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  #1  
Old 10-13-2021, 08:07 PM
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Default vintage detectors vs modern detectors

I know a lot of you guys and gals have quite a few detectors new and old.

Have you ever take out an old vintage detector and compared it in a test bed or on a hunt with your Equinox or XP Deus or any other modern detector and did some side by side compares?

Be interesting to know how the new stacks up with the old.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:45 PM
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I find a lot more trash with an old one.

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Old 10-13-2021, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kaufenanger View post
I find a lot more trash with an old one.

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Old 10-13-2021, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by maxxkatt View post
I know a lot of you guys and gals have quite a few detectors new and old.

Have you ever take out an old vintage detector and compared it in a test bed or on a hunt with your Equinox or XP Deus or any other modern detector and did some side by side compares?

Be interesting to know how the new stacks up with the old.
You're joking, right?

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Old 10-14-2021, 12:30 AM
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not really, I don't really believe that the old ones are better, just curious how they really compare. I have heard many stories how such and such detector was so good. But maybe those are just stories.

I also heard that in the late 80's there was a jump in the technology and many deep coins were found due to this increase in technology.

I am thinking it would be interesting to see how much better our modern best selling detectors actually do compare to some of those in the late 80's.

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  #6  
Old 10-14-2021, 08:43 AM
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A lot of old detectors air test extremely well, you would be impressed.
Then put the coil to the soil. In non-or-very low mineralized soil actual depth The higher the soil mineralization, depth will suffer drastically. 50-75% depth loss.

Most vintage detectors with the smaller 7-8" coils do well for coin sized items to a depth of 5-7", providing its one of the higher end models. Most other models, do well to about 5". Keeping the above in mind, you can have fun with an old detector and still find treasures....................

With an older detector you may also find your finding a wider assortment of good stuff you would not dig with a modern machine.

The Garrett ADS Deep Seekers and Groundhogs, Scorpion were very popular and still are viable detectors today. I have had my share of them, plus others.

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Old 10-14-2021, 09:34 AM
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I have found most of my best stuff with a Tesoro Inca.

That being said, in my experience around 1990 technology made a major jump in depth, and processor power/speed. I was good with my Inca and pushed it to its limits, as with any detector I have owned, but it was a no comparison to all the detectors I have owned since 1991 when I bought a Whites Eagle Spectrum.

The detectors I owned in the 70s and 80s wouldn't go beyond 4"-5" reliably.

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Old 10-14-2021, 09:38 AM
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Don't forget to factor in how, back in the 70s and 80s, there were more good targets in the ground. Many of these targets (such as silver coins) haven't been replenished (and probably never will be) in the past 40-50 years.
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Old 10-14-2021, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mh9162013 View post
Don't forget to factor in how, back in the 70s and 80s, there were more good targets in the ground. Many of these targets (such as silver coins) haven't been replenished (and probably never will be) in the past 40-50 years.
Exactly mh9162013. There was a lot of good stuff from 2"-4" back in those days.

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Old 10-14-2021, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by maxxkatt: I know a lot of you guys and gals have quite a few detectors new and old.
I have 8 detectors, five models, in my current working battery. In addition I have 6 'old-fashioned' detectors I keep on-hand to use in my Metal Detecting Seminars. What for? To demonstrate what we had, where we came from in development, and how we have progressed to today's detectors .... →→ and what performance we lost along the way!


Originally Posted by maxxkatt: Have you ever take out an old vintage detector and compared it in a test bed or on a hunt with your Equinox or XP Deus or any other modern detector and did some side by side compares?
I always compare any newer model detector I get my hands on with what I regularly use, as well as against some of those older models.

I also take them out detecting from time-to-time when I feel they offer some advantage for me based on site challenges. I had limited time yesterday before the thunderstorms and heavy rain arrived so I used a couple of them out in a section of my yard that is terribly littered with crimp-on Bottle Caps. in any trashy site you can't really c\achieve any functional 'depth' unless you first remove the masking trash, so 'dpth' wasn't an issue. This place has a lot of discarded or lost coins along with an over-abundance of Bottle Caps in several areas. The former owners drank a lot, and he also has his own brewery and this is one of the worst places I have ever hunted when it comes to Bottle Caps.

