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Minelab Equinox 800, Xp Deus, Minelab Etrac, Nokta Impact ( Test And Commentary)

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8 minutes ago, TallTom said:

VERY interesting tests.  I hope you continue to do more.

I didn't see that you stated explicitly, so I'll ask:  Was the direction of coil sweep always parallel to the 2x4s during these tests? And always with the coil centered over the coin?  If you tried sweeping at  various angles, the results would also be interesting.  I guess 45 and 90 degrees are the obvious other angles to try.

I'd also be interested if you tried the Impact on more than the one test you mentioned for it.  I'd also like to know what mode you used on the Impact, and what the other settings were.

One minor suggestion:  Your previous tests showed a ruler so we could judge distances.  That was a great idea!  I'd like to see it for these tests, too.

I'm sure other people will suggest a dozen (or a thousand) other things you should do, either instead of what you did or in addition to it.  That's the nature of research, I think.  You run some measurements, gather some results, and answer some questions.  But each of those answers cause you to think of a bunch of new questions to answer, too.  That's why research never ends.

Thanks for your work on this.  Great stuff!



Impact detector just used on the one test.

Sweeps were down the 2x4s not across.

Imagine me standing in front of each pick and sweeping.  Many sweeps were done, each test was repeated minimum of 2 times each with each detector, one test I repeated 6 times using each detector.

These tests are just guides.  Folks can put whatever amount of stock they decide to.

Doing these test, one can learn something about a detector they have little experience with.  After today I may have got a good clue what a super duper challenged  target sounds like using Equinox.

Handled a detector a bunch today, I am tired.  Rain tomorrow so no field hunting- too bad.

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Great work, lots to think about. I own a deus with the 11" LF and the 9.5 HF elliptical. It would appear that if one had $1500 to spend it might be better spent on the nox and get the 2 coils when they're released. It seems that to operate the deus at the level of the Nox you will need to be a fairly sophisticated user with the knowledge to make changes whereas it looks like you can hunt easier right out of the box with the Nox. 

As you say there are variables but from the initial testing you have provided as well as accounts from other users it looks like it's the Nox that will give most users the best experience detecting faster than using other detectors(less learning curve/better tech). 

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6 hours ago, Skate said:

Great work, lots to think about. I own a deus with the 11" LF and the 9.5 HF elliptical. It would appear that if one had $1500 to spend it might be better spent on the nox and get the 2 coils when they're released. It seems that to operate the deus at the level of the Nox you will need to be a fairly sophisticated user with the knowledge to make changes whereas it looks like you can hunt easier right out of the box with the Nox. 

As you say there are variables but from the initial testing you have provided as well as accounts from other users it looks like it's the Nox that will give most users the best experience detecting faster than using other detectors(less learning curve/better tech). 

You summed it up pretty good.


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Here is a pic of test.

Clad dime beneath plane of 2 nails.

Swing down the barrel of both nails to try and get signal.
No trickery, coin was removed for check of falsing all detectors.

Equinox in park 2 speed levels 7 and 8 iron bias 0 gives me some thing tonally to investigate (like turn on suspect area and sweep). Speed 6 setting dodgy.
Mulit freq used .  Also can hear dime using 20khz and 40 kHz single freq ops. Using 15khz dodgy.
Can also hear dime in all metal. With freqs ops noted above.
 Can use some good coil height too and get signal.
What about Deus and 11" coil.
Full tones, the only way to hear dime is to practically scrape nails with coil. Tried reactivity levels, 2, 2.5, 3 and 4 and txpower 1 and 2.
Going to disc 6 and sweeping you will get a signal.

Deus and 9" LF coil.
Good luck, no signal,period using any settings I can find, disc 6, 0 disc notta
Tried 12kh and 18khz.

Deus and 9" HF coil.
Using. 28.8khz I just might investigate, using 54 kHz a tad better signal than 28.8khz.

What about Nokta Impact stock coil ?
Good luck with trying to get an investigate signal.
Just like Deus and 9" LF coil.  No settings to give me anything to investigate.

Disclaimer: I set this test up using Equinox.
Then compared the others.

