Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 
Another title for this may have been the Tale of the Equinox
 
In reading many forum posts across the Internet there appears in many instances to be an undercurrent of anger towards the Equinox simply because Minelab produced a detector with the technology and feature set it possesses, and not a U.S. based competitor.  Minelab took the road less traveled!
 
More than a decade ago First Texas purchased Fisher Labs and also took into their employ the engineer that developed the CZ a multi-freq based platform.  So right from the start they had the ingredients in house to produce an Equinox type of detector.  When they began releasing their F75 and T2 series which were ergonomic, lightweight, and modern interface based detectors, a hue and cry came from CZ owners that pleaded for a CZ update with similar characteristics.  Waterproofing to 3m would have just been icing on the cake!  But alas it was not to be and after a while CZ owners lost faith that it would ever happen. 
 
Another U.S. manufacturer White's has also had multi-freq technology at their disposal for a very long time and instead of targeting their last multi-freq release at a sub $1K lightweight detector, they decided to go after the Minelab deep turf machines.  Even in their more recent mid-priced efforts multi-freq is nowhere to be found.
 
Garrett should at least get some credit for producing a waterproof mid-price detector because it was a milestone for the industry.  But with the second generation if they were capable of producing multi-freq in the AT chassis with a reasonable premium, say $200USD more, then they would likely have had a real high selling model.  But they dropped the ball also.
 
Tesoro, well........ I like Tesoro but I don't think anyone has expected them to move the needle now for a very long time.
 
So U.S. manufacturers have squarely squandered the opportunities for a decade or more.  And now there is a Dragon in their house.  And it is not the Equinox 800!  As Steve H. has mentioned a couple of times with very little reaction, the Equinox 600 is a very big danger to the financial well being of many metal detector companies.  Right now because of initial demand the unit is likely selling at or close to the $649USD MSRP.  By this time next year I would not be surprised to see a street price of $599USD and possibly lower.  $589USD or $579USD may not be out of reach. 
 
Anyone with any sales or marketing experience can go to their favorite online metal detecting seller and take a look at the offerings between $450USD and $600USD.  Comparing features and performance on units in that range will be eye opening.  The problem with the reaction that some companies have already taken, which is to push their former flagship models down into mid-price range, is that they then have to push their mid-price units down into entry level range which will lead to simply pushing the entry level units out of the market, or selling them at a loss.  You can only sell a loss leader for so long unless you are able to up sell that customer, which you hope to retain later on(very risky).  So a thinning of the herd or else value packages where, buy this model and get 2 extra coils etc is coming.  But those coil packages kill profitability as accessories are where the money is.
 
The solution is obvious and has been for over a decade, produce a NOX like detector! 
 
The Equinox exists because U.S. manufacturers sat on their hands, and if you want to be angry about it then point the anger to where it belongs.  There was a vacuum in the market and Minelab filled it, simple economics 101. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm new to the game but I see a lot of re-releasing old models with a few changes every few years to have a new model out to bring in a few more sales happening.  It was only a matter of time before a more innovative company stepped up and took control... Minelab are more used to making very high end stuff from what I can see, so when they try make lower end detectors for the general public they tend to be much better than is expected for the price range.  
 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lowtide,

Welcome to the forum. Since your post is a commentary about this manufacturer and that manufacturer and not Equinox specifically I moved it to the Advice & Comparisons Forum.

I can't argue with anything you say, but it seems to me most of the negative commentary is coming from other Minelab owners of BBS/FBS machines more so than people who own other brands. This was all supposed to be about Garrett AT and XP Deus versus Equinox and almost all the arguing is over this Minelab versus that Minelab. Which only illustrates even more however how badly the others have been lagging.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum Lowtide.

I read your piece and agree with a lot of it.

I always wondered how Garrett got away for as long as they did with the Garrett At series.

No real challengers.

Equinox was born and I think its birth had a lot to do with Xp Deus.

Minelab wasn't just going to sit back and not challenge like what happened to Garrett and their At Series.

Yes, I think Minelab studied the entire market, looking for the biggest soft spot.  And their mission seems was to challenge all really.  Not just a select few other models/manufacturers.

