The Garrett “Ace” Apex…

Well yesterday I dutifully sat in front of my PC and watched with bated breath the unveiling of the much hyped Garrett Apex detector. Oops no, wait a minute, hang on, excuse me I mean the Garrett “ACE” Apex…

Adding the Ace prefix really disappointed me and in my mind rendered the word “apex” meaningless. Yup sorry, when I hear that word I’m thinking the top, the pinnacle, the crest, peak, summit, zenith, whatever. In this case it’s simply the top of the ACE line of detectors. I had assumed (and hoped) it was going to be a new “top of the line” model.

Based on the silhouette in the teaser ads I thought too that perhaps the Apex might have knobs but nada, just a rehash of what Garrett defines as easy-access menu controls/adjustments. I call them confusing and time consuming. I don’t want to have to wonder what my settings are nor do I want to wear out my thumb pressing buttons/pads. I want to be able to look down and instantly see where my features are set and make an adjustments without having to remember up/down, left/right, etc..

On the plus side the Apex has a streamlined look and is visually more appealing than both the Ace and AT models, whose control boxes always looked to me like they were destined to break off the shaft (and did a few times). I wonder now – will the rest of the Garrett line will be taking on a similar look in the near future?

The Ace Apex is lightweight at 2.5 lbs, and offers Multi-Flex™ frequency technology (5 kHz | 10 kHz | 15 kHz | 20 kHz | Multi-Frequency | Multi-Salt), rechargeable lithium battery and a “rainproof” control box.

The Apex comes standard with a 6×10 Viper™ searchcoil, built-in Z-Lynk™ wireless technology (wireless headphones extra cost), six search modes, 5 tone target ID and hallelujah, a large LCD readout. For a more complete list of specs click here

Suggested retail for the Apex is $499.95 (basic package) and $579.95 (with Z-Lynk headphones). Garrett is back to work full time now and expects to ship out the first Apex detector sometime in July.

All my piddling criticism aside the Apex has a lot to offer at a great price and should be a big seller. The real test of course will come a few months down the road after thousands of average tekkies have put it to the test in the field.  


My new endeavor



Filed under Metal Detecting

38 responses to “The Garrett “Ace” Apex…

  1. Mel Parker

    It’s not even water proof! You can’t submerge it.

  2. Ed B.

    Waterproof or not, this detector seems to be pretty nice and I’d bet it will be at least somewhat popular. I’m with you on the “ACE APEX” name. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue very well. Just plain APEX would have been enough, or maybe Ace 500? Another nice thing is it doesn’t have the silly “belltone” sound.

    • I think so too Ed. It’s priced right…

      As best I can remember the last Garrett I had that offered the belltone was the AT-3….

    • john taylor

      never thought i would be considering a “garrett” for any reason, but some interesting information has come to light .this particular “garrett” has “very” pleasing tones associated with it, and it incorporates wonderful pleasing “audio modulation” at depth.this is, and of itself, a remarkable achievement. the tonal qualities of “garretts” in the past has left much to be desired,(at least to my ears),and of course, the god awful “bell tone” and the “puke” color green color that looked like a “bad night” at the silver dollar bar.the real strength of the detector is in the “multi-freak” transmission of frequencies.if it performs as well as i believe it may, it will be a smash hit.i want to “wade” into trash filled parks with it to see if it can “rescue “some” of the good stuff still left behind.


  3. Tony

    Dick, that sounds interesting – I can’t wait for folks to write their own reviews after it drops out of the Sky later this summer.

  4. John Devereux

    Hi Dick.
    At least they have addressed the one issue I had with the AT Pro which was the screen size. I couldn’t read the thing easily. As for the multi frequency capability well I wrote to one of our metal detecting magazines recently as they did a fluff piece on the Equinox. The “journalist” who wrote it said it was the first true simultaneous multi frequency machine. I wrote to them and pointed out that White’s got there 11 years ago with the V3i along with the option of wireless headphones so actually Minelab were a bit slow off the mark. I still haven’t received a response. Truth is that apart from not being waterproof, a facility I don’t want or need, there isn’t really much new about. The main advantage of more modern machines is that the electronic components will operate faster and likely consume less power. I’ll stick with my V3i and its easy to read colour screen unless someone comes out with a machine that digs my finds out for me and saves my aching knees and back.
    All the best from a sunny Eastbourne. John.

    • John, while I could do without a screen I’m with you that it should at least be easy to read. I’m at the point too where aesthetics and ease of use play more of a role in any decision I make. The brain doesn’t want to have to delve too deeply into anything. Stay safe my friend….

  5. Dick:
    You got in one…it’s top of the ACE range. You can bet the ranch the AT range is going the same way based on the same architecture. That Iron Audio feature with its variable volume will prove to be a ‘killer’ on the beaches.

