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  #1  
Old 05-30-2010, 12:44 AM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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Default Minelab X-Terra 305 vs ACE 250

I recently made the transition from ACE 250 to the X-Terra 305. I am very pleased with this change as the X-Terra IMHO has an edge over the ACE. Don't get me wrong, the ACE 250 will find a lot of stuff but the X-Terra appears to have an edge, at least for me personally.

One thing that has improved for me with the X-Terra is less falsing over iron. The ACE seemed to false a lot over iron. This happened for me even when reducing the sensitivity (and depth). With patience this can be sorted out with the ACE before digging most of the time. On the other hand, I am finding that the X-Terra deals with iron much better with minimal falsing. I even found a nickel sitting right on top of a piece of corroded barbwire at about 5 inches depth. The target separation was made possible with the 99 tones of the X-terra where both iron and nickel were heard in close proximity. This last nickel is the only coin that the ACE 250 could not find in my yard. In other words, the ACE did its job very well. But I was required to use all three coils available to the ACE. On the flip side, the X-Terra seems to be able to sort things out with just the stock 9" concentric coil. Unfortunately the coins had already been dug using the ACE so a signal comparison could not be done.

I will say that a follow-up trip to the local ball field produced 4 more quarters and 2 dimes in 30 minutes with the X-Terra in an area that I had already covered with the ACE. I also found a stainless steel mood ring in a brief hunt the evening before.

I really enjoy having a threshold and manual ground balance again with the X-Terra. I am used to this type of detector and was dismayed when the new fangled detectors were made silent search. I hope they keep building this feature into the Minelabs. I think it is better to hear a slight tone (hum) and have the notched out targets drop out when sensed.

Also, I think the pinpoint on the X-Terra is slightly better than the ACE. I say "slightly" because I had absolutley no problem pinpointing with the ACE. The X-Terra 305 is a little more precise and has the VCO feature and overload on shallow targets. Both detectors feature non-motion pinpoint which I prefer over detectors like the Vaquero which I found to be strange.

I have also found that it is important to master the manual ground balance with the X-Terra 305 right away as you are required to do this before detecting. If you don't, the good targets "will" be choppy and appear to be junk. I tested this, so accurate precise ground balancing is essential to success with the X-Terra.

The X-Terra 305 I purchased as used is equipped with the high frequency 18.75 khz coil. I have read that this is very good for gold and nickels and this has proven to be the case with an increased nickel finds in the day and half I have had this detector. I have also read that the downside of this HF coil is a slight loss in overall depth over the 7.5khz standard coil. So I plan on adding the 9" 7.5 khz coil as well as the 6" coil in 7.5khz.

A couple other features I like about the X-Terra over the ACE is the location of the headphone jack being on the right hand side (good for right handers but not for lefties) and the overall balance. The ACE seemed to me to be front heavy whereas the X-Terra is very light in overall feel and is more balanced.

I have a new hunting buddy locally who will be using his ACE 250 and I definately plan a side by side comparison on found targets in the near future. I will keep you posted if interested.

Both are excellent, low cost detectors. I just prefer the X-Terra. Unfortunately I could not keep both due to the "wife factor".
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:07 AM
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Thanks for the reveiw on the X-Terra lloyd!

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Old 05-30-2010, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lloyd0161 View Post
I recently made the transition from ACE 250 to the X-Terra 305. I am very pleased with this change as the X-Terra IMHO has an edge over the ACE.

SNIPP

I definately plan a side by side comparrison on found targets in the near future. I will keep you posted if interested.

Both are excellent, low cost detectors. I just prefer the X-Terra. Unfortunately I could not keep both due to the "wife factor".
Thank you for the very good review.

Please follow up with your comparison as you hunt with your buddy.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:40 AM
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Great review that I'm sure will be useful to a lot of people.

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  #5  
Old 05-30-2010, 10:52 AM
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Cool , thanks for the info. This is very interesting since I have a 250 and have never used a minelab.

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  #6  
Old 05-30-2010, 11:37 AM
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Great info....Thanks....

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  #7  
Old 05-30-2010, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ohiochris View Post
Cool , thanks for the info. This is very interesting since I have a 250 and have never used a minelab.
Me neither. I was wondering what the price difference was between the two? The Garrett was affordable to me.
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  #8  
Old 05-30-2010, 03:18 PM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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Originally Posted by sllingshot47 View Post
Me neither. I was wondering what the price difference was between the two? The Garrett was affordable to me.
Yes, the basic ACE 250 is roughly half the cost of the X-Terra 305 unless you start adding some accessories. That is when things start to even out a bit. If I could go back in time I would have ordered the X-Terra 305 as new rather than add the two accessory coils and 3 coil covers to the ACE 250.