So Minelab did the big shakedown of a lot of models.  Looking at ergonomics, weight, costs, ability to function underwater, and stability in salt water.

Minelab also learned from some of their very own mistakes and is part of the why the Nox is designed the way it is.

The use of pics for detect modes is sure genuine and smart, has universal meaning and easier to see, versus words.

The entire menu system of Nox, seems great study and time here was applied. Not the pages of menus or chasing things around.

So it seems a grand plan was devised to give the entire metal detecting industry a jolt.

A serious jolt.

Question is how big is this jolt.

I don't think we know just yet.

Why?

Seems the demands for Equinox model is outrunning suppy plus being the time of year it is, we still I don't think have seen just what the detector is truly capable of.

We will though know I think come about Labor day this year.

I think it also safe to say, the boardrooms of some, maybe not the happiest of places.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Go-Find range have pictures too, I like them, makes it easy and quick to learn, even my 7yr old daughter understands how to use the Go-Find.

minelab-go-find-22-go-find-44-go-find-66

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been saying exactly this for a while now. You have machines like the MX Sport and AT Max at $750 and $722. They offer embarrassingly little in comparison to a $649 machine. The MX Sport is a beast in mild to moderate inland soil and freshwater conditions. It's incredibly deep and fast. But it got off to such a rough start that it never got the traction it needed to grab its market share before Minelab came out to deliver the fatal blow.

Over time the Max stands to lose the most in the all terrain market as this sorts itself out as it is the dead last performer aside from the older AT models. What pricepoint could it survive at against a 3 single/5 multi frequency machine...$550? Doubtful. I'm as miserly as they come and I'd rather pay the extra $100 for the extra frequencies and multi. I'd argue that unless Garret can put the max out there for around $399-$449, they should pack it up and go back to the drawing board.

It's not just the Equinox and MX Sport they have to contend with having better machines, they also have the Kruzer series now. I also don't see the Kruzers surviving where they are priced either. The multi Kruzer is going to have to come in at around $550-$579, the regular Kruzer around $450-$479. The Max and Sport will have to come in at that low point as well or exit the stage. Most people would prefer an all terrain machine. You can see machines like the AT Pro and Gold coming in at $350-$400 and that pushes a lot of mid market machines into the upper-low end of the spectrum, where even there they have to compete with the dual and triple single selectable frequency Minelab X-Terra's. 

Outwardly, these companies seem to be in denial about this. I do wonder if that carries into the board room. Most commonly I see the defense that these machines haven't been vetted in unbiased hands. We ARE talking about Minelab here, not Ground EFX or Pyle. And long before it reached the general public there were testers like Steve that can be relied upon. At some point very soon these companies will have to acknowledge that this machine is a game changer and respond accordingly. 

Im one of those "Go USA!" Guys and it's been sad to see what's happened to them by not taking Minelab and XP seriously for so long. But I do believe First Texas gets what they must do in their next gen machines and are doing it. I think when they do respond with new machines they will pull out front for quite some time. It's Whites and Garrett I worry more about because they've had more releases recently that have focused on single frequency mid market machines again. This reflects a denial about where the market is going. It's a waste of time and resources that should've been directed at the top of the market, multi and pulse development. Their aim at the single frequency mid market says to me that they either don't get the customer base or they have terrible spies, as I'm confident that if I wanted to direct my time, technological skills, and resources at Minelab I'd have known about the Equinox long ago. My wife can confirm this if anyone doubts me lol.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have respect for all good detector manufacturers ... but now Minelab from the Equinox has made a very good move, used a new effective detection technology and packed it into a fast, compact, easy, waterproof and cost-effective detector ...
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Steve Herschbach
      The World's First Smart Detector & Imaging System that can display the shape, depth and dimensions of underground metals in real time. Ideal for Deep Treasure Hunters, Archaeologists, Municipalities, Utility Companies, CSI and Law Enforcement Agencies.
      http://noktadetectors.com/invenio-metal-detector.asp

