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  1. Is there a thread here that compares these two? I'm just thinking about the small gold comparison with the M8. I think Simon is new to both of them if he has an M8. He was comparing the Manticore to the 800 and some others. Does Norvic have a Manticore?
  2. This is for people who have used both. Not really interested in opinionating from those who are just speculating. I have been hanging tough with my Equinox 800 package, in large part due to the coil selection. Both the D2 and Manticore have left me wanting in that department so far. XP holding out on the 5x10 coil, and Minelab holding out on, well, just about everything up to now. But at least the M8 and M15 coils are reaching user hands, and I am hopeful we might see a Coiltek 5x10 someday. But to keep it on the straight and narrow lets consider two coils only. The Deus 2 with 9" round as it's smallest option at this time, versus Manticore with 5x8 M8 coil. In general if coil sizes were identical I think most people would give the D2 the edge on picking non-ferrous out of a nail bed. But coils rule in the end, and I suspect the smaller M8 coil might tip the equation in favor of the Manticore for hunting dense trash. I'm also a small gold nugget guy as most people know. While some have knocked the Deus 2 for small gold capability my buddy Condor has one and does quite well on small gold with it in my opinion. As in I have been impressed. Yet another person (abenson) has the M8 on the Manticore and has killed it on some impressively tiny gold, but did note coil knock as an issue, something not seen on the Deus 2. That is however very dependent on sensitivity and even more so ground balance settings, so jury out on that for sure. Long story short I am strongly considering on replacing my Equinox 800 by next year with either the Deus 2 or Manticore. I tend to lean into small coils with VLF so the 9" or M8 are a real focal point for me. Frankly, if XP released the 5x10 for the Deus 2 it would probably be game over for me, but they really don't want me having that detector so are refusing so far to release that coil for the Deus 2. Yeah, I have heard the reasons why not - falling on deaf ears here. You out there XP? Give us the 5x10 for the Deus 2 and we can end this debate now. Until then however the Manticore M8 combo rates high with me, not least because I am simply more used to the Minelab way of doing things with menus. XP is a more radical shift for me. And in the long run I do think the Manticore will have the better coil selection, as we can at least hope for limited aftermarket coil support. Something we will never see with XP. Blah blah blah I do go on. So what do you people who have used both think about the D2 9" combo vs Manticore M8 setup?
  3. Both of these machines have been out for awhile now.---Would like some opinions.---Which one is the best/most effective (for relic/coin hunting-- working in mineralized/iron/square nail proliferated sites)?-------Thanks--------Del
  4. I started with an AT Pro and had a lot of success in the dirt with it. Not so much at the beach, even after ground balancing and playing with sensitivity and other settings. Too many falses for my liking. Bought a new Manticore, looking forward to the beach as soon as the temps come out of the 20s.
  5. If you have been following my posts and those of my detecting buddy, Bob - AKA F350Platinum, you will see that we have been having a great level of success, especially detecting colonial relic sites, over the past year or so. I attribute that to a combination of gaining more proficiency with the Deus 2, gaining access to some exciting new and productive permissions, and utilizing the latest Deus 2 updates (Version 1.1 and 2.0) which fixed most of the lingering issues with the Deus 2 since its release and added some great new features and performance. Even before these updates, we were having such great success with Deus 2 in the relic fields, coin shooting, and beach hunting, that other detectors just didn't get pulled into action unless we wanted to check something out or run some sort of comparison. I have limited opportunities to detect, so when I do get a chance to detect with Bob, I want to make the most of it and not be out there learning some new detector or messing around with unfamiliar settings. About a year ago, I had purchased the Nox 900. On the surface, ML seemed to have addressed most the remaining shortcomings associated with the Nox 800, improved the shaft system, and added some features like adding Deep Pitch (DP) audio as a feature for all detecting modes. They also changed the Target ID scaling and also enabled compatibility with all legacy Nox OEM and third party accessory coils, including my favorite Coiltek Nox 10x5. All of these changes and the ready availability of the Nox 900 vs. the Manticore and the fact that my 800 was no longer in warranty, convinced me to pick up the Nox 900. Got it into the field, and let's just say, I was not impressed. The main issue I had was getting it to run stable at a reasonable sensitivity level (I like to run just above 20 out of 25 sensitivity). It was really chirpy, especially in DP audio and running it along side the Deus 2 was like night and day. Even after a few other tries, it never quite clicked with me. And it started gathering dust. With the 8X5.5" M8 coil release becoming imminent (or so I thought), I decided to invest in the Manticore over the summer. Took it to the beach, and it was just OK and perhaps also a little chirpy. Again, I simply fell back and continued to swing the Deus 2, while the Manticore sat idle. Finally, a few weeks back, I was finally able to get my M8 coil for the Manticore, and after having much success the last several outings with the Deus 2 13" elliptical and 9" round coils at a our most popular and productive areas, felt that some of the more dense iron patches at these sites could benefit from being scanned with the smaller M8. The area we are detecting heavily is not readily accessible to our vehicles, so we have to hike a ways across a couple of fields to get there. I have a Rhino Skin vest with a sizable and long back compartment that provides the ideal setup to carry detecting gear (either my Deus 2 and its two coils or the Manticore with the M8), food, water, and "just in case" items for several hours of "unsupported" detecting. Above, you