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Thread: Back in the saddle again.....

  1. #1

    Back in the saddle again.....

    It's been some time since I have been metal detecting but with retirement approaching and new ground to explore (NE Michigan) I want to invest more time in both being on the Forum and in being in the field. One question at this time though.... I started with the ACE 250 which has paid for itself more than a few times with clad and jewelry and entertainment.... so I'm wondering what the folks here would recommend for my next detector. Back in the day, the E-trac was the latest and greatest, but what about in 2023?

    Any thoughts and comments would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome DGDigger ,
    you'll get a lot of choices throwing out a question like that . The direction some manufacturers are going is "lighter" , the Etrac was a heavy but good all around machine . I admit swinging a lot lighter machine for hours really helps the arm out and many of todays machines are a bit faster and some have much better ability to sift through the iron . Minelab still makes some very good machines , XP Deus are probably two of the best .

    Dan
    "Honesty is an expensive gift ,
    so don't expect it from cheap people"

    XP Deus II , DFX ,TDI sl -

    Click here to view my finds album


  3. #3
    Like del mentioned, detector manufacturers are moving towards smaller, lighter weight machines, and Minelab and XP Deus are two of the most popular brands right now.

    The Manticore is the latest and greatest from Minelab. I have not used one myself. I still have my trusty old E-Trac and also an Equinox 800 which I am still getting used to.

    The XP users seem to be sold on the Deus II.

    I am also starting to see more people using the Nokta Makro Legend and the Nokta Makro Anfibio. I am less familiar with those machines but people seem to be doing well with them.

    Hope this helps a little bit.
    Lifetime totals:
    10 Large Cents, 415 Indian Heads, 2 Two Cent Pieces, 1 Capped Bust Half Dime, 1 Seated Half Dime, 10 Shield Nickels, 68 V Nickels, 124 Buffalo Nickels, 31 War Nickels, 16 Seated Dimes, 131 Barber Dimes, 405 Mercury Dimes, 249 Rosies, 4 Seated Quarters, 18 Barber Quarters, 20 Standing Liberty Quarters, 89 Silver Washingtons, 1 Seated Half, 3 Barber Halves, 16 Walking Liberty Halves

    YouTube Channel: Tony Two-Cent https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmz...RlHTBIU42bUORg

  4. #4
    Good question! I am torn between the Radio Shack PennyFinder and the XP Deus II. Really depends on your price range! Sorry, just a little fun. I agree with all the posts above, lighter is better (especially for arthritic shoulders like mine). Good luck and I hope you make some great finds!
    Oldest Coin: 100-60 BC Gallic bronze coin (Sequani Tribe)
    Oldest Silver Coin: 1156 hammered Pfennig from (now) Bavaria
    Oldest U.S. coin: 1805 Draped Bust Large Cent
    Best Coins EVER: 1625 4 Sols from Kingdom of Chateau Renaud, France
    1662 15 Kreuzers, Leopold I, Austria
    Best Relics: Bronze Age Arrowheads & Spearhead, 2c Roman silver ring, complete medieval knight's spur (x6)
    YouTube Channel: Full Metal Digger

  5. #5
    Elite Member Digger_O'Dell's Avatar
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    Welcome back to the sport! So I'll also throw in my 2 cents worth here. A lot of work goes into deciding which machine to swing. Myself, I have 4 machines for different occasions, but I'm looking to maybe upgrade to the new Manticore. I have been using the trusty CTX 3030 for years and it's quite the workhorse which have given me many spectacular finds. But there are some downsides to it as well. The weight being one as it gets really heavy towards the end of a long day. Minelab has also pretty much abandoned the machine as well with no updates since soon after it's release. The machine has a lot more potential I think, but it is slow by today's standards and does have some issues with getting through heavy iron, trash, and it iron falses a lot. But I know it well and it's certainly my go to machine. both on land and in the water.

    I've seen a recent review by another member here (Hiluxota) on his new Manticore. He's a long time CTX user so has a bit of a bias. His first video on it was a rant about how bas it was in iron, but his follow up video was to correct himself as all his issues were operator error due to inexperience for having one of the settings wrong. As he stated, it's really an amazing machine and claims it to be "100 times" faster than the CTX. It today's hunting environment with heavy park trash, or heavily pounded areas only the most difficult targets remain and I think the Manticore will be a game changer in that regard.

    Secondly, there is also the new Equinox which is basically the Manticore "light". Less power, a bit lighter weight, and a little lighter on the wallet. Just keep in mind that although recovery speed is adjustable on the new Minelab machines, faster recovery speed comes at the expense of depth in many cases.

