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About abenson

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  • Location:
    Western US
  • Interests:
    Relic and beach metal detecting
  • Gear Used:
    Minelab GPX 4000, Minelab Equinox 800, XP Deus, Garrett AT Pro, Makro Multi Kruzer, Tesoro Bandido ll uMax

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  1. Information about what is happening at Garrett with the current business restrictions, tips on things to do while you can’t go detecting, and an announcement of a new detector on the way, but no actual information. A full product announcement coming in the next few weeks.
  2. We're talking about metal detectors under $400 here. So the topic is getting off track, I'm partially to blame. I will say the Vanquish 540 is an excellent machine and it comes stock with the V12 coil not the V8, that's an accessory coil. So with that in mind you're pretty limited on the sites you can hunt successfully. Great beach machine for depth and stability also a great coin machine for parks. Take it to a trashy relic site or ghost town and it's going to be out of it's element. Get the V8 coil on any of the Vanquish detectors and it will perform a little better. Entry level machines give entry level performance. Although some are clearly better than others. As for all the Fisher Garrett, Minelab and Whites machines I've used in this price range, I'll take the Vanquish hands down. Site selection is going to determine what you use. If you just want to hunt modern coins almost any metal detector can find them. If you're going after older coins, relics, and gold nuggets then you just might have to consider spending more than $400. Sure you can find some old coins, relics, jewelry, etc. with a low priced detector. I know lots of people that have. If a metal detector that costs less than $400 is all that's in your budget, then learn it well and enjoy your time outdoors. Also, visit this section often, there is some great advice from very knowledgeable people.
  3. That's weird because my Vanquish with the V8 coil only gets 4 out of 8 on my board. The F19 6 out of 8. I'm using old square nails so maybe the difference is in the nails used. But even in field tests the Vanquish is a dog in iron no matter what mode used. The Equinox with the 11 inch coil is way better. Maybe my Vanquish has a problem. But i can't imagine Minelab making the Vanquish a better performer than the Equinox. I haven't been that impressed with the Vanquish from day 1 when it comes to its performance in iron trash. Falses like crazy on deep iron and doesn't unmask very well. No matter I actually sold it last week because I prefer the Equinox and i can only swing one detector at a time.
  4. Jeff Don't know if I was clear in my response, but I agree the Vanquish has much better ID than the F19. I still think the F19 even in disc mode has better separation than the Vanquish, at least in the tests and in field comparisons I've done.
  5. Jeff I will have to disagree with you on the F19, it's actually a very fast machine and separates quite well in trash with the 5 x 10 coil compared to the Vanquish wearing any size coil. As far as target ID goes I do agree there, it is very stable and accurate.
  6. My ground is about the same as far as your GB numbers go. I run my GB at 85 and it runs just great at that number. Doesn't get the depth of running it lower, but it's stable. I just set it and forget it, unless I go to a different part of the country.
  7. Very nice looking $10 Tom! I will have to agree that the Western US is the place to be if you want to find gold coins.
  8. Starting to see some different results from the relic mode on the 540 than I would expect according to the manual and suggested use of the mode. Maybe some other 540 users can confirm or deny what I'm seeing. First off in my soil it's not the deepest mode because of the mineralization, it's actually quite choppy on deep targets. However, what I'm starting to see, and I've tested this a few times and even confirmed it on Monte's nail board. Relic mode appears to have better separation in iron than either the coin or jewelry modes. This is contrary to what the manual says but I'm seeing this more every time I take it out. I'd say it performs about 20% better and I'm taking about surface trash not deep stuff with the V8 coil. Anybody else seeing this same thing?
  9. I've only used it out there twice. Still prefer the Equinox over the Vanquish because it's deeper. Vanquish seems to work best in jewelry mode on beaches.
  10. Great write up Monte! I'm glad you chimed in as I know you've been doing a lot of testing yourself with Vanquish. It's good to have multiple views about its performance. We don't agree on everything but that's what's nice about more than one person's report. Things about the unit you don't like don't necessarily bother me and vice a verse. It gives someone considering a purchase the opportunity to evaluate and see how others use the machine and what types of sites the Vanquish excels in and comes up short in.
