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Chase Goldman

How Does The Vanquish Stack Up? A Look At The Specs

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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.

minelab-vanquish-metal-detector.jpg

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?

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19 minutes ago, Chase Goldman said:

Coin, Relic, Jewelry, All Metal with Pinpoint and Notch Discrimination features.

When you (well, I guess it's Minelab) say "all metal", I assume that's the Minelab definition, not the rest of the detector manufacturer world.  But then how can you say that is an advantage over the Ace 400 (or did I misunderstand)?

 


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3 minutes ago, GB_Amateur said:

18 minutes ago, Chase Goldman said:

When you (well, I guess it's Minelab) say "all metal", I assume that's the Minelab definition, not the rest of the detector manufacturer world.  But then how can you say that is an advantage over the Ace 400 (or did I misunderstand)?

The Mode advantage of the V440 was primarily due to Multi IQ and it's performance on wet salt sand (which ML appears to be attributing to "Jewelry" mode based on their marketing literature as there is no dedicated beach mode as there is on the Equinox) vs. the single frequency ACE.  I threw in the ALL METAL comment primarily as a neat feature (not an additional mode) due to the fact that you are one touch away from running with no discrimination (what ML calls AM but which is actually just NO DISC).  I am not aware of that feature being present on the ACE other than setting up a custom program slot with NO DISC.  HTH

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I have a few questions, to better understand the Vanquish. Some of these will be "stupid," but I need to ask anyways...

1. Exactly how is the inability to run single frequency operation bad? I know that it's usually better to have more control over settings and features than less control, but I'd like to hear how this is the case in real world practice with respect to always having to run in multi-frequency mode.

2. Missing variable recovery speed. Why is this important? Don't you always want recovery speed to be as fast as possible?

3. Why is the inability to switch off the iron Bias bad? Like with point #1, I know more control is better, but how is this "flaw" going to hurt real world metal detecting?

On a side note: If the Vanquish lives up to its hype, it's only a matter of time before someone released a waterproof shell for it, like with 1 or more of the Garrett ACE machines.

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6 minutes ago, mh9162013 said:

I have a few questions, to better understand the Vanquish. Some of these will be "stupid," but I need to ask anyways...

1. Exactly how is the inability to run single frequency operation bad? I know that it's usually better to have more control over settings and features than less control, but I'd like to hear how this is the case in real world practice with respect to always having to run in multi-frequency mode.

2. Missing variable recovery speed. Why is this important? Don't you always want recovery speed to be as fast as possible?

3. Why is the inability to switch off the iron Bias bad? Like with point #1, I know more control is better, but how is this "flaw" going to hurt real world metal detecting?

On a side note: If the Vanquish lives up to its hype, it's only a matter of time before someone released a waterproof shell for it, like with 1 or more of the Garrett ACE machines.

Good questions:

1.  Sometimes, EMI is broad band and that can really wreak havoc on a Multi IQ detector.  The ability to "noise cancel" can help but sometimes, going to a single frequency can really help settle down the detector.  Also, there are situations where the Equinox has trouble seeing certain odd targets in Multi.  Coins on edge are an example.  ML has improved this capability somewhat, but there are situations where an iffy signal cleans up significantly if you switch from multi to single on the fly.  Just another tool in the kit to help when interrogating iffy targets.  Vanquish appears to lock you into Multi.  I have found that multi also spews out a lot of EMI to nearby detectors.  Some contest hunts, if that is something you do, have prohibited Equinox detectors from participating unless they are operated in single frequency.

2.  If recovery speed is TOO high you will end up getting clipped signals on marginal deep targets, so having the ability to back off on recovery speed may be advantageous if you are primarily going after deeper targets at a site that has a low density of trash.  In thick iron junk or modern trash, having the ability to dial up recovery speed is desirable.  So having some level of adjustability allows you to better attack sites with variable junk and trash conditions.

3. In thick iron conditions, the Iron Bias filter basically runs counter to recovery speed so while you may silence falsing iron, you will also likely silence non-ferrous in the vicinity of that iron which eliminates the advantage of fast recovery speed.  I typically run with iron bias off on the Equinox as there are several audio tells that enable you to ID falsing iron without the need to have the machine filter it out so you never have the chance to use your brain to make a dig decision on a possible masked target.

Waterproof shell is great but that does not fix the other feature compromises that make the Equinox 600 a far superior salt beach detector for about the same price as an AT Pro.  Yes you can attempt to get away with the Vanquish but it is not THAT much cheaper than Equinox to justify the compromises especially if you are talking purchasing additional waterproof shells that may or may not keep your warranty intact. 

HTH

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It does help, thank you!

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Maybe I'm confused but the Vanquish isn't trying to be a high end machine, it's giving some high end performance to what is an entry level machine.  Waterproofing a machine does bring up the cost without a doubt,  Nokta have done an amazing job bringing a waterproof detector into the entry level price range.  It's not a machine aimed at you Chase or people with your ability level so iron bias and other such features to a beginner are nothing more than confusing features that won't get used, if I was a beginner buying a machine a Vanquish would be an outstanding choice and it would allow me to enjoy the hobby, a lot of entry level detectors do nothing more than put people off.  A Go-Find with it's lack of Target ID numbers is a prime example of that.  It only has 4 points of discrimination with no Target ID's.  If you'd ever used a Go-Find there is no way you'd give it a nod over a Vanquish Chase.

