By Chase Goldman
As the specs trickle out from ML's big Vanquish reveal - it is possible to at least do a spec comparison to see how Vanquish stacks up against the competition. Depending on what you stack it up against is what determines whether the Vanquish is a winner.
Vanquish vs. Equinox - Um, no. Thanks for stopping by.
Though ML never intended it to stack up against Equinox, it is invariably going to be compared to Equinox due to some of it's similarities. However, other than Multi IQ, wireless, and some cool coils, it not unexpectedly, falls far short of even the Equinox 600. I have noted this in other posts, but even the 540 is not submersible and needs external weather protection, missing single frequency ops, variable recovery speed, cannot switch Iron Bias off, not clear how sophisticated ground balance compensation is applied, locked-in at 5 tones (can't go higher or lower), no tone break, individual tone volume, or tone pitch adjustments, no threshold tone, cannot notch/reject individual tone IDs (limited to 25 segments out of 50), AA rechargeables vice lithium ion (not clear if "in detector" charging is offered), and limited mode customizations. At $649, the Equinox 600 seems to be a much better value than the $369 V540 when you consider the limitations, though performance under nominal conditions should be similar. I think the lack of single frequency capability and inability to turn off iron bias could be detrimental under certain circumstances. And even though the coil is waterproof, I would not like to risk UNCOVERED BY WARRANTY damage by accidentally dropping the Vanquish into the drink if out doing some casual shallow water hunting.
The XP ORX has some compelling features that are superior even to the Deus (although the Deus was clearly the overall winner) and at over $500 to $750 less, I have no issues using it as a very capable backup to the Deus (in other words, if my Deus crapped out and all I had as backup was the ORX, I feel like I would not be at too much of a disadvantage continuing on with the hunt). I cannot say the same for Vanquish at only $280 difference, I feel like two arms and one leg got cut off if I had to use that as a backup to my 600. Cut off the other leg if we are talking the 800.
Vanquish vs. GO FIND - Go find has some advantages over even the V340/440
The GO FIND 44 at $199 has bluetooth and a pinpoint function vs. the V340 at $199 which lacks both. Despite having Multi IQ and interchangeable coils, I might even give the GO FIND 44 the nod over the V340 at the same price point. GO FIND 66 similarly has bluetooth and a companion app and at $249, it is closer than it should be with the V440 at $279. But V440 still wins.
Vanquish vs. the Nokta/Makro Simplex - Close call but nod goes to Simplex IMO
The V440 vs. the Simplex lacks full submersibility and wireless capability and even though the V440 Multi IQ is $30 less than Simplex, I have to give the Simplex the nod here based on specs alone because the V440/540 should have been full up IP67 compliant, frankly. And lack of single frequency capability can mean that the Simplex may perform better under certain circumstances than the Vanquish. We will really have to see how the two compare in the real world, but that will obviously, have to happen on dry land.
Vanquish vs. Ace Series (the obvious ML target demographic) - We have a Winner!
I will compare the $279 V440 vs. the Ace 400 at $340
Weight is about the same at 2.8 lbs for the ACE vs. 2.9 lbs for the Vanquish (slightly larger V12 coil might account for that delta)
Coils: 8.5 x 11" DD for the Ace 400 vs. 9 x 12" DD for the V440
Target ID/Notch segments: 12 for both
Frequency: 10 khz for the ACE vs. Multi IQ for the V440 (though I wish the V440 had a 10 khz single frequency option)
Sensitivity Levels: 8 for ACE vs. 10 for the V440
Modes: Coins, Custom, Jewelry, Notch Discrimination, Pinpoint, Relics for the ACE vs. Coin, Relic, Jewelry, All Metal with Pinpoint and Notch Discrimination features. I give the nod to the V440 because it probably excels in wet salt sand vs. the Ace due to Multi IQ in Jewelry mode and you can "quick switch" into all metal and instantly remove any disc.
Ground Balance: Both provide level of automated vice fixed GB compensation
Noise Cancel: You can "shift" frequency with the Ace 400 vs. Dedicated quiet 19 channel search for the V440
Power Requirements are equivalent for both: 4 AA cells.
ML was obviously gunning for the ACE 400 with the V440 and they seem to have blown that competition out of the water. But compared to Simplex which was also aiming for the same target, the differences are less clear and it is hard to declare a winner until we get some real world reports. The Simplex is going to get a head start, though, with its imminent release while the Vanquish will probably not hit the streets until early 2020, but Kellyco is taking pre-orders now.
Not really a detector I would consider "pre ordering", frankly. So that notion is humorous to me.
UPDATE: Phrunt made some great points that made me rethink how I presented this. As I thought about it more - I tried to figure out what was really bugging me about this whole Vanquish thing and I think I have it sort of figured out.
