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Minelab Equinox 900 Or Manticore For Prospecting


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1 hour ago, Cascade Steven said:

Steve H:

Thanks for your perspective and additional info.

If you own a 24K and are happy with it, certainly no need to ditch for an Equinox. Unless it is not doing something for you that you need it to do. Frankly, going from this VLF to that VLF is not the way to go, so much as going from VLF to a PI, or adding a PI to a VLF. I went nuts comparing all the VLF models and it's just splitting hairs, with all of them able to hit the same targets the vast majority of the time.

steve-herschbach-high-frequency-metal-detectors-tested-reviewed-med.jpg

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5 hours ago, phrunt said:

I'm just waiting to get my mitts on the Manticore then I'll see how it goes for prospecting.  I know it would be at least as good as an Equinox that's a given.  The Gold 1 and Gold 2 modes on the Nox were just presets with different settings that you could just as easy make gold 1 into gold 2 so it really doesn't matter the Manticore only has one gold mode.

If the 50% more power to the coil even provides 5% more performance then it's a win in my book.  The Nox 900 would be a great choice for someone that doesn't own an Equinox already, I can't justify buying it when I already have a Nox 800, then I'd have a spare 6" and 11" coil seeing it comes with both in it's package.  I've upgraded my Nox with a carbon shaft, better arm cuff etc making it into something similar to the Nox 900 already.  While the new features are cool I don't think a vibrating handle, red backlight or led torch will improve the Nox 900 finding gold. 

Either way, both the new Nox 900 and the Manticore will be fantastic gold detectors I'm sure, at least as good as an Equinox 800, more than likely better.

 

Are you getting one as soon as they come out? I'd be curious to see how it compares in terms of both size sensitivity and depth sensitivity in air on various nuggets if you do such tests to the 800. I know people hate air tests but I'm not one of them, I think they are a fine baseline replicatable test, anyone can repeat them anywhere in the world independent of ground. It's the closest thing to scientific "control" we can get with detectors IMO. I prefer to see how my machines work in my own ground with my own hands, and thus don't really care about people's in ground tests in places I'll never detect.

I'm trying to compare and contrast the 900 and Manticore from a prospecting perspective:

So far it looks like they both have speakers, they both have vibrating handles (something I've asked for for a decade in gold machines, niiice). The Manticore is "50% more powerful" though and has a better discriminator circuit/software so should have more TID spacing to differentiate between for instance very specific square nails and "everything else". The Manticore also will have an 8x5.5" which I personally prefer over the 6" round the 900 comes with (on geometry alone, performance to be determined). The Manticore also has it's own custom headphones that are going to be faster than the old BT LL ones like the 6000 has, right? I don't care what anyone says, when I'm prospecting I can absolutely hear a delay in the 6000 headphones in the rare cases I use those. The weight difference between the two is only 0.1lbs too, which is nothing after swinging gold machines.

That makes me lean pretty heavily towards the Manticore. I know there are like 200 pages of comments on the Manticore, but I really can't read through all of those. Is there any other prospecting specific plusses/minuses of the Manticore for prospecting that the 900 does better in specific that anyone can think of? It'd be good to have that info here in a thread easier to find the info in.

The price is a big difference on a percentage basis. But honestly, I'm so used to gold machine prices that it doesn't seem like much more to pay. It makes me angry to even say that, but it is what it is. So, price is not really a factor for me personally in choosing models here for a machine that does prospecting and coins/relics/jewelry as much as the features are. 

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2 minutes ago, jasong said:

Are you getting one as soon as they come out? I'd be curious to see how it compares in terms of both size sensitivity and depth sensitivity in air on various nuggets if you do such tests to the 800. I know people hate air tests but I'm not one of them, I think they are a fine baseline replicatable test, anyone can repeat them anywhere in the world independent of ground. It's the closest thing to scientific "control" we can get with detectors IMO. I prefer to see how my machines work in my own ground with my own hands, and thus don't really care about people's in ground tests in places I'll never detect.

Yup, I just paid for my Manticore today and should have it next week if shipping works out well, it's on it's way from Australia now to my dealer which said they'll get it next week, then they ship to me which is overnight. 

I won't have the smaller coil straight away so I'll be comparing 11" Manticore to 11" Nox on small nuggets until I can get the little elliptical, if it gets any advantage with the 50% more coil power a small nugget air test should show that up quite well.  I too hold value in air tests for similar reasons.  I also like using a #9, #6 and #4 lead pellet as my test targets so it's easily repeatable by others.  I did this with the GPZ coils and it clearly demonstrated which are more sensitive than others.   If it's not seeing it in the air it's not seeing it in the ground, and if it's not getting good depth in the air it's not getting it in the ground.  A lot can be learnt with air tests I think. 

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Has the price on the 8x5.5" Manticore coil been announced yet? Availability dates? Guessing no since I don't see that info on their website, but curious if it was something that was announced on Facebook or through dealers and I missed it.

Sorry if this was already covered in the numerous other Manticore threads. But they are so numerous that it's hard to sift through them for information important to prospecting, and that seems like the coil to be using for most prospecting applications so figured it'd be good to have that information in this thread near the beginning for any prospectors considering one.

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Not that I've seen anywhere.  I think the coils will be delayed like they were with the Nox, perhaps in 6 months we might know. 🙂  I would imagine they'd be similar price to Nox coils.

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1 hour ago, jasong said:

I know people hate air tests but I'm not one of them, I think they are a fine baseline replicatable test, anyone can repeat them anywhere in the world independent of ground. It's the closest thing to scientific "control" we can get with detectors IMO. I prefer to see how my machines work in my own ground with my own hands, and thus don't really care about people's in ground tests in places I'll never detect.

