2020 – An Anomaly or a Sign of Things to Come?

Right here, right now…

It’s July, it’s hot, there’s a pandemic and so far 2020 has been a royal pain in the ass! You see I don’t have any desire to deal with triple digit temps, using a pick ax to recover a pulltab and I’m sure as hell not interested dealing with covid-19. Other than an occasional trip to the grocery store my excitement is walking out to the mailbox to get the bills.

So der ya go, a day in the life of an old beeper. True!

“Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.” ― Charles Schultz

Now, having said all that –

Being a semi-retired, over the hill and badly beat up detectorist I tend to see the pastime differently than you do. And yes the older I get the gap between you and moi gets wider (I hate it when that happens).

Right now tekkie chatter (much of it speculation and guesswork) centers on the Garrett Apex, the Fisher Impulse AQ and the new Tarsacci detector. That’s because if it’s new, and marketed well it will create a lot of buzz and empty a lot of wallets, advertised performance be damned. And yes I know a few of the field testers out there are sharing bits here and there but I’m guessing they’re not going to give you the real skinny lest they cease being testers.

Me? If I were interested in one of these detectors I would wait at least three months after it comes out to decide whether or not to purchase it. Glitches/hitches/bugs in new products are commonplace and usually minor but as the saying goes, **** happens. Accurate and detailed feedback comes only when a new product is in the hands of the masses. JMO.

At the moment I’m more interested in what’s going on at the companies that make our toys. White’s Electronics is still on the minds of many and from what I hear the company is looking for a buyer/investor.  Sadly it’s customers are wondering about warranties and service? In addition to this it appears that First Texas (Bounty Hunter, Fisher, Teknetics) is shaking things up personnel wise and one has to wonder why?

Now none of what I say here really matters to you but how the industry changes IS important because it’s an indication of where our pastime is headed. We’ve lost a major player, maybe gained a smaller one and we’re witnessing a change in the hierarchy at another major company. Add in Covid 19 and 2020 is disconcerting to say the least.

“You get old and you realize there are no answers, just stories.” ― Garrison Keillor


Oh and there’s this…

The Latest Pandemic Shortage: Coins Are The New Toilet Paper

How COVID-19 Is Accelerating the Shift to a Cashless Society

Hang on to your nickels and dimes, the pandemic has created a coin shortage

Are we witnessing the end of money per se (cash, coins)??


Have my prayers been answered!




Originally posted February 2018

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!




Filed under Metal Detecting

13 responses to “2020 – An Anomaly or a Sign of Things to Come?

  1. Frank Blazi

    I am saddened to learn Whites is circling the drain. Many happy hours I have spent with my DFX. Although I have moved on to the deus,because its better. I am intrigued by the anfibio as the deus does not easily work under water.

  2. Ed B.

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if First Texas is in a downward spiral, just based on what I’ve read on some of the forums. It’s as if virtually no one uses those brands anymore that First Texas produces. Everyone is drinking the Minelab Kool-Aid.

  3. Randy Dee

    Dick, the whole bang-shoot is up against the wall fighting for survival.

  4. You’re right! Again! There’s nowt new under the sun. Bring out a new detector and call the universal features common to all others with a different name. Jeez, how have I managed for 42yrs without MDT? Could I have been using MDT under another name I wonder?

    As for a ‘salinity mode’ for beach-combing…how does measuring the saltiness of the water improve things? I guess over the past four decades I could have increased my finds rate by knowing the amount of salt in seawater.

    In that pic of the wallet in a G-clamp is that a $20 I see just poking out?

    Enjoyable post mate.

    • $20? Poking out? I don’t see it? I’ll look again, later on.

      • john taylor

        hey dick!..ya got any wallop with whitey? they still sellin’ your books! lookin’ to score a “new” m6 on the cheap! white’s never did give nuthin’ away,but now that they are “cooked”,maybe the distributors will play a little with what inventory is left! one can only dream!
        i’m just sayin’


      • Wow, really JT? Why don’t you ask all the employees who are now out of work, looking for a way to feed their families and pay their bills? Maybe if you had “purchased” that M6 instead of waiting for a giveaway they’d still be in business. Just saying….

      • john taylor

        got your name on it john!


  5. Bob Sickler

    As I contemplate a new detector purchase, it is because of a need to be more physically comfortable in the field… It will be hopefully a long time before I want to give up a hobby/sport I truly enjoy. I’m at a point in my life when I want to detect more and talk about it less.

    When a metal detector company can reduce an already lightweight detector even 1 pound and make it better balanced, that alone is impetus for me to upgrade. Now add increased target ID visibility, total wireless operation including pinpointer, rain resistance and an innovative new way to reduce the iron audio level of zero discrimination style hunting… This is just icing on the cake for me. Let’s face it, I doubt detectors will ever go deeper than their largest searchcoil dimension on coin-sized targets given the current technology. That’s something I’ve never been obsessed about. To be honest, I’ve never had trouble using any detector to make good finds. It’s more about finding a productive huntsite and field search discipline.

    I look forward to a more comfortable new detector and staying out longer during the day. If you can afford a new detector, why not, that’s great! You are helping someone stay employed and provide for their family.

    • Ed B.

      I agree with all you said Bob. Excellent points.

    • Hi Bob:
      “… It’s more about finding a productive huntsite and field search discipline.” Ain’t that the truth!

      I’d even go further and say “It’s ALL about…..”

      In trout fishing circles there’s a saying that goes…”10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish”. I reckon that’s a fair comparison with our game too.


  6. john taylor

    your point is well made dick,however,i feel for those employees, and as far as purchasing one, they were always ”overpriced”,and maybe THAT is the real reason, whites is gone!..gotta be competitive, or be gone! ..garrett is smarter, (your old alma mata,) they produce product that is reasonably priced, and in demand. (it also helps to be closer to mexico),while whitey was stuck up in the woods of Oregon. no worries, eventually the good people who worked at whites will be snapped up, again your point is well taken about the folks.may god bless them all going forward!

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