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Minelab Equinox Vs Garrett Ace Apex Vs Nokta Makro Simplex Relic Hunting


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Thank you for the great write-up.

Your Garrett ACE APEX results sound very familiar. My former Apex has a new owner………. I hope it works well in their soil conditions.

Rocky Mountain USA F75 4 bar Fe3O4 iron mineralization is tough for any VLF detector.

The Multi IQ Equinox with its adjustable recovery speed and different frequency weighted modes (Park1 vs Park2 etc.) make it a very good iron trash and modern aluminum trash relic detector in this tough dirt. 

The Simplex is also excellent. I hope Nokta Makro’s SMF detector will be as good or better especially with more accurate target IDs on deeper targets.

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Yes very good comparative review ... I agree the Apex is not the best for target depth and vdi stability , this even in mild ground. It also falses too much on the irons . Garrett has definitely to improve the Apex electronics ( or coil design?  ) to solve these issues . 

On the other hand the Apex is a fast machine , and as you said it is very comfortable to sweep compared with the 2 others which is a very important feature for some people , at least for me 🙂... 

 

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3 hours ago, abenson said:

Target 3 turned out to be a 1929 S wheat penny at 5 inches deep. The Simplex read 66-68 and could get the signal as I rotated all the way around it. The Equinox struggled, first direction I tried got nothing but iron grunts. But as I rotated around it, I started to get a choppy signal that would bounce up to about 17. The Apex got nothing but iron grunts no matter what I tried.

Did you happen to determine the orientation of this coin?  (I seldom do myself with my recovery methods....)  I've noticed the ML Eqx can struggle with vertically oriented coins, particularly with higher recovery speeds.  But you were running RS = 4 so that particular 'feature' should have been less of a problem, relatively speaking.

Thanks for the thorough, objective review.

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27 minutes ago, GB_Amateur said:

Did you happen to determine the orientation of this coin?  (I seldom do myself with my recovery methods....)  I've noticed the ML Eqx can struggle with vertically oriented coins, particularly with higher recovery speeds.  But you were running RS = 4 so that particular 'feature' should have been less of a problem, relatively speaking.

Thanks for the thorough, objective review.

I have no idea what the orientation was. After the initial shovel full of dirt the coin was in the bottom of the hole in the lose dirt. I think the Equinox was struggling due to all the iron targets around the coin.

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1 hour ago, abenson said:

I have no idea what the orientation was. After the initial shovel full of dirt the coin was in the bottom of the hole in the lose dirt. I think the Equinox was struggling due to all the iron targets around the coin.

I had a similar question. What was your discrimination setting on the Nox and Simplex for the 1929 Wheat penny. The 66-68 and 17 target IDs are consistent with nearby iron target/mineralization  down averaging for that coin. 

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34 minutes ago, Jeff McClendon said:

Wheat penny. The 66-68 and 17 target IDs are consistent with nearby iron target/mineralization  down averaging for that coin. 

Jeff - your question of Andy leads me to another question regarding the Equinox.  Unlike the Deus, I find the Equinox discrimination when engaged has little effect on non-ferrous targets ID from what I can tell observationally when switching it off and on using the horseshoe button.  I have not done controlled tests to verify this observation.  Deus disc does seem to help with ferrous down averaging of non-ferrous targets.  From my experience, disc on Nox seems to act more like an audio notch than disc.  I infer from your inquiry of Andy, you have observed Nox disc aiding in reducing ferrous down averaging of non-ferrous targets (although you are also referring to Simplex in your question).  I somewhat dislike the disc implementation on Nox - it really clips the audio on targets which appear to Nox to have mixed ferrous/non-ferrous characteristics and with no iron audio option on Nox (other than threshold blanking) I find myself operating primarily in no disc mode unless the ferrous is so overwhelming to be fatiguing or cherry picking high conductors.

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30 minutes ago, Jeff McClendon said:

I had a similar question. What was your discrimination setting on the Nox and Simplex for the 1929 Wheat penny. The 66-68 and 17 target IDs are consistent with nearby iron target/mineralization  down averaging for that coin. 

Horseshoe ON. I always run with horseshoe ON because of the clipped audio as Hugh had stated above. I have not noticed any down averaging being worse with the horseshoe on or off. The Nox IMO down averages less than most when close to iron. That penny reads 22 on the Nox the Simplex 71. So in this case the Simplex both down averaged less and sounded better than the Nox. Overall I feel the Simplex just does better in iron trash than the Nox on high conductors. Low conductors the Nox had the edge.

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44 minutes ago, Chase Goldman said:

Jeff - your question of Andy leads me to another question regarding the Equinox.  Unlike the Deus, I find the Equinox discrimination when engaged has little effect on non-ferrous targets ID from what I can tell observationally when switching it off and on using the horseshoe button.  I have not done controlled tests to verify this observation.  Deus disc does seem to help with ferrous down averaging of non-ferrous targets.  From my experience, disc on Nox seems to act more like an audio notch than disc.  I infer from your inquiry of Andy, you have observed Nox disc aiding in reducing ferrous down averaging of non-ferrous targets (although you are also referring to Simplex in your question).  I somewhat dislike the disc implementation on Nox - it really clips the audio on targets which appear to Nox to have mixed ferrous/non-ferrous characteristics and with no iron audio option on Nox (other than threshold blanking).

So, there are some non-ferrous relic hunting places that I simply cannot engage the All Metals Accepted horseshoe button and hunt. I would go more nuts than I already seem to be........The iron mineralization is just too enormous and/or iron targets are too thick. I compromise by accepting enough iron range IDs to hear most iron targets without having to hear continuous -9, -8, -7 and maybe -6 ground/target responses. This setup does not seem to really effect non-ferrous target ID audio length. What does really effect non-ferrous target ID audio length is an F2 iron bias setting above 0 or at most 1 in the areas I relic hunt that have both high iron mineralization and numerous iron targets. Lowering the recovery speed to 5 or 4 does help with clipped non-ferrous responses but that is also an iffy compromise in thick iron/high mineralization.

1929 Wheats read 22 to 24 on my equinox and 71-74 on my Simplex in air tests.

Andy and Hugh, I totally agree that the Simplex is a very good detector in thick iron trash as is the Equinox.  This is why I wanted to try the Simplex and the APEX in tough hunting conditions and is why I bought them for testing. The Simplex has not disappointed at all. I really look forward to Nokta Makro's SMF/Simplex detector.

The Deus is definitely on another level in iron trash but any kind of dependable depth on coin sized or smaller targets past 5",  if you add in iron mineralization using a Deus....... ain't happening.

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