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AT Pro Compared to Fisher F70 or Minelab X-Terra 705

gmccool

Member
I have a fisher F70 and a Minelab X-Terra 705 and was thinking of picking up a used AT Pro. I like that it is weather proof and Garrett makes a very good detector and has excellent customer service. I think that the F70 and X-Terra are pretty close in the field with the fisher being just a little lighter and the X-Terra 705 a little more quiet. Both are excellent machines. I am curious how the AT Pro compares to the depth of both machines. I don't want to have too many detectors so one of them will probably have to go if I decide to pick up a used AT Pro? I wish I could afford a new one but that is out of the question.
 

John-Edmonton

Moderator
Staff member
First of all, it's very difficult to answer that question, if not impossible. The answer really is "it depends"

The following all play a significant role, and in combination will always give varying results:

-size of a target-> the larger the target, the deeper a target can be recognized.
-conductivity-> aluminum vs. copper vs. gold. vs. iron vs. silver. Some rings, with size & mass being equal can be detected deeper then others.
-size of coil-> general rule says "larger coil = deeper depth however, add a lot of conductive particles, metal junk and high mineralization to the matrix, and the large coil becomes redundant.
-type of coil-> DD vs.concentric vs. mono. Each coil has a definite advantage over the other under different conditions
-frequency of signal from coil-> higher frequency usually (but not always) is more sensitive to tinier objects.
-VLF vs. Pulse Induction-> Pulse induction can easily pick up a dropped mini or gold ring with a medium sized coil 15-20" whereas a VLF might get about half that all other things being equal.
-Humidity, moisture in soil, orientation of target to the coil
--ability of the to perceive the receiving frequency from a coil and distinguish it's conductivity, depth, size etc.
-operator - properly setting up the electonic components based on knowledge and experiences

There are many more variables in involved affecting depth.....the above are just some of the more obvious ones. So really, YOU need to figure out what you are looking for ie. relics vs. jewelery vs. common coins vs. deep copper/silver coins. You also need to know the soil conditions and other factors in YOUR area where you are going to hunt. Lots of electronic interference from above ground or below will make some of the most expensive machines useless, unless you turn the sensitivity way down, which often times reduces your depth considerably. Same goes with extremely high mineralization like in Australia or red clay oxidized clays in North America areas. VLF may really struggle under these conditions, yet a PI (pulse induction) will punch down deep with no trouble.

So.....how deep is the Pro? It is as deep in some instances and deeper in other instances and perhaps not as good as machines costing sometimes more then twice the cost of the . Throw on the 9 x 12 concentric coil in good ground and you have a very deep detector with great ID capabilities. Use the DD 8.5" x 12" coil in heavier mineralized soil, and it outperforms even the larger coil I just mentioned. Put on the 5" x 8" coil and you can easily pick out the good targets beside and often time underneath junk targets, while still getting great depth.

You want a machine for caches buried in feet, not inches - Garrett has it - http://www.garrett.com/hobbysite/1611800_treasurehound_eagleeye_searchcoil.aspx

You want extreme depth for water or land, check out the Garrett Infinium - http://www.garrett.com/hobbysite/hbby_infinium_video.aspx or Infinium Website http://www.findmall.com/list.php?62

You want a great all around machine for good depth + Salt or freshwater hunting (waterproof) Check out the AT Gold or : Gold: http://www.findmall.com/read.php?79,1615363,1615363#msg-1615363

You want to hunt common coins with sizing ability, check out the GTI Series- http://www.garrett.com/hobbysite/hbby_gti_1500_video.aspx

Why should depth not be the most important factor for purchasing a metal detector? Because depth is only relative to certain conditions. Most targets are in the top 6 inches anyway, so why do you need to go down to 15-20"? In places like salt water or areas with a lot of deep junk rusty targets, the large coil on your $1,500.00 machine is practically useless, and when set up to it's maximum potential in these areas, will only give you say 4-5 inches. If somebody is trying to sell you an expensive detector, that they say is the deepest machine, you had better turn around and run fast....as that equates with someone trying to sell you a a parcel of land in a swamp. There is no 'DEEPEST" machine....it simply doesn't exist. But there are BEST configurations of a metal detector type for any given matrix of soil.

