Do Think Twice, it’s Alright!


Is it worth the money? Can you really afford it? Will it really find more? Is it as advertised?  Exactly what features does it have that your current detector doesn’t have? Should you wait?

And you’re saying…“Where you been man? Of course it’s worth the money. Did you see those specs? That photo, that video?”

And you are thinking…..who the hell is this guy to tell me about the latest detectors? What does he know? What experience has he had with any of them? Why he doesn’t even have a YouTube page!  All valid (though faulty) thoughts but let me continue….

Yes I’m 76 years old, and yes I’ve not used the Equinox, AT Max or many of the other new models on the market. What I do bring to the table is 45 years of treasure hunting experience, a stint working for a major manufacturer, a familiarity with how they think, how they operate, how they plan and how they market. I also have ongoing contacts with almost all of them today (well maybe not after this post). Now all of this does not make me an expert or even close to it but I hope it does at least give me just a smidgen of credibility.

Manufacturers are always working on the next new detector. It’s what keeps them relevant. It’s their bread and butter. If you don’t have at least one new model each year you’re losing ground. The manufacturer also needs to please their distributors and dealers. New models generate a lot of interest and in turn a lot of money. None of the manufacturers want you to get too comfortable with the detector you’re currently using. Nothing new here however, it’s the same in every area…autos, appliances, smartphones, etc..

Something you need to remember when you are perusing the ads for the latest models or watching videos produced by those who ‘work’ for the manufacturer. They have an ax to grind, an allegiance and sometimes a debt to pay off. You’re also going to hear hype as well from all the long time users of that brand (I was one).  They’re going to get you excited and they’re going to make you feel left out if you don’t spring for the newest. Read between the lines.

Listen, over the years I too fell for the hype. Never failed. No matter the manufacturer if it was new I read the specs a thousand times, drooled on the ad page and contemplated over and over again whether I had enough in the savings account to buy one. I understand where you are coming from. It’s normal when you are addicted to something, especially a hobby or pastime. Golfers do it, hunters do it and it’s the reason great marketing people make great salaries.

The Minelab Equinox

Currently the buzz is the Minelab Equinox. Why? Because it’s just hitting the market and it was introduced to the world via a skydiver. How cool is that? It’s also at a price point that’s somewhat affordable. At least to those who couldn’t afford the $2,500 CTX 3030. Much like AT Max rollout the Equinox hasn’t had a lot of in the field testing by thousands of users so it will be interesting to see what the real feedback is.

Are you hot to buy this detector? The AT3? The MX Sport. If so why? Are you interested because they’re waterproof, lighter, offer more frequencies, cool features or are you interested because you’re just sure they will find more than your current machine. Any of the above are reasons to buy a new detector, none of my damn business and a justifiable reason to stop reading right here but give me a minute more.

“We make ourselves rich by making our wants few”….Henry David Thoreau

It’s an old cliché and one I’ve said a million times. No matter how much you spend on a new detector it’s only as good as the places you take it. If finding a few more goodies at that park you’ve hunted a thousand times justifies the investment than by all means spend away but first read one of my older posts called “Is It the Detector or is it You?”.

I’m not trying to talk you out of buying a new machine. I’m just trying to get you to look at all the angles/pros and cons. If you have unlimited funds buy twenty detectors I don’t care. In fact loan me fifty bucks. I’m primarily talking to those of you who might want to dip into the emergency fund, the rent money or the college savings. Slow down and think.

Over the years I’ve learned that not all new detectors are really new. Just new via a cosmetic change and/or name suffix and sometimes increased depth means nothing more than hyper sensitivity. If you are determined you must have a new detector consider all the options and spend wisely. When you write that check, scan your card or whip out your wallet be sure it’s for all the right reasons.

Happy hunting….

PS: If I had the money that Equinox sure looks sweet!




The following books…

  • Advanced Coin Shooting, by Patrick Fahey
  • Eastern Treasure Hunter, by Dave Rendina

If you have one of these and are willing to part with it let me know the price please….thanks.


Be sure to read the latest from my doppelganger in the UK, John Winter




Filed under Metal Detecting

28 responses to “Do Think Twice, it’s Alright!

  1. John Winter

    Great post, Dick. Very relevant in present circumstances. Super!

  2. John Howland

    Yo Ricardo:
    “No matter how much you spend on a new detector it’s only as good as the places you take it.” Yeah, right on!

    How many times must we drill this into the minds of newbies? It’s not the price of the machine that matters, but it’s where, and how, its used.

  3. Dick,

    Abebooks has two listings for the first title, but sadly, none for the second:



  4. Ron

    When a “NEW” detector comes out I usually have only one question: “Can it discriminate out aluminum only”? And the answer has always been…? When the answer becomes “Yes”, sign me up for 3 or 4 no matter what the price!

  5. Don Mituzas

    You make a lot of good points. I found more coins Over The Last 5 Years with my CTX 3030 than I could have imagined. Thing is, it’s not just the machine. I’ve been getting myself on older detecting spots and getting permissions on private property.

    I do plan on getting the new Equinox. It looks like there is more than just window dressing. It will be the only multi frequency machine on the market. I have also downloaded the user manual and have gone through it just to see what it really is offering. Only time will tell once I put it to use.