Well stated Jason, and we agree, particularly the standardized testing part.  For coin detecting, air tests work well for defining what VDI associates with which coin.  For multifrequency detectors in particular that applies to coins in the ground -- well most ground -- down to several inches.

1 hour ago, jasong said:

I know there are like 200 pages of comments on the Manticore, but I really can't read through all of those. Is there any other prospecting specific plusses/minuses of the Manticore for prospecting that the 900 does better in specific that anyone can think of? It'd be good to have that info here in a thread easier to find the info in.

Well, you haven't missed much.  😁  Especially for the gold prospecting/fossicking side since almost nothing that I've seen addresses that.  Now YouTube is getting flooded with videos, most of which have marginal value, IMO, and that's being polite.  Most of the people you should pay attention to, especially for your bread-and-butter gold detecting, are right here.  As soon as they get their hands on this device you will see what you're hoping for.  Simon (aka phrunt) is already putting on his boots.  😉

Regarding the Equinox 800, go through this list of Steve's reports concentrating on the ones with 'gold' in the title.  Most think the Manticore and Equinox 900 will be similar in performance but regardless, the nomenclature, etc. should be nearly identical, IMO.  You've shown you're open minded enough not to lock yourself into some preconceived box of what should and should not be done with a particular kind of detector.  That's particularly a good characteristic to have in regards to the Eqx 800 and probably the new models as well.

1 hour ago, jasong said:

Has the price on the 8x5.5" Manticore coil been announced yet?

Not that I've seen.  The initial info from ML seemed to me to make it sound like it would be available from the get-go but that doesn't appear to be the case now.  If I recall the 6" came out less that six months after the 600&800 but I might be off on that.

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I sold my Equinox to a friend last summer to search his property for an old house site, but I still have my Coiltek 10x5.  It makes me think that coil on the Equinox 900 would be a pretty sweet combo for nugget hunting... And the best thing is it or the 6in. round can be immediately paired with the 900 once it comes out. 

The Manticore 8x5.5 coil may take a while to appear for sale if past release history is any indicator, but sounds like a great combo too.

Its nice to have choices, but suddenly it seems like there are almost too many with the 2 new top machines soon to be released :laugh:

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3 hours ago, jasong said:

. I know there are like 200 pages of comments on the Manticore, but I really can't read through all of those. Is there any other prospecting specific plusses/minuses of the Manticore for prospecting that the 900 does better in specific that anyone can think of?

No. Unless you think the 50% power translates into something useable for gold prospecting. There might be a little something there when it comes to detecting gold in the air. Or very low mineral ground, so maybe Simon will see an edge. He is just the guy to find out, but please, let’s use targets in the ground, even if they are buried test targets.

Air tests have value for many things, except for determining the depth you might get in the ground. A machine that air tests the best can have the worst depth in the ground. That’s just a fact, and so drawing any conclusions about depth in the ground from air tests is completely flawed, unless you have ground mineralization that is equivalent to air.

All that said, I have no doubt that the Manticore will be really good on gold nuggets. It’s probably splitting hairs which will be better, with both perfectly capable of getting the job done. I’ve pretty much talked myself into getting a Manticore by next summer.

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2 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Air tests have value for many things, except for determining the depth you might get in the ground. A machine that air tests the best can have the worst depth in the ground. That’s just a fact, and so drawing any conclusions about depth in the ground from air tests is completely flawed, unless you have ground mineralization that is equivalent to air.

Exactly, but neither of us were trying to determine depth "in ground". Just trying to look at raw sensitivity numbers in air as a baseline, nothing more or less. 

Without wanting to unduly sidetrack this thread from the subject at hand, I will bite and take this opportunity to discuss something that I believe is really misunderstood and I've never really elected to respond when it comes up in order to keep things on track, but since you bring it up here...

Air tests are simply measurement and data acquisition in a (more or less) repeatable, replicatable manner. It's a baseline measurement. It doesn't depend on anyone's specific soils, it removes that unknown variable entirely. And that's why it's an important measurement that IMO gets a bad rap for no reason at all. The problem comes when people misinterpret the data, but how other people interpret data is not my concern, and I don't find it to be a valid reason to ignore real data or not take measurements.

By the same argument you are making, I could say in-ground tests are even more flawed, unless you have ground mineralization exactly equivalent to the person doing the tests. Because an in ground test means absolutely nothing unless everyone understands the characteristics of that specific ground. And that's literally impossible, because most places I detect the ground changes so often from place to place that even I couldn't properly characterize it myself except in the vaguest of terms, let alone accurately convey that information in any meaningful sense to people via  a forum, except in the vaguest of terms which make the measurement almost meaningless: Hot, hottish, mild, salty, hella salty, etc. And what that term means to me could and often does mean something totally different to someone else (places I consider mild I often find people insisting it hot and requiring Difficult as one example). There is no control, there is no repeatability, there is absolutely no ability to replicate it unless someone goes and buries the same target in the same place, and even that (as you, Condor, and abenson discovered) is not reliable since the minerals can be redistributed in different ways than the previous test.

There is nothing magic about a detector that makes it beyond testing and measurement. The place people go wrong in individual interpretations of data. And honestly, I don't find someone's inability to understand that an air test is simply just performance in air to be a compelling reason to make an air test forbidden. It's useful data. Data is just data. It's just a measurement, wether someone misinterprets it or not is their problem, not mine. If science never happened because we always worried that the general population wasn't capable of correctly interpreting it, we'd understand far less than we do today. And there probably wouldn't be metal detectors to begin with.

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