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Need Help Choosing A High End Detector


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Hi everyone, my first post here! After reading hundreds of posts and watching YouTube videos online for the last 6 months I've decided to choose one of the following detectors: Legend, Deus 2 or the Manticore. I have very little experience in metaldetecting. The only experience I have is 4 months searching on the saltwater beach with a Makro Racer 2 in 2017. Unfortunately I had to stop and now 6 years later ready to start again. My biggest problem is that I can't visit a metal detecting dealer to see and feel the different models.

The only place I'm going to metal detect is the saltwater beach looking for coins and jewelry. I don't plan to go in the water (waist, diving). I live about 8 minutes from the beach (by bike) so portability is important to me (backpack and go).

These are the configurations I like with their corresponding prices:

- Nokta Legend (WHP): 600 euro (nokta offer valid until march 31, 2023 or while supplies last)

- XP Deus 2 (WSA2 + RC): 1450 euro

- Minelab Manticore: 2000 euro

As you can see the Deus 2 is 2.5x times more expensive than the Legend and the Manticore almost 3.5x times. Unfortunately no discounts are possible. If there are no differences between the three models for my situation (searching on the saltwater beach) then I'll look at the other criteria (weight, warranty etc.). If one of the detectors is better but cost 2x to 3x more then that's no problem. So price is not really a problem.

Some specs I found online (mainly focused on weight and dimensions):

Nokta Legend

Weight: 1.4 kg / 3.0 lbs
Collapsed Length: 63 cm / 25 inch (with coil?)
Warranty: 3 year
Headphones: Bluetooth aptX Low Latency

XP Deus 2

Weight:

- S-Telescopic + Remote + 9" coil = 865 g / 1.9 lbs
- S-Telescopic + Remote + 11" coil = 990 g / 2.2 lbs
- S-Telescopic lite + Remote + 9" coil = 800 g / 1.8 lbs
- S-Telescopic lite + Remote + 11" coil = 925 g / 2.0 lbs
Collapsed Length: 58 cm / 22.8 inch and 65 cm / 25.6 inch (equipped with a 9" coil)
Warranty: 5 year
Headphones: WSA2, WSA2 XL

Minelab Manticore

Weight: 1.3 kg / 2.9 lb
Collapsed Length: 63 cm / 25 inch (with coil?)
Warranty: 3 year
Headphones: Minelab ML-105

Some positives and negatives:

Nokta Legend:

+ price (much cheaper than the Deus 2 and Manticore)

+ Bluetooth aptX Low Latency headphones compatibility

- weight (heaviest of the three)

XP Deus 2:

+ weight (much lighter than the other three models)

+ 5 year warranty

+ choice for a small headphone (WSA2)

+ backpack 240 perfect fit for deus 2 (portability)

- menu learning curve?

Manticore:

+ color screen

+ navigating menu

- only one headphone option

Of course there are more pros and cons between these detectors and these can only be answered by people who own these detectors. I really want a high end detector (no vanquish, simplex etc..). Tips and suggestions are welcome!

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Hi Detectornado ,

I am not a beach specialist but if you dont plan to go in the water you might perhaps consider the Deus2 WS6 master version , which is significantly cheaper than the RC version ( 850E instead of 1450 ) . And there are almost all the RC functionalities on the WS6 headphones , including beach modes ..  The menu system is ok for me , may be not perfect just like the other brands .. ?

Considering the depth performances , as said above the 3  ( Legend , Deus2 , Manticore ) are probably very close to each other . If you prefer light detectors the Deus2 is much lighter than the others , starting from 750g ( with the 9" coil ) while the Manticore weighs 1,3kg and the Legend 1,5kg  . 

For me the weight is the most important difference between the 3 detectors . Buy a Legend only if weight is not a pb for you ...

Minelab has an excellent reputation for beach hunting and there are many Equinox 800 users on the French coasts .  So you would probably not be disappointed by the new Equinox 900 which replaces the 800 .  I would not buy a Manticore considering its excessive price in Europe ( 2000E ) ..

Just my 2 (euro)cents ? . Hope that helps ..

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I won't discuss the Manticore, since I don't own one and have never used one.

For me, the easiest to read display on a bright, sunny beach are the Equinox models, followed by the Legend and then Deus 2. Deus 2 can have its target ID numbers enlarged but at the expense of the other important display features.

Also, if you happen to detect a tidal pool of just want to barely submerge the coil in gentle, shallow surf, no additional alterations are necessary with the Legend or Equinox models. Deus 2 would need to have its antenna wire attached even in water that is 5 cm deep.

Deus 2 has many fantastic features as do the newer Equinox models and the Legend.  As Steve H. said in his post, the differences in performance are not worth even discussing comparing Deus 2, Legend and the newer Equinox 700 and 900. Most casual users will not notice much difference. I own all three and the performance differences even for an obsessed metal detector junkie like me really are minimal between these detectors.

I used a Deus 2 Lite setup for awhile. I really liked its light weight. However, using it for saltwater beach hunting on a regular basis is not something I would want to do since the WS6 is not waterproof, the display does not have a backlight and glare from sunlight is a real issue. I recently added the full remote. Even it is hard for me to see sometimes.

Using any of these detectors regularly with their wireless headphones on a noisy beach and considering salt degradation and possible accidents........ I would want to use over the ear, wired, waterproof headphones. Those are readily available for all three brands but you may need to purchase a wired headphone adapter or headphones with the brand specific waterproof connector.

Using the Deus 2 on the ear back phones at a noisy beach is a joke as is just using the external speakers on these detectors on a regular basis.

The Legend and the newer Equinox 700 and 900 (Manticore also?) have a handle vibration feature that alerts the user that a target has been detected so at least with those detectors turning off the external speaker and just using the vibration feature is an alternative to using headphones. 

Weight is definitely an issue when coils get covered with dry or especially wet sand. So is lower shaft torque with a sand coated coil attached. Deus 2 can become very nose heavy with a sanded coil, so the lightest initial weight does not always mean the best ergonomics for sandy beach detecting. Deus 2 lower shaft torque has definitely been reported by beach/water hunters.

I personally would not buy a new Equinox 600 or 800. Their many issues with flooding, broken coil ears and broken arm rests are well documented by beach hunters. The newer Equinox models have been designed to fix those issues.

I would buy a new Equinox 700 or 900, a Legend WHP or a full Deus 2.

Since you specifically mentioned High End detectors I won't recommend the Minelab Vanquish models which are not waterproof. Even minor rogue waves do happen.

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Before you buy get your 2 or more choices in your hand and consider how they fit for your comfort. Remember the best detector in the worst place will not get as many desired targets as a bad detector in the best location. So what matters is get one that feel great and do research on where to use it.

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^^^^ This, and what everyone else said. ? Simply put, if there's nothing where you swing your coil, even with the cheapest detector, you will get nothing.

Seems to me the Legend would be a great fit for you, I don't have one but like Nokta, they are a serious contender. I have a Deus 2 and don't mind the antenna at all, even figured out (with great help here) how to make the WS6 Master work in shallow water with a cheap piece of coax.

I will add that the call of the water can be strong, so consider waterproofing first and foremost so you won't be disappointed with limitations. ?

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