The top end Vanquish is only a tiny bit more expensive than just buying a 15x12" coil for the Equinox and it comes with two coils!

To me this is a massive shake up to the industry.

As a Go-Find owner I wouldn't consider the Go-Find even remotely close to a Vanquish, the bluetooth on my Go-Find seems to only work to connect to the Go-Find app I can install on my phone, it doesn't connect to a pair of bluetooth headphones.  It has a fixed coil and lacks depth, the pinpoint is completely unnecessary with such a small coil and doesn't work very well anyway, and it's not a DD coil either.  I also own an Ace 350 and there is no way in the world I'd pick it for any reason over a Vanquish, this is nothing I'd consider better on the Ace judging by specifications alone. 

If it had all the things like single frequencys, iron bias, water proof and so on, it may as well be an Equinox 🙂 they have to make it a lesser detector somehow.

Maybe it's just me..... I'm "different" 😉 I am very glad the Vanquish and Simplex have hit the market and at the prices they have, it now forces the other guys like Garrett and First Texas to get their act together or move along.  There will be no sympathy or brand loyalty from me, they've had more than enough time 🙂

 

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48 minutes ago, phrunt said:

Maybe it's just me.....

Wow, SImon, either you didn't read my post in its entirety or really missed my point.

1)  First of all, I know full well that the Vanquish is not trying to be an Equinox, but as I said in my post, people are going to make that comparison anyway either to figure out if they can "get away" with a Vanquish without paying for an Equinox or just want to know what you get for $280 to $400 more for Equinox, so I laid it out.

2)  Re iron bias.  I completely agree with you.  Advertising that setting to entry level folks just confuses the issue.  I am not the one who added Iron Bias to the Vanquish.  But if they are going to add it as a feature (they made it more complicated on the 440/540 by adding two level settings), why not allow the user to turn it off completely as there are situations since where it can hinder performance.  Just like Disc (which they allow you to turn off), it is a filter that can just get in the way.

3)  I tend to agree with you on the go find, but really, the 340 is not offering anything above Go Find other than you can pay for an additional coil if you want and multi IQ that cannot be tamed by appropriate settings or single frequency.  It is basically a wash, and that was my point.  Not sure why ML bothered with the 340 with Go Find around, in the first place.

4) Regarding the ACE series - I pretty much showed the 440 DESTROYS the ACE 400 feature for feature.  That is what ML was apparently aiming for and they succeeded.  Not sure where you got the idea I was saying the Vanquish was NOT the choice over the Ace.

5)  Re: the Simplex.  This is going to be a great competition.  I think ML made a mistake not providing full up waterproof protection for the Vanquish 540 at least (if not the 440 also).  I think ML tried to slice things too thin by coming out with 3 entry level models.  If they had focused on a way to bring the 440 along with at least a waterproof housing (and preferably wireless) at or just above the 440 price point then we might have something serious going here.  As it is, the 340 is somewhat irrelevant, the 440 takes on the Ace 400 straight on but falls short, IMO, of adequately competing with the Simplex for that same Ace market share and the 540 doesn't go far enough to close the gap with the Equinox 600.   

Keeping things simple with just the 440 (and perhaps waterproof and wireless) would have been the best bet to adequately take on BOTH the Ace and Simplex simultaneously.  IMO.

I completely agree with you that both ML and Nokta/Makro are making some innovative and bold moves.  I think the V440 is pretty close to being what it should have been and both it and Simplex belong in today's entry level detector marketplace.  I just think the 340 and 540 are kind of irrelevant.  Get a GO FIND instead of the 340 or skip up to the 440.  Get the 440 or an Equinox 600 instead of a 540.  That was my point.

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Understood, I wasn't trying to say you were wrong with anything just pointing out a beginners point of view is very different from an experienced user.  A majority of my reply wasn't directed at you just the bit about an experienced user and the bit about you saying you may pick a Go-Find over a Vanquish as I don't believe you would if you tried both out 🙂

Features that you deem necessary or nice to have to a beginner are confusing and unnecessary.  I have rarely found a place Multi IQ poses an EMI issue and when I have lowering sensitivity fixed it, I can't think of a time I've been forced to use single frequency to get rid of EMI, I'd rather lower my sensitivity than use single frequency but that maybe just me.  The Go-Find's frequency locked at 7.7khz can pose it's own EMI issues.    I think they may as well end the life of the Go-Find now.   The Bountry Hunter Jr TID is the closest match to a Go-Find.  They Ace series is superior by a significant margin than a Go-Find.  As close to switch on and go as you can get it what a beginner wants and often needs 🙂

I'm in a way glad they didn't make a waterproof version, I want the Simplex to succeed, they left the waterproof  thing to the Equinox which I think is fair enough, I am guessing a majority of people don't need it anyway and the ones that do are likely to just buy an Equinox.

 

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Fair Points.  I tried to look at it from a beginner's perspective too and I think coming out with basically 3 entry level detectors, they are going to confuse folks (but then again, I guess that is what Garrett has done too).  I think they should have just gone with the V440 and be done with it.  Also, from a beginner's perspective, they might feel more comfortable with the ability go with a single frequency if desired rather than the "mysterious" multi IQ.  i think Nokta/Makro took the right 'simple' approach with the Simplex.  Pretty straight forward.

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