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?
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 .
October 2019 Edit - the Minelab Vanquish has been officially introduced. See this thread for the latest news and information.