By Steve Herschbach
I have been following the pulse induction developments at Fisher Labs since January 2015. Things heated up in January 2018 with the Manta prototype that later became the Impulse AQ. I followed and posted every tidbit I could find about this detector from 2018 on, with much of it coming from Rick Kempf.
Why my interest? Simple. I have a history of some pretty serious PI beach detecting. I've used every ground balancing beach detector made... though that's not saying much since there have only been a few. It has been my perception that this is still one of the most under-served, undeveloped portions of the metal detector industry and technology remaining to be exploited. Manufacturers have produced few waterproof detectors compared to other models, and really only the VLF multifrequency models have kept close to performing like dry land detectors. Ground balancing PI beach detectors have fallen far behind the technology available to gold prospectors for dry land use. The new Fisher model gained my interest not only due to the new potential performance benchmarks promised, but the ergonomic design, which looks to be far better than any other similar options.
Fisher Impulse AQ Limited
Anyone with any sense should know I've been trying to be first in line to get one of these. However, I have not attempted to get in extra early by being a beta tester. Frankly it is a lot of work and not worth it to me these days, even for a free detector. So my goal has been to get my hands on the first one I could purchase.
People who have been following the Impulse saga knows it has been a long, strange trail. The long story short is we are all aware of pictures and specs of a version of the machine that Fisher currently has in hand. The most recent photo is above. However, they have decided it needs more work. In particular, longer life batteries, and a redesigned battery system overall that eliminates some weaknesses that currently affect the waterproof rating and possibly the durability of the detector if mishandled.
Rather than put this off for more months and probably next year... honestly who knows, given how things have drug out... Fisher has decided to take the hardware they have on hand and produce a short run version of the Fisher Impulse AQ - the Fisher Impulse AQ Limited. The word is there will be no more than 100 of these made. In the meantime work will continue on a future release that addresses the items I mentioned above.
The limited production run is intended to target experienced beach hunters who A. know and acknowledge the limitations that exist in the current model and basically promise not to be complaining about what they have been told up front they were getting in that respect and B. people who will be able to offer good, solid, genuine, reliable reports about the detector and what it is capable of. Not sugar coaters, but people who can offer constructive feedback that can be incorporated into the ongoing development of the detector. So kind of like paying beta testers, but not exactly. I'll leave it to the copy of the Fisher disclosure statement I am posting for you to review and which explains the details to decide what it all means for yourself.
So why would you want a model that has a limited depth rating and short life battery? Killer price my friends, killer price. I have no idea what the final version of the detector will cost, but this one will be available for $1499.
To me even more important is the ability to hit the beach before anyone else with a machine that few will be able to get for some time. I am a "who knows what the future will bring, life is short" kind of guy. I'm going to grab one of these now while the grabbing is good.
Due to the limited supply and desire to get these into the hands of a certain group of people, Rick Kempf is the acting "traffic cop" for this limited release. Basically as I understand the process people need to contact him and make the case for why they should get one of these. He will no doubt chime in and offer more details on how to go about that. These things are being built in small batches so it may take a little time to get one.
What's my part in this? Well, not much. I have agreed to the terms and sent a check and have a detector coming soonish, whatever that means. I plan on some fresh water lake detecting and even a little nugget detecting, and will post my thoughts when I have any serious thoughts to post. I did not sign up to promote or do anything at all really except go metal detecting. I'm paying the same price anybody will pay and the terms to me are the same as you read below.
Frankly I feel weird posting this, but I asked three separate times and confirmed I can post a copy of this and that the price of $1499 is correct. I must emphasize that I am not a representative for Fisher and am not making a dime off any of this. I'm only passing on what I've been told so far and can only vouch that it is what I have been told. You have issues... don't come looking for me! I'm just a guy who has got my hands on this info and I have been cleared to show it to you. That's it. So here you go. I will post more information when I know it, and photos of my detector when I get it.
Click for larger versions....
By Steve Herschbach
https://www.minelab.com/__files/f/254709/KBA 23-1 The SDC 2300 and MPF Technology Explained.pdf
By Gerry in Idaho
For me personally, I get a gut feeling to wait and see. I know it will turn off a few of my followers, but I got turned off by all the delays and inconsistencies. Now with that said, I'm hoping FT realized the importance of "Getting it right" the 1st time. As we have seen most new products have been delayed some, but this one really stretched the moon cycle.
I'm all about new products and enjoy getting my teeth wet (especially on gold nugget detectors), but as an inlander in Idaho, my water hunts are usually 2 to 4 times a yr taking a plane ride, so that does not give me the opportunity to test and compare it like I do on gold detectors (in my back yard).
