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Hi Steve, I'm down here in Oz and was considering considering an MXT Pro. Would I be better off going to the V3i?

Best regards....Robin

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Hi Robin,

Usually I really toss in disclaimers about Australian conditions and avoid the subject because Australians on many Oz forums just automatically ignore anything anyone here says about detectors. The idea being of course what works here does not work there.

Certainly some truth to that but having spent a month detecting myself around Meekatharra I have to say that it was not as bad as I had been expecting. Yes, we got into some ironstone that was like detecting in an iron mine. But there was also plenty of ground no worse than much that I detected in California last summer.

Still, advice number one is look to the locals, and you are lucky to have a very knowledgeable bloke down under who has a V3i at https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?id=8644

I have countless hours on the MXT and currently have a V3i. To be perfectly frank, I think the majority of people are better served with the MXT. There is quite a large number of people who had a MXT, got a V3i, and went back to the MXT. Or first time buyers of the V3i who were dissatisfied and "downgraded" to the MXT and were happy.

For many people the MXT does every bit as well as the V3i but gets the job done more easily. The V3i leaves a lot of people feeling vaguely unsure they ever really have it properly tuned for the best performance. There is a bewildering array of options, many that interact so that when you adjust one you should adjust another.

For all its settings and adjustments and extra cost there is just no clear advantage for actual detecting with the V3i except on saltwater beaches. The V3i multi frequency mode makes it a superior beach detector compared to the MXT, though the MXT is not bad.

However, if you are a tweaker, a true detector nerd, a V3i is pretty much like buying a "build your own detector" kit. If you learn a V3i inside and out you will learn a lot about how metal detectors work. White's gives you direct access to almost every variable that exists in a metal detector and many that exist only in the V3i. It can run in a genuine three frequency mode or it can run in any one of the three frequencies alone. You have 2.5, 7.5, and 22.5 kHz to choose from. You can create amazing custom discrimination tone schemes by assigning any tone to any VDI number. It makes the bin options on a CTX 3030 look ridiculously limited. The color display is second to none and can also be customized any way you want. There are modes like Stereo Mixed Mode that are available on only a couple detectors ever made.

The question is, do you need all this to go out and do well detecting? Well, no. I think that personally I can grab the MXT or the V3i and do as well with either.

In the end I think it is very much a question of whether you just want to go detecting, or whether the detectors themselves fascinate you. I really enjoy messing with detectors and that is really why I have a V3i. It is a detector for fiddlers. But I have to say that when it is time to get down and dirty detecting I almost always grab something simpler.

My very best advice is that you look at all the following information. You will either be intrigued by everything you see about the V3i, or put off. The MXT by comparison anyone can have up and running in minutes. There are "cheater settings" on every knob and an abbreviated manual on the bottom of the control box. Power plus simplicity - that is the MXT. The V3i has the potential to outperform it, but only if you master the machine, and most would agree that is going to take some time and study.

White's MXT Pro Owners Guide

White's V3i Information Page

White's V3i Owners Guide

White's V3i Advanced User's Guide

V3i Advanced Tips Collection

A little more about why I have a V3i White's V3i - My Third Try

White's V3i - just a few screen shots and really just a small sampling of what the V3i can do:


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Steve, how very kind of you to go to the length of doing this considerable reply.

You are very discerning and a great communicator.  A brilliant combination.  I can see I'm an MXT kind of guy.  I know underpants are a number of various colours but I'm not going to spend the rest of my life finding out why.  Accordingly, with the V3i, I ain't no gadget kind of guy that buys something and then strips it down and spends a month figuring out how it works.

Yep, I like the point-and-press kind of machine.  Way to go.

Anyway Steve, thanks again.  I really appreciate your integrity and straight-bat (an aussie-ism referring to cricket) approach to telling us what's what and how it's going to be.

But my problem now is that my email-chat-mate Ron Kruz, has told me he just went and bought a Techics T2 SE/Ltd.  So that's really chucked a cat in amongst the pigeons.  So, as Ronnie said, '...more homework for you to do, Robin'. So where do I look at T2 performance?


               Best regards....Robin

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Hi Robin,

It was a great question and so I like to take the time to try and craft a good answer that will help not just you but others. That is what is great about forums, and why I prefer people not email or PM me eith questions. Get it out on the forum where due to the magic of Google many can benefit from the discussion. So thank you!

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Steve, Great reply with lots of good observations. I had a V3i for a couple years and sold it and went to the MXT and couldn't be happier. And that's coming from a "fiddler" kind of guy who loves to tweak and experiment. In the end, the MXT was just so much easier and performed just as well, the V3i was getting in the way of the "down and dirty" (as you said) fun factor.

My question is about mixed mode on the V3i. One of the things I really did not like on the V3i was the very digital delayed response in the audio and VDI circuits. The MXT was so much mpre responsive. I'm not talking about recovery speed, but the actual reporting of the target via the audio. It was almost as if the V3i was doing so much more processing internally that there was a noticeable delay before the detector would report what it was seeing. The MXT has no such delay. The report is instantaneous, as far as I can tell, much more connected to the ground, and feels like a Mustang sports car compared to a 1970's Buick land yacht.

One thing I didn't do much experimenting with when I had my V3i was mixed mode. Now I'm thinking that MM would have been much better and much more connected to the ground, like my MXT. I wonder if I set up the V3i like my MXT in relic mode, which I use exclusively, V3i tones set for two-tone ferrous/non-ferrous like the MXT's "honk" and "squeal" I can get the same responsiveness out of the V3i.

Your thoughts on whether setting up the V3i like this would replicate the responsiveness I so much enjoy with my MXT? Thanks, and welcome back to the Lower 48, Steve.


Boise, Idaho

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Hi Darren,

Welcome to the forum!

I can only offer an opinion. I think the MXT and V3i are different at a very basic level. I have read about attempts to get the V3i to emulate the MXT and I do not recall anyone ever being totally satisfied with the result. Page 39 of the V3i Owners manual has a program for emulating the MXT but I have not tried it myself. Mixed mode does for me provide that direct "coupling" with the ground and target responses that I enjoy but in a way very different than the MXT. You hear everything and have to hunt very slowly. In too much trash it would be overwhelming. 

It sounds like you want to get a V3i but I can't honestly recommend getting rid of the MXT hoping the V3i might happily replace it. You say "I had a V3i for a couple years and sold it and went to the MXT and couldn't be happier." There is no reason to doubt that history would not repeat itself.

Having said that, if you are like me, you probably want one anyway! I am on like my fourth V.



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Steve, thanks for your additional thoughts.  I am about like you, I really want to like the V3i, but the MXT just "clicks" better.  I don't mid the complexity of the V3i at all, I just wish it had the responsive audio and direct connection to the ground that the MXT has.  Maybe White's will update their V-series with a faster processor and better audio, then I'd buy another for sure.  Or they could update their MXT to have more V-series feature.  Wouldn't an MXT with signagraph, manual ground balance, and a second frequency (2.5 perhaps) at the flip of a toggle, be great!  For now, I'll stick with my old faithful MXT. 

Thanks again, and thanks for your warm welcome to your forum.  I'm happy to be here! :)


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The v3i is an interesting beast too because not only does it tell you "at what level" something will respond on the various frequencies but you can flip the display and see exactly HOW it responds via the "arrows" and "loops" screens.  Based on those additional screen you may get a hint whether it's a "dig" or a "pass."

Google for "v3i custom programs" and you can find out what other people have come up with.  It's almost like a car-modding scene with people developing different programs for different locations and environments.

Definitely a "stick shift" kind of detector if you want it to be.  =)

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