So, my goal is to work in and around all the problem trash and try to find any and all non-ferrous targets I can while ignoring as many ferrous-based Bottle Caps as possible. Common US Coins, to include the lower-conductive 5 piece, are scattered in all this unwanted debris. Have you adjusted YOUR detectors to accept the 5, 1, 10 and 25 pieces yet at the same time NOT respond to those lowly and annoying Bottle Caps? How do they sound on YOUR 'modern' detector?

So far over 287 coins have come out of this yard, with all but 9 of them located from surface to about 3" to 4" depths, and there are a lot of Bottle Caps also from surface to maybe 3" depths. A LOT of them!

I can use my Compass Coin Hustler TR that lacks Discrimination, but I can still audibly 'classify' a good 95% of those BC's. Instead, I can use my Garrett Master Hunter TR-Disc. unit w/DD coils purchased in '75 or '76 and use the 8" coil, which I used a short while, then switched to my Garrett American S2 TR-Disc. at 50 kHz or my American S3 VLF/TR-Disc. at 15 kHz, both using a 7" Concentric coil I enjoyed the 'simplicity' of just flipping the toggle to Discriminate Bottle Caps and the good old TR's nulled-out on the ferrous-junk Bottle Caps and give me a good audible 'Hit' on the coins and other non-ferrous targets.

I also have a 98% condition White's Coinmaster 6000 Series 3 Hip Mount and it does a good job in TR-Disc. as well, and the motion-based GEB-Disc. kind of breaks up on Bottle Caps. It's not as good as the 6000 Pro XL or XL Pro or XLT that feature Bottle Cap Reject and work very well at giving that sputtery audio to alert you to likely Bottle Caps.


Originally Posted by maxxkatt: Be interesting to know how the new stacks up with the old.
For a lot of hunting conditions, th newer detectors can be better mainly because they are working in a GB-Disc. function so the coil can vary a little from a nice-and-proper coil-to-ground relationship. However, some trash targets pose a bigger challenge. If I hunt a place where i am only dealing with Iiron Nails or similar 'wire-iron' such as a cut fence pieces, the good old TR's, w/o Discrimination, working at or close to 100 kHz did an excellent job of 'ignoring' the Iron Nails and producing a good it on the unseen non-ferrous target.


Originally Posted by maxxkatt: not really, I don't really believe that the old ones are better, just curious how they really compare. I have heard many stories how such and such detector was so good. But maybe those are just stories.

I also heard that in the late 80's there was a jump in the technology and many deep coins were found due to this increase in technology.

I am thinking it would be interesting to see how much better our modern best selling detectors actually do compare to some of those in the late 80's.
Yes, some of the older detectors COULD or CAN perform well, and better in many ways, to a lot of our modern detectors. In this past 20-40 years we have seen improvements in achieving detection depth, in favorable environments, and being able to hunt with less challenges from search coil / ground orientation. We have audio and visual Tone ID and Target ID. so we have come a long way. I just wish they could have retained the very good 'progressive Discrimination' we used to enjoy with things like Bottle Caps and a lot of Iron debris.


Originally Posted by maxxkatt: Don't forget to factor in how, back in the 70s and 80s, there were more good targets in the ground. Many of these targets (such as silver coins) haven't been replenished (and probably never will be) in the past 40-50 years.
Yes, the latter '60s and on through the mid-to-late '80s we had a lot of easily-huntable and top-producing sites to hunt. It's tougher today because there are still a lot of desired targets out there, especially in the densely littered sites, and it is up to us to remove the debris to be able to find and hit on the masked targets.

It calls for using better detectors, smaller-size search coils, using a low Disc. setting, and working a location slowly and methodically to do the best job of handling the trash. And sometimes, those 'old school' detectors can still do well.

Monte

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  #11  
Old 10-14-2021, 11:29 AM
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Detectors have definitely come a long way compared to the ones I started with. Lighter, faster, deeper and improved ergonomics.

Back in the day, we'd brag about digging a "deep silver" if the coin was 5-6". If someone claimed they dug an 8" dime we figured they were either fibbing or exaggerating, because they probably were. Nowadays hitting a dime at 8+" is not that uncommon.

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  #12  
Old 10-15-2021, 09:19 AM
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Wink Old detectors

I remember this oldie that was a simple detector,but blew people socks off and would still go 10"on silver and it did wonders on gold.The Fisher 1266 X did wonders too bad they quit making them
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:59 AM
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I wish I could remember his name but about 6 years ago I had one of the members on this forum take my challange to compare his older analog detectors to my E-trac in our city park where I know there are deep coins. He came down from Wichita or Pratt with several older analog detectors. We went to the city park and hunted for about 5 hours.

