By Steve Herschbach
OK, let's talk XP ORX. This is an offshoot of the XP DEUS that is set up more specifically for gold prospectors, though it does still retain some basic coin, jewelry, and relic features. Everything nugget hunting has been moved front and center, with other features pushed to the background. The XP Orx features the two new high frequency (HF) coils as one of the two options at time of purchase - either the 9.5" x 5" HF coil or 9" round HF coil. The new X35 coils offer three lower frequency coil options compatible with the Orx. The older black low frequency (LF) coils are not compatible with the Orx.
XP ORX metal detector for gold prospecting and more
The Orx like the Deus is a selectable frequency detector. You can choose from one of several frequencies depending on the coil you are using. The frequency is dependent on the coil. The ORX high frequency coils give you a choice of three operating frequencies which cover most detection needs. The optional X35 coils have five frequency options. All primary frequencies have numerous offsets available to help alleviate electrical interference, but these shifts are so small as to make no performance difference. Ignore the statements about 21 frequencies and 35 frequencies as marketing games. The round 9’’ coil runs at 15 kHz, 30 kHz and 50 kHz. The elliptical coil has a higher top end frequency 15 kHz, 30 kHz and 80 kHz. The optional X35 coils run at a lower range of 4 kHz, 8 kHz, 12 kHz, 17 kHz and 25 kHz.
XP ORX coil options and specifications
For those familiar with the XP Deus there are some key differences. The rod / shaft assembly has been remade out of injection molded plastic, eliminating the aluminum and rubber grip. This both lowers the cost of the rod assembly as one of the more expensive parts of the Orx to manufacture plus reduces the weight even more. The Deus is the lightest high end detector made and this shaves even more grams. The Orx rod and coil only weighs 770 grams or 1.7 lbs if you put the controller in your pocket.
Another big difference is in the wireless headphones. All controls have been removed except power and volume. This means that unlike the Deus you must have the controller with you if you want to make any tuning changes at all. Other wireless headphones options are not listed in the accessory list in the ORX User Guide (see image at bottom of this post) and so I can only conclude that the other XP wireless headphone options are not compatible with the Orx.
I have used the Deus HF elliptical coil and there is no reason to think the performance of this coil is any different using the Orx controller instead of the Deus controller. The coil itself is the detector after all and the coils are the same whether used on a Deus or an Orx. The only difference is in how the functionality is accessed and what features are available.
The Orx controller as has been noted earlier is set up for gold prospectors first and foremost. Click images for larger versions....
XP Orx controller and basic functions
XP Orx basic screen functions displayed
The Orx does not display target id information until a target is found. Then a pop-up screen appears, showing the target id number and a variable "iron probability" meter.
XP ORX target id and iron probability meter
The long story short is I have used the XP Deus with elliptical high frequency coil and I believe performance here will be identical. And as far as I am concerned the Deus HF coils are right up there with the best high frequency gold prospecting options out there. I am not a hair splitter, so from my perspective there are quite a few good detectors in this category. Rather than try and determine what finds gold better than the others I tend to focus more on big picture aspects to determine the machine I prefer over others. Things like weight or how waterproof a detector is can sort things out fast, and personal preference issues like feel on arm and how the audio sounds make a big difference to me.
This is just my opinion but the appeal of the XP Orx is the very lightweight and very compact design. There is no other option as light on the arm except perhaps the for the Fisher Gold Bug 2 if you hip mount the control box. Then you are attached to the rod assembly by the coil cable. Not a huge deal, but the Orx being wireless gets rid of the possibility of that cable hanging up in brush.
On the other hand the Orx is priced a little high compared to the other gold prospecting competition. This is not a problem per se as long as you get all the features you need or want. However, if it was I and I wanted to make this detector to compete as a gold prospector I would have made sure the Orx could lay claim to being at least as good at gold prospecting as the Deus and it would be best if the Orx actually could be said to be the better gold prospecting option compared to the Deus at least.
Yet when you dig in it seems XP limited not just the coin hunting features but also some prospecting features. The big standout is no ground tracking on the Orx. Now I am not a huge fan of ground tracking but when you need it you tend to really need it, and for XP to leave tracking off the Orx when it is included on the Deus seems like a particularly poor choice since this is a detector intended for dealing with extreme ground conditions. Tracking comes at a cost normally, but it can be a huge aid in highly variable ground. I can live without it, but given the cost of the Orx as compared to the competition this feature should be included.
The other items I am not sure of is ferrous handling. The ferrous tone break appears to be preset and not adjustable on the Orx though you can change the pitch of the ferrous tone. Instead of an adjustable tone break XP appears to be relying more on the iron probability meter for making decisions regarding whether to dig ferrous or not. I may be missing something but I don't think at this time that you get to choose where the dividing line is on what reports audibly as ferrous and what reports audibly as non-ferrous. Consider the jury out here on this question until more information is found. Most people don't care about it anyway, and it may that the Orx reliance on adjusting the IAR (Iron Amplitude Rejection) serves well enough that adjusting the breakpoint is not required.
I am not really making any determinations here but I am just trying to lay out some details in hope it will help people make their own decisions. I have plenty of detectors that will detect small gold as well as the Deus or Orx so for me personally the thing that keeps me coming back to the XP machines is the crazy compact and lightweight design. Yet in looking over the features and price I personally lean more towards the Deus instead of the Orx. It seems to me XP is being stingy with features given the price and for just a little more money a Deus can eliminate questions about whether those features would be missed or not. If I had to buy right now I would be more inclined to get a Deus with 9" X35 coil. The top end frequency there of 27 kHz should do just fine on small gold and I would get features missing in the Orx. If I really needed extra high frequency hots I could add a high frequency coil as an option later.
More to the point, XP is saying this is a lower price option to the Deus. Technically that is true of most Deus models, but as of V5 XP has added enough capability to the WS4 module that the $799 Deus Starter Package actually offers the Orx competition at an even lower price. In that regard XP sort of shot themselves in the foot by upgrading the WS4.
Anyway, that's just a few thoughts from me on the Orx versus the Deus. I won't even attempt to get into the Orx versus all the competition other than to offer this chart below giving a big picture comparison. Given that the Orx is aimed at gold prospectors, and given how there is almost no mention of the detector on the prospecting forums I am very curious to hear people's thoughts on this model. Is XP doing the right thing here for prospectors? Or is it a swing and miss? Opinions?
XP ORX Information Page
XP ORX User Guide
Over 30 khz (LF) gold prospecting metal detectors 1/2019
By Jeff McClendon
Since early August, XP have started selling the ORX with the 9" and 11" X35 coils as a stock option for less than $700. The package deal comes with the wired back headphones. Some online dealers that have these in stock are selling this bundle for substantially less than the lowest advertised price or adding in incentives if you ask. Personally, I never enjoyed using the ORX wireless back phones. I have a really big head and those headphones hurt enough to distract me after about 45 minutes no matter what I did. If you are looking at an ORX and the great all purpose frequencies provided on the X35 coils now would be a good time to investigate these deals.