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Modified Monte's Nail Board Results: Time To Sell The AT Max?


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Nice testing, and thank you for the results.

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I like your documentation in particular.  Also you basically have a standard (modified from the original but still easily repeated by someone else).

Would you remind us of which coils were on each of the three detectors?  Also, what settings (particularly Recovery Speed and Iron Bias on the Eqx -- I don't know the other detectors' settings options but if they have similar 'knobs' then those, too)?

I see you used (two) 16d nails instead of 20d.  I assume you didn't have the larger size, but better if you could get some.  Every hardware store should have them (and if not I'd find a better hardware store 😄).  This doesn't negate your test but staying as close to the MNBT setup (and only modifying those things you want to improve -- here adding the 3rd dimension for location of the good target) is preferable.

Bottom line is that for the detectors, coils, and settings used, you were able to discern the best performer.  Mission accomplished.

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1 hour ago, GB_Amateur said:

I like your documentation in particular.  Also you basically have a standard (modified from the original but still easily repeated by someone else).

Would you remind us of which coils were on each of the three detectors?  Also, what settings (particularly Recovery Speed and Iron Bias on the Eqx -- I don't know the other detectors' settings options but if they have similar 'knobs' then those, too)?

I see you used (two) 16d nails instead of 20d.  I assume you didn't have the larger size, but better if you could get some.  Every hardware store should have them (and if not I'd find a better hardware store 😄).  This doesn't negate your test but staying as close to the MNBT setup (and only modifying those things you want to improve -- here adding the 3rd dimension for location of the good target) is preferable.

Bottom line is that for the detectors, coils, and settings used, you were able to discern the best performer.  Mission accomplished.

The Vanquish used the V8 coil.

The AT Max used the stock coil (8.5 x 11").

The Equinox 600 used the stock coil (11").

As for the Equinox 600's settings, they were the default settings in Park 1, EXCEPT, I reduced the sensitivity to 10 and the Iron Bias was reduced as much as I could (which means I left Fe alone and reduced F2 to zero). And if I recall correctly, in Park 1, the recovery speed is 3 (maxed out).

And no, I didn't use the right sized nails. So the ones I had weren't large enough, nor were they small enough (I had to cut some down). So I get this test isn't the most replicable by others (which is one of the primary reasons for Monte's Nail Board). However, I only did this test to compare my detectors; as long as I was consistent between my machines, that was good enough for me.

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I only test to satisfy myself, and applaud you not only doing that, but compiling and sharing your results with us. Monte offered to send me a genuine 100% for sure calibrated test board recently, but I declined, as I have my own rigged up with square nails. It’s not standard, but tells me what I want to know. I don’t hunt often where there are clean store bought round nails in the ground, so I prefer my version.

I guess the idea is we are all supposed to use the perfect Monte board, do tests, publish results. Then some master wizard will be collecting and compiling all these results to create a master list of detector comparisons. Nice idea, except that I don’t accept the main premise, which is that the Monte test board represents anything more than a sliver of reality. Passing or failing the test really should not condemn any detector per se. Something to take in to account, sure, but it’s not the final arbiter of what makes a detector good or bad. Detectors can fail this test, yet still perform just fine in your typical park setting, or especially beach scenarios. Slow recovery often can equate to max depth, so some deep seekers will fail this test out of hand. Does that make them no good? If all you do is relic hunt dense ferrous the test has applicability, but the test really has no applicability as far as max depth in cleaner ground.

 

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10 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

I only test to satisfy myself, and applaud you not only doing that, but compiling and sharing your results with us. Monte offered to send me a genuine 100% for sure calibrated test board recently, but I declined, as I have my own rigged up with square nails. It’s not standard, but tells me what I want to know. I don’t hunt often where there are clean store bought round nails in the ground, so I prefer my version.

I guess the idea is we are all supposed to use the perfect Monte board, do tests, publish results. Then some master wizard will be collecting and compiling all these results to create a master list of detector comparisons. Nice idea, except that I don’t accept the main premise, which is that the Monte test board represents anything more than a sliver of reality. Passing or failing the test really should not condemn any detector per se. Something to take in to account, sure, but it’s not the final arbiter of what makes a detector good or bad. Detector can fail this test, yet still perform just fine in your typical park setting, or especially beach scenarios. Slow recovery often can equate to max depth, so some deep seekers will fail this test out of hand. Does that make them no good?