  6. Joe Patrick

    I am very impressed with the new Garrett Apex! Enough so, that I plan to buy one. After watching the videos and reading the spec’s and other information I find it difficult to find any cons to the Apex. At least for what I want in a metal detector. It has the right feature set and the fact that it is mult-frequency or selectable single frequency is brilliant. Plus being wireless, I get to use my current AT Max MS-3 headphones and wireless Z-Lynk pinpointer with either detector. I say well done Garrett! You’ve done a marvelous job with the Apex!

    • Joe you already have an arsenal. Maybe you could send me a few of your spares to use or at a minimum loan me a few bucks. Hope you’re doing well…

  7. Joe Patrick

    Dick, All is well here… thanks! I do have a few too many detectors but I find each of them interesting, practical and usable. I could write or talk extensively as to why the Apex has hit home with me, but it would take up far too much space in this thread. Here (in part) is an e-mail that I sent to a friend and what I had to say. —– “I just got off the phone with (name withheld)… it’s 2:10. We both were busy with things and forgot about the Apex webinar and missed it. But we have since watched some of the Garrett videos and checked-out their website and documents. Plus we had a long phone conversation talking about it. All I can say is that Garrett has hit a grand-slam homerun with the new Apex! Almost perfectly done in my opinion. It is a “must have” detector for me and I plan to sell some stuff to raise money to buy one. 2.5 pounds, wireless, a large display, multi-frequency or selectable single frequencies, iron audio volume, backlit, too many features to believe. I love the housing and display as well. Seriously, I cannot say a bad thing about the Apex. I am still curious though as to how the pinpoint audio sounds but I’ll bet it’s like the AT Max. I was expecting to be disappointed. I am not! I’m drooling to have one!

    • Well I expect you then to report back here and give feedback when you get it. Used to be new detectors were boxed up and ready to be shipped once they were announced. Now the idea is to get pre-order commitments and getting the itchy buyer to hold off buying from the competitor.

    • john taylor

      yes! joe! by all means please give us an extensive report about it when you can get your hands on one! i for one, will be looking forward with “breathless anticipation” to your most valued review!

  8. Joe Patrick

    I will be happy to do so. I am most curious to find out just how well the multi-frequency mode performs.

  9. Bob Sickler

    Ah, the race for the perfect detector lives on! My comments here are probably a little unfair because I’ve had a long bias towards Garrett having had a friendship with Charles Garrett and the brand being my first commercially purchased detector in the 1970’s. More than that though I’ve always been and I still am impressed with Garrett’s USA grown superior quality of construction, design and reliable performance, not to mention customer service, sensible advertising and excellent marketing over the years. But know this, I do not work for Garrett, nor do they pay me to write my opinions.

    Sure the ACE Apex is the lower deck of things to come, but I bet things to come only incorporate the same brilliant ergonomic design and performance. Garrett’s major competitor, second to fashion a “cell phone on a stick”, was also quick to copy Garrett’s touch-button interface in an effort to squish their competitor with a low cost entry. If my memory is correct, Garrett was first to incorporate a “user-friendly” touch pad interface driving a notch-discriminated LCD display starting with the GTA -1000. I privately tested the first prototype of the GTA for Charles and have continuously enjoyed that concept of simplicity ever since… For me, simplicity is sophistication.

    Garrett has always quietly and intelligently kept their “cards close to the vest” and never have “roostered” too much about their accomplishments… Much like the founder himself. The new ACE Apex comes out sporting a list of highly desirable features that didn’t have to fall from the sky to make detectorists notice. Garrett’s marketing of the Apex is impressive to someone like me who has spent his working life in advertising.

    I view the new Apex interface, features and design as simply brilliant and highly ergonomic. I currently use the AT-Max which weighs in about 3.4 lbs. with rechargeable batteries installed. The stock 11 x 8.5″ coil by the end of my hunting day (usually 8 hours) gets a bit too heavy in weeds and brush. Having the “Max” be waterproof is great for cleanups, but it does come necessitate a larger control housing to incorporate replaceable batteries. This larger housing has issues for me when resting the detector on the ground because it changes the center of gravity of the detector which usually finds it having to be laid down on its side in rough terrain. Not only has Garrett taken a sharpshooter aim at their competition, they have improved their own design and features remarkably. My only concern for the Apex design is non-field replacement of the power supply. If you have ever driven hours to reach your hunt destination and walked miles into remote areas only to find you forgot to recharge your batteries or have forgotten to bring extra batteries, you know what I am talking about. Lithium Ion technology and performance in cell phones has improved over the years and hopefully will benefit the metal detector community as well. I guess if I remember to charge my detector before an outing and it has a reliable rating of 15 hours on a charge, I’ll have another 7 hours in reserve and I won’t have to worry about running out of power wherever I go. Fact alone if the Apex can reduce my arm weight by a whole pound and break down into my knapsack completely, I’m game for the change right now. The Apex at first glance appears to have all the attributes of my AT-Max. While I don’t operate my “Max” in submerged environments, I’m sure the rainproof rating of the Apex will still make downpours and day out cleanups a snap. By the way, if you have never experienced the Garrett Z-Lynk wireless headphone and hand-held pinpointer systems, you’re missing out on a little piece of metal detector heaven!

