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I'm loosing my enthusiasm for the CTX

I have been away from the forum for a while because the frustration with my CTX got to the point that I took a season off (2020) - sorry.

I got my CTX toward the end of the first year they came out and I have to be honest, I am a bit disappointed after spending 5+ years working with it, but I can't say I have had much better performance than many of the older tech machines I have used.

And after more than 30 years as professional techie (currently an Information Technology Director) I find the lack of updates (only one Aug 2016), issues with the cases leaking, and lack of assistance when I tried to get some help with a noisy coil from Minelab - unforgivable.

I have extensively used over the past 20 years a Garrett GTI 2500, Whites XLT and V3i, Fisher Gold Bug II, and my wife's Garrett Ace 350 and I cannot say that my results with the CTX are any better than the other high level machines and at times my wife has had better hits and ID with her Ace 350 than I have had with the CTX on the same target. I traded in the V3i to get the CTX and I actually miss the V3i because it gave me some of my best hunts with a minimal fuss and much less trash. Most of these other detectors tend to hit a target strong with little deviation, but the CTX is all over the map most of the time, and I am sacred to death to get it wet.

Is it time for a change or do I need to give the CTX another chance? I understand there was a water mod that mine definitely has not had, nor has it ever been into the shop for a tune up. I even bought the CTX 3030 book a few years back and went through it cover to cover - multiple times, but the results just are not there and I plan to get out again this year, but I am not read to deal with anymore frustration.

I am thinking about selling it and getting one of higher end Nokta Makro's or possibly come back to a Nox 800 and maybe a Garrett AT for my wife. What are your thoughts? I still believe in the tech in the CTX, I just don't think it likes me that much because we are definitely on different pages.

Please help
 

IDXMonster

Well-known member
Before every knob on the planet comes waltzing in and says you should get an Equinox....what EXACTLY are you even looking for? Let’s figure THAT out first. It’s not that the CTX “doesn’t like you”...or has some demonic scheme programmed into it to destroy your detecting enjoyment. Funny thing about machines (and you being in the field you’re in, you’ll appreciate this)...they do EXACTLY what humans tell them to do.
Step ONE...what SPECIFICALLY do you want to find more than anything?
 
Before every knob on the planet comes waltzing in and says you should get an Equinox....what EXACTLY are you even looking for? Let’s figure THAT out first. It’s not that the CTX “doesn’t like you”...or has some demonic scheme programmed into it to destroy your detecting enjoyment. Funny thing about machines (and you being in the field you’re in, you’ll appreciate this)...they do EXACTLY what humans tell them to do.
Step ONE...what SPECIFICALLY do you want to find more than anything?

I hear you when it comes to knobs and I agree - we don't want that. I want to realize the promise of of the CTX - and I have heard it called "user friendly" but that has definitely not been my experience. In a nutshell I want it to be predicable. The GTI and V3i gave me great dig, no dig feedback and at 60 years old I am not interested in endlessly digging garbage. I am looking for the promised performance that merits the cost and in all this time I have not been able to find a configuration that gives me consistent results and I have done considerable garden testing with known targets. Yet the identification is not what I would consider consistent. And I have used this machine in California and Virginia which have very different soils.

I haven't used it in a year so I may not be 100% accurate with my details (readings and such), but the point should still remain. I want reasonably accurate ferrous and conductivity readings - for example copper pennies should not ring up 13-48 one day and 11-44 (others get 12-43 as I recall) the next day on the same dry ball field. The detector should reject iron when told to do so, yet I find myself digging more iron trash with it than any prior detector. And do understand there are far too many variables for any detector to be perfect - but I'll settle for at least consistent. For example, if the GTI said that's a quarter - 9 times out of 10 it definitely was. When I could still remember the FeCo readings for common items, and I don't now, when I got matching and strong hits I would dig and rarely got what it said unless it was a VERY clean field. Most of the time it was some type of trash ringing in strongly and consistently. And to be very honest, I expect more than that because I can get that with a detector that costs one tenth the cost. I can honestly say this one has been all over the map since I took it out of the box. I chalked it up to my inexperience with it at first so I did a lot of trial and error to see, and used dozens of suggested settings - no luck. Even after a factory reset it is not consistent from day to day and if the coil happens to lightly brush the ground grass or small weeds it chirps a bunch - which Minelabs tells me is normal. I offered to send them the coil and they said if there is noting wrong it will cost you. I don't think anyone should work for fee, but I thought $89.95 quoted for a bench check was a bit much.

