These are my thoughts, you may agree/disagree with my comments but detecting like all hobbies is all about opinions!
I do not have favourite manufacturers, I am totally neutral.
There are a lot of very good detectors out there at the moment at good prices so whatever you choose you should get some success.
I have spent loads of time creating our new test bed, using my Minelab CTX 3030 and Equinox to help me out, hopefully it will be up and running in the next two weeks then i can start to publish the results on our website.
I am getting a few surprises using just the two detectors during the set up so who knows what will follow?
I will be testing every detector i get my hands on , with every coil option i can find.
One result i found surprising today was my George 111 Halfpenny test, i have buried them at 6'' though to 14'', before today the CTX was getting the Halfpenny at 12' and the Equinox at 10'' so i presumed the CTX was deeper on high conductive targets, wrong , i planted a halfpenny at 13'', the CTX and Equinox both got it, the reason the Equinox did not get the 11'' and 12'' George 111 Halfpennies is that there is a small piece of iron down the hole, the Equinox homed in on the iron and rejected the coin, the CTX ignored the iron and got the Halfpenny, interesting!
I spent ages down one hole removing all the bits of iron that the Equinox picked up and i still missed a bit, resulting in the Equinox not finding the target.
Finished my test bed now and have started to test detectors today, results will be announced soon and will be on going.
Should be getting the first results published in the next few weeks, testing loads of Detectors, i am finding some of the so called 'top end' detectors are not that great!
Just got back from a week on Anglesey (North Wales) did about an hours detecting every day
I took several detectors but as normal ran out of time to use them all.
I mainly used the Equinox, total items dug up for the week was 102 pieces of junk (Aluminium e.t.c, finds were , one Silver chain, a lead fishing weight, 3 x £1 coins,a pair of Calvin Klein Glasses, a Silver ring, and a purse containing 5 pennies a Shilling and a Sixpence ,all George IV, the purse was about 12'' down in the black sand.
I find the Equinox a very interesting , quirky detector, it's fairly unpredictable and you get quite different results depending on what program you use.
One of the things that jumped out from the advertising campaign was its ability to find chains, there must be tens of thousands scattered around our coastline waiting to be found, there has never really been a detector made that will find them.
Before we went on holiday recently i thought I'd do a few experiments on my test bed, a Gold Chain was buried that i thought was about average, at 2'', i tried several more and they all gave me a VDI number of 1
This is the area where Coke is detected and i would be rejected on the fields i go on, not a problem i thought, because on a beach there would not be any coke so i could accept all the number ones.
I use field 2 on land and thought i would use the same on the beach, wrong, it gave false signals everywhere all the false signals were number ones.
Not a problem, i will just put it in Beach mode, great, no false signals but in Beach mode it will not pick up gold chains???? it totally rejects them?
Surely chains will normally be found on a beach but it will not pick them up in beach mode? and i cannot use it in any other mode.
Please let me know if i am missing something here?
All Minelabs reject Coke and none of them with give a signal on a Gold Chain, you do not have the option to accept coke and Gold chains, the Equinox has now given you the option to accept coke and Gold chains on land, how many pieces of Coke do you think you might have to dig up before you get a gold chain, i think if you have been detecting for a while you will know the answer to that one!
Nearly in a position to list the first lot of test results, i have started with the Minelab Safari/Explorer 11/ Explorer SE and E-Trac, mainly because i have them all in stock at the moment and i have 10 coils in that will fit them all.
So after over 900 tests i will be listing the results in the next few days.
After will be Garrett Ace 250/300i/400i because i have them all in stock and 5 coils here at the moment. These tests will shock you!
So my tests are decided by my stock at the time.
If you are in to stats/comparisons e.t.c you should find it all very interesting, the coil tests will be a very useful guide and will help you decide which coil will make a difference to your detector, and will probably save you money!
Due to a large influx of detectors and bits and pieces in the last week or two i have not had much time to list many test results but hopefully i will be able to this week.