Following are some pricing examples which are subject to greatly varying deals on new and used set-ups available on the internet. But this gives a comparitive idea based on what you can get with the ACE250 vs the X-terra 305 as new. I am not sure what other discounts are applied as you add to a package. I am also not sure how some of the cheaper pinpointers compare to a Whites or Garrett. I have the Whites Bullseye II which has been very good.

The ACE 250 as new is around $212 for the basic unit. If you get the packaged deals with the extra coil, pinpointer, digging tools, etc. the price varies widely. Kellyco has the propointer pack for around $340 which does not have the two accessory coils. To add the coils will cost roughly $180 with coil covers so the new total is $520. There is another option called the delux sport pack which is around $300 at Kellyco. This comes with the 9" x 12" accessory coil but not the propointer. Add the propointer, 4.5" sniper coil, and three coil covers and you are up around $520 again. So to replicate this package either way is about the same I think.

The X-Terra 305 with headphones and some digging accessories and the standard 9" 7,5 khz coil is roughly $400 at Kellyco. Add a pinpointer and you might be up to just over $500. Add a 6" coil and you are up to say $600.

I also like the fact that the X-Terra has the VDI numbers in the very large and readable display which have been very accurate so far. For instance, I dug 4 quarters yesterday and they all pegged at 40 on the VDI scale. The number of notch segments appears to be the same though.
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2010, 05:05 PM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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I paid $275 shipped for my X-Terra as used. My Buddy paid $265 for his ACE 250 with three coils and no pinpointer. He found this on eBay.
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2010, 11:42 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'm a tot lot hunter so I made the right choice for me. I've paid for my Ace several times-wish I had the time and places to try out some of those deep detectors.
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  #11  
Old 05-30-2010, 11:46 PM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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Originally Posted by sllingshot47 View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm a tot lot hunter so I made the right choice for me. I've paid for my Ace several times-wish I had the time and places to try out some of those deep detectors.
I really like the ACE 250. IMHO it is rugged, good looking, and has excellent features and depth. For the small price tag it can't be beat. It is just that it is missing one main feature that I wish it had; manual or automatic tracking ground balance. If the ACE had this feature I would never have made the switch to the X-Terra 305. I was really impressed with how much the ACE found. It is an efficient tool. I kind of think of the ACE 250 as the Volkswagon Beetle of the detecting world (The Peoples Detector). This is because it is very good and affordable to all. I think if Garrett added this facility, I would buy it in a second and never look back. I got used to the falsing over iron and was able to quickly determine if, in fact, it was a good signal or not. In a lot of cases, this caused me to go back and scrutinize the target more thoroughly and make a rather miraculous find. Of course I also dug some deep iron that registered as shallow coins, etc. The Minelab has done this also, so nothing new here.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:09 AM
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Great info Lloyd. I have the 250 and have been very happy with it. Since my 10 year old has been very interested I was thinking of buying a second 250 for him to use. Or upgrading a little and giving him the Ace. Being a complete newb, tell me about this manual ground balance. Is it easy for a beginner to learn?

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  #13  
Old 05-31-2010, 10:40 AM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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Originally Posted by RRW View Post
Great info Lloyd. I have the 250 and have been very happy with it. Since my 10 year old has been very interested I was thinking of buying a second 250 for him to use. Or upgrading a little and giving him the Ace. Being a complete newb, tell me about this manual ground balance. Is it easy for a beginner to learn?
It is very easy to manually ground balance and may give you more depth and more areas to hunt over a detector with a fixed ground balance. Basically, make sure you read and understand the manufacturers instructions manual and watch any videos offered. All of my detectors have been similar in how the unit is ground balanced. This involved placing the unit in all metal search mode mode in conjunction with the ground balance mode (if available) and raising and lowering (or pumping) the search coil from a certain distance above the ground to as close to the ground as possible without actually touching it while adjusting the ground balance knob or +/- tactile until a smooth constant tone was achieved. The Tesoro Vaquero and the Minelab X-Terra 305 are very similar in how they are ground balanced. I believe the X-Terra 705 is somewhat different in that it offers an automatic mode for ground balancing in which it adjusts itself when placed in the GB mode by the user.
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2010, 11:25 AM
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Default Minelab X-Terra 305 vs Ace 250

I had the pleasure to hunt a grassy park/ball field area with lloyd0161 this past Wednesday evening and we were given the opportunity to field-compare the two models, the Ace 250 & Minelab X-Terra 305 for a couple of hours. I will attempt to sum up my findings here:

I was using my Ace 250 with the 9x12 deep-seeking coil as my 6.5x9 is currently non-functioning. This large coil gave me decent depth but, as can be expected, not much in the way of discrimination. I could detect a quarter pretty solid at 8"-10" on sensitivity 8 (when no other trash was present) where the X-Terra 305 might not have found the target (or faintly found it).

