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This is less of a comparison and more of a question. It is a real head scratcher for me. I am not in any way trying to put down one detector and hype up another. This is just my experience.

So, I recently had another try at the F75/T2/F70 platform. I have over 150 hours on these detectors and have now sold them all.......Why?

My last go at this great group of detectors was with a 2016 F75LTD Special Edition with all of the latest features. After ten outings with it (about 40 hours) I have given up. Selling on Ebay right now with bids. My last work with it was at a city park that has such bad EMI that a Version 4 Omega 8000 and a T2+ were unusable there. This newer F75LTD had no audible issues with EMI at this park which for me anyway was a big improvement. My problem with it was determining a dig or not dig signal. At this park there is an audible signal every 2 or 3 inches, sometimes even closer. I did two field tests with the F75LTD 11"X7"DD and an Equinox 600 11" DD. Settings for the F75 were ground balance 87, Fe3O4 4 to 5 bars, DE mode, discrimination 15, 4 tones, sensitivity 80. Settings for the Nox 600 were ground balance 3, default Park 1 except for a bit of threshold tone set at 6 and sensitivity at 17 (even the Equinox can have EMI issues). I did use the horseshoe button a lot for iron ID.

The first time I did this field test I did not want to believe the results. They were not pretty and were basically repeated in this second field test. So, I decided to try again. Both times I picked an area about 50 yards long and 2 yards wide, roughly a full sweep in one direction/lane and a return to the beginning in the adjacent lane. I marked the area off so I wouldn't stray or miss any ground. First I used the F75. Tons of signals, 1/4" aluminum shards are everywhere from shredded pop cans...... came up with 41 cents (3 clad dimes, 7 zinc pennies, 4 pre-1982 copper pennies) , a really cool HO scale tractor (I am a model train guy too, so great find, don't even have to weather it!)  a shell casing and some pull tabs, etc. I did hit a really big target that sounded like big iron falsing by itself and did not dig it. There were so many iffy signals (at least to my ears and eyes with numbers and tones all over the place). I was only concentrating on two-way signals with generally consistent numbers and those are the targets I recovered. None were more than 6" deep.

Next I covered the exact same ground with the Equinox. From the photos you can see that I or the F75LTD or a combination of both missed a lot of legitimate targets. It was easy to make the dig or no dig decision on these targets with the Nox 600. They were solid, two way, stable numbers and audio, no brainers. None were more than 8" deep and most were in the 2" to 4" range. The big iron screw had a clad dime that was 1" away from it and a little deeper than the top of the screw which was 3" below the surface. I heard the clad dime clearly both during sweeps and pinpointing, two separate obvious.targets. Lots of silver mercury dimes and wheat pennies in this area so I dug both targets. I only heard the iron with the F75. Also, there is no way using the Nox 600 that I would have missed the vast majority of the targets that I recoverd earlier with the F75. They were not difficult targets to recover. Also, except for the big iron screw and dime, I did not dig any targets with the Equinox 600 that were in previous F75 plugs or even adjacent to them, like within masking distance unless the F75 with the settings I was using can have masking issues with targets 4" apart...........

So, I guess I am super spoiled by the Equinox.......or I seriously suck at the F75/T2 platform.

Jeff

 

These were recovered by the F75LTD

unnamed.jpg

 

These were recovered in the exact same ground afterwards by the Equinox 600. 1974 Kennedy half dollar, 1983 Washington quarter, 3 clad dimes 9 zinc pennies, 6 pre-1982 Memorial pennies, several pieces of lead and solid aluminum, etc.

unnamed-1.jpg

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I was a big fan of the F75 for a long time and still think well of the platform. More to the point however I have used a lot of metal detectors in the last 50 years. Lots of what were the top machines of the day. There have been a few time therefore that nostalgia would kick in and I would pick up an old model I used to have to give it another spin.

Long story short I was always disappointed and I am not tempted much to do it anymore. When I finally let a detector go it is always for a reason, and whatever the reason was it still exists. And the technology really does change and improve. Not so much about sheer depth perhaps, but in discrimination, handling, audio, and other features that add up to a better experience.

