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Vanquish As An Equinox Backup And Tone Breaks/number Of Tones

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So I’ve been considering a Vanquish model as either a backup or primary to my Equinox 600 to fill in coil size with 10x7 between my 11” and 6”.  Also perhaps to achieve a little better ergonomics for most of my detecting and then use the Nox for more detailed work when needed.

I like the price and simplicity of the 340 but I also like some of the extras of the 540 and mainly 5 tones which is what I most regularly run on my 600.  Studying the manuals a bit for details, it is not really that simple as the tone breaks, whether 3 or 5 tones, vary between detectors and even within the modes.  So it still won’t be “exactly” like my 600 even if I choose a 540 in regards to 5 tones or 3 tones. The 3 tones is even different between the 340 and 440.  So I vkeep going back to simplicity and price of the 340 and I even get the coil I want. 

Curious on thoughts from others considering same or actual experience and why your selection?

Also, I thought it was interesting that for a detector that seems to be more global, the Vanquish makes the coin modes favor the US coins?  Am I wrong?  Even with the 600 you might be limited on this as I believe only the first tone break is adjustable?






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   I got the 540 used with all three coils! It backs up the 800 nicely for me! Minus the water part!👍👍 

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7 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:


I have owned all three Vanquish models and the 600 and 800. The 3 tone, tone breaks on the 340 and 440 are exactly the same. The 440 just has more manually adjustable discrimination segments for notching, etc. The second tone break is right on the US Zinc penny and tonally the three tones chosen by Minelab make it is a nice, pleasing tone system. The 5 tone breaks on the Vanquish 540 and the default 600/800 are virtually the same which means the tones chosen for the US nickel and US zinc penny can form a very dissonant pair of pitches to anyone with musical training. 

On all three Vanquish models, the zinc penny seems to always respond with one correct tone and a couple of numbers (20,21), so its responses are more consistent and predictable. On the Equinox 600 and 800 the zinc penny response often is very wide tonally using 5 tones and can have numbers from 18 to 28 from my experience depending on ground conditions and the condition of the zinc penny. Listening to the 3rd and 4th tones on the default 600 go back and forth drove me crazy because of the dissonant tones Minelab chose which cannot be changed. 

If I just owned the 600, I would buy the Vanquish 440. That 10" coil on the 440 (and 340) is the perfect size and balances the Vanquish ergonomically really well. The 340 is just lacking too many features like the horseshoe button for quick iron checks and especially the pinpoint function to make it anything more than a quick grab and go detector. Those added features on the 440 make it a real contender for a full fledged, 3 tone detector that beats almost any previously made 3 tone limited detector on the market that does not have a threshold based all metal or boost mode.

If you have the 600 and do not have bluetooth headphones, the 540 Pro Pack might be a better option since the included bluetooth headphones will work with both your 600 and the 540. Otherwise, the 600 will out perform the 540 on moderate to high mineralization due to all of the Vanquish models having no manual ground balance. So the price you would pay for the 540 Pro Pack might not be worth it. The 440 price is a total steal in my opinion.

Thanks Jeff. Yes, I have August headphones already and want the 10” coil so the 540 doesn’t really call my attention other than the built in WiFi.  But I also have the August transmitter I use on my other detectors compatible with same headphones so not a deal breaker.  

I don’t really notch random things out and just discriminate in buckets so I think the 340 could still serve me.  Pinpoint is nice but I often find myself using the wiggle or cross method with the 11” on the Nox well enough to not use it. Interesting to also note is 340 doesn’t come with cuff strap, skid plate, rain cover or headphones!  But not even sure I care still.  

Some details are still unclear between the 340 and 440 however..

So are the illustrations for the 340 and 440 incorrect in the manual? Or are they only showing one possible representation for one of the various modes?

Also, is the “all metal mode” on the 340 not the same as hitting the horseshoe they also call “all metal mode function” on the 440/540?

It looks to me that the 340 the tone breaks are right at 0 and 20 where the 440 shows about 2 (like default field mode on Nox) and around 18 or so (zinc pennies lower range)

Also a couple interesting notes in the manuals:

Both 340 and 440/540 manual -

 “Note that the exact tone break positions vary slightly for each Search Mode”

340 manual (all metal)-

“The tones are adjusted to classify as trash common non‐ ferrous targets such as foil”

440/540 manual (jewelry) -

“Unlike the other Modes, Jewellery Mode tones are adjusted to ensure that fine gold jewellery is not classified as trash”


Is it possible the picture in the 340 manual depicts the jewelry mode tone breaks  for both the 340 and 440


the picture in the 440/540 manual depicts the coin mode tone breaks for both as well?  

So like you are saying, they are the same but manual just doesn’t show enough detail?

Then the all metal mode (340) and function (440) is the first tone break also the same somewhere after foil on both or is that only true on the 340 mode, making it different than the all metal function on 340? If they are the same, cycling through modes to get to all metal on 340 should be easy enough as there are only 3 modes, so really only one extra press.



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You might be overanalyzing the tone and tone break differences a tad and missing the fact that the 340 also only has 3 levels of volume control and only 4 levels of sensitivity control vs. 10 and 10, respectively for the 440 (and 540).  For the $80 savings, it still seems there are too many compromises and shortcuts associated with the 340 that the 440 seems like the sweet spot from an overall value perspective IMO.  Frankly, the Vanquish just did not cut it for me, the fixed GB, in particular was a deal breaker and I ended up reselling mine. 

