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Equinox 900 A Few Thoughts

markinswpa

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Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
6,088
Location
Pittsburgh Pa.
I have had the 900 now for a little over a month. I've had it out 15 times, dug around 400 coins to include 20 silver and 95 wheats.
All hunts with the exception of my last one was with the 6 in. coil. Yesterday I decided to give the stock coil a try. Went back to the grassy knoll at the church that I have been over so many times and dug another 23coins. 1 wheat a 56, 9 memorials 9 nickels, oldest a 59 and 4 dimes, one was a 9 in.+ 65.
The first time out with it I saw some pretty bouncy TDIs and may have been a little harsh in my original assessment. Most likely it was the site I was on. After a factory reset, a run through the test garden and subsequent hunts it has settled down a great deal. The TDIs are still a little jumpy but not bouncing all over the place like on the first hunt. One thing of note, in my test garden I don't have targets marked. I know the general area but still need to locate the targets. Side by side with the 800, the 800 struggled to see targets that the 900 hit with ease. Both had the 6 in. coil. Field 2 5 tone Rec.4 and IB 0.
On TDIs , one of main gripes about the 800 was the compressed target range of -9 to 40. I blamed it for not being able to Id a penny from a dime. Particularly with deeper, 5in.+ targets. When I saw that the Manticore and when they announced the 900 would have a full target range I thought that would take care of the problem. Sorry to say it hasn't, at least on the 900. Can't speak to the Manticore as I don't own one yet. From videos I've watched the other Multi-Freq. machines behaviors are pretty much the same. I guess its just a characteristic of the Multi-Iq. And on the wider compression range, the jumpy TDIs may be due to the fact that the processor is so fast and there a so many target Ids that its running around trying to decide which number to assign a target. I don't claim any expertise in these areas. Just my thoughts.
One thing I have seen so far on in ground targets is all the silver has hit in the 90s locking on 2 maybe 3 numbers. The only exception so far has been a 2 dime stack that hit 76-79. The deeper wheats and memorials also hit in the 90s but if you work the signal a little it will drop down to their respective Ids once or twice. In the more shallower, less than 4 in. the Ids a pretty accurate.
Some likes on the 900, obviously the build quality is superb. But some of the addons which I never gave thought too before I have come to really appreciate. First and foremost is the vibrating hand grip. When I saw Nokta had those in the Simplex / Legend and Minelab put it in the Manticore I thought that was a great feature for the hearing impaired.
Well on the 900 its a little more than that. You can in 5 tone assign vibration to one, any or all regions. Great little feature. It has become a little tell tale. I have it assigned to bins 2 & 5 and the vibration on a coin is as smooth as a nice high tone on a target. You can't do this on the 700 or the Manticore. In the manual the Manticore only shows vibration on or off. To some it may not be a big deal but I've come to enjoy the added feature. Another is the backlit key pad, again its something you would not give a second thought to but at dusk or on overcast days it just nice to have, as is the red screen light. I have read on other forums some don't care for the red screen. Me I find it easy on the eyes and wonder why the Manticore doesn't offer it as an assigned screen choice. Have not used the flashlight yet but I'm sure it will come in handy at some point.
Also on tones. I started with an 800 end of Feb. 2018 and have used 5 tones since. The 900 has 1 2 5 All Tones and depth audio. At some point I may try All Tones but I don't care for the Depth audio at all.
One thing I don't like is the idea of proprietary headphones. And in particular the ML 85s. They sound tinny to me and are uncomfortable. I wear glasses and after an hour or so they start to pinch. So much so, while waiting for a bluetooth transmitter I have wired in my Avantrees the last couple hunts. Not sure if there will ever be any aftermarket options. Is Minelab getting greedy ?
Also not too big a deal but a they only give you one screen saver cover and its cheap and not scratch resistant. After 3 or4 outings it looked like hell had to replace with one of the old 800 covers.
Which brings me to 900 vs 700. Unless you are on a tight budget I would recommend the 900. The additional settings will give you room to grow. Granted the 400 dollar price difference is pretty significant, particularly when you look back at the 200 dollar difference on the 800/600, and you got way more for the 200 back then. IMO I would consider another 800 or a Legend before I would buy the 700 . Thats just me. The 800 has some known issues but it is still today one of the finest machine on the market.
So am I happy with the 900, very. Would I recommend it, absolutely. Particularly for someone who has an aging 800 or 600 it would be the logical upgrade in the $1,000 and under category. For someone who has a newer 800 not so much. You already have a great machine. In that case I would jump to a Manticore.
When the Manticore was first announced I was all in and preordered. Now I'm on the fence, I'm enjoying the 900 and would like to see some more real world performance before I would buy one. It does seemed to handle EMI quite well but what I haven't seen yet is can it punch through the iron and see targets at depth with all that extra power?
Anyone considering a 900 I hope this gives you a little insight. Thanks Mark
 