    • By Steve Herschbach
      Which metal detectors have the most reliable target ID numbers?
      Target ID is a function of depth - the deeper the target, the more difficult it is to get a clean target ID as the ground signal interferes. Other items directly adjacent to the desired target can also cause inaccurate numbers. The more conductive the item, the higher the resulting ID number, but also the larger the item the higher the number. Silver is more conductive than gold, so a gold item will give a lower number than the same size silver item. But a very large gold item can give a higher number than a small silver item, so numbers do not identify types of metal. Gold and aluminum read the same and vary in size so to dig one you dig the other. Only mass produced items like coins produce numbers that are more or less the same over the years but a zinc penny will read lower than a copper penny due to the change in composition.
      In general iron or ferrous targets produce negative numbers or low numbers. Aluminum, gold, and US nickels produce mid-range numbers. And most other US coins produce high numbers. Other countries coins, like Canadian coins with ferrous content, can read all over the place.
      The scale applied varies according to manufacturer so the number produced by each detector will vary according to the scale used. The 0-100 range for non-ferrous targets is most common but there are others. Minelab employs a dual number system on a 2D scale with thousands of possible numbers, but they are now normalizing the results produced to conform more closely to the linear scale used by other manufacturers.

      Increasing ground mineralization has a huge effect on the ability to get a good target ID. Ground mineralization is nearly always from iron mineralization, and this tends to make weak targets, whether very small targets or very deep targets, misidentify. The target numbers get dragged lower, and many non-ferrous targets will eventually be identified as iron if buried deep enough. Small non-ferrous readings and iron readings actually overlap. That is why any discrimination at all is particularly risky for gold nugget hunters.
      If you want target ID numbers to settle down, lower sensitivity and practice consistent coil control. The target number will often vary depending on how well the target is centered and how fast the coil moves.
      Higher sensitivity settings lead to jumpier numbers as the detectors become less stable at higher levels. The interference from the ground signal increases and interference from outside electrical sources also increases, leading to less stable numbers.
      Higher frequency detectors are inherently more sensitive and are jumpier. So lean lower frequency for more solid results. Multi frequency detectors act like low frequency detectors and tend to have more solid target numbers due to the ability to analyze a target with different frequencies.
      Another issue is the number of target categories, or ID segments, or VDIs, or notches, or bins (all names for the same thing) that a detector offers.
      For instance here are the number of possible target id categories or segments each detector below offers:
      Fisher CZ-3D = 7
      Garrett Ace 250 = 12
      Minelab X-Terra 305 = 12
      Minelab X-Terra 505 = 19
      Minelab X-Terra 705 = 28
      Minelab Equinox = 50
      Fisher F75 (and many other models) = 99
      White's MXT (and many other models) = 190
      Minelab CTX 3030 = 1750
      Fewer target categories means more possible items get lumped together under a single reading, but that the reading is more stable. Many detectors will tell you the difference between a dime and a quarter. The Fisher CZ assumes you want to dig both so puts them under one segment along with most other coins.
      People who use detectors with many target numbers usually just watch the numbers jump around and mentally average the results. Some high end detectors can actually do this averaging for you! But I think there is something to be said for owning a detector that simplifies things and offers less possible numbers to start with. The old Fisher CZ method still appeals to me, especially for coin detecting. So do detectors like the Garrett Ace 250 or Minelab X-Terra 505 for the same reason.
      The problem is that as people strive to dig deeper targets or smaller targets the numbers will always get less reliable. But if you want to have a quiet performing metal detecting with solid, reliable target numbers look more for coin type detectors running at lower frequencies under 10 kHz or at multiple frequencies and possibly consider getting a detector with fewer possible target segments. And with any detector no matter what just back that sensitivity setting off and you will get more reliable target numbers.
      ads by Amazon...
      Detectors often use tones to identify targets and often use far fewer tones than indicated by the possible visual target id numbers. The X-Terra 705 for instance can use 28 tones, one for each segment. However, most people find this too busy, and so simple tone schemes of two, three, or four tones may be selected. I think it is instructive that many people often end up ignoring screen readings and hunting by ear, using just a few tones. This ends up just being an ultra simple target id system much like the simpler units offer. Reality is that most people do not need or care about huge numbers of target numbers. For many just three ranges suffice, low tone for iron, mid tone for most gold items, and high tone for most US coins. The meter could do the same thing, but for marketing purposes more is better and so we get sold on detectors with hundreds of possible target ID numbers. Perhaps that represents a digital representation of an old analog meter with its nearly infinite range of response but the reality is we do not need that level of differentiation to make a simple dig or no dig decision.
      Finally, a picture often says it all. Below we have a shot of the White's M6 meter. I like it because the decal below illustrates a lot. You see the possible numerical range of -95 to 95 laid out in the middle. Over it is the simplified iron/gold/silver range. Note the slants where they overlap to indicate the readings really do overlap. Then you get the probable target icons. -95 is noted as "hot rock" because many do read there.

