A Little Tuesday Twaddle…

Just a few thoughts, observations and brainfarts on an overcast Tuesday. Randomness at its finest or if you prefer, utter bullshit. The choice is yours.. I really don’t care.

How Deep Does Your Machine Go?

Lots of interest in the AT Max and the Minelab Equinox. Why? Because they’re new and if they’re new they must be better.  Well we all hope so don’t we? In the AT Max case the AT Pro was very popular and if you add wireless and the suffix Max you have a winner.  With the Equinox you have waterproof, wireless and a Minelab detector that’s not $2000. What I want to know is what about depth.

In the 80’ and 90’s the word depth was key to any detector ad and it was the engineer’s bane. How to get an inch more in depth was their charge. It didn’t matter if the machine had a meter, was heavy , or came with additional coils, what mattered was whether it was deeper than the competitor’s model.  Every hunt or event I went to there was always a dealer or detectorist with a depth test challenge . Someone saying “hey, bring your machine over here….see if it can detect this dime at ten inches”….

Deep used to be the key word….

Now without question today’s detectors go deeper than those in the 70’s and 80’s but why are the words depth/deeper missing or hidden from ads today? Does it no longer matter? Have we reached the limit in technology or are there too many variables, as in soil, coils, settings, weather and user expertise?  Or….. is there easier money to be made by getting tekkies more interested in uploads, downloads, modules, waterproof, wireless, pinpointers, backlights and shovels (note I left out camo)?

I haven’t thought much about depth since the Blisstool, which I thought would set us back years thanks to all the craters that would ensue, but apparently (and thankfully) no one could understand how to use one or afford them. I cringe when I think about their claims and this was before the “gotta have a shovel” thing.

The Blisstool

So tell me, what happened to depth and are you sure your new detector goes deeper than the old one? If so how did you determine that? Did you simply find good things at that site that’s been hunted to death? Did you do a depth test with the new detector and the old? Keep in mind my theory that you will always find good things the first few times you venture out with a new detector.

Finally tell me what happened to ‘plain ole’ metal detecting?  You know, find a great place to hunt, take a metal detector, any metal detector, turn it on, find neat things and have fun. I’m asking because it really is that simple if you want it to be.

This hobby is kinda like driving today. You no longer get in your car to enjoy the driving experience, you get in your car to text, check email, social media and try not to have an accident and lets be honest, it really doesn’t matter whether you can use your phone to make a “phone call”, what matters is how many apps it will hold, how may gigabytes it has and now (drum roll)……whether or not it recognizes your face!

I wonder sometimes which will run out first? The technology or the places to use it?




I’ve come to the conclusion that every detectorist today is desperately looking for that ten minutes of fame and the effort itself has become the passion, not the thrill of the search.

I hate being a curmudgeon but I have to stay one step ahead of John Winter.

So tell me, are you finding more with that coil that was made overseas? Be honest!




Filed under Metal Detecting

23 responses to “A Little Tuesday Twaddle…

  1. Dammit, Dick, I was just wrapping up my blog on detector depth, and here you go blogging on detector depth! Now I have to go back and re-write the dang thing, because you said it much better! Yep, my biggest peeve is the seasonal “…it goes deeper!” race is on with the newest “Frankenstein” machines, i.e. combinations of this and that, parts re-imagined from last years models.

    And the ghostly whispering’s and thrumming’s among the social media sites as the excitement builds with “field test” oohs and ahhs while admiring the carbon-fiber, slick polystyrene hulls and lighted, liquid-crystal, blue-toothed, wireless, time-traveling controls. Get a room for crying out loud! Hahaha!

    Gimme a nice day and a tin-plated White’s 6000d fitted with an 8″ coil in a quiet grove of loblolly. I’ll be just fine.

    • Der ya go! Years ago it was always about depth, and there really were noticeable increases (I think, lol). Now we have hit a brick wall. Time will tell, but you are right, give me stick and a ball again. The hell with computer games.

  2. DonM

    I have had all of current high end models at one or another but now all that I have is a simple IDX Pro……it took a while for it to sink in but it is not always new detectors that will give you great finds but new ground that has never seen a detectorist.

    • Exactly but that’s a hard thing to get across to tekkies anymore. It’s a “gotta have” generation whereas it used to be a “gotta find it” time. Thanks Don.

  3. Dennis wynne

    Now wait just a guldarn minute there bubba. I WILL admit that maybeee once or three times in the past I MIGHT have bought a NEW detector because it HAD to be better than my current.
    BUT…. I bought an AT MAX because of that fine lookin Jocelyn Elizabeth on the box!!! Why. If I was a young man I’d. Well I would…. no. I know I could ….well. I forgot. Why DID I buy that Garett AT MX 3030. Something about diggin it?….. dammit. I need to get me a new detector! Wonder if it comes with a girl to dig for me…. more wine please!

  4. Paul T.

    Well said my Friend:
    More depth is not everything. Still some goodies left for us old timers to recover with old equipment. All is not lost. Will be mailing you the new XX soon so look for it.

  5. Bigtony

    Dick, I was late to the game for sure. When everyone was wanting more depth and calling themselves Mr. Deep; I was a happy go lucky plain old coin shooter with a screw driver in his pouch, (although I only used it for up to five inches – deeper was a challenge).