I had him check several of the targets my E-Trac said were coins, and every one he called junk. Each one was a deep coin and a few were silver. After 5 hours he had a hand full of clad and 1 buffalo. I had 6 wheats and 3 silvers. He went back home with a new respect for the new digital detectors.

I used a lot of the best rated detectors from the 80s and never ever found anything over 6" deep, and that was iffy. In 1990 my new Eagle Spectrum could reliably hit 7"-8" and deeper in the right conditions. It wasn't until I got the Minelab E-Trac that 8"-10" was not unusual.

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Old 10-15-2021, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Detector View post
I wish I could remember his name but about 6 years ago I had one of the members on this forum take my challange to compare his older analog detectors to my E-trac in our city park where I know there are deep coins. He came down from Wichita or Pratt with several older analog detectors. We went to the city park and hunted for about 5 hours.

I had him check several of the targets my E-Trac said were coins, and every one he called junk. Each one was a deep coin and a few were silver. After 5 hours he had a hand full of clad and 1 buffalo. I had 6 wheats and 3 silvers. He went back home with a new respect for the new digital detectors.

I used a lot of the best rated detectors from the 80s and never ever found anything over 6" deep, and that was iffy. In 1990 my new Eagle Spectrum could reliably hit 7"-8" and deeper in the right conditions. It wasn't until I got the Minelab E-Trac that 8"-10" was not unusual.
This is the best way to compare detectors. In real world conditions, with two people using difference machines, scanning targets and answering the proverbial question, "would you dig it?"

I tried doing this carrying one detector in each hand/arm (I don't remember what I was comparing...maybe an AT Max to a Vanquish 540), but there was too much interference between the machines for it to work well.
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Rattlehead: Detectors have definitely come a long way compared to the ones I started with. Lighter, faster, deeper and improved ergonomics.

Back in the day, we'd brag about digging a "deep silver" if the coin was 5-6". If someone claimed they dug an 8" dime we figured they were either fibbing or exaggerating, because they probably were. Nowadays hitting a dime at 8+" is not that uncommon.
We have come a long way in the form of physical designs, balance and comfort. Ergonomics of most detectors and coils today are much better than back in the latter '60s and on to the mid-to-late '90s.

True, that "back-in-the-day" getting a coin, silver or other type, at 5" to 6" or even 7" was often considered a deeper-located coin. The beauty of it was that lost and discarded coins were very plentiful and we didn't have to go much more than surface to about 3"-4" to fill a bottle or pouch or pocket with a lot of coins , many of which were silver and old-dated coins.

However, we were using BFO's, TR's and TR-Discriminators most of the time, especially a lot of cityfied folks who used a lot of Discrimination in the then-trashy parks and schools.

In '75 and '76, however, my brother Ed & I were finding some of the deeper coins at the old, out-of-use County Fair site where they had contoured the ground near the old horse race track. Yes, we WERE hitting on Dimes as well as Wheat-Back Cents and occasional Nickels in the 7" to 10" depth range. Ed hadn't been or stayed active in the hobby and didn't know much about how things were progressing. I was using two detectors at that locations where there wasn't all that much trash, but we did have turned-over ground and coins-a-plnty. many shallower, but the deep ones were 7" to 10".

I was using a White's Coinmaster V Supreme and Garrett Deepseeker with the CoAxial coil. There were in that early start to VLF (Ground Cancelling) detectors w/o a TR-Disc. mode to check targets.

Our "everyday detectors" like the BFO's and conventional TR & TR-Disc. didn't achieve the depth we can today. But that's because today our detectors ARE hunting in a ground-compensating mode. .... AND, they are much more comfortable!

Monte

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Old 10-15-2021, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Detector: I wish I could remember his name but about 6 years ago I had one of the members on this forum take my challange to compare his older analog detectors to my E-trac in our city park where I know there are deep coins. He came down from Wichita or Pratt with several older analog detectors. We went to the city park and hunted for about 5 hours.

I had him check several of the targets my E-Trac said were coins, and every one he called junk. Each one was a deep coin and a few were silver. After 5 hours he had a hand full of clad and 1 buffalo. I had 6 wheats and 3 silvers. He went back home with a new respect for the new digital detectors.

