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Help Me With A Detector For Soil/ground In Poland

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I would like to jump back into metal detecting hobby, however as technology made a huge jump I have many doubts regarding new equipment available. The more I read the more I cannot choose and decide what's best bang for buck and best for my purpose and terrain. Could you please help? I will try to describe all necessary information below.


Around 12-13 years ago I bought my first detector which was Minelab Musketeer Advantage Pro. It was recommended to me by a person who had Minelab Sovereign and I have to tell I was pretty happy with it as it was kept simple - adjustable power and discrimination were basically the only settings used daily. There were no number indicators like my friend had in Sovereign, just the sound of what's under the coil (or might be). I also loved the way that I had battery back that lasted me 2 full days of detecting (2x8/10h) and even if they would run out of power I still had backup case for 8xAA batteries that I could switch in less than 30 seconds. Musketeer also was pretty heavy and reliable, I cannot count how many times I dropper it or it hit a tree trunk heavily and nothing ever happened or broke. I do not know how deep in searching it was, but I have never been really checking that and comparing to others. These are my memories with it.


As I would like to jump back into this, I have read many thread on multiple forums, watched countless videos with comparisons etc. and I am really stuck with what to choose now. What did I check so far (among others):

1) Minelab Equinox 800 - seemed complicated, but after some reading and videos I understand how most of things work. Packed with tons of options which I worry I will not know how to use in reality. Sound seems strange and not like in Musketeer or Sovereign. People write good reviews, however some field tests I have seen show that it does not detect that good and deep as others, especially on ancient/medieval coins or artifacts and some military stuff (eg. belt buckle). What I really dislike is battery that lasts around 10h and in field or 2-3 day trip there is no way of changing it as in my old Musketeer (why?!). I have read that it is also very vulnerable to hits and needs reinforcement. It is supposed to be able to work in water, I thought about some shallow rivers here, but again I read that is has many leaks and issues with that. Equinox 800 seemed at first as obvious choice after using a Minelab previously, but field tests for European stuff disappoint a little? I am really unsure, maybe I just got into this race for best machine and people fighting over 0,5cm of depth? Point that for me if you think that's an issue.

2) Rutus Alter 71 - local, Polish manufacturer. Works in a strange way that I cannot compare or simply describe here, maybe some of you are familiar with this stuff? Many people in Poland have them and say that it is at least as good as Equinox 800, furthermore, tests I watched shows that it can be better in some ways and just little worse in different. Unfortunately this detector is discontinued since this October. It does not have multifrequency, but can be adjusted manually from 4 to 18 kHz by 0,2kHz (madness?). 90 levels of sensitivity, 120 discrimation levels, feels too much and a lot of clicking... I just want to search and dig, not play with it whole day. 😞 The good stuff? It has AA batteries, easily replaceable in field and lasting little longer than Equinox 800. I just don't know about it, of course it's cheaper than Equinox 800, but not sure if I can handle it...

3) ORX and DEUS - I never had any experience with such models and brands, but I read that they are considered as top detectors. I am unsure about their reliability and how easy it is to use them? DEUS is supposed to be for experiences operators only, but after knowing how to set it up and outperforms other detectors (many people claim it this way). I also read that DEUS 2 is supposed to be released, but in such scenario I can always be waiting for next stuff that will be released to stay on top of equipment.


Now, I am mostly interesting in coins/buttons/buckles from belts and other artifacts. In general I guess like universal detector, not like smallest stuff only as you can always encounter here something that is bigger and not necessary shallow in the ground (eg. sabre or bayonet). Terrain that we have in Poland is really different, the region I live close by has a lot of limestone rocks (I guess that's English name for it - check pictures), rocky soils mixed with sand mostly. We also have heavily mineralized and iron black soils. Forest is well, forest. 🙂



I think I can say I will be using this detector more or less like this:

- 30% fields unused for 10-20-50-100 years (very bushy)

- 30% used fields

- 30% forests

- 10% for little wet ground, kinda swampish in forests, maybe riverside or very rocky/difficult terrain


To sum up, I would love something that will last me good couple of years, be as simple in use as possible with all that modern stuff and settings, reliable/strongly made (bushy areas or rocks) and will allow me to work for as long as possible. I also want, like everybody 🙂, best performance in finding stuff (good depth coverage and identification of nice stuff). Sounds like a dream detector, but why a man cannot dream?