You can see my frustration because I have spent a considerable amount of time, just not lately so I apologize if I am not 100% on some of the detail. The tech is there, but I can't seem to get it to work and I am no stranger to tech or detecting. Maybe there has been something up with it from the start. Yes I have found stuff, but also an enormous amount of trash compared to my other machines.
 

IDXMonster

Well-known member
Great description of what you’re experiencing Shark. You are now in CA or VA? Just curious is all....
Let me ask....how many hours do you estimate you’ve got on the CTX? I just want to know this so I know “where you’re at”, so to speak. I understand you know how to detect.
Where do you have your Sensitivity normally? You only have the stock coil? And of course....you bought the machine from a reputable dealer? Are there any others near you who have or have access to another CTX? If you do NOT have access to another coil of any size for the CTX, I am willing to send you mine to test with. I really only use the 17” coil so it wouldn’t be missed....
Set your Sensitivity to Manual 10 in the factory Coins Mode outside of your house and away from any EMI no matter how far you have to go. Lightly tap the sides, top and bottom of the coil. Wiggle the coil cable at the strain relief at the coil body. If you have ANY erroneous responses that coincide with an action you are doing, you have a faulty coil. When you say you brush it in the grass or bump something very lightly and it responds with a noise of some kind, that is worrisome. Let’s get that far and see what you find.
 

Tony-Ok

Active member
The V3I and GTI 2500 are extremely slow, and masked targets will stay masked !!! The Anfibio multi is a good detector. Simplex is a good detector!!! ........ I am personally getting excellent results with the XP ORX W/ 9”HF round coil and a ML 540 pro. I needed lighter detectors and these two fit the bill. Sometimes less is more. CTX has a lot going on. I would always wonder if what settings the CTX were utilizing where correctly set ...... ??
 

sube

Well-known member
I would say bad coil wire as IDX pointed out had one myself it acted like yours but a couple days latter the detector said coil not detected so i new then what it was .But before that since it kinda work like yours , but since it was intermittent the machine could not detect it and display coil not detected .
See if you can try a different coil at a dealer . sube
 

jkline

Active member
It's funny you write this, as this weekend I was two fisted detecting... my ctx and my etrac, a sort of head to head test. I'm convinced that I do dig more trash with the etrac, but I find more good targets too. Right now my opinion is the ctx is overrated: everybody loves the machine they have, and if they put out a lot of money for it, they'll love it more. Fwiw-- my kid rocks with his ATPro; my hunting buddy nails it with his F75.

Case in point this weekend, the etrac gave me that screaming silver sound on a site that I've been over before with the ctx. I just knew there was something tasty down there. Putting the ctx on the same target, it was pretty iffy, and if at the end of a long day of swinging, I might have passed it up for a memorial. There were two nails and a roof staple in the hole.

I've started going over areas with the etrac that I thought I cleaned up with the ctx. Anyway, I'm thinking about putting the latter up for sale. The couple pros for keeping the ctx: wireless and I pinpoint better with it.
 

IDXMonster

Well-known member
I mean no harm or insult to anyone. I have seen this ALOT before. Instead of figuring out and understanding WHY the CTX isn’t performing as highly as expected, it’s simply shuffled off to another owner. I think that the OP is desperately trying to NOT do that, but might get sucked into that group of people who have done so. He appears to be looking for critical solutions as to why the machine is misbehaving and under performing, not necessarily 37 opinions as to why he should sell it.
 