    The only other notes I'll make here is that I'm not familiar with Deus or Nokta machines, but I can say that lately I have seen some amazing recoveries made with their latest iterations that would likely have been impossible even a year ago with the older machines. As for my other machines, one being the Minelab 705, it's a good all around light machine, but nowhere near the performance of the above mentioned detectors. My girl likes it because it's really simple to use and very light. The drawback is it's not waterproof, so even wet grass can be a problem. My other machines are Pulse Induction, but not waterproof. The Minelab GPX4800 is awesome as it can easily discriminate out iron and is perfect for relatively clean beaches or fields where depth and sensitivity to very small targets (such as fine chain links, IE: thin gold necklace) is key as it is engineered for gold prospecting. The bad part is it hits on everything, big or small at extreme depths. With my big coil on the beach in Florida, I was digging 4-5 feet to recover things like pennies or lead fishing sinkers-and this was at only 50% power!

    So to sum it up, choose your machine wisely to the kind of detecting you do. The CTX is a great all around machine in all elements, even extreme hot or cold. (I've had it out water hunting in -25F weather) and it holds up to all kinds of abuse. The newer, lighter machines are structurally less durable in my opinion, but made that way to save weight. They are also a lot more capable in tough detecting conditions (iron, trash, mineralized soil, EMI), and may even get more depth in some circumstances. So take your pick as there's a lot to choose from, and I'm sure there's a "perfect" machine out there for you.
    Equipment:
    Minelab: CTX 3030, GPX 4800, X-Terra 705. Whites TDI SL.

    2024: Silver 1, Gold 0
    Best finds: 28 silver dime spill, 1800s Dutch customs seal.
    Oldest/best coins: Late 1700's Chinese Cash Coin, 1837 Upper Canada large cent, 1877 Seated Dime
    Oldest Relic find: 1800 Sailors Luck token
    You Tube: Rediscovering America
    Quote: Treasures are like potato chips, you can never have just one!

  6. #6
    Great comments - thanks! Let me add one other parameter..... IF cost was NOT an issue.... which machine would you have in hand for use in everything from parks to woods and beaches?

  7. #7
    Welcome back! My opinion isn't worth much but I'd go for true multi-frequency and light weight, in that order. Good luck on your search and look forward to your finds. One time I bought a new machine and had the members guess which one I bought . No one guessed that I bought the same machine again.
    On Instagram- oxshoedrew

  8. #8
    Elite Member Digger_O'Dell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGDigger View Post
    Great comments - thanks! Let me add one other parameter..... IF cost was NOT an issue.... which machine would you have in hand for use in everything from parks to woods and beaches?
    Tough question. For me it would be a toss up between the CTX 3030 and the Manticore. The CTX I'm experienced with and know it's capabilities. But the Manticore is very new with vastly different programming with good potential to outperform the CTX. If I was here without any machine and no experience on either, I would probably go with the Manticore. Faster, lighter, better waterproofing, deeper water rating, and much lower cost.
    Equipment:
    Minelab: CTX 3030, GPX 4800, X-Terra 705. Whites TDI SL.

    2024: Silver 1, Gold 0
    Best finds: 28 silver dime spill, 1800s Dutch customs seal.
    Oldest/best coins: Late 1700's Chinese Cash Coin, 1837 Upper Canada large cent, 1877 Seated Dime
    Oldest Relic find: 1800 Sailors Luck token
    You Tube: Rediscovering America
    Quote: Treasures are like potato chips, you can never have just one!

  9. #9
    Elite Member Bucknut's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    Welcome DG Digger! NE Michigan? I live is SE Michigan west of Port Huron. Currently I am up at my cottage near Mackinac Island and having a blast finding some old relics.

    I am a Minelab guy so I am biased. I had an eTrac and loved it, then I got an XP deus which is a great machine but not for the type of hunting I usually do which is in parks. I played with the Equinox 800 for the last 4 years and had tremendous success with it but I just sold them and now I swing the Equinox 900 and the Manticore (both are Minelab). Both the 900 and the Manticore are new to me but they are awesome detectors.

    If price was not an option then I would get an XP deus II AND a Manticore. Very fast, very light, waterproof and can be used in any situation (beach, relic, park etc...) It is always nice to have a back up.

    But there are some great cheaper options too. Nokta Legend, Equinox 600 and Full Metal's favorite the Radio Shack Pull Tab finder.
    Detectors I use: Minelab Equinox 900 & Manticore
    Favorite finds I have made:
    1,000+ silver coins
    92pcs of 1700's Trade Era Silver
    Copper Culture Indian Artifacts
    125+ War of 1812 Era buttons and relics
    My wife
    (probably should have started with that one)

  10. #10
    Hi Bucknut! While we currently live in MN, we spend many weeks in Michigan on Grand Lake, between Alpena and Rogers City. I haven't begun to look for detecting opportunities yet..... but the ONE time I went to detect a park in Alpena last summer, there was another detectorist there working the playground, so I gave him the space! I think I'm leaning towards the Manticore.... and looking for some spots to work...

  11. #11
    You know, the more I think about this the more I believe the detector you need is the one best suited to your environment. It's really complicated
    On Instagram- oxshoedrew

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