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Thinking Of Buying A Garrett Recon - Opinions?

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Thinking of purchasing one of these as harsh enviorment tool.

Looking to spend under 550.00.

Its getting to b the time of year where any detector i take out is gonna get wet and i dont want to take the chance with non-wp detector.

Anyone use the recon before personally? Advise?

Thanks guys.

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The Recon is basically a Garrett ATX that lacks a motion mode. It operates only in what on the ATX would be the non-motion mode. This means it must be operated very slowly and with constant retuning. It is intended to hunt land mines in small areas. I would consider it not suitable for any prospecting tasks that involve ground coverage. For slow, careful hunting of small areas it might prove suitable.

If you need a waterproof ground balancing pulse induction machine a used Infinium may be a better alternative. Here is what Garrett has to say about non-motion mode:

"Non-Motion Mode can provide additional detection depth and allows the searchcoil to scan very slowly, even stationary, over targets. Non-Motion Mode is better at isolating targets, as target signals do not produce the audio echo which is heard in Motion Mode. Non-Motion Mode may be less stable and noisier than Motion Mode, and more frequent Retunes may be required to cancel audio threshold drift and other environmental changes. Unlike Motion Mode—which automatically works to keep Threshold tuned to a constant level—the more powerful Non-Motion Mode leaves all Threshold tuning to the user. In highly mineralized ground, Non-Motion Mode may be more susceptible to ground variaions, so it is even more important to use proper coil swing techniques (see p. 21). The use of Non-Motion Mode requires practice and is not recommended for beginners."

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Thanks Steve. How robust are the infiniums? My draw towards the recon is the waterproofing as well as its robust build, it would probably be used mainly in-creek/river, perhaps for scanning exposed shears as well.

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ATX waterproof to ten feet. Infinium waterproof to 200 feet. The Infinium also has more and far cheaper accessory coils, and comes out of box designed to be hip or chest mounted.

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    • By Steve Herschbach
      I have used the Minelab GPX 5000 since it was introduced, and in fact probably owned the first one in Alaska. I have used the Garrett ATX also since it came out with one of the first units off the production line. I have been putting this review off while I got to know the ATX. I now have over 100 hours on the detector in a variety of environments so the time has come.
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      ads by Amazon...
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      The funny thing here is that if Garrett was gunning for Minelab then in my opinion they went about it the wrong way. I get the distinct impression the design process was backwards. It was not a matter of "what do prospectors want in a metal detector?" I think it was "we have this housing on the shelf we developed at great expense to go after a military contract. We need to leverage our development cost by putting something in that housing we can sell to the public." In other words, I do not see any sign of design following function. All I see is a prospecting detector crammed in a box inappropriate for the desired end use. If Steve Jobs was into metal detectors he would be rolling in his grave. I will have to suffice instead by simply shaking my head at missed opportunity. I will explain more about that later.
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      Test conditions
      The impression I was left with was definitely not how the GPX 5000 blows the ATX away but instead by how well the Garrett ATX does. It is impossible to not be impressed by how well the $2120 detector does when run head-to-head against a $5795 detector. Garrett has done a fantastic job and in my opinion their advertising claims are not off base. This is a serious prospecting circuit well worth consideration.
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      The bottom line for many more casual prospectors in the United States especially is that the Garrett ATX represents a fantastic value. It is truly impossible to say but in my case at least most of the gold I find in the US with my GPX an ATX would have found it also. In particular when hunting areas where bedrock is a foot or less the ground would have to be extremely hot indeed for the ATX to not only find what the GPX will but to have an edge on the more common small gold. Even in deeper ground as long as the gold is measured in grams and not ounces and the ground not extremely mineralized the ATX is going to be a close match with the GPX. Again, out of box with stock DD coils.
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      I have not done comparisons on the iron discrimination systems but I find the method used by the ATX to be inherently more reassuring. The GPX reacts to shallow ferrous targets by blanking out, a sort of non response. The ATX has a momentary ferrous check that kicks in at the touch of a button, and that gives a low tone growl on iron, which provides a more nuanced and natural response expected by most detector users. I am not a big fan of using discrimination on either unit but I did find the ATX method more to my liking for confirming shallow ferrous stuff as trash that I already thought was trash due to the response. Note that on either detector the ferrous rejection only works on shallow items and only with a DD coil. The amount of rejection is adjustable on the GPX and preset on the ATX so more tests really need to be done in this regard to determine which is the more accurate and useful system.

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      I do own both detectors and there is a simple reality here. If I am going looking for gold in the water, be it jewelry or nuggets in a creek, I will grab the ATX. For any other prospecting, the vast majority of it, I will be using the GPX 5000. I am not sure where the line between casual and serious is, but I am way, way over on the serious side. I spend a great deal of time targeting and hunting deep ground looking in areas where very large nuggets have been found historically. Most of the ground I detect I am hunting because it has produced nuggets weighing a pound or more in the past. I hunt tailing piles a lot so bedrock is tens of feet down, and the gold can be at any depth from shallow to extremely deep.
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      Metal detectors are tools. Now the fact is that for the average person Craftsman tools do just fine and represent good value. But the guy making his living with his toolbox is probably going to be investing in Snap-on tools. It is an apt analogy accentuated by the real performance difference that exists between the Garrett ATX and Minelab GPX detectors on the kind of gold most pros are looking for. The vast number of accessory coils and other aftermarket options on top of a well proven platform makes it an easy decision for the serious prospector. Minelab makes a tool designed specifically for a certain job. The Garrett ATX unfortunately I feel is a duck out of water when employed for normal prospecting uses.
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      2020 Note: Since this review was written in 2014 the price for the ATX was remained the same, while the price for the Minelab GPX 4500 and GPX 5000 have both come down considerably. This does change the value proposition offered by the Garrett ATX, especially as regards the Minelab GPX 4500, which can now be had for only a few hundred dollars more than an ATX.
      Detailed information on the Garrett ATX
      Detailed information on the Minelab GPX 5000
      Great video by another party (a Garrett dealer) confirming the above results at another location with a different large nugget....
       