I just experienced this in that I still have a White's V3i that I keep to run my Bigfoot coil. I fired it up recently to test a few things and was shocked at how the audio boomed, lagged and dragged compared to the sharp hits I have become accustomed to with my Equinox. If it was not for the fact it runs my Bigfoot it would be hard to justify keeping it since I have not actually used it in over a year.

Just simple stuff now like having built in wireless headphones is a spoiler now. Add it all up and we are finally entering a new phase of detecting with machines like the Equinox or XP models that make it hard to go back to older detectors.

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Hi phrunt,

I did the twice around the target dance with the F75 for all of the targets I dug for these two field tests just so I would have some idea of what I might be digging and if I should dig. Some of the Whites detectors I've used required a lot of the same thing too. In an area with fewer targets and more quality targets I wouldn't mind it as much. I have some very good friends that have the footwork down really well for circling targets with their F75, T2s and MXTs, DFXs, V3is and they are truly master detectorists. I am a lot more clumsy and slower than they are I guess and I just don't really want to investigate a possible US zinc penny that much in a field full of aluminum shards. I just want my detector to give me its best signal in a couple of sweeps so I can dig and move on. I am a slow methodical person in general. I could easily stand over a target indefinitely with the F75 trying to decide. The Nox keeps me moving on much more quickly I guess since l totally agree with your observation that this kind of four directional target investigation is usually not necessary with the Equinox. It isn't as crucial with the Deus/ORX either. Come to think of it, my F19 locks onto most good targets 6" or less in the mineralized dirt in my area really quickly but it can't compete at all with the depth and versatility of the F75/T2. I can deal with a 10 to 20% miss rate with any detector. It is impossible to cover every centimeter of ground. I can't deal with finding more targets on the second sweep of an area using two comparable detectors set up very similarly. If it only happened once, OK I was having a bad day. But it happened several times casually and twice in the same field under the same conditions in a controlled wild target test.  I really hate to send a great detector on to someone else even though I know it just wasn't working out for me.

Thanks for responding phrunt. I always enjoy your posts. Thanks Steve for giving me your opinions too. They generally are right in line with what I'm thinking or are the next step that I should consider or reconsider......

Jeff

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17 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

Next I covered the exact same ground with the Equinox. 

(cut text) 

None were more than 8" deep and most were in the 2" to 4" range.  Also, except for the big iron screw and dime, I did not dig any targets with the Equinox 600 that were in previous F75 plugs or even adjacent to them, like within masking distance unless the F75 with the settings I was using can have masking issues with targets 4" apart...........

From what you post, I see two possible explanations:  my first suspicion is masking and the second is target ID drooping.  Masking is a truly evil monkey-wrench in the gears of detectors (thanks to Tom Dankowski for first opening my eyes to this).  From many posts I've read and from my own experience it seems the XP Deus and ORX and the Minelab Equinox have improved upon (but not solved) that issue in a significant way.

I've done a bit of testing of both the Equinox and Fisher F75 Limited ("black") in my backyard test-stand.  My ground is rather mineralized as I've found with mineralization readouts by both the F75 and Fisher Gold Bug.  It's not quite as bad as what you report, though.  My generalized conclusion at this point (and I haven't done exhaustive testing) is that the Equinox has the advantage of holding its target ID as coins get deeper.  The F75 in motion all-metal will find good targets deeper but those (known) good targets show up with ferrous target ID's.

When I was researching before buying the F75 I read some posts on another forum that seem to ring true in my experience.  One was subtle, calling the F75 (at that time, in June 2017) the best VLF for relic hunting.  Another complained about the variation in target ID's swinging over good targets.  So far my controlled tests agree with those statements.

But back to masking.  I haven't done enough testing to draw equivalent conclusions on the unmasking abilities of detectors.  My subjective feelings from using them in the field is that the Equinox is the best detector I own at dealing with masking (Note:  I've never swung a Deus/ORX).  I do feel (and more strongly, hope) that there is still room for improvement.

P.S. Nice antique miniature farm tractor find!

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