Tested about 40 detectors so far , just found two detector/coil combos that give better all round performance than the top end Minelabs!
One was the Nokta Impact fitted with the 15'' Coil, and by far the best is the Nexus Standard MK11 , i tested this with the 6'' coil and did not have targets on my test bed deep or challenging enough to test it to it's full potential ,i didn't even bother with the 9'' Coil !
I also tried two very popular , big selling detectors that i have not really tested before on a test bed, they were dire, totally over priced and uninspiring,
In fact one was so bad i could not understand why some detectorists used them, i spent two hours testing it because i did not believe it was so bad, i went online to see how other users set them up, seems i had already sussed out the best settings, maybe i had a dodgy one ? so i tried another i had in stock, just as bad.
I am not saying they will not find it's what a Detector misses is what i am looking at,
If you are in an area that is full of targets and it's all ploughed, then most detectors will do the job and you will wonder what all the fuss is about, unfortunately that is not the case where we go detecting , we need every signal we can get!
Another observation , while testing all these coils and detectors, i did not realise that small coils were fairly useless among iron, i'm not saying all of them are. just 90%, it's always been my belief and most people's that small coils were great for winkling targets out among iron, although i personally have always had more success with larger coils.
So it looks like the only use for small coils is for use in areas where it is difficult to use a larger coil
As for elliptical coils i have never understood what the point of these are, not great among iron and no depth!
Just a thought , if an after market coil is better than the original stock coil (which it normally is) then why can't the manufacture of the detector make one as good in the 1st place? why can't they make a larger range of coils? they designed the detector in the 1st place so surely they have the technology.
What happened to the trade descriptions act ? just tested a detector today that claimed on the box it would 'open up all my worked out sites' no it won't , it was dire.
I remember on the Fisher F19 box it says something like ' the best relic detector ever ' no it wasn't, not ever close!
Larger coils are definitely better among iron than smaller ones, that seems like a weird statement but that is what i have found during my testing.
I tried a detector on my old test bed about a year ago, alarm bells sounded in my head, there was something special about it, i sold it before i could test it properly.
Then my test bed went belly up and i never did get a chance.
Anyway, new test bed, just had another one in, so time to try it again.
What a awesome detector, effortlessly picked up most of the targets on the test bed.
Then i remembered i had a 13'' Detech Ultimate coil in stock, i put it on and it just got better, it is now is the best detector i have tested
I have only spent 20 mins on it so it could be even better once i have gone though the settings, all i have done so far is to put it into the coin and Jewellery program and wack the sensitivity up
This one will be joining me one my next outing!
Bet you can't guess which detector this could be, it's not an odd ball detector made in someone's shed
It's a mass produced detector made by one of the big detector manufacturers , it seems to have gone under the radar, maybe the manufactures don't know how good it is ? No advertising campaign , no claims of awesomeness
this is it, click here
We have decided to take a break from detector sales for a while, we have two very successful and growing companies unfortunately this leaves us with very little spare time to live!
So in the near future we will be concentrating on covers and reducing the numbers of detectors we have for sale
Thank you for your continued support.
We will of course be continuing the detector tests.
Spent a while today with the Equinox and the Gold chain /Coke problem i had before, i found that Field 1 allowed me to get a gold chain whilst rejecting most coke, also i changed the iron bias from 6 to 2 on the beach mode, this allowed me to also pick up the gold chain, result!
Did an Equinox versus Deus test today, the Equinox was better overall but the Deus had a 9'' HF coil fitted so it will be a fairer test when i have the 11'' Deus on to match the Equinox.
The Deus did not let me down, and continued to drive me mad and further convince me it's the detector i least trust out of any detector i have ever used. sometimes i take it out and it's awesome, next time i can take it out the same site it's useless?
Today during my George 111 halfpenny test it managed to miss the 9'' 10'' and 11'' targets and it picked up the 12'' Halfpenny?? why? How? The Deus will find you plenty but i think it misses loads.
as for discrimination the new 'deep program' which features squiggly lines all over the screen when deep iron is located, yes it does that but you also lose all the low conductive stuff as well that also give you the same squiggly lines.In terms of discrim, stick to the horseshoe.