can see my Rhino Skin vest/pack holding the Manticore and M8 coil and also the XP Deus 2 9" coil/shaft. This was going to be the Manticore's first relic hunting field test. Despite, the limited swing coverage of the Manticore with the M8 coil, I decided to go ahead and make the trek to the detecting area swinging the Manticore. For this session, I decided to keep it simple. I had the detector set up in AT General with Enhanced audio, Default tone settings (2-Region, All tones, variable pitch). After noise cancelling and ground balancing, I set sensitivity at about 23 and left recovery speed and discrimination and ferrous limits at the defaults. I was not walking slow enough to ensure sufficient coil coverage, but targets are few and widely scattered so I was not expecting to recover anything except by chance. Mainly, the walk afforded an opportunity for me to get used to the Manticore tones, ferrous tones, ground feedback in horseshoe (no discrimination) and responsivity again as I had only briefly used it beach hunting and run through various settings in only my test garden. On the trek, I recovered a couple pieces of miscellaneous brass and a modern bullet casing. Met up with Bob in the field who was already there and who was detecting some fringe areas with little success. We started to make our way over to the area and my first keeper target was a fired musket ball. We zig-zagged to different parts of the hot spot area and thick iron and started to do our thing. I recovered some horse saddle brass and more miscellaneous brass pieces. Then the buttons started to pop, brass, gold gilt, silver plate and tombac. I also dug some larger brass (perhaps a partial musket butt plate and a mangled buckle). My final Manticore keeper was a gold plated cufflink (complete with the post and toggle clasp) with an interesting flowering vine design. The Manticore M8 did not disappoint. I had an outing with similar results to my previous trips to this area with the Deus 2. I like the expressive audio, the ability to quickly switch discrimination off and on using the trusty horseshoe button to lessen audio fatigue, the additional information provided by the 2-D target trace display, and obviously the slightly improved separation ability of the M8 coil vs. the Deus 9" round. I got used to the different target IDs, the ferrous falsing tells, and target trace clues to make dig decisions. But frankly, the keepers were pretty obvious, and I dug little junk that fooled me. Finally, the Manticore ergonomics with that M8 coil are fantastic, to the point that once I started swinging my Deus 2 with the 13" elliptical coil again, I really felt the weight and toe-heavy balance. For the trip back to the vehicles, I switched back to the Deus 2 with the 13" coil for better coverage of the large fields and managed another flat button and a rivet and some modern bullets. We quickly surveyed a new site to finish the day and I managed to recover a few surprises from that field, which was had a lot of iron contamination - apparently an old house site. I snagged a .52 Sharps minie ball, a silver Rosie ('64), a flat button, a wheatie, a portion of a tiny silver spoon, and a part of a parasol slider mechanism. All in all, not bad for a first relic outing with the Manticore - I have a lot more to learn and tweak - and not a bad quick survey of a promising new field. The perfect detecting weather, great company, and awesome finds made for another fantastic detecting day. As is our tradition, Bob and I reviewed the day and tentatively planned future adventures while drinking his awesome post hunt coffee. His ornate sword guard and British Colonial period regimental button were really the finds of the day. Bottom Line: Bob has some amazing Colonial sites and the Manticore and M8 coil certainly did not disappoint in a challenging iron environment...looks like I will be bringing both the Manticore and Deus 2 along on future digs.
  6. I got into one of those frantic "maybe they won't be easy to get; maybe ML will raise the price;..." moments and grabbed the first WM 09 wireless module I could find on the internet for the MAP(?) $139. I took it out to one of my well-searched parks for a 3 hour test run with the Sun Ray Pro Golds. First the photos (with Equinox WM08 as reference): As the photos show, the WM09 and WM08 are quite similar -- same housing, just different guts. The WM09 has four charging pads for the magnetic charging cable pins. I now have five interchangeable charging cables (two detectors and three wireless modules since I have a backup WM08) so at least they've kept that 'standard'. As is the case with the WM08, the 3.5 mm socket is recessed by ~5.5 mm which can be a problem if the jack being inserted is a right angle version. I've installed a straight plug on my Sunray Pro Golds so as not to have this issue, but most right angle 3.5 mm plugs don't work as the pin can't get deep enough to properly seat. As far as audio performance in the field is concerned, I don't notice any difference between the supplied ML105 headphones and the WM09+Pro Golds. That is not the case (in my experience) with the ML80s vs. WM08+Pro Golds when running the Equinox. The sound quality of the ML105 is much better than the ML80's, to my ear anyway. I also notice no latency (time lag) with either the ML105 or WM09. But I receive two advantages with the Pro Golds -- they block out ambient noise better and are warmer in cold weather. Another likely advantage is the quality of the soft over-ear rings -- something Steve H. has talked about for years. The Pro Golds use higher quality materials which matter in hot conditions. Personally I tend to switch to earbuds in hot weather and just live with the background noise. I haven't tried the WM09 with my Bose earbuds yet, but don't expect any problems. 🤞 Bottom line is for those (like me) who have a favorite set of aftermarket headphones and/or earbuds, the WM09 is a valuable addition. If you're satisfied with other options (ML105s or the control unit's speaker) then no need to spend the $139.
  7. Looks like M15's are hitting retail at the moment, a guy in NZ has secured one, not me unfortunately, I may have been to slow to order by the looks of it but at the early stages I wasn't even sure I was going to bother with my Manticore, now I've decided I'll give it a chance. Hopefully my spots not too far away. I've ordered both coils.