Great description of what you’re experiencing Shark. You are now in CA or VA? Just curious is all....
Let me ask....how many hours do you estimate you’ve got on the CTX? I just want to know this so I know “where you’re at”, so to speak. I understand you know how to detect.
Where do you have your Sensitivity normally? You only have the stock coil? And of course....you bought the machine from a reputable dealer? Are there any others near you who have or have access to another CTX? If you do NOT have access to another coil of any size for the CTX, I am willing to send you mine to test with. I really only use the 17” coil so it wouldn’t be missed....
Set your Sensitivity to Manual 10 in the factory Coins Mode outside of your house and away from any EMI no matter how far you have to go. Lightly tap the sides, top and bottom of the coil. Wiggle the coil cable at the strain relief at the coil body. If you have ANY erroneous responses that coincide with an action you are doing, you have a faulty coil. When you say you brush it in the grass or bump something very lightly and it responds with a noise of some kind, that is worrisome. Let’s get that far and see what you find.

First, thanks for the thoughtful reply and here are my answers.

I live in southern Cal, but don't claim it - LOL. I was born and grew up in on Virginia's Eastern Shore and go back there every year to visit family. Last year was the first year I did not take the CTX or any detector with me.

I easily have 100 plus hours with the detector, and that is probably quite conservative. It may be 200 to 300 now that I think about it. There was a point where I took it out every day for months after work and stayed until dark.

Normal sensitivity and just below because it got very chirpy in Va. A local detectorist said the nearby NASA spaceport, Wallops Island, caused considerable RF in the area. Not sure about that, but it would randomly chirp so I dialed it back. That detectorist and his friends were using the "finest" equipment you could get at the local chain sporting goods store, so I did not place a great deal of trust in that feedback. Without naming brands, let's just say their gear may not detect a car in a parking lot if you made a dozen passes over it!! LOL I went out once with them and the trip was more about drinking and less about detecting - which was not my idea of a good detecting day. I don't need to leave home or ask owner permission to drink. Nor do I think they should drink on land they just asked permission to use for detecting.

Only a stock coil, bought it new from a forum recommended vendor and may still have his card, I am the only CTX I know of in my area. Not too many detectorists in my area. No spare coils and I am not opposed to buying yours if you don't need it, because I do not think my coil is up to specs no matter what I was told by Minelabs after I got it (and had a warranty). Yes, I will freely admit that left a bad taste in my mouth because I was right on top of it not log after I got the detector. The seller sent it from Michigan in the original box. That is no put down of him. Good guy, and the box looked fine when it arrived.

I have done a tap test in the past to the side of the coil, although not set exactly as you have described and I did get noise. I started noticing it on the beaches when I went at night. Since it was dark I could not see all the mounds in the soft stuff made by foot falls. Once in a while it would accidentally take off the top 1/4" (and less) from the top of a mount and get a chirp like I had a hit. I would sweep again and there would be nothing. But I will put the machine back together and test it Friday when I am off work as you have described.
 
The V3I and GTI 2500 are extremely slow, and masked targets will stay masked !!! The Anfibio multi is a good detector. Simplex is a good detector!!! ........ I am personally getting excellent results with the XP ORX W/ 9”HF round coil and a ML 540 pro. I needed lighter detectors and these two fit the bill. Sometimes less is more. CTX has a lot going on. I would always wonder if what settings the CTX were utilizing where correctly set ...... ??

I fully agree when it comes to speed with the GTI, it is old tech and microprocessors have come a long way since it's day. Using the V3i I had no real issues with it's speed. Granted I do not swing it at warp speed like some folks I have seen, but it was fine for me. I still consider it a very stable and consistent performer. Not the best at everything, but quite good across the board. It used to give E-Trac users a run for their money by walking in their footsteps and finding what they missed to make a point. But I also do not think they were the greatest operators either because those same guys were not real good with any of the detectors they would bring out of their vehicles.

When it comes to settings, I am positive I have covered them all with all the different things I have tried. Some from folks in the field, some on forums, and others from books.
 