As this is a Garrett forum, and I don't promote detector comparisons here, I will speak specifically on Garrett Detectors. They are one of the oldest and ORIGINAL designers, manufacturers of metal detectors in USA. They also have one of if not THE best customer service backups. Talk with the Garrett folks about a problem, and you are probably speaking with someone who also spends some of their spare time metal detecting. In fact, Garrett encourages their staff to sign out machines and use them ad lib on their days off. Garrett is up on the latest technology. They are constantly doing R & D to keep up with the newest and latest technologies. You won't find any cheap toggle switches and cheap knobs on the latest detectors. Toggles can easily break off, and knobs for tuning or volume wear out or change setting with the slightest accidental touch. Knobs are old technology and belong on static devices such as old TVs, radios etc. Garrett builds a variety of detectors. Want extreme depth? They have it....want a good all around machine with good depth and all around performance and water proof costing half of what other competitors have, Garrett has it. Want a low cost entry machine, with bells & whistles costing much less then the competitors...Garret has it. Do you need further support on detecting with any Garretts, they have it.....Garrett has many "HOW TO" videos on line for each model they sell.. Need some reading material? Garrett has the largest supply of home grown (written) books.
 

mudpuppy

New member
I have the F70 as well and love it...I read all these ATPRO posts and like what I have seen, both from the quality of the finds, the helpfulness and comraderie here amongst the Garrett guys, the service issue resolution etc.. The ATpro I think would be a very nice fit with the F70, they both use the same batteries, which might seem like a minor detail, until its not, so thats probably what I'll do..I like hunting in the rain and doing some wading as well, so I can see an Atpro in my future somewhere along the way, hopefully sooner than later!
Mud.
 

gmccool

Member
John,
Thank you for the feedback! You make some very good points. At least we are comparing apples to apples! I am pretty much hooked and think that with the reputation of Garrett's customer service that I will just have to pick myself up a AT Pro as soon as I get a chance.
Thanks again for your feedback!
Greg
 

John LA

New member
I have the F70 and used to have the Exterra70. I don't really remember why I got rid of the Exterra. I use the F70 when I'm in the dig everything mode.
I almost always use the ATPro because of all the info you can get before you dig.
 

Night Crawler

New member
Hi gmccool

As a New At Pro user myself, I can only speak of what I have experienced in the short time I have owned mine. I metal detect in a very high mineral area (91-93) and am very pleased with my results.

- I found a small carpet tac at 10"
- I found a small thin metal wire at 8"
- I found a Hot Wheels toy at 11"
- I got a good solid hit on a Metal Pipe (water drainage under the cross road I was on at 2'+. My friend was going to let me dig it but had mercy on me and brought it to my attention (a bit embarrassed on that one).
- My coil picks up my Lesch (type) Digger at 2' or more.
- I have to extend my coil out almost all the way so I don't get feed back from my steel toes (at least a foot and a half).

I found more things with the At Pro in 1 - week than I did all year with my other ML detector. I'm still learning the AT Pro Language in different depths and environments but I'm very pleased with it at this point (very pleased).:)

I call mine "Franken Pro".:)

Just my 2 bits for what it's worth gmccool.:)
 

manitobajay

New member
I had a Fisher F70 and sold it. It was a great machine with lots of options on how to use it in various ways and is very comfortable machine to use. Here in Manitoba we have low minerliazation soil but I have found the AT Pro deeper by at least an inch and half over the F70. I had hunted a park to death with my F70 and revisted with my AT Pro and I had removed numerous coins at extreme depths of 10 inches that the F70 had missed even with a SEF coil. The AT pro in Pro mode goes extremely deep and if you use your ears the audible will show you targers too deep to register on the LCD and this is where the deep goodies are going to be. For the price the AT Pro is one excellent machine.
 

gmccool

Member
Thank you all for your information. It looks like I am going to be a multi machine guy! While you always need to keep a backup machine, or a machine for a friend. Its hard to let a machine go when there is nothing wrong with it. I guess life is too short not to have my toys!! LOL I cant say that my Fisher F70 is any better than my Minelab X-Terra they both have their strong points. The Fisher is a little lighter, I can swing it all day and the X-Terra works better on the beach because it can handle getting close to the salt water! I have had no problems with either machine except when I first got my Fisher I had to send it back to First Texas and they replaced the coil without any problems with a two week turnaround.
Life is good! Thanks everyone
 
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