  8. I took this video a couple of weeks ago when I took my Manticore to a hilltop I'd found gold at before, I actually did best at this spot using the GPX 6000 and its 14" DD coil as I was able to detect right under the lines with good success finding 5 bits from memory on the ground directly under the lines. The spot has old workings and no doubt hit quite heavily being pretty accessible and even when I went there recently there was new dig holes from someone which is quite unusual in my area but the powerlines scare the detectors away so the dig holes were far enough away from the powerlines for me to know the ground I was hunting hasn't been hit very hard at all 🙂 A year or so ago when I took the 6000 here I also had the Equinox 800 and multi frequency was just not usable under the lines, the detector was so unstable I had to lower the sensitivity to the point it wasn't worth even trying to stay in multi, so I used 40kHz but still had to lower the sensitivity quite a bit, so I was taken by surprise when the Manticore could run such high sensitivity in 40kHz, then I thought I'd be brave and try multi, and to my surprise it worked very well, it was stable enough at 20 sensitivity to use. Note I didn't even noise cancel, this is just how it switched on. These lines are particularly close to the ground, closer to the ground that normal residential street powerlines even though they're high voltage from a Hyrdo Dam, the reason for this is they're on a hilltop right as the hill drops into a deep steep gully and the lines are on these unusual poles as it's the point where they cross the deep gully. It feels like you could pick up a long stick off a tree and hit the lines if you tried, they're very close to you. If there is one thing significantly improved with the Manticore over the Equinox, it's the ability of it to handle higher EMI situations.
  9. So as we sit waiting impatiently for Minelab to bother to release the promised accessory coils for the Manticore it occurred to me that perhaps Coiltek already have the ball rolling in the background at least thinking about which coils they will make for it, assuming like the Nox and CTX Coiltek actually make coils for it. This means now might be the only opportunity we have to try and influence their decision as to which coils they provide.... So hopefully @Coiltek join the conversation and follow on with interest in our discussion. For me personally with Minelab releasing the 8x5.5" I'm not so sure I'd bother buying a 10x5" if they released that size, the 10x5" on the Nox series by Coiltek is a great coil, but with it being so similar in size to the standard offering for the Manticore and the standard coil being slightly smaller I'd personally buy the Minelab coil. I never bought the 14x9" as it seemed more designed for water hunters and was weighted for doing so and the 15" round although I would absolutely love to own that coil I thought it was possibly a bit heavy when compared to the 15x12" standard Minelab coil which I use the most on the Nox. On the CTX I love the 17x13" coil and use it a lot, rarely using the 11" coil so with the Manticore so far appearing to be a very deep machine too perhaps it would benefit from this size also, so in that case my decision would be the 17x13" For the Manticore, along with a 6.5x3.5" especially if it was a solid coil, perfect for prospecting and would be excellent for high trash coin and jewellery hunting too. I wouldn't buy a mid sized coil, the 11" stock does that job well enough. So feel free to do the poll, if I'm missing an obvious one let me know and I'll add it on, and please comment below about your choices and reasoning as I hope we can in some way influence which coils Coiltek make, or at least give them some information from a users perspective which coils we would prefer.
  10. Especially when using headphones with rich audio profiles.. the issue for me with rich audio profile is the deepest targets are too faint so when I use rich audio, the general volume will be set to the max on control pod and headphones. IF target tones too loud while I'm on max volume the pitch/volume can be adjusted in target tones setting. The tik tik sound makes my ears bleed when I want to change setting or modes and there is no way to control its volume or disable it completely..
  11. Hello. In the following, I'm referring to iron falsing as, "When a detector produces a good nonferrous tone and a good nonferrous ID on a ferrous object". I mention that, because whenever I've talked about iron falsing on other venues, a few people always reply with, "I can identify iron by the iron grunt", to which I reply, "Well then, that's not iron falsing!" 😁 Anyway, I use a Legend and often hunt in iron infested sites. I use a high weighted SMF mode, but most importantly, I lower my iron bias to the point that iron falsing begins to occur. That way, I know I'm getting the best iron unmasking ability that my detector can provide. The Legend's Ferrocheck identifies and shows the ferrous and nonferrous content of what's under the coil, and it does so regardless of where settings such as tone breaks or discrimination is set. What I've noticed however, is that Ferrocheck often identifies iron falsing better than ID and tones. For example, when I instigate iron falsing, I'll often get a good nonferrous tone and ID on a nail, but Ferrocheck is clearly, and correctly, identifying the nail as ferrous. To me, it's an invaluable feature when hunting in iron. Now, I'm fairly certain that the Manticore's 2D screen, and the D2's X/Y screen has that same ability to identify iron falsing, but how the heck are those features able to do that, when ID and tone cannot?
  12. I like diving. Sometimes I use the Pulsedive, but I was missing a detector with real ferrous discrimination. So I decided to build one. This project can be applied to Equinox, X-TERRA Pro and Manticore, as their architecture is very similar. I bought an X-TERRA Pro, because it's very capable, it's cheap, has vibration, is goldlover and did the mod of the SOUND UNDERWATER and now I build a shaft for this project. Super simple. The shaft is made with 20mm pvc pipe, that fits perfectly for the handle, and made some thickening to fit perfectly, and adding 4 little "wood hairs" in the corners to avoid rotation (Xterra shaft is a bit square). The length of the mini shaft is 14cm to the bolt, because I use the eqx 6" coil and the Coiltek 5x10. The photos are with the 6" coil. And that's all. Very simple. The shaft can go upside down or viceversa. But it's more confortable as shown. The only thing I don't like it's that the coil wire connection to the pda is a bit exposed. But with a little care, can be used. Also, is stealth. Very small, and can be used whereever you want to use it with discretion. Underwater can vibrate and sounds like a pointer, so you don't "need" headphones. And you get use to read the ID upside-down very easy. And you can carry it everywhere. For me, is a winner mod 🥇 😁 Hope you find this helpful.
  13. I've been so crazy busy this summer my gold hunting has taken a hit. Finally the last couple weeks has freed up some time for swinging the Manticore. As you all know, the only coil most of us have is the stock 11" coil, so that's what I've been using. Now that the info has come out (yesterday to us dealers) about the options and the part #'s with prices, I'm starting to get excited for a smaller coil. No, they messed up and will not offer us the small 6" coil, but they are offering an M-8, M-9, and M-15 (or the stock M-11). What do you folks think will be the best coil option for Au nuggets/specimens and does anyone know the different or seen pics of the M-9? That one caught me off guard as I had not seen or heard of such. Below a couple Manticore specimens from this year using stock 11" coil. 1st is a 3.6 gram and 2nd is a 11.8 gram. Notice this piece was broken and likely off a larger section. Need to go back and hunt around there much more to find the bigger chunk.
