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Field Test Summary For The New AT MAX Manufactured By :garrett:
Posted by: John-Edmonton
Date: September 06, 2017 10:24PM

I have been using both the AT Pro and AT Gold for many years. Both machines were a nice improvement over the GTI Series, in that they introduced iron audio, tone roll and increased the depth considerably. However, I was hoping that the Garrett Imaging Feature, as others hoped too, would be continued. The new AT Series were also water proofed, allowing many land hunters to experience treasure hunting in water, without the expense of buying a totally water designed VLF metal detector. And they worked as good in water as they did on land. The AT Gold, designed to perform well searching for gold, included a true all metal mode, very sensitive to tiny conductive targets, with assistance for a higher operating (over the AT Pro) frequency of 18 kHz. I often used this true all metal mode option with the 5" x 8" DD search coil, hunting for relics. Below are some smaller items found using the 5" x 8" coil on the AT GOLD

Items found with the AT GOLD 5" x 8" Search coil

The AT Pro, was my favorite coin, jewelry and water hunting machine. It had incredible audio in Pro Mode utilizing iron audio to distinguish ferrous/nonferrous targets, especially useful when used to search for silver and copper coins. The AT Pro has notching abilities, in that you could pick a specific target, identified by the corresponding number readout (VDI) and either remove it, with no loss of depth, only the audio, could isolate only the readout number, making it easier to find a specific target like a lost earring or ring. The AT Pro was the recommended salt water metal detector, and when set up properly would work well in most salt water environments. The AT Gold was not recommended for salt water usage.

Garrett's latest introduction model of metal detectors is the new "AT MAX." It was designed to posses the "best" options from both the AT Pro/AT Gold, and tweaked to squeeze out even more depth using the current available Garrett Search Coils. There are also after market coils available for those who even want to go deeper. The new "Garrett AT MAX." also included some entirely new features: Click on link for more information on the new features.

-NEW Built-in Z-Lynk™ Wireless Technology (Wireless Headphones included)
-Back light
-Optimized Frequency
-Higher Resolution Ground Balance
-Larger Display Numbers
-Volume Control
-Maximum Detection Depth ( significant depth increase)
And, included on the AT MAX are the "best" features from both the AT MAX and AT PRO:
-Iron Audio™
-True All Metal Iron Audio and Discriminate Mode
-Adjustable Frequency
-All Terrain Versatility
-Fully submersible to 10-foot (3 meter) depth. Weatherproof design also protects against dusty and humid environments.
-Digital Target ID—0 to 99 scale.
-High-Res Iron Discrimination
-44 points of iron resolution.
-Adjustable Threshold
-Pulse Width Modulation Audio results in sharp, responsive target signals
-Search Modes: True All-Metal, Custom, Coins, and Zero Discrim Modes.
-Fast Recovery Speed
-Notch Discrimination
-Coin Depth Indicator
-Battery Condition Indicator
-13.6 kHz Operating Frequency

I received the new AT MAX at the beginning of August, opened it and had it assembled in about 30 minutes. The official instructions were not available at this time, however, I did receive an unedited photo copy. Very simple, precise with pictorial instructions.

I put it through some air tests, to assess it's possible maximum detection depth. I tested various objects in both true all metal mode and discriminate mode. There was a definite increase with depth on the AT MAX over similar tests with the AT PRO and AT Gold in both discriminate mode and true all metal mode. The iron audio was more pronounces on the new AT MAX, possibly a bonus for relic hunters. The modulated audio (shallow targets produce a stronger signal, deep targets produce a softer signal) was apparent in both true all metal mode and discriminate mode. It could be enhanced using the "Adjustable Threshold" feature to hear those soft whisper. Please note that the "Adjustable Threshold" feature only works with true all metal mode. This feature assists with location very deep signals and is often utilized by relic and gold nugget hunters.