Btw, using speed setting 7 and comparing a few other detect modes.
Park 2 does better than field 1, but field 2 does better than both park 2 and field 1.

More data.
Comparing park 2. Field 2 and Beach 2- all pass test above - no falsing with coin removed factory disc used in each detect mode.
Here is something interesting though.

Park 2 and field 2 both pass, will yield no negative meter numbers with disc on, turn off disc AM negative numbers are displayed with meter going to 16-17 with dime detection.
Beach 2, different.  With disc on the only thing meter reads is a number 1 with dime detection.
Turn on AM and negative numbers displayed with numbers shooing to 1 with dime detection,

Field 2 is overall better performer though in this one test. .(slightly)

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Let's talk about iron falsing.
You will get some using Equnox.
Get ready for it.
Falsing will occur generally moreso using Mulit freq vs using single freq, especially freqs of 15kha, 20khz and 40 kHz.

Iron false usually give labored tone, meter readings generally in the 15-23 range.
User can pivot around these,,likely falsing will decrease or cease altogether.
Some suspect targets though where falsing may extend at great angle,when pivoting around suspect area.
Nails suspected vertically (straight nails) and nails with bends of around 60 degrees or more.

User can go to AM and likely hear a slight drum roll in background.
User when using AM may hear no falsing when pivoting instead hear the drums really be played.

Users of Equinox 800, can elect to save a program in user profile with single freq ops say 20khz and have actual GB dialed in and then toggle to check targets.
When sweeping iron falses you get in multi freq, usually sweeping these same spots (using your single freqs ops user profile program) from same direction as false was obtained, user will usually hear, muffled tone with id readings in very low positive territory like 1-3.

Iron falses will generally have a tinge of ragged edge to tone, bent nail can and will fool a user though at times .  Lots of other detectors can too, even Etrac and CTX, and Deus.

Should say here, Imo CTX. Etrac, and Deus (with LF coils), Nokta Impact better at not falsing on vertically positioned nails vs Equinox.

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Alright checked my 800 model on clad dime.
Depth at least 9" deep, may be as deep as. 9.25" deep.

Park 2 sens 24. Iron bias 0 speed 5 or 6 gives best signal. Speed 4 dodgy sounding, iron tone with blip when coil comes off dime when swept.
I get ID too with faster sweeps.23 and 25 coming in meter.
Slower sweep gets signal but ID is low like 13-14.
Now, I have talked about deep nickel likes speed 4 for best signal. But nickel is bigger and low conductor.

This soil where this dime is, is barely 4 bars Fisher F75.  I am basing this on how many coil pumps it takes to get to 4 bars.

For gee whiz, I grabbed my Deus with 9" LF coil on it.
This clad dime 9"-9.25" deep.
Deus won't touch.
Hot program and deep program freqs 8, 12 and  18khz tx power 2. Txpower 3 has never ever helped me with depth with Deus around here. Maybe on a half dollar or bigger target.
Can hit in pinpoint,, gold field reactivity 2,, if I dial threshold up I might be able to hear this dime in gold field using reactivity 2.5.
Dead on GB.
Did not try GB manipulation.

I'd it will quit raining for a few minutes I'll take 11" coil and Deus and check.

Alright checked dime above with Deus wearing 11" DD coil. 
Hot program no cigar.
The only signal,Imget is in deep program.
A signal I rate as , the only reason I say I'm getting a signal is because I know the dime is down there.  Would have to be real,lucky to find in the wild using disc mode.

Went back and checked Equnox again.  I get just about equivalent signals using field,2 and park 2. Speed at 5. Good tone, go to flush pretty good though sweeping.  If after detection I speed sweep a bit get pretty good ID running at 23-25.
Checked beach 2 mode again with iron bias at 0, but tried different speed settings.  Seemed 6 was the best but signal not quite as good as field 2 and park 2. 
I used a 23 sens setting last time out with Nox.

Btw, another gee whiz
Guess how many 9" deep dimes around here I have found with Deus (Using LF coils)? Two
But there is a catch, I detected 2 in the same hole once. That's it and I've been running Deus for a while now around here.
Have dug some deep nickels though like 10" deep.  Multiple times.