I am having a difficult time deciding, I hope that your insight or opinion will help me as I think I suffer from overthinking and I am kind off overwhelmed by modern technology in detecting and all that can go wrong with me not setting equipment right and losing interesting stuff in the ground. Polish terrain conditions are also not easiest with all trash in the ground (iron/aluminum) and the soil itself. If I could give you any more details that would be necessary for you to advise me on detectors, just let me know.


Thank you all for your time in helping me out!

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1) Equinox 800 : a detector very popular in the US and other countries because it is a very good all purpose machine which can be used for coins hunting in parks , gold prospecting in hot soils as well as saltwater beach hunting etc . Goes deep on medium/big coins on clean soils.
- Eq800 + 11" coil weight : 1260g 

2) Rutus alter 71 :  I have never tested this detector
- Rutus alter 71 weight : 1630g

3) XP Deus1/Orx : the most popular detectors in western Europe  , because  they are excellent for coin/relic hunting in the iron trash , they have an excellent iron filtering and they are very fast/accurate on targets, then they perfectly match the European conditions with tons of irons everywhere, especially in fields ... 🙂 They are also by far the lightest machines and they are very cumfortable to use  . Very reliable too . The Deus might be a little too complex for a full beginner due to the number of settings , the Orx is a simplified version of the Deus which is easy to use and still very efficient in the field.
- Deus/Orx + 9X35coil weight : 750g 

   The Deus2 is coming , it will add the multifrequency then the saltwater beachhunting ability  , and for inland hunting it will probably go a little deeper than the Deus1 on medium/big targets in clean soils . However it is a quite expensive machine at 1600e ...  The Deus2 Lite will be cheaper but it is not yet released ...

4) The Minelab Vanquish is also a good detector , it is based on the Equinox electronics platform. It is very good on clean soils and goes deep. Very easy to use , very reliable with affordable prices ( from 240e ). But for me it is not the best on iron trashed sites where it is a little noisy/unstable.
- ML Vanquish + V10 coil weight : 1200g

Hope that helps ...

Thx for the pictures btw , they are very nice ..

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Welcome Dzweidz,

You might also consider the Garrett Apex. There are a few on the forum who have had great success with it. I own an Equinox 600, and have found just about anything you can imagine regarding relics. You're going to have to spend some time with any detector you choose, I've been using my 600 for almost a year now many days a week, and so far am not disappointed. It is part of me now.

I run it mostly default, just a change to iron balance. I think getting used to ground balancing the machine made it work best for me.

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I did not mention the Garrett Apex in my list  . It is a fast , light and easy to use detector I like it however I have had some reliability issues with it. Perhaps because mine was coming from a 1st batch  . It looks like Garrett has fixed the issues now but this has to be confirmed

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Still something ... you don't always have to have the detector technically the best separation properties ... and not everything is just about separation ... sometimes you just use a detector that you like to use well .. and you have nice finds with it ..

I am quite often in Poland ,,, sometimes I am also invited there for detection ..or for testing detectors ... ,, in really difficult terrain ...whit Saper...

As for the above detectors ... Minelab Equinox 800, Rutus Alter 71 v.2 and XP ORX ... I have all 3 of these detectors ... and I can say one is a very powerful Top Detectors ..

1. Minelab Equinox 800 is a multifrequency waterproof detector with 8 programs which is really universal, it has good and excellent 2D / 3D separation and depth ... and good ID for targets in 90% depth ... it can work on different terrains .. on the field both on sea beach and water ... I found really nice finds from them ... you can update the software at Equinox ... the price of Equinox is around 970 euros ..