    After first learning about the ACE Apex, I was leaving the house and walking to the garage. There in the air, fluttering above was a little American Goldfinch… Now where have I seen that great sleek color scheme?… I think my “old friend” was trying to tell me something. As a former public reviewer of metal detectors, I say BRAVO Garrett! ACE Apex… A stunning and fitting legacy to a man whose name I’ve trusted for many years. Slow and steady wins the race folks!

  10. Bob Sickler

    Having one in hand is the best way to honestly know for sure for any of us. But trust me, for what I have experienced with the AT-Max, it’s shoe-in for me! To be honest, I wasn’t going to make any moves from the AT-Max unless they improved the weight, balance and display readability. Looks like to me, they “ACE’ed” it! 🙂 I just can’t resist giving praise to the well deserved.

  11. john taylor

    hi bob! can i use your considerable “wallop” with garrett to “hasten” the arrival of my own “apex”? i figure between both of you guys (dick and bob) i should be able to obtain one within a matter of weeks! i wonder too, if the reverend howland’s name would “reverberate loudly” within the walls of “garland,texas” as well to provide added emphasis to the need to acquire one as soon as possible!..i’m just sayin’


    • Bob Sickler

      John… I’m sure Garrett sees any and all that is written about them. How else would they be so adept at understanding what the consumer is looking for in a metal detector. Whether or not mine or anyone else’s comments would enhance your delivery rate is questionable. Garrett is a finely tuned organized company and when they say “July”, I’m pretty sure they mean what they say! Hang in there… I’m just sayin’! 🙂

      • john taylor

        upon reflection,i would agree with that assesement bob! (’tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all!) OR as my late father so gloriously proclaimed,”all they can do is say “no!”..i’m just sayin’


  12. gurnie

    Trying to catch up to MineLab ? not a chance! not even the Vanquish. Dick as you have said many times some people can’t get there money out of there pockets.

    • Gurnie I can’t really add much to the back and forth. Newest machine I have now is the MXT Pro and it’s about seven years old. I would love to try an Equinox but I don’t have the money. Simple as that.

      Stay safe my friend.

      • john taylor

        not so sure about your statement there dickie!ya gut those royalties on the books ya writ! must be enough there to “pop” a ‘tector,or two! maybe even enough left over to give the reverend his due! ..i’m just sayin’ stay safe richard!


    • john taylor

      what money? what pockets?.. no pants!just got ”covid” money! bought “crap” paper, and “canned food” thinkin’ about askin’ “garrett” for a loan so i can buy new ‘tector vaughn!,,you listenin’

  13. Joseph John Sherrod

    Looks very good to me. will wait and see what the reviews are after a bunch of detectorists actually have one to field test. I like the large digital meter and the multi-frequency. in the meanwhile will sell a few items to make the purchase. thanks for all of the comments cause it helps me to decide.

    • Yup the real reviews are always written by the masses so time will tell….and boy do I understand the selling things in order to buy. Think we might be in the minority in that regard Joe.

  14. You wrote: “I wonder now – will the rest of the Garrett line will be taking on a similar look in the near future?” My very strong suspicion is yes, because frankly after the debut of the XP Deus several years ago, everyone went bonkers for the sleek, lightweight shaft that had a removable control panel. Now every new land machine I’ve seen for the past two years, from every manufacturer, looks a lot like it.

    • I thought that the Deus would set the tone for future models too Mary. I also expected the trend to be software updates and accessories but not quite sure that will happen.

  15. Luke R.

    Friends let me try out their Ace 300 and liked it. also had rented an Ace 400 for a weekend and liked the iron audio feature. But I did not buy any of them mostly because i’ve been a Tesoro and white’s fanboy for most of my life. I really dislike the Yellow. if I had an ace, I’d likely paint it black or dark blue, lol. But now that both my favorite manufacturers of great machines are gone, (cry) i’ve looked more at Minelab, and Nokta Makro… I am very interested in the multi-frequency aspect. And having the whole z-link setup would be nice – I’ve owned a Garret Propointer AT Z-Link with the Z-Link wireless kit – works awesome with my ancient White’s Prizm4 …

    I too, wish this Apex was it’s own lineup. sorry i still loathe the yellow…

    • You know I’ve never been a fan of the yellow color either. Maybe it’s because the AT-4 model (1988) leaked like a sieve and I was marketing director then, LOL.

  16. I thought they were bringing out an AT MAX. For me, this is a testament to Garrett’s poverty. Greeting eXer

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