Imo the way Equinox behave with sweep on deep coins, etc, this is a key I think to being successful,with the detector, at recovering deeper whatever.  Watch that meter and see if it tries to go into the 20s region on sweeps.  Then dig.  How coil position sensitive Equinox is too to get meter to jump.   Think of meter jump like cursor on Etrac. Now the reason I say this, I have not seen Equinox meter jump on a mid/lower conductor when sweeping into the 20s region.
A deeper lower conductor likely not take as much sweep speed to get max reading on meter for target's conductivity.  If say you get a real deep nickel like 11" deep, meter might read 2.3 or 4.  But remember you'll likely know it's deep due to coil position sensitive as far as detection.  Remember, what are the odds of a target with ID or 2,3 or 4 being able to be detected at 9-12" deep? Usually a target that low conductive real small.
Equinox detects nickels deeper than Etrac/CTX does in my area.

Another nice thing about Equinox, the small things it strikes that reads say 3,4 and 5 on the meter, it will give pretty loud tone...deep nickel will have less robust tone 
Folks looking for the deepest fringe detectable with Equinox, better watch using notch or too much disc.


Back to my 9-9.25" dime I talked about above.
I have had substantial rain over night.  So I went back and checked Dime again with Equinox and Deus 11" LF coil.
Deus- no signal period all disc modes loads of settings tried.
And swept from every conceivable angle too.

Equinox again giving tone park 2 and field 2.  This morning park 2 is doing slightly better the field 2.
Gold mode 1 hits but is dodgy.
Gold mode 2 hits good.

I will be trying and will be watching.
In old hunted out sites like deep turf, especially in medium mineralized soil and higher, gold mode 2 might just get you over a deeper coin, etc.  Then user can check using other detect modes (settings). Even say a dime out of fbs territory depth wise.  If I had a target stronger in gold mode 2 but weaker tone sounding using park 2 and or field 2-- with positive ID, I would dig. Gold mode 2 on deeper target small seems to give stronger hit tone wise but shorter overall vs park 2 and field 2.
Seems gold mode 2 a little less swing speed sensitive and not as finicky with speed setting either.
Now I can't speak here for milder ground.  Could the same thing be happening but with even deeper targets?

If anything different between yesterday evening vs this morning after all the rainfall---ID not quite as good with a faster sweep.

Btw, I listened to dime in AM too using park 2, field 2 and gold mode.  Didn't like what I heard.  Seems to me better to run with AM off. Tone sounds funny, not as alerting when trying to find the deeper stuff (nonferrous).

Also food for thought here.  In my soil I can tell about depth by adjusting speed setting.  Another way to try and discern depth of target.  If I go to 7 speed wise and lose target- expect coin size deeper safely than 8.5" higher conductor.

If I can dial speed up,or down a couple numbers and still get good hit-- tells me likely lower conductor. (Assuming I am not seeing an ID in meter for higher conductor).

I can go form park 2 to park 1 and get depth Intel on target.

What I am saying here, the menu and modes and settings give a user ways to get info.  Person just needs to know strengths and weaknesses of what changes in fact generally do/affect.

Minelab deserves great credit for the menu layout on Equinox.

Just think cherry picking like a park.
Wonder if I get a signal using speed 7, but check target using speed 5 and target gets crippled badly or disappears.  What does that tell me.  That is an odds on favorite nonferrous whatever that likely has never been heard before by folks using other detectors, especially fbs types.

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Beach 2 has a lower transmit power and so while it may be better on silver in some places I sure would not expect it to be a magic setting for silver everywhere.

Continued great reporting David - thanks!

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Thanks for your detailed reports, I'm learning a lot by reading them... Keep at it please!

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So here in lies the problem with Deus comparing to Equinox.
Equinox is a better one setting detector to hunt with giving tone and ID.
In both iron and modern trash. Comparing coil size to coil size.

I have done test that bears this out.

In order to get Deus to hunt modern trash you have to use 8khz or 4khz.
In order to get Deus to hunt in iron, 18khz is the top dog, 12khz can work but can miss targets a user might get using 18khz.