However....

Lloyd was using his X-Terra 305 with high freq. coil (18.75 kHz) The X-Terra 305 was far superior in discriminating out the junk, such as iron objects. I would get ready to dig a questionable target as indicated on my machine and Lloyd would bring over his 305, sweep, and immediately tell me not to bother, it was iron. The display and tones on the X-Terra 305 really seem to differentiate between targets more so than the beep/bell tone of the Ace 250. His coil pinpointing ability was much better, hitting coins dead-on multiple times with a probe.

I am still in the early stages of learning my machine so the comparison of the two machines is solely based on observations. I'm sure Lloyd will add his personal observations to this thread. We will be hunting together again this Saturday and I'm sure will have more to add in the future.

Ed

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Old 06-04-2010, 07:03 PM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edfire View Post
I had the pleasure to hunt a grassy park/ball field area with lloyd0161 this past Wednesday evening and we were given the opportunity to field-compare the two models, the Ace 250 & Minelab X-Terra 305 for a couple of hours..........We will be hunting together again this Saturday and I'm sure will have more to add in the future.

Ed
Gentlemen, grab your coin shootin irons and let the friendly fued begin !!!!

We will keep you all posted on our findings tomorrow at the local sledding hill which was heavily used this winter but proved to be too wet to hunt until now. The bottom of the hill is in a lowland grassy area which had water just below the surface. This hill has not been hunted yet as determined by my last attempt. Hopefully some jewelry will be found. Last Wednesday night with Ed at a loacal park I did find a gold track medal that I thought was a gold krugerrand until I got it out of the hole. My heart skipped a beat when I first saw the glint of gold.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:47 PM
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The 305 is a detector that performs like detectors costing much more. I know because I owned one. It's performance just comepletely overshadowed the titan 2000. Went over an area(about an acre) with the etrac I had previously searched with the xterra...found a few more goodies but not much. I think this was due to the 305 not having a dd coil. The concentric coil is easier to miss something because of it's narrower coverage per sweep. Killer detector, you will love it.

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  #17  
Old 06-04-2010, 10:24 PM
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Do you think its fair to compare the Ace to the 305? Was following a guy tonight with one. He didn't seem to be getting much we talked for a few minutes compared notes. he dug 20 plugs found like 30 cents I dug 10 plugs found 86 cents and one silver piece of jewerly 7 holes with pretty much the target I expected and 3 targets that TIDed in that pull tab range (two were pull tabs one was a small alum part) could have been luck on my part but he wasn't pleased Not sure if it was my presence or the fact I was behind him hitting things (I thought I'd be polite and let him go first since this was my first time hunting this public park)

BTW I have the 505 with the standard coil 7.5Khz and each of the 3 quarters were at least 6 inches down and not in the plug I had to remove an inch or two of soil to retrieve them
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:31 PM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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I am very impressed with the 305 and am currently saving up for an E-Trac which I have warned my wife that I will have after 2010 tax season The ACE 250 for me is in the past. My last favorite detector was a Minelab Musketeeer Advantage. This detector found me an awful lot of coins. Minelab's are the best IMHO. I did like the ACE 250 as an inexpensive tool. It does find a lot but requires patients and an understanding of what it is telling you. It does false alot over iron unfortunately. The X-Terra almost completely ignores the iron and this has pleased me greatly. It is also able to find stuff right on top of the iron with some practice. Minelab is tops in my book. I intend to keep the 305 for a back-up once I get my E-trac or whatever is the latest when I am ready to buy.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lloyd0161 View Post
I am very impressed with the 305 and am currently saving up for an E-Trac which I have warned my wife that I will have after 2010 tax season The ACE 250 for me is in the past. My last favorite detector was a Minelab Musketeeer Advantage. This detector found me an awful lot of coins. Minelab's are the best IMHO. I did like the ACE 250 as an inexpensive tool. It does find a lot but requires patients and an understanding of what it is telling you. It does false alot over iron unfortunately. The X-Terra almost completely ignores the iron and this has pleased me greatly. It is also able to find stuff right on top of the iron with some practice. Minelab is tops in my book. I intend to keep the 305 for a back-up once I get my E-trac or whatever is the latest when I am ready to buy.
If you are a doctor you will need patients to buy an etrac (they are expensive)

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Old 06-05-2010, 12:49 PM
lloyd0161 lloyd0161 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frhamlet View Post
If you are a doctor you will need patients to buy an etrac (they are expensive)
OK, here we go again..."patience". I guess I have any issue with this word. I don't use the spell/ grammar check, I guess I should from now on.
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