Cost - needs to be affordable or they will not sell many units. What is affordable? I'd say $1000 and no more than $1500. We have some nice options out there with all the different manufactures and some of the well built ones can do white a bit and only cost $900 (NOX-800). I realize it is not a PI, but Minelab priced the EQ so that many people would jump and boy I have sold hundreds of them.
Depth - of only 3 feet is a big issue with me as most of my water hunting is fully submerged detector 8 to 10 hr days. I realize 3' is probably what the control box is at, but so many times I lay my detector down (some float and others sit on the bottom). I like hunting water 3 to 6' depth. The 3' threshold they are telling us, has my mind going - "potential issues". Why not the 10 feet so many others are using? Heck FT has 2 waterproof detectors they currently sell and both are 250'. Please Fisher give us 10'.
Coil Size - 12.5 seems a little big considering they are pushing how it can find gold rings hidden among iron targets. Now I also realize 12.5" gice more depth too and since most other water detectors are 12" and under, then there is an advantage for depth, but not in iron trash?
Built - Looking at the unit from Steve's pic (arm cuff and forward), all looks clean and doable. Looking at a full pic of detector and the back end gives me the chills. The 3 exposed connectors are potential issues, but it's what it is. I do like the idea of a lighter detector, not for me personally as in the water the weight is negated, but for those who walk the beaches, this is ideal.
Iron DISC - This is probably one of the major points of this PI and I hope it does as well as we're being told.
Volcanic Sand Setting - That feature alone (if you do not lose to much depth) will be a seller for some of my customers (Terry in Hawaii, are you listening). I just might have to come over this Fall (post CV-19) and do a hunt with you again Terry. I think some of my MX hunts could also become even more productive with this feature.
Technology - Yes I really like to see new ideas, but this looks to be a spin off of a couple other smaller brand detectors. Nothing wrong with that at all, as long as they make it BETTER. I do give them kudos for trying something different as that is how things do eventually get better. We'll know pretty soon, but I am excited to hear of the folks who live on the beaches and their 1st reports.
Where do I rank on your chart Steve, well not as high as many of you had hoped, but I will walk cautiously. Me personally it looks like I grade a "Late Majority" on this unit. But you know me, I might try and put a spin on it and see how well it works at finding low conductor gold nuggets in iron trashy tailings. Who knows, it might score me a few more nuggies?
What would I like to see of this new detector? Mostly no major issues as I realize there will be a few. Overall customer satisfaction is "Above Average", just can't please everyone. And most importantly to see each of the different manufactures pushing the boundaries with good competition. If we only have 1 major manufacture doing detectors, then our options become limited.
I sure loved those good old days where we could find multi gold/platinum ring on a trips. This new detector just might help make that happen again, we'll see.
Hats off to Fisher for pushing and giving us another option of lighter more advanced PI with better Iron Discrimination.
By Chase Goldman
I am interested in this only from the standpoint that if it is a technical and financial success, accounting for it's niche application, it might enable a land-based gold and/or relic focused PI of a similar form factor to be spun off. I am looking for something that performs like a GPX (with similar iron rejection, ground balancing, and mineralized soil timings) but with the ergonomics of the AQ. The QED almost fits the bill but is a no go without iron rejection.
I'm in. I've been following the Manta / Impulse project since I first caught wind years ago.
I'm curious how Fishers' "unconventional" marketing plan, that Rick referred to over on Tom's website ( http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,171347,page=2 ) , will be handled.
Carl refers to a limited release as well.
I hope I'm not left standing in the cold.
I think it may come out priced higher than people are hoping. It all depends on how they've worked out payment to the designer. Fisher is almost just a subcontracted manufacturer by the looks of it? Has all the work been done in France and FT just sorting out the production side of it?
If all the meat and potatoes are from France and First Texas is just adding the vegetables to the plate a big part of every sale will need to go to France meaning FT will want to keep the price high enough to get a decent cut.
It's a difficult one for sure. As a designer and inventor I doubt he'd want to just be on a wage unless it was a good one, then would it be a win for them paying a big wage/salary for a detector that may not sell well.
The problem is, it's only worth what it's worth to a end user so if the price is too high due to the way they've acquired production rather than a normal in house design then that'll put a quick stop to it for a lot of people. That's the problem with a limited use detector, it's only worth so much as you need to be able to get value out of your purchase. I'm a bit torn on the shallow water hunting side of it, as the Scuba hunters would probably really like this unit, but they'll have no interest in it, a chunk of the market gone already. 1 meter depth is pretty shallow, you would scared just putting it down in the water while recovery targets when you're only up to your shoulders detecting. This would scare me and I'd not want to use it in the water much for fear of killing it. Sounds like a water resistant watch, you can swim with it but you may kill it if you do. No guarantees.
On the other hand the black sand benefits for beaches here sounds impressive.
Nothing ever ends up perfect!...