      The M6 can generate 7 tones depending on the target category. I have added red lines to the image to show where these tones sit in relation to the scale. It breaks down as follows:
      -95 = 57 Hz (Very Low) Hot Rock
      -94 to -6 = 128 Hz (Low) Iron Junk
      -5 to 7 = 145 Hz (Med Low) Gold Earrings, Chains - Foil
      8 to 26 = 182 Hz (Medium) Women's Gold Rings/Nickel - Small Pull Tabs
      27 to 49 = 259 Hz (Med Hi) Men's Gold Rings - Large Pull Tabs
      50 to 70 = 411 Hz (High) Zinc Penny/Indian Head Penny - Screw Caps
      71 to 95 = 900 Hz (Very High) Copper Penny/Dime/Quarter/Dollar
      Note that the screen reading of +14 is noted as being a nickel or ring but it can also be the "beaver tail" part of an aluminum pull tab or the aluminum ring that holds an eraser on a pencil, among other things.
      The best book ever written on the subject of discrimination is "Taking A Closer Look At Metal Detector Discrimination" by Robert C. Brockett. It is out of print but if you find a copy grab it, assuming the topic interests you.
      Always remember - when in doubt, dig it out! Your eyes are the best target ID method available.


    • By Steve Herschbach
      Our cup runneth over!
      Just a few years ago the market for "over 30 kHz nugget detectors" was quite limited. For a long time there were only a few options:
      Fisher Gold Bug 2 (71 kHz) $764 with one coil
      Minelab Eureka Gold (6.4, 20, & 60 kHz) Discontinued $1049 when new with one coil
      White's GMZ (50 kHz) Discontinued $499 when new with one coil
      White's GMT (48 khz) $729 with one coil
      Things were that way for over a decade. Then in 2015 Makro introduced the Gold Racer (56 kHz) $599 with one coil. Sister company Nokta released the AU Gold Finder (56 kHz) $799 with two coils
      Then in 2017 we see the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 (45 khz) at $799 with two coils. And although not a dedicated nugget detector, the Deus high frequency coil options (up to 80 kHz) were also released, $1520 for complete detector with one HF coil.
      Now in 2018 we get another general purpose machine, the Equinox 800, that can hit 40 khz, $899 with one coil. And just announced...
      the Makro Gold Kruzer (61 kHz) $749 with two coils and
      the White's Goldmaster 24K (48 khz) $749 with two coils
      These last two announcements have made barely a ripple in the prospecting world, or at least going by other forums that seems to be the case. There are various reason for that (forums not being prospecting oriented or being Minelab centric) but still the lack of buzz is interesting. I do believe people are both burned out by all the new introductions and that the market is saturated with high frequency models. Leaving out the general purpose machines to sum up the current options it looks like the current "sweet spot" for pricing is a high frequency model at $749 with two coils.
      Makro Gold Racer 56 kHz - $599 one coil
      White's Goldmaster 24K 48 kHz - $649 one coil
      White's GMT 48 khz - $729 one coil
      White's Goldmaster 24K 48 kHz - $749 two coils
      Makro Gold Kruzer 61 kHz - $749 two coils
      Fisher Gold Bug 2 71 kHz - $764 one coil
      Minelab Gold Monster 1000 45 kHz - $799 two coils
      Nokta AU Gold Finder 56 kHz - $799 two coils
      High Frequency Gold Nugget Detector Roundup

