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Help Me Choose Between Deus 2, Equinox 800 And Manticore


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First let me mention I'm a total newbie (except playing with cheap "toy" metal detectors in my childhood). I want a good (or the best) all around detector, mostly for treasure hunting (finding old coins/jewelry and maybe some small gold nuggets if possible). I want to choose a detector that I can live with for many years without outgrowing or having to many technical issues with. I only want one, and I'm not planning in investing in another one for at least 8-10 years.

I have read about all the models above and came up with these three as they seem to fit the bill. I actually went to a shop and tried the Equinox 800 and the Deus II. Ergonomically the Deus II felt way better than the Equinox 800, but the Equinox 800 seems easier to operate and maintain (magnetic charger, only one device to charge). Battery replacement when/if the battery goes bad is easy on the Equinox. Not so much on the Deus II. To me it seems a hassle to charge both the main unit and the coil. And it seems a little iffy to change battery in the coil (involving knife and glue). I don't know about the main unit. Is it possible to swap the battery in it by yourself?

In many videos I have watched, the Deus II seems to react quicker and also have better depth than the Equinox 800. I am a bit confused now which one I should get. Then there's the upcoming Manticore (a little too pricy, but if it's that much better than any of the other two I'll still consider it).

In the shop I actually got an offer to swap in the Equinox 800 for a Manticore when it becomes available without loosing too much money if I choose to upgrade. Didn't get that offer on the Deus II.

To summarize it:

Deus II:
Pros:
1. It felt sooo good in the hand - like driving a fancy expensive car
2. Seems quicker, might go deeper?
3. User upgradable firmware adding modes and fixing things

Cons:
1. I'm worried about the batteries life span and charging hassle
2. Doesn't seem to find as small objects as the Equinox?
3. Seems harder to configure if you're a newbie

Equinox 800:
Pros:
1. Easier to maintain. One magnetic cable to charge it. Nothing more. Easier to swap out the battery if it goes bad.
2. Better at finding smaller objects?
3. Easier to configure for a newbie?

Cons:
1. After testing the Deus II, it didn't feel right in the hand. Like going from that fancy expensive car to an old used cheap car.
2. It's older tech than the Deus II I guess, might still be as good or better?
3. Read about leaking water and cracking at the charing port. Is this a real problem?

And the Manticore isn't released yet, so I guess it's hard to know how it performs? Will it solve all the cons I've listed for the Equinox 800 and get some pros from the Deus II?

So right now my choices are:

1. Get the Equinox 800 right now and play around with it for 1-2 months, getting a feel for it. If I like it I'll keep it. If not I'm upgrading to the Manticore and hoping it will be a better experience.
2. Get the Deus II and be stuck with it (not gonna even check out the Manticore as I won't get a good deal upgrading it).

Which route should I go and why? Am I wrong about my pros/cons list?

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Welcome. We don't know where you're from (generally). That would aid quite a bit.

I'll tell you straight up (I own an Equinox and a Deus 2) that if the store offers a quick and fairly painless transition to the Moneypit (Manticore) if you buy an Equinox 800, get the 800. That will let you hit the ground running pretty quick. You can get a ton of accessories for it fairly cheap in most cases, including a printed hand stop that makes it much more comfortable.

Geography is everything though, if you're in a place with lots of EMI, say a city, and only get out in the boonies a bit, the Deus 2 might be a better option as it's a bit less sensitive to EMI, not saying that you can't work around it with the Equinox and single frequency. The Deus 2 is awesome if you're a geezer like me, it's ridiculously light. It is also great underwater (so far), I use it a lot for that.

Buying a carbon fiber shaft for the Equinox will get you halfway there in weight.

I don't think anything is wrong with your pro/con list. The Equinox is definitely less hassle to keep charged - grab and go. You have to think a bit more with the Deus 2. 

There are lots of cool headphones available for the Equinox other than stock, some cost only about $40 so if you trash them you won't cry. The WS6 headphone is about $300. That hurts.

love the Deus 2/MI-6/WS-6 for many of the reasons you posted, but if I'm just gonna go out and pillage a place it's the Equinox and a Garrett Carrot. The Deus 2 did not replace my Equinox (I have the lowly 600), it merely complimented it.

Good luck with whatever you choose. Many more will chime in.

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40 minutes ago, F350Platinum said:

Welcome. We don't know where you're from (generally). That would aid quite a bit.