    Nowadays, I understand about going deep and/or is there a coin hidden near that screw cap or iron nail? So finally, I am a big fan of deep targets but still want to thank you for your other post – “wait and see what happens after they are tested and reviewed”. Right now it’s hype and frenzy – folks are going crazy blogging, tweeting, emailing and reading/writing stuff without real facts – just pictures with some smoke in the background.

    Many videos are done by folks who only want you to visit their BoobTobe site so they get some type of credit and many a check sent to them about what, hype?

    • Ah, the good ole screwdriver days. They were the greatest and believe it or not I still have the screwdriver. Made it through the tornado and that must mean something.

  6. Torie Little

    Okay, here goes. I bought an XP Deus and get good signals, but if my Carrot pinpointer doesn’t get a signal, I’m eager to move on. My wonderful, stubborn, husband-digger insists we at least dig a plug and try again. Sure as sh@t, he digs a plug, I swing the Deus again and nothing is in the plug, but in the hole. We found a silver dime this way yesterday, and he gets to say “I told you so!” I’m so glad I married him and he is my digger!

    • Torie Little

      I left out the history that I started with an F-4 and “always” found it with my Carrot about 3-4 inches down, which is why I was so quick to move on if the Carrot didn’t beep. The Deus goes MUCH deeper!

      • Not sure I would say that’s a given but not being familiar with the Deus I will accept your explanation Torie. I was not saying that all “new and expensive” detectors were mediocre, just that the hype needs to wait for the real in-the-field experiences, as in hundreds or thousands of users.

  7. BigTony

    Dick, i am glad you still have your screwdriver – I lost a few and pick them up at flee markets cheap.
    But depth is only one part of the hobbby, separation is the new thing folks are hoping for these days – because of the amount of trash in the local parks.
    Now after good research and driving out to some off the beaten path sites —- then depth from the detector is a big issue

    • It blew me away to open a box and find that dinosaur. It saw a lot of use. The tip is almost round from so much use and the handle is tar taped (does anyone still use that name.

      • DougF

        Good old tar tape – we used to wrap the handles of our wooden baseball bats with it. I guess it was used before they came up with that plastic electrical tape.

      • Thanks Doug…nice to know there’s another old digger out there. I used the term tar tape a few times not thinking and got a few stares, lol.

  8. Back in the 6000D and Groundhog days, depth mostly depended on the coil size and power output. Thus, so-called ‘standard’ coils usually 8″ diameter maxed out. Some manufacturers fitted 10″ coils as ‘standard’. These of course went deeper. Today, little has changed.

    What we have now, is cosmetic, or, the ability to breakdown the target signal into pieces of usable data; depth; metal content; iron content, etc, and data breakdown comes at a price. The 6000D would find a UK penny coin at 10″ irrespective of its angle to the coil; flat, end-on, 45-degrees. I owned a hip-mounted version and could eliminate ring-pulls and still find rings!! More of this technique later, maybe.

    • Would love to hear more Bubba…. As for coils I wish they would revert back to the 7 & 8’s. The larger coils “implied” great depth but they were pretty much useless to me because they saw too much. Of course I’ve never been anything but a coin hunter.

  9. Bob Sickler

    Dick…. Real mini field test for you… I got out in the field with the Garrett AT-Max first time on Monday. First thing that hit me is the tonality of the audio not being as comfortable as the Pro. I find it less analog and less warm than the AT-Pro. Something I will have to get used to given my musician’s ears, but still better than listening to other digital detectors owned for sure! No VCO chalkboard pinpoint audio thankfully. On the more positive side, the detector has a lot more transmitter gain and receiver sensitivity over the Pro. I was getting stray hits from my boot eyelets and shovel at my side as I swept thru the field if I was not careful. I find the iron “grunts” more accentuated and easier to discern when questionable metallic iron is present.

    I found two items of interest quickly in a previously Pro hunted area, a women’s bracelet and stainless steel identified dog tag at moderate depths in absolutely horrible conditions… Automated ground mineral scale rating: “90”… Disintegrated barbed wire fence ground contamination… Grunts and mid/high tones in rapid frequency everywhere (Iron Audio “On” for max separation advantage), but the two targets registered easily and repeatably in the 40-45 range with super clear loud middle tone responses. It appears the processor has more speed to respond in trash like lightning! Depth in these conditions is not so important, it’s about if you can even hear and discern a repeatable response… New unhunted sites are getting harder to find!

    Even though the control interface now has two layers, it is so easy and straight-forward. Still sensible controls directly/quickly field accessible like the Pro. Absolutely in heaven with the wireless audio. Works extremely well and comfortable, but I did lose paring one time when working with my Garrett pinpointer close to the control housing for some strange reason. There were also regional high-tension electrical lines overhead as well. Paring was regained instantly by recycling the power on the detector. The new handle actually gives you more control and I found swinging with the larger coil for 7 hours straight in 5″ grass and straw didn’t leave me fatigued like previous detectors owned.

    My rating thus far for my AT-MAX… 4.9 out of 5! Working on returning the dog tag. No Dick… Still not working for Garrett! 😉

  10. Dave R Wise

    Awesome Tuesday Twaddle. Depth ain’t all that..it’s how ya swing your thing!

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