By Steve Herschbach
People send me emails or PMs asking questions and I now have a new policy whereby I will post and answer the question on the forum, then aim them at the answer on the forum (names left out). The whole point of asking questions on a forum is everyone gets to share the answer, plus other opinions can be sought. That gets lost with email and PM.
"Regarding the Racer 2, I know you will point me in the right direction, I am looking for a Racer 2 or the X-Terra 705, will be doing coin and jewelry hunting as some beach hunting (two or three times a year) in dry and wet sand, so which one do you recommend? Or do you think they are about the same?"
They are very similar detectors in a lot of ways and having used both I don’t think either has any particular magic ability over the other. Nothing a more casual user would perhaps discern anyway. If you are really into your detectors there are feature differences that may or may not be important to you so look carefully at the feature list of both detectors. For instance, if you are into tones, the Racer 2 has mono tone, two tone, or three tone hunt modes. The 705 has mono tone, dual tone, three tone, four tone, and 28 tone modes. However, on the X-Terra how those tones are laid out is preset and cannot be modified. The Racer 2 lets you shift the ranges on the two tone and three tone modes and even change the pitch of the sounds. So while the Racer 2 has a limit on the number of tones within those limits it has more ability to be customized. I like that. I also like full tones so the 28 tones on the 705 appeals to me. That is the sort of stuff one has to weigh.
These are the sorts of things that matter to me and that I look at. People always talk about depth and that is a waste of time discussing in most cases. It varies due to the ground minerals at each location and all VLF detectors worth the name are so close it results in endless debates. It is just hair splitting. Now when it comes to picking out different closely spaced items one from the other the Racer 2 has an edge from being a faster response detector. This can help if picking through dense trash. But again, that is more a feature expert hunters appreciate.
The Racer 2 runs at 14 kHz. The 705 can be had stock in 7.5 kHz or 18.75 kHz versions, and customized via coil options to run at 3, 7.5, or 18.75 kHz. This seems impressive but in real life has not been a huge factor with the X-Terra because having to change coils to change frequencies is cumbersome. Still, if chasing small gold nuggets was an issue the 705 at 18.75 kHz might have an edge though the Racer 2 is surprisingly hot for 14 kHz.
The bottom line is it is like having me try and choose between two different sets of similar hiking boots for you. They are too close to tell which will fit you better and either way I could be wrong. I can use either detector and be happy. My best advice is scrutinize the feature list and both owner manuals online and see if any feature really pops out at you as being something you care about.
Nokta/Makro Racer 2 and Minelab X-Terra 705
By Steve Herschbach
The Nokta FORS CoRe and Nokta FORS Gold have the same target VDI (Visual Discrimination Indicator) number and looking the the Makro Racer I am pretty sure it will be the same. Here is a closeup if the Racer reference label along with numbers I have culled from the FORS manual and put in a more understandable format. This is of course a simplified chart with a lot of overlap in ranges. Tiny gold nuggets could run well down into the ferrous range in the 2 - 40 zone.
Nokta FORS & Makro Racer VDI Chart
0 - 5 Hot Rocks
5 -25 Mineralized Ground
25 - 35 Salty and Alkali Soils
10 - 40 Ferrous Targets (Iron, nails)
40 - 50 Foil, Small Gold
56 - 58 US Nickel
82 - 83 Zinc Penny
84 - 86 US Dime
88 - 92 US Quarter
95 - 99 Hot Rocks
From the FORS owners manual:
More information on the Makro Racer
More information on the Makro Gold Racer