I often receive emails from detectorists asking what detectors I would recommend or what did I think about this model or that model. Well, let me try to answer this once again….
I am aware of the various brands and models on the market today, and I will sometimes look at their features, design and of course price. Have to also add that I have become more aware of how much they weigh (the older I get, the weaker I get). Other than that I can offer nothing in the way of recommendations. I would love to be able to try out all the various models but so far none of the manufacturers have chosen to send any to me. If any happen to be reading this I will gladly send you my address.
If you already have a detector and want to upgrade then consider what it is you need and want and why. Since you want to upgrade you obviously think the detector you are currnently using isn’t getting the job done or else you think (or imagine) that the more expensive the detector the more treasure it will find. If indeed you have money to spare, or perhaps burn is a better term, then give me a call and for $100 I will throw a name and model at you, along with my PayPal account info.
On a more serious note…
If you want to upgrade your detector, try and find a local dealer to help you with your decision making. If that’s not an option you will find hundreds of detectorists on the various forums who will give you a hundred different recommendations and reasons for buying this or that model. You will just have to find a way to discern the reasonable, intelligent and well stated recommendations from the all too typical “I know it all” bullshit. You will also need to decide whether you want visual ID, tonal ID, variable frequencies, VLF or PI, knobs or pads, cool or nerdy, one or two piffwangers and/or cream and sugar. There are other options as well that I have surely overlooked.
My personal thoughts (as if anyone really gives a rat’s ass)…
When considering any detector, consider your pocketbook. Don’t go into debt to scratch an itch. You will only be sorry later especially if that expensive model doesn’t live up to it’s hype. Look for a light weight model, one that offers visual and tonal ID and is easy to understand. If of course you are into Hieroglyphics, or are a computer geek, then you might prefer the more complicated models that come with 200 page manuals (think of the hours you can spend on the john).
What I use and why…
At this time in my prehistoric life I use the White’s MXT Pro and it does all that I want or need. It’s an excellent coin and relic machine, easy to understand, and it has knobs and switches which as you know, I love (a carry over from my Fisher Price years). I typically run the MXT Pro in the coin & jewelry mode, slight threshold, disc set just below nickel, gain set as high as possible (i.e. stable), Trac set to ground and music tones on. I use the Eclipse 5×3 coil and headphones with dual volume controls (I have hearing problems).
I will often increase the gain by taking the threshold into the null (just below audible). This allows for more depth without the noisy chatter, and will frequently let me identify those barely audible responses by giving me a numerical readout. It’s a give and take situation but works more often than not, and for that matter, don’t be afraid to crank your gain all the way up, chatter and all….what you are trying to do is get a VDI reading or ID on that very deep target.
Even though I am a coin hunter I sometimes hunt in the Relic Mode, looking “only” at the numerical readouts. You will get a little more depth in this mode, and the numerical readouts are the same as in the coin & jewelry. My accessories: Lesche Digger, carpenters apron, drop cloth, bottle of Aleve and Jack Daniels.
Okay, hopefully I just explained my knowledge or lack thereof about which detector is the best for you. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Maybe you could try pretending that the detector you have now just arrived and see if that helps, and if not just buy the coolest and best looking model out there ….
MORE FROM JOHN HOWLAND AT THE MALAMUTE SALOON
John’s latest update is a good one, and I hope you will read it. He’s let it all hang out there, and you might guess, pulls no punches. You can find his latest contribution by clicking on the Malamute Saloon link above and scrolling down to today’s date!