That's why I point you back to the Simplex which you were previously considering. The Simplex at $250 (~$25 less than the Vanquish 440) doesn't skimp on requisite, essential features like ground balance and, for me, hits all the bases for a basic, versatile detector in this price range.  Yes it is a single frequency detector, and yes the elliptical accessory coil is preferred (additional expense), but even without simultaneous MF it can get it done and since you already have a 600, provides some feature set diversity from the 600 like a true all metal mode (unprocessed all target audio) versus the inaccurately designated all metal mode of the Vanquish/Equinox which is really just processed target audio without discrimination.  But if ergonomics are the overriding concern and the Simplex may only be slightly better than the Equinox in this regard, and a fixed GB is a non-issue, then I personally would not consider anything less than the Vanquish 440. 

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nickeldNdimed, I am feeling nickeled and dimed by all of your questions, most of which can be answered very simply if you look carefully at the discrimination segments on the 340 and 440. The Vanquish system similar to the Equinox has 50 numerical VDIs. The 340 has 5 discrimination segments -9 to -1, 0 to 9, 10 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 40. The 440 has 12 segments of discrimination which do not line up exactly on the 0, 10, 20, 30 locations and although they look equal they are not : 50/12 = 4.16. So the three tones do not line up exactly the same on the 340 and 440 BUT, the US coin responses are the same.

As Chase and I have pointed out, there is no All Metal mode on the Vanquish series. You are still in a discriminated mode but with nothing notched. On the 340 if you want to hear the iron range (-9 to -1) you have to hear it all. Yes, if you are in say jewelry mode and you want to check iron responses you have to repeatedly press the mode button to get into the all targets accepted mode which includes the iron range and then get back to the jewelry mode by pressing the mode button 2 times if you get it right and several more if you don't. I did not enjoy doing that multiple button push 50 or more times during a hunt. On the 440 you just press the horseshoe button once while you are in jewelry mode and all targets are instantly accepted, press it again and you are back in the original discrimination pattern jewelry mode, just like on the Equinox.

If you happen to be at the salt water beach or a turf area and you want to hear some iron but not all of it (say -6 to -1) you can't do that on the 340. It only allows all of the iron range or none. Or if you are in a moderate to higher mineralized area and you are getting ground responses in the -9 to -7 area from mineralization which the automatic ground balance can't handle, you are SOL. You will hear iron targets where there are none and you will hear non-ferrous targets surrounded by seemingly iron targets. These limitations gets old quickly for anyone that is a fairly serious detector user. Honestly, as much as I like the 340, I quickly realized its extreme limitations which severely handcuffed me and reminded me of the child's detector produced by Minelab recently, the Go-Find series.

I have to say that I also sometimes do the off the tip of the coil wiggle with many detectors. However, in my opinion the pinpoint function on the Vanquish is actually better than the pinpoint function on the Equinox. I really missed it on the 340, after previously owning and ultimately keeping the 440 while selling the 340. 

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I agree with the above posts , I very often use the ALL METAL mode on my 540 and if I had to choose between a 340 and a 440 I would go for the 440 just for this single feature ( dedicated button on the 440 ).

If you add to this more features like more volume segments , disc segments levels etc , this with still a low price , the 440 is clearly an excellent choice .For example there are only 3 levels for the audio volume on the 340 I found it not accurate enough to adjust it at the right level.

Concerning the audio tones and tones breaks , I only use ( hear ) them as an indication , but I more rely on the screen VDIs which are of course much more accurate than the 3 audio tones in terms of identification .

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4 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

The 440 has 12 segments of discrimination which do not line up exactly on the 0, 10, 20, 30 locations and although they look equal they are not : 50/12 = 4.16. So the three tones do not line up exactly the same on the 340 and 440 BUT, the US coin responses are the same.

Okay, I guess I was over analyzing it and the segment numbers explain it. I did not think about that. Thought they would place the tone breaks exactly the same. Weird, why not choose 10 segments... I guess it somehow allows some sort of notching pattern with 12 that 10 does not allow. 

Anyway, I think you have all convinced me the 340 savings are not worth it for what you give up. The Equinox spoils you with options (except coils) and I guess it is hard to give that up. 

Chase, it is a lot about ergonomics and maybe a little about just having something grab and go without thinking about the settings too much. 

I do already have a Simplex and headphones I picked up used and will try out this spring.  But yes, I feel the ergo will be same as Equinox or not much better. SP24 is basically same weight as 11”, very floppy shaft is a turn off.  Maybe I’ll change my mind after trying it. 

I’m also still thinking trough trying some other ergo options on the Equinox this year. 

Thanks again for all the feedback. 

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My todays short outing in a wood near a small town with the 540/V10 .  A feudal coin at the first signal ! 🙂 VDI +6 .

I have not yet identified it but it is probably a 12nd or 13rd century coin .  I have already been there with other machines , and I missed that one ... I always use my Vanquish in woods because it is more accurate and a little deeper than the Deus ...  I was also using my new Blackube rechargeable lithium batteries .

Definitely a very good machine this Vanquish ... 🙂


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