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Want A Second Detector So Friends Can Tag Along

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I'm pretty new to the detecting scene, and am having a great deal of fun so far.  I have some friends that would like to participate, but they can't really justify buying one, so I was thinking I would get a second detector, so they could join in on the fun.  I don't want to spend a lot of money, but still want something that has reasonable capabilities, and could serve as a fun backup machine to my Equinox 800. I've been looking at the Nokta Makro Simplex+.  It's within my price point, and seems to be well liked.

Suggestions?  Alternatives?

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Steve recently posted his opinion on one of the new Bounty Hunters, if your goal is just to have another detector for a friend without getting another for yourself with different capabilities then I’d read Steve’s thread if you haven’t already and sorry for posting this if you’ve seen this and already ruled it out.

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If a little prospecting or detecting in soil that is more mineralized is in your future, the Bounty Hunter Time Ranger Pro, F19, Teknetics G2+ or the Vanquish 440 or X-Terra 705 would be my picks.

The TRP/F19/G2+ have a very good reputation for being easy detectors to operate, very quiet in moderate mineralization, have lots of coil options and can find relics and smallish gold very well. There are lots of videos about them and the older, less featured Gold Bug Pro on YouTube and this site. 

If you want something very similar to the Equinox, a Vanquish 440 or X-Terra 705 would do well. I would not get a Vanquish 340 if you are thinking about prospecting with it. It does not have enough discrimination segment adjustments. It only discriminates in 10 digit bins. In order to eliminate some hot rocks and ground noise, you would also be eliminating part of the potential gold range on deeper gold targets that will have very low target IDs initially and would just be discriminated out.  The 440 has 3 digit discrimination bins so it will take care of ground noise and most hot rocks by rejecting the first bin and accepting all the rest. The X-Terra 705 will probably be discontinued by Minelab soon. The 705 can be purchased with the 18.75 kHz coil and would be a very good all around detector for less than $300 US used. Like the Equinox, the 705  was built to do it all and also like the Equinox it can to a degree. Like the Equinox and Vanquish it has a 50 digit target ID range, ample discrimination segments, very similar controls and works well in a variety of soil conditions.




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1 hour ago, Jeff McClendon said:

The 705 can be purchased with the 18.75 kHz coil and would be a very good all around detector for less than $300 US used. Like the Equinox, the 705  was built to do it all and also like the Equinox it can to a degree. Like the Equinox and Vanquish it has a 50 digit target ID range, ample discrimination segments, very similar controls and works well in a variety of soil conditions.

IMO, Jeff is one of the most knowledgeable posters here when it comes to detectors, particularly out West where the soil can be a problem.  I don't mean to be contrary but my experience coin hunting with the 705 left quite a bit to be desired, and the reason was the iron wraparound (iron reading in the high part of the TID spectrum).  I got along with it best at its highest frequency (18.75 kHz).  It could be that I just wasn't using it right but I did put a lot of hours on it.  Note that to change frequency you need to change coil -- one of the compaints about that detector.  If you do go that direction, my advice (in agreement with Jeff) would be to go with the gold prospecting version which came with the 5"x9" closed housing 18.75 kHz coil, which will find coins, too.  I never used mine for prospecting but it used to be one of the most highly recommended VLF/IB detectors for that purpose and I think Steve still has it highly ranked, particularly since the price came down.

If you're going to buy new and prospecting is going to be a significant part of its use, then the Minelab Vanquish 440 could well be the budget sweetspot -- modern, multifrequency, simple to use.  If you want waterproof then the Simplex, but although it will find bigger gold it probably won't find as small of pieces as the Vanquish or even the 19 kHz detectors (e.g. Bounty Hunter Time Ranger Pro = Fisher F19, etc.).


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Thanks everyone.  Think I'm going with the Vanquish!

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17 hours ago, Bashin said:

Thanks everyone.  Think I'm going with the Vanquish!

Good choice ! Just one thing , be careful with the coils that you will use with your vanquish. If you often go on iron trashed sites , choose a vanquish with a V10 coil or a small V8 coil. This because the V12 coil has a high level of iron masking due to its big size .

I have a 540 PP with a V12 and a V8 coil and there is an important difference between both coils , the V8 is very good on infested iron sites … And my V12 coil is rather dedicated to "clean" sites .. 

With the V12 and V8  coils plus the MultiIQ , the 540 PP covers a wide range of detecting activities . Actually I am quite impressed by the job done by ML on the Vanquish series ...

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Since you mentioned nothing about prospecting and just want a backup/loaner to go along with the Equinox, it’s real hard to go wrong with the Vanquish. And although people mentioned the Time Ranger I got, you can get a Vanquish for less than half as much. For anyone not wanting to actually submerge the detector, a Vanquish 340 at $199 delivered is a lot of power for very little outlay. I like simplicity and with three controls not counting power button, preset ground balance and automatic interference cancel, it’s hard to get much easier.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I had the same problem. I bought the Simplex+ as a backup to my 800 and for my boys to use when they are hunting with me.

Sold the simplex+ because it was too different from the 800 in terms of TID and tones. Got the Vanquish 540 because tones and TID almost identical machine and easier to teach someone than the good but different Simplex+. Not knocking the Simplex in any manner, it just was a personal choice for reasons stated above.


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11 hours ago, maxxkatt said:

I had the same problem. I bought the Simplex+ as a backup to my 800 and for my boys to use when they are hunting with me.

Sold the simplex+ because it was too different from the 800 in terms of TID and tones. Got the Vanquish 540 because tones and TID almost identical machine and easier to teach someone than the good but different Simplex+. Not knocking the Simplex in any manner, it just was a personal choice for reasons stated above.


Yes when I received my Vanquish 540 I had a concern about its audio I did not want to relearn a new machine because I already have 2 different ones with different audios, a Deus and an Equinox 800. After a few minutes detecting on the terrain I realized that the Vanquish audio is almost  a 'cut and paste' of the Equinox audio , so I saved a lot of time  , cool  ...

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