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  #1  
Old 09-13-2021, 05:58 PM
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Default Advice to those considering starting in the metal detecting hobby

This is for the person who has no experience in metal detecting on what to buy and how to get started.

Today's modern metal detectors are more like computers (or more exactly modern signal processors). They are very powerful and often complex.

Buying one the best detectors out there, the Minelab Equinox 800 is a real mistake if you have never metal detected. Quite honestly it is too complex for you to learn in addition to learning how to metal detect.

Instead buy the Minelab Vanquish 540 for $379 for a packaged deal.
Why? It is simple to learn and it uses the same Target Id numerical range and tones as the Equinox 800. Use the 540 to learn the theory of metal detecting. The physics behind metal detecting is the same for all detectors for the most part.

Use your 540 for the first year. Once you are proficient (eg finding some good targets on a regular basis) then and only then consider the Equinox 800. But be prepared for a steeper learning curve. But it will be made easier by your year's experience with the Vanquish 540.

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  #2  
Old 09-13-2021, 07:35 PM
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Good advice. If you make the Nox your first machine you will become very frustrated.

Steve

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  #3  
Old 09-14-2021, 09:18 AM
hddeuce03 hddeuce03 is offline
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I don't really agree with this. The Equinox 800 is not difficult at all to learn on if you simply stick with factory settings and go. The Nox 800 was my first machine and it was very simple to learn on. Like the manual states, for newbies, put it in Park 1, noise cancel and go! I own both the Vanquish 540 and Equinox 800 and yes, I have the ability to tweak a lot more with the Nox, but I don't HAVE to...I can keep it simple and go.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2021, 12:55 PM
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this post assumes everyone learns slowly/at the same rate. no truth whatsoever to it.

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  #5  
Old 09-15-2021, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by hddeuce03 View post
I don't really agree with this. The Equinox 800 is not difficult at all to learn on if you simply stick with factory settings and go. The Nox 800 was my first machine and it was very simple to learn on. Like the manual states, for newbies, put it in Park 1, noise cancel and go! I own both the Vanquish 540 and Equinox 800 and yes, I have the ability to tweak a lot more with the Nox, but I don't HAVE to...I can keep it simple and go.
Good post here. While the Vanquish is still a VERY VERY good machine the Minelab Equinox 800 or 600 is even better. With the settings and setup we do have our customers we make it super simple for them. I go into great detail with our customers about what the settings do and how to adjust them. We make it super easy.

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  #6  
Old 09-15-2021, 11:19 AM
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The original posters post is sort of good advice.

However, I do not like the blanket statement that the Equinox 800 is too complex for a beginner. For some beginners the Vanquish 540 might also be too complex. Some beginners might do much better inititially with a Vanquish 440 (only 3 tones to deal with). This is where the blanket statement that the Equinox 800 is too complex for a beginner starts to be fairly dumb. The Equinox 800 and the 600 can be setup as a simple to use 2-tone detector in Park, Field and Beach modes with a few button presses. A dealer or a friend that knows what they are doing or even a beginner that is willing to dig into the online manual, can set up an Equinox 800 in a 3 tone mode that mimics the Vanquish 440 fairly easily too. This adjustability is one reason that the Equinox 800 (and 600) is such a good detector. It can be setup for just about anyone to use who can physically swing it.

The people I personally know who are experienced detector users that have switched from the AT Pro to the Equinox and had trouble adjusting easily were overwhelmed by the audio from the amount of targets that were under the coil using 5 tones. I just showed them how to switch to 2 tones or did the 3 tone adjustment (if they had an 800) begged them to only dig 2 way repeatable targets that had solid audio and numbers which weren't too deep on their first few hunts and they were much less overwhelmed.

For a beginner, using the Equinox in 2 tones or in 5 tones if they can assimilate it, running in default Park 1 or Beach 1 with sensitivity on 15 to 20 and learning how to noise cancel and use the horseshoe button is pretty much all they need for the first 50 hours or so if their ground conditions aren't too complicated. If they are I show them how to run in auto tracking or how to manual ground balance the Equinox.

The only "complicated" standard beginner level function on the Equinox is the somewhat wonky pinpointing procedure. The Vanquish onboard pinpointing procedure and function is much easier to operate.

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  #7  
Old 09-16-2021, 07:22 AM
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I've been out of the hobby long enough to re-apply for beginner status.

And I think I'm close to calling a site sponsor about pricing on an Equinox 800. I'm looking forward to learning the features. I've downloaded and read manuals for a few models I'm considering. Just from reading the manual , it doesn't seem like it should be any problem to turn the 800 on, put it in P1 and go. Literally right out of the box. If that's what I want to do?

