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My Thoughts On The Minelab Vanquish 540


abenson

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Excellent and thorough Vanquish analysis and write up.  Couple of comments, though.

2 hours ago, abenson said:

Modes I’m sure have different weighted frequencies and it’s anybody’s guess what they are.

ML is not providing any details, but based on what they have put out, they imply only a single Multi IQ profile is being used for all modes with the difference being the under the hood non-user-adjustable recovery speed and default disc settings they are using for each mode, but it appears based on your real world testing there may indeed be other differences going on.  I suspect that ML is using something not too far off from the Equinox beach 1 mode Multi IQ profile to ensure a certain level of salt beach stability but the result might be the Worst of both worlds between say Park 2 and Beach 1 based on your results, but agree with you, who really knows other than ML and they are not providing any clarity.

Did shifting into no disc mode provide any advantage whatsoever when dealing with iffy or clipped non-ferrous signals?

2 hours ago, abenson said:

Comparing the Equinox to the Vanquish is kind of like comparing the Simplex to the Anfibio or ORX to the Deus.

The only thing I disagree with in this statement is that it implies perhaps a much greater performance delta between ORX and Deus. Based on my recent experiences with ORX that are documented on this site in other posts (which I know you’ve seen but others may not have seen), I think the ORX, despite its settings limitations vs. Deus, is a lot closer to Deus in capability than even I gave it credit for until I put it to the test the past few weeks.  But I understand where you were coming from with that analogy.  The Simplex/Anfibio comparison seems appropriate, though.

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Abenson ,thank you for the test,..... you have done really extensive and rigorous Vanquish testing ..:
 
1. The results of the Tests in separation suggest that Vanquish has a low iron bias setting ... still a relatively strong rejection of the iron.

Stronger Iron Bias settings are responsible for less good separation .. it's strongly visible in nail and coin tests when in one line ...

This setup can make an otherwise fast detector pretty slow .. even on a small 4x6"coil...

2..Recovery speed recovery also like  to 3-4 recovery speed max .. maybe  5th according to the program.

This is also suggested by the hard work and and less deeply  detection of Vanquish in tests on heavily mineralized terrain ...

  3.Tests in heavily mineralized terrains could help set discrimination to 0 or better to 1.
At least on Equinox, it works similarly to "Iron volume" ... + but can also correct incorrect iron "VDI",,,, to   better"non- ferous  VDI"!!!

 

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As most people know for my uses and my difficult ground I have always tended towards higher recovery speed settings with the Equinox. I was personally caught off guard when Tom Dankowski started advocating for low recovery speeds in dense iron environments as it seems counter-intuitive to what I know about how recovery speeds work. Yet testing does show that in low mineral environments that the Equinox can pull non-ferrous targets out of dense iron even at low recovery speeds, though I am very much a skeptic that this is advisable in high mineral environments. This would appear to be related to its multifrequency processing doing magic one would not expect from a single frequency detector at low recovery speeds.

Your comments make me wonder if Tom's advice was taken to heart and that the Vanquish in Relic mode and what appears to be a very low recovery speed is therefore more applicable to low mineral environments. Your testing would seem to imply that given your experience in more difficult ground. In other words the Vanquish may be tuned more for turf type locations and the beach, which would make sense given the demographic it is targeting.

I still just look at Vanquish as an Ace alternative but with far better saltwater handling. I think it's biggest bang-for-the-buck application is at the beach, where multifrequency has always had an edge over single frequency. Never in a million years did I think Minelab would purposefully undermine Equinox sales via the Vanquish however so it should just go without saying the Equinox is a better choice for any serious detectorist for all but the most casual use. Marketing wants to hook the newbie with the Vanquish, then make the Vanquish owner want to upgrade to an Equinox. Looks like they have done well keeping the upgrade path clear.

I have to admit a Vanquish with the small coil was tempting me a little. But I almost always run zero iron bias and generally higher recovery speeds and it appears an Equinox with the 11" coil and my settings will do better than a Vanquish with small coil given the high iron bias and low recovery speed settings that are cooked in.

Great reporting, and thanks for posting! :smile:

Minelab Vanquish 540 Data & Specifications

Minelab Vanquish 440/540 User Manual

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Chase-LOL I agree with you about the ORX, should have taken that statement out before I posted it. Yes I tried the zero disc mode and the signals were still choppy.

