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Steve Herschbach

Things Metal Detector Manufacturers Could Do Better

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This thread is a couple years old but maybe timely to bump to top. Everyone except Nok/Mak still sucks at customer communications and if there is one thing nearly every one of them could improve at still, that’s it.

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Would like to see all manufacturers have as part of their internet sites a dedicated tab (area) to report on new detector units introed but still in test, final stages development.  Would expect a comment from a manufacturer here on a weekly basis for update.  This area also used to make announcements for release of brochures, manuals or any other thing logical in order to keep potential customers informed.  I wouldn't expect every weekly listing to be intense, unless necessary due to a situational change. This listing could say for example-no changes on  schedule if applicable.

This sure would eliminate a lot of speculation as a new unit is up and coming from a manufacturer.

Would also be a good idea to have a similar area for a manufacturer to report on new up and coming accessories covering similar facets as layed out above for detectors.  Maybe a 2 week reporting here on accessories would suffice.

User's manuals for detectors.

I do like the embedded links used with Equinox instruction manual.  All manufacturers should start doing.  At least for detector models  that have bigger or more complex than normal instruction manuals.

 

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I'm tired of seeing factory team members who are under contract feeding the general public rainbows and unicorns. Even many people new to the hobby know that feedback can't be trusted

Customer service has seemed to go out the window with many of the U.S. manufactures. A few of them I remember just a few short years back really had nothing to offer and now they have something good and the hobby is growing, they no longer care about customer service like they once did.

 Someone mentioned being able to choose your coil, I think that is an excellent Idea.

 

more innovation. adding a back light and calling it by a new name or putting more numbers, letters and symbols behind the name isn't cutting it.

 

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Don’t worry Mike.... Equinox is the last time you will hear anything in advance from this “factory team member”. So that’s one less at least.

I fell into the trap of thinking people liked and appreciated getting early information about things from the only people who have access to such things. However, comments like yours are very common these days, and have convinced me that is no longer the case. When the day comes that I am seen as part of some kind of hype machine, it’s time for me to stop. It will free up lots of time! :smile:

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I wonder if we added all the time Steve has spent actually posting, and time spent double checking detector settings/ behavior trying to give us all (accurate) info, what would the figure be?  Huge

Folks should really think about this.  This info sure didn't jump on this forum automatically.  And with such well written style either.  I'll take my chances here !!! How does this sound?

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I am just burned out I suppose. That and I take comments personally that were not intended that way. I am sure Mike was not taking a swipe at me.

The idea was good. Get well known trusted names involved in stuff to get information out early. The problem is that if you are one of those people, simply taking on the role means you are no longer trusted? It becomes a Catch 22 situation.

I like working with the engineers on future projects because the truth is I can help make better products happen, and that’s not just good for everyone - it’s good for me. However, I can do that and have it all remain confidential.

The other part of things is where companies send a detector for the sole purpose of getting some early reports out. Much like we are seeing with Makro at the moment. Unlike working with engineering there is a presumption of public reporting in return for a working machine.

I will continue to work with engineers when I can, but I will no longer accept machines from manufacturers who want to send me one merely to have me write up a public report on it. If I see something I am interested in, I will buy one like anyone else, and get around to discussing it at some point. That means I won’t be part of the early reporting crowd any longer, but it will hopefully remove the cloud of suspicion that seems to go along with being an early reporter.

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Most of the sour grapes thing is just jealousy.   Mfgr send units out to people who can write well enough to be understood.   My start as a prototype field tester for 1st Texas came about from a post I made on the old Bounty Hunter forum about DD coils.   This was pre-T2.    Dave Johnson told me he printed my post and used it to bolster his pitch to Tom Walsh about the need to build a good DD coil - and it was that post that brought me into the metal detector engineering prototyping world and allowed me to participate in the T2 project, then the F75 project and many others since then.  

However I only have to write for the engineering team.   I don't have to write up reports for public consumption.   I give mucho kudos to the public consumption literary group.  Much tougher crowd.

If you want to field test all you need to do is up your writing game and show you have some knowledge on the subject.

HH
Mike

 

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Agree on all points Mike and smart of you to just stick with the engineering side. That’s where all the real fun is anyway. You know it can be very frustrating, but if just one thing ends up better as a result it’s worth it.

It has shifted now I think from command of the written word being important to command of a YouTube channel being paramount for who is chosen to be early recipients of machines for marketing purposes. The big emphasis now is social media. These are the new faces and names of metal detecting....

Aquachigger, Relic Recoverist and Nugget Noggin

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14 hours ago, Mike Haer said:

I'm tired of seeing factory team members who are under contract feeding the general public rainbows and unicorns. Even many people new to the hobby know that feedback can't be trusted

Customer service has seemed to go out the window with many of the U.S. manufactures. A few of them I remember just a few short years back really had nothing to offer and now they have something good and the hobby is growing, they no longer care about customer service like they once did.

 Someone mentioned being able to choose your coil, I think that is an excellent Idea.

 

more innovation. adding a back light and calling it by a new name or putting more numbers, letters and symbols behind the name isn't cutting it.

 

I couldn't disagree with you more on your distrust of testers like Steve.  I don't know if I would trust everything that comes out of people that actually work for the company, but people like Steve on this forum I trust 100% to give an honest educated opinion.  I can't speak for every tester but I have seen enough of Steve's posts about various detectors to know he's not in it just to get a "free detector" or be the first to have one or any such rubbish.  He has a genuine love for metal detecting and a very unbiased source of information and that's what keeps me coming back. 

Where I do agree with you unfortunately is the poor customer service, especially relating to Minelab and the release of the Equinox and the lack of information and delays around that.  I do like however they have involved 3rd party testers with a lot of metal detecting experience to evaluate the product and give feedback, in my opinion it's going to make for a much better product.

I guess what you have to do is work out who you trust and follow their advice.  I have bought two metal detectors based on Steve's advice, I knew what to expect before buying them because of all the information Steve and others on this forum had posted.  There were no surprises, I knew the good and the bad before pulling the trigger and I really like that, much prefer that option than go by the manufacturers marketing.  I sometimes wish there was a source of information like this on every major purchase I do.  I've been stuck in limbo trying to work out if I should buy an Equinox 800 or not and if It will be worthwhile for me to buy, I need to justify the expense by how much better it will be than what I've already got, Steve and others early information on it has been great, much better than just watching the marketing videos and reading the marketing information by Minelab.  

I wanted to be an early adopter so I can run it over the ground before everyone else gets one and does the same but I think I'm going to hold off for awhile now and let the hype blow over and see how they're received when they're the new mainstream detector everyone is swinging.  My reasoning for this, Steve informed me it won't be that much better, if at all better than what I'm already using for the task I'm doing.  That's hardly him being a part of the marketing machine for Minelab.

 

 

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