  14. Disclaimer: long read. I spent several hours with the Manticore in the goldfields in the high Sierras and thought to provide some insights and impressions. First of all, the purpose of the Manticore for me is the ability to hunt for gold nuggets in really trashy mine sites. As you know, the Sierra Nevada has been visited by a few gold prospectors before (🤣), and prospecting at popular mine sites without any form of discrimination, that is based on target IDs, is pretty much hopeless. Sometimes, digging up everything with PI/ZVT is possible if you take on a really submissive mindset, but it is for the most part highly unproductive and will make your day nothing else but miserable. I tested the Manticore with the sole purpose of finding gold in trashy and highly mineralized mine sites, and by using various test nuggets ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 g. What ended up working best for me was: Gold Field mode with Prospecting audio theme, treshold 17, pitch 22, volume 14, sensitivity 16, revovery speed 6. The 0.1 nugget gave IDs between 8 and 12 and the 0.4g nuget around 22. Of note, the y axis on the screen( ferreous potential) is pretty much useless for detecting small nuggets, and both nuggets consistantly showed up at the upper and lower boundaries, unless right under the coil (then also in middle). So, don't trust the ferreous paramter when you hunt for small gold. When you detect a repeatable target, swing over it several times from different angles with short swing range and slow speed. In particular with the 11 inch coil, the target ID can be all over the place if the coil picks up too much ground signal as you move over the target of interest. So, make sure your "drill down" swings are tight. This should get better with the smaller coils, but for the 11 inch coil you need to be tight. Despite auto tracking on, I have not noticed that targets were tracked out. So, it's ok to take your time and examine a target from various angles with several swings. Importantly, the IDs should remain tight when you do that, like.+/- 3. Too much of variations can indicate hot rocks, which generally showed up for me in the 27 range, but can also be as low as 2. Often, the hotrocks give a slightly elongated trace in the very upper ferreous region of the 2D screen. This was pretty consistant, but might depend on the hotrock composition of the area. Again, don't look at the ferreous indicator when you suspect a nugget, it may or may not work and will fool you often. By far the most impactful parameters are sensitivity and recovery speed. In mineralized ground, the 16/6 setting worked the best for me. Anything above sensitivity 16, or max 17, or recovery speeds below 6 made the machine totally unstable and practically useless. If your ground is alot milder, you might be able to dial up the gain (or dial down the recovery speed), but this will highly depend on your conditions. I can just say that if some sort of ID is important to you, then you MUST tame the machine down, in particular in hot ground, otherwise all benefits of target ID will go away quickly. Under these conditions, the depth is only modest with the 0.1 nugget disappearing beyond 1-1.5 inch depth. To be able to detect at the edge, you need to keep the treshold on and listen for slight wispers (often without any ID dispalyed). This is absolutely essential to get some sort of depth, and this has not changed since the earlier VLF days, despite all the modern advancements. For the "full bore enthusiasts", this might work for PIs if your brain can handle it, but will NOT work for the Manticore, or any other VLF that I have used for that matter. If sensitivity is too high, you will not hear a nugget even when it is directly under the coil. So, be warned, as the Manticore has alot of power to offer. Do frequent GB and noise cancel, this helps, albeit not as much as for the 6000. I actually like the pinpointer feature, but the hotspot is at the tip of the coil, not at the center which I believe the manual says. Overall, the Manticore is a great machine for my purpose, but you need to find the sweet spot in settings to maximize the target ID quality for digging less trash, and to have a chance for a succesful day at a mine site. The depth and sensitivity under these conditions are modest at best, with depths detectable down to 2-3 inches for the 0.4 g nugget and about 1 inch for the 0.1 nugget. However, then with mostly reliable and consistant target ID numbers. There is absolutely no comparison to the 6000, which in this soil and under these conditions beats the Manticore by a huge margin, as expected. In mild soil this difference could shrink, but for sure not where I hunt. However, the 6000 is totally unproductive in highly trashy areas and the Manticore can save the day. So, gold can be recovered at super trashy sites with the Manticore, but expectations need to be managed. GC
  15. Hello, has anyone done a test between the two devices underwater or on land, which one is deeper?
  16. Hello all, Will be leaving next Friday enroute to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska for a year or so and was wondering if anyone on this awesome forum has used their Manticore (with upgraded software) for gold prospecting yet? I know the Kenai may not be the best spot for gold prospecting but I'll have to at least give it a try with the Manticore. I've used pans and a sluice box in the past along with my Nox 800 in the Kenai and found a little gold and a lot of buckshot. I know I really need the small coil and I think they'll be on the market soon I think. Also, if anyone reading this is in the Soldotna area, give me shout. I'd love to meet up and go on some outings. Thanks, John
  17. With the new updated software for the Manticore came some changes to the audio themes available. Now in addition to prospecting audio theme we also have normal, depth and enhanced to choose from. Within normal, depth and enhanced themes we have the ability to change the threshold level, threshold pitch and audio profile. In prospecting we can change the threshold level, threshold pitch and ferrous tones On or OFF. But ferrous tones On or OFF may have a bug, or I'm just not smart enough to know how to turn it on. I've contacted Minelab about that one. Here's a video that shows the new themes available in the goldfield mode.