  6. Yep, right on the money. I have a few friends and not-as-much friends who right away jumped me about the Minelab Equinox. I’ve used almost every detector made, and my favored machines are usually Minelab or Garrett nowadays. I looked at all the specs, the weight, and the frequency spread. I find it one step forward and one step back. It is waterproof (or so they say) and comes with a huge not-for-parks coil. The folks who were drooling over it and talking with each other in excited voices with faces flushed already know my opinion, so I am somewhat ignored, which is fine by me.

    They are the same people that rush out to spend another $800 to $2500 on a “new” machine because it has a lighted screen and wireless head-phones. They are the same folks who buy the Apple watch because spending another couple of thousand bucks is surely worth the price for not having to move your arm a half-arc to check the time. Several of these folks already have several recent model machines that have maybe a few hours on them, but they quickly jump for the new machines right away, and are famous for having one of the spiffiest closets full of rarely used metal detectors yet!

    Once again, it is a “social” thing to talk about among other in-experienced machine operators, or posers, who also have not figured out how to pinpoint with a wide-scan coil yet, but need another machine to add to the 5 or 6 already sitting in the corner of their garage. Again, like the hobby itself with self-promotion in the forefront, it’s become another competition thing, and I’ve seen those smug looks before, especially when they announce their newest acquisition and their latest hunt out-of-state or out of country and all the important YouTube people they know in the hobby. I am glad I started in this hobby when I did, and, with all the current foolishness, I won’t miss it much after it is gone.

    • “I am glad I started in this hobby when I did, and, with all the current foolishness, I won’t miss it much after it is gone”….YUP, YUP and YUP!

      The tekkies who always have to have the latest will never admit they prefer their older machine… Thanks Jim.

  7. David

    I’m waiting for the Camo edition to come out

  8. I have been in the shooting game since 1950 and when I came into detecting in 2012 the first thing I noticed was there is always a better firearm / detector around the corner. Ray Hambo

  9. heavymetalnut

    Well spoken! I think you nailed it.

    • Thank Beanie Dave. Our good friend Bobby Butt emailed me and said “But as I always have said, the detector is only as good as the user!!”

      I replied “maybe so but the most accomplished detectorist using the most advanced machine STILL won’t find anything if he’s hunting in the wrong places”


    Hi Dick
    All true and from a man who knows.

    Don, Equinox the only multi frequency machine on the market? There is the V3i, Nokta Impact and the Rutus Alter 71. The last two which I now own (Christmas & birthday gifts). Do they offer anything over older machines? I don’t know though my Nokta Fors CoRe was doing a great job on my first permission so I’m hoping the Impact will do the same. Will they find me treasure? Only if I walk over it and I cannot guarantee that I’ve gone over exactly the same ground with different detectors.

    I think most of us realise that there is a huge element of luck in finding that rare artifact with items of significance being found in unlikely areas and that even a well researched permission may not yield the million dollar find. I’m a relative newcomer to the hobby but have age related cynicism which is always helpful in detecting BS and that trait only cost me life experience!!

    All the best Dick from a wet and windy Eastbourne.

    • “I’m a relative newcomer to the hobby but have age related cynicism which is always helpful in detecting BS and that trait only cost me life experience!!”… Indeed John. Something that is very explain to push to anyone young. I was the same back then.

      Keep us posted on the Nokta and Rutus (new one to me), and honestly isn’t it always wet and windy in Eastbourne?


    Hi Dick, It seems so at the moment. Rutus is a Polish built machine.
    71 frequency settings 4.4 – 18.4 kHz
    7 simple to use pre-set programmes for beginners and various other settings.
    It’s a really nice bit of kit. It’s lightweight compared to the V3i I had with good clear tones for my worsening hearing. It has yet to find me treasure but is proving really good at filtering out the rubbish though I’ll still dig it while I’m learning to use it. I will admit that I will only alter the basic settings within the programs offered as I figure the manufacturers spent a good deal of time on the development of the presets.

    When it finds my first old gold I’ll be sure to let you know!!

    Best John

    PS Got to venture out into the rain now as the dogs are giving me dirty looks.

  12. Ed Brozyna

    I started detecting in 1983 and had a White’s 6000di until 1989 when it accidentally got smashed. I then bought a White’s Eagle II and used it until 2014 when I bought a White’s M6 for no reason other than I wanted a new detector. The M6 was basically the same machine as the Eagle other than having to ground balance it a little bit differently and it had tone ID. So…. in the years between those two detectors the machines hadn’t changed a whole lot. The deepest coin I ever found with the eagle was Mercury dime at a true measured 10 inches but other than that one my silver and pre 1900 finds were all no more than 7 inches deep. What I’m getting at is today’s detectors will probably not find any more coins than my old ones would have. If a new detector promises more depth do I really need it? Are there any silver coins or Large Cents buried at 16-24 inches deep? Is the extra money spent on these “miracle machines” worth the outlay?
    Now that I’m 72 and not as spry as I used to be I bought a White’s TreasurePro because I want a machine that is lightweight and priced reasonably. I’ve already dug a few silvers with it so I’m happy. I don’t need a $1500 or a $2000 machine.

    • Whenever someone buys a new machine and finds a piece of silver or finds “something” in that notorious “hammered” site it’s the best damn detector in the universe. Honestly speaking they really have no idea if their old detector would have done the same thing simply because of all the variables…. I agree with you Ed.

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