backwater

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
86
Would I recommend it, absolutely. Particularly for someone who has an aging 800 or 600 it would be the logical upgrade in the $1,000 and under category. For someone who has a newer 800 not so much. You already have a great machine. In that case I would jump to a Manticore.
Great review but whats the old/new criteria? Is newer 800's "upgraded"? My 800 is from early 2018 also and kicking around between the MC and 900. Notice anything about sensitivity and EMI between 800-900, thanks.
 

jmaclen

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
1,665
Location
Colorado
Great review but whats the old/new criteria? Is newer 800's "upgraded"? My 800 is from early 2018 also and kicking around between the MC and 900. Notice anything about sensitivity and EMI between 800-900, thanks.
"One thing of note, in my test garden I don't have targets marked. I know the general area but still need to locate the targets. Side by side with the 800, the 800 struggled to see targets that the 900 hit with ease. Both had the 6 in. coil. Field 2 5 tone Rec.4 and IB 0."
 

markinswpa

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Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
6,088
Location
Pittsburgh Pa.
Great review but whats the old/new criteria? Is newer 800's "upgraded"? My 800 is from early 2018 also and kicking around between the MC and 900. Notice anything about sensitivity and EMI between 800-900, thanks.
I honestly can't say if the newer 800s have anything more than the last update which has gotta be going on 2 years ago or better by now. The 900 does seem to have a little something more under the hood, and IMO it does a pretty good job handling the EMI. Good luck with your decision. Mark
 

spenglure

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
806
For me, on my 600, silver dimes jump up to 27/28/29… wheats and clad dimes are pretty locked in at 24/25… sure I may get the occasional higher reading on the cents and clad dimes, but it’s infrequent. The same higher VDI trend occurs on all silver relative to their clad counterparts when I use my 600. So to me, not sure I see the true advantage of the expanded VDI range on the 700/900. I can easily predict silvers based on trending higher VDI and depth with a 600. Maybe I got a good one… I know there are some differences in detectors in production. That’s what I’ve experienced anyway. Plus I’m seeing videos of the new NOX(s) with expanded VDI ping silver dimes way below expected target VDI, including wheats coming in super low. Hopefully they get their VDI variability straightened out with an update!
 

Willee

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Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
133
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
Thanks for a great review.
It has helped me decide against the Manitcore and for the EQ 900.

"SNIP ...
Is Minelab getting greedy ?
SNIP"

Minelab has always been "greedy" with their technology and their prices.
Nevertheless they do make high quality detectors that seem to last the test of time.
(think Sovereign ... still a great detector)
I see other makers using the multi-frequency technology that Minelab had locked down for so long.
Has their patents expired and now its wide open to the competition?
Wonder what new tech Minelab has in their R&D labs right now.
 

IDXMonster

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
5,374
Location
New Glarus
Awesome review Mark! I’m glad you are enjoying it and having further success with it! That’s what it’s about…having success and enjoying the time out hunting!
 

Rattlehead

Forum Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Messages
4,532
Location
Cave Spring, GA USA
Excellent review. Interesting tidbit about the vibration feature differences. I had forgotten all about that feature until you mentioned it. I need to go try it out.
 

markinswpa

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Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
6,088
Location
Pittsburgh Pa.
For me, on my 600, silver dimes jump up to 27/28/29… wheats and clad dimes are pretty locked in at 24/25… sure I may get the occasional higher reading on the cents and clad dimes, but it’s infrequent. The same higher VDI trend occurs on all silver relative to their clad counterparts when I use my 600. So to me, not sure I see the true advantage of the expanded VDI range on the 700/900. I can easily predict silvers based on trending higher VDI and depth with a 600. Maybe I got a good one… I know there are some differences in detectors in production. That’s what I’ve experienced anyway. Plus I’m seeing videos of the new NOX(s) with expanded VDI ping silver dimes way below expected target VDI, including wheats coming in super low. Hopefully they get their VDI variability straightened out with an update!
splenglure, on both my 800s (one now) 27-28-29 was a clad dime and 24-25-26 was a memorial or a clad dime. Silver, Ihps, wheats and a deeper memorial 6+ in would all ring in the 30s, even the high 30s. Occasionally a silver dime would come in at 28-29 but mostly in the 30s. And now with the 900 I'm seeing silver in the 90s and wheats as well. And its funny you say about some silver dimes coming in lower on the 900. I have a Merc and a Barber dime, both in great condition ringing up 76-77 in an air test but silver Rosies hit 82-83. Inground targets, with the exception of nickels and quarters are another story. Hopefully Minelab will have an update soon to remedy this issue but I ain't holding my breath. Mark
Mark, thank you for your review of the 900. Very interesting and more food for thought.
MSCGuy, you are welcome. Its a great detector but not without flaws. Good luck. Mark
Thanks for a great review.
It has helped me decide against the Manitcore and for the EQ 900.