  18. Friends..I discussed one topic and was advised by people here and professionals and experienced people. But I will still make a choice between these 2 detectors and I want your help. Which one should I buy, which one do you recommend and which one will be useful for me? I am going to search in the mountains by the rivers on the rocks by the river banks in the forests in the fields and so on. I want.to search for gold.more shares.I want to search for gold..but at the same time I want to search for coins,relics,jewellery and jewelry. Which detector do you guys recommend or which of these 2 detectors will be useful for me for all this? Thank you in advance.
  19. I thought it's time we kicked off a poll to see how happy people are with their purchase if they've purchased one of the new models. The forum limits the number of questions you can ask so it's a pretty simple poll to get an idea of how many people bought one of these new models and how many are finding it as good or better than their old model. Feel free to comment below with other things you're found with the new models, hopefully Minelab reads it and takes not of anything people bring up of importance.
  20. New Guy questions…I’m sure these ? have been asked before. I did a quick search but didn’t really look that hard so beat me up if necessary. So I’m looking at the Pro Max and the Manticore. I’m gonna be searching for anything that makes a noise on land and in water. Is one better than the other regarding capability, warranty, customer service, accessories, etc. Also, regarding system updates…are they downloaded via computer and installed via USB? Or does the unit have to be sent in for updates? Or is what you buy is it and updates are in new production units only? Thanks for your assistance! Be Safe!
  21. My thoughts on the Minelab Manticore after 50 hours and beyond! Yep. Time for another one of my long-winded reviews. The goal is just to share some unbiased thoughts on the new Minelab Manticore, which will hopefully help anyone who may be on the fence about getting one. You’ll get no hype, hate, fluff or any other BS from me. If something sucks, I’m going to say it sucks. If it’s good, I’ll say it’s good. It’s as simple as that. I’ll be referencing other detectors throughout this review for comparison. Please keep in mind these are just my opinions. You may completely disagree, and that’s fine. Now I can't speak on beach hunting, gold prospecting or long-term durability but I can offer my opinion on several other things including how it performs for the type of detecting I do, which is looking for coins and relics in the dirt. This first section is just my initial thoughts after the first 50 hours of use. It’s impossible to learn everything about a metal detector like this one in only 50 hours, and it’s my goal to make this review as complete as possible. I’ll continue to post updates throughout this thread as I get more time on the unit. You’ll be able to read along with my progress as I continue to learn, as well as see input from other users. So, for the full review, be sure to read through the entire thread. I'll break this down into specifics and give my thoughts on each. Ergonomics: Let’s start with the control housing and buttons. The outer button layout and overall appearance of the control housing is very reminiscent of the Equinox. The arrangement of the thumb buttons is different, but well placed. Buttons are very responsive and have a good quality feel. I’d prefer to have the power button and side user soft key on the face of the control housing, since these will be used often. It would just be easier to access them with the thumb in my opinion. Moving down to the handle, it’s a combination of what feels like some type of plastic with a rubber over-molding in the area where the fingers wrap around. The angle feels like its slightly more forward than the Equinox. Very comfortable. It also has a built-in vibration mode which may be helpful when hunting in noisy areas, underwater or for anyone who is hearing impaired. The Manticore balances well. Even though it’s basically the same weight as the Equinox, it doesn’t feel as nose heavy due to a couple of improvements in geometry. First, on the handle just below the control housing, there’s a little nub that protrudes over the index finger to keep your hand positioned at the proper distance from the bottom of the housing. Next, the new “Scorpion” armrest has a built-in riser that brings your elbow up and positions your arm so that it runs parallel with the shaft. Speaking of the Scorpion armrest, it’s a big improvement over the one found on the Equinox 600 and 800. It’s easily adjustable and very flexible. I believe they’ve included a similar style of armrest on the new Equinox 700 and 900. Well done. The new carbon fiber shaft is both lightweight and rigid. It has two adjustable locking cams. The unit collapses down to a very compact size. Having the attachment ears on the shaft rather than the coil was a great idea, though I’ve been having an issue with the coil bolt working loose. This new shaft is a big step up in quality from the Equinox 600 & 800. However, I think Minelab missed the boat on a few of things: 1) The shaft should’ve been keyed in my opinion. What I mean by “keyed” is, it should have been designed in a way that it cannot rotate. Similar to the XP Deus, for example. I don’t like having to visually line up the coil with the control housing every time I use it. 2) It would’ve been nice to have some measurement markings on the shaft, so that we can quickly extend it to our desired position without even thinking about it. Yes, we could always put them on ourselves with a marker, but why not do this from the factory? Such a small simple thing, yet it would’ve been extremely useful! Especially on a detector with a three piece shaft. 3) Minelab has always mounted the shaft in the center of the coil on most of their detectors. This is how it should be, in my opinion. It just balances better and it’s easier to keep the coil level with the ground. For whatever reason, they moved the mounting point slightly to the rear on this one. Not sure why manufacturers do this, but I am not a fan. 4) With how far the shaft can collapse down, the cable can get caught on the cam locks and be a pain to deal with. It sure would’ve been cool if they could’ve figured out a way to put the cable inside the shaft, like they did with the CTX 3030. I know it would require making the shaft diameter slightly larger, but that would’ve been fine with me. After reading this, it may seem like I'm saying the design isn’t good. That’s not the case at all. This is a very comfortable, well-balanced machine. However, the idea is to point out the positives and negatives... and I do see some room for improvement. Display: The display on the Manticore is outstanding. It’s large, colored, and super easy to read. Nothing is cramped and everything is large enough that you’re not straining to view it. The main focal point is the large Target ID with Target Trace just below it. On the left, you can see the frequency being used, along with