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Do I Really Need To Spend Over 500.00 To Get A Great Detector Anymore?

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You wrote the word great, describing a detector in your post. That makes it more subjective. I'm going to change that word to quality.

If you want a quality detector that is not a toy and really works well for under $500, to me Chuck, that depends on how much you plan to detect, where you detect and what your targets are.

For me personally, if I was just starting out as a newbie with clear, informed expectations and wanted to turf and field hunt in mild to moderate soil conditions or occasionally freshwater/saltwater beach hunt for less than 20 hours per month total, the two detectors you mentioned would be hard to beat.

In more mineralized dry land conditions I would start with the Vanquish 540 or Equinox 600.

If I wanted to do a lot of submerged freshwater and a little saltwater wet sand shallow surf hunting I would have to go with the Equinox 600, Simplex, Kruzer, or AT Pro. 

If I wanted a lightweight, quality detector that was easy to use by anyone for casual hunting, I would pick the Vanquish 540 over the Simplex. The Vanquish is very lightweight feeling and extremely easy to swing. Simplex is a little heavier and young kids (under 11 or so) would have a tough time swinging it for very long.


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 You’re so right that I referred to a detector I had in the pass as being great in another post . That was bought long before the Simplex and it’s weight was getting more than I could handle due to age .

 Then here comes the Simplex at 1/3 of the cost of the one I sold with less weight. Let’s not forget it’s waterproof too .

 At one time I told all to buy the best detector they could afford and in 92 I bought a Eagle 2 for 725.00 . Oh I had several great detectors before that . Then here I buy a 254.15 dollar detector that will out do 725.00 one in so many ways.

 Back when I hunted all the time in good and bad weather. Went anywhere to find whatever. Then was the time when every coin came up silver and a guy with a detector in his hand was more of a oddity.

 I just don’t see the need to spend more just to say I did . I found out long ago you can’t eat prestige of owning something costing more but doing no more that a less expensive one like the Simplex or Vanquish.

 That Eagle 2 is one of the great detectors I still have.

 Jeff thanks so much for your reply.


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Since you already have the Simplex. When the 7" concentric coil or smaller DD coil is offered, buy one or both. The Simplex will balance better and feel really light weight. Plus you may enjoy it even more. The stock 11" coil can be a bit much, in trashy areas.

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Thanks Sven1 for your reply.

 I find if I run the shaft in to the point I’m not stepping on the coil it helps to reduce the nose heavy part . I would normally say give me a smaller coil but with the Simplex I’m not sure if I want another coil. I’d have to buy and try before I could give a true answer and to think I sold my 800 because they didn’t come out with one right away.

 That was another great detector that I’ve owned. I don’t think I ever had a bad one!


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  • 1 month later...

Chuck (RR), you asked a great question and one that I get from people quite often.  You have som e good replies so far, and Dick Stout gave you the best and most direct answer ...No.  That's a very simple answer, and when it comes to detectors (and other things) I like 'Simple', blend that with 'Functional' for a decent detector that provides 'Performance' to satisfy my needs.

Not sure how old you are, but I am inching my way up the scale, and while my health stinks and mobility is limiting, I still devote as must time as possible to detecting.  I've been trimming my Detector Outfit to thin out excess detectors I don't use (other than oldies I have for seminars and demonstrations) to limit the number of versatile, useful detectors that are also lighter in weight and well balanced.  I have one left to part with and that will have me down to nine detectors with the most-used search coils mounted so they are 'ready-to-go' at first grab.

I have 3 detectors assigned to my 'get-serious' Relic Hunting activity, and those are a Nokta CoRe w/ 'OOR' DD and another CoRe w/5X9½ DD and my FORS Relic w/5" DD.  I also have my two favorite Tesoro's, a Bandido II µMAX w/6" Concentric and Silver Sabre µMAX w/6" Concentric.  In my 'Daily-Carry team are one of the Tesoro's, my Nokta Impact w/7" Concentric, a Minelab Vanquish 540 w/5X8 DD and my Nokta / Makro Simplex + w/11" (until they eventually get some smaller coils out!!).  I do, on occasion, include my final detector, another Vanquish 540 w/9X12 DD mounted for time when I anticipate hunting a more open and sparse-target area like a wide-open grassy park, a plowed field and so forth.

In short, I am using 5 detectors that are either discontinued or from a now-defunct manufacturer.  The other 4 are a new Impact, two new Vanquish 540's and the Simplex+.  Only my new Impact, a very versatile detector as well, is just a bit over $500, because I also bought the 5" DD and 7" Concentric coils with it.  Loaded up for today's detecting, while weather is decent, are the Impact, a Vanquish 540, my Simplex + and a Tesoro.

As for performance on lower-priced detectors, it can be very good .... if you buy a decent quality, well engineered lower-cost detector.  Note that there are NO "lower-priced" or "entry level" models from other manufacturers in my Detector Outfit, and that's because thy don't work well for my hunting applications and site selection ... or just don't work well at all, in my personal opinion.

Sorry for the long answer with examples just to end up saying what Dick said ... and the answer is 'No.'


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  • 1 month later...

No you don't. Think Simplex+ and Vanquish 540. I have had the Equinox 800 since March of 2018. If you are a newbie or never used a Minelab detector hold on to your hat, you are in for a wild learning curve ride. If you truly don't understand some of the 800 settings, then just pick  some of the standard default modes and you will be fine. Just make sure you noise cancel and ground balance.

I had the Simplex+ but sold it. Just did not like the tones and ID range. This is just a personal bias, it is a great machine for the $$.

So is the Vanquish from what I have been reading. I have on order the Vanquish 540 with 12" and 8" coils. Looking forward to a fun coin machine.



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