"SNIP ...
Is Minelab getting greedy ?
SNIP"

Minelab has always been "greedy" with their technology and their prices.
Nevertheless they do make high quality detectors that seem to last the test of time.
(think Sovereign ... still a great detector)
I see other makers using the multi-frequency technology that Minelab had locked down for so long.
Has their patents expired and now its wide open to the competition?
Wonder what new tech Minelab has in their R&D labs right now.
Willee good luck with you choice. If you already have used an Equinox the transition will be smooth and quick. Figuring out all the #s will take a little time. I'm still in the process. Mark
Awesome review Mark! I’m glad you are enjoying it and having further success with it! That’s what it’s about…having success and enjoying the time out hunting!
Thank you Kevin. Getting a new machine gives you incentive to get out, learn it and find cool stuff, yeah lovin it, life's good. Now if only the damn weather would cooperate. Ha ha. I see you're having fun as well. Good luck. Mark
Excellent review. Interesting tidbit about the vibration feature differences. I had forgotten all about that feature until you mentioned it. I need to go try it out.
Thank you DeWayne. I'm not sure the adjustment is available on the Manticore. All I saw in the manual was Master on-off. Not to say its not elsewhere in the manual. Looking forward to your review. Good luck. Mark
How does it handle EMI compared to The 600 & 800? That was the Main reason I chose the Manticore.
longbow it does handle EMI fairly well. Remember I use the 6in. coil which is a big + and for me Field2 runs the most stable of all the modes using multi. Recently I hunted a yard with terrible EMI, the yard where I found the Walker, Ihp a couple wheats and over 6 bucks in clad. Field 2 5 tone Rec. 4 Ib 1 I had to noise cancel frequently and GB a few times but the 900 kept hitting coins. Some 7+ in. down. So yeah not bad. I think the 900 definitely has a leg up on the 800.
Now I have a question for you, all the videos I have watched they talk about audio and this setting, audio and that setting but what I have yet to see is the Manticore having that sweet high silver pitch you get running 5 tones on the Equinox. Can you do this ? Or not possible.
One more thing, whats your take on the ML 105s ? Thanks Mark
 

longbow62

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Joined
Apr 20, 2017
Messages
1,809
Location
Jonesboro, AR
I am running 5 tones on the Manticore. 80 to 99 in the highest pitch bin. I can't tell the difference between them air testing or in the ground. EMI wise a place where the Equinox is unusable a lot of the time above 15 and going nuts at 20 the Manticore with long press noise cancel is dead quite at 20. I tested them both there last weekend. That's with a cell tower a 100 yards away, power liies/tranformers you can't get near with the Equinox. Even turned down to 15 in either of the Park programs. It's still early yet, but I think I am pretty much done with EMI worries for the time being with the Manticore.
 

cellrdwellr

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2014
Messages
18,160
Location
Dirt Cellar, MA
I really enjoy these in depth reviews from REAL world users. Appreciate the time you are taking to share your experiences with us Mark, I'll sit back and continue reading :popcorn2:
 

markinswpa

Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
6,088
Location
Pittsburgh Pa.
I really enjoy these in depth reviews from REAL world users. Appreciate the time you are taking to share your experiences with us Mark, I'll sit back and continue reading :popcorn2:
I too appreciate reading real world reports on the latest and greatest Jeff. So its only fair I report my observations. I do think the 900 will earn a top spot in the detector market. Pass the popcorn. :lol: Mark
 