the sensitivity. Across the top are several icons showing the current program, along with the status for overload, flashlight, tracking, wireless, headphones and battery. On the righthand side is the depth meter. Like the Equinox, the Manticore’s depth meter shows the depth with arrows or chevrons. Each one represents roughly 2 inches. I would’ve preferred a numeric depth read-out, but that’s just me nitpicking. The brightness of the display can be set at several levels, or it can be set to auto. When in auto mode, the light sensor on the top right will automatically adjust the brightness based on the available light around you. If you find yourself detecting after dark, it has a build in flashlight. While we’re on the subject of the display, I have a general request for all detector manufacturers. These plastic film screen protectors are a pain in the ass to install. I somehow managed to screw up every single one of them. How much trouble would it be to include a tempered glass screen protector with these high-end machines? While you’re at it, go ahead and install the damn thing from the factory. Menu: The Manticore’s user menu is by far the most well thought out, easiest to navigate of any detector I’ve ever used. It literally took me about 5 minutes to scroll through everything, understand where every setting is and what it does. You press the settings button, and the menu comes in on the lefthand side. From there you just use the arrows on the keypad to scroll through the various settings. Simple. I don’t know how else describe it other than to say that all the settings and controls are just laid out in a way that’s super easy to understand and use. Other detector manufactures could learn a thing or two from Minelab in this department. Thinking back to the days of the overly complex menu on machines like the White’s V3i, this is such a HUGE improvement. Very well done! Battery/Charging: The Manticore has a built-in rechargeable battery. The run time varies depending on the program and features used. I’ve always said that as long as I can hunt all day without needing to recharge, that’s all that really matters to me. I’ve been out on a few all-day hunts with the Manticore, and while it has always made it through the day, I have to admit that the battery level shown on the screen at the end of the day made me a little nervous. If you hunt more than 7 hours or so, or run power hungry programs like High Conductor, it may be a good idea to carry a power bank just in case. Like the Equinox, the Manticore charges with a cable that magnetically attaches to the back of the control housing. I really like this design and would love to see XP use something like this rather than the cumbersome coil clips and screw on charging attachments that they currently use. Target ID: The Target ID on the Manticore goes from 0-99 and is very spread out. To give you an idea of what I mean by “spread out”, the range for an IHP to a silver quarter is around 55 to 90. For comparison, on the Deus 2, that same range of coins is covered from around 80-97. Having a spread ID has some benefits, but it also has some negatives. Being so spread out, you’ll notice more ID variation due to mineralization, and you’ll notice it’s a little less stable when compared to machines like the Deus 2, CTX or Etrac. So, it’s a tradeoff. On the Manticore, you’ll get a better spread to help separate detected targets, but you’ll need to do more mental averaging of the ID #’s to get a good idea of what’s under the coil. The Deus 2 tends to lock on better due to the ID of coins being bunched closer together. Target Trace: This feature was first seen on the CTX 3030 about a decade ago. Some people wrote it off as a gimmick, but I found it to be a useful tool. As metal detectorists, we’re constantly trying to use calculated info to figure out what’s hidden under the dirt. We use things like sound, discrimination, and target ID to make our best guess on whether or not to dig. Target Trace is just one more tool to add to the arsenal. At a glance, it can show you when you have multiple targets close together, it can tell you if those targets are of different conductivity and can help you avoid digging certain junk targets. No, you can’t see shapes, but you can see different signatures which may give you a hint as to what’s beneath the coil. To me, the new Target Trace on the Manticore is cleaner and easier to understand than the one found on the CTX 3030. Don’t expect some magic new feature that’s going to show you an outline of the target. That’s not how it works. The 2D map simply shows you where the target plots based on its ferrous and conductive properties. Think of it as a feature that will come in handy occasionally, rather than something you’ll rely on with every signal. It’s just another useful bit of information to help with your dig/don’t dig decision. Discrimination Patterns & Ferrous Limits: The disc patterns on the Manticore are similar to what some of you may remember on the Etrac and CTX. Targets are either accepted or rejected based on where their FE-CO properties plot on the screen. Small iron targets come in across the top, larger iron at the bottom, and non-ferrous on or near the center line. Ferrous targets can be either accepted or rejected using the Ferrous Limits feature, which is basically like a visual iron bias setting. Discrimination is set by blocking out vertical segments across the VDI scale. Ferrous limits and the Discrimination Pattern are set-up separately in the menu. Works well enough, but I do have one major gripe. You can save four custom Ferrous Limits, but for whatever reason they limited us to only one Discrimination Pattern for each search mode. So, they basically gave us the ability to create awesome custom programs but with no way to save them globally. That’s a real head scratcher for me. Hopefully this is something that can be addressed in a software update. Tones: The tones on the Manticore can be configured in a variety of different ways via Audio Themes and Target Tones. Audio Theme Audio Themes consist of Normal, Enhanced, Depth and Prospecting. Each one with different characteristics. -From the manual Normal: The Normal Audio Theme is a good choice for everyday detecting. It gives full sounding audio responses that vary in both pitch and volume. Enhanced: The Enhanced Audio Theme is similar to Normal, but is optimized for detecting in high EMI scenarios. Depth: The Depth Audio Them is useful for improved target separation at inland locations that contain high amounts of ferrous trash. (This is very similar to “Pitch” tones on the Deus 2) Prospcting: The Prospecting Theme is useful when maximum sensitivity to weak targets is beneficial, such as for gold prospecting or hunting for fine jewelry at the beach. This theme is best used at low trash sites. Normal, Enhanced and Depth have profile settings which can control the amount of modulation (Simple, Medium, and Rich), as well as Threshold Level and Pitch. Target Tones Here you can configure the tones in a few different ways: The traditional 1 tone, 2 tones or 5 tones. Meaning the user can break