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Equinox 600 Vs Fisher F44 & F70

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I think this fits here.

Some folks may not believe this.  It’s ok to test a detector.  But for whatever reason Equinox will see some things other detectors single freq struggles on.  My point being, I don’t think there are really test that can be assembled that will indeed show Equinox total capabilities.

On paper I think the Minelab engineers know this.  Real world hunting and comparing targets will show.   The only question I have is what kind of test bed did Minelab use ( if they used one) to show this detector series capabilities.

Or did they just depend on the actual real world detecting on targets in the wild.  Any case some thing is up with tech used with Equinox.  And I think it involves soil masking and perhaps masking caused by tiny bits of ferrous or rust.

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Good point sharpshooter.. I have thought about this many times myself. The Equinox continues to surprise me with every hunt. This is more obvious in really tough conditions which I actually look forward to hunting now. 


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Hi Jeff, Thanks for the reply and interest in my post.  The settings on the f44 for the coin nail test were 16 on the sensitivity  and all metal mode. After hearing your results jeff, I am going to do a retest of the coin nail test. But it might be a while as I lent my f44 to a friend today.  Why did I buy the 600 instead of the 800? Some people asked. Simple answer - Because I got a great deal on the 600 even though I had read that the 800 was better machine.  Why did I buy a eqinox machine at all especially if I was happy with my fishers whites and garretts?  The answer is Because as I said before is that I have used machines from almost every manufacturer except minelabs and I saw the eqinox  as a good machine to try out the current best that minelabs has to offer. I wanted to find out if there was any truth to all the minelabs hype I had been reading on the internet. The answer to that question is mostly no.  And that's where I am coming from.  The eqinox has its strengths and weaknesses like all the other machines I have tested. It certainty is not the holy Grail  -do all- of metal detectors that some making it out to be.  I would take the f44 or my land ranger pro over it any day for relic and coin hunting, and my White TDI with certain coils blows it out out of the water for gold prospecting.  The only area where I.found the 600 to really excell was as a VLF salt water beach  machine. The discrimination was nice to have as I have used many PI machines with no discrimination. The PI machines still had much better depth then the 600 although. All the best, Michael

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Michael the TDI and Equinox use Completely different technology (PI and VLF)for detection and usually aren’t compared to each other except for showing the different uses for each, and again the 600 wasn’t designed for nugget hunting.  

As for the F44 and Land ranger performing better the the Equinox. I can see where some people who hunt on mild ground or have very little experience running a Multi Frequency Minelab might think that.  They are different and some people don’t take to them.  Sounds like you will probably do better with your Fishers if that’s what your comfortable with.  

I’m sure you will have no problem trading your Equinox for another Fisher.




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Well Michael, since you are a first time poster making a statement I will just say I disagree with your conclusions and leave it at that. No point in any discussion really since you are as comfortable in your certainty as I am in mine.

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Hi Michael,

thanks for the reply including the settings for your F44 vs the Equinox 600. 

Comparing any two VLF detectors no matter what they cost or how they have been hyped with one in all metal and one in a discrimination mode is like racing a V8 engine car against a non-turbo 4 banger on a one mile straight away. The winner is predictable.

As most people here have said your testing would be more valid if it had been done with an Equinox 800 in all metal or if all your testing with your Fisher detectors had been done in a discrimination mode against the Equinox 600.

I actually agree with you about the lack of an all metal mode on the Equinox 600. For the price one pays for it I would happily have given up one of the Field or Beach modes for an all metal mode. But that is how Minelab has usually done things when it comes to their VLF detector families like the X-Terra series and the Go Finds too. They always leave off features in their less priced models which makes me think there really might be an Equinox 1000 someday.


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On 12/4/2018 at 11:46 AM, Jeff McClendon said:

I actually agree with you about the lack of an all metal mode on the Equinox 600. For the price one pays for it I would happily have given up one of the Field or Beach modes for an all metal mode. But that is how Minelab has usually done things when it comes to their VLF detector families like the X-Terra series and the Go Finds too. They always leave off features in their less priced models which makes me think there really might be an Equinox 1000 someday.

Actually this is not about an economy model cost savings measure on ML's part but is sort of the way the detector design community is headed as they move heavier into digital signal processing.  It is not even clear to me that the CTX 3030 flagship detector has true all metal mode (as opposed to simply a zero discrimination pattern).  I do not own a CTX, just went through the manual in detail, so I am sure a CTX expert will set me straight.  But  I can tell you with certainty, the Deus @ $1500 does not have a true all metal mode (Gold Field mode being the closest approximation).  Point is, this is not about saving cost.  It is about the the detector designers favoring digital signal processing over transmitting the raw unfiltered signal.  All metal mode is not something you will automatically find on many high end detectors.  So the OP's statements like, "When I pay $650.00 for a machine I expect it to have that option on it -period. Their is no excuse why it does not" that imply the lack of a true all metal mode is an Equinox oversight or that all high end detectors have this feature, is not consistent with many high end detector designs of recent years (though true metal is still a feature on a number of recently released detectors).  Though I do understand why you like it, Maltfoto, my point was there are ways you can use the Equinox zero disc mode to your advantage without losing a lot of capability vs. true all metal and, as I discuss below, the 800 would have been more suited to your feature preferences and detecting style.

The move in the detector community away from including All Metal Mode or at least the marketeer's imprecise use of technical terms that have kind of blurred the line between Zero Disc mode and (true) All Metal Mode is addressed in Steve's excellent Detector Mixed Modes Guide.  This will better illustrate whey you will not find all metal mode on all detectors, even high end detectors, and also how it can be mitigated through mixed modes or intelligent application of available features on detectors which do not incorporate the feature.

Regarding Equinox.  Gold Mode available only on the 800 is probably the closest thing to a mixed mode.  It invokes most features of true all metal mode through its use of VCO pitch like audio and true audio threshold for target acquisition and target ID at depth using the discrimination circuit.  Though still not precisely true all metal, this weak signal mode is also the mode that is the ideal mode to test small gold target performance versus the Fishers.  Again, it seems for the type of detecting Maltfoto prefers, the 800 would have been the better choice.  Regardless, I think the 600 is a great complimentary detector that, despite its shortcomings, does still have advantages over the Fishers in some, if not most, scenarios.   So hanging on to it and learning more about how to get more out of it with experience would be a great move by Maltfoto, if getting an 800 is out of the question.  Thanks again to Maltfoto for kicking off a great discussion.


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