Realistically, I can't judge a new metal detector with one or two outings. I have to do several hunts in order to really get a feel for it, and I always figured a person must get a good hundred hours on a metal detector before you can say you have mastered it. Above are my total clad found in one month, after several hunts including land and fresh water lake hunting. I hunted parks, woods, construction sites and along a river. During one hunt, my buddy, with his AT Pro, 8.5" x 11" DD coil and my AT MAX exact same set-up, compared signals on three different coins. Before it was dug, I got him to raise his 81/2" x 11 DD coil above the coin to where the audio stopped. After measuring the height, I used the AT Max, used the same configuration, and twice I gained an extra 3" and once 2 1/2 inches above the ground beyond where is coil lost the signal. This again, validated what myself and others have noticed with the increase in depth over the other AT Series Detectors. Coins banged hard, and the modulated audio was apparent on the deeper coins.

I did manage to find some silver coins. Two coins (dime, quarter and Buffalo Nickel) were found in a fresh water lake, over 8" down. Old coins just don't come out of this very popular beach.

We never had any civil wars in or around Edmonton, so I can't find pockets of mini balls or old military paraphernalia. What I can find are relics from old picnic grounds, spent cartridges, square nails, dropped bullets and older coins. using the iron audio helped to distinguish brass cartridges and coins from old nails and other iron items. When relic hunting, anything deep gets dug up, no matter what the readings are

My favorite coil for all the AT Series is the 9" x 12" Concentric coil. It just seems to give me better depth, more accurate target ID and faster/easier pinpointing. It's not the best for target separation. A smaller coil and or DD usually gives better separation. An experience hunter chooses his coils wisely for the job. Now this is in my soil, which ground balances to about 90. Even though this coil is the largest coil for the AT Series, it still manages to find tiny targets, as shown in the jewelry finds. Small earring still give up a nice sharp high tone.

Here are the rings I found. Two were found on land, the rest were found in fresh water. The AT MAX works just as good in the water as it does on land. To prevent problems water hunting, you need to check that all your connections, coil and headphones, are tight, and it's good to use a little silicone gel on the "O" ring to keep it from drying out.

I can honestly recommend the AT MAX as a great metal detector, made by Garrett Metal Detectors out of Garland, Texas. This is the same company today, which has been producing metal detectors since 1964. Garrett holds many patents, and is known for developing cutting edge technology, which has been shared and built upon by most metal detector manufacturers.

The AT MAX is an excellent metal detector, both on land and water. The programs are easy master, and when used properly, should fulfill your hunting niche plus much more and give you many years of problem free metal detecting. Check out their website, and find out where the nearest dealer is to purchase such a fine metal detector.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2017 11:07PM by John-Edmonton.

Re: Field Test Summary For The New AT MAX Manufactured By :garrett:
Posted by: WaterWalker
Date: September 07, 2017 07:33AM
Great review! Thanks.

Just one question I have not seen an answer to, yet...
Hopefully the "Z" system out performs the "BT" system.

Do the "Z" headphones loose connection when the control box is submerged?

I know the "Z" headphones are not waterproof. All the other wireless connections seem to be lost when the detector controls are submerged. Or the transmitter box is not waterproof and can not be submerged.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2017 07:34AM by WaterWalker.

Re: Field Test Summary For The New AT MAX Manufactured By :garrett:
Posted by: John-Edmonton
Date: September 07, 2017 08:33AM
The Garrett wireless system does not work under water.

Re: Field Test Summary For The New AT MAX Manufactured By :garrett:
Posted by: OCC Hunter
Date: September 19, 2017 08:41PM
And... the question that is the giant elephant in the room is...when is it available to the rest of us??

Re: Field Test Summary For The New AT MAX Manufactured By :garrett:
Posted by: kaolinwasher
Date: December 08, 2017 07:45PM
i would not mind getting one of those

Currently own 4 detectors

Mirage P.I coustom built by Sven.

silver Umax With ground balance

Blisstool V5

and a Makro Racer,

God will forgive every sin and blasphemy. are you ready to repent

Re: Field Test Summary For The New AT MAX Manufactured By :garrett:
Posted by: nam1969
Date: September 24, 2018 02:11PM
where do you hunt to find all the coins?

Re: Field Test Summary For The New AT MAX Manufactured By :garrett:
Posted by: MrMole
Date: May 03, 2019 03:43PM
Not to butt in here but don't forget to mention the GREAT customer service we get from Garrett.

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