up the ID scale into bins and assign a single pitch to each bin. Another option is what Minelab calls “All Tones”. This is another way of saying Full Tones. In this mode, each ID # has its own pitch assigned. You can also break up the ID scale into regions, assigning the start and end points for the pitch in each region. Useful for making certain target ranges stand out. The volume and pitch are user adjustable for both ferrous and non-ferrous targets. Overall, the tones on the Manticore are highly configurable and pleasant to the ears. However, they aren’t nearly as nuanced or descriptive as the tones on the Deus 2 IMHO. Pinpointing: As you turn on pinpoint mode and sweep across the target, the detector progressively reduces sensitivity with each sweep until only a very narrow target response is achieved. When in pinpoint mode, you’ll see a bar going across the bottom of the screen. As the center of the coil approaches the target, the bar fills in towards the center. The Manticore’s pinpoint mode works well and is an improvement over the Deus 2 in my opinion. Mainly because there’s no need to press additional buttons to turn it off. If you prefer, the wiggle back method also works well. Search Modes: The Manticore comes with 3 search modes: All-Terrain, Beach and Gold Field. Each with its own selectable programs which use different combinations of frequencies and other settings geared toward different types of targets or hunting conditions. General – All-around general-purpose detecting for most targets and conditions. Fast – Optimized for separation of targets. Low Conductors – For small or low conductive targets. High Conductors – Optimized for high conductive targets like silver coins. Trash Reject – Optimized for maximum rejection of iron trash and foil. Some people have reported excessive iron falsing with the Manticore. I experienced a little of this myself when using All Terrain High Conductors, but found that in areas with lots of iron, switching over to All Terrain General seems to help. You may notice slightly decreased depth and less stable ID on high conductors when using General. Depth: In my test bed, the Manticore was easily able to hit all the deep targets that were on the edge of detection with some of my previous detectors like the CTX 3030 and Equinox 800. In good soil, 9” – 10” coins aren’t even a challenge. On my second trip out with the Manticore, I went to a site that has sandy soil and is known for super deep targets. Clad runs all the way down to around 8 inches, and anything silver is well beyond that. I’ve hunted this spot multiple times in the past with my CTX 3030 and my Deus 2 with the 9” coil. Found a lot of silver, but eventually the signals dried up. So, I thought it would be fun to take the Manticore there and see if it could hit any targets that were just out of reach of the other machines. It handles EMI very well and I was able to run the sensitivity as high as 29 at this location. I ended up getting several more deep silver coins, along with an aluminum tax token that was easily 13” deep. To be fair, my Deus 2 was using a 9” coil and the Manticore has an 11” coil. My buddy Kenny came along that day to compare signals on his D2 with 11” coil, and he was able to hit all the same targets that the Manticore hit. You can watch a video of that hunt down below. Speed: I haven’t done a lot of separation tests, so I can’t say how it compares to some of the other recently released detectors. On the few tests I did, it seemed plenty fast to me. Headphones: This detector comes with the ML-105 headphones which are definitely a step up from the ones that came with my previous Minelabs. Nice and comfortable with good sound quality and no noticeable latency. They’re not waterproof, so I wouldn’t use them in the rain. Build Quality: The fit, feel and finish of the Manticore is much improved over the Equinox for sure. No more wobbly shaft. No more worries about broken coil ears. Excellent new arm cuff, and the buttons on the control housing feel great. No complaints so far. We’ll see how it holds up after a year of hard use. Manticore vs Deus 2: I’m only putting this here because I know someone will ask. If I could only keep one, which would it be? Well, both machines are deep, fast, and loaded with features. The Manticore definitely has the better-looking display and more intuitive menu in my opinion. All that stuff is great, but when it comes right down to it, the things that matter most to me are: Tones ID accuracy and stability In that order. Audio is #1 on my list because it’s the first thing that stops me in my tracks, and it tells me a lot about the target. More than ID. More than Target Trace or XY. When it comes to audio, the Deus 2 is unmatched in my opinion. When I say it has descriptive audio, what I mean is you can hear the soft edges of a round target. You can hear the roughness of a misshapen target. You can hear the forced sound of iron, even when it falses. No other metal detector I’ve used gives as much audible info as a Deus running Pitch or Full Tones. Another thing that’s very high on my list of importance is weight. Especially now that I’m getting older. A lighter machine means I can spend more time hunting before I get tired. More time hunting means more finds. The Manticore isn’t heavy by any means, but it’s still not even in the same ballpark as the Deus. The weight difference isn’t as noticeable when hunting flat ground, but if you’re like me and spend a lot of time hunting in the woods where you’re swinging over un-even ground and constantly maneuvering around trees or brush, the weight of your detector matters. For those reasons, if I could only keep one, it would be the Deus 2. To be fair, I have hundreds of hours on the D2 and only around 50 on the Manticore. My opinion may change as I get more time on the Minelab, so check back in a couple of months to see where I stand. Some finds from the first three hunts: Final Thoughts: So, there you have it. That’s my thoughts on the Minelab Manticore after 50 hours of use. It’s a great detector, with a few things that could be improved. Every metal detector has its faults, and the Manticore is no exception. Overall, it’s exactly what I expected it to be. No regrets with this purchase. I have no ties with Minelab and whether or not you buy this detector doesn't affect me what-so-ever. Everything mentioned above is just my opinion. YMMV. My Manticore YouTube Vids:
  22. Some may find something useful in this video, what I got out of it is seeing just how badly VLF's work in those hot Aussie soils, as soon as he turned on all metal mode on the Nox it was going crazy so he had to keep disc on, when he ground balances it never does balance. Such a contrast to here in the gold areas where I don't even need to ground balance as I don't get any feedback from the soil in defaults. I can see why Aussies think VLF's are pretty pointless, they actually work pretty well in my ground though so I do quite like VLF's for gold prospecting in milder soils, in Australia especially where this guy is testing these detectors I wouldn't even bother using one at all.