I tried the Whites MX Sports again today having declaring last week it was awesome, i only tested it for 5 mins at the time
Today i gave it another hour to try to get more out of it, and decided i got it right first time and Coin and Jewellery was the way to go, it's better than anything thing i tested so far.
I did the Equinox update today, quick and easy to do, not sure it's any different than before. not 100% sure what it was supposed to do, someone told me it improved it's ability to find coins on edge.
I have no idea why i have never done any tests on coins on edge before, seems to be an obvious thing to do , so that's going to be one of my next projects.
Tried the Equinox on my Test bed today and the update seems to have made a difference, it finds 2 targets that it did not find before, a Cartwheel Penny at 16'' and a Gold earring at 2'' that only 3 Detectors have managed to detect before.
I had a Whites XLT in today as a part ex, i used one myself for 5 years in the 90's, i did find loads with it, but it's frightening what i used to miss, took it on the test bed, Whites are normally totally useless anywhere near iron so it was not too surprising to see the results, it managed 2 out of 10 on the iron tests and one of those was hit and miss!
I don't see many Whites , considering the amount of different models out there
I can get a good idea of the best selling most popular detectors out here by the amount of covers i sell, best seller by far at the moment is the Equinox, followed by the Minelab CTX and Garrett AT Pro also selling a lot of Tesoro
U -max at the moment and Garrett ace.
Worst selling covers are the AKA Sorex about one per year compared to the Equinox at about 70 per week , one extreme to the other. are Sorex's a bit thin on the ground or do AKA owners not buy covers?
Had a good day today used my Equinox, 1st signal was a Henry V111 Half groat following within a hour two medieval buckles.
This was on a field that had been battered for 20 years by us, using several different top end detectors
On this particular field i dug 9 holes the last time i was on it 2 years ago, dug over 20 today using the Equinox, no Coke on the field so was able to dig number 1's and 2's these targets were mainly small pieces of lead and sliver paper, we are told if we get a dodgy signal then test it by trying it on 10khz if the signal is not stable it then reject it, i tried that, good job i ignored that info otherwise i would have not dug a lot, and there would be 2 medieval buckles still in the ground!
The Equinox takes some getting used to in terms or what to dig and what not to dig, if in doubt dig it!
Having a big sort out at the moment of all the stuff i have knocking about, most of it is being put on e-bay,
I have decided in the future i will be just selling Detectors and Covers, so anything else i have is up for grabs., I will still take anything in part ex but will not buy anything in unless its a detector and before i do that i need to get the stock level down to around 15 but it's one in , one out ,at the moment due to part ex's
Just back from a week on Anglesey ,we are currently walking the coastal path (very slowly) problem is when you go away you totally forgot what you have in stock and you return to a barrage of phone calls and e-mails asking you questions you have forgotten the answers to! it takes a few days to get back into it again.
Detected a bit while away but as normal did not find a lot, loads of Aluminium and similar, i do like detecting on beaches but it seems you have to dig 100 bits of junk up to get a find.
Only saw one person detecting while on Hols , you could tell he was an Equinox owner from a mile away, he was standing in the same place for about 10 mins trying to correct his headphones!
Just need to quash rumours that we are packing up, we have stopped buying in at the moment to allow us to catch up with the vast amount of stuff we have in stock which we do not have up for sale, no point in continually buying everything that is offered to us if we do not have time to do anything with it.
We have over 100 coils in stock , they are getting more and more difficult to sell with not a lot of profit, same goes with most other accessories, they need to be sold on e-bay to get a sale, 10% e-bay fees, free postage,VAT,Paypal fees and there is nothing left!
We have no intention of packing up but there will be be a bit of tweaking to create time and space
Once we have caught up then we will start to buy again, but we only be buying detectors not accessories, All accessories will be taken in part ex as normal
Only detectors that will sell will be purchased , we will not be buying in any 'odd ball' detectors.
