 May 10, 2021 11:49PM

Monte we are on the same page

dixiedigger57 254 May 14, 2021 10:37AM

on the same page

UtahRich 127 May 15, 2021 12:26AM

Re: on the same page

dixiedigger57 130 May 20, 2021 02:04PM

Re: on the same page

jmaryt 111 May 20, 2021 05:17PM

Back to you, 'dixiedigge57'

Monte 235 May 14, 2021 04:49PM

Re: Back to you, 'dixiedigge57'

dixiedigger57 101 May 19, 2021 11:59AM

Re: Monte we are on the same page

Kickindirt 131 May 14, 2021 12:43PM

Re: Monte we are on the same page

glabelle 123 May 14, 2021 06:16PM

George, my comments about the ORX and search coils.

Monte 118 May 15, 2021 02:20AM

Re: Monte we are on the same page

Kickindirt 102 May 14, 2021 07:26PM

thumbs up ... Light, handy, and functional is the key. N/T

Monte 89 May 14, 2021 12:35PM

Like UtahRich, I've trimmed my outfit based on their strengths ... for me.

Monte 149 May 12, 2021 07:58AM

Re: Like UtahRich, I've trimmed my outfit based on their strengths ... for me.

scottwyl 98 May 13, 2021 09:11PM

Re: Like UtahRich, I've trimmed my outfit based on their strengths ... for me.

glabelle 112 May 12, 2021 05:51PM

Your are right, George. I just didn't want to dwell ..

Monte 123 May 14, 2021 02:54AM

Re: Detector strengths and weaknesses

jmaryt 191 May 11, 2021 07:26AM

Re: Detector strengths and weaknesses

scottwyl 99 May 13, 2021 09:14PM

Know thy Detector strengths

UtahRich 171 May 11, 2021 02:00AM

Re: Know thy Detector strengths

scottwyl 153 May 13, 2021 09:17PM

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