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The Fisher CZ-3D? You asked, but you might not like my biased reply.

August 31, 2018 08:36AM avatar
Keep in mind that since '69 I have enjoyed Ghost Towns and other Relic Hunting types of sites the most as I like to find older era coins, trade tokens and other interesting small artifacts like buttons, insignia, badges, etc.. I still put in ample urban Coin Hunting time and that's where the CZ's worked a little better for me. I first had a CZ6 converted to 'a' and then picked up a CZ-5. I owned maybe three CZ-5's and felt they were the best of the CZ series ... back when the CZ's seemed to hold more interest in the detecting world.

I read all the dribble about the so-called 'improved' CZ-3D that was supposed to be better for Relic Hunting so I thought I would give one a try. I was using several detectors that were serving me well for both my urban and remote location hunts, such as a White's XLT, modified Classic III SL, modified Classic ID, and 5900 Di Pro SL, Tesoro Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX, and a couple of prototypes I was asked to evaluate.

At that time I lived in the greater Portland, Oregon metro area and there were three parks that I enjoyed hunting which kicked out a lot of old era coins and I figured it would be an interesting effort to put the CZ-3D to work at them. I stared working two particular sections at the 280+ acre Mt. Tabor Park where two of us had hunted up some Barber and a couple of Seated Liberty silvers, but a really nice number of Buffalo and 'V' Nickels. Supposedly, the CZ-3D was good for that hunting as we were having some great success plucking old dated Nickels.

We gridded off three particular areas at that park where old nickels seemed to be in greater number. Now, when I am working with any new-to-me detector I never want to rely on what the manufacturer claims or what some users post as performance claims. I treat any in-production device the same as I do a factory prototype, and I have been working prototypes from over a half-dozen detector makers since 1974. When I evaluate new-to-me or prototype models I use two or more detectors I know and trust in side-by-side hunting to compare the results I am getting. And so it would be with the CZ-3D as I toted along several of my personal, and well proven, favorite detectors.

The goal I set out to do was work a gridded area, in this case with the CZ-3D, and mark located targets using colored golf tees with colored 'flags' to indicate a Target ID for coins, with a red tee and flag for 5¢, brown for 1¢ and blue for silver from 10¢ on up. A yellow flagged golf tee was for a smaller, coin-sized target that didn't lock-on in a coin category but also not as iron. I did this at Mt. Tabor and then at another SE Portland park where I gridded off an area that was partly untouched and the other grid half under renovation with exposed dirt.

For four days I put in several hours each day doing this and then retrieving two or three of my proven detectors to check the outcome of the CZ-3D performance. There were a lot of flagged spots to check, with more yellow flags and red flags than brown and blue colors so I was hoping for more old nickels than my friend was going to find in our 'friendly' Old Nickel Challenge.

I lost.sad smiley One of those potential 5¢ TID red flags was a modern Jefferson Nickel at about 3". All the others were old ring-pull type tabs or modern rectangular pry-tabs, pieces of tabs, or other types of discarded junk. The one modern 5¢ coin was properly ID'ed as such with my other detectors, but I could audibly or visibly classify the tabs and trash as more-than-likely junk with my other models. CZ-3D gave a 5¢ lock-on so they were so marked.

I also noticed that the depth of the CZ-3D wasn't exciting so I borrowed a CX-5 to do some side-by-side comparison, and the '5' was by far better than the '3D' on TID accuracy and detection depth. All of my personal detectors outperformed the CZ-3D I felt, so I used one more day to double check things. I used two parks where modern Nickels might be more present due to the picnicking areas close to the recreation sections. I used my White's XLT, modified Classic ID and 5900 Di Pro SL and located and marked targets that I felt certain were most likely to be a 5¢ coin. All three models confirmed that the naturally lost coins I located were probably Nickels. However, the CZ-3D only gave a correct TID on about ¼ of those located targets, and all coins were in the 1" to no greater than 4" depths in park lawn.

One final test on the last day with the CZ-3D. I used it and my Classic ID and Classic III SL (a non-display model) to verify an area of about 4 feet square was void of any metal target. I then cut a square plug in the center of that clean area and planted a modern Zinc 1¢ coin at 6" (measured with a paper dollar), firmly pressed flat in the bottom, then I filled in dirt and the plug and stepped it firmly in place.

The CZ-3D barely hit on that fresh coin plant and didn't give any useful TID using the stock 8" coil. My Classic III SL hit on it well with 6½" Concentric. The Classic ID gave a good hit and functional TID using a 5½" diameter Concentric coil, and the 5900 Di Pro SL also hit that planted test piece very solid and ID'ed it with an 8" Concentric coil.

The next day I did the best test yet. Made every effort I could to unload that piece of junk as quickly as possible! In the past 10-15 years I have spoken or e-mailed with several people about the CZ's and, most of them who have had a 3D also didn't like it. They either went back to an original CZ-6, to a CZ-5, or just got away from all the CZ series and even Fisher completely.