We will not be having a vast amount of detectors in stock , probably about 25, instead of 50 to 80 which as been the norm in the past.
There is just too many detectors to choose from nowadays , some companies seem to bring one or several out every month, must be a nightmare for anyone coming in to the hobby with all manufacturer's claiming their latest creation is the best thing since sliced bread.
Bought myself a new Nokta/Makro Anfibio it arrived today along with two 15'' Equinox coils, one for me one for Lee (who i detect with), so i got a couple of new toys to play with!
Two reasons why i bought the Anfibio
1/ I need to get covers made for them
2/ I have heard that they are better than the Equinox or is that another of the many claims made by manufacturer's, we shall see!
I shall be detecting tomorrow (Sunday) with my Equinox complete with new 15'' coil fitted and also i will be taking the Anfibio out for a run.
1st impressions today (10 mins on test bed) having used the Equinox since March and having put a lot of hours in on a test bed i know exactly what it is capable of with the stock 11' coil fitted, i attached the 15'' coil to see how much difference it made, most noticeable was it was better at detecting non ferrous items among iron than the 11'' coil, in terms of depth about 5% better , it got the same targets only slightly better.
Thought I'd give the Anfibio a quick go (5 mins), not knowing what i was doing or trying to find out the best settings or even looking at the manual i found it was noticeably better than the Equinox on low conductive targets but not as good on High conductive targets.
So more to follow on that when i have time to test it properly.
I had a go with the Anfibio, it lasted all of 20 minute's before being thrown back in the car!
reason being i could not see the menu without my glasses and because i had gloves on i pressed 2 or 3 buttons at the same time because they are so small and close together, so not ideal for those of us who wear gloves and cannot see.
I shall have another go when i have my glasses on and it's warm enough to not wear gloves!
I also tried the Equinox 15'' coil in the field, i do not like big coils so it had to be a lot better /deeper than the standard 11'' coil to convince me ,it was neither after an hour i put my 11'' coil back on again.
My Anfibio as gone to to have covers made up for it so hopefully i can get them up for sale soon.
I am selling everything i have lying around at the moment , i am putting it all on e-bay , some at a buy it now price and some on auction, i have 18 years of bits and bobs so have a look to see if there is anything you need
I have decided to keep the Anfibio for a while or longer if i get to like it, when i get it back.
My own personal detector armory will then consist of Minelab Equinox.E-trac,GPX 5000, CTX 3030, Deus and the Anfibio.
All the detectors i have offer something different, unfortunately there is not a detector out there that does everything, although the Equinox is close.
I tried the Minelab GPX 5000 on my Test bed for the first time the other day, it was of course better than anything else , but it did miss a low conductive cut quarter and a gold chain ,both are the same conductivity as coke, this is the same throughout the Minelab range of detectors, they all ignore coke but reject everything in the same conductivity range, the Equinox can find similar items but only if you accept coke, no problem on most of my sites (no coke) but a nightmare for most other detectorists
Even a Garrett Ace 250 can reject coke and find something in the same conductivity range
So what we are doing now is detecting on all our old detecting hot spots that we have battered with Explorers,E-tracs,CTXs and GPX's with the Equinox and are getting results!
Still having a big clear out, most of the stuff i have is now on e-bay, maybe another 50 items to list then i can just concentrate on Covers and a few detectors, still not created any extra time by cutting back but i'm sure we will get there, loads of covers going out at the moment, ideal Christmas presents!
Still using the Equinox every week despite having 6 other detectors, managed to get 40 signals on a small area that had been battered with all my other detectors over the last year,not the best among iron, just different.
Found another 300 plus metal Metal Detector related items i forgot about ,so loads more ebay listings to follow mainly low cost bits and pieces, battery doors, decals, battery pods , mounting brackets and the like so if you are after something have a look, there are some rare items for sale.
after i have put everything up for sale i plan to have a rest from Detector sales for a while to concentrate on the 'Pro-tectors' Covers side of the business and to free up some time.
