I think the reason for the inevitable Equinox comparisons, is that ML has been promoting this detector heavily and in a similar manner to the way they promoted the Equinox. If I look at the videos they released, they seemed to be targeted at the mid to experienced level detectorist (including all the Equinox users on the ML email list!). Entry level detectorists really would not have the appreciation for what ML was trying to "say" in their video promotions, frankly. So in the absence of detailed specs, there was a lot of speculation as to whether the Vanquish was indeed entry level, although the leaked information from whoever clearly showed that the Vanquish was landing somewhere between the GO FIND and the Equinox 600, so I knew it was not a "Nox killer" and was clearly never intended to be, yet the debate, speculation, and rumors persisted with the promotion hype, until the specs actually landed. Still folks seem to be confused as to what the Vanquish is all about, with some still arguing that it can go toe-to-toe with Equinox or complaining that it can't, etc. That is just what naturally happens when you get a bunch of people with a common interest but individual perceptions and opinions together. In other words, same as any other group of folks. As far as I am concerned, I will observe the entry level detector wars with bemusement while I enjoy the detectors I have now and am content to not necessarily want for a detector at this time. We'll see what the future holds, however....
Agree, great move to get Multi IQ out to the masses, to compete with Simplex, and hopefully give Garrett a swift kick in the you know what to start innovating again. I don't think, however, the Vanquish devalues the Equinox, at least not to those who really understand the differences between the detectors and ML's objective to aggressively move into the entry level market. Unlike the Equinox to eTrac/CTX comparisons, Vanquish brings nothing compelling to the table vs. Equinox regarding performance. However, Equinox did bring speed, simplicity in operation/user interface, comparably light weight, a dedicated prospecting mode, and fundamentally different, mode-dedicated multi frequency search profiles (vs. just user settings differences) and some other "pluses" to the table vs. eTrac/CTX while some of the sophisticated features of the FBS2 detectors remained intact and untouched by Equinox (CO-FE target ID, 2-D discrimination mapping/programing). This resulted in a true dilemma amongst FBS2 loyalists and those who felt the lower price point of the Equinox enabled a sophisticated multifrequency experience vs. their higher priced FBS2 cousins. That debate continues today as there are things Equinox with Multi IQ does better than FBS2 and vice versa.
I look forward to the next development cycle which will hopefully spawn a few simultaneous multi frequency competitors to ML in the guises of XP and Nokta/Makro while ML works on perhaps a higher end Multi IQ machine with some of the sophisticated target ID and 2-D discrimination features that are now solely residing in the FBS2 machines (eTrac and CTX). I also look at the Vanquish
I also look forward to see what ML has done with the imminent Equinox firmware 2.0 release, that is hopefully not vaporware.