hikerdude

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
1,363
Location
California High Desert
I have had the 900 now for a little over a month. I've had it out 15 times, dug around 400 coins to include 20 silver and 95 wheats.
All hunts with the exception of my last one was with the 6 in. coil. Yesterday I decided to give the stock coil a try. Went back to the grassy knoll at the church that I have been over so many times and dug another 23coins. 1 wheat a 56, 9 memorials 9 nickels, oldest a 59 and 4 dimes, one was a 9 in.+ 65.
The first time out with it I saw some pretty bouncy TDIs and may have been a little harsh in my original assessment. Most likely it was the site I was on. After a factory reset, a run through the test garden and subsequent hunts it has settled down a great deal. The TDIs are still a little jumpy but not bouncing all over the place like on the first hunt. One thing of note, in my test garden I don't have targets marked. I know the general area but still need to locate the targets. Side by side with the 800, the 800 struggled to see targets that the 900 hit with ease. Both had the 6 in. coil. Field 2 5 tone Rec.4 and IB 0.
On TDIs , one of main gripes about the 800 was the compressed target range of -9 to 40. I blamed it for not being able to Id a penny from a dime. Particularly with deeper, 5in.+ targets. When I saw that the Manticore and when they announced the 900 would have a full target range I thought that would take care of the problem. Sorry to say it hasn't, at least on the 900. Can't speak to the Manticore as I don't own one yet. From videos I've watched the other Multi-Freq. machines behaviors are pretty much the same. I guess its just a characteristic of the Multi-Iq. And on the wider compression range, the jumpy TDIs may be due to the fact that the processor is so fast and there a so many target Ids that its running around trying to decide which number to assign a target. I don't claim any expertise in these areas. Just my thoughts.
One thing I have seen so far on in ground targets is all the silver has hit in the 90s locking on 2 maybe 3 numbers. The only exception so far has been a 2 dime stack that hit 76-79. The deeper wheats and memorials also hit in the 90s but if you work the signal a little it will drop down to their respective Ids once or twice. In the more shallower, less than 4 in. the Ids a pretty accurate.
Some likes on the 900, obviously the build quality is superb. But some of the addons which I never gave thought too before I have come to really appreciate. First and foremost is the vibrating hand grip. When I saw Nokta had those in the Simplex / Legend and Minelab put it in the Manticore I thought that was a great feature for the hearing impaired.
Well on the 900 its a little more than that. You can in 5 tone assign vibration to one, any or all regions. Great little feature. It has become a little tell tale. I have it assigned to bins 2 & 5 and the vibration on a coin is as smooth as a nice high tone on a target. You can't do this on the 700 or the Manticore. In the manual the Manticore only shows vibration on or off. To some it may not be a big deal but I've come to enjoy the added feature. Another is the backlit key pad, again its something you would not give a second thought to but at dusk or on overcast days it just nice to have, as is the red screen light. I have read on other forums some don't care for the red screen. Me I find it easy on the eyes and wonder why the Manticore doesn't offer it as an assigned screen choice. Have not used the flashlight yet but I'm sure it will come in handy at some point.
Also on tones. I started with an 800 end of Feb. 2018 and have used 5 tones since. The 900 has 1 2 5 All Tones and depth audio. At some point I may try All Tones but I don't care for the Depth audio at all.
One thing I don't like is the idea of proprietary headphones. And in particular the ML 85s. They sound tinny to me and are uncomfortable. I wear glasses and after an hour or so they start to pinch. So much so, while waiting for a bluetooth transmitter I have wired in my Avantrees the last couple hunts. Not sure if there will ever be any aftermarket options. Is Minelab getting greedy ?
Also not too big a deal but a they only give you one screen saver cover and its cheap and not scratch resistant. After 3 or4 outings it looked like hell had to replace with one of the old 800 covers.
Which brings me to 900 vs 700. Unless you are on a tight budget I would recommend the 900. The additional settings will give you room to grow. Granted the 400 dollar price difference is pretty significant, particularly when you look back at the 200 dollar difference on the 800/600, and you got way more for the 200 back then. IMO I would consider another 800 or a Legend before I would buy the 700 . Thats just me. The 800 has some known issues but it is still today one of the finest machine on the market.
So am I happy with the 900, very. Would I recommend it, absolutely. Particularly for someone who has an aging 800 or 600 it would be the logical upgrade in the $1,000 and under category. For someone who has a newer 800 not so much. You already have a great machine. In that case I would jump to a Manticore.
When the Manticore was first announced I was all in and preordered. Now I'm on the fence, I'm enjoying the 900 and would like to see some more real world performance before I would buy one. It does seemed to handle EMI quite well but what I haven't seen yet is can it punch through the iron and see targets at depth with all that extra power?
Anyone considering a 900 I hope this gives you a little insight. Thanks Mark
Hello Mark. I liked your comments about the 900 and you already persuaded me to go with the 900. I love my Deus II, and I especially like the way the TDI's stay close together with deep silver coins. But I do need a back up and I don't like that I have to put a wire from my coil to the control box when in the water with the Deus II.
 
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