So in a site that has both modern trash and iron, BIG advantage for Equinox 800.

I am seeing this too in sites where I have hunted actually remembering how I had Deus setup.

Deus when speed up to keep up with Equinox many times (highly likely) no accurate ID provided to user.

And I'll bet the engineers at Minelab knows this too, hence multi IQ tech.
Single frequency (using) use cannot do both well.


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I spent a great of time this morning comparing all three of these detectors.
Equinox wearing 11 DD coil, Deus wearing 11" DD coil, and Impact wearing 7x11" stock coil.

The site Imwent to test, nearest emi ground source is 500 yards away.
There were aircraft flying around overhead at various times.

This are happens to be an area I have spent a lot of time detecting.
Area chose free form both ferrous and nonferrous using Deus gold field IAR setting 0 reactivity 2 setting.

The goal of this post is just truthful reporting.  Not to knock any detector model. 

Ground conditions wet.
Deus mineralization strength is showing 6 ticks in the meter, Impact's meter is showing 2 bars with a flash of a 3 Rd bar at times bobbing coil.

Here is a pic of coins tested at some various depths.


You see the coins, a clad quarter, clad dime, final generation IH penny (1899), and a copper 1973 penny.

I dig dig holes and kept plugs as intact as possible which was sorta easy due to the wetness.

First up was I buried clad dime 9" deep.
Checked with all detectors, only one detector on at a time.  During all tests I checked different channels on Impact,  I noise cancelled Equinox between mode changes.
On all these test Imdis everything within reason to get detector to detect the buried coin. Every time I changed freq using Deus pumping GB acquired. Iron bias was left at zero setting using Equinox for all tests. Impact disc left at 0 and isat left at lowest setting for all testing done.
So 9" clad dime.
Deus failed to detect, checked using deep program, hot program all freqs.- no cigar.
Impact detector failed to detect. Did give iron tone using deep and DI 4 programs.
Equinox passes test, both park 2 and field 2, park 2 having slight advantage signal wise. Speeds 5 and 6 gave best signal. Highest number ever in meter when sweeping was 7. Lots of 3.4 and 5s

9" deep Indian head coin.
Deus detects, but the only set of settings was using deep and 18khz reactivity 2 and 2.5 silencer -1.  All other settings, modes failed
Impact failed to detect, Di4 and deep program gave iron tone..
Equinox detected IH using both park 2 and field 2, here on this coin the modes were tied, with one exception, field 2 seemed was more coil ,sweep speed friendly. Number in meter were higher than a clad dime, I say some low to mid teens on lot of sweeps.

10" deep copper penny.
Impact failed using any and all settings.
Deus field using any and all settings.
Equinox would give tone occasionally, speed setting seemed ultra critical, IMO Imwould be luckier than a dog to latch on to while hunting in the wild.

12" deep quarter.
Impact failed all settings tried. Use of 20kh only gave in iron tone in deep mode and 4 tone.
Equinox failed all settings tried.
Deus passes this test. Deep mode only freq 12khz I can hear, 18khz a better signal.  Also using factory disc of 5.5 in deep mode a broken signal, lowering to 0 disc full tones using 
18kh would dig the quarter every day of the week.

11" deep quarter.
Impact failed all settings tried.
Did get iron tone using 2 tone, 4 tone and deep mode using 20 kh only, the other freqs not a peep out of detector 
Deus passes, again only program is deep mode, Imcould here this quarter using 8kjz unlike the the 12" deep quarter, freqs of 12 and 18 kHz provided signals,too.  IMO 18 kHz was the top dog of signal achieved.

Only tested using park 2 and field 2.
Field 2- nothing period tonally.
Park 2 a hit and miss signal, one special note here, seems lowering speed setting helped this quarter unlike what Imsaw on the 9" deep clad dime and IH coins.  The signal here achieved though, I rate  as I would be one lucky sucker to latch on to in the wild.

Keep in mind these test are reporting on freshly buried.  Undisturbed coins at these same depths your mileage may vary.

I like all 3 detectors for different reasons and use them in different applications depending on what I am after and the site in general.

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