I will be putting loads of info on the website, field tests, manuals , tests, all sorts of things. hopefully i will be able to start all this over Christmas, hopefully you will find it all interesting.
Sorry to see Tesoro have recently disappeared off the detector map, not surprising really they never really moved forward , in fact they got steadily whose, the Silver Sabre that appeared in 1984 or thereabouts was about as good as it got, in the 90's we got the Laser B1 (Bandido) and Laser B3 (Silver sabre 11) the Rapier (Silver Sabre U-max) the Eldorado, Golden Sabre, Conquistador , there were loads of them all exactly the same in performance, just sprayed a different colour and the knobs were moved around! then came the high freq versions Cibola/Vaquero/Tejon that became the Trident 1 /Trident 2 and Tejon pro which were sprayed black and had £100 put on the price tag and are magnets with a horrible tone (my opinion) i know there are loads of detectorists out there that still use them, lightweight, simple to use are the two pluses ,downside is they are not very good by today's standards, i used a Laser B1 in the 90's on some good sites it's frightening what i walked over, If i had to use one now i would give up detecting.
One of the last detectors Tesoro made was the Mojave. what an embarrassment, its dire.
Bought a XP ORX today, it will arrive tomorrow so look out for my thoughts on it!
I chose the 9'' Version with Wireless headphones.
I just need it to model detector covers on, they use the same covers as the Deus so at least we don't have to create a new cover.
I used to just wait until i got a second-hand one in but now i have slowed down to a snails pace on the Detector sales it's easier to just buy every new one that comes out, gets the covers sorted then sell it again, of course after testing!
Not had any feedback at all yet on the ORX, don't know anything at all about it
Watch this space!
Got my ORX on Friday, unfortunately the stem is different to the Deus, so i need a new upper stem cover made, life would be so much easier if manufacturers used the same stems and control boxes on similar detectors.
Looking at it from a cleaning point of view , it's a nightmare, ( i spend a lot of time cleaning second-hand detectors)
See picture below, imagine trying to get mud out of all those holes in the stem!
it looks set to replace the Teknetics T2/Fisher F75 coil as number one cleaning nightmare!
Not had a go with the ORX in the field yet only 5 mins on my test bed, i instantly liked it, may be a keeper! although i can't really justify keeping all these detectors, i have only used the Equinox since March.
Hopefully in the near future i will have the chance to use them all.
just spent the last 12 months trying to down size, business wise, probably got around 50 items left to put up for sale then i can start to move forward and hopefully will have time to do other things, i want to get all the detector tests i have done put on the website, hopefully over Christmas.
We'd Just like to wish all Detectorists out there a very Merry Christmas, hope you manage to get out there and find a few bits over the next week!
Went out last on Sunday (yesterday) to another battered area where every detector has been used in the past including my GPX 5000, dug 35 non ferrous targets and one ferrous with the Equinox, 90% of the none ferrous were bits of lead/copper half the size of an air rifle pellet , i got one Fibula and the none ferrous find was a Saxon Knife.it was found in a 5 square yard area where we have previously found around 12 other Saxon items, Saxon finds are very rare around here.
Lee found a Denarius, Roman Iron bell and half a fibula
A lot of the iron artefact's we find are in excellent condition, we detect on permanent pasture that as never being disturbed and as never had any fertiliser's put on it.
The iron Saxon Knife i found only gave a signal from one direction this was because it had a small copper hilt
Not quite sure why the Equinox is opening up all our old 'hot spots' again, need to do some more tests.
It just seems to be different to anything else out there.
I took my newly acquired ORX out for a trial but it never stopped raining all day and it was just like a mud bath, not much pleasure in testing new detectors when it's like that.
Silly season is in full flow, just received first negative on e-bay of the season from a Russian guy who was a bit cheesed off because the £24 set of covers i sold to him did not include the £800,00 AKA Sorex, ironic really as the Sorex is Russian !