I was fortunate enough to be invited to the annual Minelab Partner Conference in Phoenix that was just held during January 14th to 16th. And I was lucky enough to swing the Equinox 800 under the tutelage of its godfather, Minelab Engineer and Product Technical Manager Mark Lawrie at the GPAA Golden Dreams mining claim near Morristown, Arizona. Being composed of tertiary volcanic rocks and soils, this area is extremely noisy, making it very difficult for most VLF gold machines to cope with. Using a small 2-grain test nugget buried at 2 inches, Mark and I adjusted settings on the EQX to get the most distinct target signal from the test nugget relative to the ground response. Although the Nox performed admirably in these exteme ground conditions, finding many small bits of lead and brass bullet shrapnel that litters the area, suffice it to say that I won’t be trading off my Gold Monster 1000 anytime soon. Granted I only was able to swing the EQX for half a day and would need a lot more time to get familiar with its capabilities, and I’m sure it would fare much better in search of small gold nuggets in non-volcanic soil types. As far as I could tell, the Equinox 800 was running the latest software version, as the Gold Mode had the multi frequency option available.