    • By MikeM
      Hi, I am looking to purchase a gold finding metal detector that can handle mineralized soil well, but also locates smaller gold.   I live in southern Nevada and it seems that the more I read, the more confused I am getting.  I guess I'm looking for a detector that does well with tiny and larger gold.  I had the Gold Bug 2 for a while and it was way too sensitive for me and not rain-proof.  The Makro Gold Kruzer,  The Gold Monster and others on that level are all within my price range, so I am having trouble making a decision.  I understand that the right detector for someone may not be the right detector for someone else, but I do believe the right input is valuable.   I haven't seen any head to head videos using the Gold Kruzer yet (still too new) but it looks promising so far.  The reviews of these detectors are great, but nothing beats real world testing under various conditions and soil types.   I am not one for air testing due to it's controlled nature,  so the confusion grows.   I know many of these detectors can locate tiny gold due to their higher kHz, but there is a trade off.   I appreciate any suggestions.  Thank you, Mike  
    • By phrunt
      I don't know if I'm right on this but I've found my Teknetics T2 to be a good guide to mineralisation at an area, I use its Fe3O4 meter as a guide.
       Would I be right in using that as a guide?
    • By Steve Herschbach
      I have used many metal detectors over the years, and right now I have to say that the new Makro Racer 2 has perhaps the easiest to understand, best laid out, most practical display and menu system I have ever seen in a top end detector. Now, you can sure say you hunt by ear and do not need a screen and I get that, but if we are going to put a screen on a detector, then let's do it right.
      Simple detectors with few functions are easy to make screens for - there is not much you need. But even then just the basics are often wrong. Machines that feature target id numbers, what is the thing you will most look at on screen? The target id numbers! Yet these are often way too small or off to the side as if an afterthought.
      The Makro Racer 2 id numbers are huge, much larger than on the original Racer and Gold Racer, which are already good sized. The number 88 display in the diagram above is fully 1.5" x 1.5" in size in real life. Other machines have some pretty big numbers but I think this sets a record as I can't think of any machine with larger id numbers on screen though some are close.

      Makro Racer 2 LCD display and controls

      Makro Racer 2 screen layout

      Makro Racer 2 screen and control descriptions
      The number can be the ground balance number, target id, or depth reading. You get a text display just above the number confirming which it is. Below the numbers are three zone references, Fe, Gold/Non-FE, and Non-Fe, that are used to set tone breaks and audio for the three main zones or bins as they are sometimes called.
      Another basic feature lacking on a lot of machines - the meter backlight. With the Racer 2 you get off, intermittent, or full time backlighting, and it includes the translucent red control buttons. The control ranges between 0-5 and C1-C5. At 0 level, the keypad and display backlight are off. When set between 1-5, they light up only for a short period of time when a target is detected or while navigating the menu and then it goes off. At C1-C5 levels, the keypad and display will light up constantly. I do not know of anyone doing a better backlight.
      The right side of the meter is informational - ground phase (ground balance number), mineral % (ground magnetite content), coil warning notices, and a six segment battery meter.
      Across the top below the 0 - 99 reference sticker, is a series of 50 "bullets" each of which covers 2 target id numbers. Open bullets (which appear gray in the diagram but are invisible in real life - see top photo) indicate accepted target id numbers. Blacked out segments show what discrimination and notch setting you have programmed in a single quick glance. When a target is detected, the big number on the display will be mirrored by one or more of the bullets flashing dark.
      The four control buttons are simple as can be - up and down takes you through the left hand menu area. Right or left lets you set each function selected by going up and down. The menu is basically the entire feature list just laid out right there for you to see. You want to know what this machine can do, just look at the screen. Most other machines you have no clue without reading the owners manual or at least pushing buttons to see what functions appear.
      Some settings like the backlight are system wide for all modes. All other settings like Gain are independent in each mode, and can be saved independently in each mode. This means you can play neat tricks like setting up a couple modes with dramatically different settings and then flip back and forth easily between two modes for target checking.
      You even get to decide what mode is the default start up mode. The Racer 2 starts up in the last mode where the save function was performed. If you always want to start in Beach mode, just modify and save something in Beach mode. Next time you start the detector, you will be in Beach mode.
      It is simple. It makes sense. No cryptic abbreviations or acronyms. No sub menus. It is, in metal detector terms, a work of art. Whoever designed this should sign it so I can frame it and hang it on my wall.
×