  23. Was lucky enough to find an 18 k chain and pendant on my second time out with the Manticore. Chain has a silver pendant and a gold pendant , looks like there was a second gold pendant that has come off. 33 gram with the silver pendant. I have been told that the gold pendant most probably holds a portion of someone's ashes. Found in the wet sand around 25 cm deep. It was the silver pendant that I heard. My guess is that most beach detectors would have heard the silver pendant, but it was nice to get some gold with the Manticore. So far I am really enjoying the Manticore on the beach and in the water. Haven’t had it in fast moving water yet, but it is working great in tidal pools.
  24. I've been a bit slack with doing adventure posts for a while now, no real reason for it, just lazy I guess! 🙂 Today was a beautiful day, perfectly still and not too hot, not too cold, the ideal day to head up one of the mountains and fire up the Manticore. I quite like the Manticore, while I don't find it's target ID's as good as the Nox in a way its helping my detecting, I focus a lot on target ID's coin hunting cherry picking coins so I dig as little as possible so I don't cause damage to the fields, but when at the ski fields they're wild rocky soil places so digging a hole isn't as damaging and easy to fill it back in like it was never dug so using the Manticore with it's less accurate ID's doesn't overly matter as I tend to dig any non-ferrous. The ski fields aren't overly loaded with junk, for the most part the junk is accidental rather than people throwing rubbish down, for example I found no pull tabs at all even though people often drink out of cans while skiing/snowboarding. The drive up the mountain takes about half an hour once you get to the bottom of it, it's quite a steep drive and many cars overheat trying, it's said to be one of the most dangerous roads in the country, I think it's fine in summer, but winter lots of cars go off the edge from slipping in the ice and snow or crash in some way or another, especially tourists. They should all take the shuttle busses and it'd save a lot of grief. Made it up to the base of the ski area, I wanted to detect where I've never been before, so I went up to the top of a beginner/intermediate lift which took me over an hour to walk up there, but figured the most likely people to fall are beginners going up lifts for the first time so it had the most chance of decent finds. The base magic carpet areas where beginners not capable of using lifts go are always a little over-detected being the easy area to get to right at the base and an obvious place people are constantly falling over. They must still have juice running to the snow guns, these pole sort tended to cause much worse EMI than the other larger guns, not sure why but the Manticore really didn't like working near these ones. The ground is mostly rough broken up schist. this hole to the right of my control pod was a bit of a weird find, a golden knife. Not sure if it's gold, it's not magnetic, quite heavy and comes up as a solid 10 ID on the Manticore. I found this silver ring shortly after the knife. It was in this hole to the right of the control box. It's marked silver, the knife has no markings. This is the area I was mostly detecting, in the distance they set up snow jumps along the trail where the snow guns are for beginners to practice jumping, another good place they constantly fall over. The foreground here was most of my finds for the day. No sign of any surface stuff, far too late in the autumn (fall) for that, if I wanted surface finds I'd have to go just after spring while the snows still melting away, by now people have been wandering around all summer exploring so all of my finds were digs. Go earlier and some quite good stuff can be found without a metal detector, mostly phones and wallets. The ground here is quite variable around the mountain and required reasonably frequent ground balancing when I moved from one spot to the next, there were of course hot rocks too. I thought I'd head back down, my wife and daughter came along and they went to the lake, yep, lake, there is quite a big lake up here. it's straight ahead in this photo in the top right corner. This is it, nice clear water, perfect for a drink refill. I think the lakes around 2000 meters above sea level, something like 6500 feet. It's the first time I've seen it not frozen solid, I mostly am up the mountain in winter and spring when it's frozen. And my total finds Mostly bits off clothing and branding stuff off skis, snowboards and boots. See how none of the junk I found looks like something someone would throw down? I'm quite happy people treat the place with respect and don't throw rubbish around. I have no idea what this thing is, I'm not sure if the 1923 is the age of it or a model number, I couldn't find it on a quick Google search. $10 in current currency NZ spendies on the right, the gold $1 and $2 coins, and the left is oddly all old 20c coins, with one 5c and one 10cent. All pre-1980s coins. The goldies were mostly all from the 1990's except the shiny one which was a more recent 2020 coin. 5 cent don't exist anymore, 10 cents are now different and junk cupro coins and the 20 cent coins now are small rubbish cupro things too, the cupros are made in Canada, these older ones give a nice solid signal. The $1 and $2 are about the easiest coin to find, nice solid signal, never corrode, they just get a bit dull with age but clean up pretty good. The more unusual stuff, looks like an Aussie was littering the coin, a 2002 year of the Outback special edition coin. The left one is some Chinese 100 coin and the right one I'm not sure, some UK 50 pence coin that I've never found before, unusual shape. The Aussie looks like it's been run over by the snow groomers a few times over the years 🙂 So, a fun day out, probably my last detect at the ski areas, it was only 2 weeks ago the area was covered in snow, but the snow was too soon and melted already, the next lot probably won't melt. Happy enough with the Manticore, in fact it's excellent other than it's target ID's, when it comes to Cherry picking coins in the fields I'll stick to using the Nox and especially the CTX, I need the more stable reliable ID's so I dig as few holes as possible.
  25. Well Minelab pulled one on me and probably the rest of the world yesterday and released 2 new detectors. With the Manticore starting to move and now we have an updated and more featured Equinox 900, I have questions. Which of the 2 will be best for Nugget Detecting = Prospecting? Many of us know the EQ-800 is by far the best VLF gold detector out there. So to get the few quirks taken care of and then add some features, you/I would think the new EQ-900 is the way to go, or is it? The Manticore claims to have 50% more power and better ID system as well. But only having 1 true Prospecting Mode, makes me wonder? Yes, only time will tell as we get them in the fields, but in reality I'm a little confused. Do we go with the proven or totally new? How about you?
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