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In my travels in the western USA I sometimes find myself in an area that does not lend itself to nugget hunting. If I want to satisfy my itch to metal detect I must go to a park, sidewalk strip, or relic location. I have been hunting with my buddy Strick on occasion and his main machine is a CTX 3030. I am impressed with his finds and the performance of the CTX. I am unimpressed by the weight of this detector.

The CTX is the acknowledged king of accurate VID at depth. Is there a machine that weighs less than 3.5 lbs that has nearly commensurate VID capabilities to the CTX that I could purchase for coin and relic hunting? Also any opinions on the Coiltek Joey for the CTX versus the stock 6 inch?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just got my second CTX a few days ago. Bottom line after trying lots of alternatives I am back to the CTX. Took it out for its first outing only yesterday, and was impressed once again by its stability and solid target ID numbers. I have a Coiltek Joey on order for it but everything I have read about the coil says it is not much different than the 6" coil for performance, main advantage just being a bit better ground coverage and a solid bottom. In the thickest trash I would still opt for the 6" but I see the Joey as being a good option in rough or brushy terrain.

Currently in my opinion the best lower price alternative to the CTX is - believe it or not - the Garrett AT Pro. Basically a lighter weight less expensive single frequency waterproof alternative to the CTX. The Garrett AT Pro is one of the best values on the market in my opinion and with a ton of coil options. Go AT Gold if you want a true all metal prospecting mode, but most of us have a detector for that already. The AT Pro can still do decent service as a backup nugget detector regardless of the lack of threshold based all metal mode and may have the edge on the CTX in that regard.

For my purposes the GPZ has me addicted to the wireless module and GPS systems and I can share a battery and charger system with my GPZ. Toss in the advantages of multi frequency for salt water and the CTX target trace function and I think the CTX 3030 is worth the extra money myself. Plus, after swinging a GPZ most of the time the CTX seems much lighter than it used to!

The Deus and Racer 2 have an edge for extracting targets from the thickest trash (AT is no slouch either), but lack the CTX ability to have a very high confidence factor for target ID, and since I want to up my game for urban detecting I decided a machine that has the best chance of delivering a good target with least holes dug was in order, and indeed the CTX still appears to be king in that regard.

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Safari

The Safari's VDI or TID is one of the better and most stable of all the FBS machines. Perfect for Coin & Relic and you can swap sounds around to have Cond sounds in the Ferrous modes and vice versa.

Coupled with an elliptical coil and it would be a very good alternative to a See Tee Ex

 

Des D

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Great call Des - the Minelab Safari is a vastly underrated detector. I have to admit I was still thinking waterproof detectors. Once you take that requirement off dozens of detectors might serve well.

Minelab CTX 3030 5.2 lbs $2499

Minelab Safari 3.63 lbs $999

Garrett AT Pro 3.03 lbs $596

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You are right, Steve, after the GPZ, the CTX lost a lot of weight. However, I am getting old and weak so I will use Doc's swingy-thingy for the regular coil and Doc's swingy-thingy and hip-stick with the 17 inch coil. For regular detecting I use the 6 inch coil and no extra support. Park hunting rarely lasts more than 2 or 3 hours so it is not a strain on my arm.

fred

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5 hours ago, goldbrick said:

Is there a machine that weighs less than 3.5 lbs that has nearly commensurate VID capabilities to the CTX

When I saw the title of this thread "Alternative to the CTX 3030".  I thought, dang, I just bought one and of course now there is an alternative?  Had me worried till I read more.  I am sure there eventually will be one as good that's much lighter but I won't mind if I have a year with the king before that happens.

For a combo water and land detector I looked long and hard at about everything I could find and just kept coming back to the 3030.  If only land use was my goal there were options but throw in the salt beach use too and it has no equal.  Disclaimer -continued use may result in tennis elbow, divorce, cotton balls and athletes foot.  

 

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Well when I had my sovereign GT I did weigh and test four of my coils,

Steve as you know you need a good machine and coil set up for hammered cut Half's  so here are the results Air testing the BBS Coils for the Minelab Sovereign GT using a Hammered Cut Half Silver Penny,  All these coils were tested using the exact same settings on every coil without running the Machine Hot with a smooth threshold and the weights include the coil leads and plugs and shafts and Coil Covers, Notice how the 800 coil is just a fraction heavier than the Joey and equates to the same size yet the Joey added another 2 and a 1/4 inches to the test on the Cut Half, The other coils tested were the Coiltek 15" DD WOT Coil, 10x12" SEF (detech) DD, 12x15" SEF (detech) DD, 6" Round DD Detech, 14" Round Detech DD and the 18x21" Detech DD

The Coiltek Coils Gave the best results and sensitivity out of all the coils I tested and  where as all the others gave either the same results or worse than the standard coils. The worst coil strangly enough turned out to be the 6" Detech.

Hope this helps, Good Luck John

 

Standard ML Tornado 800 (8") BBS  DD coil 670 grams or 1 lb 7, 5/8 oz           = 5 1/4"

Standard ML Tornado 1000 (10") BBS DD coil 870 grams or 1 lb 13.5/8 oz      = 6"

Coiltek Platypus 8x12 (7x11) DD  900 grams or 1 lb 15.3/4oz                            =7"

Coiltek Little Joey 5x10 (6x10) DD coil, 658 grams =  1 lb 7.1/8 oz                    = 7 1/2"  or 7.5 inches

 

 

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Thanks for the advice gents. I have been watching videos and reading old threads, as I do I just become more and more intrigued with the CTX and the capabilities thereof. I have never been much of a water hunter but I see where it could be in my future and of course just being rain proof is a big plus. I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me is the fact that I already have 7 metal detectors. I can justify the purchase of the CTX/other detector to myself as it will fill a niche my Deus and Racers are not the best performers in but really where does the detector/coil collecting insanity end? I live in a RV and I am running out of room. LOL

As far as the Coiltek Joey I would have to agree with Steve. From what I have read there is not much performance benefit to the Joey, just better coverage and and a solid bottom. Those two attributes would be enough to weld it the machine for me. Does anyone know if they solved the problem of positive buoyancy on the Joey?

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Agree with Steve...AT Pro is great machine. Gives that nice high tone on a coin, even at depth..build is suspect, screen sucks, and changing coils is a bitch...but it shines in iron, and very accurate id. Just dont accidently set it in the ace mode...tripped me out, kept hearing bells

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Maybe so Ray but I may never buy another Garrett. I had an Infinium. I was disgusted with the shaft every time I picked it up the quality was so poor. Sold it cheap to somebody so they could love it.

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