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kac

AT Pro Versus AT Max

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I have the AT Pro for a while now and it is very reliable. I got it just before the AT Max was released. Buddy just got the Max recently as he was using my Pro and the controls were familiar for him.

If you don't already have a pinpointer and looking for a complete package then the Max is a great choice. Depth wise it goes about 50% deeper than my AT Pro with the same size coil. That is the equivalent of my AT Pro with a Nel Big coil weighing 3 lbs and measuring 17x15". The true All Metal mode is great in open areas with little or moderate trash, Iron Discrimination on Max is better. AT Pro with stock coil hits quarters 12" or less on average on the ground around here that has high mineralization though I had picked up a Spanish Reale at 14" but it was really faint. Typically in poor conditions the Pro hits in the 10" and under range" which is average for any machine with an 8 1/2 x 11 coil

Comparing the 2 machines I think the AT Pro audio tones are a little easier to follow and notch discrimination is just a simple 2 clicks.

The Max has a threshold control that is adequate but I find the lowest tone is none and next tone click up is a little loud. That could be just my preference as I also use a Tesoro with much finer controls since it has potentiometers and is an audio only machine.

Both the Max and Pro have fairly course id blocks as compared to other machines out there and can limit discrimination but going a block under or over is not a big deal.

Learning curve on the MAX is really short, no menus to decipher through and you should be up and running in a few minutes. There are no canned pre-sets as many machines have. The AT Pro has canned Standard (noob) mode that bings on a target and is rarely accurate and Pro modes with tone roll that I ended up using quickly and found it more responsive. The Max is basically a more of a professional model of the older Pro.

I had considered upgrading my Pro to the Max, maybe next year as they are solid and reliable machines and the Max does pretty well in the Salt in the single frequency class.

If you decide to get one also consider the RnB lithium battery for them. I get over 40 hours running with no performance drop as compared to alkalines that as they wear down the machines performance diminishes. Think the rechargeable battery runs around $80.

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I think the only thing I don't like about my AT Pro would be lack of light for the display that the AT Max has now and no All Metal Mode that is found on the Max and Gold machines and lastly can't adjust the iron audio tone and make it a bit quieter.

I had purchased my Pro well before the MAX came out and was torn between the Pro and Gold units. Ended up with the Pro as it was usable at the beach in it's day. Run mine mostly in zero mode.

Overall no regrets, Garrett makes some extremely durable machines. Be cool if someone came up with a collapsible shaft for hiking. Shaft system like that should work on the Ace series as well.

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On 4/17/2019 at 5:57 AM, kac said:

  Depth wise it goes about 50% deeper than my AT Pro with the same size coil. That is the equivalent of my AT Pro with a Nel Big coil weighing 3 lbs and measuring 17x15".

Why do you think that is? I notice the Max has a lower frequency than the Pro... is that possibly the reason? I'm just a bit puzzled by this as I find my Garrett Euroace (Ace 350) to be an incredibly deep detector.  I don't get it but it seems to rival if not beat my far more expensive detectors for depth on coins especially while maintaining a good ID.  Sure I don't have the same coils on them all my Ace has the Nel Tornado 12x13" but my Nox has the 12x15" and my Ace can easily keep up with it, I think sometimes beat it.  It beats the living daylights out of my Gold Bug Pro for depth especially with accurate ID even when it has the 13" Ultimate coil connected and rivals and often beats my T2 with 13x10" Mars Tiger coil with an accurate ID and the T2 is known as a deep machine. 

I'm not necessarily talking outright depth here as they are all similar there, I'm talking keeping an accurate ID at depth.  A majority all seem to get pretty close in outright depth on the coins if in their all metal modes, in Disc mode it changes, GBP loses a lot of depth, T2 virtually none I can see, Nox can't notice any depth difference personally but the Ace just does so well against them for such a cheap detector and it doesn't even have an all metal mode.

I wonder if lower frequency machines are deeper... maybe I should try 5khz single frequency on the Nox and see what happens on a deep coin target as I've often found the Ace maintains are more accurate ID at depth than the others... It could be due to only having 12 notches of ID too.

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I think it is a few factors, yes lower frequency is one but Garrett boosted the power on the MAX. It is chattery if run at full power in many cases. The target ID is pretty stable from what I saw at depth. You should try your Nox at a low khz and you should get some good depth but you will loose sensitivity to lower conductors. Can you run it the same Khz as your Ace?

Lastly what coil do you have on the Ace? Their concentric does go deeper but the inner coil makes pinpoints about as accurate as centering a truck tire.

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I have owned the AT Pro and AT Gold along with getting to use the newer AT Max too for some testing. I really like all three detectors and I could easily put all three in the very good to excellent category except for one area (for me personally) of the feature set that is lacking. There are not enough audio features on the AT series for me. Three tone audio which is somewhat adjustable, no volume control on the Pro and the Gold, and no Iron audio volume control on the Gold and the Max make it hard for me to fully enjoy these detectors in moderate to heavy iron and moderate to heavy mineralized detecting areas. So, yes the AT series are good detectors, no doubt, but for the money, especially the Gold and Max, they could be so much better with some more modern, upgraded audio capabilities which the competition has had for many years already.

 

Jeff

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Totally agree, Jeff regarding audio and iron performance.  Very capable detectors. And the AT Pro was a groundbreaking detector in its day.

Glad Garrett improved the visual interface somewhat on the Max.  Garrett bumped up the gain (which frankly has caused it to be more chatty than deeper, necessitating a gain reduction back to Pro levels so what was actually gained?) and claims of 50% depth increase (especially without specifics) should be taken with a grain of salt considering that there was no compelling technological breakthrough going on other than the gain increase.  The frequency shift from 15 to 13.6 khz was insignificant from a performance standpoint.  

 Garrett should have instead focused on improving the overall audio, audio ID and iron audio capabilities, perhaps providing multiple selectable operating frequencies (not just frequency shifting) and perhaps improving or providing adjustable recovery which hinders its ability in thick iron and trash and at mineralized sites.

Hope Garrett wakes up and starts working on what it needs to do to be competitive with the Nokta/Macros, Minelabs, and XPs of the world with its next generation.  A warmed over AT series detector for the next iteration is just not going to cut it.  Their ability to be competitive, and more importantly innovative, again, would only be a good thing for the hobby.

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The At Pro does have adjustable iron audio on/off (zero inclusive). I agree the iron audio should have at least a high low and off on the MAX.

Been using the pro for a few years and never had any real issue with it in tough areas other than simple information overload. I wish I had a finer discrim and cut out iron to alum fringe a bit better but then again that blocky trim does come in handy on those in between hits.  I still find it very reliable. I find more contrast between detectors not so much as their button features but rather are they digital or analog and I still go back to the analog for the majority of my detecting. That is just me and my comfort zone.

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The AT Pro, AT Gold and AT Max all have Iron Audio on/off. That's the main problem for me. It should be incrementally adjustable for the detecting conditions. That is not hard to do in this day and age. Neither is overall master volume control for the AT Pro and AT Gold.

 

Jeff

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I usually run with Iron Audio off and discriminate it out and take the first notch out on the left other wise there is just too many beeps to keep track of. I try to run it as silent as possible and the 2 tones is enough info for my brain to keep up. I wish they did have audio adjust on the machine then I could use my sea hunter headphones on my pro when hitting local puddles and not worry about killing the headset. Audio on Garretts has always been brash. Still if I took any one of my detectors camping and hiking it would be the pro since it's plenty rugged.

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