And really, I think that is what I'll do to start. Use unaltered presets. Then start playing with the different audio options a bit to get a feel for them (coming from an XLT, 50 tone sounds like where I'll end up, but, I'll try the others first). And just run it for awhile without any real tinkering.

I DO LIKE tinkering though. That's gonna have to happen sooner or later, lol!

Honestly, maybe I'm in for an unpleasant surprise. I have read the posts from guys frustrated trying to get used to the 800. I'm optimistic it's not going to be much drama though.

- Dave
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2021, 07:57 PM
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Why spend so much on a Minelab ? Best quality detector that is simple to learn is the good ole AT Pro . And with the money you’ll save you will have
enough to buy a nice pinpointer and Raven digger .
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2021, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaspipe View post
Why spend so much on a Minelab ? Best quality detector that is simple to learn is the good ole AT Pro . And with the money you’ll save you will have
enough to buy a nice pinpointer and Raven digger .
For what you get, the Garrett AT Pro is way overpriced compared to other options, like the Apex, Simplex and Vanquish.

There are still reasons to get the AT Pro, but they aren't related to "value."
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2021, 09:36 PM
UT_Dave UT_Dave is offline
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So for me personally. From a reading about it and trying to make up my mind perspective. Not having ever used either machine. Not experience or first hand knowledge, just my reading of the tea leaves. But - not a real beginner, either, I used a Whites XLT for awhile a long time ago.

Some of my "why", between the ATP and the 800:

- Very small gold nuggets/high frequency options
- Software updateable
- Multi-IQ tech
- Adjustability over simplicity

Just my leanings based on what I could glean from reading without actually using the machines.

Did borrow a new Equinox 800 today though. I think I'm bonding with it rather quickly... Detectors have come a ways since my XLT was the stuff, I think.

- Dave
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2021, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by UT_Dave View post
So for me personally. From a reading about it and trying to make up my mind perspective. Not having ever used either machine. Not experience or first hand knowledge, just my reading of the tea leaves. But - not a real beginner, either, I used a Whites XLT for awhile a long time ago.

Some of my "why", between the ATP and the 800:

- Very small gold nuggets/high frequency options
- Software updateable
- Multi-IQ tech
- Adjustability over simplicity

Just my leanings based on what I could glean from reading without actually using the machines.

Did borrow a new Equinox 800 today though. I think I'm bonding with it rather quickly... Detectors have come a ways since my XLT was the stuff, I think.

- Dave
The XLT was great for sure. Especially if you went and tweaked the pro option settings. I recently had one again and now that I am familiar better with the controls I turned it into a little hot rod. I sold it only because the aftermarket DD coils cost so much.


Don't worry if you get a newer unit though just the lighter weight factor alone makes them more fun to swing
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  #12  
Old 09-18-2021, 11:44 PM
Silver Saver Silver Saver is offline
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When I first started I bought an AT Gold and only used it a handful of times before upgrading to an etrac. I was thinking I would be a turf jewelry hunter, but quickly realized I much prefer old coin hunting and wanted a better machine for that purpose.

The multi tones took a bit to get used to, but for settings there was enough helpful info online to get started. I could've bought the etrac from the get go and been good and not have to worry about an upgrade. I still use it and love it for coin hunting.

It's not the same machine as the nox, but I think there are enough similarities that the principle would be the same for my situation. But every person is different and takes to the hobby differently. Just my own story.

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  #13  
Old 09-19-2021, 12:01 AM
jmaclen jmaclen is offline
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Originally Posted by UT_Dave View post
So for me personally. From a reading about it and trying to make up my mind perspective. Not having ever used either machine. Not experience or first hand knowledge, just my reading of the tea leaves. But - not a real beginner, either, I used a Whites XLT for awhile a long time ago.

Some of my "why", between the ATP and the 800:

- Very small gold nuggets/high frequency options
- Software updateable
- Multi-IQ tech
- Adjustability over simplicity

Just my leanings based on what I could glean from reading without actually using the machines.

Did borrow a new Equinox 800 today though. I think I'm bonding with it rather quickly... Detectors have come a ways since my XLT was the stuff, I think.

- Dave
I know three people ( I mean actually hunt with them) that switched from an XLT or DFX to an Equinox that were used to using full tones. They had a fairly seamless transition. To really operate an XLT or DFX to its fullest takes some study, practice and a little tweaking. These three people knew their XLTs and DFXs very well. The same goes for the Equinox eventually but it will do just fine in its basic default modes like Park 1 or Beach 1 (for normal saltwater beaches or for saline areas in the Western USA)

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