I would say bad coil wire as IDX pointed out had one myself it acted like yours but a couple days latter the detector said coil not detected so i new then what it was .But before that since it kinda work like yours , but since it was intermittent the machine could not detect it and display coil not detected .
See if you can try a different coil at a dealer . sube
I can say I have never had a coil message of any kind, just noise when it is tapped manually or when sweeping. I did check it at the plug and it was fine. But I do plan to try another coil.
 
I mean no harm or insult to anyone. I have seen this ALOT before. Instead of figuring out and understanding WHY the CTX isn’t performing as highly as expected, it’s simply shuffled off to another owner. I think that the OP is desperately trying to NOT do that, but might get sucked into that group of people who have done so. He appears to be looking for critical solutions as to why the machine is misbehaving and under performing, not necessarily 37 opinions as to why he should sell it.

IDX, you nailed it! I have no plans to replace it unless I can PROVE it actually hates me and a divorce is the only option! LOL
 

IDXMonster

Well-known member
Great feedback Shark, it sounds like you very well might have a hardware issue. It happens. You say “So-Cal”...L.A. metro area? There are absolutely guys out there on the forums, let me know where you’re at so we can get you in touch with a loner coil. If that doesn’t bear fruit I will LEND you mine for testing....but you can’t buy it. I still need it occasionally....👍
I don’t imagine a “divorce” is necessary....just some therapy.
 

LTimedigger

Active member
Gee PS I feel your pain. I suspect that the burr under your saddle could be not what you've failed to find but the price of the damn thing relative to its performance vs other machines. Some of yall know that I had wonderful and superior performance the the CTX my first four years then it just quit working two and a half years ago and its still out and whats frustrating is that so far no one has been able to determine what it is though we've tried a # of things. Shortly after swinging it it suddenly fails to deliver an audio responce with or w/o phones and no one else has had this problem before. Let me ask you a couple of questions. When you say you sent it to ML do you mean the company itself or the service center which normally does the repairs. This is important. I sent mine to the SC 3 times and still came back unrepaired. Its currently with my dealer who is going to deal direct with ML if he can't figure it out. And you definitely wont to try its out with more than one coil. When I 1st developed the problem Kellyco was still doing repairs and I only sent 1 coil and they said that was it-wrong. Whats bad I think the CTX and my Deus as the only two machines that complement each other differently. I'm not one of these guys who has owned 30 different MD's. I've gone this for 30 years and have only owned 7 and 3 of these were what I would call exceptional. I do think that you should have both a Multi freq and a multi-single kfz machine(deus, EQ). What do you hunt the most? If your doing rings on a trashing beach or park a lot of trash is a given regardless of the machine. Single kfz machine are more difficult to set but are easier to separate trash from treasure. I know the EQ does both but most folks still wont to do the areas with less trash but its simply harder to find the stuff there as Sube says. If I don't get satisfaction this time, I may forced to look at another multi kfz. My dealer uses the EQ more now because of the weight but says the CTX is still deeper. Hope this helps.
 

IDXMonster

Well-known member
LT....if you read carefully, the OP has NOT ever sent the machine in to any shop. So, testing of any kind regarding the viability of the coil has not been done. I would agree that this is the first thing that has to be confirmed for SURE....is the coil any good. Letting a machine of that caliber rot in the closet because of a ”fluke” bad coil would just be sad.
As far as YOUR machine, when I get home from work I’m going to do some research. THAT is also an unacceptable situation.
 
Great feedback Shark, it sounds like you very well might have a hardware issue. It happens. You say “So-Cal”...L.A. metro area? There are absolutely guys out there on the forums, let me know where you’re at so we can get you in touch with a loner coil. If that doesn’t bear fruit I will LEND you mine for testing....but you can’t buy it. I still need it occasionally....👍
I don’t imagine a “divorce” is necessary....just some therapy.
I live in an area Roy Rodgers made famous called "The High Desert" which is north of San Bernardino - we are the edge of the Mojave Desert. Our valley is made up of Apple Valley (where Roy retired), Victorville, and Hesperia where I live. We are about 90 miles due east of Los Angeles. Roy and Dale made quite a few movies here "back in the day" and fell in love with the area and settled down here. We really miss them, they were incredible people and kind to everyone.