Personally, I prefer to have more direct control of the Discrimination with a variable control, not have the Disc. settings preset like the CZ's. For the last many years now I hardly ever see anyone using a CZ model, old or new. I found the design to be top-heavy and not balance well, at least for my achy old falling apart body. I know they still show it on their website, with an MSRP just pennies under $1000, but I don't think it is really all that competitive in today's market. Either against some of their own proven and well-liked model, and certainly not against a lot of what the competitors have to offer.

Trust me, I have very recent manufactured detectors on-hand in my Regular-Use Team that perform quite well, balance well, and offer a lot, but I also have a few more 'dated' units, like my White's XLT, modified Classic ID and even the discontinued MX-5, that are older offerings with some form of visual TID, and I would grab any of them ... old or new ... if I set out to hunt against anyone using any Fisher CZ model.

I also like to take a look at any manufacturer's ad slicks, on-lone information, flyers, etc., and see if everything they say makes sense. Ask anyone what Frequency the CZ's work on and they will tell you 5 kHz and 15 kHz. Take a look at the CZ-3D on line at Fisher Labs and you will reads this:

Operating Frequency: 5 and 15 kHz

But continue to click on the specifications on their website and you will read this:

1. Multiple-Frequency transmit, Dual Frequency Processing VLF Search 3 ....5 KHz and 15 KHz

Now, we know that 'multiple' means two or more. But in one section they state the Operating Frequency is 5 and 15 kHz, but they continue to say they use a "Multiple-Frequency transmit" but a "Dual Frequency Processing at 5 and 15 kHz."

Well, is it Multiple or Dual and why not clarify what the "Multiple-Frequencies" are for transmitting and not distinguish them from the "Dual Frequency Processing" frequencies that are described. Is it a vagueness that's trying to fool users of other brands of Multiple-Frequency detectors? Why not just state the facts and not be vague or misleading?

Just my thoughts on a model I bought brand new, evaluated in several places against proven performers , and then unloaded quickly because I found it to be a terrible product in weight and balance and most definitely performance afield.


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

Stinkwater Wells
Trading Post

Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
'How-To' help for Coin & Jewelry Hunting, Relic Hunting and Useful Techniques.

'Regular-Use Detector Team' are models from: Fisher, Nokta / Makro, Teknetics, Tesoro and White's
'Specialty-Use Detectors' are models from: Compass, Garrett and Teknetics
Pinpointers: Using Nokta / Makro and Uniprobe Pointers.
Headphones: Using Killer B's 'Hornet' and White's Pro Star and Detector Pro's Uniprobe ... All w/'tank style' ear cups.
Recovery Gear: Using White's DigMaster digging tool and Signature Series pouch.
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen as desired based on search site conditions.
Some models are assigned for 'Regular-Use' and others are on-hand for 'Specialty Use.'
Additional search coils, mounted on spare lower-rods, are on-hand in my Accessory Coil Tote.

*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

monte@stinkwaterwells.com .. or .. monte@ahrps.org
(503) 481-8147
Subject Author Views Posted

cz 3d

jmaryt 151 August 30, 2018 09:04PM

The CZ-3D series detectors.

Rich (Utah) 83 August 31, 2018 06:48PM

Re: The CZ-3D series detectors.

jmaryt 90 August 31, 2018 08:21PM

A little CZ follow up.

Rich (Utah) 81 August 31, 2018 09:13PM

Audio and Zero and Me.

Monte 119 September 01, 2018 07:45AM

Re: A little CZ follow up.

jmaryt 100 September 01, 2018 01:29AM

Just to clarify.

Rich (Utah) 89 September 01, 2018 10:03PM

Yep, I agree: .. "The 0 discrimination setting made little difference." N/T

Monte 89 September 01, 2018 11:26PM

Re: cz 3d

WM6 100 August 31, 2018 09:32AM

Good report from someone who is in the "I like it." category.

Monte 90 August 31, 2018 04:38PM

The Fisher CZ-3D? You asked, but you might not like my biased reply.

Monte 119 August 31, 2018 08:36AM

Re: The Fisher CZ-3D? You asked, but you might not like my biased reply.

jmaryt 117 August 31, 2018 01:55PM

Re: The Fisher CZ-3D? You asked, but you might not like my biased reply.

WM6 75 September 01, 2018 07:32AM

Development of The Fisher CZ-3D

Rich (Utah) 85 September 01, 2018 11:22PM

Re: Development of The Fisher CZ-3D

WM6 64 September 02, 2018 02:52AM

2:34 AM .. Just finished re-reading that 6 page report.

Monte 71 September 02, 2018 02:43AM

Re: The Fisher CZ-3D? You asked, but you might not like my biased reply.

jmaryt 75 September 01, 2018 12:46PM

Re: The Fisher CZ-3D? You asked, but you might not like my biased reply.

WM6 69 September 01, 2018 01:32PM

Re: The Fisher CZ-3D? You asked, but you might not like my biased reply.

jmaryt 79 September 01, 2018 07:26PM

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