Bottom Line: The V440 pretty much succeeds at what it is trying to be and accomplish. Namely, it is a clear ACE killer and does it at the right price point and with the right features. Problem is, it also is taking on the Nokta/Makro Simplex which is vying for the same slice of detector market real estate. ML killed the ACE on paper with the V440, but I think the lack of wireless and full up waterproof construction is going to make the Simplex look more attractive to many buyers. The reason is that it is simple to wrap your head around the ruggedness that is implied by a fully waterproof detector and the convenience of wireless. Those in the know, know that Multi IQ is great compared to single frequency, but I think that is more of a nebulous "sell" feature to the masses, so Simplex may win that battle. No matter what, Garrett needs to step up and do something radical at this price level otherwise it will be eaten alive. The other conclusion I have come to is that the V340 and the V540 are somewhat irrelevant. If you are considering a V340 either look hard at the V440 or get a GO FIND. If you are considering the V540, consider saving a few bucks and go with the V440 or make the leap to the Equinox 600. IMO.
So what do you folks think about the new kid [almost] on the block?
14 September 2019 (Europe, Africa, North and South America timezones) may be a noteworthy day in metal detecting history. Both Nokta/Makro (at Detectival) and Minelab (on their own site as well as the sites of some partners) have given us details and hypberbole on their soon-to-be-released detectors -- Nokta/Makro Simpex and Minelab Vanquish. There certainly are a lot of differences, as well as commonalities. I look forward to others posting the details. (But I'm sure I'll add my own after some more contemplation.) "Competition is good" has been a mantra here for months if not years. We have it now, at least in the near entry-level detector zone.
By Chase Goldman
OK - so the big reveal has occurred and now it is time to start discussing what we know, what we don't, what we want to know (Equinox cross compatibility), the good, the bad, the ugly (definitely ugly) of the new Vanquish series.
Here is the link to the specs. From there you can deep dive into each model and get more information.
Some interesting tidbits about the 540 (I will focus on the 540 because it the full up model that is most comparable to Equinox).
What I like:
The standard/accessory coils look great, hoping for Equinox cross compatibility (V12 12" x 9" Double-D, V10 10" x 7" Double-D, V8 8" x 5" Double-D) Not a big fan of the housing but like the stem Good basic entry level detector. If you consider that two coils and wireless phones are included on the 540 pro pack, then the $499 US seems reasonable. Like thd red backlight. What I don't like:
While I understand this is entry level, I really struggle with some of what is left off the detector -specifically single frequency operation appears to be absent. Iron Bias - fine, I guess, except you can't turn it off. Would have rather seen variable recovery speed, which also appears absent. 5 Tones only (cannot be reduced to 2 or 3, or increased above 5 and tone breaks are probably not adjustable either). I can live without greater than 5 tones, but locking into 5 and not being able to reduce to 3 or 2 is a tad disappointing. Questions and other Tidbits
It looks like ground balancing is automatic Multi IQ compensation (not auto tracking, but auto Multi IQ balanced - i.e., what you get when you leave GB at 0 on the Equinox). Speculating here. Don't know what "Custom" search mode means because there is not much you can adjust. Not clear what audio accessories are included with the 540/540 Pro other than non-descript wireless headphones are included with the 540 pro. Note only 25 disc segments, so individual TIDs cannot be notched out. 540 Uses Rechargeable NiMH AA batteries. Not sure if they can be charged while installed or if they have to be charged externally. 340/440 use standard alkaline cells though I suppose you could put your own NiMH cells in there. Kellyco is advertising "Early 2020" availability and the following price points V340 = $199, V440 = $279, V540 = $369, and V540 Pro Pack (includes V8 and V12 coils and BT APTX LL Phones) = $499. I think the V440 most closely aligns with Simplex but lacks the wireless audio and total submersibility of the Simplex. Simplex lacks Multi Frequency. Pick your poison. Note that the coils are waterproof to only "1 m (3 ft.)" Not sure whether this is because the entire detector cannot be submerged (the housing needs a rain cover) so there is no need to specify anything greater or if the coils truly cannot be submerged deeper than 1 m, which would limit their usefulness as underwater coils with the Equinox, if they are even compatible in the first place. The limitations, though expected, really make the Equinox 600 look like a CTX vs.even the 540. Lol.
More to come when I have a chance to provide a more detailed comparison of features between the Equinox 600 and the Simplex.
By Ridge Runner
I don’t know about all of you if you got a email from Minelab this morning but not one word on are about the Vanquish.
Minelab what gives with the Vanquish? I looked the meaning up of the word Vanquish and I didn’t find it to be a dirty word. I would think all of us are due another tease like videos you put out in the pass .
Guys they did have some great Treasure Find stories to read. I’ll give them credit for that .