Thanks for your thoughts. I live in a rural area  in Europe, Sweden. I have a hard time even getting cellular reception, so EMI shouldn’t be a problem :). For a start I will mostly use it on my land to see if I find any old coins/relics. I actually found some pieces of a meteorite here when I was a kid using a cheap detector. The ground is mostly pretty hard packed dry soil mixed with stone/rocks (mostly granite).

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Maybe you can speak with your dealer about the iron mineralization in your area. Areas with granite can (not always) also have higher soil concentrations of magnetite when the granite is eroded and becomes part of the soil. 

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17 minutes ago, Highland said:

Thanks for your thoughts. I live in a rural area  in Europe, Sweden. I have a hard time even getting cellular reception, so EMI shouldn’t be a problem :). For a start I will mostly use it on my land to see if I find any old coins/relics. I actually found some pieces of a meteorite here when I was a kid using a cheap detector. The ground is mostly pretty hard packed dry soil mixed with stone/rocks (mostly granite).

Excellent! We have a lot of members that are "across the pond", so I'm sure you will get a lot more great advice very soon.

I'm in a rural area of the USA so I don't have EMI issues either, except one place that is near a cell tower. The Deus 2 did very well there, the Equinox has to be switched to 15khz to operate in closer proximity to the tower.

If you're older, retired like me, the Deus 2 is a great detector for its light weight and ergonomics. I can usually use either detector all day (I have a carbon fiber shaft on the Equinox), but the Deus 2 will not cause any arm cramps later 😀

You have a lot of potential for much older relics than we find, so the Deus is a little more favorable being designed in France. One would think Europe was in the designers' minds.

My statements are mostly general, I have much the same overall detecting experience as you, but have been doing it a lot for the past 2 and a half years.

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15 minutes ago, Jeff McClendon said:

Maybe you can speak with your dealer about the iron mineralization in your area. Areas with granite can (not always) also have higher soil concentrations of magnetite when the granite is eroded and becomes part of the soil. 

Will any of the detector be a better choice if there’s a high concentration? Or will it be a problem for all detectors?

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I have to agree with Bob/350, Your location is really important. Having hunted first hand with Bob and the D2, I would have to say other than the weight of the detector the 600/800 will hold its own on the beach with the D2. I would say the 800 is the way to go. It has a few coil options and has a pretty good track record. Also I believe Minelab is offering a discount on those machines. Your observations of battery and coil charging would be a concern of mine also, BUT XP does have a huge range of consumer available parts for there machines. Look do not go down the rabbit hole of best, because there is just no such detector made. Here is my two cents, If I wanted one of your choices I would pick the 800. Not saying the D2 is bad but for the extra money you do not get that much more in performance. As for the Manticore it's a complete unknown, I wouldn't risk it. Not to discourage, but you need to learn a few or at least one middle of the road detector (money wise). Remember that new, shiny and expensive do not equate to finding stuff. I run older detectors that hold up well against more current machines, including the 800. Is that a fluke?  No. It's a learn from learning mentality. You can have the best machine (whatever that might be) and be in a spot that has no good targets, will it make you find more? No. I would suggest you take a step back and evaluate your area, ground and your available time to detect. These are the ways you should choose a detector. Remember in 5 years all the detectors you mentioned will be old school and not new, shiny and the best. Ultimately it's your choice and your money, when it comes down to brass tacks the 800 is solid. It's just an uncomplicated versatile machine and will find a lot of stuff in MOST areas.

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Here's an old thread that may be of interest while you're waiting:

 

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I have to agree with dogodog. If you have serious interest in the Manticore and you have little to no experience using intermediate to high end metal detectors, the best preparation for the Manticore would be an Equinox 600 or 800 or even a Minelab Vanquish model if you want to save some money. They all use Multi IQ technology, have similar audio features and have easily understandable user interfaces. I also would not for one moment ignore the Nokta Legend since it is a very fine detector with similar performance to the Equinox where I detect.

Naturally occurring iron (magnetite) mineralization is only a problem when the concentrations are high enough to seriously effect depth and target ID accuracy. This poor performance is mostly seen using single frequency VLF detectors and with detectors that have selectable single frequencies. Detectors with more recently developed simultaneous multi frequency technology that were designed to handle a wide range of soil conditions will work much better in high iron mineralization. Deus 2, the Equinox and the Legend all have very good to excellent iron mineralization ground handling capabilities. 

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  • Steve Herschbach changed the title to Help Me Choose Between Deus 2, Equinox 800 And Manticore

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