  11. I don't know you might get away with using the Vanquish on that Beach. I tried my Vanquish at the Great Salt Lake which is very salty and has areas of high mineralisation. The Vanquish with the coil in the water ran very quiet but I had to have the sensitivity down to about 6. My Equinox in Beach 2 is very noisy in this water. Even running the Equinox sensitivity down to 15 I still get constant chatter
  12. I’ve had the Vanquish 540 out on 4 ghost town hunts now and I wanted to give my thoughts on it’s performance in these challenging sites. 3 of the 4 hunts were at places where the items are on or near the surface. At those places the 5 x 8 coil was used. At the other site the items can be anywhere from surface to 12 inches deep because the town was located in a now plowed field. At that place, the 9 x 12 coil was used. In some cases other metal detectors were used to find some of the targets and compare signals with the Vanquish The Vanquish set at high iron bias does a great job at discriminating out surface bottle caps and other flat tin where single frequency metal detectors struggle. First site I went to I only used the Vanquish with the 5 x 8 coil, coin mode, high iron bias, horse off, sensitivity at 2 below max. The site is loaded with bottle caps and tin cans, I could see them on the surface in many areas. I hunted for 3 hours and only found a zinc mason jar lid, a large brass ring about the size of a pocket watch, two deep soda cans, the type with aluminum top and tin sides and a few other modern things like a pull tab and modern penny found on the surface. Made me wonder how much I walked over because everything was either on the surface or big. At the other 2 sites, even with the small coil on, the Vanquish really struggles on targets in carpet of nails. This shouldn’t be a surprise. With the other metal detectors (I had along with small coils) targets could be detected from multiple directions. The Vanquish on a good amount of the targets could only see the target in one direction and in some cases couldn’t see the target at all. I had several targets I could see on the ground surrounded by nails but couldn’t get the Vanquish to lock onto them. I fell like if you only worked an area from one direction you would probably walk over about 50% of the good targets with the Vanquish. Not saying the Vanquish is bad, it just isn’t the right choice for a trashy ghost town. However, on a positive note. I did have one signal that the other metal detectors ID'd in the coin range and I thought for sure I had a dime or quarter. The Vanquish gave a broken tone and wouldn’t lock on, I thought crap, too much iron around for the Vanquish to pick out this good signal. Surprise, it was a flat piece of tin about the size of a half dollar. No coins found at either of these sites. Found suspender clips, watch parts, buttons, scraps of brass, etc. At the site with deeper targets is where the gap between the Equinox and Vanquish become more apparent, and rightfully so. Vanquish settings-Coin mode (relic mode is worthless in my mineralized soil), horseshoe on, max sensitivity, low iron bias. Equinox settings-Park 1, sensitivity 22, iron bias 0, recovery 4, horseshoe on, 50 tones. The amount of iron junk at this site is moderate with good targets mixed in at various depths. I found 12-15 targets at this site with the Equinox and went over them with the Vanquish. All the targets that were co-located next to iron and less than 7 inches deep, both the Equinox and Vanquish saw (a least from one direction) and gave a good ID. I got several like 5 or 6 that were too deep for the Vanquish to ID and one gave absolutely no tone at all on the Vanquish, it was a small button at 7 inches. Other items found were large buttons, small buttons suspender clips, scrap brass and lead, shotgun brass, etc Without going into a bunch of detail, I’m starting to see some trends regarding the Vanquish. First, the Vanquish struggles with small low conductors that are deep or mixed with iron trash. Second, the Vanquish just seems to cut off at a certain depth. No glimpse of any numbers, very little up averaging, just straight out slashes across the screen with iron grunt or simply no sound at all. Most other metal detectors I use at least chirp and flash a number on deep targets. Now these could be related to my mineralized soil. But I feel like it’s related to iron bias, I wish it could just be turned off. In any case the Vanquish IMO is a good park and beach machine, comes up a little short as a relic and ghost town machine. Could also be used to scout areas out and cherry pick the good signals then follow up with a better detector later. Still better than most other metal detectors in it’s price range though. I’m headed to another ghost town with it and some other metal detectors tomorrow. This time I’ll try and shoot some video and show what I’m talking about.
  13. Steve-This should be a helpful forum for those that don't want to spend a lot for a new metal detector. I've used a Fisher F11 and it's not a bad little unit if you don't need ground balance. Also a White's Treasure Master, I liked the F11 better though. But my personal pick from the metal detectors under $300 would be either a Simplex or Vanquish 340 or 440. This winter while it has been cold, I have actually been working on a video series on a new YouTube channel about how to select a metal detector and go over quit a few of the models available. It's all my opinion and I'm not by any means a professional at video editing. Here's the link if anybody is interested. YouTube 4 of the 9 videos are up and others are coming soon.
  14. I've had money saved for awhile for this machine. I'm now to the point that I don't care that much about it anymore. There's been so much talk about it over the last few years that it's actually old news at this point, most of the excitement for me is over. If it gets released, great I'll most likely still get one at some point, if not, I'm sure something else will come out I can spend my money on. Maybe Minelab will come out with a lightweight waterproof GPX that does well both inland and on the beach. I think I'd rather have a multipurpose PI anyway.
  15. RME-Chase has a lot of experience in the Culpeper dirt and knows what he's talking about. There really isn't a program you can put in the Equinox and have it work for everyone. The problem with the Equinox is, for most people it isn't just a turn on and go machine, although it can be used that way. Additionally, Using it in hot dirt is just going to add to the issue. Now it might just be me, but personally I don't feel like I understood the Equinox until I had 200 plus hours in it. (my dirt is hot but not Culpeper hot) I kept going back to the Deus in frustration because the tones on the Equinox are subtle compared to the Deus. I now prefer the Equinox over the Deus unless I'm in thick iron. But obviously I would use a PI before either in Culpeper. Read Chase's post again and try to do some experimenting by burring various targets when you get there. Try different modes and settings to see how it affects the target signal. I will tell you this, the first time I hunted Culpeper with my Equinox I used Beach 1, ground balanced, set the sensitivity as high as I could, reactivity at 6, Iron bias 2, 2 tones and horseshoe off. Very conservative settings and I feel like I did pretty well with it, but I know others did much better with other settings. Now that I have some hours on the Equinox I prefer to be quite a bit more aggressive with my settings, but I also know what I'm listening for though all the noise. It takes time to train your ear in those harsh conditions when using a VLF. If you're planning on attending DIV 49 I'm happy to meet up and give you some help.
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