I used a lot of the best rated detectors from the 80s and never ever found anything over 6" deep, and that was iffy. In 1990 my new Eagle Spectrum could reliably hit 7"-8" and deeper in the right conditions. It wasn't until I got the Minelab E-Trac that 8"-10" was not unusual.
I did find a large Chinese Cash Coin at about 10" and a half-Dollar also at right around 10" as best I could measure using my Tesoro Inca w/8" Concentric coil in a fringe area of my all-time favorite ghost town.

I also found some deep coins, over 7" to around 10", using an 8" Concentric coil on a White's 6000 Pro XL and an XL Pro (same renamed model) and my White's XLT also nabbed me a few deeper-positioned coins using both an 8" and stock 950 Concentric coils.

However, those were the exceptions as I usually used my Minelab Explorer II's when going after deeper coins in old city parks. I still find some deeper coins from time-to-time, but most of the locations I hunt are way too littered to hope to achieve any 'depth' as I am too busy trying to unmask all the keepers close to all the ferrous and non-ferrous debris.

Often our results are going to be based on the settings used, the coil used, search coil control and, for sure, the site selection.

Sie-by-side comparisons are always one of the more important sessions I spend when evaluating any detector. And I select more than just one type of site for the field-work in those comparisons. And for amusement purposes, at times, I do them by comparing what I use against what a friend is using.


Originally Posted by mh9162013: This is the best way to compare detectors. In real world conditions, with two people using difference machines, scanning targets and answering the proverbial question, "would you dig it?"

I tried doing this carrying one detector in each hand/arm (I don't remember what I was comparing...maybe an AT Max to a Vanquish 540), but there was too much interference between the machines for it to work well.
Yes indeed, actual in-the-field comparisons can be very educational and show the make-or-break limits of a lot of detectors or search coils.

I used to take two or sometimes ven thr detectors with me as I worked an area, keeping notes of the encounters and comparative results in a notebook. But that was when I was younger, healthier and more mobile. I never left more than the detector in-hand turned on as I wanted to eliminate any interference. The last time I man-handled a couple of detectors in a rough and challenging environment was at the ghost town of Frisco Utah on Memorial Day Weekend of '94. Too much brush and hills to maneuver on and around.

Today I either work those old sites and mark questionable target locations , then swap the outfit and re-work the site with a different detector. OR, if a grandchild is handy, I'll invite them to tag along and tote the extra detector or two I want to evaluate afield.

For park and urban 'flat-land' I am shopping second-hand stores for a modern baby stroller with the larger-size wheels. I'll fix it up to be able to keep 2 to 5 different detectors on it and just maneuver it around the area I am hunting in order to have test detectors available.

Monte

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Old 10-15-2021, 02:46 PM
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Hunting style can also make a bit of difference. We had a Garrett dealer back in the 80s that had hunted a lot of the places I hunted. He would use a 5" coil and spend an entire day on one front yard. Moved very slow and dug almost everything. He had many amazing finds to show for it.

I was able to hit many of the same sites with my 8" coil and found many deep keepers he missed. I remember him being a little upset that I found an 1865 Indian Head in the yard next door to his house that he had hunted many times before. Just goes to show you can never get it all.

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Old 10-15-2021, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Detector: Just goes to show you can never get it all.
So true. Regardless of the derector brands we discuss, or the settings used, their operating frequency, or the search coil sizes and types, the one fact that always holds true is that we never get it all.

Someone can spend the most money on the most technically designed advanced and modern detector on the market, and mount several different search coils on it and learn it and master it to its fullest. Then someone will come along using something else that might cost less and not be so glamorous with features and they make a good find by unmasking a keeper where the other detector fell short. Then, a lot of minds might wonder if that detector just happens to be a lot better. Maybe it is? Maybe it was just somebody's good day. But we never get it all we just have to get everything we can.

Monte

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Old 10-17-2021, 05:14 PM
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I come from an era where you dug just about everything on a beach , and still do. Today's detectors are far superior than those from the 70s & 80s. Most targets were 4". If I got 6" that was incredible. But the detectors were awkward and heavy. Today's machines are lighter and I can get 24". But this was also an era where the quantity of targets were insane. Not to mention the quality. But to think if I was the only one who had a new detector from today and using it 40 years ago would not be realistic. Though my primary weapon is 20 years old , I can still out hunt many with newer machines. I don't attribute this to just location , but to many years of experience. How do you gain great experience ? By making years of mistakes.
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