I did know about someone in Palmdale about 40 miles north that was in the forum a could years ago. But he disappeared not long after we started talking about doing some detecting. But I have not been as active as of late so who knows...

If I can't find someone local a loaner is just fine. Too bad you don't want to sell it, but that's ok. If mine is toast, I'll source one from Minelabs although I will be none to pleased about it because my detector has done this from day one and I did identify the problem while under warranty, but they did not think there was an issue. Thus I trusted their expert opinion, now I feel I should have pressed the issue.

In any case, I want to save my relationship with my CTX so I'm interested in the therapy.
 
Gee PS I feel your pain. I suspect that the burr under your saddle could be not what you've failed to find but the price of the damn thing relative to its performance vs other machines. Some of yall know that I had wonderful and superior performance the the CTX my first four years then it just quit working two and a half years ago and its still out and whats frustrating is that so far no one has been able to determine what it is though we've tried a # of things. Shortly after swinging it it suddenly fails to deliver an audio responce with or w/o phones and no one else has had this problem before. Let me ask you a couple of questions. When you say you sent it to ML do you mean the company itself or the service center which normally does the repairs. This is important. I sent mine to the SC 3 times and still came back unrepaired. Its currently with my dealer who is going to deal direct with ML if he can't figure it out. And you definitely wont to try its out with more than one coil. When I 1st developed the problem Kellyco was still doing repairs and I only sent 1 coil and they said that was it-wrong. Whats bad I think the CTX and my Deus as the only two machines that complement each other differently. I'm not one of these guys who has owned 30 different MD's. I've gone this for 30 years and have only owned 7 and 3 of these were what I would call exceptional. I do think that you should have both a Multi freq and a multi-single kfz machine(deus, EQ). What do you hunt the most? If your doing rings on a trashing beach or park a lot of trash is a given regardless of the machine. Single kfz machine are more difficult to set but are easier to separate trash from treasure. I know the EQ does both but most folks still wont to do the areas with less trash but its simply harder to find the stuff there as Sube says. If I don't get satisfaction this time, I may forced to look at another multi kfz. My dealer uses the EQ more now because of the weight but says the CTX is still deeper. Hope this helps.

I guess I hunt things of value, but I primarily look for coins. The older, the better, because I crave the song of silver in my headset! And gold coins are about as common as unicorns!
 

IDXMonster

Well-known member
Thanks anything you can do. I did misunderstand him to say he sent it back because of a presumably bad coil. Me bad.
LT...I’ll ask a silly question that needs to be asked. Did you do a factory reset?
Also...have you tried taking the headphone module OFF the machine to see if it behaves then?
 
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IDXMonster

Well-known member
I live in an area Roy Rodgers made famous called "The High Desert" which is north of San Bernardino - we are the edge of the Mojave Desert. Our valley is made up of Apple Valley (where Roy retired), Victorville, and Hesperia where I live. We are about 90 miles due east of Los Angeles. Roy and Dale made quite a few movies here "back in the day" and fell in love with the area and settled down here. We really miss them, they were incredible people and kind to everyone.

I did know about someone in Palmdale about 40 miles north that was in the forum a could years ago. But he disappeared not long after we started talking about doing some detecting. But I have not been as active as of late so who knows...

If I can't find someone local a loaner is just fine. Too bad you don't want to sell it, but that's ok. If mine is toast, I'll source one from Minelabs although I will be none to pleased about it because my detector has done this from day one and I did identify the problem while under warranty, but they did not think there was an issue. Thus I trusted their expert opinion, now I feel I should have pressed the issue.

In any case, I want to save my relationship with my CTX so I'm interested in the therapy.
I have the feelers out Shark, give me a couple days. I know about where you are, my brother lives in Upland.
 
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