 

Thank you and great points.

Even for me, this test isn't the end-all-be all. I did some testing in my yard and local park. The results weren't as obviously in favour of the Equinox 600, but the advantage the Equinox 600 had over the AT Max was clear in terms of VDI stability, depth and overall ease of use.

By ease of use, I'm referring to how easy or not-annoying it is to use each machine.

The best analogy I have right now in comparing the AT Max and Equinox 600 when it comes to hunting in places I like to hunt (parks and yards) is like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle. With the AT Max, it's like doing it without your glasses (assuming you're near-sighted). You can do it, but it's slow(er) going. With the Equinox 600 and its recovery speed and improved target recognition (thanks to SMF), it's like doing the jigsaw puzzle with your properly prescribed glasses. 

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You are singing to the choir there - Equinox all the way for this kid! :smile:

People scoffed when Minelab said Multi-IQ obsoletes single frequency. Truth is it actually does for almost all uses. It just works better, and everyone else has been in catch up mode ever since. Equinox is not perfect, but I’ll not put mine aside as my main machine in favor of any single frequency detector. There are some specific niches where a top notch single frequency can still hold its own against an Equinox, but for all uses, across the board versatility, it simply outperforms.

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Nice test methodology, mh9162013.

I’d like to replicate this test with my Apex.  I have 5 x 8, 6 x 11,  and 8.5 x 11 coils for the Apex. Now that colder weather is here,  It might be interesting to see what results might be obtained with Apex and its various coils . I  have a couple of questions regarding your test procedure:

1. Approximately how far did you hold the coil above the nail board while swinging?

2. When choosing the sensitivity adjustment, you chose 2/8 for the AT Max, and 10/25 for the ‘Nox.  Would 3/8 or 4/8 for the AT Max and Vanquish yield any different results? Your thoughts are appreciated. 

Thanks for your efforts and diligence in testing your detectors.  

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59 minutes ago, DIG5050 said:

Nice test methodology, mh9162013.

I’d like to replicate this test with my Apex.  I have 5 x 8, 6 x 11,  and 8.5 x 11 coils for the Apex. Now that colder weather is here,  It might be interesting to see what results might be obtained with Apex and its various coils . I  have a couple of questions regarding your test procedure:

1. Approximately how far did you hold the coil above the nail board while swinging?

2. When choosing the sensitivity adjustment, you chose 2/8 for the AT Max, and 10/25 for the ‘Nox.  Would 3/8 or 4/8 for the AT Max and Vanquish yield any different results? Your thoughts are appreciated. 

Thanks for your efforts and diligence in testing your detectors.  

Thanks!

1. I held the coil about 1 inch above the nail board. The sweeps were of "moderate" speed. I have no way to quantify this, but it's certainly in line with how I see people swing their coils in their YouTube videos. When "homing in" on a potential target, I will shorten and slow my swing. But when scanning a wide open spot, I will swing at a faster rate. This faster rate is the speed I used for my testing.

2. That's a good question and I don't know the answer to it. I choose lower sensitivities because I was indoors and I know the AT Max can be quite chatty sometimes. And if I recall correctly, the Equinox user manual says to lower sensitivity to 5 or 10 when testing inside.

Usually, a 3 out of 8 on the sensitivity scale is enough to keep the AT Max quiet, even in Zero mode. But I also know 2 out of 8 is more than enough sensitivity when hunting tot lots for coins when targets are within 5 inches of my coil.

If I had to guess, I would say that increasing the sensitivity of the AT Max wouldn't help. And if it did, it would be minimal. Monte's Nail Board is designed to test a machine's ability to avoid iron masking. So any improvements would need to come from a better recovery speed and/or greater separation ability, neither of which (to my knowledge) are significantly affected by sensitivity, although I could be wrong.

I'm confident that if I gave the AT Max the 4.5 inch hockey puck coil or the 5x8 coil, it would have performed better. I don't think it would have matched the Equinox 600 (or maybe it would have, but that wouldn't be a fair comparison, putting a 4.5 inch or 5x8 coil up against an 11 inch coil), but perhaps it would have been close to the Vanquish 340. I was very surprised by how well the 340 performed, then I realized it was using the V8 coil.

 

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