2. RUTUS ALTER 71.v.2 ... I have been using Rutus detectors ... since 2012 .. when I bought my first detector .. which was Rutus ARGO v.3 it is still a detector with potential .. I liked the work with Mix mode ... and I prefer working on Mix mode so far ... also with other detectors that I have ...

Rutus Alter 71.v2- excellent adjustable with frequency 4.4khz to 18.4khz detector with Mix mode .. with excellent 2D and 3D separation, sensitivity and depth with 180 point quite deep VDI and Graphic signal graph ... I have been using it for several years ..
  Alter 71 has found me most of my best finds so far ... price 650 euros ..
... Now as the Tester of the new Rutus ATREX.
... but I would buy an almost new model .. Rutus ATREX ... because it is technically better and more powerful than Alter71 v.2 .. ..and it works great on different types of terrain ... and the MULTIFILTER function improves already ATREX's excellent detection properties ... even in mineralized terrain.

..I as a beta tester of Atrex I have been testing and detecting for several months .... and I also found some nice finds with it ... You can upgrade the ATREX detector software yourself ....
 The price of Rutus Atrex is around 650-680 depending on the type of coil.

3. XP ORX ... is a very light detector wireless detector with RX from 4 programs / 2 coin programs and 2 gold programs / and a control panel .... which has excellent separation as well as quite good depth, but it does not have as deep VDI identification ... like Equinox or Atrex., .. although it works well in mineralized terrain ...

You will find good finds with it .. it is a really good detector ...

 If you want a very light detector, XP orx is a good choice .... the price of Orx is somewhere around 680 euros ...

...All 3 detectors are TOP detectors ... it's up to you which one you choose .👍:smile:...

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1 hour ago, EL NINO77 said:

...All 3 detectors are TOP detectors ... it's up to you which one you choose ...👍


I agree but an Equinox and a Deus/Orx are quite different , experienced users have often several machines , for example :

- an Eq800 or a Vanquish for the depth in clean soils
- a Deus1 or Orx for separation in the iron trash + lightness,

BTW the Deus2 could meet all the requirements , separation in iron trash AND depth in clean soils...   🙂 🙂  As long as you have the money for it 🙂 
To be confirmed by field tests however ...

Anyway the best thing for you would be to try each of 3 above detectors before buying one , but it is not always easy to do ...

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On 11/14/2021 at 1:54 PM, Dzwiedz said:

I would love something that will last me good couple of years, be as simple in use as possible with all that modern stuff and settings, reliable/strongly made (bushy areas or rocks) and will allow me to work for as long as possible.

I am a newbie at metal detecting and was given my detectors from my grandfather. He passed away not to long ago and I have been learning the detectors. I have always left the 800 in the factory settings and have never had any issues finding many nice items with it.

For me it has been the easiest unit to use for any type of detecting. I have never put it under water as they have had issues with water leakage and I don't want to damage it, but I have been out in the rain and it has been more wet than I was

I do believe that it would benefit your type of hunting areas and make you very happy. You also have a 3 year warranty with it and now you can get the 10x5 CoilTech coil for them.

Good luck on your decision and happy hunting.

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I would recommend you new baby in Rutus family the almighty  Atrex.  Best price  of all,  excellent support from manufacture , you can get always phone advice form Saper. It got 2 software version now available Basic  best  for  starting adventure  with Rutus detectors and Advance for more experience users. More version of softwares are under development  for example a  multifrequency, or special dedicated for  meteorite searching.   

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Welcome to the forum Dz,

   Beautiful terrain you have their! Would love to see more pictures! My nextdoor neighbor is from Poland!

   You have many great suggestions above! I think the two top pics for you, based on location, availability, and warranty are either one of the Rutus's-Alter or Atrex, or one of the MineLab Equinoxes- 600 or 800! Price is always a factor, if you also have to buy other equipment for pinpointing, digging, pouch, etc...

   If possible, find a place to test drive a few models! If not that, maybe a club! Be sure to buy; new or used, from a reputable source! Lots of counterfeits lurking from shady sources! Also see what others are using in your area, and why? That may give you a better idea of what works best in your type of soil and terrain!

Good Luck!!🍀👍👍

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