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Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Another title for this may have been the Tale of the Equinox
In reading many forum posts across the Internet there appears in many instances to be an undercurrent of anger towards the Equinox simply because Minelab produced a detector with the technology and feature set it possesses, and not a U.S. based competitor.  Minelab took the road less traveled!
More than a decade ago First Texas purchased Fisher Labs and also took into their employ the engineer that developed the CZ a multi-freq based platform.  So right from the start they had the ingredients in house to produce an Equinox type of detector.  When they began releasing their F75 and T2 series which were ergonomic, lightweight, and modern interface based detectors, a hue and cry came from CZ owners that pleaded for a CZ update with similar characteristics.  Waterproofing to 3m would have just been icing on the cake!  But alas it was not to be and after a while CZ owners lost faith that it would ever happen. 
Another U.S. manufacturer White's has also had multi-freq technology at their disposal for a very long time and instead of targeting their last multi-freq release at a sub $1K lightweight detector, they decided to go after the Minelab deep turf machines.  Even in their more recent mid-priced efforts multi-freq is nowhere to be found.
Garrett should at least get some credit for producing a waterproof mid-price detector because it was a milestone for the industry.  But with the second generation if they were capable of producing multi-freq in the AT chassis with a reasonable premium, say $200USD more, then they would likely have had a real high selling model.  But they dropped the ball also.
Tesoro, well........ I like Tesoro but I don't think anyone has expected them to move the needle now for a very long time.
So U.S. manufacturers have squarely squandered the opportunities for a decade or more.  And now there is a Dragon in their house.  And it is not the Equinox 800!  As Steve H. has mentioned a couple of times with very little reaction, the Equinox 600 is a very big danger to the financial well being of many metal detector companies.  Right now because of initial demand the unit is likely selling at or close to the $649USD MSRP.  By this time next year I would not be surprised to see a street price of $599USD and possibly lower.  $589USD or $579USD may not be out of reach. 
Anyone with any sales or marketing experience can go to their favorite online metal detecting seller and take a look at the offerings between $450USD and $600USD.  Comparing features and performance on units in that range will be eye opening.  The problem with the reaction that some companies have already taken, which is to push their former flagship models down into mid-price range, is that they then have to push their mid-price units down into entry level range which will lead to simply pushing the entry level units out of the market, or selling them at a loss.  You can only sell a loss leader for so long unless you are able to up sell that customer, which you hope to retain later on(very risky).  So a thinning of the herd or else value packages where, buy this model and get 2 extra coils etc is coming.  But those coil packages kill profitability as accessories are where the money is.
The solution is obvious and has been for over a decade, produce a NOX like detector! 
The Equinox exists because U.S. manufacturers sat on their hands, and if you want to be angry about it then point the anger to where it belongs.  There was a vacuum in the market and Minelab filled it, simple economics 101. 
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I'm new to the game but I see a lot of re-releasing old models with a few changes every few years to have a new model out to bring in a few more sales happening.  It was only a matter of time before a more innovative company stepped up and took control... Minelab are more used to making very high end stuff from what I can see, so when they try make lower end detectors for the general public they tend to be much better than is expected for the price range.  



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Hi Lowtide,

Welcome to the forum. Since your post is a commentary about this manufacturer and that manufacturer and not Equinox specifically I moved it to the Advice & Comparisons Forum.

I can't argue with anything you say, but it seems to me most of the negative commentary is coming from other Minelab owners of BBS/FBS machines more so than people who own other brands. This was all supposed to be about Garrett AT and XP Deus versus Equinox and almost all the arguing is over this Minelab versus that Minelab. Which only illustrates even more however how badly the others have been lagging.

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Welcome to the forum Lowtide.

I read your piece and agree with a lot of it.

I always wondered how Garrett got away for as long as they did with the Garrett At series.

No real challengers.

Equinox was born and I think its birth had a lot to do with Xp Deus.

Minelab wasn't just going to sit back and not challenge like what happened to Garrett and their At Series.

Yes, I think Minelab studied the entire market, looking for the biggest soft spot.  And their mission seems was to challenge all really.  Not just a select few other models/manufacturers.

So Minelab did the big shakedown of a lot of models.  Looking at ergonomics, weight, costs, ability to function underwater, and stability in salt water.

Minelab also learned from some of their very own mistakes and is part of the why the Nox is designed the way it is.

The use of pics for detect modes is sure genuine and smart, has universal meaning and easier to see, versus words.

The entire menu system of Nox, seems great study and time here was applied. Not the pages of menus or chasing things around.

So it seems a grand plan was devised to give the entire metal detecting industry a jolt.

A serious jolt.

Question is how big is this jolt.

I don't think we know just yet.


Seems the demands for Equinox model is outrunning suppy plus being the time of year it is, we still I don't think have seen just what the detector is truly capable of.

We will though know I think come about Labor day this year.

I think it also safe to say, the boardrooms of some, maybe not the happiest of places.


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The Go-Find range have pictures too, I like them, makes it easy and quick to learn, even my 7yr old daughter understands how to use the Go-Find.



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I've been saying exactly this for a while now. You have machines like the MX Sport and AT Max at $750 and $722. They offer embarrassingly little in comparison to a $649 machine. The MX Sport is a beast in mild to moderate inland soil and freshwater conditions. It's incredibly deep and fast. But it got off to such a rough start that it never got the traction it needed to grab its market share before Minelab came out to deliver the fatal blow.

Over time the Max stands to lose the most in the all terrain market as this sorts itself out as it is the dead last performer aside from the older AT models. What pricepoint could it survive at against a 3 single/5 multi frequency machine...$550? Doubtful. I'm as miserly as they come and I'd rather pay the extra $100 for the extra frequencies and multi. I'd argue that unless Garret can put the max out there for around $399-$449, they should pack it up and go back to the drawing board.

It's not just the Equinox and MX Sport they have to contend with having better machines, they also have the Kruzer series now. I also don't see the Kruzers surviving where they are priced either. The multi Kruzer is going to have to come in at around $550-$579, the regular Kruzer around $450-$479. The Max and Sport will have to come in at that low point as well or exit the stage. Most people would prefer an all terrain machine. You can see machines like the AT Pro and Gold coming in at $350-$400 and that pushes a lot of mid market machines into the upper-low end of the spectrum, where even there they have to compete with the dual and triple single selectable frequency Minelab X-Terra's. 

Outwardly, these companies seem to be in denial about this. I do wonder if that carries into the board room. Most commonly I see the defense that these machines haven't been vetted in unbiased hands. We ARE talking about Minelab here, not Ground EFX or Pyle. And long before it reached the general public there were testers like Steve that can be relied upon. At some point very soon these companies will have to acknowledge that this machine is a game changer and respond accordingly. 

Im one of those "Go USA!" Guys and it's been sad to see what's happened to them by not taking Minelab and XP seriously for so long. But I do believe First Texas gets what they must do in their next gen machines and are doing it. I think when they do respond with new machines they will pull out front for quite some time. It's Whites and Garrett I worry more about because they've had more releases recently that have focused on single frequency mid market machines again. This reflects a denial about where the market is going. It's a waste of time and resources that should've been directed at the top of the market, multi and pulse development. Their aim at the single frequency mid market says to me that they either don't get the customer base or they have terrible spies, as I'm confident that if I wanted to direct my time, technological skills, and resources at Minelab I'd have known about the Equinox long ago. My wife can confirm this if anyone doubts me lol.  

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I have respect for all good detector manufacturers ... but now Minelab from the Equinox has made a very good move, used a new effective detection technology and packed it into a fast, compact, easy, waterproof and cost-effective detector ...

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