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      friends I plan to buy a Garrett ATX. Steve, can you give me information about this detector? Is it worth buying or should I turn to another brand?
    • By Shelton
      Check my thread:
      Link deleted since Findmall update broke all old links
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    • By Steve Herschbach
      I did a bit of Google searching for posts in the last year to see if I could get a feel for how much use the Garrett ATX gets and what people are finding with it. Not much to see though. The Garrett Australia Facebook page has some gold nugget finds https://www.facebook.com/GarrettAustralia/
      The Findmall ATX Forum would have you thinking the ATX is strictly a beach detector Link deleted since Findmall Forum update broke all old links and other than that a few relic hunters out there using it.
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    • By Steve Herschbach
      I consider myself fortunate to have met Garrett's Senior Design Engineer, Brent Weaver, many years ago during prototype testing of the Garrett Infinium. I think Brent deserves a great deal of credit in making Garrett the leader it is today with a series of incredible innovative bang-for-the-buck metal detectors, first and foremost being the AT series. Brent is just a real nice guy - comes across as a regular Joe not a head in the clouds engineer. I think this video shows that. It also has an extremely interesting discussion of pulse inductions detectors, ground balancing methods, and the dreaded "hole" that occurs when ground balancing. There is explanation of why the holes occur and how some designs try to alleviate but not eliminate the problem. Good stuff, starts around the 3:40 minute mark.
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      Transcript starting at 3:40 mark:
      "If you look at the various pulse detectors that exist on the market, you have your simplest pulse machines, which are single pulse machines that are non-ground balancing. Those are detectors that are typically exclusively used for the beach, for example, the Sea Hunter or something like this.
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      And so, those two pulses working together in unison, working simultaneously, one will always fill in the hole of the other, they overlap such that you never have a detection hole. If you only have a single pulse detector, and it ground balances, it will have a detection hole. There are various products on the market, some are less expensive than the ATX, some are more expensive than the ATX, but if they are a single pulse detector, they are going to have a hole in their detection, period. You are going to miss gold. You are absolutely going to miss gold.
      Now where that hole falls depends on the mineralization conditions, and where the ground balance is set for the detector. As the ground balance shifts, the hole shifts with it. If you have a detector that has continuous ground tracking, such that you cannot switch it off, as that ground track moves around for the various ground conditions, the hole moves around with it and the targets are disappearing into that hole. You never know where the hole is at any time.
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      Now, for me listening to that it is obvious that Garrett was clearly gunning for the White's TDI. How do I know that? Because it was Minelab that originally put multi period pulse detection into the consumers hands, via their MPS (multi period sensing) technology beginning with the ground breaking SD 2000. The White's TDI on the other hand is an older design, and in fact is basically just an Eric Foster Goldscan stuck in a White's labeled box. The Goldscan and the TDI are a single channel ground balancing pulse detector with the problem that Brent outlines in the video. Bruce Candy of Minelab saw the same issue and the SD 2000 was specifically developed as a multi channel or multi period device for this very reason.
      MPS was patented, and so I am not sure if it was the patent expiring or Garrett simply using a method that got around the patent, but the ATX is using a similar multi period design as the SD Minelabs. Having used the Minelabs and the TDI plus the ATX I can vouch for the electronics in the ATX as being very capable and I do believe superior to that in the TDI. My ATX in fact tested favorably compared to my GPX 5000 with the 5000 having the edge, but not as much as I expected. I think in large part that is simply due to the Minelab using a much more powerful battery pumping far more power into the ground than the ATX with its eight AA batteries.
      Unfortunately in my opinion Garrett made a huge mistake in taking these excellent electronics and hobbling them with a housing that did not take advantage of one of Minelabs biggest weaknesses - ergonomics. The TDI had and still has a distinct edge in that regard, and at a lower price than the ATX. Ironically, it is also that detection hole and the ability to manipulate it via a manual ground balance that has become, not the big problem as laid out in this video, but a feature of sorts in favor of the TDI. People have learned how to manipulate the hole to help identify targets by using the ground balance control as a sort of reverse discrimination control. Combined with the unique conductivity switch on the TDI knowledgeable users can become very proficient at identifying various target classes, and this has made it very popular with relic hunters in particular.
      What history in hindsight reveals, in my opinion, is that Garrett missed the boat with the ATX as regards Minelab. The ATX hit the market before the SDC 2300 and had a window of opportunity to really make inroads if it had been in a lighter weight dry land package with a light dry land coil set designed specifically for desert prospecting. The electronics are there; it is the heavy housing, and heavy knock sensitive coils overpriced by an attached telescoping rod assembly that really hurt the machine. On the flip side, I don't think they did too much damage to the TDI also with the TDI being a less expensive more ergonomically friendly unit. Like the Garrett Infinium before it, the ATX has settled into being more a beach detector than a prospecting detector.
      I have of course been making hay over this since day one and continue to make an issue of it at every opportunity in hopes that we may see a Garrett LTX some day. Dry land design only for the absolute lightest weight possible machine with light weight knock resistant coils to match, it would be a winner. There is a market still I believe for a $1500 -$2000 ground balancing PI detector that clearly has more power than a TDI in an all in one package lighter than anything Minelab currently markets. The only question in my mind is whether Garrett will finally get it right or will it finally be a moot point when new Fisher, White's, and Nokta/Makro machines waiting in the wings finally arrive.

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