Steve-I'm able to run Tom's settings at a recovery of 3 but not 2 in fairly clean ground as in not much iron trash and even at 3 it takes very controlled sweep speeds to make it work in my ground. Id is all over the place on deep targets but it is definitely deeper if you can work slowly. When I get in trash, recovery of 4 works better but still pretty amazing depth and separation is achieved. But I would have to agree that Minelab must have been looking at performance in mild ground and yea why would they undermine Equinox sales with the Vanquish.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have finally been able to do a little testing of the Vanquish 340 with V10 coil with no coil cover, which somewhat duplicate the testing done by abenson. The 340 has no high/low iron bias adjustment and has Coin, Jewelry and All Metals accepted modes. The only other settings difference was that I did not set the sensitivity on maximum. I set mine at half strength.

The Vanquish 340 in All Metals accepted easily passed 4 for 4, the Monte's Nail Board test with a zinc penny in position 1. It also scored 4 for 4 in Coin mode. In Jewelry mode it was 3 for 4 with failure on sweep direction 4. I have not done this test with a zinc penny in position 2. Nails of course are different. I have my Nail Board test set up with older square nails.

I used two 2" square nails and a zinc penny for a second test with all three targets on the same plane in this configuration with the space between the nails and the zinc penny at 1/2":

l--------------   O   ---------------l.  

In All Metals accepted and Coin mode the Vanquish 340 was able to hit the zinc penny if I paid close attention to making medium speed swings and very good coil control while keeping the coil very close to the targets. If I lifted the coil more than an inch above the zinc penny it was completely masked in both modes. Sensitivity adjustments made no difference. Jewelry mode failed.

This masking remained until the space between the zinc penny and nails was widened to 1 1/2". At this amount of target separation the 340 could easily detect the zinc penny all the way to 3" height in all three modes. With targets separated 2" or more there was no problem at all

I tried this same test with aluminum shards, pull tabs and other coins with similar results. With pull tabs and similar sized and shaped can slaw there was barely a hint of the penny unless the coil was within  1" of the targets in any mode. Coin mode seemed to be the best with Jewelry the worst. Separating the aluminum from the zinc penny by 1 1/2" or more alleviated the masking.

I put a US nickel on the right of the penny and a US quarter on the left and spaced them 1/2" apart. In Coin mode these targets sounded awful with broken sputtering audio and wildly fluctuating numerical target ID. In All Metals accepted these targets produced negative and positive numbers and iron audio, medium and high tone responses almost like iron falsing. To be honest, if hadn't known what these targets were I would have guessed a rusty tin can, rusty iron or a rusty crown bottle cap. Moving the coins apart so that the spacing was 1 1/2" made them clearly identifiable with no nulling or iron responses. The left outer edge of the V10 coil was able to separate these targets at 1/2" if I tilted the coil and moved it very slightly. Otherwise, it was a mess.

So target separation/recovery speed on the Vanquish 340 is definitely not as good as on the Equinox nor should it be for $199.  So, when I'm using this detector or letting a family member or friend use it I will have to remember this and investigate any close to the surface targets that seem larger than normal and that sound like rusty iron in All Metals mode and nulling/falsing iron if the Vanquish is in Coin or Jewelry. Could be multiple close spaced targets like a coin spill.

Jeff

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  • 1 month later...

Great write up abenson and very informative. I would definitely not compare the ORX/Deus in like manner to the Vanquish/Equinox configurations. The ORX is quite capable. I see you’ve already addressed that part though. Good luck!

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Heck why buy the Nox 600 ? Do you get extra coil? Do you get wireless headphones?

 You can just go over to Bill Southern forum and on the classified it’s a Nox 800 . It’s got extra coils. You can buy it for about the same price as the 600 .

 Fact of life if you spend less you get less !

 Chuck 

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My 340 did not include a coil cover or arm strap. It came with alkaline batteries and instructions. My 440 came with coil cover, control box cover,  wired headphones, arm strap, alkaline batteries,  and instructions.

 

Jeff

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Phrunt

 I have a 6” coil on my Eagle 2 that’s been on the over 20 years without a coil cover and it still looks great. Now that was the day before coil covers was come to be . 

I think now being we have them we just beat the Sam Hill out them because we covered .

 Dang I was just thinking for what I paid for that E2 I could have bought 3 Simplex +. I can assure you that money was harder to come bye then than it is now.

 Chuck 

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